Black Forest Express


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Thursday’s high, 85; overnight low, 66







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Causer is frustrated with Governor’s veto of milk hauling bill…State police advise residents the department does not solicit funds via phone or mail…Police Chief Phelps unhurt in patrol car roll over…..Wellsboro driver escapes injury in car/deer encounter…camp break-in being probed by state police at Lewis Run….Vandals cut down tree in Ridgway……

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5 Podcast Part A


State police, are warning residents about a scam and reminding them that the Pennsylvania State Police do not solicit funds for the department by phone or mail. They are asking that if you receive a money request by telephone from someone claiming to be a member of the force, obtain as much information as possible, such as name, call back number etc. and then notify your local barracks. If you receive such a request by mail, take the information to your local state police station as soon as possible. If you receive a money request over the internet, take a copy of all information received to your local barracks as soon as possible. Any questions regarding calls, mailings or internet contacts, received from Pennsylvania state police should be clarified by contacting local authorities.

Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter), chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, today expressed frustration with Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to veto his bill to aid the state’s struggling dairy farmers. House Bill 915 sought to exempt milk trucks from weather-related commercial vehicle travel bans to ensure farmers can get their milk to market regardless of weather. If farmers can’t transport their milk, they will have no choice but to dump it.“The governor’s decision to veto this bill is very much at odds with what he says about his support for our farmers. Every single agriculture organization across the state supports this bill because they know dairy farmers have only two options for the milk produced on their farms – they have to ship it out or they have to dump it. Period. Cows are going to produce milk no matter what the weather forecast – you can’t change their milking schedules and you can’t just turn them off!“I understand the governor’s concern for public safety in extreme conditions, but when we look at the travel bans issued this past winter, most of the ‘storms’ turned out to be nothing more than typical wintry weather conditions…if that,” Causer said. “And when conditions do deteriorate, keeping these heavy milk trucks on interstates and off of secondary roads, which are plowed and treated far less often, is often the safer option.”Causer’s committee held a hearing on his bill and worked hard to ensure the exemption was very narrow and could apply only to milk haulers. In fact, the bill would have required any haulers who wished to take advantage of the exemption to obtain a decal issued by the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board and display it on their vehicles.

“I’m not sure what the governor fails to understand about the problems his travel bans have caused for our dairy industry, which is already struggling to stay afloat. You can spend all the money you want on things like developing the market for organics and increasing processing opportunities, but if you can’t get the milk off the farm, what’s the point?”

State Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) announces  that more than $27.4 million in impact fees from the natural gas drilling industry are coming back to the counties and municipalities in Bradford, Potter and Tioga counties.

“Once again, the 68th District is among the biggest winners in the state in terms of funding coming back to the district from the impact tax on the natural gas industry,” said Owlett.

Since 2012, impact fee revenues have topped $1.7 billion, and distribution figures for 2018 are approximately $33.4 million higher than in 2017.

Impact fee revenues for 2018 resulted in the following disbursements: Bradford County will receive $6,208,381 and Bradford County municipalities will receive $10,718,419; Potter County will receive $421,948 and Potter County municipalities will receive $705,684; Tioga County will receive $3,420,476 and Tioga County municipalities will receive $5,952,127.

“Bradford and Tioga counties are among the top producing counties in the state when it comes to natural gas drilling,” said Owlett. “Because of that, it is great to learn that such a large sum is coming back to the counties and communities that support drilling operations. This money will be put to good use on infrastructure improvements, environmental projects and much more.”

Under Act 13 of 2012, impact fees are generated by the extraction of natural gas. The fees fluctuate depending on the price of natural gas and the rate of inflation, and a portion of those fees are directed back to the communities impacted by natural gas drilling.

Fees are collected from the drilling companies with 60% returned to benefit counties and local municipalities affected by drilling. The rest of the money goes into a Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund administered by the state to be used for emergency response planning, training and other activities; water, storm water, and sewer system construction and repair; infrastructure maintenance and repair; as well as statewide environmental initiatives.

Sweden Township police chief Bryan Phelps was taken to UPMC  to be checked out after his unmarked patrol car rolled over Thursday afternoon on Route 6 near Promised Lane. According to investigators, Phelps was tried to avoid a large body of water on the road during a sudden treacherous rain storm. The car slid off the road and hit an embankment before rolling over onto its roof. Phelps was wearing a seatbelt and an alcohol/drug screen was conducted as per department policy.

A Wellsboro driver  escaped injury in a car/deer encounter early  Tuesday morning in Charleston Township, Tioga County.  According to Mansfield state police, Gerald Austin could not avoid hitting a whitetail which entered his lane of travel.  Austin’s Nissan Rogue sustained moderate damage.

State police at Mansfield have cited a 16 year old Canton driver for speeding after a one-vehicle crash last Friday in Ward Township. The teen was going north on the Gleason Road when his Chevrolet Aveo went off the road while making a left curve at a bridge.

An ID theft   victimizing a 64 year old Smethport woman is being investigated by state police at Lewis Run. The woman told police  Wednesday  that someone had withdrawn a su m of money from her bank account without authorization.

Unknown vandals cut down a tree owned by Ridgway Township  last Friday or Saturday which had been located on Red Fox  lane.

And troopers at Lewis Run are investigating  recent vandalism to a camp on Bradt Hollow in Ceres Township. Two windows were  discovered  broken last Friday. It’s not known if anything was taken.