Photo by Gerri Miller

Sunday’s high, 90; Overnight low, 52







Single use plastic bags may have unintended consequences….Covid cases continue to inch up in Black Forest Service area….Weedville woman jailed on Clearfield County warrant…Oregon man arrested for driving while smoking pot in Elk County….PSP arrest Emporium resident for physical harassment….

Before Covid 19, New York State was planning on outlawing  single use plastic bags Pennsylvania lawmakers were considering such a move, but bans and fees on those single use plastic bags could prove costly and have unintended consequences –according to a study from the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, a joint committee of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

The recently released study highlighted how the COVID-19 virus is an example of how disease can be transmitted by reusing grocery bags, stating “a negative public health consequence may result from having residents rely upon (reusable grocery bags) if single-use plastic bags are banned.”

“This study, along with a similar one from the Independent Fiscal Office, demonstrates that banning single-use plastic bags or imposing fees on them may have unforeseen impacts. We need to know more about these actions before implementing them,” said Rep. John Hershey (R-Mifflin/Juniata/Franklin).

Hershey proposed enacting  legislation that prohibits bans or taxes on single-use plastic bags in Pennsylvania until the end of Gov. Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration for COVID-19. He is working on a bill that would extend that prohibition indefinitely.

The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee report found that approximately 102 billion plastic bags are used annually in the United States. The report said many are re-used as pet waste receptacles and trash can liners.

The study estimated that, based on life cycles, cotton carrier bags need to be used as many as 7,100 times to reduce their environmental impact to that of a single-use plastic bag. It also noted cigarette butts are a more prevalent litter source than plastic bags in Pennsylvania.

Hershey represents a district with a major manufacturer of plastic bags, providing hundreds of jobs for Juniata Valley residents.

The Independent Fiscal Office’s study found that a statewide ban of plastic bags would increase consumer costs by $72 million based on consumers purchasing other bags and regular trash bags. If the state had a ban on plastic bags, consumers would switch to paper bags and cause 507 jobs to be lost along with $22 million in earnings, the study said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., July 5, that there are 479 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 89,854. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19. The number of cases continues to go up here in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service area. Cameron County how has 4; Elk, 19; McKean, 20; Potter, 17; and Tioga 26. Across the border in New York State, Allegany County has 63 cases and Cattaraugus County,has 127.

There are 6,753 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 4 new deaths reported. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the department’s website.

Mask wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

There are 634 patients who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure, which are considered probable cases and not confirmed cases. There are 734,846 patients who have tested negative to date

Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 17,923 resident cases of COVID-19, and 3,346 cases among employees, for a total of 21,296 at 709 distinct facilities in 52 counties. Out of the total deaths, 4,592 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here.

Approximately 6,806 of the total cases are in health care workers.

Ridgway based a police are investigating a theft of an “All lives matter” sign that was taken from a yard on Toby road in Fox township this past weekend. The sign was red, white and blue and was taken sometime Saturday or Sunday. Anyone with information is asked to contact state police in Ridgway—814.776.6136.

Troopers at Ridgeway have also arrested 36 year old Jessica  Caldarelli of Weedville for drug possession. Police claim  she gave a fictitious name and date of birth because of Clearlfield  County warrants when they stopped her 2009 Honda Civic on Bennetts  Valley  Highway in Jay Township  Friday night. Police said numerous indicators of criminal activity were observed and a probable cause search was conducted revealing  drug paraphernalia. She was taken into custody based on the Clearfield County warrants and was transported to the Elk County Jail.

A  25 year old Langlois,  Oregon man has been arrested for drug possession by State Police at Ridgway. The driver of a  2010 Chrysler Town and Country  was stopped on Irish Town Road in Fox township late Saturday night for a traffic violation. Police allege  an odor of marijuana was detected at which point a probable cause search of the vehicle was conducted. The suspect whose name was not released e was reportedly  found in possession of marijuana.  Charges  are being sent District Court.

A criminal mischief occurring on East Branch Dam road  in Jones Township Elk County Sunday morning is being probed by troopers at Ridgewa.   Vandals hit a post holding a sign and mailbox causing an undetermined amount of damage. A mirror was left behind and it is believed that the crime took place Saturday or Sunday.

 A 27 year old Emporium  man has been arrested for physical harassment for an incident allegedly taking place Saturday morning just before 10 am at 412 West Allegheny Avenue in  that town. Police say that Jonathan Shroyer  verbally threatened to physically harm 22 year old Cameron Abbey during an argument.  Police say the case remains open pending the resumption of court.

Mansfield based State Police have arrested 44 year old Darren Hudick of Morris for defiant criminal trespass for an incident allegedly taking place on the evening of June 25  along Route 414 in Liberty Township. police claim that Hudick  was found to be on property owned by Union  Cemetery Association of Liberty, after being advised not to go on to the property, and he’s facing charges of trespass in District Court.

State police at Mansfield are investigating a cruelty to animals  allegedly taking place last Wednesday morning atd around 7:30am on Sumner Road in Charleston Township. Police claim that a cat was intentionally harmed and the investigation is continuing.