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Arcos celebrates 100th anniversary

MOUNT CARMEL TOWNSHIP — Thursday marked a special day for a local manufacturer of high-alloy weld consumables, as Arcos Industries LLC officially celebrated its 100th anniversary and more than 60 years at its present location in Mount Carmel Township.

The company does business with a number of global suppliers and manufacturers located in 20 countries, including China, Sweden, France and Switzerland.

Ceremony

Arcos General Manager Harry Wehr, who also serves as chairman of the American Welding Society’s Committee on Filler Metals and Allied Materials, was flanked by a number of his employees and guests, as he spoke of the historic milestone during a brief ceremony inside the company’s main office building on Thursday afternoon.

The event was attended by state lawmakers, Rep. Kurt Masser and Sen. John Gordner, both of whom offered remarks and presented citations from the Pennsylvania House of Representative and Senate, respectively. Gordner was accompanied by his secretary, Pam Earley.

Wehr offered a few brief comments to all those in attendance, which preceded a cutting of a 100th anniversary cake and subsequent tour of the facility.

“I believe that the four keys to our success and longevity here at Arcos have been good management, a vision to the future, manufacturing of high-quality competitive products and a trained, committed workforce,” he said.

Speaking of his employees, Wehr was quick to point out the importance of their knowledge, job skills and work ethic toward the company’s success.

“At Arcos, we currently employ 90 excellent salaried and union personnel (United Steel Workers Union 14372-04) working together to manufacture a superior end product to the global welding industry,” said Wehr. “The products we make here at Arcos require skilled labor and a knowledgeable, dedicated workforce, which is what we have. Without our employees, we’re nothing.”

Wehr also expressed pride in the fact that one of Arcos primary customers is the U.S. Navy shipbuilding program.

“I am proud to say that there’s not a single submarine, aircraft carrier or destroyer that doesn’t have Arcos weld materials used during its construction. We are a highly valued supplier to our national defense industry,” he said.

With regard to productivity, Wehr noted that Arcos sales have grown nearly 300 percent in the last 10 years, and indicated that the company plans to expand its facility and increase its workforce in the years to come.

“We congratulate Arcos and are excited to hear that you’re looking to expand. We want you to know that the Senator and I are here for you to help in any way we can,” said Masser.

Gordner jokingly remarked, “Normally, getting two citations in one day is not a good thing, but in this case I believe we’ll make an exception.”

He then added, “It’s incredible that we have a key global company right here in our own backyard. It shows there are a lot of good things going on in our area with more opportunities to come.”

Facilities tour

Three Arcos employees provided a brief tour of the company’s manufacturing facilities. Production manager Tom Kane, engineering manager Mike Sosnoski and Walter Quade led Masser, Gordner and Earley through a guided tour of the various areas of the Arcos plant.

“Our current facilities are located on an 11-acre property, which includes 110,000 square feet for manufacturing and 25,000 square feet of office space,” remarked Kane. “The property was formerly owned by PPL and acquired from them when Arcos moved here,” said Kane.

Sosnoski also emphasized that because Arcos produces a large variety of high-quality products, each area of the plant requires specialized sets of skilled labor and knowledge in order to operate safely and efficiently.

“We take in raw materials made up of various metal compositions. The ultimate goal is to process each material differently in order to meet customer demands,” said Sosnoski.

Kane added, “We work with approximately 100 different alloys or grades of wire. Our customers utilize our products in a variety of welding applications.”

In a process referred to as “annealing,” wire is heated up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit in order to make it more flexible. Arcos has two large active ovens, which are used to reshape the metal using heat. The company plans on bringing a third online in the near future.

At one point, Kane introduced the tour group to one of the company’s newest machines, a large, red 12-hole draw bench. He explained that the “big red” machine is used to perform cold work on metals, such as changing their shape using pressure only.

Employee comments

Ron Latsha, who has been employed by Arcos for nearly 44 years, expressed his appreciation toward his employer.

“I like working here,” said Latsha. “The job in my area of the plant consists of drawing wires.”

Dave Pappas, another longtime employee who works as a wire spooler and has been employed at Arcos for the past 24 years, also spoke highly of the company.

“I work a spooling machine that’s known as a ‘gMax 1.’ Arcos is a great place to work with good pay and employee benefits. They treat us well here,” he said.

Certfications and growth

Throughout its history, Arcos has earned the following prestigious certifications: ASME Nuclear Certification; ISO 9001; Mil-I Inspection Certificate; and Navy QPL Certification.

Arcos is an approved supplier of filler metal for the U.S. Navy nuclear program, American Bureau of Shipping, Canadian Welding Industry, Nuclear Procurement Committee and many others. These quality approvals place the company in an elite group of suppliers worldwide.

In addition to the U.S. Navy, other customers include the automotive industry, petroleum and chemical plants and off-shore marine industry.

Arcos has consumers in North America, the Middle East, Far East, Southeast Asia and Europe, and contributes more than $4 million annually to the local economy.


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Longtime Zerbe Township eyesore finally razed after neighbors buy property

TREVORTON ROAD — A longtime eyesore along Trevorton Road in Zerbe Township was finally razed Thursday morning, but it came at the expense of a neighboring couple who purchased the property in October.

“It’s a great day,” rejoiced Sharon (Breining) Styer as she, her mother Gertrude “Cookie” Breining and sister-in-law Beth Breining watched the demolition of a dilapidated structure at 522 Trevorton Road from the living room of Gertrude Breining’s residence at 131 Snyder Road.

While the Breining and Styer families and their neighbors were happy to see the property finally torn down, Sharon Styer pointed out, “The sad part is that I had to buy it to get rid of it.”

Styer said her family had complained to Zerbe Township supervisors for many years about the condition of the property, but claimed their complaints fell on deaf ears as no action was ever taken to raze the building.

Zerbe Township supervisors previously said the township did not have the money to purchase or raze the building.

Styer and her husband, Kevin Styer, who live next door to Sharon’s mother, took matters into their own hands by purchasing the approximate one-acre property Oct. 1 for $15,000 through Danielle Kapushinski, executor of the Kolody family estate that owned the property for many years.

The Styers then hired a relative, Kevin Wormald, owner-operator of K.W. Hauling, of Paxinos, to demolish the run-down, two-story house.

Wormald and his employee, John Matejick, began demolition work Thursday morning and expect to be at the site for a couple days until all the debris is cleaned up.

Styer’s mother, who grew up next to the Trevorton Road property when it was a bar room owned by Charlie and Hazel Ross, said nobody has lived in the house for many years. She said the property has been an eyesore for more than 40 years.

In addition to being dilapidated, Styer said the property attracted many rodents, cats and other animals over the years.

“I am so happy,” commented Gertrude Breining. “I never thought I would be here when that building came down.”

Styer said she presented her mother with a deed to the Trevorton Road property on her 90th birthday on Oct. 6.

Beth Breining and her husband, David, reside at 121 Snyder Road, while other relatives live nearby on a hill that overlooks Trevorton Road that family members refer to as the “Breining Complex.”

Gertrude Breining thanked her daughter and other family members for their persistence in having the property demolished.


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Gilroy seeks third term as county treasurer

Northumberland County Treasurer Kevin Gilroy announced Thursday he is seeking a third term.

Gilroy, a Republican from Paxinos, worked as treasurer for the past 10 years and wants to continue to run the office with focus on customer service.

“I still enjoy the job and enjoy working with my constituents and employees of the county,” Gilroy was quoted in a press release.

Gilroy came to the treasurer’s office with over 30 years of banking experience and held board member seats for several nonprofits. He is a graduate from the University of Scranton with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Since taking office in July 2009, Gilroy has increased revenue in his office by 28 percent and has worked closely with previous administrations to save hundreds of thousands of dollars by recommending the refinancing of county debt.

He has made better use of technology by placing dog licensing online through the county website.

“With the geographic size of the county, it made sense to partner with a good reputable company to process dog licenses and save pet owners time and gas money to drive to Sunbury. And it paid off by doubling the number of licenses issued, protecting more dogs throughout the county,” he said. “I look forward to continuing more ways to save money for our county and provide a high level of customer service to employees and the public.”

The treasurer is responsible for issuing hunting, fishing and dog licenses, as well as small games of chance and bingo licenses, and sportsman pistol permits. The treasurer is also responsible for being a tax collector, collecting the taxes from the remaining 35 tax collectors throughout the county and paying loans for the county.

Gilroy manages the money for the county and sits on the Retirement Board.

He resides in Paxinos with his wife, Carolyn. They have three children, Eric, Melissa and Kelina. They also have five grandchildren.


Larry Deklinski / LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO  

Shamokin’s Ian Paul (25) and Danville’s Mavin James (15) and Patrick Yost reach for a rebound in the third quarter during a game Friday at Shamokin.


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Milton woman kills son, self in Lancaster County

MILTON — A Milton woman and her son are dead following an apparent murder-suicide which occurred Wednesday in Lancaster County.

Milton Police Department Chief Curt Zettlemoyer said he was contacted Wednesday by the Manheim Township Police Department and asked to notify family members of the death of a woman and child.

Zettlemoyer identified the victims as Nicole Welton, of Shakespeare Road, and an unnamed juvenile, also from Milton.

According to lancasteronline.com, Lancaster County Coroner Stephen Diamantoni confirmed the body of Welton and her 11-year-old son were found Wednesday at America’s Best Value Inn Lancaster, 1320 Harrisburg Pike, Manheim Township.

A release from the Manheim Township Police Department said officers were dispatched to the hotel at 11 a.m. Wednesday after two people were found dead inside of a room.

“The investigation is ongoing and no further details are being released at this time,” police wrote in the release.

According to a report published Thursday on lancasteronline.com, Diamantoni believed the boy was shot between 6 and 8 a.m. Wednesday. He said Welton shot the boy and then herself.

Diamantoni said the incident appeared to be a murder-suicide. The bodies appeared to have gunshot wounds. Autopsies were scheduled to be performed Wednesday.

The Milton Area School District had counselors available for students and staff Thursday, following the death of an unnamed fifth-grade student.

“Milton Area School District officials were informed of the tragic death of a fifth-grade student late Wednesday afternoon,” Superintendent Dr. Cathy Keegan wrote in an email to The Standard-Journal.

“While all in the district are mourning this tragic loss of life, we are compelled to respect the wishes of the child’s father and will issue no further comment,” Keegan said.

Keegan said the school district would have counselors available for students and staff throughout the grieving period.

“Thank you to Warrior Run School District, Lewisburg Area School District and Northumberland County Mental Health for extending professional assistance to support our students and staff,” she said.

“CSIU 16 also contacted Milton Area School District to offer their human resources,” Keegan continued. “The Susquehanna Trail Training Club provided therapy dogs and Geisinger Pediatric Psychology has been alerted.”


BY HARRY DEITZ/FOR THE NEWS-ITEM 

Four vehicles were damaged, two extensively, in a chain reaction crash, but only one minor injury was reported by first responders at 5:37 p.m. Thursday on West Valley Avenue in Elysburg. Ralpho Township police and firefighters from Elysburg and Overlook were on the scene for about an hour until the wrecked vehicles involved were removed. Two had to be towed by Tire Ranch Towing Service. Police said all four vehicles were traveling west on West Valley Avenue when one slowed to a near stop. The second vehicle in the line of traffic was unable to stop and crashed into the back of the first. Two vehicles following them had similar reactions. West Valley Avenue from Market Street to the Center Street intersection was closed for nearly an hour following the crash.