Thursday June 25, 2020

 

 

Wednesday’s high, 81; Overnight low, 48

SUNNY TODAY WITH POSSIBLE POP UP SHOWER HIGH 79.

PARTLY CLOUDY TONIGHT WITH A POSSIBILITY OF SOME RAIN LOW OF 56.

MOSTLY SUNNY TOMORROW HIGH OF 81

CHANCE OF SHOWERS OVERNIGHT A LOW 62

SATURDAY AND SUNSHINE AND THUNDERSTORMS HIGH IN THE LOW 80S.

MOSTLY CLOUDY SATURDAY NIGHT LOW OF 65.

Photo by John Eaton

This photo of Hills Creek State Park Complex Natural Resource Specialist Tim Morey with a park telescope was taken in October of 2017, well before the Covid-19 pandemic struck the United States.

In-person programs are slowly being returned to four of the eight state parks in the Hills Creek State Park Complex, according to  Tim Morey, natural resource specialist. Two of the four, including Lyman Run and Leonard Harrison, will not have events posted on the state parks events calendar though they may have a few programs for campers. In-person programs for Cherry Springs and Hills Creek will be posted periodically.

At this point, in-person educational programs are limited to a maximum of 25 participants based on state coronavirus protocols including in-person stargazing programs at Cherry Springs, which have been attended by 500+ people in the past. There will be no telescope viewing until further notice

Cherry Springs is offering a combination of virtual and in-person programming starting today and continuing on Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. a 30-minute virtual program will be offered for those planning to take a trip there to camp and see the stars. They can join park staff on Skype for a slide show presentation about things they should know about Cherry Springs before their visit.

The park will have  a 30-minute, in-person short walk this Saturday, June 27, at 6 p.m., to introduce registrants to the history and future of Cherry Springs. The walk is not strenuous and is not a hike. Registration is required and will be limited to the first 25 people who register. It is important for families to register as a group if more than one member is going. To register, visit https://events.dcnr.pa.gov/cherry_springs_state_park/calendar. All participants must follow CDC guidelines and take a mask with them in order to attend. Programs may be cancelled due to severe weather.

A virtual telescope workshop for those who have a telescope but still haven’t figured out how to use it is being planned. As a follow-up, those who participate and are still having trouble with their telescope can schedule a one-on-one virtual session to find out why it isn’t working or how to get the most out of it.

The virtual workshop is also for those who are Interested in purchasing a telescope and want to find out what to look for and what to avoid. They are invited to join park staff for a short overview of the variety of telescopes available and to find out which type might best suit their needs.

All parts of the virtual telescope workshop will be conducted online. There will be no in-person presentation. Those who have a telescope and register to participate will need to use a smart phone or tablet so they are mobile and can move around.

All virtual telescope workshops will be posted on the Cherry Springs event calendar. In the meantime, those who are interested are invited to contact Tim Morey by emailing him at tmorey@pa.gov to let him know the days and times a virtual telescope workshop could be held that would work best for them and their families.

Working to prevent waste and fraud in the state’s Medicaid program, the state House today approved Rep. Clint Owlett’s (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) bill that would prevent improper payments.House Bill 2354 is designed to identify, detect and prevent improper payments before they happen by establishing a searchable database that would help identify organizations, individuals and entities that are not eligible to receive funds from a Commonwealth agency. The bill is modeled after the federal Do Not Pay law.

A November report by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicated Pennsylvania made more than $2 billion in improper payments to the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid. If left uncorrected, these improper payments would require a $930 million repayment to the federal government.

Owlett noted the state of Oregon saved $286 for every $1 it spent after enacting the Do Not Pay law.  In addition to the savings that come from preventing the improper payments themselves, the bill would also save the Commonwealth the costs associated with trying to recover those payments.

Owlett’s bill is one of six introduced earlier this year in response to a grand jury report on fraud in Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance Program, also known as Medicaid, released by Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office and a report recently released by the House Government Oversight Committee.

Other bills in the package include:

House Bill 2350, which would require any provider which seeks to operate in the Medicaid program use either a National Provider Identification number or register for a State Provider Identification number.

House Bill 2351, which would increase penalties for making a false claim against the Medicaid program.

House Bill 2352, which would create a state version of the federal False Claims Act to recoup additional funds from false claims made against Medicaid.

House Bill 2353, which would require state agencies to assess their program expenditures to determine how susceptible they are to improper payment.

House Bill 2355, which would require any Medicaid Managed Care Organization to enter into an agreement with the Department of Human Services to allow the department to recoup any Medicaid funds which were sent on a provider preventable condition.

With the exception of House Bills 2350 and 2352, the remaining measures in the bill package are now pending Senate consideration.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., June 24, that there are 495 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 83,191. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19. Here in the Black Forest  Broadcasting Service Area Tioga has 23; Potter  has gone up to 14; McKean has 15; Elk 10 and Cameron 2. Across the border in New York State, Cattaraugus County has gone up to 120 and  Allegany County is holding at 58,

There are 6,515 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 54 new deaths. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the department’s website.

Mask wearing is required in all businesses in yellow and green phases of reopening. Consistent mask wearing, even in counties in the green phase, could have lasting benefits as a COVID-19 surge is possible this fall.

There are 632 patients who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure, which are considered probable cases and not confirmed cases. There are 608,217 patients who have tested negative to date.

Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 17,394 resident cases of COVID-19, and 3,103 cases among employees, for a total of 20,497 at 671 distinct facilities in 49 counties—none here in the Black Forest Broadcasting  Out of the total deaths, 4,467 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. Approximately 6,303 of the total cases are in health care workers.

Coudersport based  State Police have arrested a 32 year old Roulette  man for manufacturing drugs. Troopers explained that this past February 16,  at around 5:15pm state police were dispatched to 46 River Street in the village of Roulette for a  structure fire. Once the fire was put out.  Authorities entered the home to conduct an interior investigation of the fire and during that investigation, methamphetamine lab materials were discovered and removed.  After several months of searching for Adam Sallade  was located and charged with offense including the manufacturer of controlled substance. causing a chemical reaction to the manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of precursors for the manufacturer of methamphetamine and other related crimes. He was committed to the Potter County Jail. Sallade was arrested June 15 been arrested for drug possession State Police claim that they discovered methamphetamine  and drug paraphernalia on his person while they interviewed him on Second Street in Sweden Township .

State Police at Coudersport  have released details about one vehicle crash occurring last Friday on the North Brookland  road in the Ulysses Township. Craig Whitmer of Ulysses was driving a Ford F 150XLT and due to a medical condition he could not lift his legs to hit the brakes. The truck continued straight hitting  a tree. He was taken by Tri-Town Volunteer  Ambulance to UPMC  Cole for treatment of minor injuries.

Two people have been arrested for a criminal mischief  occurring on Elk Lick Road in Wharton  Township Potter County on first of May just after 5pm. Troopers  claim that  Matthew Harlacher  of Dover, Pennsylvania and James Vanatta Nana from East BerlinPA  fired shots into a building owned by National Fuel Gas several times. Police say that information received at the scene was used to identify the suspects who are facing charges of reckless endangerment, criminal conspiracy, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.

Ganelle  Jones, 30, of Tioga has been arrested for physical assault or an incident allegedly taking place Monday night at a house on North Hollow  Road in Sweden Township Potter  County. Troopers claim an investigation into a domestic violence incident resulted in charges being filed against Jones who  is charged also with harassment in addition to simple assault.

Wednesday June 24, 2020

Tuesday’s high, 88; Overnight low, 58; 1.24″ rain (thunderstorms)

PARTLY CLOUDY TODAY HIGH OF 72 POSSIBILITIES SOME ISOLATED SHOWERS

TONIGHT, A LOW OF 53.

MOSTLY SUNNY TOMORROW A HIGH OF 74. WITH CLOUDS BUILDING

CLEAR TOMORROW NIGHT A LOW OF 55.  FRIDAY MOSTLY SUNNY WITH A HIGH IN THE HIGH 70s.

 

PSP DUI arrests increased last year….Virus cases in region, hold steady…Authorities investigate cause of death for Smethport man who died in a house fire Monday….Johnsonburg driver cited for speeding after one-vehicle crash….Another car/deer collision investigated by state police….

The Pennsylvania State Police announced today that troopers made 22,139 driving-under-the-influence (DUI) arrests in 2019, which reflects a 10 percent increase from the total number of DUI arrests (20,143) in 2018. In addition, troopers investigated 4,692 DUI-related crashes in 2019.

In Pennsylvania, a driver is guilty of DUI if they are impaired by any substance. Troopers certified as drug recognition experts (DREs) receive specialized training to identify the physiological signs of impairment caused by a wide range of controlled substances. State police DREs conducted 1,044 drug influence evaluations in 2019.

A list of 2019 state police DUI arrest totals, DUI crash investigations, and DRE drug influence evaluations broken down by troop is available on the department’s website. These figures reflect information from the Pennsylvania State Police and do not include information from other law enforcement agencies in the commonwealth.

State police community services officers regularly speak about DUI prevention and other traffic safety topics at schools, community events, and businesses. Their presentations are offered at no charge and may be requested by contacting your local state police station.

Penalties for a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania are based on several factors, including an individual’s criminal history, blood alcohol content level, and whether injuries or property damage occurred. Potential consequences include thousands of dollars in fines, license suspension, and prison time.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., June 23, that there are 510 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 82,696. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19. However, the total cases  here in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service Area are holding steady :Tioga,  23; McKean 15;  Potter 13; Elk 9;  and Cameron County 2. Across the border in New York State Cattaraugus County has 116  cases and Allegany County has  50.

There are 6,464 total deaths in Pennsylvania  attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 38 new deaths. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the department’s website.

Mask wearing is required in all businesses in yellow and green phases of reopening. Consistent mask wearing, even in counties in the green phase, could have lasting benefits as a COVID-19 surge is possible this fall.

There are 631 patients who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure, which are considered probable cases and not confirmed cases. There are 596,407 patients who have tested negative to date.

Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 17,294 resident cases of COVID-19, and 3,082 cases among employees, for a total of 20,376 at 669 distinct facilities in 49 counties. Out of the total deaths, 4,410 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities—none here in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service Area.

Pennsylvania has a 78% recovery rate.

State Police at Lewis Run are continuing to investigate the cause of death of a 59 year old Smethport man who died in a house fire early Monday morning. The body of Kenneth McCrobie  and four dogs were found inside the home. McCrobie’s  wife, Cynthia,  escaped without injury. Police say the case is currently being investigated.

Lewis Run State Police  did not release the name of the suspect, but say that they received a call Saturday evening from the Crosby Gas Station on South Avenue in  Lewis Run about a customer who was intoxicated.  Police determined that the suspect had driven to the store while under the influence and charges are pending in District Court.

 A Johnsonburg driver has been cited for speeding following a one vehicle crash occurring Monday evening in Fox Township Elk County. State police at Ridgway say Derek Hollabaugh was traveling too fast for conditions on the Brynedale road  when his Ford Taurus went off the road has struck a tree and became disabled However, Hollabaugh escaped injury.

Minor injuries were reported for a St.  Mary’s driver following a car/deer collision last Friday on Route 219 in Horton Township.  State police report  Paul Plyer  was going south on Route 219 when two  deer ran from the east side of the highway in front of his Dodge Caliber. Plyer was was unable to avoid the collision.  He apparently did not require treatment at a medical facility for his minor injuries. His passengers Karry  Plyer  and Jeffrey Deese both escaped injury.

A 23 year old Kersey man has been arrested for drug possession.  After troopers stopped a 2000 Ford Mustang on Route 219 In Horton Township Sunday night, a passenger was taken into custody for existing arrest warrants. Methamphetamine and paraphernalia reportedly were found on the passenger’s person.  Charges are pending in District Court.

Tuesday June 23, 2020

 

Tri-County members in the Coudersport area are receiving high speed internet…..Covid-19 cases drop in PA and hold mostly steady in region….Smethport man dies in house fire…..Wellsboro man jailed for strangulation…

Monday’s high, 88; Overnight low, 67; .o4” of rain

SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON A HIGH OF 75

THUNDERSTORMS TONIGHT LOW OF 62.

SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS TOMORROW LITTLE WARMER HIGH OF 79

OVERNIGHT LOW OF 63.

THURSDAY A SLIGHT CHANCE of SOME THUNDERSTORMS OTHERWISE PARTLY CLOUDY, A HIGH OF 81

A LOW OF 62.

 

Deven Phillips (L) and Othaniel Baptist (R)  are employees  of Lantek, Tri-Co’s contractor for installing Fiber Optic Cable across

the utility’s service area.

With good weather occurring and the pandemic going downward here in Pennsylvania, more and more Tri-County Rural Co-Op members are being hooked up to the cooperative’s fiber- optic  broadband internet service—Tri-Co Connections. The co-op recently launched Phase 1 of  a six year program to bring internet connectivity to underserved or non-served members. Tri-County members live within a 5,000 square mile area in seven counties. The co-op was formed in late 1936 after  frustrated farmers took it upon themselves to plant poles and string electric wires across the region a year after President Franklin D. Roosevelt had signed the Rural Electrification bill into law but only a fraction of rural residents had the benefits their city cousins enjoyed. Sparse populations and challenging geography did not make it feasible for electric companies to expand their services to include rural residents.  Now, some 84 years later, Tri-Co Connections is set on bringing its members into the 21st Century the same way rural electric co-ops turned the lights on in rural communities all across the country. Phase 1is in the Coudersport area and some 43% of members have signed up bringing high-speed internet to some 2,000 homes. According to Bill Gerkski, Tri-Co Connections Senior VP Business Development, contractors are making 5-6 drops per day (stringing Fiber optic cable from Tri-County’s electric poles to homes and businesses. And about four home installations are completed each day. Tri-County which is a model for other co-ops had an advantage over private companies by using most of its existing poles. But Gerski says the project would not have possible without grants and low interest loans from a variety of government sources. Governor Tom Wolf, in announcing his program “Restore Pennsylvania” said “one of the biggest challenges facing Pennsylvania is lack of universal broadband access.” Gerski says Tri-Co’s goal is to break down the digital divide and end the educational, economic and social inequalities that exist between rural and urban communities.” The addition of high speed internet may make it attractive for some urban  families to re-locate to rural areas in the near future, some 42% of Tri-County  members are seasonal and some may want to make the change. Gerski told Black Forest Broadcasting News that the pandemic has confirmed the need for up-to-date technology which allows members to access medical providers without leaving home, conduct business on-line, telecommute and stay in touch with family and friends.

Gerski told us 40% of the co-op members are senior citizens so the Co-op has partnered with the Potter County Education Council to mentor senior citizens in the new technology through a program called Seniors2Seniors. High School seniors meet with senior citizens at their centers and teach them how to use electronic devices to make purchases and/or stay in touch. The 8-week course has been completed in the Coudersport and Oswayo Valley Senior Centers and will begin this August at Ulysses and in September at the Galeton Senior Center.

Another benefit of high speed broadband is that all of the Co-op’s substations will be able to communicate with each other making responses to emergencies and outages faster.

Tri-Co’s deployment began in the Coudersport area with the first member going on-line April 9 in the Niles Hill area. The project will continue much like ripples in a pond until high speed internet is available to all members across the seven county service  area.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., June 22, that there are 456 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 82,186. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19.

There are 6,426 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 3 new deaths. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the department’s website.

Mask wearing is required in all businesses in yellow and green phases of reopening. Consistent mask wearing, even in counties in the green phase, could have lasting benefits as a COVID-19 surge is possible this fall.

There are 631 patients who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure, which are considered probable cases and not confirmed cases. There are 585,662 patients who have tested negative to date. Pennsylvania has a recovery rate of 77%.

Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 17,177 resident cases of COVID-19, and 3,053 cases among employees, for a total of 20,230 at 667 distinct facilities in 49 counties—none here in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service Area. Out of the total deaths, 4,389 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. Approximately 6,219 of the total cases are in health care workers.

The  total in the Black Forest Broadcasting service area continues to inch up. Tioga County now has 23 cases. McKean 15; Potter 13; Elk 9;and Cameron County 2 cases. Across the border, Cattaraugus  County has 115 cases and Allegany County has 58 cases.

 The State Police fire marshal is continuing his investigation into a fatal fire occurring early yesterday at 1276 Bordell  Road in  Keating Township McKean County. Kenneth McCrolbie. 59. died in that fire. Police say that it began just after midnight. During the investigation, it was determined that the fire originated inside the house McCrobie and  four dogs were located deceased inside the structure however, Cynthia McCrobie was able to exit the building  and the investigation is continuing.

 State Police at  Ridgway have arrested a 23 year old Kersey man for drug possession after stopping his 2000 Ford Mustang for traffic violations on Route 219 Sunday night.  Police claim the passenger was found  in possession of  methamphetamine and paraphernalia. Charges are pending.

Troopers at Lewis Run are charging two Kane  residents for physical harassment for an assault allegedly taking place last Tuesday June 16 on  Field Street in the borough of Kane.  Police claim  that the suspects gave false names to troopers as they were being questioned about the incident. The   victims are listed as two girls ages 15 and 17 from Kane.

 Mansfield Based State Police have arrested  36 year old Joseph Burkholder, of Wellsboro  for strangulation. Authorities claimed that on June 8 at around 6:15pm Burkholder put a 57 year old Wellsboro woman in a headlock making it difficult for her to breathe. He allegedly resisted arrest while being taken into custody but was apprehended and transported to the Tioga County Prison  for holding.

State police at Coudersport  are investigating the hit and run occurring early Saturday morning. In Keating township,  A Mercury Milan  was traveling south on Route 155  negotiating right hand curve when the driver under compensated and the car entered the northbound lanes and traveled across the road went off the pavement and struck a parked vehicle before leaving the scene.

Troopers are also investigating a possible violation of firearm sales. They say that a suspect trying to buy a gun from John’s  Sporting Goods in  West Branch Township on June 10, but the investigation revealed that the suspect had falsely completed the paperwork and the investigation is continuing.

Minor  injuries were reported for a Freedom New Hampshire man following a motorcycle crash in Harrison Township, Potter county and back on June 14, Austin Glaze was riding a Harley Davidson Road Glide which collided with a deer on Route 49. Blaze was transported to UPMC Cole  for treatment of minor injuries.

An  unauthorized use of a motor vehicle is also being investigated by state police at Coudersport. Last Thursday afternoon, a 2008 Ford Escape was being used by the owners son’s friends who are not authorized to be using the vehicle and the investigation is continuing.

Coudersport State Police are investigating  a crop of pot discovered recently. Two  suspected marijuana plants  and various paraphernalia were found at 26 Second Street in the village of Roulette Saturday afternoon The  investigation is continuing.

A 77 year old Austin woman was scammed out of some money Saturday morning by unknown persons who called her on the phone.

42 year old Clint Fowler  of Austin has been charged with various drug possession offenses. Police say while they were conducting a routine traffic enforcement Cowley Hill Road in Keating Township, they encountered a 2008 Ford Escape SUV.  A traffic stop was initiated and upon further investigation, Fowler was allegedly found to be driving under the influence and in possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. His residence was searched and numerous items of drug paraphernalia were allegedly discovered, along with precursors of a Methamphetamine lab operation .  He is now facing numerous charges after being committed to the Potter County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bond.

Adam Sallade of Roulette  has been arrested for drug possession State Police says that they discovered methamphetamine  and drug paraphernalia on his person while they interviewed him on Second Street in Sweden Township June 15.

And 33 year old Daniel Tourette of Shinglehouse has been arrested for drug possession. Troopers say while they were conducting a routine traffic enforcement on Main Street in Genesee Township on June 8, they found a 2011 Toyota Tundra pickup truck driven by Tourette had committed several traffic violations and police claim upon further investigation, they found him in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

34 four year old Chad Baker of Eldred  was arrested by Coudersport based a police on drug possession charges after they stopped him on June 4 through a routine traffic stop on the North Bingham Road in Genesee Township. His 2001 Ford Windstar station wagon was pulled over for a traffic  violation and Police initiated a traffic stop. Upon further investigation, he was allegedly found in possession of controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.  Charges have been filed  in District Court.

Troopers at Coudersport are  investigating an identity theft occurring June 16 victimizing a 50 year old Austin woman.

Vera Valenti of Austin has been charged with disorderly conduct for an incident allegedly taking place last Friday afternoon on Costello  Avenue in that town, investigating Troopers charged Valenti with simple trespass and disorderly conduct. The victim is a 72 year old Austin man.

 

Gerald S. “Jerry” CARY, 87, of Harrison Valley, PA, died Wednesday, June 17, 2020 in Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, NY.  Born October 5, 1932, in Harrison Township, he was the son of Stephen L. and Margery Spoor Cary.  Jerry owned and operated a dairy farm for 30 years and was employed in maintenance by the Northern Tier Children’s Home in Harrison Valley from 1985 – 2015.  In retirement, he spent his time working in his wood shop and tending to his lawn and garden.  He was a life member of the Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Company.  Surviving are:  three children, Allen J. (Darcie) Cary of Bloomington, IL, Martin J. (Jennifer) Cary of Harrison Valley, and Diane L. (Bob) Willard of Wellsville, NY;  a daughter-in-law, Robin Cary of Mills;  11 grandchildren;  18 great-grandchildren;  four step-daughters;  a sister, Emily “Jeanie” Pfuntner of Charleston, SC;  nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his wife, Janet Manning Cary;  a son, Kevin L. Cary;  and three siblings, Jennie C. Kibbe, Leland “Pete” Cary, and Maude C. Reed.  Friends may call at the Roadside Rest in Harrison Valley on Friday, June 26, 2020 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM, with a firemen’s service at 3:00 PM.  CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines are recommended.  Private burial and committal will be in Whites Corners Cemetery.  Rev. Trevor Price will officiate.  Memorials may be made to the Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Company, 112 E. Tannery St., Harrison Valley, PA 16927.  Arrangements are under the direction of Olney-Foust Funeral Homes & Crematory, Ulysses, PA.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.olneyfoust.com.

COUDERSPORT, Pa.—Family and friends are invited to attend a visitation for Yvonne E. “Bonnie” Setzer, 86, a longtime resident of Coudersport, from 1pm to 2pm on Saturday, June 27, 2020, at the Park United Methodist Church, Coudersport where a celebration of her life will follow at 2pm.  The Rev. Scott Ogden, pastor, will officiate.  She will be buried next to her husband in the Reed Cemetery, Borie.

Bonnie passed away on April 10, 2020.

Bonnie entrusted her care to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.

For further information, please visit www.virgillhowardfuneralhome.com