Friday May 15

Dr. Rachel Levine, PA Health Secretary admitted yesterday that she and her sister  had arranged to have their elderly mother moved out of a nursing home and into a hotel to avoid Covid-19. Apparently unrelated, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced this week that his office will be investigating nursing homes where there have been deaths.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., May 14, that there are 938 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 59,636. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19. The number here in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service area stands at 36—16 in Tioga, 8 in McKean; 6 in Elk, 4 in Potter and 2 in Cameron Counties. Elk, McKean and Tioga Counties have each had one death. Cattaraugus County NY now has 64 cases and Allegany County has 44.

Pennsylvania is reporting 4,218 total deaths, an increase from the 3,943 total deaths reported yesterday. There were 44 new deaths reported overnight; the remaining 231 were reported as a result of a reconciliation of data over the past several weeks. This means the department added 275 total deaths to the data. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the department’s website.

“As counties move from red to yellow, we need all Pennsylvanians to continue to follow the social distancing and mitigation efforts in place,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We must continue to protect our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, which includes our seniors, those with underlying health issues, our healthcare workers and our first responders. I am proud of the work that Pennsylvanians have done so far, but we cannot stop now, we must continue to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from COVID-19.”

There are 251,559 patients who have tested negative to date.

Most of the patients hospitalized are aged 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients aged 65 or older. All Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertPA, a text notification system for health, weather, and other important alerts like COVID-19 updates from commonwealth agencies. Residents can sign up online at

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 12,677 resident cases of COVID-19, and 1,922 cases among employees, for a total of 14,599 at 549 distinct facilities in 44 counties.None here in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service Area. Out of the total deaths, 2,896 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found on the department’s website.Approximately 4,217 of our total cases are in health care workers.

For the latest information for individuals, families, businesses and schools, visit “Responding to COVID-19” on pa.govOpens In A New Window.

Non-life-sustaining businesses in the red phase are ordered to be closed and schools are closed statewide through the remainder of the academic year. Currently, 24 counties are in the yellow phase 13 more movefd  to the yellow phase on today.


Governor Tom Wolf has released an updated Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Risk-Based Decision Support Tool report for May 12. The administration has released two previous reports based on public data on May 1.The commonwealth is partnering with CMU to create this data-driven decision support tool that enables a balance between maximizing the results of our economy while minimizing public health risks.Qualitative and quantitative factors are taken into account in any decision made by the commonwealth and this tool provides one input the decision-making process. It helps the commonwealth better understand the current health and economic status, as well as the inherent risks and benefits to easing restrictions by sector and region.

The CMU metrics look at the impacts of risk factors such as reported number of COVID cases per population of an area; ICU and medical/surgical bed capacity; population density; population over age 60; and re-opening contact risk, such as the number of workers employed in a currently closed industry sector. The administration will continue to work with CMU to refine the tool as more information and data are available.

The CMU metrics are considered along with the county’s or region’s ability to conduct testing and contact-tracing to first and foremost maintain robust public health as well other economic factors.

 The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announces that statewide highway fatalities reached a new low in 2019, dropping to 1,059, the lowest since record keeping began in 1928 and 131 less than in 2018.

The number of unrestrained fatalities dropped from 398 in 2018 to 330 last year, the lowest it has been in the last 20 years. Other areas that saw significant decreases in 2019 were fatalities in aggressive driving crashes, fatal crashes involving a driver 65 years of age or older, and pedestrian fatalities:

There were 129 fatalities in aggressive driving crashes in 2018 compared to 95 in 2019;

Fatalities in crashes involving a driver 65 or older dropped from 330 in 2018 to 281 in 2019; and

Pedestrian fatalities decreased from 201 in 2018 to 154 last year.

Aside from the year-to-year decline, longer-term trends also continue to decrease. For example, compared to 2015, there were 141 fewer total traffic deaths, 83 fewer unrestrained deaths, and 42 fewer deaths in crashes involving impaired drivers.

While fatalities for most types of crashes were down for 2019, some types saw fatality increases in 2019:

There were 174 motorcyclist fatalities last year, up from 164 in 2018;

Fatalities involving stop-controlled intersections increased to 92 from 67 in 2018;

Fatalities in vehicle failure-related crashes increased from 45 to 52.

Despite the year-over-year increase, long-term trends for all three categories continue to decrease.


According to national data, over 90 percent of crashes are caused by driver behavior. For this reason, PennDOT focuses on data trends to drive enforcement and education improvements and invests approximately $18 million annually in federal grant funds statewide to support these behavioral safety programs.

In addition to behavioral safety, PennDOT focuses on infrastructure improvements to roadways in an effort to further reduce fatalities and serious injuries. More than $403 million in Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds were invested on 464 unique safety projects from 2015 to 2019. Another $50 million of state funds were invested in low-cost safety improvements at approximately 2,800 locations between 2014-2018. Examples of low-cost safety countermeasures include centerline and edge-line rumble strips and signing and pavement markings. There were approximately 11,000 miles of rumble strips added or replaced during this time.

For more information on reportable crash data, visit PennDOT’s Pennsylvania Crash Information Tool (PCIT) website, or for additional information on the department’s highway safety initiatives, visit

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has announced that expiration dates for vehicle registrations and safety and emission inspections will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Deadlines on the following products will be extended effective May 12, 2020:

Vehicle registrations of all classes which includes, but not limited to, mass transit vehicle registrations, apportioned vehicle registrations, fleet vehicle registrations, dealer plate registrations, temporary registrations and biennial farm exemption certificates scheduled to expire from March 16 through May 31, 2020, the expiration date is now extended through June 30, 2020.

Safety inspections and emissions inspections scheduled to expire from March 16 through May 31, 2020, the expiration date is now extended through June 30, 2020.

Persons with Disabilities parking placards scheduled to expire from March 16 through May 31, 2020, the expiration date is now extended through June 30, 2020.

These extensions are in addition to those announced on May 1 related to driver’s licenses, photo ID cards, and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through May 31, 2020 – these products are also extended through June 30, 2020. A camera card is considered a driver’s license, so it is covered by the same terms and conditions extending other driver’s license products.

State Police at Mansfield have arrested a 32 year old Westfield man on charges of physical harassment for a fight occurring Sunday afternoon at a home on Route 349 in Clymer Township. Police say that the suspect, whose name they did not release, pushed his mother a 57 year old Wesfield woman to the ground during an argument and charges are being filed in District Court.

Ridgway based state police  21 year old Rylee Goetz  of Ridgway and 26 year old Kyle’s Smithof  Kersey, for  shoplifting at the St Mary’s Walmart Monday afternoon.  The couple made off with merchandise valued at $232 and 57 cents it include car speaker dog food, oranges, bananas, hot dogs, showerhead broom, cleaning products, and a shower caddy.  Charges are being filed in District Court.

The theft of a laptop computer from a home on Route 46 in Keating Township McKean County sometime between March 1 and 15th is being investigated by troopers at Lewis Run. several items were taken from a house on Route 46 including the silver Chrome Book laptop and a 16 inch Tablet.

A 17 year Smethport resident  14 and a 20 year old Res man have been arrested for drug possession. State Police  at Lewis Run, while on routine patrol yesterday at around 12:30am stopped  to check on the welfare of a motor vehicle on King Street and upon further investigation they allegedly found multiple occupants of the car were in possession of a controlled substance. The 17 year old and 20 year old were taken into custody for driving under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

A 16 year old Duke Center boy has been charged with physical harassment for an altercation allegedly taking place early last Saturday morning at 54 Sweitzer Drive in Otto  Township. Police claim the teen hit 41 year old Edward Panighetti and  and 38 year old Megan Panigehtti of Duke Center during a disagreement.

A Galeton  driver escaped injury in a one vehicle crash Wednesday morning just after 11 o’clock on Charleston Road in Charleston Township Tioga County. State police said Billie Jackson was going east when her Ford Fusion went off the Road and traveled along the shoulder before hitting a ditch where it became disabled.  The car had to be towed from the scene.

A burglary occurring at a locked storage unit at Butters Stow and Go rental storage facility on rice road and route 660 in Charleston township is being probed by state police at Mansfield that occurred between April 29 and this past Tuesday. Criminals damaged two other storage unit locks after taking items out of a unit belonging to a 35 year old Westfield woman,  causing  $20 in damage in the process. Anyone with information is asked to call the Mansfield barracks at 570.662 2151.

Fire departments and other organizations are scrambling to make up some of the lost revenue from the cancellation of events due to the Conoravirus  and the Roulette Volunteer Fire Department is no exception. The department is having a chicken barbecue Saturday starting at 11am. Take-out or in town delivery only. $10 for a meal which includes the chicken, baked beans, macaroni salad and roll.


Additionally, limited services are available at some Driver License and Photo License Centers. For a list of open driver license and photo license centers and the services provided, as well as their hours of operation, please visit

Customers may continue to complete various transactions and access multiple resources online at Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; and driver license and photo ID duplicates. There are no additional fees for using online services.

PennDOT will continue to evaluate these processes and will communicate any changes with the public.