Wednesday September 25, 2019

Black Forest Express

 Photo by Gerri Miller

Tuesday’s high, 70; Overnight low, 39

WED-PARTLY CLOUDY, HIGH 73

WED NIGHT PARTLY CLOUDY, LOW 67-

THU-CHANCE OF AFTERNOON SHOWERS, HIGH 66

THU NIGHT-CLEARING , LOW 44

FRI-EARLY FOG  THEN SUNNY HIGH 70

FRI NIGHT-LOW 58

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Bills sponsored by Causer and Owlett to help rural EMS organizations, advance in legislature….Port Allegany man jailed for strangulation and other crimes for a domestic violence assault….Troopers at Lewlis Run are looking for young child who has not been returned to her custodial parent…Johnsonburg man arrested for allegedly selling stolen pistol to a convicted felon…..Mansfield woman hurt in rear-end collision…

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Bills  proposed by two of the Black Forest Service Area have received committee approval and are moving forward in the legislation. Martin Causer Western Potter, McKean and Cameron Countis (R-Turtlepoint) announced approval of his bill to provide a much-needed boost in funding for training as well as equipment. The bill was approved by the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee on Tuesday.

House Bill 1838 aims to make training more affordable by increasing funding for the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund (EMSOF) and requiring at least 30% of the funding to be used to provide training to underserved rural areas.

In addition, the bill would require 10% of the funds to be provided directly to EMS providers to help with purchasing medical equipment for their ambulances.

EMSOF is currently financed by a $10 fee on moving violations and a $25 fee for driving under the influence incidents. Causer’s bill would increase those fees to $20 and $50, respectively. It would be the first increase in the fees in more than three decades.

To further address training and staffing challenges faced by rural ambulance companies, the committee also approved House Bill 1869, sponsored by Rep.Clint Owlett, Tioga Bradford and easter Potter Copuntyhwhich Causer cosponsored, that would allow the Department of Health to grant waivers to staffing requirements on a Basic Life Support (BLS) service ambulance in sixth- through eighth-class counties. Current law requires that a BLS ambulance be staffed at a minimum with at least one individual who is certified as an emergency medical responder (EMR) or higher and one who is licensed as an emergency medical technician (EMT).

These measures aim to address recommendations offered by the Senate Resolution 6 Commission, which was charged with identifying strategies to restore the health of the state’s fire and EMS services. Other bills addressing recommendations in the report were also approved Tuesday. They include:

House Bill 432, which would amend the Workers’ Compensation Act by making post-traumatic stress injury compensable under the act.

House Bill 1448, which would add a ballot referendum to expand the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program (VLAP) to include paid (career) fire departments.

House Bill 1459, which would create a mental wellness and stress management program for first responders, including 911 dispatchers and coroners.

House Bill 1816, which would increase the maximum loan amounts under VLAP by 10% and require an annual adjustment to the loan limits based on inflation.

House Bill 1834, which would re-authorize the Fire and EMS Grant Program.

House Bill 1839, which would authorize counties to offer a property tax credit for volunteer first responders.

Causer, an EMT himself,  has been a leader in supporting the state’s emergency services. Last summer, he led successful efforts to provide a long-overdue increase in Medicaid reimbursement for ambulance services and was also a vocal advocate for a new law that requires insurance companies to reimburse for treatment provided, even when no transport takes place.

A Port Allegany man has been jailed in lieu of bail after being arraigned before District Judge Bill Todd on charges of strangulation, simple assault and harassment. State police at Lewis Run allege3 75 year old Carl Larkin committed the crimes against 69 year old Donna Larkin during an assault Tuesday afternoon at 5211 Route 155 Port Allegany.

Troopers at Lewis Run are also investigating a case of interference with custody of children. Authorities explain 25 year old Paul McMahon of Kane is the biological father of two year old Maggie Grace McMahon and has been awarded legal custody of the youngster. The child was taken from McMahon’s home on August 1, 2019 by her mother Faith Marvin and has not been returned.  It is believed the mother may be traveling with her boyfriend, 33 year old Kenneth Goodman. Her whereabouts are unknown. Police say there is no indication the child is in any  danger but anyone who knows ot the whereabouts of Marvin or Goodman is asked to call state police at 814.368.9230.

Ridgway based state police have arrested 26 year old Nathan Suranofsky of Johnsonburg for allegedly stealing a handgun from 52 year old Daniel Suranofsky and then selling it to 31 year old Joseph Davies also of Johnsonburg , possibly a felon who is not allowed to have a gun. The younger Suranofsky was jailed on a probation violation. Police did not indicate the relationship between the Suranofskys.

A Mansfield driver was hurt in a rear-end collision Monday evening in Richmond Township. State police report Cristal Hess failed to stop her VW Jetta in time and ran into the back of a Toyota Corolla driven by Jason Casher of Wellsboro after he had stopped for a road hazard. Hess was taken to Soldiers and Sailors Hospital for treatment of her injuries.  Casher was not hurt.