Monday March 23, 2020

Black Forest Express


Sunday’s high, 37; Overnight low, 32; dusting of snow






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Coudersport woman identifies self as Covid-19 patient….PA Law agencies will be enforcing Governor’s non-essential business order….Out of state man arrested for shoplifting at St. Marys Walmart….Elk County resident victim of ID theft….Alleged sex abuse of young boy  near Shinglehouse investigated ….Minor injuries reported for one driver in Potter County collision…Both people involved in domestic violence incident facing charges in McKean County…..

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In today’s news, the daughter of UPMC Cole  pediatrician Marlene Wust Smith has bravely identified herself as the Covid- 19 patient here in Potter County. Maddie  Smith posted  the following on Facebook: “I am sure some of you have heard that I have tested positive for Covid-19. As far as we can piece together..this is the timeline. The first appearance of my symptoms occurred only 2 days after being outside of the country in London, England. At the time of my trip, there were more cases in the United States than in the United Kingdom, so I decided to go and continue to experience new things and new places. So, that being said I could have contracted the virus in the U.S. up to two weeks prior to my trip or abroad. Nobody knows, and there is no way for anyone to know. Upon returning from my trip, my mother (who is a physician) immediately put me into a quarantine inside my own home. At this point, I only had a dry cough and very mild cold symptoms that I took as a side effect of jet lag, so I thought it was an overreaction, but I abided anyways because I am not an ignorant human-being and knew it was the right thing to do. I have not left my house since I returned on March 14th and have not been in contact with anyone else since I returned to Coudersport. This virus has made me feel like death, but I am on the mend. I would never wish this upon anyone and would never want to risk spreading it to anyone else. The frightening aspect of this pandemic is that the coronavirus (Covid-19) can appear as a multitude of symptoms or NO symptoms at all. Many could be carriers and not even know it.Honestly, none of this was anyone’s business to know that I tested positive, as it is my patient privacy. As a 19-year-old girl, it is tough living in a small town where it feels like everyone is against you. They never ask how you are and always just spread rumors, in a similar resemblance to the exponential growth of the virus. So as well as flattening the curve of the rumors, I would also like everyone to do their part in flattening the curve of the virus. PLEASE STAY HOME. I am not the only one who comes and goes to Potter County. I love my community, and I would never want to put anyone at risk. I just want everyone to stay safe and remain healthy. As far as for myself, I plan on staying in my house until I am fully recovered and healthy.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has confirmed today that as of 12:00 a.m.Monday,  there were 108 additional positive cases of COVID-19.This brings the statewide total to 479 in 33 counties. County specific information and a statewide map are available here.All of the cases are either in isolation at home or currently being treated at the hospital.“Our notable increase in cases over the last few days indicate we need everyone to take COVID-19 seriously. Pennsylvanians have a very important job right now: stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We have seen case counts continue to increase and the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home,” said Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of Health.Statewide, there are now 497 cases of COVID-19 reported from commercial, hospital and state labs.There are 4,964 patients who have tested negative and two total deaths.With commercial labs being the primary testing option for most Pennsylvanians, data is not available on the total number of tests pending.

Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), issued the following statement today on the agency’s enforcement of Governor Tom Wolf’s order closing physical locations of non-life-sustaining businesses:”The priority of the Pennsylvania State Police is protecting lives and maintaining order in the commonwealth. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, troopers and liquor control enforcement officers are prepared to ensure compliance with Governor Wolf’s order.”Private businesses, organizations, and other noncompliant entities face possible criminal penalties under the Administrative Code of 1929, 71 P.S. § 1409 and/or the Pennsylvania Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955, 35 P.S. § 521.20(a). Both violations are summary offenses punishable by fines and even jail time. Violators may also be subject to additional administrative penalties under certain circumstances.”We believe most Pennsylvanians want to act responsibly and do their part to help slow the spread of this deadly virus. Troopers and liquor control officers will make every effort to achieve voluntary compliance by educating business owners and using discretion when appropriate. But our message is clear: COVID-19 is a serious health and public safety risk that requires an extraordinary response from law enforcement and the public. I urge everyone to stay home, stay calm, and stay safe.”The governor has directed the following state agencies and local officials to enforce the closure orders to the full extent of the law:

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

Department of Health

Department of Agriculture

Pennsylvania State Police

Local officials, using their resources to enforce closure orders within their jurisdictions

The Wolf administration has provided all local law enforcement with enforcement guidance that mirrors PSP’s.To report a noncompliant business, contact your local law enforcement agency’s non-emergency number or the nearest PSP station. Please do not call 911 to file reports. People are still permitted to go out  get groceries, essential items and medications. For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit

State Police at Coudersport  are investigating a criminal trespass take taking place at 1001 Sweden  Hill Road in Ulysses  Township last Friday night. The  land belongs to John Goodreau  of Wellsboro and the investigation is continuing.

Both people involved in a scuffle in a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer on River Street at Brophy Avenue in the village of Roulette last Thursday evening  have been charged in district court with physical harassment. A39 year old Port Allegany  woman and a 45 year old Port Allegany  man became involved in an argument where each  allegedly assaulted the other while traveling in a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer.

An  elderly Port Allegany  driver escaped injury while another Port Allegany  driver received minor injuries in  a collision occurring last Wednesday night on Route 6 in Roulette  Township. The details were just released over the weekend. State police report the collision occurred when 77 year old Carolyn Witter Fishing Creek Road pulled out of the Fishing Creek Road onto Route 6  in front of a westbound Chevy Equinox driven by Nita Musgrove, also a Port Allegany.. Witter was not hurt but Musgrave apparently suffered a minor injury and was taken to UPMC Cole for treatment.

 Mansfield base State Police are investigating a criminal mischief taking place on Ore Bed  Road and North Bullock Road  in Richmond Township Tioga  County, sometime between 6pm and 8:20pm on March 16.  An unknown man used gray  spray paint to write a racial slur on a stop sign located at that intersection. He left the  scene in a green mid 2000 Dodge Dakota headed north on the North Bullock. Anyone with information about that vandalism is asked to contact the Mansfield barracks at 570.662. 2151.

State police at Lewis Run are continuing to investigate a possible sexual assault of a two year old boy on Keech Hollow  Road in Ceres Township McKean County. The alleged crime took place last Wednesday afternoon at a Shinglehouse  residence.

Am  ID theft victimizing an Elk county man is being investigated by troopers at the Ridgway barracks. A 41 year old Ridgway man told authorities that someone opened a credit card account in his name earlier this month.

Ridgway State Police have arrested a 24 year old Jasper, Indiana man for shoplifting at the St. Mary’s Walmart troopers claim the suspect stole a poncho valued at $3.97 cents from the store’s shelves Friday afternoon and then went past the final point of sale. He  was taken into custody and charges are pending in district court.