Thursday May 9. 2019

Black Forest Express



Wednesday’s high, 68: Overnight low, 55

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State lawmakers are helping Pennsylvania farmers…..Fire of unknown origin destroys McKean County home….Two Ridgway women arrested for assaulting each other….Ulysses driver cited for speeding following crash last week…..Tioga County man arrested for inspection violation….

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Pennsylvania farmers are getting a much needed shot in the arm from lawmakers.Recognizing the unique nature of the dairy industry, the House today approved Rep. Martin Causer’s (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter) bill to exempt milk trucks from weather-related commercial vehicle travel bans in the Commonwealth.“No matter the weather, cows continue to produce milk, and there is only so much room in each farmer’s bulk tanks,” Causer said. “If the trucks can’t get to our dairy farms to pick up the milk, our already-struggling dairy farmers will have no choice but to dump it. My bill will help ensure this doesn’t happen.”Watch Rep. Causer’s comments encouraging support of House Bill 915:
Causer introduced House Bill 915 in response to the Wolf administration issuing a disaster emergency declaration this winter in which commercial vehicles were banned three times from some portions or all of the state’s interstate highways in anticipation of snow or ice accumulations this past winter.
Under the bill, milk haulers who wish to be exempt during travel bans would have to obtain a decal issued by the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board.
“While I can appreciate the public safety concerns that may prompt officials to impose a travel ban on commercial vehicles, an exception for milk hauling is necessary because milking schedules can’t be changed to comply with weather or travel conditions,” Causer said. “And allowing milk trucks to continue using our interstates, rather than pushing these heavy vehicles on to back roads that aren’t maintained as well, is actually safer both for them and others who may be on the roads.”
The bill was passed by a bipartisan vote of 136-61. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Senate Republicans held a news conference this week to highlight passage of seven bills this week that would help current and future generations of Pennsylvania farmers. The “Farming First” package is designed to build on the longstanding efforts of Senate Republicans to support Pennsylvania’s farm families and maintain agriculture’s status as the state’s top industry. Bills in the package that were approved earlier this week included:
A tax credit program for landowners to lease or sell farmland to future generations of farmers.
The creation of the Pennsylvania Dairy Future Commission to bring together all stakeholders in the industry.
Exempting milk haulers from weather-related travel bans.
Easing restrictions on the use of farmland for farm-related tourism and entertainment activities.
Setting commonsense safety standards and removing costly requirements for barn weddings and other social events on farms.
The Senate also approved two additional bills in the package .
Senate Bill 145, sponsored by Senator Gene Yaw (R-23), would allow farmers more discretion regarding the construction and subdivision of residences on farmland. Current law allows farmers to create one additional farmstead residence, but it does not allow farmers to relinquish this right or to subdivide an existing residence on their property. The change would make it easier to pass farmland on to the next generation at a lower cost.
Senate Bill 338, sponsored by Senator Wayne Langerholc (R-35), would update Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code to allow the transportation of farm equipment that exceeds the current width allowable by law. The measure is critical for farm owners because the size of equipment used for specialized commercial services – such as custom harvesting, planting and hauling – has increased as the equipment has become more technologically advanced.
Pennsylvania’s 59,000 farm families manage more than 7.7 million acres of farmland. The agriculture industry generates more than $7.5 billion in cash receipts annually.
Senate Republicans led the fight last year to create the Pennsylvania Dairy Industry Investment Program, which is designed to improve the production, processing and distribution of dairy items throughout the state.
Over the past four years, Senate Republicans have also worked to restore a cumulative total of more than $15 million in cuts proposed by Governor Wolf to critical programs supporting the agriculture community, including livestock and open dairy shows, food marketing and research, hardwoods research and promotion, agricultural research and Agricultural Excellence.
Jenn Kocher (717) 787-1377 (Senator Corman)
Matt Parido (717) 787-3076 (Senator Vogel)
Gwenn Dando (717) 787-5400 (Senator Langerholc)
Nick Troutman (717) 787-3280 (Senator Yaw)
Ryan Boop (717) 787-4420 (Senator Aument)
Cheryl Schriner (717) 787-5490 (Senator Ward

The cause of a fire which destroyed a McKean County home Wednesday has not yet been determined. Flames broke out just after 9:00 am in the home of Aaron and Deborah McKeirnan of Crosby. Damage to the home the couple shares with their 17 year old son, is estimated to be $200,000. The loss was insured according to the state police fire marshal.
Two Ridgway women involved in scuffle Tuesday afternoon in Ridgway Township have been cited for harassment with physical contact. According to state police at Lewis Run,28yearold Ann Gregori and 24 year old Shade Chaplain physically assaulted each other during an argument on Commons Lane.

Troopers at Coudersport have just released details about a one-vehicle crash taking place at around 7:30 am last Thursday in Hebron Township. State police allege 32 year old Katie Thomas was speeding when her Ford Fusion spun off the wet road and a left hand curve. When Thomas overcorrected, the car went off the road and hit a section of guardrails with the front bumper then spun around and hit more guardrails with the rear bumper. Thomas was not hurt but was charged for speeding.

An Osceola man has been arrested for inspection station violation. State police at Mansfield claim 48 year old Robert Goodier issued an inspection certificate for a 1995 Ford Ranger which should not have passed.