2013-04-04 / Front Page

Open Carry Walk Being Organized

Event here to support Second Amendment rights
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

A local man is heading up an effort to conduct an open carry walk in support of Second Amendment rights here in Fulton County.

Hustontown resident Bill Watson stood before Fulton County commissioners Rodney McCray, Craig Cutchall and Irvin Dasher Tuesday afternoon looking for the county’s “blessing” on a proposed open carry walk that could happen as early as later this month.

Watson told the commissioners he had been working on this event for quite some time and had already spoken with members of the Fulton County Pistol and Rifle Club as well as the Pennsylvania State Police, Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall and Sheriff Keith Stains. He is also slated to contact McConnellsburg Borough as he hopes to start the event on the stairs of the Fulton County Courthouse.

The exact walk route and final destination have not yet been determined. There is hope to have speakers or state officials be part of the event.

Watson said his goal is to have every participant on hand carry an American flag or their firearm in opposition to efforts to “gut” the Second Amendment. He noted that open carry walks are “fairly common events, but not well known.”

Watson specifically cited the state of Ohio where in 2003 a succession of walks were held by gun rights supporters to persuade the then governor to sign concealed carry legislation into law.

Open carry walks were held in Clarion and Brookville, Pa., earlier this year and more are being scheduled for Montrose and Harrisburg.

According to Watson, this event is not being conducted to advocate routine open carry.

“We don’t by any means want this to turn into Dodge City,” he told the commissioners. “...We need to send a message to those who have the gutting of the Second Amendment on their agenda.”

Dixie Paruch, who rejoined the staff at the Central Fulton School District in February as superintendent, introduced herself Tuesday morning to the commissioners. Paruch told the commissioners the district was willing to help in any way possible for the benefit of the students, community and the county.

At the urging of Commissioner Craig Cutchall, Paruch explained the district’s involvement with the Fulton County Center for Families and Headstart. Paruch said the organizations joined together when she accepted her very first administrative position as Mc- Connellsburg Elementary principal. She further said the district has served a fiscal agency for both groups maintaining grants and providing payroll services.

Paruch said due to the recent merger of the Center for Families and the Fulton County Partnership, the district will be taking a step back and reducing its involvement even though it will continue to serve as a grantee for funding and review/submit reports.

Michelle Stahle appeared before the commissioners, solicitor Stanley Kerlin and chief tax assessor Michelle Sowers for a tax assessment appeal hearing. Stahle provided the commissioners with various documents regarding her property located at 1064 Bethel Church Road, Warfordsburg. Among those documents was a $212,000 appraisal as well as sale prices of comparable homes in the area.

The commissioners and Sowers told Stahle she will be mailed a letter informing her of the board’s decision, which could result in the tax assessment remaining level, decreasing or increasing.

Last Wednesday, the commissioners and engineer Lee Zeger travelled to Meadow Grounds Lake mid-morning to meet with representatives of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Dam Safety regarding the ongoing draining of the lake. DEP was represented at the meeting by Roger Adams and Kirk Kreider, while attendees from PFBC included Paul Urbanik, Jason Anderson, Jerry Woomer and John Sinclair.

The commissioners asked the state officials to consider options presented to them in an engineering report prepared by Zeger of CES Engineering. They also asked to be notified first prior to any action being taken on any state-owned resources in the future. Advanced notice was requested in order for local officials to be prepared for any information requests that almost always occur.

Two contracts were penned with Infocon Corp. for services related to taking criminal records in the Clerk of Court’s office online: On-Line Data Processing Service with Document Imaging for the PA CPCMS Docket Interface System and Clerk of Courts – Image Enabling Software Sub-System and Remote Image Files Backup Services (Applications: Clerk of Courts, Prothonotary, Recorder of Deeds, and Register of Wills).

A construction contract was signed with Southern Contractors last Tuesday to complete repairs related to the courthouse roof-replacement project on a time and materials basis at a not-to-exceed price of $31,639.

A Statement of Intent was signed with Cambria County stating that Fulton County will pay to house prisoner Michele Weimer in the Cambria County prison at a daily cost of $55 for a period of six months.

The commissioners sat down with District Attorney Travis Kendall, county solicitor Stanley Kerlin and Public Defender Dwight Harvey, all members of the county Law Library Committee; Prothonotary Patty Fix; and Miranda Campbell, who performs the filing duties in the Law Library.

The district attorney stated he wants to ensure that adequate resources are being dedicated to keeping the Law Library items filed in a timely manner. In addition, the prothonotary questioned Fix about where the funding for Campbell’s salary comes from. As a result, a discussion was held concerning no longer using restricted funds to pay a portion of Campbell’s salary.

The commissioners met with Alan Smith, executive director of the Area Agency on Aging, to review the original memorandums of understanding detailing the AAA’s use of the three senior centers. The existing MOUs date to 1990 for Warfordsburg, 1993 for McConnellsburg and 1996 for Hustontown. A discussion was also held concerning mowing of the grass at the Warfordsburg Senior Center. The commissioners further discussed operations at Warfordsburg with site manager Cindy Coleman via conference call.

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