Tuesday’s high, 55; Overnight low, 54; .19” of rain







Causer’s bill to help rural EMS Services awaiting governor’s signature….PA Cat tested positive for Covid….Virus cases continue to inch up in region…Troopers at Coudersport investigate shooting of cat in Genesee…..

Legislation to improve the affordability and accessibility of emergency medical services training in rural areas has been approved by both the House and Senate and now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature, said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint), prime sponsor of the measure.

“With the number of volunteer first responders rapidly declining in rural communities across the state, one of the most important things we can do to help is make sure people who want to serve can afford the necessary training to do so,” Causer said. “EMT class costs are approaching $1,000, which is a lot to ask of someone who wants to volunteer his or her time to serve their community.”

House Bill 1838 would make training more affordable by increasing funding for the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund (EMSOF) and requiring at least 30% of the funding to be used to provide training to underserved rural areas. In addition, the bill would require no less than 10% of the funds to be provided directly to EMS providers to help with purchasing medical equipment for their ambulances.

EMSOF is currently funded by a $10 fee on moving violations and a $25 fee for driving under the influence incidents. Causer’s bill would increase those fees to $20 and $50, respectively. It would be the first increase in the fees in more than three decades.

Finally, the bill would require the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a review of the last five years of court records to ensure EMSOF money is being collected and deposited properly, and to provide recommendations if needed to ensure the money is being used as intended.

The bill is part of the General Assembly’s ongoing effort to support life-saving emergency medical services organizations across the state by addressing staffing and funding needs. Causer previously spearheaded the successful effort to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for Advanced Life Support and Basic Life Support ambulance calls. He also was a vocal supporter of laws to require insurance companies to reimburse for treatment provided, even when no transport takes place; allow direct pay from insurance companies to EMS providers; and offer staffing waivers to ambulance companies in rural areas so they may continue to serve their communities.

Despite the state’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a domestic cat — announced today (Oct. 20) by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture — veterinary experts say residents should not be concerned about contracting the virus from pets and other domesticated animals.

However, people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infections should take precautions to protect the health of their pets, according to Suresh Kuchipudi, clinical professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.


“We don’t believe that animals, especially pets and other domesticated animals, play a significant role in spreading the novel coronavirus,” said Kuchipudi, who also is associate director of Penn State’s Animal Diagnostic Laboratory.

“The few reports of animals testing positive are believed to be cases where the animals got the virus from close contact with infected humans, and so far, there is no evidence that animals can transmit it back to people,” he said.

The Pennsylvania cat, a 16-year-old male in Cumberland County, lived in a household with several people who had been diagnosed with COVID-19. After suffering worsening respiratory distress, the cat was humanely euthanized. It was one of eight cats to test positive for COVID-19 in the United States to date, all of which were known to have prolonged exposure to infected people.

Symptoms of COVID-19 in pets include fever, coughing, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, lethargy, sneezing, nose or eye discharge, vomiting, and diarrhea. The Department of Agriculture advises pet owners to contact their veterinarian if their pets exhibit symptoms after contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

Kuchipudi echoed advice from state animal health officials for COVID-19-positive pet owners to help keep their animals healthy:

  • Avoid contact with pets and other animals, as you would other people.
  • While under isolation, arrange for another household member to care for your pets.
  • Avoid contact such as petting, holding, snuggling, facial contact and sleeping in the same bed.
  • Wear a mask and wash your hands before feeding or tending to your pets if you are unable to find alternative care for them.

Kuchipudi noted that pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, such as canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Penn State’s Animal Diagnostic Lab, part of the three-lab Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System, has the capability, equipment and supplies needed to test animals for SARS-CoV-2. These tests are designed specifically to avoid any cross-reactivity with common veterinary coronaviruses affecting companion animals. However, at this time, the Penn State lab will provide animal testing for SARS-CoV-2 only if requested and approved by Pennsylvania public health and animal health officials.




Although SARS-CoV-2 is thought to have originated in bats, Kuchipudi explained that viruses can evolve to infect other species. This evolution, however, generally takes a long period of time. In addition, a virus’s ability to adapt and spread efficiently in a new host species requires sustained transmission among members of that species.He said COVID-19 infection in animals is not widespread, and the few known cases are linked to the animals’ proximity to an infected human.

“Based on the scientific evidence to date, it is safe to assume that the cases in pets are just opportunistic infections and that the virus does not replicate very efficiently in domestic animals, which means that these animals likely are not a source of infection to humans,” Kuchipudi said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., October 19, that there were 1,557additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 184,872.

Allegheny is reporting an increase of 106 cases, Delaware is reporting an increase of 109 cases, and Philadelphia is reporting an increase of 158 cases.

The number of tests administered within the last 7 days between October 13 and October 19 is 228,245 with 10,011 positive cases. There were 28,978 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m., October 19.

There are 8,533 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 33 new deaths reported. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

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 1,855 cases who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases and 648 patients who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure.

There are 2,155,639 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. More data is available here.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 24,735 resident cases of COVID-19, and 5,403 cases among employees, for a total of 30,138 at 1,028 distinct facilities in 62 counties. Out of our total deaths, 5,614 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here.

Approximately 11,739 of the total cases are among health care workers.

Here in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service Area. The number of cases continues to move up. Tioga County has 129 cases McKean,78; Elk 91; Potter 38; while Cameron County is still holding at 8 cases. Across the border in New York State Cattaraugus County has 406 cases and Allegany County has 212.



State Police at Ridg way failed to provide details about a one vehicle crash occurring on the Million Dollar Highway. The driver and passenger were both taken to Penn Highlands ELK for treatment of injuries. According to State Police regulations, that information is public. And we’ll try to get the details for you.

DUI charges are pending against a 33 year old Johnsonburg woman following one vehicle crash Saturday night on the Glen Hazel road in Jones Township. County Police said when they investigated a vehicle being in a ditch and the driver unresponsive they determined she had been driving her 2018 Chevy Silverado under the influence of alcohol.

State Police at Lewis Run are continuing  their investigation into the report of a father striking his 11 and 13 year old daughters at their home on the East Valley Road in Keating township last Thursday. Police were notified by Child LIne

Coudersport Based State police report a 17 year old Austin girl was hurt in a one vehicle crash occurring Tuesday morning on the Cowley Hill Road in Portage Township. The teen was driving a 2003 Jeep Liberty and swerved to miss a deer. The Jeep went off the road onto the West berm where it struck a tree with the driver’s side then spun around 180 degrees ejecting the operator through the back window. The driver was taken to UPMC Cole for evaluation and treatment of injuries.

A Coudersport man was treated at UPMC Cole for injuries he suffered in a motorcycle accident on West Chestnut street in Coudersport borough Monday, just after 6am.  Mark Ahern was traveling East when his Harley Davidson motorcycle went out of control when he tried  to avoid a deer. The bike came to final rest along the eastbound lane and operator was taken to UPMC Cole

Troopers at Coudersport are investigating a Cruelty to Animals crime taking place Saturday between on Academy Street in Genesee. Police were called to that location and found that a cat had been shot with a small caliber gun, but was still alive.Tthere was a small entrance hole and exit hole from an unknown caliber firearm or pellet gun. The cat belongs to Donald Hamilton of  Genesee and anyone with information about that is as to contact state police at Coudersport.

Coudersport state police also investigated a report of animal cruelty occurring on the  Phoenix Run Road in Hector Township Potter County. They received an anonymous complaint Monday that a horse had a wound on his back legs was not being treated by a veterinarian. The responding trooper did not observe any wounded animals at the scene. However, the investigation is continuing and anyone who has additional information is asked to call state police at Coudersport.

A young passenger was hurt  in a collision Sunday afternoon on Route 6 in Roulette Township, according to Coudersport base State Police. The collision occurred when Kayla Goodreau  of Port Allegany was going east on Route 6 and Theodorus  Georgeis Jr.  of Milmay,NJ  New Jersey was attempting to enter the highway to go west on Route 5 and drove in front of Goodreau who was unable to avoid the collision. A 3 year old boy in Goodreau’s car was taken to UPMC Cole for evaluation and treatment. The drivers  and a passenger in the other car, Jerica Hudson of Cedarville, NJ were not hurt.

The theft of some items from a vehicle at UPMC Cole  between 10am and 10:45am. Sunday is being probed by troopers at the Coudersport  barracks. Thieves removed a driver’s license, checkbook and various cards from a vehicle belonging to a 64 year old Cyclone woman. The vehicles described as a 2005 dodge

drug possession charges are being filed after an investigation revealed a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia were discovered in a vehicle parked at 354 West Branch road and West Branch township Potter county on Saturday morning, but vehicle was unattended and no arrests were made

State Police A Coudersport have arrested 53 year old William Langworthy of Roulette for disorderly conduct. Authorities claim that he urinated on the right front tire on  a 1997 Ford F 250 Super cab pickup belonging to a 23 year old Roulette resident.

Two Galeton  residents have been arrested on DUI related charges. Police say they conducted an encounter with a 2010 black Nissan Versa on Main Street in the village of Roulett back on October 5, and found that the driver was driving under the influence and was allegedly in possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Charges against 26 year old Timothy Cole and Elyse Foster are pending in district court.

A burglary at a residence on Route 414 in Union township Tioga  County is being investigated by troopers at Mansfield sometime October 8 or 9.  Thieves entered a locked detached  garage in Canton. Two frozen pizzas and the card containing a security code to a vehicle were stolen. The items belong to an elderly Canton couple and a 51 year old Canton man.

A theft occurring on Joe Hill Road in Union township Tioga County on the first of October is also under state police investigation. Someone stole a blue five gallon diesel fuel  container and a two and a half gallon gas container. The victims that are listed is Matthew Ward of Roaring Branch and George Smith of Howard told  police that a red five gallon gas container was left in the yard.The  fuel container is valued at  $35.  Smith told police that while his log truck was parked in a wooded area someone removed a black tool box with red handles valued at $1,070




Photo by John Eaton

Kathy Siegrist displays one of her Breast Cancer Awareness party pound cakes decorated with pink, white and red sprinkles.



This Thursday, Oct. 22 and next Thursday, Oct. 29 from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. the last two Wellsboro Growers Markets will be on the front lawn of the First Presbyterian Church at 130 Main Street in Wellsboro, weather permitting.


Linda Baldassari will be at the New View Farm booth on Oct. 22 with Linda Sweely’s English Christmas Cake snack packs; freshly made cinnamon buns; breads, including focaccia, sourdough, herb, everything, multigrain and beer; and cinnamon raisin and everything bagels; maple syrup and maple cream; honey and creamed honey; jams and jellies; tomato relish; jalapeno pepper spread; candy; garlic, lettuce, pesto, sauerkraut, horseradish and sprouts.


At the Between Two Rivers Maple Products booth on Oct. 22 will be Sally and Jeff Jones with pumpkin maple whoopie pies; maple cinnamon buns and maple sticky buns; maple candied pecans and almonds; and maple syrup and candies.


Neither New View Farm nor Between Two Rivers Maple Products will be at the Oct. 29 market.


Gary and Cheryl Keeney will be at this Thursday’s market with winter squash, onions, cauliflower. cabbage, pumpkins, gourds, ornamental corn and popcorn bunches from the Keeney Farm.


Ray and Janet MacWhinnie of Udder Merry Mac Farm will bring their own lettuce blend, basil, artisan tomatoes, arugula, mixed greens, mini cucumbers, beet greens, sweet peppers and freshly picked raspberries.


If they have enough vegetables and fruits, the Keeney and Udder Merry Mac farms will be at the Oct. 29 market.


At the Oct. 22 and 29 markets will be the pound cake lady, Kathy Siegrist of Bakery 303. This Thursday, she is bringing the Breast Cancer Awareness Month party pound cakes decorated inside and out with red, pink and white sprinkles and to the Oct. 29 market, the fall party pound cakes with red, orange, yellow and brown sprinkles. On Oct. 22, Siegrist will also be offering her apple cinnamon, classic butter, lemon with lemon glaze, serious chocolate and coconut pound cakes.


Liz McLelland of Yorkshire Meadows will have her freshly made apple dumplings; pecan sandies; salted caramel shortbread; pumpkin bars; lemon bars; scones; shortbread cookies; ginger cookies; peanut butter cookies; Eccles cakes; carrot cakes; lemon and lime curd; triple berry jam and orange marmalade at the Oct. 22 and 29 markets.


To both markets Jean LaCroce of Heart Dog Delectables is bringing her freshly made and decorated dog bones, paw prints, dog and cat faces and stick figures, spiders, bats and mummies, some specially decorated for Halloween and others for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She  will also be offering stained glass suncatchers in different designs, such as hearts, paw prints, dogs, cancer ribbons, moons and bears.


Frank Maffei, owner of Staggering Unicorn Winery and a winemaker for almost 30 years, will host free tastings and sell wines he has created, such as cranberry, pineapple strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and mint chocolate as well as other flavors at the Oct. 22 and 29 markets.


Customers are asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Call Thomas Putnam at 570-439-2000 or email wellsborogrowersmarket@gmail.com for more information