The Valley lost one of its legends last week when former Sayre Mayor and Bradford County Commissioner Bill Hickey passed away after an extended illness at the age of 89.
To say Hickey loved his hometown of Sayre would be a huge understatement.
“He was proud of Sayre. He was proud of the accomplishments that were made in Sayre and it truly was his town,” said Sayre Mayor Henry Farley on Hickey.
A former Sayre High School basketball standout, Hickey returned to his hometown after serving in the U.S. Army.
Bill would work for First National Bank before becoming the Sayre Area School District’s Business Manager for 17 years. After his retirement, he would turn his attention to public service.
Hickey was appointed County Commissioner in the 1980s and was later elected as Mayor of Sayre for two terms. After his tenure as mayor ended, he would also serve on the borough council for one year.
“He was the voice of reason for the council in both roles,” said Farley. “I really appreciated working with him because he could calm people down in situations. He could make them rethink things and move us in the right direction on issues.”
Sayre Borough Treasurer Elizabeth Fice has fond memories of working with Hickey.
“When I first started here in 1990, shortly after that (Bill Hickey) was mayor and he was like a mentor,” said Fice, who said she learned a lot from Hickey. “Financially, he knew how to teach and he taught me a lot of things here — how to keep the records straight for government accounting and things because it was all new (to me). He was just a great friend. He was just always there to help ... I’m going to miss him.”
Former Sayre Mayor Denny Thomas, who had known Hickey his entire life, was quick to call the former mayor whenever he needed some advice.
“Are you kidding me? Absolutely. He was my mentor,” said Thomas on calling on Hickey for help. “I served on the council for 12 years prior to me becoming mayor, and when Bill was the mayor, he sat right next to me in meetings. I was the chairman of police, and the mayor runs the police department. I had to go to him a lot of times, even when I became mayor, to ask for advice. I always went to him for advice.”
Farley echoed that sentiment.
“Bill was somebody I leaned on a lot in my years as president of the (Sayre Borough) Council,” said Farley.
Both Farley and Thomas recalled a great tradition that Hickey had.
“Bill cared deeply about Sayre. One of the things that he did when his health was good is he rode around Sayre every day. He knew everything that was happening in the town of Sayre,” said Farley.
“There was a standing joke with him, he would always go out and ride around the town — him and Dusty Shaw — and they use to call Dusty Shaw BD-38 1/2 as a police car and Bill BD-37 1/2,” Thomas added.
Bill has now reunited with Dusty and they will undoubtedly be watching over their beloved hometown together.
SAYRE — This week marks the 45th annual National Emergency Medical Services Week — a week which commemorates the work of EMS personnel across the country. Locally, Greater Valley EMS (GVEMS) has celebrated this week with its own public events to recognize their EMS crews and educate the public.
Each day of the week has it’s own theme revolving around EMS. Monday was EMS Education Day; Tuesday was Safety Tuesday; Wednesday was EMS for Children Day; Thursday is Stop the Bleed Day; and Friday is EMS Recognition Day.
On Wednesday for EMS for Children Day, GVEMS held a free car seat check for the public. The event was also held and sponsored by the Guthrie Trauma Center at Robert Packer Hospital.
“That’s why we opted to go for the child seat safety check, do ambulance tours for the kids who come, so they can see what kind resources we have and get in and play with our stuff,” Erin Covey, Deputy Chief of Greater Valley EMS, said.
Earlier this week, the staff and crews with GVEMS met with the Bradford County Commissioners on Monday to kick-start the recognition week with a reading of the formal proclamation dedicating the week as National EMS Week.
Following the proclamation reading, the commissioners came to Sayre and shared dinner with the crews and staff of GVEMS, according to Covey.
For Stop the Bleed Day, GVEMS held Stop the Bleed and Hands-only CPR Training for the public.
“It takes about an hour, hour-and-a-half to get through everything. When they leave they’ll have the ability and opportunity to practice and do all that, and be secure in the fact that if they needed to do something like that for somebody else they can,” Covey said.
“It’s cool that people are getting involved and understanding that we’re putting a lot of money and time of our own to do this,” Fran Webb, an Emergency Medical Technician with GVEMS, said. “It’s a nice feeling when people are thanking you.”
VAN ETTEN — The Spencer-Van Etten School District will move into the 2019-2020 school year with its previously proposed budget, which was approved by voters on Tuesday.
Once the votes were tallied, 159 residents voted in favor of the $22.4 million spending plan, while 62 votes counted against it.
To help pay for the budget, the local tax levy will increase for district residents by 1.79 percent, which will generate an additional $121,424 in revenue.
The district will be also be receiving an additional $303,303 in state aid for the next school year, which will increase those revenues from $14,313,482 to $14,616,785.
Add in $423,206 in other sources, and the district’s total proposed revenues for the next school year will be $21,944,092.
The resulting budget gap will be filled by the district’s reserves.
Voters also approved the reelection of two incumbent school board members who were running unopposed. Karen Johnson and Sean Vallely will both return to the board for the next five years after receiving 179 votes and 168 votes, respectively.