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.