Thursday December 5, 2019

Black Forest Express


Wednesday’s high, 33; Overnight low,28







Experts say don’t worry about spotted lanternfly in Christmas trees….Snowmobilers reminded state trails are not yet open…..Dickens of a Christmas this weekend in Wellsboro…..Osceola woman accused of speeding for crash…

Folks worried that the spotted lanternfly will put a “bah humbug” into their holiday by taking up residence in their live Christmas tree should toss those concerns to the side like used wrapping paper, according to Penn State Extension experts.”Real trees are part of an outdoor ecosystem, and there is always a chance that insects may be brought indoors with a tree, and the spotted lanternfly is no exception,” said Tanner Delvalle, a horticulture extension educator based in Berks and Schuylkill counties. “However, Christmas trees are not a preferred host for spotted lanternflies, so the probability of finding a spotted lanternfly or an egg mass on Christmas trees is low and should not be a reason for anyone to forego having a live holiday tree.”To further quell concerns, Delvalle said that Christmas tree growers follow integrated pest management practices to minimize such risks. And, in the case of spotted lanternfly, growers in the quarantine zone of Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties work with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to meet the spotted lanternfly quarantine requirements prior to the sale of Christmas trees.Still, if consumers are concerned, they should inspect a tree for spotted lanternfly egg masses prior to purchase. Egg masses, which resemble gray mud splatters, can be scraped easily from tree bark, noted Heather Leach, spotted lanternfly extension associate in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.She recommends destroying removed egg masses by placing them in a container filled with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. While this is the most effective way to kill the eggs, she pointed out that they also can be smashed or burned. And, if by small chance, an egg mass is present on a tree and eggs hatch indoors, the nymphs pose no threat to people, animals or structures and will die quickly.After the holidays are over, Delvalle advises, those living in the quarantine zone should take their trees to recycling programs where they will be chipped and composted or burned and not transported out of the quarantine zone.”Overall, the benefits of having a live tree outweigh any risks associated with pests,” said Delvalle, who pointed out that Pennsylvania is the fourth largest Christmas tree-producing state with annual sales of more than $22 million. “Purchasing real Christmas trees benefits local growers and the local economy.”He added that live trees also are an environmentally friendly choice as they are a renewable resource and can be recycled easily, unlike artificial trees.

Tips on how to choose and care for a Christmas tree can be found on the Penn State Extension website at

To learn more about the spotted lanternfly, permitting regulations, management techniques and how to report a sighting, visit the Penn State Extension website at

The recent snowfall has made snowmobilers happy but Sweden Township police are advising that even though township roads may be open year round, the trail systems do not open until the 15th of December.And State trails open after the last day of Muzzleloader season in Mid January.

Snowmobilers are urged to  respect these rules/laws because the trail system is made up over private property that has been so graciously opened.

Reminder….all rules of the road apply while operating on Open Public Highways/Roadways( speed, registration, insurance, drivers license, single file ).

Photo by John Eaton

Singing, dancing and lots of fun provided free by musicians, choral groups and the Fezziwig Street Performers dressed in Victorian garb is what Wellsboro’s Dickens of A Christmas is all about.




The 36th Annual Dickens of a Christmas is this weekend in Wellsboro.

On Saturday, there will be 216 Dickens artists, craftsmen and food vendors, both indoors and outdoors. The business section of Wellsboro’s Main Street and two side streets, closed to motorized vehicles, will magically transform into an outdoor Victorian marketplace with 100 artisans offering delightful wares for holiday gift giving or to keep and 35 food vendors with delectable fare to eat or to give as gifts.

Promptly at 9 a.m., the town crier will greet everyone with the ringing of his bell.

Photo by Tim McBride

Town Crier Phil Waber rings his bell to open Wellsboro’s Victorian marketplace for the Dickens of a Christmas celebration and greet visitors.

The Dickens Fezziwig Street Performers will take the stage at the intersection of Crafton and Main. Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig will welcome the crowd and do the Sir Roger de Coverley contra dance with their entourage.

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7, an additional 32 art, craft and food vendors will be found indoors at the United Methodist Church and Wellsboro Active Living Center plus 49 more on Saturday when the Indoor/Outdoor Craft Show opens at the Wellsboro Firemen’s Annex on East Avenue.

The Dickens Best Dressed Showcase is celebrating its fourth anniversary with prizes valued at $1,000 for the first place winner along with prizes for second place and other participants. Registration for the contest is between 10 a.m. and noon Saturday. At 1 p.m., judges will select the Best Dressed for Dickens 2019.Everyone (in costume or not) is invited to participate in Saturday’s 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Victorian Strolls on Main Street.

At 5 p.m. Saturday night, the Candlelight Walk for Peace will begin at Packer Park on Queen Street and at 5:30 p.m. the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on The Green with Pennsylvania State Laurel Queen Allison Diehl, a senior at Millville Area High School; Santa Claus and a carol sing.

Hamilton-Gibson will present A Dickens of a Concert Friday night and six performances of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at the Deane Center’s two theaters on Saturday and one performance on Sunday.

All three days, the Arcadia Theater is showing the film “The Man Who Invented Christmas,” which is about Charles Dickens and how he came to write “A Christmas Carol”, published 176 years ago this December.

Local churches will host a variety of indoor events Friday and Saturday. Among them are a Dickens of a Dinner, lunches, concerts, a display of model trains, a cookie sale and in the spirit of helping others, an Alternative Giving Christmas Fair with entertainment and refreshments.

For more information or the schedule of events, contact the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce by calling 570-724-1926, emailing or visiting

The complete schedule is posted on our calendar of events.

An Osceola woman has been cited for speeding after a one-vehicle crash Monday morning in Lawrence Township. Mansfield based state police say a GMC Envoy driven by Jessica Becker went off of Station Road while making a downhill right had curve just before 9:00 am. The SUV swerved off the pavement and hit a utility pole. Becker is said to have left the scene without reporting the collision but was later located at a home on Station Road. She was not hurt.

Troopers at Mansfield did not release the name of a suspect who is accused of disorderly conduct in Mansfield late Monday night. The 46 year old Tioga, PA woman is accused of creating a disturbance at Wal-Mart.