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Athens superintendent: First day of 2019-2020 school year a success

ATHENS — Athens Area School District Superintendent Craig Stage has been in education for a long time, but that doesn’t stop him from getting excited about the first day of school each year.

Stage and the entire AASD staff welcomed back over 2,000 students on Thursday as the school district kicked off the 2019-2020 school year.

“The first day is like Christmas for us educators,” Stage said. “I sent out a note to my administrators telling them to be positive, lead the way, welcome everybody back, you know we’ve been waiting for this moment all summer. We get to do the things we love to do, and it was really nice. I get pumped up. I get there early and everything.”

Stage spent Thursday morning at the high school welcoming students back to school.

“I pick a different building each year, and I’ve never done the high school, I’ve always done the elementary buildings, so this year I was out on Third Street greeting kids getting off the buses,” said Stage. “(I was) telling them hello, welcoming them back, you know (saying) ‘go Wildcats,’ giving them some high fives and telling them to keep chasing their dreams because dreams start by getting a great education.”

One thing that stood out to Stage on Thursday was the attitude of his teachers.

“They are awesome. They welcomed our kids with open arms. It’s amazing to see our teachers. They are so excited to start this year, so it was really remarkable to see,” said Stage.

Stage, who said the district has around 2050 students to start the year, called the first day of the school year a success.

“We had a lot of great kids, a lot of smiling faces. It was a really successful day for the first day,” Stage said.

Trump vows response to China tariffs on $75B of US goods

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declared Friday that he had “hereby ordered” American companies with operations in China “to immediately start looking for” an alternative after Beijing announced a series of retaliatory tariffs.

But as markets in the U.S., Asia and Europe tumbled, the White House offered no further details or explanation of Trump’s intentions.

Instead, the president tweeted that he would be “responding to China’s Tariffs this afternoon.”

“This is a GREAT opportunity for the United States” he wrote.

The U.S. has said it plans to impose 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods in two steps, on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. China responded Friday with new tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. products in retaliation, deepening a conflict over trade and technology that threatens to tip a weakening global economy into recession.

China also will increase import duties on U.S.-made autos and auto parts, the Finance Ministry announced. Tariffs of 10% and 5% will take effect on two batches of goods on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, the ministry said in a statement. It gave no details of what goods would be affected, but the timing matches Trump’s planned duty hikes.

The announcement comes as leaders of the Group of 7 major economies prepare to meet in France this weekend.

Washington is pressing Beijing to narrow its trade surplus and roll back plans for government-led creation of global competitors in robotics, electric cars and other technology industries.

On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing... your companies HOME and making your products in the USA. I will be responding to China’s Tariffs this afternoon.”

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about what authority the president believes he has to order private companies to change their business practices. And it remained unclear hours after his tweets exactly what he had in mind.

Trump was meeting Friday morning with his trade advisers, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. They were discussing various potential options, including the possibility of imposing a 25% tariff on all Chinese exports to America, one of the people said. They spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details of closed-door meetings.

Peter Navarro, who advises Trump on trade policy, tried to downplay the impact of Chinese tariff hikes ahead of the meeting. He said they were “well anticipated” and would only strengthen Trump’s resolve.

China’s government appealed to Trump this week to compromise in order to reach a settlement.

That came after Trump warned that the American public might need to endure economic pain in order to achieve long-term results.

The United States, Europe, Japan and other trading partners say Beijing’s development plans violate its market-opening commitments and are based on stealing or pressuring foreign companies to hand over technology. Some American officials worry they might erode U.S. industrial leadership.

Chinese leaders have offered to alter details but are resisting giving up a development strategy they see as a path to prosperity and global influence.

The talks are deadlocked over how to enforce any deal. China insists Trump’s punitive tariffs have to be lifted as soon as an agreement takes effect. Washington says at least some have to stay to ensure Beijing carries out any promises it makes.

Trump announced plans to raise tariffs Sept. 1 on $300 billion of Chinese products after talks broke down in May. Increases on some goods were postponed to Dec. 15.

Trump escalated “trade frictions” and is “seriously threatening the multilateral trading system,” the China’s Finance Ministry said. “China was forced to take countermeasures.”

A separate statement said tariffs of 25% and 5% would be imposed on U.S.-made autos and auto parts on Dec. 15. Beijing announced that increase last year but suspended it after Trump and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, agreed at a meeting in December in Argentina to put off further trade action while they negotiated.

Local businesses contribute to End of Summer Celebration

SAYRE — Ahead of the 2019 Sayre Borough End of Summer Celebration and Fireworks Display that kicks off at 3:30 p.m. today at Riverfront Park, borough officials had some announcements to make.

The goal of this event is to promote our community, our emergency services, and school district programs.

The use of all tobacco products, E-Cigarettes, and the consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Riverfront Park and on all Borough owned properties.

The success of our event would not be possible without the generosity of the following sponsors:

  • Gannon Associates
  • Foster Law Office
  • First Citizens Community Bank
  • Guthrie Federal Credit Union
  • Landy and Kilmer Insurance
  • G. Webster Inc.
  • Landy and Rossettie, PLLC.
  • Bradco Supply Company
  • Valley Energy
  • Mayor Henry Farley
  • Suzanne Jarrett
  • William and Sally Hickey
  • Sayre Engine Co. No. 1
  • PS Bank
  • Sayre Sons and Daughters of Italy
  • Tioga Downs
  • Vacri Construction Corporation
  • Stiffler McGraw
  • Yale’s Music Shop
  • The Morning Times
  • 95.3 The Bridge
  • Bishop’s Fulltime Portables
  • Cheaspeake Energy
  • Walmart
  • Aqua PA
  • Lane’s Beverage
  • Clare Printing
  • Jeff Paul Plumbing and Heating
  • Yanuzzi’s Restaurant
  • Candlewood Suites
  • Bradford County Tourism Agency
  • Taylor Rental — Corning, N.Y.
  • Glenn O. Hawbaker
  • Dandy Mini Mart

Sayre Borough would also like to thank the Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital grounds crew for its help in getting the park ready for this year’s event.

Tioga Central school board candidates answer questionnaire

Dr. Nichols

TIOGA — Residents in the Tioga Central School District will return to the polls on Tuesday to decide who will fill the unexpired remainder of a four-year term on that district’s school board.

The special election will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday in the district office. Voters are asked to enter through the main high school entrance.

In an effort to better inform readers prior to election day, the Morning Times sent out questionnaires to the three candidates — Tamara Booser, Aaron Albrecht and Dr. Abram Nichols. Below are the responses from all three candidates.

Q: Please share some background about yourself.

Nichols: I am a 1987 graduate of Tioga Central High School. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree from State University at Cortland in 1991 and continued my education by obtaining a Doctor Of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College in 1995. I have been in private practice from 1995 to the present with an office in Binghamton, N.Y.

As an alumnus and local community resident, I continue to support the district and the students.

Booser: I’m a resident of Tioga Center and Tioga Central School District. I have a seventh-grader and a senior this year, who are extremely athletic children in the district. I was very active in both of my children’s first years of school, being present, and built bonds with a bunch of kiddos that will always remain no matter what. I’m fair firm and consistent, honest and caring, and laughter is a must.

Albrecht: I was born and raised in Camden, New York a few hours north of Tioga Center. After graduating from Hobart College in 2000, my wife and I moved south to North Carolina. After starting our family, we wanted to raise our children near our families in New York. We chose to move back in 2011, and after careful consideration, we chose the Tioga Central District to live in. Since then, both my wife and myself have been active in the school district in one way or another. With two young boys, it’s hard not to stay active.

Q: What are your reasons for seeking office?

Nichols: Giving back to the school district, the community and supporting the students has led me to seek this office. The educational growth of the students and preparing them for the future is an important goal to me.

Booser: I’m seeking the rest of the term on the four-year seat as I was elected last year to a five-year seat. The reason/answers always goes back to why? It’s not for the pay, solely is and always will be about the children, always the children. I’d also like to keep things transparent between the school board and the public.

Albrecht: My biggest reason for seeking this position would be — the children. My boys are 7 and 11, and after getting to know their friends and becoming friends with their parents, I feel it’s the least I can do for the district. I want to give my time as a board member to help maintain and strive to improve the already high standards of the Tioga Central School District.

Q: What do you consider your priorities if elected?

Nichols: If I am fortunate enough to be elected, my priorities would be to assist the sitting school board members with providing guidance for the review and implementation of policies, as well as guidance for a fiscally responsible budget that benefits the student body, staff and community.

Albrecht: I would consider it a priority to maintain small class sizes and high educational standards while keeping the tax rate as low as possible for the residents of our district.

Q: What best qualifies you for the position of school board member?

Nichols: My experiences with both local and state organizations is one of the best qualifications I have for the position. I have participated and chaired in multiple committees. I was a board member for the New York State Chiropractic Association for a number of years. I would draw from those experiences to assist the school board if elected.

Booser: I feel I qualify best because I’m a “seasoned” board member and by seasoned I mean I have sat on the board for a year.

Albrecht: It’s what I always tell the athletes on my youth football team — perseverance. Never stop. I am willing to put in the time and effort to help make Tioga the best it can be.

Q: Is there anything you would like to say to voters prior to election day?

Nichols: I would ask everyone who is able to get out and vote no matter what candidate you support. Also, I encourage anyone to participate and help the school district when possible. I hope to help make a difference. Thank you for considering me for a position on the Tioga Central School Board.

Booser: I’d say that I’d like your vote on Aug. 27 because there’s no one better who will “fight” for a kid or kids than I.

Albrecht: Please consider me as your vote for the Tioga Central School Board position. I have been actively involved with the youth in our district and would like to continue my involvement as a member of the school board. Thank you for your time and consideration.