Friday August 10, 2018

Photo by Gerri Miller

Thursday’s high, 84; Overnight low, 58; .02” rain

FRI-MOSTLY CLOUDY, AFTERNOON SHOWERS & THUNDERSTORMS, HIGH 80

FRI NIGHT– CLOUDS DECREASING, LOW 62

SAT-MOSTLY CLOUDY, SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN,HIGH 81

SAT NIGHT-PARTLY CLOUDY,  LOW 63

SUN-MOSTLY CLOUDY, SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS & THUNDERSTORMS, HIGH 80

SUN NIGHT-MOSTLY CLOUDY, LOW 61

To hear the complete weekend forecast, click on arrow below:

Bugs, bugs & more bugs…be on the lookout for two invasive insects….Backpack program requests now on waiting list….Port Teen accused of stealing cell phone…..Johnsonburg driver arrested for driving under influence of drugs…Vandalism to a parked car investigated in Elk County…..

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

The identification was confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL).

A single longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) was identified on an adult, male wild white-tailed deer that was euthanized on July 10 by Game Commission personnel because it was exhibiting signs consistent with chronic wasting disease (CWD), according to Dr. Justin Brown, agency wildlife veterinarian. The deer was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and no CWD prions were detected.

Ticks were collected from the deer at the laboratory as part of the Game Commission’s active longhorn tick surveillance program. The suspected longhorn tick was sent to and first identified by the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Ga., and subsequently confirmed at the NVSL.

The longhorned tick, also known as the “cattle tick” or “bush tick”, is an invasive parasite native to Southeast Asia. It currently is not known when, where or how this tick was introduced into North America. However, it was first found and identified on a sheep in New Jersey during 2017. Since then, it has been identified in wild and domestic animals in other states, including Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Arkansas and North Carolina.

The longhorned tick, during its three life stages can be found on birds, wild and domestic mammals and humans. To date, the tick has been identified on goats, raccoons, horses, cattle, sheep, humans, an opossum, deer and dogs.

The longhorned tick can negatively impact the health of humans and animals both directly and indirectly. Longhorned tick infestations can reach very high numbers on an animal host, which can result in disease and, in some cases, death.

The longhorned tick, in its native range, can carry many pathogens that may cause diseases such as babesiosis, anaplasmosis, theleriosis, ehrlichiosis and Powassan encephalitis in animals or humans. To date, none of these pathogens have been identified in longhorned ticks from North America. However, testing has been limited.

“The preventive measures currently used for our native ticks are the best way to protect yourself and animals from the longhorned tick,” Brown said. “They include frequent tick checks, prompt and proper removal of any attached ticks, avoiding or removing the high grasses or brush where ticks concentrate, and tick treatments.”

Concerns regarding ticks on humans or domestic animals should be addressed through consultation with a physician or veterinarian.

The recent identification of the longhorned tick in multiple states throughout the eastern United States suggests that it is likely established. Many questions remain about the ecology of this tick and the impacts it will have on the health of humans and animals.

The Game Commission will continue to conduct active surveillance for the longhorned tick on wildlife in collaboration with multiple state and federal agencies and academic institutions.

Additional information on the longhorned tick can be found on fact sheets provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Penn State. Longhorned tick questions concerning wildlife should be directed to the Game Commission; humans, Pennsylvania Department of Health; and domestic/agricultural animals, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Penn State University provided an update on their work to control the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly – an invasive insect that has the potential to seriously impact the tree-fruit, grape, and timber industries, which are collectively worth nearly $18 billion to the state’s economy.

“Through this partnership, we have been able to successfully raise awareness about this pest: what it looks like, where it’s found, and the damage it could do,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “This coalition has been the boots on the ground working to control the Spotted Lanternfly’s spread–and we’ve made significant strides–but we know there’s still much work left to do.”

Governor Tom Wolf and the General Assembly approved $3 million in dedicated state funding to combat the Spotted Lanternfly as part of the fiscal year 2018-19 budget. This funding supplements $17.5 million in federal funding from USDA, received earlier this year. Redding noted that this funding has helped the coalition, which also includes numerous local partners, invest in a statewide survey, control and treatment services, grants, and research.

This year, the partners are engaged in a multi-pronged approach to control the invasive pest. PDA has taken responsibility for suppressing Spotted Lanternfly populations in the core infestation area, while USDA has established a perimeter extending 18 miles out from the core area, where they are working to eliminate any infestation. Between the two agencies, the entire spotted lanternfly quarantine area–13 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania–are being covered. Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has taken the lead on public outreach through its Cooperative Extension service.

“Our main operational goal this season is to treat all the known positives from last year, and treat any new properties this year into mid-September,” said Timothy Newcamp, USDA APHIS State Plant Health Director in Pennsylvania. “Our scientists are studying the effectiveness of different pesticides, working on trap and lure development, exploring biological control options, and studying alternative host suitability. This research, along with that of our partners, will not only help in the battle against this invasive pest, but it will also help shape the direction of the Spotted Lanternfly Program.”

“Penn State Extension and Research within the College of Agriculture Sciences is focused on increasing the public and industries awareness of the SLF and studying the pest to learn more about its biology, damage potential and how to more effectively manage its populations,” added Dr. Dennis Calvin, Associate Dean and Director of Special Programs at Penn State Extension.

Redding said that public outreach and education is critical to controlling the Spotted Lanternfly’s spread

“We want the public to not only understand the urgency of this problem, but also be able to help us in trying to eliminate it,” said Redding. “If people are aware of the pest, and know what it looks like, they can report sightings to us so that we can respond more quickly. If the insect is found someplace outside of the quarantine zone, the sooner we know about it, the sooner we can react and prevent it from spreading.”

Pennsylvanians are encouraged to report sightings of the pest through an online reporting tool found at extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly or by calling the new hotline, 1-888-4BADFLY. The hotline will connect callers to Penn State Extension staff who will provide guidance and next steps.

The commonwealth is also engaging with the business community, stressing the risk that interstate and international commerce may be impeded. Businesses operating within the quarantine must obtain an operating permit, which requires training and passing a test to demonstrate a working knowledge and understanding of the pest and quarantine requirements. Permits demonstrate that individuals can identify the pest and ensure that it is not present on transported items. New York, for example, has begun inspecting shipments moving from the quarantined areas of Pennsylvania into their state to ensure trucks are permitted. New Jersey also recently instituted a quarantine in three counties that may affect the interstate movement of goods from Pennsylvania.

Redding added that the Wolf Administration has been training employees and issuing permits to those state workers who have taken the test. The commonwealth also plans to permit state vehicles that travel through the quarantine zone.

“The commonwealth is leading by example, and has taken the important step of permitting its state vehicles. Thus far, state employees in a number of agencies have taken the permitting test online and are training their teams to know what to do when they’re traveling in a state vehicle,” Redding added.

Find out more about Spotted Lanternfly at agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly, www.aphis.usda.gov/hungrypests/slf, and extension.psu.edu/shopby/spotted-lanternfly.

The  To Fill A Backpack program ‘s application deadline was this past Wednesday, August 8, 2018.  After this date requests will be put on a list to be filled after the initial batch of backpacks is distributed.

Please remember…ask for them because you need them not because they are free. The program says  should never run out of backpacks to cover all the requests but you taking one just because it is free could ultimately cause them to do that.

Another reminder…if you request a backpack please be sure you are able to make arrangements to get them picked up or have a Family member or Friend to pick them up. We are unable to deliver them all so we have ultimately come to having you pick them up. We will try to get someone from each location that you can possibly be in contact with that is willing to at least get them to your area. We have a contact in Port Allegany, Roulette and Coudersport so far. I believe that we have one in the Emporium area. We need to find someone to take care of the Smethport, Westfield/Elkland, Wellsboro, Mansfield and Galeton areas. Anyone that is able to help us with that please let me know. You would need to be able to pick up the backpacks for that area and be available for people to pick them up from you of course at times that you choose to be available. Please let me know as soon as possible if you are able to help with that so that we can get you on the list as our contact.

Please remember…ask for them because you need them not because they are free. We should never run out of backpacks to cover all our requests but you taking one just because it is free could ultimately cause us to do that.

Another reminder…if you request a backpack please be sure you are able to make arrangements to get them picked up or have a Family member or Friend to pick them up. The program is  unable to deliver them all so they  have ultimately come to having you pick them up. We will try to get someone from each location that you can possibly be in contact with that is willing to at least get them to your area. We have a contact in Port Allegany, Roulette and Coudersport so far. I believe that we have one in the Emporium area. We need to find someone to take care of the Smethport, Westfield/Elkland, Wellsboro, Mansfield and Galeton areas. Anyone that is able to help us with that please let me know. You would need to be able to pick up the backpacks for that area and be available for people to pick them up from you of course at times that you choose to be available. Please let me know as soon as possible if you are able to help with that so that we can get you on the list as our contact.

To Fill A Backpack

81 Burleson Avenue

Roulette, PA  16746

Phone: (814) 544-2612

Email: info@tofillabackpack.org

Website: www.tofillabackpack.org

An 18 year old Port Allegany resident is facing theft charges. State police at Kane report the youth, whose name they did not reveal, took a cell phone from a 12 year old boy, also from Port Allegany while at the McKean County Fairgrounds. At first, it was believed the phone had been lost but police later determined the older boy had taken it. The phone was later recovered and returned to the owner.

State police at Ridgway claim Kenneth Dean Imbrogno , 22 of Johnsonburg  was driving his vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance when they stopped him for traffic violations on Long Level Road in Ridgway Township late Tuesday night. DUI charges are pending results of blood tests.

Vandalism to a car in Jay Township, Elk County Thursday afternoon has been investigated by state police at Ridgway. Culprits used a screwdriver to scratch the right passenger door and fender on a car owned by a 25 year old Force, PA woman while it was parked at 20185 Bennetts Valley Highway at around 5 o’clock.