Friday June 28, 2019

Black Forest Express

Early Arrivals                                                                                                               –Gerri Miller

Thursday’s high, 87; Overnight low, 55

FRI-CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS, HIGH 84

FRI NIGHT-LOW 62

SAT-CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS, HIGH 81

Ethel Newcomer Miller, Wellsville (Ulysses)

Potter County Sheriff and Allegany County (NY) Sheriff ink gun agreement….Community Foundation awards scholarships to several area students……Lewis Run state police investigate internet scam and theft of small sum of cash…..Smethport man arrested for drug possession after house inspection….

To hear today’s podcast, click on start buttons below:

Part A:

Part B:

Potter County (PA) Sheriff Glenn C. Drake II and Allegany County (NY) Sheriff Ricky L. Whitney announce a reciprocal agreement to assist pistol permit holders in their respective counties to apply for non-resident permits. Under this agreement Potter County residents who own property in Allegany County, work or conduct business in Allegany County, or are current or retired law enforcement officers will be eligible to apply for a New York State non-resident pistol permit at the Allegany County (NY) Sheriff’s Office. Allegany County residents who meet the requirements set forth by the Potter County Sheriff’s Office will also be able to apply for a Pennsylvania non-resident pistol permit at the Potter County (PA) Sheriff’s Office. This agreement will ensure that qualified candidates from both states will be able to apply for non-resident permits to comply with the respective state laws. Potter County residents who wish to apply for a non-resident New York State pistol permit can pick up an application at the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, 4884 State Rte. 19S, Belmont, NY during regular business hours (Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM). Any questions please contact our office at (585) 268-9204. Allegany County residents who wish to apply for a Pennsylvania license to carry concealed, may pick up an application at the Potter County Sheriff’s Office at 1 East Second Street, Coudersport, PA between the hours of 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Any questions regarding the application process, you can call our office at (814) 274-9350 although most questions can be answered on our website. On the internet go to pottercountypa.net tab to the Sheriff’s Department and view pistol permit instructions. Paperwork forms for the application are also on this site.

The Community Foundation for the Twin Tiers is pleased to announce the 2019 scholarship recipients. The Community Foundation currently administers funds that specifically provide scholarships to students in Bradford, Potter, Sullivan and Tioga Counties Pennsylvania and Tioga County, New York.

Community Foundation Scholarships can be established by individual donors, corporations, and are often in honor or in memory of a loved one.

BRADFORD COUNTY SCHOLARSHIPS Total:                              $35,400
Donald & Larene Ayres Scholarship
Name Tamara J. Hess
High School Canton Area High School
College Lycoming college
Amount $4,700
 
Neff Family Scholarship
Name Caitlyn L. Pepper
High School Canton Area High School
College King’s College
Amount $1,000
 
John H. Hyde & Dr. Marcella M. Hyde Scholarship
Name Jacob M. Fleury
High School Canton Area High School
College Messiah College
Amount $3,700
Dr. John Kirkowski Scholarship
Name Tamara J. Hess
High School Canton Area High School
College Lycoming College
Amount $1,000
 
Dorothy Kemp Leonard Scholarship
Name Hailey E. Wesneski
High School Canton Area High School
College McCann Business and Technology
Amount $4,000
Fallen Warrior Scholarship
Name Katlyn B. Krise
High School Canton Area High School
College Lycoming College
Amount $500
Weldon “Jake “ Shaffer Memorial Scholarship
Name: Hailey E. Wesneski
High School: Canton Area High School
College: McCann Business and Technology
Amount: $500
 
James E. Holcomb Memorial Scholarship
Name Caitlyn L. Pepper
High School Canton Area High School
College King’s College
Amount $500
Kloey Miller Scholarship
Name: Caitlyn L. Pepper
High School: Canton Area High School
College: King’s College
Amount: $500
 
Ritter Technology Scholarship
Name Samantha J. Proseus
High School Canton Area High School
College Elmira College
Amount $500
Towanda Musical Society Scholarship
Name Jacob M. Fleury
High School Canton Area High School
College Messiah College
Amount $500
Lockheed Martin Engineering Scholarship
Name: Maxon D. Cooper
High School: Northeast Bradford High School
College: Penn State University
Amount: $5,000
Lockheed Martin Engineering Scholarship
Name: Satchel G. Manchester
High School: Athens Area High School
College: Drexel University
Amount: $5,000
Lockheed Martin Engineering Scholarship
Name: John T. Spencer
High School: Sayre Area High School
College: Penn State University
Amount: $5,000
Rockman’s Tuxedo Shop Babe & George Tymoski Scholarship
Name Jenna Harnish
High School Athens Area High School
College Penn State University
Amount $500
Troy Lions Club “Huck” Scholarship
Name Gabrielle J. Bohner
High School Troy Area High School
College Manhattan College
Amount $1,500
 
Florence Bennett Memorial Scholarship
Name Ashlee V. Newton
High School Wyalusing High School
College Shippensburg University
Amount $1,000
   
POTTER COUNTY SCHOLARSHIPS Total:                                             $6,800
Tomb Family Scholarship  
Name Devin L. Burdick
High School Northern Potter High School
College Alfred State College
Amount $1,000
Ruth Agar Memorial Scholarship
Name Abigail G. Anderson
High School Northern Potter High School
College Cedarville University
Amount $1,000
Northern Potter Scholarship
Name Abigail G. Anderson
High School Northern Potter High School
College Cedarville University
Amount $1,000
 
Northern Potter Scholarship
Name Holden R. Cowburn
High School Northern Potter High School
College York College
Amount $800
 
Gerald F. Duffee, Sr. Scholarship
Name Miles M. Moate
High School Austin Area High School
College Penn State Altoona
Amount $1,000
Darlene J. Sitler Memorial Scholarship
Name Holden R. Cowburn
High School Northern Potter High School
College York College
Amount $1,000
 
Rose Marie Tubbs Memorial Scholarship
Name Abigail G. Anderson
High School Northern Potter High School
College Cedarville University
Amount $1,000
   
   
   
   
 Sullivan County Scholarships Total:                                       $1,500
Stefana “Stevie” Shoemaker Scholarship
Name Anna Myers
High School Sullivan County High School
College Temple University
Amount $1,000
 

David A DeWire Scholarship

Name Dane Carpenter
High School Sullivan County High School
College Bloomsburg University
Amount $500
   
Tioga County, Pennsylvania Scholarships Total:                                       $4,800
Kyle B. Lenhardt Scholarship
Name Zachary T. Busch
High School Wellsboro High School
College Messiah College
Amount $500
 
Dr. Harry S. Williams Memorial Scholarship
Name Mikala C. Coots
High School Williamson High School
College Corning Community College
Amount $1,150
   
Dr. Harry S. Williams Memorial Scholarship  
Name: Mikarra S. Allen
High School: Cowanesque Valley High School
College: University of Pittsburgh – Bradford
Amount: $1,150
   
Alan B. Carr Memorial Scholarship  
Name Rebecca L. Slonaker
High School Cowanesque Valley High School
College Delaware Valley University
Amount $1,000
   
John F. Bush Scholarship  
Name: Kurtis R. Easton
High School: Cowanesque Valley High School
College: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Amount: $1,000
   
 
Tioga County, New York Scholarships Given Total:                                    $31,300
Katherine Kerrigan Scholarship
Name Christine C. Henry
High School Waverly High School
College Western Carolina University
Amount $4,900
 
Katherine Kerrigan Scholarship
Name Hannah M. Hannula-Mills
High School Waverly High School
College SUNY Oneonta
Amount $4,900
 
Alice Walker Cooper Family Scholarship
Name Ethan W. Lloyd
High School Waverly High School
College SUNY Cobleskill
Amount $10,500
   
Carl & Charlotte Lovejoy Scholarship
Name Ethan W. Lloyd
High School Waverly High School
College SUNY Cobleskill
Amount $4,500
 
Elizabeth Alamo Nursing Scholarship
Name Zayta T. Hall
High School Waverly High School
College St. John Fisher College
Amount $500
 
Finkle Rosenberg Scholarship
Name AnneMarie C. Mantei
High School Owego Free Academy
College Villanova University
Amount $2,000
 
Bill Davis Scholarship
Name Annanae E. Joyce
High School Owego Free Academy
College SUNY Binghamton
Amount: $2,500
   
Donald and Linda Jayne Wrestling Scholarship
Name: Colby D. Sindoni
High School: Waverly High School
College: Finger Lakes Community College
Amount: $500
Tioga Tae Kwon Do Scholarship
Name: Siara B. Tompkins
High School: Waverly High School
College: SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Amount: $1,000
 

 

Founded in 2003, the Community Foundation for the Twin Tiers serves 5 counties, Bradford, Potter, Sullivan and Tioga counties, PA and Tioga County, New York. The Foundation is committed to building philanthropic resources that will sustain healthy and vital communities now and into the future. The Foundation currently manages over 100 funds valued at over $6.4 million dollars and has awarded over $1 million in grants and scholarships since inception, positively impacting hundreds of lives in the region. For more information on its work in the community contact Suzanne Lee at 570.888.4759. Please visit our website at www. twintierscf.org.

An internet scam is being investigated by state police at Lewis Run. A 19 year old Port Allegany woman told police she had sent $3055.00 via UPS for a job opportunity between June 11 and 26 and then later realized it was a scam and called authorities.

The theft of a small amount of money from a home in Keating Township McKean County is also being investigated by state police at Lewis Run. A 74 year old Smethport woman told police someone had stolen $18 in US currency from her on the afternoon of June 18.

Ridgway based state police have arrested 51 year old Brian Lucot of Ridgway for possessing drugs. Troopers claim when they assisted Parole officers during a home visit Lucot’s home, Wednesday morning, they found him in possession of drugs and paraphernalia. Following arraignment,  he was committed to the Elk County Jail in lieu of $2500 straight bail.

                                                                           Obituary

Ethel Newcomer MILLER, 95, of Wellsville, NY, formerly of Ulysses, PA, died Tuesday, June 25, 2019 in Highland Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Wellsville, NY.  Born July 9, 1923, in Mt. Joy, PA, she was the daughter of Walter S. and Esther Ruth Hersh Newcomer.  On May 20, 1944, in Mt. Joy, PA, she married Alvin B. Miller, who predeceased her on September 20, 2012.  She and her husband owned and operated a dairy farm in Ulysses for many years.  Ethel was a woman of gracious hospitality and deep, quiet, life-shaping faith in her Lord.  She was a member of the Yorks Corners Mennonite Church and served as a volunteer at Penn York Camp & Retreat Center in Ulysses. Surviving are:  three sons, Donald N. (Jeanette) Miller of Ulysses, Eugene N. (Sharon) Miller of Wellsville, NY, and Harold N. (Karen) Miller of Broadway, VA;  11 grandchildren;  15 great-grandchildren;  a sister, Ruth Gehman of Ulysses;  and nieces and nephews.  In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by a daughter, Karen Joy Miller;  and two brothers, Benjamin Newcomer and Jay Newcomer.  A graveside committal service will be held 9:30 AM, Saturday, June 29, 2019 in Yorks Corners Cemetery, Yorks Corners, NY.  Friends may call at Yorks Corners Mennonite Church, Yorks Corners, NY on Saturday, June 29, 2019 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon, with services following at 12:00 Noon.  Her three sons, who are pastors, will officiate.  Burial will be in Yorks Corners Cemetery.  Memorials may be made to Penn-York Camp, 266 Northern PotterRoad, Ulysses, PA 16948 or Yorks Corners Mennonite Church, 3350 County Road 29, Wellsville, NY 14895.  Arrangements are under the direction of Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.olneyfuneralhome.com.

 

 

 

 

Thursday June 27, 2019

Black Forest Express

 

Early Arrivals                                                                                                                          Gerri Miller

Wednesday’s high, 85; low 53

THU-MOSTLY SUNNY, HIGH 83

THU NIGHT-CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS, LOW 52

FRI-CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS, HIGH 84

FRI NIGHT-LOW 62

SAT-CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS, HIGH 81

To hear today’s forecast, click on start button below:

Obituary: Loretta Hurler, Galeton

Causer praises package of bills to help farmers….Governor Wolf referees squabble between Senate Democrats and Republicans over bill to end $200 a month program for needy…..Mansfield based state police investigate vandalism to lawn ornaments and trespassing…..

To hear today’s complete Podcast, click on start button below:

House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee Chairman Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter) is praising  a comprehensive package of bills that will help Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry grow and thrive.

“Every single person in the Commonwealth depends on Pennsylvania farmers to help put food on their tables,” Causer said. “The agriculture industry also contributes billions to our economy and supports more than a half million jobs across the state.

“For far too long, we have taken these benefits for granted. The bills developed by the General Assembly over the last six months, and the additional $19.2 million in funding for ag-related programs we included in the state budget, are a long-overdue investment in the hard-working men and women who have made agriculture our state’s top industry,” he added.

The initiatives, most of which are now awaiting the governor’s signature to become law, aim to protect the Commonwealth’s food supply and animal health, and combat threats to both crops and livestock; assist farmers with the cost and expertise to further implement best management practices on their farms; support the dairy industry; educate young people about the importance of agriculture; and prepare the next generation of farmers.

Causer is the author of House Bill 1516, which creates the Pennsylvania Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account to ensure the Commonwealth can respond quickly to agricultural disasters, including using animal or plant health officials to contain an outbreak or threat, or providing an immediate response to a foodborne illness.

“With recent and ongoing threats such as avian influenza, African swine fever and spotted lanternfly, it is important we are prepared and able to provide a rapid and well-coordinated response,” Causer said.

He noted two new line items in the state budget will complement the disaster readiness initiative by devoting more funding to protect animal health, a repeated request he has heard from many farmers during his time as chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. The 2019-20 state budget includes $2 million for the Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission and $1 million to livestock and consumer health protection.

“Many diseases have potentially serious consequences for animal health as well as human health,” Causer said. “This is not only an investment in animal health but in public health as well.”

Causer is also the author of legislation that will exempt milk trucks from weather-related commercial vehicle travel bans in the Commonwealth. Under House Bill 915, milk haulers who wish to be exempt during travel bans would have to obtain a decal issued by the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board. The exemption is necessary, Causer said, because cows continue to produce milk regardless of weather and if farmers can’t get their milk to market, they have no choice but to dump it.

A full list of the initiatives is below.

Growing Pennsylvania Agriculture

House Bill 1514

Establishes the PA Farm-to-School Program to provide grants to educate pre-kindergartners through fifth-graders, and their families, about the importance of choosing healthy, locally produced foods; and increase awareness of Pennsylvania agriculture. It replaces an existing grant program with a similar mission.

House Bill 1516

Creates the Pennsylvania Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account to ensure the Commonwealth can respond quickly to agricultural disasters, including using animal or plant health officials to contain an outbreak or threat, or providing an immediate response to a foodborne illness.

Senate Bill 634

Creates the Conservation Excellence Program, granting the State Conservation Commission the authority to prioritize projects and provide technical assistance and funding through a mix of grants, low-interest loans and tax credits to help farmers and landowners implement conservation best management practices.

Senate Bill 661

Provides for state-level Specialty Crop Block Grants to encourage investing in and farming of high-priority crops that are not eligible for the federal grant program.

Establishes the Pennsylvania Agricultural Business Development Center to serve as a resource to help every farmer create a business plan, transition plan or succession plan, helping to ensure farm operations continue to thrive through ownership changes.

Reestablishes the former Agriculture and Rural Youth Development Program into a new grant program to fund youth organizations that promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship.

Establishes an Urban Agricultural Infrastructure Grant Program that provides reimbursement to an individual who implements a project to improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas that focuses on aggregation of agricultural products, sharing resources and supporting community development resource.

House Bill 1520

Creates a grant program to reimburse federal meat inspection costs for small or new processors.

Encourages veterans to participate in the PA Preferred and Homegrown by Heroes program to market their veteran-produced commodities.

House Bill 1526

Reestablishes a low-interest loan program administered by the State Conservation Commission in conjunction with lending institutions for the implementation of agricultural and conservation best management practices.

House Bill 370

Clarifies subdivision requirements within the Agriculture Area Security Law.

Senate Bill 338

Increases the allowable width for farm equipment on roads in the Commonwealth.

House Bill 1590

Creates the Dairy Investment Program under the Commonwealth Financing Authority to set guidelines and provide grants to support the dairy industry.

Senate Bill 478

Establishes a tax credit program for existing farmers and landowners who lease or sell their land, buildings and equipment to beginning farmers.

SenateBill 585

Creates the Dairy Future Commission to review and make recommendations to promote and strengthen the state’s diary industry.

House Bill 915

Creates an exemption for milk trucks to allow them to travel during weather-related commercial vehicle travel bans in the Commonwealth.

Ag Budget Highlights

Overall investment in agriculture increases by $19.2 million or 12.7%.

Recognizing the importance of animal health, new line items devote $2 million to the Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission and $1 million to livestock and consumer health protection.

Restores funding for programs eliminated by the governor’s proposal, including agricultural research; agricultural promotion, education and exports; hardwoods research and promotion; and the livestock and open dairy shows.

The House earlier this week approved the state’s 2019-2020 budget before the mandated June 30 deadline. But chaos erupted in the Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday as it passed a bill to end state funding for a program that provides about $200 a month to the state’s poorest citizens.

The measure, clearly one of the most controversial parts of the 2019-20 state budget package, passed the House last week following a rancorous debate. But that was tame compared to the Senate’s fireworks. Ultimately, Gov. Tom Wolf had to intervene to get the Senate back on the business of passing the 2019-20 budget.

The fracas featured Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson County, temporarily seizing the rostrum from Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. It included Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman shouting at Fetterman – “Do your job!” – and yelling so much he later became hoarse. Democrats yelled from the floor, imploring debate to salvage the cash assistance program.

Scarnati decried what he called “chaos” and unacceptable behavior in the Senate.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25), Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34), and members of the Senate Republican Caucus offered the following statement on the Senate’s action during today’s debate on House Bill 33.

“Today the order and decorum of the Senate was ambushed by Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and members of the Senate Democrat caucus, who failed to adhere to the Senate Rules. These rules, which are found in Mason’s Manual, are vital to the operation of this institution, and were unanimously adopted by the Chamber earlier this year.

“When our rules are not followed, chaos takes over.  It was a sad day for good government in Pennsylvania and the actions of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle set a dangerous precedent for the future of an institution that we value so greatly.  When we disagree with one another we must do so in a respectful manner.

“Senate Republicans remain committed to passing a budget and advancing other measures for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians in accordance with the rules of the Senate, and without the displays of partisanship and disrespect that we saw today.”

The Lieutenant Governor  said he viewed Scarnati’s move as a hostile takeover.

Amidst the raucous session, the Senate ultimately approved the bill by a 26-24 vote, with Republican Sens. Tom Killion of Delaware County and Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson of Bucks County siding with the Democrats in opposition. It now goes to Wolf for enactment; however, he has not indicated what he will do with it.

The bill eliminates the cash assistance program, effective Aug. 1. It was projected to cost $54 million in cash payments to individuals most of whom don’t qualify for or are awaiting approval for other assistance.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25), Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34), and members of the Senate Republican Caucus offered the following statement on the Senate’s action during today’s debate on House Bill 33.

“Today the order and decorum of the Senate was ambushed by Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and members of the Senate Democrat caucus, who failed to adhere to the Senate Rules. These rules, which are found in Mason’s Manual, are vital to the operation of this institution, and were unanimously adopted by the Chamber earlier this year.

“When our rules are not followed, chaos takes over.  It was a sad day for good government in Pennsylvania and the actions of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle set a dangerous precedent for the future of an institution that we value so greatly.  When we disagree with one another we must do so in a respectful manner.

“Senate Republicans remain committed to passing a budget and advancing other measures for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians in accordance with the rules of the Senate, and without the displays of partisanship and disrespect that we saw today.”

State police at Mansfield have investigated a couple of minor incidents in Tioga County over the past few days. Vandals damaged lawn ornaments at the home of Aaron Atwell  on 114 S. East Street Knoxville between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm Tuesday. Damage was reported for a solar lawn light valued at $100 and a decorative glass block also valued at $100. And,a 63 year old Wellsboro man told police he saw a trespasser in his barn on the Fischler Street Extension in Delmar Township Tuesday afternoon just before 5:30 pm.

                                                                           Obituary

Loretta J. HURLER, 89, of Galeton, PA, formerly of North Fork, died Sunday, June 23, 2019 in UPMC Cole, Coudersport.  Born September 30, 1929, in Brookfield Township, PA, she was the daughter of Charles and Emma Seeley Gill.  On March 15, 1947, in Harrison Valley, PA, she married Lawrence R. Hurler, who predeceased her in 1980.  Loretta and her husband owned and operated a dairy farm in North Fork.  She was employed by Mapes Woodworking in Whitesville, NY, Cooper-Slide in Genesee, Galeton Production, and Mittie’s Restaurant in Westfield.  Loretta was a member of the former North Fork Methodist Church.  Surviving are:  five children, Bonnie (Robert) Denlinger of Galeton, Larry (Cindy) Hurler of North Fork, Terry “Jake” (Bernice) Hurler of Sabinsville, Ricky (Linda) Hurler of Mills, and June Moore of Coudersport;  eight grandchildren;  12 great-grandchildren;  a great-great-granddaughter;  a brother, Gary Gill of Harrison Valley;  nieces and nephews.  In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by a daughter, Judy Hurler in 1970; two sisters, Jolene Lehman in 1997 and Reva Mitchell in 2018;  two brothers, Charles Gill in 1955 and Richard Gill in 1962;  son-in-law, Marlin “Mud” Moore;  and longtime companion, John J. Shaffer, Jr., in 2003.  Friends may call Thursday, June 27, 2019 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA, where Funeral Services will be held on Friday at 11:00 AM.  The Rev. Timothy H. Miller will officiate.  Burial will be in Brookfield Cemetery.  Memorials may be made to the activity funds of Cole Memorial Hospital Skilled Nursing Unit or Sweden Valley Manor.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.olneyfuneralhome.com.

Wednesday June 26, 2019

Black Forest Express

Early Arrivals                                                                                                        Gerri Miller

Tuesday’s high, 85; Overnight low, 58

WED-MIX OF CLOUDS & SUN 81

WED NIGHT-63

THU-CLOUDS CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS HIGH 85

THU NIGHT-LOW 62

FRI-MOSTLY CLEAR THEN CLOUDS, HIGH 86

FRI NIGHT-LOW 65

Reps. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) and Clint Owlett (Wellsboro)joined a majority of lawmakers Tuesday in approving the Commonwealth’s 2019-20 state budget that includes no new or increased taxes.

“It’s all about being fiscally responsible and respectful of the taxpayers who foot the bill for the annual state budget,” Causer said. “With no new taxes and important investments in education, health care and agriculture, I believe this budget is good for rural Pennsylvania.”

The $33.99 billion spending plan, now awaiting action in the Senate, also devotes 100% of the General Fund balance at the end of the fiscal year – anticipated at $250 million to as much as $300 million – to the Rainy Day Fund.

“It’s important to have some savings in place to prepare for the next economic downturn,” Causer said. “I’m pleased that we were able to make this a priority in this year’s budget negotiations.”

House Bill 790 again makes record investments in education, with an additional $432 million directed to preK-12 education. This includes $160 million more for basic education, $50 million more for special education and $10 million for career and technical education to help better prepare students for the jobs of today and tomorrow. To help ensure students have a safe learning environment, the budget also directs $60 million to fund school safety and security grants.

Also increased is funding for critical access hospitals, which help ensure care is available in some of the most rural areas of the Commonwealth. The budget designates $10.9 million for these hospitals.

The budget, as approved by the House, also sets aside $4 million for a Pennsylvania Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account, which is proposed in Causer’s House Bill 1516 that is now pending consideration in the Senate.

“As chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, I am also pleased with the historic investments we are making in our state’s top industry,” Causer said. “Our farmers put food on our tables, but they also contribute substantially to our rural economy and support thousands of jobs.”

Causer again fought to restore funding to several line items the governor proposed to eliminate from the agriculture budget, including hardwoods research and promotion, which was increased by $50,000 to $474,000, as well as agricultural research; agricultural promotion, education and exports; and the livestock and open dairy shows.

Owlett issued the following statement after the budget vote was taken:

“As someone who represents a rural area and understands the impact of the agriculture industry on the state’s financial well-being, I was happy to see the largest investment in agriculture in decades. Not only were we successful in getting all of the governor’s proposed cuts to agriculture restored, but we managed to provide a $19.5 million increase for the state’s agriculture sector. That’s substantial!

“This funding is in addition to several legislative measures recently passed in the House that aim to support the dairy industry and help our agriculture industry as a whole continue to thrive.

“Our farmers are constantly facing threats from disease and invasive species where a quick response is vital to preventing or at least minimizing damage,” Causer said. “To further protect our food supply, we are also including in the budget a new $2 million appropriation for the Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission, as well as $1 million for livestock and consumer health protection.”

Other agriculture initiatives in the budget include a new business and workforce investment program to prepare the next generation of farmers and a 2% increase in funding for the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School and Penn State Extension. Overall, funding for agriculture is up more than $19 million, or 12%, this year.A final budget is due by the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

An elderly NY state couple were hurt in a one-vehicle accident Tuesday afternoon in Jones Township Elk County. Ridgway based state police report 70 year old Diana Crawford was going north on Route 219 just before three o’clock when she fell asleep at the wheel of her Nissan Altima. The car went into the southbound lane and  traveled onto  the berm. The undercarriage struck an embankment and two trees head-on before  stopping. She and her husband, 71 year old Francis Crawford were taken to  Elk Regional Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.

State police at Lewis Run say DUI charges are pending against a 27 year old Smethport man who was detained by officers when they observed him driving a 2005 Chevrolet Impala on Route 46 in Keating Township Monday afternoon and was the subject of a misdemeanor warrant. When troopers interviewed the man whose name they did not release they allegedly found he was in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and appeared to have been driving under the influence. The suspect reportedly failed a field sobriety test and was placed under arrested for DUI and related offenses.

State police at Lewis Run also have charged a 38 year old Port Allegany man for possessing drug paraphernalia in his home at 121 Roosevelt Avenue. The items were seized  after  consent when police went to  his home to execute a search warrant.

Two Tioga County residents are being charged with physical harassment for an incident taking place June 6 in  Shippen Township. State po0lice say a 53 year old Millerton man and a 54 year old Wellsboro woman are being charged in district court. Apparently during the scuffle a mini swing valued at $20,a Rabbit Knick Knack valued at $25 and a table also  valued at $25 were damaged. At a home on Route 6.

State police at Emporium are advising the public to remain vigilant while disseminating  personal information via phone or online communications. Many business and organizations including state police will not call a personal telephone soliciting information or ask for monetary donations.

Mansfield based state police are advising motorists they will be conducting sobriety check points over the 4th of July weekend in areas where there have been a high number of DUI related crashes.