….Wilcox man arrested for drugs and shoplifting…theft of pistol probed in Tioga County….Canton driver arrested for speeding after crash….Development of mineral and rare earth elements discussed during hearing at Penn State….

Elk County

A 36 year old Wilcox man has been arrested on a variety of charges including drug possession and shoplifting. State police at Ridgway were called to the Walmart store when drugs were found inside last Friday night. With the help of security footage, authorities determined Keith Silcoski had been browsing through the aisles and dropped a clear bag containing an unknown substance which turned out to be methamphetamine. The security film also showed Zilcoski failed to pay for two ink cartridges valued at $52.78 upon checking out. He has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, paraphernalia and retail theft.

Tioga County

The theft of a handgun from a Nelson Township home is being investigated by state police at Mansfield. The pistol is a black synthetic Taurus G2S 9mmwith a 3.26 inch barrel. It was taken from a dresser drawer in the home of an 86 year old Nelson, PA man earlier this week.  Anyone with information is asked to call state police at 570.662.2151.

A Canton, PA driver has been cited for speeding after a one-vehicle crash Wednesday night in Union Township. State police report Kelsey Ross was going west on Route 414 when her Jeep Wrangler went off the right side of the road, swerved back to the left side then went back to the right side were it struck a ditch and rolled over onto its side. Ross was not hurt.


Developing the critical mineral and rare earth element industry in the Commonwealth would boost national security, minimize supply chain disruptions, create jobs and clean up the environment, members of the House Majority Policy Committee, chaired by Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter), were told Tuesday during a hearing at Penn State University.Critical minerals and rare earth elements are vital components of today’s technologies, including computer chips, smart phones and touch screens; medical devices and state-of-the-art defense systems; and alternative energy sources such as windmills and solar panels. Because the U.S. primary ore reserves are only 1% of the world’s, Penn State has been working to explore secondary resources, including industry byproducts such as coal mining waste, drainage from abandoned coal mines, refuse piles and fly ash from coal-burning power plants. To truly gain independence from the nation’s reliance on other countries for rare earth minerals, the U.S. must go beyond just recovery and production of such minerals according to lawmakers.The testifiers emphasized the need for establishing a pilot plant operating on an economic basis in order to attract larger amounts of capital. A pilot plant could cost anywhere from $25 million to $35 million.

In addition to the national security and environmental benefits, growing the critical mineral and rare earth elements industry would generate a variety of direct jobs, such as engineers, drillers and lab technicians, as well as indirect jobs for truck drivers, mechanics, welders, blasters and more according to panelists.

Following the hearing, lawmakers toured Penn State’s mineral processing facilities; coal utilization center and critical minerals separation lab; and Millennium Science Complex (MSC) microscopic facilities. FRI-