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County Hall Corner 
By Larry Stout
Getting a Second Chance

Rusty (not his real name) has served time in state prison and moved back to Williamsport last summer. He has glowing reports from his parole officers. He has gone to every training and counseling programs offered to him. He has prepared a professional looking resume and gone to apply for a job at every place he hears has a job opening. And Rusty waits for a call back. And waits…and waits…and waits…
Jared (not his real name) has served in county prison, and after release was able to find a job, but needed a place to live. There was a unit of a duplex available to rent and when he applied, Jared told the landlord about his criminal conviction. The landlord remarked that as long as he obeyed the law and paid his rent, he was fine with him. A short time later, however, the landlord received a call from the local police notifying him that his new tenant was a convicted felon. They just thought he should know.
These two stories are true anecdotes, but they could be repeated with many more similar experiences. They symbolize the difficulty that those who have served time in jail or prison must face when they seek to reenter regular society. These people have enormous obstacles in finding jobs, securing affordable housing, even just making friends. They are the lepers of today’s community.
Of course, many say, they deserve to be treated at arm’s length. After all, they are criminals. No, that is exactly the problem — they are NOT criminals, they WERE criminals. Unfortunately, because they are viewed through a prism of suspicion, these ex-offenders often feel so boxed in that they resort to the pattern of behavior that got them into trouble in the first place — crime.
Lycoming County seeks to address this problem with the Re-entry Coalition. The mission of the Lycoming County Re-entry Coalition is to facilitate and support the successful return of incarcerated individuals to the community working in partnership with government entities, faith and community-based organizations, and other stakeholders. The work of the Coalition is so important that on the county website, lyco.org, it has its own link at the top of the site. 
It was formed in February 2015, when Lycoming County applied for and was awarded a Reentry Strategic Planning grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). With the invaluable assistance of Dr. Kerry Richmond, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice-Criminology at Lycoming College, a core group conducted an extensive analysis of the county’s reentry system. It was hard work, looking at every aspect of the issue; what types of services are needed when coming out of prison, what are common reentry issues, barriers, and challenges, what are short-term and long-term needs, etc.
Out of this arduous process emerged the identification of seven sub-committees (education, employment, family/peer support & personal needs, health care, housing, mental health, and substance abuse) working through a Five Year Strategic Plan (2016-2012). There were committed people who were good at their work standing behind all this, yet as good as the plan was and those willing to work it, what was needed was someone to hold the reins to keep it together. When a Request for Proposals was put out by the county, the person selected was Jennifer McPherson.
Hired in June 2016, Jennifer McPherson is a small woman with a large heart and strong convictions. A graduate from Bishop Neumann High School in 1997, Jennifer went on to study psychology and mental health at the University of Pittsburgh for her undergraduate degree and Lock Haven University for her graduate degree. For ten years Jennifer was employed as a mental health therapist at the State Correctional Institute for Women in Muncy, and also at the same time worked on re-entry. At the Muncy SCI, Jennifer had worked with inmates and helped them by making checklists on what they needed to reenter into the community. She was exactly the right person the Re-entry Coalition was looking for to head up the work. 
The importance of this project cannot be overemphasized. Recidivism, or the occurrence of repeat criminal behavior, can be as high as 75 percent without the basic foundation necessary to get back into the world outside those prison walls. It is not one need, but what could be called a wrap-around service. These would include simply having a photo id, to knowing where to start to look for a job. The basic objective is giving this individual the assistance they need to get a “warm handoff” into society.
Here is where we all can help. These people need a support structure during the critical re-entry period. Churches, civic groups, athletic groups, really any group that can provide a positive and supportive atmosphere in getting readjusted into the ‘normal’ routine of life are critical. And if job opportunities pop up, these ex-offenders need to be given a fair chance for the positions. If these folks find themselves isolated and abandoned, they look to go back to their old ways. Nobody wants that. And even in a small way, all of us can be part of the solution. Go the county website - contact the Re-Entry Coalition - talk with Jennifer McPherson - make a difference in someone's life.


 
Former AVCO-Lycoming Test Pilot Selected
Chuck Yeager To Break Sound Barrier
By Lou Hunsinger Jr.
Then Colonel Albert G. Boyd with the Lockheed XP-80R, 44-85200. (U.S. Air Force)


For six years during the early to mid-1960s, AVCO-Lycoming (now Lycoming Engines) had a test pilot working for them that had quite a history. This quiet, unassuming man, with a military bearing was Albert Boyd. In his former military life he was Major General Albert Boyd, who was one of the United States Air Force’s leading and most accomplished test pilots.
According to his official U.S. Air Force biography, he was born in Rankin, Tennessee in 1906 and graduated from high school in Asheville, N.C. and attended Biltmore Junior College. He became an aviation cadet in 1927 and completed his flight training and was commissioned a second lieutenant in February 1929.
Between 1929 and 1934, Boyd was a flight instructor and trained in maintenance and armament engineering at the Air Corps Training Center, Chanute Field, Rantoul, Illinois.
During the 1930s he served in numerous management, operating and technical positions in the U.S. and abroad. He became internationally known for his knowledge of aerodynamics, aircraft performance characteristics, flight testing and training.
During World War II he joined the Air Service Command in February 1943. General Boyd was assistant control officer at Patterson Field, Ohio and the following April became chief of the Maintenance Division of the Middletown Air Service Command, Middletown, PA. Reassigned to Patterson Field in January 1944, he was named special assistant to the commanding general of the Air Service Command, and a month later he was appointed deputy chief of the Maintenance Division.
When the Air Service Command was re-designated the Air Technical Service Command in September 1944, and moved to Wright Field, Ohio, General Boyd was named chief of the Maintenance Division. The following July he was appointed deputy commander of the Eighth Air Force Service Command. Named acting chief of the Flight Test Division there in October 1945, the general became chief of the division the following January, assuming additional duty as an experimental test pilot, retaining that position when the Air Technical Service Command was re-designated the Air Materiel Command.
He was responsible for developing the Test Pilot School and transferring it to Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards AFB), California, with its ideal conditions for testing supersonic aircraft, and recommended establishing a Flight Dynamics Laboratory and Flight Test Division.
On June 19th, 1947 he set a new world’s speed record of 623.85 mph in an F-80R Shooting Star.
He originated and established the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base and served as its first commander during 1949 to 52.
While at Edwards he was involved in what was probably the most noted thing he did in his whole aerial career when he selected Chuck Yeager to make the first flight to try and break the sound barrier. This monumental feat took place on October 14, 1947.
According to various sources it was then-Colonel Al Boyd, who first recognized Yeager’s potential as a test pilot, sending him to test pilot’s school in January 1945. The way Yeager remembered it, Boyd told him of his selection as primary X-1 pilot in a very few words, explaining that he felt the aircraft could get above Mach 1, and “don’t screw up.” Yeager could say nothing else but, “Yes sir,” as a reply.
Boyd was a strict disciplinarian who would enforce (often with a very loud voice) USAF uniform regulations. Yeager once remarked that, "You might be his star pilot, but Lord help you if you came before him in his office with an un-shined belt buckle." Despite this, he was highly respected by his subordinates.
In 1950, the Air Force Association gave him its Air Power Trophy. The citation, calling him a soldier, pilot and scientist, noted he had become known throughout the Air Force as the "Test Pilot's Test Pilot." During his 30-year career, he logged more than 23,000 hours of flight time in 723 military aircraft. When he retired in 1957, he had flown every aircraft type operated by the USAF, including attack, cargo, trainer, fighter, experimental, bomber, mission trainer, liaison, observation, and general aviation planes and helicopters.
The Chief of Staff, USAF, assigned him special missions to foreign countries to evaluate their aircrafts. He flight tested many Canadian, French, British, Italian and Japanese aircraft and the Soviet MIG-15. Few U.S. dollars went to finance foreign aircraft that did not pass his strict flight testing standards. He was selected one of seven general Air Force officers to accompany General Nathan Twining on his trip to Moscow in 1956 as guests of Premier Nikita Khrushchev and the Soviet Air Force. For his many outstanding achievements, he received numerous awards including the Airpower Trophy, the Octave Chanute Award, the Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit and Distinguished Service Medal plus several foreign decorations including Medaille de l’Aeronautique and Brevet Militarire de Pilote D’Avion.
According to the website of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, following retirement from the Air Force, he was called upon by the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Research and Develoment) to serve as a Consultant to the Air Force to review aircraft development trends. After serving a number of years in high level positions with the Westinghouse Electric Corporation and General Dynamics Corporation, he decided to accept a position as Consultant and Engineering Test Pilot for AVCO-Lycoming, here in Williamsport, where, for a period of six years, he flew engine development tests in practically every aircraft and helicopter powered with a Lycoming engine – from Cherokee to Beech Dukes and pressurized Navajos at altitudes up to 33,000 feet, many flights/tests being performed in actual weather conditions.
At age 63, he completed a helicopter course and received a graduation certificate from AgRotors Helicopter Flight School, Gettysburg, Pa. At age 56, he soloed a Cessna 310 across the Atlantic Ocean, from Wichita, Kansas, to Geneva, Switzerland, via the Azores. He was an active pilot and accumulated an impressive number of command pilot flying hours 21,120 hours, 2,000 in every type of jet test aircraft.
General Boyd died on September 18, 1976. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
He was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame in 2014.
A gallery at the National Museum of the U. S. Air Force at Wright-Paterson Air Force Base was named in his honor in 2016.



Safari Day Camp at SPCA
 

The Lycoming County SPCA is pleased to announce that it is offering a Summer Day Camp for ages 6 ½-13. The goal of the Day Camp is to instruct campers in the humane treatment of animals and give them practical experience with the basics of animal care. Qualified teachers will guide the campers through a week of hands-on activities with shelter animals, crafts, discussion, observations, speakers, and outdoor activities.
Examples include: examining animal x-rays, Q&A time with a veterinarian, learning how to groom a dog, and constructing enrichment toys for the shelter animals.
Each camp runs from Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Extended hours are available until 5 p.m. for an additional fee. The camps will be held at the Lycoming County SPCA.
For more information or to register, visit lycomingspca.org. Registration forms can also be filled out at the SPCA.
The camp fee includes all camp activities, crafts, and a camp t-shirt! Each week is limited to 16 campers, so be sure to apply today!


Camp Dates:
Ages 6 ½ -8: June 19-23 or July 17-21
Ages 8 ½ -10: June 26-30 or July 31-August 4
Ages 10 ½ -13: July 10-14 or August 7-11



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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