ATHENS — After traveling as far as Central America in her journey to become a veterinarian, a 2011 Athens High School graduate has returned to where it all began.
Abby Davenport recently fulfilled her dream of becoming a veterinarian, and all she had to do was hop across the Susquehanna River to the Athens Animal Hospital on Riverside Drive.
“It’s good to be back home,” she said. “It doesn’t really feel real yet. I usually came home during the summer when I was in college anyway and then go back to Ithaca.”
After graduating from Athens High, Davenport joined Cornell College for Veterinary Medicine, where she joined the FARVets program, which is a non-profit organization that provides spay and neutering operations, and other medical services, to other countries.
That experience led her to a seven-day trip in Belize, where she volunteered to help the Hopkins-Belize Humane Society.
Back home, Davenport interned at the Athens Animal Hospital as a vet tech, which helped her become more comfortable and have experience at the facility before officially joining on as a veterinarian.
“It helps that I kind of already knew everyone here from my time as a vet tech,” Davenport said. “I got the hands-on experience I needed, and they kept me on their radar when I went back to school.”
While Davenport called joining the Athens Animal Hospital a “right place at the right time” situation, she said she always knew she wanted to become a veterinarian.
“I’ve always loved animals,” she said. “And I always liked science in school, so it was a pretty good fit. I love the compassion for animals and getting to work with animals every day.”
Davenport noted that being a veterinarian in her hometown made the job even more special, as she often already knows the people and animals that walk through the door.
“I loved being able to come back here,” she said. “It’s more comfortable. I don’t have to learn a whole new area. I already have great relationships here because of so many people that I’ve already known for years. It’s important to have those relationships in this job, because people often see their pets as members of the family, and having that trust is big so people know that you’re doing the right thing.”
ULSTER TOWNSHIP — A fire that broke out on Sunday afternoon has damaged an Ulster home to the point where it’s considered a total loss.
The blaze started on the second floor and broke through the attic and roof of the home on Songbird Lane in Ulster Township.
The fire broke out around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Ulster Fire Chief Josh Gardner. The rocky road traverses a steep hill and has numerous sharp turns and narrow passages that could only hold one vehicle at a time, presenting issues for responding fire crews.
When first on scene, the firefighters could not immediately reach the blaze due to the scene not being secure. Pennsylvania State Police were called to arrive and secure the location and did shortly after. A resident of the adjacent home said that there was live ammunition in the home that was reached by the blaze, setting it off.
It took fire crews an hour to put out the blaze, according to Gardner. A fire marshal is currently investigating the cause of the fire and had not made the findings public as of Tuesday evening.
The resident of the adjacent home said on Monday that the burned home was not insured.
The home is adjacent to another, larger home but luckily the flames did not jump to any other structures.
No firefighters were injured in the battle, but one resident of the home was treated for minor burns according to Gardner.
Ulster Township, North Towanda Township, Smithfield, Ulster EMS, Athens Township Fire, Memorial EMS, and Athens Borough fire crews were each called to the scene. Athens Borough was diverted during the call to a situation at the Towanda bridge, then transitioned to standby for the fire. Waverly fire crews were also on standby.
WAVERLY — During a recent meeting of the Waverly Board of Trustees, village officials encouraged local businesses to take advantage of a free commercial paint program provided by Team Tioga of the Tioga County Industrial Development Agency.
“The purpose of the Team Tioga, 2019 Commercial Exterior Free Paint Program is to assist with the improvement of the overall appearance of commercial facades located within the downtown central business districts of Tioga County,” officials stated. “This program is being offered in partnership with Ahwaga Paints in Owego and Tom’s Hardware in Waverly.”
According to county officials, those businesses have agreed to sell the allotted gallons of exterior paint to approved applicants of the program at the base cost for each gallon. Team Tioga will then reimburse property owners once their project is completed and the proper documentation is supplied.
“These generous partnerships will allow funding to reach more applicants throughout the villages of Tioga County,” officials said.
Only the cost of paint, which is limited up to $1,000, is eligible for the reimbursement, officials noted. All painting of the visible facades, such as the front, rear and sides of a building, are eligible. No allowances are given for the cost of labor or any additional paint supplies — only the cost of the paint, itself.
Any projects located outside of the downtown areas of the villages of Waverly, Candor, Owego, Newark Valley, Nichols, and Spencer, or the towns of Barton, Tioga Center, Apalachin, Berkshire and Richford, will not be eligible.
Officials detailed the process as follows:
For more information or applications, contact the county IDA at email@example.com or (607) 687-8259.