Tuesday April 24. 2018

 

Photo by Gerri Miller

Barnum Road Wetlands, Eldred, PA

 Monday’s high, 71; Overnight low, 42; no precipitation

TUE-RAIN MOVES IN, HIGH 52

TUE NIGHT-RAIN, LOW 46

WED-RAIN TAPERS OFF, HIGH 54

WED NIGHT-CLOUDY, LOW 35

THU-PARTLY CLOUDY, HIGH 55

THU NIGHT-PARTLY CLOUDY, LOW 37

To hear today’s complete forecast, click on arrow below.

Coudy Bridge named in honor of “Mud” Moore…Potter County’s Criminal Board receives award….New District Forester named for Tioga Forest….St. Marys woman faces DUI charges and possible loss of license…

To hear today’s podcast, click on arrow below.

Photo Provided

Mike Moore (son)                                                Marlin “Mud” Moore                            Wife, June

Some 60 people gathered at an impromptu bridge dedication Tuesday in Coudersport to honor the ailing former Borough Manager, Marlin,”Mud” Moore. The Fourth Street foot bridge will now be called The Mud Moore Bridge.  Many of those attending told Mud how they feel  about him and heard him reflect on his life and service to the community. Moore, who is battling cancer, served as borough manager from 1986-2013 and before that,  on Borough Council.

Yesterday we reported that the Potter County Conservation District has won a Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award , we have news from Potter County’s website POTTER COUNTY TODAY, that the county’s Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) has been chosen for a Best in State award for its forward-looking strategies being implemented through a partnership consisting of the court system, law enforcement, county administration and the county’s human services agency. In taking top honors in the annual Criminal Justice Best Practices Awards Program, Potter County CJAB was chosen among a field of finalists that also included Bucks and Mercer counties. A panel of judges cited a long list of criminal justice reforms and partnerships that have been pursued in Potter County. The judges concluded, “Potter County CJAB has been diligent in its efforts to create efficiencies that improve the administration of criminal justice within the county. The level of motivation and collaboration among the CJAB members and stakeholders is evidence that Potter County is committed to providing services to the citizens of the county that are efficient, effective and enhance public safety.”

Legislation  to bring about the elimination of school property taxes in the commonwealth was unveiled at a state capitol news conference Monday..

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn HAS   announced the appointment of Jim Hyland as manager of the Tioga State Forest District, based in Tioga County.

Hyland began s his new post Saturday, April 14, overseeing a district headquartered in Wellsboro, Tioga County, that includes Tioga and Bradford counties. Its state forest totals almost 162,000 acres and, along with seven other forest districts, it anchors the Pennsylvania Wilds region.

With its panoramic views, miles of pristine streams, and Pine Creek Gorge adventures, Tioga draws legions of outdoors enthusiasts through all seasons. The state forest is among the 2.1 million acres of public land, including 29 state parks, within the Wilds area.

A native of Shenandoah, Schuylkill County, Hyland started his career with the Bureau of Forestry as a Penn State University intern in the Rothrock State Forest District, Centre County. After college, he began working as a forester in Tiadaghton State Forest District, Lycoming County. He was later promoted to Tiadaghton Assistant District Manager and spent two years directing state forest maintenance and recreational programs in the district.

For the past 11 years, Hyland has served as a Forest Program Specialist with the Bureau’s Division of Operations and Recreation, with emphasis on the Pennsylvania Wilds Region. He has been active with the Bureau’s History Committee, and with a love of writing has penned many articles for local newspapers and DCNR publications documenting the lore of north central Pennsylvania and his native coal region, among other topics. Also, he has served as a firefighter and public information officer on many firefighting assignments in the Western U.S.

Heading one of 20 state forest districts across the state, Hyland will oversee forest-growth management, personnel coordination, infrastructure maintenance, recreation, and fire prevention and suppression. He also will manage service foresters who provide support, direction and technical assistance to private forest landowners. He succeeds Christopher S. Gastrock as district forester.

Hyland, 54, holds a bachelor’s degree in Forest Management from The Pennsylvania State University. An avid outdoorsman, Hyland enjoys nature writing, woodworking, history, backcountry travel, and any type of adventure. Parents of three grown children, he and his wife, Sherry, reside in rural Lycoming County.

Find more information about Tioga State Forest District and Pennsylvania’s 19 other state forest districts from DCNR’s website.

A St. Marys woman has been cited for speeding and is facing DUI charges after a one-vehicle crash Sunday night in Fox Township, Elk County. According to Ridgway based state police, Colleen White was going south on the Irishtown at around 9:30 pm when her Jeep Grand Cherokee failed to tmake a left curve, went off the right side of the road, struck a utility pole, shearing it off, then crossed the highway before coming to rest in a ditch. Authorities allege White and her passenger  Sebastian Wheeler, also of St. Marys fled the scene on foot but were located just east of the scene. White was taken to Penn Highlands Elk for a blood draw but refused the test and therefore automatically faces DUI charges and the possible loss of her driver’s license.

Emporium, based state police report an Austin woman escaped injury in a car/deer encounter Monday morning on the  Gardeau Road in Shippen Township. Marsha Banks was headed north when a deer ran onto the highway. Banks overcompensated  when she swerved to avoid the whiteail.  Her Kia Sorrento became stuck over an embankment but continued in the ditch for about 60 feet.

Potter County Penn Dot Crews are making

Sign Repairs/Upgrades:

  • Various State Routes throughout the County

 

Bridge Flushing/Sweeping:

  • State Route: 0872 (Austin area)
  • State Route: 3002 (Cowley Hill)
  • State Route: 0144 (Cross Fork)
  • State Route: 0044 (Oleona)

 

Grading:

  • State Route: 4025 (Brizzie Hollow Road)

 

Pipe Replacement:

  • State Route: 0049 (near Gold)

 

Ditch/Pipe Flushing:

  • State Route: 1008 (Empson Road)

 

Brushing/Inlet Cleaning:

  • State Route: 2002 (West Branch)

 

Crack Sealing:

  • State Route: 0049 (Ulysses Borough)
  • State Route: 0006 (Coudersport Borough to Sweden Valley)

 

 

 

Cameron County 0240

 

Crack Sealing/Sweeping:

  • State Route: 0120

 

 

 

 

 

The following work is scheduled to be completed by contractor, weather permitting:

 

 

  • Glenn O Hawbaker: roadway improvement work on State Route 44 from Shinglehouse Borough to Coneville.  Alternating traffic patterns with short delays possible.

 

  • Glenn O Hawbaker: upgrade existing drainage on State Route 155 in Shippen and Portage Townships, from Emporium to Potter County line. Temporary run around at Crooked Run around Sizerville with alternating patterns.

 

  • Rylind Construction Company: bridge replacement on Moore Hill Road (SR 3001). Temporary traffic signals and lane closures will be in place.

 

  • Public-Private Partnership with Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners: bridge replacement on State Route 44 (Pine Hill Road) near village of Carter Camp in Abbott Township. Alternating traffic pattern with temporary traffic signals will be in place.

 

Hundreds of people are directly affected by programs offered by Potter County Human Services (PCHS), but few take the opportunity to provide input on how those services are delivered. An Advisory Board that’s in place to accommodate public comments and suggestions will hold its next meeting on Thursday, April 26, at 5:30 pm in the PCHS building at Roulette. PCHS operates programs for victims of alcoholism and other drug abuse, older citizens, the mentally ill, children who are at risk, and the intellectually disabled. Advisory board members are appointed by the Potter County Board of Commissioners. Anyone interested in being considered for appointment to the board should contact the Commissioners Office at 274-8290, extension 207.

 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Photo by Gerri Miller

Barnum Road Wetlands, Eldred, PA

Sunday’s high, 61; Overnight low, 19; no precipitation

MON-A FEW CLOUDS, LATE; HIGH 65

MON NIGHT-PARTLY CLOUDY, LOW 42

TUE-90% CHANCE OF RAIN, HIGH 53

TUE NIGHT-RAIN, LOW 46

WED-RAIN POSSIBLE, HIGH 56

WED NIGHT-LOW 38

To hear today’s three-day forecast, click on arrow below.

 

Downstate man hurt in accidental shooting |Saturday in McKean County….Teen driver and passengers hurt in speed related crash….Speed also factor in two more crashes….Causer sponsor bill to expand Broadband services in rural areas…Potter County Conservation District receives one of 23 excellence awards….

To hear today’s podcast, click on arrows below.

Part A

Part B

Kane based state police released only scant details about an accidental shooting Saturday morning in on Keeler Road in Hamilton Township, near Ludlow. Troopers reported that while target shooting a 14 year old boy from Bentleyville, PA accidentally shot a 41 year old Washington, PA man with a .223 caliber rifle. Police did not release the name of the victim, his condition or where he was taken for treatment. Of course, the name of the teenager was not released due to his age.

A Ridgway teen driver and his two passengers were slightly hurt in a one-vehicle crash Friday night in Ridgway. According to state police, the 17yarold boy was speeding when his Jeep Liberty failed to make a right curve on the Bingham Road and skidded off the road into a tree. Neither the driver nor his passengers, a 17year old boy and 16 year old girl, also from Ridgway needed medical attention and were not taken to a hospital.  But the youth was cited for speeding.

Troopers at Coudersport claim a Ulysses teenager was also speeding last Thursday night when her Pontiac Grand Prix failed to make a left turn on Route 49 in Allegany Township, traveled off the pavement and collided with a wire fence and seven posts. The car became entangled with the fence and had to be freed by emergency service personnel using  wire cutters. Briana Black, 19, was not hurt in the crash and was not arrested.

Speed was also a factor in a one-vehicle crash last Thursday morning on the Port-Emporium Road in Liberty Township, McKean County. State po9lice at Emporium explained Teia  Vanhorn of Port Allegany was going north when her Chevrolet Silverado crossed to the other side  on a left curve, and struck a guardrail. Vanhorn was not hurt and was not cited.

A couple of Tioga County men got an early start on fishing season according to state police at Coudersport. Casey Tiffany , 24, of Tioga and Jessi  Rall, 29, are suspected of stealing fish from a pond on Big Moores Run Road in Sylvania Township between September 12 and September 26, 2017. The pair is also accused of trespassing on the property owned by Thomas McDonald of Orangeville PA.

The theft of some gasoline from a vehicle in Ridgway between last Wednesday and Friday. The unknown thief drilled a hole in the gas tank of a 2018 GMC Sierra owned by an 81 year old man while it was parked at his home on Route 219 to remove the fuel.

State police at Coudersport arrested 29 year old Ryan Shaffer of N. Cambria, PA for public drunkenness on the night of April 14. Authorities claim Shaffer was discovered walking on Route 49 near the intersection   with the North Hollow Road in Sweden Valley  under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. Police said at one point traffic had to stop in order to avoid hitting him.

Rep. Marin Causer joined joined fellow lawmakers and members of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau  last week in a call to action on legislation aimed at bringing much-needed broadband internet access to our rural communities.

“Access to high-speed internet is not a luxury but a necessity for our students and teachers, our farmers and business owners, and our doctors and patients. It is encouraging to see the need for broadband access finally being widely recognized at both the state and federal levels, and I am optimistic we will finally see more progress on this important issue.”

 

At the press conference, Causer outlined legislation he I will soon introduce to create The Rural Pennsylvania Broadband Deployment Act. With both the president and our governor pledging funding to support expanded access, the legislation would establish a new fund within the State Treasury into which federal (and other) funding can be deposited to use for deployment of rural broadband/high-speed internet services. The legislation would also create an advisory board within the Department of Community and Economic Development to not only investigate and make recommendations for the improved deployment of these services, but to solicit, review and recommend proposals to use the funding. It is important to have the fund and advisory board in place to ensure dollars dedicated to rural broadband deployment are directed to the most underserved areas of the Commonwealth.

To learn more about other initiatives, and to hear from farmers who have been negatively impacted by the lack of broadband access, you can watch the full press conference below.

The Potter County Conservation District is a month 23 groups receiving a DEP Environmental excellence award.

Repurposing tons of scrap auto carpet. Making streams healthier by planting native trees on the family farm. Greatly reducing city lighting expenses with energy efficiency changes. Training a volunteer stormwater pollution reduction workforce. Those are just some of the winning  innovative and impassioned initiatives in Pennsylvania chosen by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to receive the prestigious 2018 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

 

Any individual, business, school, government agency, or community organization in Pennsylvania was eligible to apply for the award. DEP received 60 applications in the latest round.

The award-winning projects accomplished the following results:

enlisted 16,000 volunteers,

prevented 258 million tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere,

saved over $42 million in operation and maintenance costs,

conserved 37 million gallons of water annually,

diverted 29 million tons of waste and 57 million bottles from landfill disposal,

created 98,500 acres of riparian buffers,

planted 35,090 native trees and shrubs, and

installed 350 rooftop solar tubes.

2018 Environmental Excellence Award recipients include:

 Statewide

Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation: Graffiti: No Place in Nature—Using drones and geographic information mapping systems, the foundation linked volunteers with opportunities to clean up graffiti at trail heads, boat launches, rock outcroppings, and vistas. More than 170 volunteers scrubbed clean 37 graffiti sites and picked up 80 bags of trash, seven boxes of glass and nails, and other debris items in this labor- and time-intensive process.

Potter County

Potter County Conservation District: Water Quality Protection and Education Initiative at Ludington Run and Beyond—The conservation district developed a comprehensive plan to improve water quality and habitat restoration to Ludington Run. Stream bedding materials are enhancing successful fish spawning, runoff carrying sediment and pollutants is discharging in a safe manner, and stream plantings are stabilizing the soil and reversing the trend of thermal pollution

 Allegheny County

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy: TreeVitalize Pittsburgh—By increasing street tree population, TreeVitalize Pittsburgh will increase environmental, economic, health, and aesthetic benefits. With the assistance of over 12,000 volunteers, this project has planted over 28,000 trees in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, resulting in a 10 percent increase in city street trees and a 45 percent increase in street tree diversity.

Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties

Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, Water Resource Center: Municipal Stormwater Workshop Series—The center developed a collaborative regional initiative to address municipal separate storm sewer management across counties. More than 780 participants attended 15 workshops at no cost, learning stormwater management methods. Participants included local governments, elected officials, county planning departments, conservation districts, engineering firms, and environmental nonprofits.

Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Wyoming, and York Counties

Penn State Extension: Master Watershed Steward Program—The program trains citizen volunteers into an educated, organized workforce to partner with local and state governments and organizations on water conservation projects. Last year, 194 master watershed stewards volunteered 7,582 hours of service, including educating the public at community events, monitoring 15 streams, planting 915 trees, and building 118 rain barrels.

Berks County

Berks County Water and Sewer Association: Berks County Source Water Protection Program—Incorporating new and existing protection zones to maintain safe drinking water in Berks County, this program identifies possible sources of contamination for both surface water and groundwater. The program combines education and water quality improvements to the Chesapeake Bay and Schuylkill River watersheds and covers 266,000 people in Berks County.

Blair County

American Eagle Paper Mills: Project Phoenix—American Eagle Paper Mills transforms 300 tons of waste paper into recycled paper every day. Recent retrofits reduced fresh water withdrawal by 83 percent, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 68 percent, and ceased transportation of 10,000 tons of coal ash.

Butler County

Slippery Rock University: Healthy Planet, Healthy People Environmental Summer Camp and Community Project Incubator—To help high school teachers and students create environmental stewardship projects, Slippery Rock University hosted a camp for educators that included classroom instruction, leadership training, and immersive field experience. In partnership with the EPA, the camp provided $1,700 in seed money for participating school districts to kickstart their community projects. Thirteen projects completed in eight counties have the potential to raise environmental awareness among 2 million Pennsylvanians.

Columbia County

Autoneum Bloomsburg: Carpet Trim and Waste Recycling—Autoneum Bloomsburg repurposes automotive carpet and trim products, keeping 12,000 tons of virgin material from the landfill and saving 25 Olympic-sized pools’ worth of water annually. Recycling has made operations more cost-effective and price competitive, enabling the company to obtain more customers.

Delaware County

AeroAggregates: Bottle to Building—AeroAggregates uses 13,000–26,000 tons of 100 percent postconsumer recycled glass annually to produce lightweight construction materials for road and building projects. Not only do they repurpose the equivalent of about 55 million glass bottles per year, but construction vehicle traffic decreases from five trucks to one because weight is reduced.

Lancaster County

Pequea Creek Watershed Association: Big Beaver–Esh Farm Stream Restoration—To eliminate erosion from Big Beaver Creek and reconnect the creek to the natural floodplain, the association regraded high streambanks, installed stream flow structures, planted streambank stabilizing vegetation, and constructed livestock fencing. The improvements prevented the loss of valuable land and reduced sediment levels by 121,000 pounds, nitrogen levels by 202 pounds, and phosphorous levels by 183 pounds annually.

Lackawanna County

City of Scranton: LED Street Lighting Conversion—Through investing in infrastructure improvement projects, converting to LED lights, and installing lighting controls, the City of Scranton has decreased its energy consumption and maintenance, improved visibility, increased safety, and reduced hazardous waste output. The city will save nearly $400,000 annually.

Lehigh County

Wildlands Conservancy: Building Partnerships and Restoring Riparian Buffers in the Lehigh Valley—The conservancy led a significant effort to restore riparian buffers along streams in the Lehigh Valley. Managing invasive species, planting native plants, installing deer protection, and monitoring the buffers were key to success. This project will improve water quality by shading the stream, prevent erosion and sediment loading, filter nutrients and pollutants from runoff, and provide vegetation and habitat to support aquatic life.

Luzerne County

Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority: Regional Stormwater Management Plan and MS4 Permit Compliance—A collaborative effort by 31 municipalities in Luzerne County resulted in a municipal separate storm and sewer system (MS4) plan to reduce pollution and address aging infrastructure in an affordable way. The collaboration allows for a regional Pollutant Reduction Plan and enables more strategic, cost-effective implementation of stormwater best management practices. The municipalities will save $200 million over the next 20 years while ensuring the long-term sustainability of their stormwater systems.

Northumberland County

Dr. Blair T. Carbaugh: Dr. Blair T. Carbaugh Conservation Area—Dr. Carbaugh led a project that reclaimed an abandoned coal mine site and turned it into the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area for ATV use, along with a 100-acre conservation area with 500 American Chestnut trees, planted by volunteers. Almost 19,000 passes to the park were sold in 2017.

Luzerne County

Earth Conservancy: Askam Borehole Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Treatment System Wayside Exhibit—Earth Conservancy installed two AMD treatment systems to prevent pollution from flowing into Nanticoke Creek and reduce the contamination of local watersheds. A walking path with signage teaches students about science and the community, enhances accessibility and safety of the site, and educates visitors about the region’s mining history and the environment.

Montgomery County

Merck & Co.: Merck Pennsylvania West Point Regional Waste Diversion and Recycling Initiative—Merck standardized its facility services and established various waste reduction services to improve waste diversion. In one year, the company recycled 1,896 tons of nonhazardous materials; reused 190 tons of nonhazardous materials; sent 1,417 tons of non-hazardous waste for energy recovery; and diverted 204 tons of compost from the landfill.

Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership: Jenkintown Creek Restoration—The collaborative partnership aims to improve water quality along the 3.7-mile Jenkintown Creek. The restoration project resulted in four raingardens, a 75-foot bioretention feature, bioswale and wetland enhancements, streambank stabilization, and 3,775 herbaceous plants and 1,260 trees planted. More than 1,000 volunteers and students participated in learning about stormwater runoff and the benefits of green infrastructure.

Upper Moreland School District: Alternative Fuel Propane Infrastructure and Bus Fleet—The school district converted its school bus fleet to propane and installed fueling infrastructure to support not only its own use, but also the use of neighboring government organizations. The total buses will displace 50,000 gallons of diesel and 10,000 gallons of gasoline annually. This fuel source switch will save taxpayers $256,766 annually and will prevent 596 metric tons of carbon dioxide from polluting the atmosphere.

Monroe County

Tobyhanna Army Depot: Sustainability at Tobyhanna Army Depot—Through a focused environmental review, the depot developed a sustainability plan with innovative solutions to minimize waste, conserve energy, and reduce water consumption. LED lighting, solar walls, carports, energy-efficient heating, non-potable water reuse tanks, waste disposal plans, and a robust recycling program are the key elements to achieving a strong sustainability plan. The depot expects to save $532,042 in operating costs annually.

Philadelphia County

School District of Philadelphia: GreenFutures Sustainability Program—The GreenFutures program seeks to reduce energy consumption, increase waste diversion from landfills, increase school green space, and create healthy environments and living habits for students and communities district-wide. In one year the district saved over 1 million plastic water bottles by installing 786 hydration stations, implemented a student-led energy education program, completed a student summer solar installation program, constructed nine green schoolyards, provided recycling services, launched a compost program, and conducted indoor environmental quality assessments.

.

Westmoreland County

Loyalhanna Watershed Association: Integrating STEM and Environmental Education Programming at the Watershed Farm—Combing environmental education with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) courses, this program focuses on agriculture, soils, building design, water systems, and art in nature. In four months, more than 500 students have been educated and 60 teachers employed. The farm has more than 40 cattle, 1,700 native trees and shrubs, pollinator-friendly gardens, and honeybee hives

York County

Happy Hollow Farm: Riparian Buffer Project—The English family have applied their agricultural skills to installing riparian buffers along a creek on four acres of their farm. They’ve planted more than 80 species of native trees and shrubs, becoming a model for other landowners. The riparian buffer filters pollutants; provides food and habitat for wildlife; and produces nuts, berries, and syrup, which can provide $6,000 per acre in economic opportunities annually.

 

Downstate man hurt in accidental shooting |Saturday in McKean County….Teen driver and passengers hurt in speed related crash….Speed also factor in two more crashes….Causer sponsor bill to expand Broadband services in rural areas…Potter County Conservation District receives one of 23 excellence awards….

Friday April 20, 2018

 

Photo by Gerri Miller

Barnum Road Wetlands, Eldred, PA

Thursday’s high, 35; Overnight low, 27; .125” snow

FRI-AM CLOUDS CLEAR OUT, HIGH 47

FRI NIGHT– LOW 31

SAT-MORE SUN, HIGH 54

SAT NIGHT-LOW 35

SUN-SUNNY, HIGH 58

SUN NIGHT-LOW 30

To hear the complete weekend forecast, click on arrow below.

 

 Youth Gobbler season starts tomorrow—regular spring gobbler season begins next Saturday….Efforts are being made to stop migration of invasive insect which could threaten hardwoods….Two area residents arrested on drug charges…..Elk County authorities continue to investigate simple assault occurring last week at the Ridgway Middle School…..

The approach of spring gobbler season has Pennsylvania hunters eager to get afield. That they’ll be participating in the state’s 50th anniversary spring-gobbler hunt further sweetens the pot.

Properly licensed junior hunters and mentored youth can head afield Saturday, April 21 to participate in Pennsylvania’s annual youth spring turkey hunt. A week later, on April 28, all hunters can head into Penn’s Woods in pursuit of spring gobblers.

The forecast for the coming season is a statewide turkey population numbering between 210,000 to 220,000 birds, said Mary Jo Casalena, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s wild turkey biologist.

“Pennsylvania’s turkey population will provide plenty of excitement for those who choose to head afield for the Commonwealth’s golden anniversary spring turkey hunt,” Casalena said. “Make no mistake, Pennsylvania remains one of America’s premier turkey-hunting destinations.”

Turkeys are coming through a relatively mild winter, and they again had a tremendous acorn crop last fall to help them with winter survival. A light fall harvest – preliminarily estimated at 11,780 – sparked by greater supplies of fall foods and fewer hunters afield also has helped kindle increased expectations for the spring hunt.

“Last spring, hunters took 38,101 birds in the state’s turkey seasons,” Casalena said. “I expect a similar harvest this spring, somewhere between 36,000 and 38,000 turkeys.”

Hunters should note the second spring gobbler license only is on sale prior to the start of the season. Once April 28 rolls around, it’s too late to purchase one.

“So, hunters who want to ensure their best opportunity to hunt as many days of the season as they can need to buy the license soon,” Casalena said. “There’s promise for a great season.”

 

 

 

 

 

With spring and the accompanying emergence of insects upon us, grape growers, orchardists, nursery operators, homeowners and others in southeastern Pennsylvania are bracing for infestations of spotted lanternfly, an invasive pest from Asia that appeared for the first time in the United States in Berks County nearly four years ago.

Potentially at stake are Pennsylvania’s grape, tree-fruit, hardwood and nursery industries, which generate agricultural crops and forest products worth nearly $18 billion annually. The insect also can cause damage to high-value ornamentals in home landscapes and can affect quality of life for residents.

 

After the lanternfly’s discovery in 2014, the state Department of Agriculture imposed a quarantine regulating the movement of plants, plant-based materials and outdoor household items out of the quarantine area. Originally covering parts of eastern Berks County, the quarantine now encompasses all of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Carbon, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Monroe, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties.

Penn State Extension educators and College of Agricultural Sciences researchers are working with state and federal agriculture officials to study the insect, develop control strategies and educate local leaders, growers and the public about what to do if they find spotted lanternflies or their eggs. The goal is to stop the pest’s spread and, ultimately, to eradicate it.

Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State Extension horticulture educator based in Montgomery County, her Northampton County-based extension colleague Amy Korman, and other Penn State specialists have spoken at scores of public meetings and industry workshops, authored articles and fact sheets, served as expert sources for news media stories, trained Penn State Master Gardeners and other volunteers, and testified at General Assembly committee hearings.

Swackhamer said enlisting the public to help control lanternfly populations is a top priority. “This is a community problem, and it’s going to take a community effort to solve it,” she said.

Part of that effort is ensuring that citizens and businesses don’t unwittingly carry lanternflies or their eggs to other areas. “Spotted lanternflies are great hitchhikers, and they will lay eggs on a multitude of outdoor objects, such as cars, RVs and campers, plant materials, and other items that could be transported out of the quarantine area,” Swackhamer said. “To raise awareness, the state Department of Agriculture is using the slogan, ‘Look before you leave,’ emphasizing the need to inspect vehicles and other items before traveling out of a quarantined county.”

Lanternfly eggs are expected to hatch in late April or early May, so knowing what egg masses look like and destroying any that are found is an important control tactic, she said. But as eggs hatch, what can a grower or homeowner do to combat an infestation?

 

 

“When I get calls from residents seeking advice, I talk them through an integrated pest management (IPM) thought process,” Swackhamer said. “Start with mechanical approaches, such as scraping and destroying egg masses and swatting or vacuuming nymphs and adults, if practical. If you kill one female that could lay 100 eggs in its lifetime, you can have an impact on next year’s population.”

She also recommends conserving natural enemies such as spiders and praying mantids that prey on lanternflies. “If someone wants to use pesticides, they can try least-toxic options first, and they must take timing into account — not all methods will work on all life stages of the insect.”

The pest does not attack fruit or foliage. Rather, it uses its piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on the woody parts of plants, such as grape vines and the trunks and branches of trees, where it excretes a substance known as honeydew and inflicts wounds that weep with sap.

The honeydew and sap can attract bees and other insects and provide a medium for growth of fungi, such as sooty mold, which covers leaf surfaces and can stunt growth. Plants with heavy infestations may not survive.

To develop near-term solutions for managing lanternfly infestations, Korman and Swackhamer have done applied research to test the efficacy of various pesticides, both contact insecticides and systemic products that are applied to plants and kill the pests when they feed on the sap. They also have looked at “softer,” lower-toxicity products.Researchers at Penn State’s Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville, Adams County, also have conducted pesticide efficacy trials with an eye toward providing control solutions for growers of grapes and apples.

Until research bears more fruit, Penn State Extension and Penn State’s Department of Entomology are deploying state and federal funds to add staff and enhance extension programming. Entomologists also are seeking additional USDA grants to continue research on spotted lanternfly biology and behavior, the development of biocontrols such as natural enemies, and other topics related to this exotic and unusual pest.

As the battle against spotted lanternfly rages on, Korman urges homeowners and others not to let the “good-idea fairy” persuade them to use unconventional — and perhaps illegal — control methods that may be hazardous to themselves or harmful to the environment. .

For more information about how to identify and control spotted lanternfly, how to report an infestation and how to comply with quarantine regulations, visit the Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly or the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture website at http://agriculture.pa.gov.

Two area residents have been arrested on drug charges. .State police at Kane cited 19 year old Caden Lloyd of Port Allegany for possession of drug paraphernalia and summary traffic offenses. Troopers claim when they stopped Lloyd on Aok Street in Port Allegany just afternoon Thursday, they found drug paraphernalia inside his car.

Emporium state police arrested 21 year old John Wilson from  that town for possession of  suspected marijuana. Wilson was a passenger in a car stopped by police in a driveway on Sycamore Street on the afternoon April 11. Authorities claim they smelled pot while talking to the d river and allegedly found Wilson had been smoking the drug.

State police in Ridgway say a number of agencies are investigating a simple assault case allegedly  taking place last Friday afternoon at the Ridgway Middle School. A 40 yearold man is suspected of assault a 14 year old on school property and during school hours.

 

 

The approach of spring gobbler season has Pennsylvania hunters eager to get afield. That they’ll be participating in the state’s 50th anniversary spring-gobbler hunt further sweetens the pot.

Properly licensed junior hunters and mentored youth can head afield Saturday, April 21 to participate in Pennsylvania’s annual youth spring turkey hunt. A week later, on April 28, all hunters can head into Penn’s Woods in pursuit of spring gobblers.

The forecast for the coming season is a statewide turkey population numbering between 210,000 to 220,000 birds, said Mary Jo Casalena, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s wild turkey biologist.

“Pennsylvania’s turkey population will provide plenty of excitement for those who choose to head afield for the Commonwealth’s golden anniversary spring turkey hunt,” Casalena said. “Make no mistake, Pennsylvania remains one of America’s premier turkey-hunting destinations.”

Turkeys are coming through a relatively mild winter, and they again had a tremendous acorn crop last fall to help them with winter survival. A light fall harvest – preliminarily estimated at 11,780 – sparked by greater supplies of fall foods and fewer hunters afield also has helped kindle increased expectations for the spring hunt.

“Last spring, hunters took 38,101 birds in the state’s turkey seasons,” Casalena said. “I expect a similar harvest this spring, somewhere between 36,000 and 38,000 turkeys.”

Hunters should note the second spring gobbler license only is on sale prior to the start of the season. Once April 28 rolls around, it’s too late to purchase one.

“So, hunters who want to ensure their best opportunity to hunt as many days of the season as they can need to buy the license soon,” Casalena said. “There’s promise for a great season.”

With spring and the accompanying emergence of insects upon us, grape growers, orchardists, nursery operators, homeowners and others in southeastern Pennsylvania are bracing for infestations of spotted lanternfly, an invasive pest from Asia that appeared for the first time in the United States in Berks County nearly four years ago.

Potentially at stake are Pennsylvania’s grape, tree-fruit, hardwood and nursery industries, which generate agricultural crops and forest products worth nearly $18 billion annually. The insect also can cause damage to high-value ornamentals in home landscapes and can affect quality of life for residents.

After the lanternfly’s discovery in 2014, the state Department of Agriculture imposed a quarantine regulating the movement of plants, plant-based materials and outdoor household items out of the quarantine area. Originally covering parts of eastern Berks County, the quarantine now encompasses all of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Carbon, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Monroe, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties.

Penn State Extension educators and College of Agricultural Sciences researchers are working with state and federal agriculture officials to study the insect, develop control strategies and educate local leaders, growers and the public about what to do if they find spotted lanternflies or their eggs. The goal is to stop the pest’s spread and, ultimately, to eradicate it.

Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State Extension horticulture educator based in Montgomery County, her Northampton County-based extension colleague Amy Korman, and other Penn State specialists have spoken at scores of public meetings and industry workshops, authored articles and fact sheets, served as expert sources for news media stories, trained Penn State Master Gardeners and other volunteers, and testified at General Assembly committee hearings.

Swackhamer said enlisting the public to help control lanternfly populations is a top priority. “This is a community problem, and it’s going to take a community effort to solve it,” she said.

Part of that effort is ensuring that citizens and businesses don’t unwittingly carry lanternflies or their eggs to other areas. “Spotted lanternflies are great hitchhikers, and they will lay eggs on a multitude of outdoor objects, such as cars, RVs and campers, plant materials, and other items that could be transported out of the quarantine area,” Swackhamer said. “To raise awareness, the state Department of Agriculture is using the slogan, ‘Look before you leave,’ emphasizing the need to inspect vehicles and other items before traveling out of a quarantined county.”

Lanternfly eggs are expected to hatch in late April or early May, so knowing what egg masses look like and destroying any that are found is an important control tactic, she said. But as eggs hatch, what can a grower or homeowner do to combat an infestation?

“When I get calls from residents seeking advice, I talk them through an integrated pest management (IPM) thought process,” Swackhamer said. “Start with mechanical approaches, such as scraping and destroying egg masses and swatting or vacuuming nymphs and adults, if practical. If you kill one female that could lay 100 eggs in its lifetime, you can have an impact on next year’s population.”

She also recommends conserving natural enemies such as spiders and praying mantids that prey on lanternflies. “If someone wants to use pesticides, they can try least-toxic options first, and they must take timing into account — not all methods will work on all life stages of the insect.”

The pest does not attack fruit or foliage. Rather, it uses its piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on the woody parts of plants, such as grape vines and the trunks and branches of trees, where it excretes a substance known as honeydew and inflicts wounds that weep with sap.

The honeydew and sap can attract bees and other insects and provide a medium for growth of fungi, such as sooty mold, which covers leaf surfaces and can stunt growth. Plants with heavy infestations may not survive.

To develop near-term solutions for managing lanternfly infestations, Korman and Swackhamer have done applied research to test the efficacy of various pesticides, both contact insecticides and systemic products that are applied to plants and kill the pests when they feed on the sap. They also have looked at “softer,” lower-toxicity products.Researchers at Penn State’s Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville, Adams County, also have conducted pesticide efficacy trials with an eye toward providing control solutions for growers of grapes and apples.

Until research bears more fruit, Penn State Extension and Penn State’s Department of Entomology are deploying state and federal funds to add staff and enhance extension programming. Entomologists also are seeking additional USDA grants to continue research on spotted lanternfly biology and behavior, the development of biocontrols such as natural enemies, and other topics related to this exotic and unusual pest.

As the battle against spotted lanternfly rages on, Korman urges homeowners and others not to let the “good-idea fairy” persuade them to use unconventional — and perhaps illegal — control methods that may be hazardous to themselves or harmful to the environment. .

For more information about how to identify and control spotted lanternfly, how to report an infestation and how to comply with quarantine regulations, visit the Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly or the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture website at http://agriculture.pa.gov.

Two area residents have been arrested on drug charges. .State police at Kane cited 19 year old Caden Lloyd of Port Allegany for possession of drug paraphernalia and summary traffic offenses. Troopers claim when they stopped Lloyd on Aok Street in Port Allegany just afternoon Thursday, they found drug paraphernalia inside his car.

Emporium state police arrested 21 year old John Wilson from  that town for possession of  suspected marijuana. Wilson was a passenger in a car stopped by police in a driveway on Sycamore Street on the afternoon April 11. Authorities claim they smelled pot while talking to the d river and allegedly found Wilson had been smoking the drug.

State police in Ridgway say a number of agencies are investigating a simple assault case allegedly  taking place last Friday afternoon at the Ridgway Middle School. A 40 yearold man is suspected of assault a 14 year old on school property and during school hours.