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North Neighborhoods
North Briefs: 6/16/02

Sunday, June 16, 2002

CLEARFIELD COUNTY: Snake roundup decried

A national animal rights group is protesting this weekend's planned rattlesnake roundup, an annual event expected to involve hundreds of snakes.

During the roundup in Pike, rattlesnakes are collected in a pit in the ground, and competitors attempt to pick up as many of the poisonous snakes as they can and place them in sacks.

"We consider these types of events to be the most deliberately cruel public events existing today in the United States," said Teresa Telecky, a zoologist and wildlife trade program director for the Humane Society of the United States.

The local roundup is organized and sponsored by the Grampian Penn Bloom Volunteer Fire Company and the Keystone Reptile Club. Proceeds range from $500 to $2,000 and benefit the fire company, said company trustee Scott McCracken.

McCracken said the event taught "people that every time you see a snake, you don't have to kill it." He said no snakes were killed, and contestants in the sacking competition must wear jeans and gloves for safety.

Telecky said the events increased snakebite statistics by bringing people into direct contact with the reptiles. She said snakes in sacking contests often suffered broken jaws and ribs and poked-out eyes.

MERCER COUNTY: Ohio man dies in crash

An Ohio man was killed Friday afternoon when he lost control of his sport utility vehicle on Interstate 80.

Jeffrey E. Siss, 45, of Shaker Heights, was ejected when his Nissan Pathfinder rolled over four times. Passenger Barbara Watts-Siss was taken to UPMC-Presbyterian and passenger Marina Siss, 7, was taken to United Community Hospital in Grove City.

ERIE: Perfect SAT score

A 16-year-old student who once dreaded tests scored a perfect 1,600 on her SAT for college admission.

Jenna Fizel, who skipped the eighth grade, said she was so nervous about taking math tests in the fifth grade that she would accidentally snap her pencils in half. Her father, a Penn State Behrend professor, helped her overcome her fears.

The McDowell High School junior said that after scoring a 1,230 on her first try, her goal was to break 1,500. She hopes to attend Princeton and become an architect.

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