CLARION - Students, faculty and staff at Keystone School District returned to classes Tuesday under direction to comply with a state Department of Health mandate requiring face masks in all district buildings.

The enforcement of the mandate came the morning after school board president John Slagle called for another delay in enforcing the mandate, but his attempt was blocked by another state law.

The Keystone School Board agreed Oct. 4 to begin the mask mandate enforcement Oct. 18, however, Monday was an Act 180 day in the district and the day was used for teacher-parent conferences and other business with students not in the buildings. The Act 180 day was scheduled last spring when the board approved the 2021-22 calendar.

Opponents of the masking mandate again spoke on the issue at an Oct. 11 board work session and two parents addressed the board prior to agenda items at the Oct. 18 session.

As the board transitioned from the public comment period to the agenda items, Slagle motioned to amend the agenda to add a motion to delay the enforcement of the mask mandate until after the board meets on Nov. 15.

"I'd like to add an item (to the agenda) myself," said Slagle. "The motion I would put on the table is to extend (non) enforcement of the mask mandate."

Slagle's suggestion drew a comment from fellow board member Greg Barrett, who asked since the motion would be over-riding an action approved by the board the Oct. 4 session, would a two-thirds majority be needed to pass the move the enforcement date.

Slagle said he was not over-riding the Oct. 4 action, but instead offering a new motion on a new action.

"I don't usually make motions (as board president)," said Slagle. "But I think by that period of time (Nov. 15) something will happen that will take the weight off our shoulders. I think there are enough people who are calling their representatives in Harrisburg that something has to give. Maybe I'm just chasing a ghost, but to me, I think it's worth it."

Several board members appeared to question the proposed action. Their comments in the cafeteria-gymnasium were mostly inaudible.

"I'm just putting it out there because that's how I feel," said Slagle.

At that point, attorney Tim Wachter of the district's legal counsel, from the Erie-based firm of Knox McLaughlin Gornall and Sennett, who was participating by video, interrupted and asked to meet with board members in executive session for legal advice.

After an 18-minute closed-door session, during which board members gathered around the video screen, Wachter said it was his opinion Slagle's motion could not be added to the agenda because it (along with proposed action regarding substitute nurse pay rates) was added less than 24 hours before the meeting and that would violate new amendments to the state's Sunshine Law.

Wachter said the motion to extend non-enforcement of the mask mandate and the nurse's wage do not meet the law's definition of emergency action and suggested the nurse's wage action be dropped from the agenda, and that Slagle withdraw his motion to add the non-enforcement extension.

The board voted 8-1, with Slagle opposed, to rescind Slagle's motion and drop the nurse's wage issue from the agenda.

The board moved quickly through other scheduled business, the most notable of which was revising the starting date for incoming Superintendent Teresa Young to Oct. 28.

Smooth transition

Acting district superintendent and elementary school principal Michael McCormick said Tuesday's start of school with mask enforcement went well.

"Both buildings went smoothly," McCormick told the CLARION NEWS. "Everyone was in class by 8:05. We had two students who did not respect the mask mandate (at the elementary school) but that was all."

SHIPPENVILLE - It's been a while since the Shippenville Borough Council has been able to address the town's streets but that might be coming to an end -- for certain streets anyway.

CLARION - During a recent Rotary meeting in Clarion, Tina Gibbs, Community Relations Coordinator for PennDOT District 10, addressed several questions regarding the planned replacement project of the Canoe Creek Bridge on Interstate 80 in Clarion County.

CLARION - The residents of Clarion County have an additional reason to be thankful, a tax cut. The Clarion County Board of Commissioners No. 24 rolled out their proposed 2022 budget with a one-half mill tax decrease.

SHIPPENVILLE - A possible increase in the borough real estate tax was discussed briefly at the Shippenville Borough Council meeting Nov. 10 but ultimately council approved for advertisement the borough's 2022 tentative budget without a tax hike.

HARRISBURG -- The effort to establish a new entrance to the Clarion Industries plant in Paint Township received a big boost last week when the Department of Community and Economic Development's Commonwealth Financing Agency's Multimodal Transportation Fund approved an $863,431 grant for the …

CLARION - PennDOT continues to plan for the replacement of the Canoe Creek Bridge along Interstate 80, but the department is also planning on other projects in Clarion County.

KNOX - "It's pretty clear what the message was," incoming Keystone School Board member Jason Say told that board at its Nov. 15 session. "I hope this school board heard it loud and clear."

PAINT TWP. - The University Korner convenience store chain, with nine stores in Western Pennsylvania, including five in Clarion County, is planning a new store along River Hill (U.S. Route 322) in Paint Township.

KOSSUTH - Ashland Township's troubled relationship with its 2014 International general-purpose truck is nearing an end.

KNOX - Keystone School Board member Trisha Dixon, defeated in a re-lection bid by write-in candidate Randall "Buck" Weaver, said Nov. 15 she hopes the community and the school district can recover from a divisive election.

CLARION - The Clarion County Office of Elections has finished tallying hundreds of write-in votes this week and the results show incumbents in three races being defeated by write-in candidates.

FRILLS CORNERS - Moving ahead with facilities upgrades, the North Clarion School District Nov. 8 unanimously approved to advertise for bids three renovation projects at both the high school building and the elementary school building.

CLARION - The Clarion County Board of Commissioners Nov. 9 approved a $2,000 payment to Scott and Pamela Price of Leeper for "mileage discrepancy for vehicles purchased at county auction."

CLARION - A 1 percent sales tax or possibly a per capita fee both are ideas that could be considered to fund ambulance services in Clarion County.

LEEPER - "It's an emergency it really is," said Farmington Township Supervisor Matt Sherbine earlier this month in describing the status of ambulance service in Clarion County.

KNOX - Knox Borough Council Nov. 1 gave its preliminary approval to a $1,091,179 general fund budget for 2022 and leaving taxes at their current levels. Final adoption of the spending plan is expected in December.

CLARION - When Knox-area resident Scott Bell asked the members of the Clarion County Board of Commissioners if they would support a memorial bench for the victims of Agent Orange he touched on a problem facing more than 400 county residents.

GPR Management Inc., of Strattanville, which owns and operates five area MacDonald’s restaurants, has sold the businesses to a Pittsburgh-based management company.

LEEPER - Farmington Township officials said they are very satisfied with tree-trimming work done along Aaron and Breezemont drives, but one resident is not so pleased with the work.

KNOX - The Knox Ambulance Service is moving. Or will be in the months to come as Knox Borough Council Nov. 1 agreed to sell the former Boy Scout meeting hall along Petrolia Street to the ambulance company for $1.

CLARION - The Clarion Mall area is gaining another major retailer as Harbor Freight Tools has confirmed to the CLARION NEWS it is locating its 51st Pennsylvania store in the former Peebles/Gordman's building in Monroe Township.

FRILLS CORNERS - North Clarion Elementary School Principal Keith Hastings believes students in that building need a place to keep their books and personal items.

MONROE TWP. - The new Penn Highlands Healthcare Medical Building in Clarion officially opened Oct. 25, and the $6.5 million facility near the Clarion Mall offers a wide range of services to area residents.

CLARION — With no contested races at the county level, the results of the 2021 general election weren’t in question on Tuesday as about 9,051 Clarion County residents went to the polls.

NEW BETHLEHEM - Banks are a place to keep your money safe but a closed bank can be a place to keep memories. That is what the Redbank Valley Historical Society is looking to do with the former Northwest Bank in New Bethlehem.

KNOX - Knox Borough Council's drive to upgrade the town's water system received another boost last week when the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority approved a $1.478 million grant and a $941,000 low-interest loan for the borough.

FOXBURG - Getting students to graduation is the ultimate goal for school districts and Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School Principal Dr. William Jordan last month informed the A-C Valley school board as to how the junior class was progressing toward earning their diplomas.

CLARION - In early 2022 budget planning, Clarion County is facing a $1.2 million shortfall but the board of commissioners does not see the need for a real estate tax increase in the upcoming year.

ELK TWP. - Do you know a senior citizen, college student, or single person that would like a hot meal? A family in need? A busy mom who just needs a break? Someone who has medical issues or recently had surgery?

CLARION - It's usually "caveat emptor" let the buyer beware when buying a used vehicle through an auction, and Scott and Pamela Price of Leeper agree with that adage, but the couple believes they got a raw deal when they bought seven vehicles through the recent Clarion County surplus sale.

CLARION TWP. - Hearts are in the right place in regard to the Clarion-Limestone School Board and what to do with the Betty Willison Scholarship account, but unfortunately for the board, the laws are quite stringent when it comes to how to invest the principle.

SLIGO - Pastor Brock Beveridge is quick to point out the large diorama of "The City of Jerusalem" isn't perfectly actuate, but it is pretty close. The scene includes the temple on the mount which was destroyed by the Romans.

CLARION - Students, faculty and staff at Keystone School District returned to classes Tuesday under direction to comply with a state Department of Health mandate requiring face masks in all district buildings.

MONROE TWP. - Putting life back into the Clarion Mall, "Family Farm & Home" opened its doors to the public Oct. 14, headed up by store manager Bobbi Wood, a Clarion-Limestone High School graduate and an eight-year Army veteran.

CLARION TWP. - "Seceder Cemetery" is a secluded garden of heroes. Lying among the trees are the graves of eight veterans of the Revolutionary War, several graves of Clarion County men who served in the War of 1812 and at least one veteran of the Civil War.

RIMERSBURG — A 71-year-old Rimersburg man faces numerous charges after police said they found 13 images of a 15-year-old girl in various stages of undress and to the point of nudity.

PORTER TWP. – Tpr. Katherine Berggren reports a 48-year-old New Bethlehem man faces numerous charges, including attempted homicide, after he allegedly fired a gun in the direction of a 45-year-old South Fork woman and an 11-year-old girl, also from South Fork.

KNOX - With a much smaller audience, the Keystone School Board Oct. 11 again outlined its stance on the state's mandatory masking rule and the district's intention to enforce the rule beginning Oct. 18.