Last April we were lured by the name to Redbud Valley, a 514 acre tract of land in Buchanan State Forest near Big Cove Tannery in Fulton County. During our 78 mile trip, every valley was a lavender paradise of redbuds. I had never seen so many of them, and I’m sure my husband, Bruce, was heartily tired of hearing me exclaim for the umpteenth time, “Oh look at those gorgeous redbuds.”.
After a short walk among the birches, we returned to our car, eager to resume our Elk Country journey. When we reached Benezette, we followed signs through and out of town to Winslow Hill and on to the Elk Country Visitor Center. This impressive, new facility designed, as their website says, “As a place where visitors have an opportunity to see and experience these majestic animals year round in their natural habit” was the result of a public/private partnership between Pennsylvania’s DCNR and the Keystone Elk Country Alliance, a group of donors that included private foundations, most notably the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Pennsylvania Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the Richard King Mellon Foundation, organizations such as branches of the Safari Club International, and private individuals..
WATCH Election 2015: Labour take control of Cheshire West and Chester CouncilLabour overall majority of just one seat as final ward of Newton marks two gains for party18:03, 9 MAY 2015Updated09:23, 10 MAY 2015Get daily updates directly to your inbox+ SubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribing!Could not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailLabour has won an historic victory in taking Cheshire West and Chester Council from the Tories based on a minuscule 34 vote majority in the final seat.Today’s result comes after the count was suspended late last night when Labour and Conservatives were on 36 seats each with one independent.The Newton question Everything rested on the final two seat Newton ward held by the Conservatives.The initial count showed a clear Labour win in one of the seats and a Labour majority in the final seat, but by a handful of votes, prompting Tory calls for a recount.Due to the lateness of the hour, returning officer Steve Robinson insisted the recount must be postponed until today as staff were exhausted.The double Labour win at Newton has now been confirmed giving them overall control of Cheshire West and Chester Council in a victory that will leave the local Tory Party shaken.Labour candidates Richard Beacham and Gill Watson took the seat of Tory Adrian Walmsley and the vacancy left by the resignation of fellow Conservative Tom Parry.”We will care, and prioritise your views, and be honest about the decisions we take.”Councillor Dixon used her speech to pay tribute to former Labour Leader Justin Madders now the newly elected MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston and late party stalwarts Derek Bateman and David Robinson, who she described as “giants”.Challenging times Council leader Mike Jones said: “We in the Conservative Party are incredibly proud of what we have created over the last six years. Over into roads, infrastructure and schools, with another going forwards.”We are proud of reducing the budget and creating one of the best councils in the country. I’m sure there are some challenging times ahead but I look forward to this with interest.”Another tight contest The tightness of the contest was an almost carbon copy of the Chester parliamentary battle which saw Labour’s Chris Matheson take the seat from the Conservatives’ Stephen Mosley with a 93 vote majority, again following a recount.Community fears around the potential for fracking in Upton may have helped Labour on the road to victory.There, Labour’s high profile anti fracking campaigner Cllr Matt Bryan took one of the two Tory seats leaving Conservative Cllr Hilarie McNae out in the cold.In Hoole, the retirement of popular sitting Lib Dem councillor Bob Thompson and the national collapse of the Lib Dem vote led to another Labour gain.