Wednesday March 25, 2020

Black Forest Express


Tuesday’s high, 38: Overnight low, 33; .13” rain







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DOH reports more than 859 cases of coronavirus in PA inf 40 counties….Schools still closed until at least April 6…Area businesses respond to virus mitigation…..slippery roads Monday cause accidents in Elk County……$650 worth of  household items stolen from Westfield residence.

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health yesterday confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., March 24, that there were 207 additional positive cases of COVID-19, and four new deaths, bringing the statewide total to 851 in 40 counties. County-specific information and a statewide map are on the Department’s website. All people are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital.

Health Secretary Dr. Levine said. “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.”

Statewide, there are 851 cases of COVID-19 reported from commercial, hospital and state labs. There are 8,643 patients who have tested negative, and seven total deaths. With commercial labs being the primary testing option for most Pennsylvanians, data is not available on the total number of tests pending.

The Department of Education has announced that all schools in the commonwealth will remain closed through at least April 6.  Under this timeline, students could return to school on April 9, unless extending the closure is needed in response to the situation with the coronavirus at that time.If the closure is not extended, school buildings could reopen on April 7 for two days to allow school administrators, teachers and other staff time to prepare classrooms, set up cafeterias, schedule transportation and arrange other business operations.The state’s 29 intermediate units will be available to provide technical assistance to help develop continuity of education plans for all students beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24. More details on the announcement are available here .Additionally, PDE is canceling standardized testing for students in career and technical education (CTE) programs for the 2019-20 school year. More details on the cancelations are available on the Education Department’s website.

Area businesses are responding to the coronavirus mitigation.

UGI  says it continues to provide reliable service to you while utilizing field operating safety measures such as ‘social distancing’, use of additional personal protective equipment (PPE), and vehicle disinfecting stations.

To further aid customers during what is likely a disruptive time, UGI continues to suspend service disconnections for nonpayment (as directed by the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission(PUC).Additionally, for all customers, UGI will provide a bill credit for any late payment charges billed on or after March 25th, 2020 until further notice. A bill credit for the amount of the late payment charge will be applied on your next billing statement.If you are having trouble paying your bill, there are options available from UGI’s customer care programs such as budget billing to help with averaging your bill evenly over the year. UGI’s Customer Care Team is also available to answer your questions and concerns at 800-276-2722.

Wagner Ace Hardware in Coudersport is letting  customers know what they are doing during the coronoavirus mitigation. A letter from the store says

“We are sure by now you’ve received several messages about the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  As owners of Wagner Ace Hardware, we live here too. Our note is merely a humble attempt to communicate, update and especially assist our community as best we can, given the platform we have. With the spread of Coronavirus across the country, we want to offer support and a steady hand knowing many in our community are concerned.  Many of you are asking what you can do around the home to help prevent the spread of illness and keep your family safe.  We’re monitoring the evolving situation closely and are relying on up-to-the moment guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the State of PA, and local health officials to inform our recommendations.  As of this writing, Wagner Ace Hardware is categorized as a life-sustaining business according to Governor’s Wolf’s 03/19/2020 update.We currently have limited supply of some in-demand items.  We’re working with our suppliers to stock-up on additional in-demand items such as more cleaning and disinfectant products, hand soaps, hand sanitizers and everything else you need to preserve and protect your home and your family. We realize minimizing contact can also help prevent the spread of illness and we’ll continue to offer alternatives for you to get what you need.   We encourage you to order items online at or give us a call at 814.274.8615; we would be happy to order product for you as well. We have twice weekly deliveries of our Ace truck.We are also happy to deliver your pre-paid order to your car when you drive-up.   We want to make it convenient for you to get the products you need.Through thoughtful comprehensive analysis and evaluation including the top priority of consideration for employee and customer health and safety, Wagner Ace Hardware is voluntarily adjusting store hours under an abundance of caution as follows:

Sunday through Saturday, 8:00a – 1:00p.

We will evaluate daily and communicate should situations call for further modification.From our family to yours, we offer our deepest sympathies to those who have already been impacted.  We are here to serve you. Our sole purpose is simple – since 1913 – we exist to help others and we are committed to supporting our community in this time of need.Stay healthy, safe and let’s help each other.

Kind regards,

Chris & Genny Tilton

Susan Lemons & Ralph Wagner

Owners, Wagner Ace Hardware


Coudersport base state police did not release any details, but say that they are charging James VanVlet with access device fraud or using a credit card illegally. They did not provide his residence age or any other details.

An  Ulysses driver and his passenger escaped injury in a one vehicle crash occurring around 1:30 Monday morning in Eulialia Township Potter County. Troopers say that Tyrel  Baker of Mills was driving a Geo Prism which veered off the right side of Route 49 and struck the end of a guardrail. He and his passenger Arina  Smith of Mills were both using seatbelts and were not hurt

A Coudersport driver also escaped injury in a one vehicle crash occurring on the Hickok/Ulysses Road in  Binham  Township Potter County a few hours later at around 5:30 am Monday. State Police  say that Randy Lane fell asleep at the wheel of his Chevy Silverado causing it to cross to the other side of  highway and strike a dump trailer which was parked alongside.

A criminal mischief occurring at 85 Germania Street in Galeton  is being investigated by troopers at Coudersport on the afternoon at around 2:45am March 15. Four vandals damaged the top rail of a split rail fence owned by Jacqueline  Bosek Damage to split rail fence was said to be $30.

Two Mainsburg residents have been charged with physical harassment for an incident allegedly taking place around noontime Monday on old State Road in Sullivan Township. Authorities say that a 16 year old Wellsboro  girl went to a home on old State Road to get her cell phone, and a 17 year old Mainsburg girl threw it to the ground causing the screen to crack. Then a 37 year old Mainsburg  woman allegedly grabbed the victim by the hair and pinned her to the ground.

A criminal mischief occurring at 2850 route 49 in Westfield Township Tioga County is under investigation by troopers at the Mansfield barracks. Three windows in the front of a house owned by Deborah Sippes were damaged by a BB gun between last Wednesday and Friday. damage was estimated to be $200 and anyone with information about that is asked to call the Mansfield barracks at 570-662-2151.

Troopers at Mansfield are  investigating a theft occurring at a building on Route 49 in Westfield Township Friday afternoon, a 65 year old Westfield man and a 45 year old Westfield man had been evicted from the residence on February 28.  When  they returned last Friday, they discovered multiple TVs PlayStation 2, Playstation 2 games and multiple medications had been stolen. Anyone with information about that is asked to contact state police at Mansfield.

Slippery roads are blamed for a couple of accidents in Elk county Monday, David Grotzinger  of St. Mary’s was going south on the Glen Hazel Road in Jones Township, making a small right hand curve when his Ford F150 XLT went out of control on the icy  highway; went onto the right side and struck a ditch; then rolled  over onto its roof before stopping . An London Ontario truck driver was hurt Monday afternoon when his Freightliner Cascadia wrecked on  ice-covered Burning Well Road in Jones Township  Elk County.Nitharsan Sivajannnasanmuakam was going north    when his rig slid off the road and hit an embankment, rolling onto its side and spilling the trailer contents on the road. He was treated at UPMC Kane for a broken arm. The road was blocked for about three hours.