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The Elk County Courthouse was the setting Monday for jury selection in the trial of Francis Anthony Milliard, 55, of Ridgway, charged with arson and insurance fraud after allegedly conspiring to burn down his 115 Front St. property in Johnsonburg in a fire that occurred on Dec. 4, 2008.
The courtroom swelled with a pool of roughly 120 potential jurors from which attorneys would choose just 12 primary jurors and two alternates to serve in the upcoming three-day trial set to begin Jan. 30, 2013.
JOHNSONBURG â€“ The Johnsonburg Borough Council approved the budget for the 2013 fiscal year that includes a one-mill tax increase in the general fund.
With the Elk County sheriff's department reportedly facing a projected budget deficit of approximately $9,000 and the board of commissioners unwilling to cover the monetary figure, sheriff Jeffrey C. Krieg said Sunday night that he, along with chief deputy Theresa Merritt, will be working "until all this is settled."
Starting today, the Elk County sheriff's department will be shut down until possibly the end of the calendar year as ordered by the county's board of commissioners.
RUSSELL CITY â€“ Miraculously, no one was injured Friday morning when a box truck collided with a trailer hauling a crane on Route 66 just west of Russell City in Elk County.
The Ridgway Township Municipal Authority approved the 2013 operating budget during their regular meeting Thursday night.
Finance Manager Jeff Schutz briefed officials on a budget that has a total estimated operating revenue of $986,870.
JOHNSONBURG â€“ Johnsonburg School District is a recent recipient of a grant they will use to purchase laptop computers. Â
â€śThe district received a $6,534 grant from the Elk County Community Foundation,â€ť said Dennis Crotzer, Superintendent. â€śThis money will be used in conjunction with our title money to purchase 15 laptops for the teachers.â€ť
JOHNSONBURG â€“ Following a lengthy executive session the Johnsonburg Municipal Authority [JMA] voted to increase water rates during their regular meeting Tuesday night.
Effective Jan. 1, residents can expect a $10 per month increase in their water bills.
Members of the Ridgway Volunteer Fire Department responded Tuesday afternoon to what initially started out as an odor investigation at the Elk County Courthouse Annex in the 300 block of Center Street.
According to Ridgway fire chief John Wygant, an initial investigation yielded no results and he terminated the investigation. Elk Company 4 was reportedly called out at 2:58 p.m., according to 911 dispatch.
"Five minutes after I left, I was called back as the smell got more intense," Wygant said. "It was then that I called for the general alarm."
Elk County commissioners presented a tentative 2013 budget Tuesday morning without a tax increase during their board meeting.
According to commissioner Daniel R. Freeburg, 2012 has followed a continued trend of challenges for small local governments.
"With rising costs in healthcare, gas and everyday expenses, the county is continually striving to cut spending where possible," Freeburg said. "Adding on to this burden is the continual reduction in state funding for mandated programs."