Wednesday’s high 60; Overnight low 50






McKean and Clinton Counties added to Drought Warning….DCNR opens additional roads for hunting & other  fall activities…..Mansfield based state police investigate theft of truck tires and rims…Derringer stolen from Middlebury Center home…Mansfield man accused of physical harassment…Survey stakes stolen in Elk County….Duke Center man’s car hydroplanes off road.…..

After a meeting of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have moved Clinton and McKean counties to drought warning and added 13 counties to drought watch. There are now three counties on drought warning: Clinton, McKean, and Potter.

There are now 29 counties on drought watch: Armstrong, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Cumberland, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Warren, and Wyoming.

Residents on drought warning are asked to reduce their individual water use 10-15 percent, based on a statewide average of 62 gallons per person per day. This means a reduction of six to nine gallons a day.

Residents on drought watch are asked to reduce their individual water use 5-10 percent, or a reduction of three to six gallons of water per day.

DEP is notifying all water suppliers in these counties of the need to monitor their supplies and be prepared by updating their drought contingency plans as necessary. Varying localized conditions may lead water suppliers or municipalities to ask residents for more stringent conservation actions by residents. Eighteen water suppliers in these counties have begun asking or requiring residents to reduce their water use.

There are many ways to reduce water use around the house and yard, including:

  • Run water only when necessary. Don’t let the faucet run while brushing your teeth or shaving. Shorten the time you let the water run to warm up before showering. Use a bucket to catch the water and reuse it to water your plants.
  • Run the dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads.
  • When watering your garden, be efficient and effective: Water in the evening or morning, and direct the water to the ground at the base of the plant, so you don’t waste water through evaporation.
  • Water your lawn only if necessary. Apply no more than 1 inch of water per week (use an empty can to determine how long it takes to water 1 inch). Avoid watering on windy and hot days. This pattern will encourage healthier, deeper grass roots. Over-watering is wasteful, encourages fungal growth and disease, and results in shallow, compacted root systems that are more susceptible to drought.
  • Re-use old water from bird baths, vases, or pet bowls to water plants.
  • When mowing your lawn, set the blades to 2-3 inches high. Longer grass shades the soil, improving moisture retention. It also grows thicker and develops a deeper root system, so it can better survive drought.
  • Check for household leaks. For example, a leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water daily.
  • Sweep your sidewalk, deck, or driveway, rather than hosing it off.
  • Replace older appliances with high-efficiency, front-loading models that use about 30 percent less water and 40-50 percent less energy.
  • Install low-flow plumbing fixtures and aerators on faucets.

Find more tips at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

DEP makes drought watch, warning, or emergency declaration recommendations based on four numeric indicators. The agency gets stream flow and groundwater level data from a statewide network of gauges maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey. In addition, DEP monitors precipitation and soil moisture. DEP also factors in information it receives from public water suppliers.

There are normal ranges for all four indicators, and DEP makes its drought status recommendations after assessing the departures from these normal ranges for all indicators for periods of 3-12 months. Declarations are not based on one indicator alone. For details on indicator monitoring, see this fact sheet: Drought Management in Pennsylvania.

DEP shares these data and its recommendations with other state and federal agency personnel who make up the Commonwealth Drought Task Force. Drought watch and warning declarations are determined by DEP, with the concurrence of the task force. Drought emergency declarations follow the same process, with final approval by the Governor.

A drought emergency has not been declared for any county.

The next Drought Task Force meeting will be in two weeks.

Find more information at

 Hunters and other outdoors enthusiasts heading into Pennsylvania’s state-owned woodlands this autumn will find additional roads open in 18 of the 20 state forest districts, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced today.

The Bureau of Forestry is opening more than 525 miles of state forest roads normally open only for administrative use. They again will be available to hunters, hikers, foliage viewers, and others visiting state forestlands this fall.

More than 3,000 miles of state forest roadways will be open during the traditional statewide archery deer season, which opens Saturday, October 3, and closes Saturday, November 14.

They will continue to stay open through other hunting seasons continuing into January 2021.

With the hunter in mind, DCNR and the Pennsylvania Game Commission continue to update an interactive map of state forestlands and game lands across Pennsylvania.

The map offers information on the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) and Disease Management Areas, and details on newly opened roads, timber harvesting activity, forestry office contacts, and more.

Meanwhile, top-quality hunting is offered at many state parks — especially those in the 12.5-county Pennsylvania Wilds region — where state forestland often surrounds them.

Inexpensive camping can be found at many of those parks.

Primitive camping on state forestlands is also an option, giving hunters a backcountry camping or hunting experience.

Camping permits, issued by the managing forest district, are required when camping on state forestlands on designated sites.

Many of these campsites are close to state parks and forestlands enrolled in the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Deer Management Assistance Program, permitting hunters to take one antlerless deer or more when properly licensed.

Hunters traveling to some north central areas of the state are reminded some hunting areas and travel routes may be impacted by Marcellus Shale-related activities.

Some state forest roads may be temporarily closed during drilling operations or other peak periods of heavy use to reduce potential safety hazards.

Some state forest roads only will be opened for the second week of the traditional rifle season because they cannot withstand the expected heavy traffic of the first week of that season.


Two- or three-month long openings will be in effect only where there is minimal threat of damage or deterioration to road surfaces or forest surroundings.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., September 30, that there were 1,153 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 158,967. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19. Here in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service Area. The number of cases continues to inch up Tioga County now has 78;  Elk 73; McKean 59; Potter 29; and Cameron eight across the border. Cattaraugus County has moved up to 276 cases while Allegheny County has gone up to 114.

The number of tests administered within the last 7 days between September 23 and September 29 is 191,995 with 6,168 positive cases. There were 23,163 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m., September 29. These results represent the total number of tests administered.

There are 8,142 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 19 new deaths reported. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

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

There are 1,879,127 patients who have tested negative to date. Of the patients who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:

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 22,935 resident cases of COVID-19, and 5,079 cases among employees, for a total of 28,014 at 984 distinct facilities in 61 counties including Elk and McKean. Out of our total deaths, 5,456 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities.

Approximately 10,765 of the total cases are among health care workers.

State Police at Mansfield have arrested a 29 year old Mansfield man whose name they did not release for physical harassment. Authorities claim that the suspect pushed a wardrobe into the right shoulder of a 16 year old girl and then slammed the resident’s door on the left side of a 20 year old Mansfield woman’s residence and told her quote” I’m going to rip your fucking throat”.  The  suspect was cited for two counts of harassment in District Court.

Troopers  at Mansfield are also investigating a burglary occurring at a house on Route 287 and Middlebury Township, sometime since July 1. During that period of time, a Derringer 22 Magnum caliber pistol belonging to a 74 year old Middlebury man was stolen. It’s described as having a wooden grip with gunmetal finish on the barrel, double bar.  It’s valued at $50. Anyone with information is asked to call the Mansfield barracks at 570-662-2151.

 Without providing details state police at Mansfield have arrested 35 year old Alanda Neal of Mansfield for dog law violation. An investigation revealed that she had illegally confined dogs on premises apparently belonging to a 58 year old Mansfield woman.

The theft of vehicle parts is also under investigation by Mansfield based state police. Sometime late last week,  thieves took wheels and tires belonging to 21 year old Kaylin Ives of Wellsboro. The Denali style wheels are valued at a total of $950 and they were removed from a 2003 Chevy Silverado. Police have a suspect in that case, but did not release a name.

 A couple of Duke center residents escaped serious injury in a one vehicle crash occurring Tuesday night on Route 155 near the intersection of Birch Run Road in Liberty Township, McKean County near Port Allegany. According to troopers, Justin Moore swerved his vehicle to avoid a deer and the unit began to hydroplane going off the road and then it hit a tree and a telephone guidewire  before stopping. The car sustained disabling damage. Moore escaped injury, but his passenger, Anna Frost reported minor injuries to her left leg but she did not require medical attention.

Ridgway based State Police are investigating the theft of several survey stakes along the Quehanna Highway in Benezette Township since June 1.

Troopers at Ridgway did not release details but say they are investigating a reported PFA violation occurring last Wednesday, September 23. On Servida drive in Ridgeway Township, Elk County.