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Rural Pa. town aided by Harrisburg after years of hardship

Plus: Penn State’s new top lawyer will also lead ethics office temporarily

This is Talk of the Town, a free weekly newsletter delivering top news from State College and the surrounding region.

October 12, 2023
Inside this edition: Snow Shoe aided by new representatives in Harrisburg, Penn State’s new vice president and general counsel will continue to serve as ethics officer for now, and what the Pennsylvania budget means for rural communities.
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Abby Drey / Centre Daily Times

Real quick: Snow Shoe, in Centre County, is working to rebuild after losing essential businesses, and new faces in Harrisburg have helped lighten the load, Spotlight PA Rural Affairs Reporter Marley Parish reports.

A little more: When Cris Dush’s state Senate district was redrawn to include part of Centre County last year, the Republican went door to door to connect with new constituents.

Dush met with residents at a pizza shop in Snow Shoe, located just off Interstate 80, to hear more about how the rural community has lost critical businesses in the past few years, including its only grocery store, pharmacy, and medical center.

An electrical fire in 2020 destroyed Hall’s Market, True Value Hardware, Jersey Shore Bank, and a Subway. Then, the only pharmacy closed. Later, the lone medical center also left, citing a decline in patients and revenue. And a local restaurant followed suit earlier this year.

After years of hardship in the Mountaintop region, Dush (R., Jefferson) and first-term state Rep. Paul Takac (D., Centre) — who vowed to prioritize the community despite winning roughly 30% of the vote in Snow Shoe — are helping to deliver aid from the state.

Brought together by the overlap in their districts, the pair have put partisanship aside. They see their position as lawmakers as an opportunity to secure development grants, lobby for state money to buy new equipment, and find ways to bring new businesses to the area.

“We work together as a team,” Dush told Spotlight PA of his relationship with Takac. “We’ve got to get this stuff done, and we got to take care of our people — when people are suffering from not having proper health care and not having access to food, especially when they’re elderly and have to travel long distances.”

The full story: Read more here.

“This is a temporary measure and we ask that you not draw conclusions or speculate when this arrangement covers a temporary time period.”

A Penn State spokesperson on the university’s decision to keep new vice president and general counsel Tabitha Oman as interim chief ethics officer
» New interactive tool illustrates why judges matter and how they shape policy

» Penn State’s new top lawyer will also lead ethics office temporarily, creating potential conflict of interest

» Shapiro isn’t sold on a key climate program, and his working group isn’t either. What’s next for RGGI?

» What this year’s budget means for Pa.’s shrinking rural communities


» ELECTION 101: Join Spotlight PA’s government reporters Kate Huangpu and Stephen Caruso TONIGHT from 6-7 p.m. ET on Zoom for a free panel on Pa.’s 2023 judicial candidates. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org
Daniel Fishel / For Spotlight PA
At Spotlight PA, we put voters front and center in our nonpartisan election coverage. Get all the information you need to make an informed vote this September by visiting our Election Center website
Pumpkins and gourds were on display all over The Arboretum at Penn State for its annual festival — via Sarah Rafacz, who edits Talk of the Town.

Want to be featured here? Send your best local pics to talkofthetown@spotlightpa.org.
» Courier Express: DuBois council faces questions after new allegations
» NCPA: Muncy borough manager fired during heated meeting
» Mirror: Blair County halts applications for home repair program

» WPSU: Indigenous Peoples Day rally held at Penn State
» CDT: PA appeals court upholds reinstatement for fired State College cop
» WPSU: McKean County man a finalist in national mullet championship
Want us to list your event? Send it to us.

» Oct. 13-15: Renovo, Clinton County, hosts its annual Pennsylvania State Flaming Foliage Festival.

» Oct. 13-14: Sandy Beach Park in Ridgway, Elk County, will be full of scares for the Friday the 13th Trail Walk.

» Oct. 13-14: Find your way through the dark in the flashlight maze at Pine Ridge Farm B&B and Special Event Center in Elk County.

» Oct. 14: Take in the fall colors at the 10th annual First Fork Festival at Sinnemahoning State Park in Potter County.

» Oct. 14-15: Hayrides to the pumpkin patch, a corn maze, homemade pumpkin and cinnamon ice cream, and more highlight the Wasson Farm Fall Fest in Centre County.

An anagram is a word, phrase, or name formed by rearranging the letters of another. For example, “spotlight” also forms “stoplight.”

Decode the anagram and send your answer to talkofthetown@spotlightpa.org. We’ll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA State College swag.

Good luck!

Last week’s answer: Proton

Congrats to Breana B., who will receive Spotlight PA State College swag. Others who answered correctly: Don H., Leslie B., Coache, and Leann T.
Do you have events, community shoutouts, questions about our region, or tips on stories that we should pursue? Email our team.
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