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News
Woman charged after storming into home, assaulting resident

ATHENS BOROUGH — A 50-year-old Sayre woman is facing numerous charges after she allegedly punched another woman and forced her way into the victim’s Water Street residence on Monday.

Janette S. Chilson was charged by Athens Borough Police with burglary, a first-grade felony; robbery, a third-degree felony; simple assault, a second-degree misdemeanor; criminal mischief, a third-degree misdemeanor; and a summary count of harassment.

Police said the incident began shortly after 7:15 p.m. Monday when officers responded to the Water Street residence on a report of an unwanted person. When they arrived at the residence, officers met Chilson and the victim in the doorway.

The victim explained to police that Chilson knocked on her door, and when she opened it slightly, Chilson forced her way into the building — yelling that she was looking for an undisclosed individual while smashing and throwing items throughout the house.

When the victim asked Chilson to leave, Chilson punched the victim in the face. Additionally, when the victim tried to call the police on her cell phone, Chilson allegedly grabbed the victim’s phone from her.

When officers attempted to interview Chilson, she was extremely uncooperative and would only say that she “did nothing wrong.”

While officers continued to try to interview her, Chilson began yelling at police and the victim, which led officers to detain Chilson in back of a patrol vehicle. While detaining Chilson, officers took the cell phone belonging to the victim.

Chilson was arraigned before Magisterial District Court Judge Todd Carr and jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail. A preliminary hearing before Judge Larry Hurley is scheduled for Dec. 10.


News
Athens School Board holds reorganizational meeting

ATHENS — The Athens Area School District’s Board of Education held its reorganizational meeting on Tuesday evening with two new members coming on board.

There was supposed to be three new board members, but Brendon Hitchcock, who won a seat in Region I (Athens Borough), withdrew his name because of a potential conflict.

Hitchcock explained that he was withdrawing his name “based on the fact that I have presented myself as a candidate for employment in the school district.”

“I appreciate the votes from the citizens in the Athens community. I wish the administration and board well, and thank each of you for your leadership to such a vital institution in our community,” Hitchcock said after making the announcement.

The school district will begin seeking applications from Athens Borough residents who are interested in filling the seat.

Kevin Rude and Lisa Braund are the new members on the board. They were sworn in my Bradford County President Judge Maureen Beirne along with returning board members John Cheresnowsky, Chuck Frisbie and Kathy Jo Minnick.

John Johnson was unanimously approved to remain as president of the school board, while longtime member Lonnie Stethers will take over as vice president and Cheresnowsky was approved as the new board treasurer.


News
South Waverly to host Christmas Walks, food and toy drive

SOUTH WAVERLY — The South Waverly Fire Department is kicking off the Christmas season this week with a pair of events.

The first-ever South Waverly Christmas Walk will be held at the park behind Village Hall starting this Friday at 5 p.m.

The plan is to have the Christmas Walk every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the borough park through Christmas, according Rich McConnell of the South Waverly Fire Department.

“What we want to do this year is we want to make a Christmas Walk in the park,” said McConnell, who said the fire department is accepting donations of Christmas lights and decorations.

The Christmas walks will be free and are open to the entire Valley community.

“I’ve been thinking about it for years. I think it will give people something to do in the Valley,” said McConnell, who noted there will be coffee and hot chocolate available. “This is for everybody. This isn’t just for the people of South Waverly. Come up and enjoy yourself.”

McConnell also said they are hoping local church and school choir groups would stop by to sing some Christmas carols during the walks.

The one day there won’t be a Christmas Walk is on Friday, Dec. 13 as South Waverly doesn’t want to interfere with Waverly’s Tinsel-n-Lights event, McConnell said.

One other big event for South Waverly will be this Saturday as the fire department hosts its annual Joe Willer Memorial Food and Toy Drive at the borough hall.

All toy donations will go to the Salvation Army with the food going to the Valley Food Pantry, according to McConnell. The event starts at 1 p.m.

For more information, text Rich McConnell at 607-857-0948.


News
New York State to adopt therapy dog guidelines

ALBANY — Therapy dogs in New York State will have to abide by state-dictated standards, following legislation signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday.

“Therapy dogs provide an incredible service to those in need and should be trained to the highest possible standards,” Cuomo said. “This legislation will establish best practices for New York’s therapy dogs so that they can provide the best possible attention and care to New Yorkers who rely on them every day.”

In the bill’s justification, Senate documents said that last year, a panel was established by the state to “examine issues related to these dogs, especially the need for education, training, identifying what they do, and clarifying the differences from service dogs and emotional support animals.”

That group consisted of individuals from state agencies, representatives of disability rights groups and animal protection advocates.

The group issued a report on their findings, which noted that there are no standards for therapy dog designation, training protocol, evaluation and certification.

“Dogs should be registered with a recognized therapy dog organization that assesses the suitability of the dog to serve as a therapy dog, evaluates the dog-handler team, and determines which environments are appropriate for the dog-handler team to provide animal-assisted interventions,” the report stated.

It also noted that there are currently no national standards for the above-noted criteria, while they do exist for service dogs.

The state will pursue establishing these guidelines, addressing a range of areas affecting the use of service dogs.

Among those recommended from the panel’s report are that each handler/animal team must undergo a practical assessment of skills and aptitude every three years to demonstrate its ability to interact with clients safely and effectively; as well as providing policies that minimize risk of infection.

Additionally, guidelines would also include time restrictions, non-coercive training techniques, annual health screenings for dogs and minimal health standards for handlers.

Those standards would include being free of respiratory illness, nausea, or ill with a contagion; appriopriate vaccination records; and having not had an “unusual stress-causing incident which would prevent them from concentrating on being fully engaged during the visit with their animal.”

“I am confident, with this legislation, we can create a positive experience for everyone including our therapy dogs.,” said bill sponsor Sen. Monica Martinez, D-Long Island. “I strongly believe in the importance of creating and enforcing standards and regulations for the licensing, training and handling of therapy dogs.”

“Therapy dogs play a vital role in helping people and have shown to have a positive emotional effect on those they visit,” Martinez added.

“Therapy dogs positively affect the emotional well-being of people they visit in schools, libraries, hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facilities, and other places,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. “Guidelines will now be available regarding the definition, training, handling and use of these dogs.”

Cuomo said the new standards will ensure New York’s therapy dogs are as prepared as possible to serve those in need.


News
Remembering a Valley legend: Waverly’s Les Goble, who played in NFL, passes away at 87

Back in 2011, the Morning Times set out to pick the Top 25 Male Athletes in the Valley area’s history. One name near the top of that list was legendary Waverly football standout Les Goble.

We here at the Morning Times were saddened to hear the news that Mr. Goble had passed away on Monday at the age of 87. We join the entire Valley in mourning the loss of one of our community’s most legendary figures.

As a way to honor Les, we have decided to re-run the interview that Sports Editor Dave Post did with him when he was chosen as the No. 3 Male Athlete of All-Time in the Morning Times’ coverage area.

The complete story can be found below:

A number of Valley athletes have gone on to play pro ball in one sport or another, but just one played in the National Football League. That man, Waverly’s Les Goble, is number three on our top-25 countdown.

In addition to football, Goble, who graduated from Waverly in 1950, starred for four years in basketball, three years in track and two years in baseball for the Wolverines.

Goble was a speedster for Waverly, earning a first-team All-Valley nod in his junior and senior seasons and he translated that speed to the track, where he was a sprinter. In fact, it was that speed that led him to Alfred and later, to the (then) Chicago Cardinals (moves to St. Louis and Phoenix came later) of the NFL.

In fact, he went to Alfred on a track scholarship.

“I didn’t really like track,” said Goble, adding that he felt that just running was boring.

He held the Alfred record for the 100-yard dash at 9.8 seconds. In his senior year, his coach at Alfred took a select group of athletes to the ICAAAA meet, describing the event as a fun event that would give his athletes a chance to see some Olympians in action. He gave Goble his choice of events, thinking he would choose either the 100 or 220. He crossed the coach up by selecting the 200-yard hurdles — an event he had only run once before.

“The hurdles were more fun than just running,” said Goble, who went out and set the fastest time in the nation. That made him the top seed at nationals.

“I didn’t even want to go to nationals — I was signing a football contract,” said Goble.

Go he did, though. “I hit the first hurdle and that was it.”

His passion was for football.

Statistics are hard to come by — “That wasn’t a concern,” said Goble — for both his high school and college years, but Goble, a halfback and punter throughout his high school and collegiate careers, must have done something right because the pros came calling.

“I heard on the news that I was drafted,” said Goble. I thought, ‘great.’ The guy who did the scouting came to campus with a contract. My (college) head coach was my negotiator. They offered me $5,000. Coach said ‘he wants $6,000.’ We eventually settled on $5,500.

The next year, Goble signed for $6,000.

“That wasn’t the lowest contract,” said Goble. “There were a lot of players making less money than I was. There were some making twice what I was.”

Goble made a name for himself right out of the gate, running a kickoff back 94 yards for a touchdown against the New York Giants in the team’s first game of the 1954 season.

“They wouldn’t kick to me the rest of the game,” said Goble. “That ticked me off.”

In his second-ever NFL game, against the Philadelphia Eagles, he repeated the feat, going 87 yards for the score.

“They kicked to the rookie and I took it all the way back,” said Goble. “They refused to kick to me again. That ticked me off.”

In fact, Goble didn’t get to return another kick for a number of games. That’s what success will do. The other return men the Cards had were Charlie Trippi and Ollie Matson, who rotated in on the other side of the field. After each of those took a kick back for six, teams started using the squib kick.

The one team that did kick deep was the Cleveland Browns, with Lou “The Toe” Groza doing the kicking.

“Charlie Trippi took the first kickoff and got it out to the 40,” said Goble, who thought the offense would be happy to take over there, despite a 5-yard offside penalty called on Cleveland. He was surprised his coach took the penalty. He also switched Trippi and Goble.

“I took the next kick at the goal line and took it back almost to their 20-yard line.”

By the time the year ended, Goble had amassed 749 return yards on 27 attempts. His two TDs led the NFL that year and his average of 27.7 yards per return was second in the league. In addition to returning 22 punts for 51 yards with a long of 18 yards, Goble also got 30 carries for Chicago that season, ending the year with 42 yards and one touchdown. His 800 total return yards was third in the league that season.

“(The key is) you have to go as fast as you can right at them so you can stop the defense from coming down the field,” said Goble when asked about how to be a good return man. “You have to slow them down. The slower they go, the farther you’re going to be up the field. You run right at them and don’t break away until you get into tackle territory. Then you break away at an angle.”

With the reputation of being too dangerous to kick to, Goble got far fewer opportunities in his second season, returning eight kickoffs for 160 yards.

Goble isn’t enthralled with the state of the game.

“They don’t know how to tackle. They don’t have to know how to tackle. They just go out there and make cheap shots,” said Goble. “It’s the same way with blocking. They can’t block. They just get their hands up there and grab.”

In 1956, Goble was put on waivers by the Cardinals and was offered a contract to play for the Hamilton Wildcats (a later merger with the cross-town Tigers brought about the current Hamilton Tiger-Cats), but was injured in the preseason and never played for Hamilton.

Or anywhere else, as it turned out.

So, what does it take to go from a small town to play at the highest level of your sport?

“You have to have a passion for the sport. That means no parties, drinking or smoking. Also, when you have some spare time, go out and practice by yourself,” said Goble of a technique that he employed. “You don’t need 10 other guys to practice football. It can be done. If you want to learn how to punt or pass, there are plenty of ways for you to practice.”