Wednesday October 23, 2019

 

 

Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

                                                 Tuesday’s high, 69; Overnight low, 31; .62″ rain

WED-SUNNY, HIGH 55

WED NIGHT-LOW 37

THU-MOSTLY SUNNY, HIGH 60

THU NIGHT-LOW 38

FRI-CLOUDY, HIGH  51

FRI NIGHT-low 38

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State lawmakers endorse bill increasing Lyme Disease treatment…..House committee approves Owlett’s bill to place carfentanil on the list of controlled substances….Coudersport Fire Chief testifies in Harrisburg….Port Allegany man found guilty of violating drug laws…Eldred man accused of damaging vehicle belonging to Smethport woman…..

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Senator Lisa  Boscola joined with other lawmakers and activists in support of House Bill 629, which would ensure patients have access to available and emerging diagnostics and treatment options for Lyme disease and related tick-borne diseases. The legislation will require health insurers to cover treatment plans for Lyme disease or related tick-borne illnesses as prescribed by a patient’s health care practitioner, regardless if the treatment plan includes short-term or long-term antibiotic treatment.

In the last six years, Pennsylvania has ranked highest in the country in the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease. In 2016 Pennsylvania reported 12,200 cases of Lyme disease, which translates to 122,000 new cases and about 40 percent of the nation’s cases in Pennsylvania alone. Senator Boscola joined with other lawmakers and activists in support of House Bill 629, which would ensure patients have access to available and emerging diagnostics and treatment options for Lyme disease and related tick-borne diseases. The legislation will require health insurers to cover treatment plans for Lyme disease or related tick-borne illnesses as prescribed by a patient’s health care practitioner, regardless if the treatment plan includes short-term or long-term antibiotic treatment.

In the last six years, Pennsylvania has ranked highest in the country in the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease. In 2016 Pennsylvania reported 12,200 cases of Lyme disease, which translates to 122,000 new cases and about 40 percent of the nation’s cases in Pennsylvania alone.

 

Continuing the fight against the state’s opioid epidemic, the House Judiciary Committee today approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/ Bradford/Potter) that would give law enforcement another tool in its arsenal. House Bill 616 would place the drug carfentanil on the list of Schedule II controlled substances. The designation would severely restrict availability of the drug and make it illegal to possess or distribute it without a license or a prescription. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carfentanil is one of the most potent opioids in existence. It is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times more powerful than fentanyl. It is commonly used as a tranquilizer for large animals, such as elephants. It is unsafe for human use, and even a very small dose can be lethal .In fact, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has warned that carfentanil poses a serious risk to public safety, first responders, medical treatment and lab personnel. The substance can come in a number of forms, including powder, blotter paper, tablets, patch and spray. Some forms can be absorbed through the skin or accidentally inhaled. The DEA warns first responders to have respirators available when handling the drug. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

Coudersport Volunteer  Fire Department Chief Bryan Phelps was among those testifying at a hearing in Harrisburg yesterday as the General Assembly considers bills to support fire and EMS personnel and organizations. He focused his remarks on the ongoing need for grant funding and easier access to training. Rep. Martin Causer thanked Chief Phelps for making the trip to present the perspective of rural departments.  Phelp’s statement can be heard on Causer’s website, RepCauser.com

Following a jury trial Monday in McKean County, Donald Green of Port Allegany was convicted of crimes related to an incident involving illegal gun possession within Port Allegany.  The defendant, a person who is prohibited by law from possessing firearms, was charged with possessing numerous firearms on August 25, 2017.  He was also charged with possessing illegal drugs and paraphernalia.  The case was investigated by Trooper Matthew Petrof of the Pennsylvania State Police.  The defendant was convicted of 3 Counts of Persons Not to Possess Firearms – Felonies; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia- Misdemeanor; and Possession of a Controlled Substance – Misdemeanor.  He was found not guilty of 2 additional counts of Persons Not to Possess Firearms and one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver.  Bridget Murphy, Assistant District Attorney, prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth.

State Police at Lewis Run have charged 37 year old Dwayne Shaw of  Eldred with criminal mischief. Troopers claim Shaw intentionally struck a 2016 Chevrolet Traverse owned by Alexandra Wilber of Smethport on the night of October 12 while it was parked at 8 South Main Street Eldred. The alleged action resulted in body damage to the SUV.

Troopers at Mansfield report the driver of a 2014 Kia Optima escaped injury in a collision with a deer on Route 49 in Lawrence Township Tioga County Monday morning.Since there was no property damage or injuries, the accident is considered  a “Non-reportable”.