Thursday July 26, 2018

 

Photo by Gerri Miller

High water forces closing of some activities at Sinnemahoning State Park….PennDot is inviting input for this summer’s survey…..DEP orders three drilling companies to plug wells….Johnsonburg couple arrested for shoplifting at St. Marys Walmart…..Weedville driver cited for following too closely after rear-end collision Wednesday….

Wednesday’s high, 80; Overnight low, 65; .30” rain
THU-AFTERNOON SHOWERS & THUNDERSTORMS, 77
THU NIGHT-CLEARING, LOW 62
FRI-SUNNY, HIGH 72
FRI NIGHT-CLEAR, LOW 55
SAT-PARTLY TO MOSTLY CLOUDY, HIGH 69
SAT NIGHT -MOSTLY CLOUDY, LOW 53

To hear today’s  forecast, click on arrow below:

 

Sinnemahoning State Park has issued an advisory: Due to high water levels, the Lake Day Use Area of the George B. Stevenson Dam at Sinnemahoning State Park is closed until further notice. The Lake Day Use Area entrance is closed at Route 872, the mooring area is closed, and the lake is closed to all fishing and boating activities.
This temporary closure is weather-related; the Lake Day Use Area will reopen when water levels subside. Please check the park Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Sinnemahoning-State-Park-389160871130164 or call the park office for updates.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is seeking public input on highway topics such as traffic safety improvements and driving behaviors through its annual online highway safety survey accessible at www.penndot.gov.
Expanding upon previous versions, this year’s survey aims to help identify why drivers engage in safe or unsafe driving behaviors. The department will review the results for potential additions or adjustments to the department’s safety efforts.

It is available until August 17 and should take about five minutes to complete. All responses, including the “comments” fields, are completely anonymous.
Nearly 3,000 people responded to last year’s survey. Last year’s notable results included that, in the previous 60 days, 80 percent of respondents said they had not driven a motor vehicle within two hours after consuming alcoholic beverages. Also, 89 percent of drivers indicated they used a seat belt all or most of the time.

On survey questions related to motorcycles, nearly 63 percent of respondents reported that they themselves and their passengers always wear helmets or other protective gear, an increase from 53 percent in 2016.

Last year’s survey also asked about texting or emailing while driving. Almost 91 percent of those surveyed indicated that they never or rarely text message or check email while driving, a decrease from 95 percent in 2016.

Follow PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews, Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennsylvaniadot/, and Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued administrative orders requiring three oil and gas companies—Alliance Petroleum Corporation (Alliance), XTO Energy Inc. (XTO), and CNX Gas Company LLC (CNX)—to plug 1,058 abandoned oil and gas wells across Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act states that a well is abandoned if it “has not been used to produce, extract or inject any gas, petroleum or other liquid within the preceding 12 months.” Alliance, XTO, and CNX self-reported wells that did not produce oil or gas during the 2017 calendar year. Copies of each of the orders and a listing of the wells is linked below:
Alliance (a wholly owned subsidiary of Diversified Gas and Oil) – 638 abandoned wells
CNX – 327 abandoned wells
XTO – 93 abandoned wells

The Oil and Gas Act requires owners and operators to plug wells upon abandonment. Companies must also provide schedules to DEP that prioritize plugging activities for wells that pose the greatest environmental or public health and safety risk. Each company has failed to plug its self-reported abandoned wells and has not provided a schedule to DEP for doing so.

The orders include deadlines by which each company must plug their abandoned wells. The order also directs each company to provide copies of well inspection records, document the plugging activities, and remediate each well site according to state regulations.

An amendment to the 2012 Pennsylvania Fiscal Code set bonding amounts for conventional oil and gas wells at $2,500 per well or a blanket bond of $25,000 for all wells owned by an operator. Costs can vary greatly depending on the well conditions, but generally run between $10,000 and $100,000 per well.

DEP estimates that hundreds of thousands of oil and gas wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania since 1859, much of this activity predating applicable regulations or the existence of DEP or its predecessor agencies. While it is not known how many orphaned and abandoned wells exist, estimates range from 100,000 to 560,000 wells. DEP works with communities and nonprofits to identify and map these wells.
DEP has plugged 3,066 wells from 1989-2017 and provides incentives for nongovernment entities to expedite well plugging.

Two Johnsonburg residents have been arrested for shoplifting at the St.Marys Walmart. State police at Ridgway allege 33 year old Joseph Gerg and 28 year old Antolena Kiel switched a price tag on an item while in the store just after noon on June 30. Total loss for the store was $149.56.

No one was hurt Wednesday afternoon in a rear-end collision on Marvin Street in Jones Township Elk County. According to state police 20year old Mariah Mosier of Weedville was following Jessica Buerk of Wilcox too closely while both were headed north. When Buerk stopped to make a left turn onto Old Kane Road, Mosier’s Chevrolet Silverado ran into the back of Buerk’s Pontiac G6. Only minor damage was reported for the pick-up but the car had to be towed from the scene. Mosier was cited for following too closely.

 

Wednesday July 25, 2018

Photo by Gerri Miller

Tuesday’s high, 80; Overnight low
WED-SHOWERS & THUNDERSTORMS, SOME HEAVY, HIGH 78
WED NIGHT-SHOWERS TAPER OFF, LOW 61
THU-DECREASING CLOUDS, THEN MOSTLY SUNNY, HIGH 83
THU NIGHT-MOSTLY CLOUDY, LOW 64
FRI-MOSTLY CLOUDY, ISOLATED AFTERNOON THUNDERSTORMS, HIGH 79

To hear today’s forecast, click on arrow below:

Additional heavy showers and possible thunderstorms will continue to affect the area today, especially during the afternoon. The additional rain falling on already wet ground could cause flooding or increase the severity of the current flooding in very short order.* In addition, flooding on the Susquehanna River, and several of its larger tributaries also appears likely later this week. Several roads in northeastern, PA have been closed due to flooding. Many remained closed this morning in Bradford, Columbia, Lycoming ,Montour, Northumberland, Sullivan counties.
State police in Potter and McKean Counties have been investigating recent thefts. A T and ET R Big Breaker Socket set 7/8” to 4” , Suski dirt bikeand Deep Wells Socket Sets Red Box were stolen from a residence at 4719 Route 49 West in Harrison Townshp on June30. The items valued at a total of $3900 belonged to Bruce Mattison. Four trail cameras, a Bushnell, Moltry, Stealth and unknown brand were owned by Sandra Steward of Hershey. They were stolen between May 28 and July 2 from 567 Crippen Run Road in West Branch Township. Burglars did not force their way into the West Mill Street Port Allegany home early Tuesday morning and made of $28 in US currency.
Two area residents have been arrested for possession drugs and paraphernalia. State police at Coudersport report the charges stem from a traffic stop back on December 9 on Grover Hollow Road in Genesee Township. Police say both 20 year old Trisha Mae Jones of Ulysses and 20 year old Delwyn Austen Shafer were in the car stopped by a patrol officer. A controlled substance and related paraphernalia were allegedly found in the car.
Charges may be pending against a Coudersport woman who was the subject of an emergency call to 456 Route 6 west in Eulalia Township. State police claim when they arrived on scene, the woman had regained consciousness , refused medical attention and told them she had an allergic reaction to medication. However authorities claim drug paraphernalia was in plain view and a search warrant was obtained. The investigation remains open.
State police at Kane are looking for the driver of a 2013 Ford F-150 which was abandoned after hitting a tree a little after 6 o’clock Sunday morning on Highland Road in Wetmore Township, McKean County.l The southbound pickup had traveled across the highway, went onto the shoulder and collided with a ditch where it traveled for about 50 yards before hitting the tree.
Both father and son are being charged with harassment for a fisticuff taking place Monday night at a home on Looker Mountain Trail in Otto Township, McKean County. Troopers explained they were called to a home on Looker Mountain Trail for a “domestic” and when they arrived, they found a 43 year old Eldred man and his 21 year old son from Duke Center got into an argument which turned physical. No injuries were reported for either man.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced $1 million of grant funding is available to Pennsylvania farmers and small business for pollution prevention, energy efficiency and natural resource protection projects through the Small Business Advantage grants. For the first time, grants will be available to farmers and ranchers for projects that reduce and prevent pollution on working lands.

Natural resource protection projects include the opportunity to plant riparian buffers, install streambank fencing to keep livestock out of streams, and agricultural storm water management projects, with the goal of reducing sediment and nutrient loads in our waterways.

Eligible projects are those that adopt or acquire equipment or processes that reduce energy use or pollution. Examples of eligible projects are HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency lighting, solvent recover and waste recycling systems, and auxiliary power units deployed as anti-idling technology for trucks. Last year, 150 small businesses were awarded more than $953,000 in grants for their projects.

 

Pennsylvania-based small business owners with 100 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and 25 percent annually in energy consumption, or pollution related expenses.

Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching funds of up to $9,500 to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Only costs incurred between July 20, 2018 and June 30, 2019 are eligible.

Applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis, and will be accepted until fiscal year 2018-19 funds are exhausted, or April 12, 2019, whichever occurs first.

All applications must be submitted through the Commonwealth’s Single Application for Assistance website. Printed, faxed, and mailed applications are not accepted.

The complete Grant Application package, which includes step-by-step instructions for completing the on-line application as well as all related forms, is available by visiting the DEP Small Business Ombudsman’s Office website.

The Small Business Ombudsman’s Office will conduct a webinar on the Advantage Grant on Tuesday July 24, 2018 at 11 AM. The webinar will review the guidelines for the 2018-19 grant year. Applicants and contractors are encouraged to participate. To join the webinar, please click here.

To participate via audio, call 1-650-479-3208 and use access code 648 800 096.

To contact the Small Business Ombudsman’s Office, call 717-772-5160 or email epadvantagegrant@pa.gov.

Tuesday, July 24, 2014

 

Photo by Gerri Miller

Monday’s high, 75; Overnight low 67; .50” RAIN
TUE-CLOUDY, SCATTERED SHOWERS & THUNDERSTORMS, HIGH 78
TUE NIGHT-CLOUDY, LOW 57
WED-OVERCAST, SHOWERS & THUNDERSTORMS, HIHG 77
WED NIGHT-CLOUDY, LOW 68
THU-AFTERNOON THUNDERSTORMS, HIGH 77
THU NIGHT-CLEARING, LOW 65

To hear today’s complete forecast, click on arrow below:

To hear today’s podcast, click on arrow below:

The National Weather Service has posted a “flash Flood Watch” for Potter and Tioga Counties in the Black Forest Service Area through Wednesday.
Following a few days of heavy rainfall, additional heavy
showers and thunderstorms with heavy rain will continue to
stream north and train over some of the same locations through
Wednesday. The soil is very wet and streams are running high.
The expected additional heavy rain of up to several inches in
some locations could cause flooding in very short order.

* In addition, flooding on the Susquehanna River and its larger
tributaries is also possible this week.

Police officers from Pennsylvania enforcing the state’s “Move Over Law”. The project focuses on the state’s move over laws, requiring motorists to change lanes or slow down when approaching stopped emergency vehicles.
The project ends, Saturday, July 28, but enforcement will continue throughout the year. Drivers should beware, if they don’t follow these simple rules, police will give you a ticket. Irresponsible driving in emergency response areas not only endangers vehicle operators, it endangers everyone around them. They could pay with a ticket, take a life or pay with their life.
In 2017, 47 law enforcement officers were killed in traffic-related incidents while in the line of duty. Traffic-related incidents were the leading cause of death for law enforcement officers. From 2007-2017, there were 634 law enforcement officers killed in traffic-related incidents. Every time a law enforcement officer or other emergency responder stop to help a motorist, investigate a crash or conduct a traffic stop, they are putting their own lives at risk.
The Pennsylvania Vehicle Code defines emergency response areas to mean any of the following:
The area in which emergency service responders render emergency assistance to individuals on or near a roadway or a police officer conducting a traffic stop, a systematic check of vehicles or controlling or directing traffic, as long as the emergency vehicle is making use of visual signals.
The area in which contractors of employees of a public utility, a municipally-owned utility or electric cooperative provides disaster emergency-related services, including, but not limited to repair, renovation, installation, construction and activities related to damaged, impaired or destroyed infrastructure within the first 72 hours after a declared emergency or until the expiration of the declared emergency, whichever is later, as long as the vehicles used to provide disaster or emergency-related services are making use of visual signals.
The code defines an emergency responder as an individual acting in an official capacity such as a police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, coroner, deputy coroner, firefighter, fire police, fire marshal, medical examiner, deputy medical examiner, rescue personnel, ambulance personnel, towing and recovery personnel, highway maintenance and construction personnel, hazardous material response team member or emergency medical service personnel.
The duty of a driver in an emergency response area, when approaching or passing the area, unless otherwise directed by an emergency service responder is to pass in a lane, not adjacent to that of the emergency response area, if possible. If passing in a nonadjacent lane is impossible, illegal or unsafe, pass the area in a careful and prudent reduced speed reasonable for safely passing the emergency response area.
First time offenders convicted of violating this law could face a fine of up to $250 with a maximum fine of up to $10,000, if a death is caused by a violation of this law. In addition, a driver’s license could be suspended and they could receive jail time.
For additional information visit www.psp.pa.gov and www.nhtsa.gov.
Here’ s news locals have been dreading. Construction for a Route 6 (Port Allegany Road) bridge in Potter County is scheduled to begin soon as part of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Rapid Bridge Replacement Project. The bridge spans Dingman Run in Coudersport Borough. Replacing the bridge allows PennDOT to remove it from the list of bridges in “poor” condition. There was no explanation from PennDot why the bridge was not replaced during last summer’s re-paving of the section of Route 6.
Construction is expected to begin the week of July 30 and be complete in mid-August. During this time, drivers will be directed to follow a detour along Route 872 (Dividing Ridge Road), Route 607 (W. Main Street), and Route 155 (Port Emporium Road). (Local residents will use a well known detour to get around the project).
In the event of unfavorable weather or unforeseen activities, this schedule may change.
This bridge is referred to as JV-79 and is one out of the 558 bridges being replaced under the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project. JV references the joint-venture partnership between Walsh/Granite, which is leading construction for the entire project.
The Rapid Bridge Replacement Project is a public-private partnership (P3) between PennDOT and Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners (PWKP), under which PWKP will finance, design, replace, and maintain the bridges for 25 years. The P3 approach will allow PennDOT to replace the bridges more quickly while achieving significant savings and minimizing impacts on motorists.
To see the bridges included in the statewide initiative and to learn more about the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project and P3 in Pennsylvania, visit www.p3forpa.pa.gov. Additional information on the project, the team, and how to bid on the project can be found at www.parapidbridges.com.
We reported yesterday that July is Vehicle Theft Prevention month and that a pick up had been stolen in Elk County. Now, we have news of one being stolen in Tioga County. A dark green 2003 Ford F-150XLT was taken from Groff Tires on Route 49 in Westfield during the early morning hours of July 14. A male wearing red and black sneakers, gray shorts, a blue T-shirt with a white emblem and a black hat was seen in the parking lot before taking off in the truck heading east on Route 49. Anyone who sees the truck or knows more about the theft is asked to call state police in Mansfield @ 570.662.2151.
A teenage driver and his teenage passengers escaped injury in a collision taking place Sunday evening on the CCC Memorial Highway in Shippen Township, Cameron County. According to state police at Emporium the 17 year old boy was going east just past the Route 155 intersection when his 2008 Ford Fusion suddenly veered to the right. The youth was able to bring the car back onto the highway but it then veered sharply to the left and collided with a Ford F-150 driven by Steven Gillette of Emporium. The car spun counter clockwiase after impact and hit the truck in the driver side rear quarter panel before stopping. Troopers say an inspection ot the car showed evidence of brake failure. Gillette also was unhurt. The 17 tear old d river and his passenger, agest 14 and 16 were using seatbelts at the time.