Monday Aug 29
State Police Arrest 17 People In A Drug Bust
According to police, the suspects were charged after numerous undercover drug
conducted in Bradford County by the Troop P Vice/Narcotic Unit including methamphetamine,
chrystal meth, heroin and prescription narcotics.
Assorted drug charges were filed against Dahn T. Breese, 43, of Gillett;
Janet M. Cobb, 29, of
Towanda; Shawn M. Cranmer, 44 of Wysox; Michelle A. Drogan, 23, of Meshoppen;
Lyle J. Dunn, 61, of Dushore; Stephanie L. Eberlin, 29, of New Albany; Charles M. Fedock, 28,
of Athens; Melissa J. Ferro, 28, of Towanda; James C. Frantz, 26, of Sayre; Rosemary Johnson, 46,
of Towanda; Kyle R. Lane, 31, of Wysox; Brooke N. Maloney, 22, of Towanda;
William H. McClintic, 23, of Monroeton; Joseph P. Neely, 52, of Rome; Molly J. Pedro, 48,
of Towanda; Douglas E. Smith, 39, of Gillette; Bonnie L. Spindler, 24, of Tunkhannock.
Police still are looking for Gerald F. Hicks, 37, of Canton.
Friday Aug 26
With National Back to School Safety month on the way, PennDOT is reminding motorists that students will be walking, biking or riding the bus to get to school.
PennDOT is urging motorists to avoid distractions, obey the speed limit in school zones and be on the lookout for students at this time of year and always. In addition, they are calling on parents and caregivers to talk to children about traffic and school bus safety, and are also reminding motorists to about the school bus stopping law.
Drivers convicted of violating that law could face a fine of $250, five points on their driving record and a 60 days license suspension. For more information, got to www.penndot.gov/safety.
Wednesday Aug 24
Monday Aug 22
Troy Man Sentenced In Robbery
A Bradford County man will spend the next 7 to 15 years behind bars for robbing a Family Dollar Store in Troy at gunpoint last December.
Thursday Aug 18
Wednesday Aug 17
Tuesday Aug 16
Monday Aug 15
Friday Aug 12
Thursday Aug 11
A 2nd Crash Victim Has Died
A 2nd man has died from injuries suffered in an August 3rd crash in Tioga County.
33 year old Harold “Don” Whipple of Williamsport was a passenger in a car
driven by Andy Puhlick
of South Williamsport which was caught up in that five vehicle crash that started when a tractor
trailer plowed into a vehicle driven by Michael McCollum of Watsontown starting a chain reaction
Whipple was pronounced dead yesterday at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.
McCollum died on
Saturday. Puhlick remains in stable condition.
Two Charges With Theft Of Weapons
Two men who are already behind bars on gun and weapons charges in Bradford County now face charges for a gun heist at a business in Wysox which occurred last year.
Police believe that 34 year old Aaron Vanderpool of Wysox took four dozen guns from Fulmer’s Sporting Goods in Wysox last May and then 28 year old Jared Miller transported the guns across the New York State line for sale.
They face a number of counts stemming from that incident.
Wednesday Aug 10
Resurfacing On Route 349 Begins Next Week
On Monday, August 15, a PennDOT maintenance crew in Tioga County will begin a mill and resurfacing project on Route 349 (Church Street) in Westfield Borough.
New Rules Go Into Effect
New rules have gone in to effect which will loosen up restrictions on the wine and liquor business in the state of Pennsylvania.
Legislation passed in the state earlier this year will allow businesses with restaurant and hotel licenses who currently sell beer to go, to apply for another license to sell wine as well. It’s believed some 11,000 businesses are eligible across the state.
In addition, casinos in the state will now be allowed to sell booze all night long, and wineries in other states can now ship directly to PA Customers. Also the PLCB has been given greater flexibility to set hours and prices at its state owned liquor stores.
The legislation was passed to increase state revenues.
Tuesday Aug 9
Body Of Missing Woman Found
The Galeton Borough Police Department confirms that the body of a missing senior citizen was found.
One of the men who were injured in a five vehicle accident on Route 15 in Tioga County has died from his injuries.
Officials are Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre report that 39 year old Michael McCollum from the Turbotville area has died from his injuries suffered in the crash in Bloss Township when traffic slowed for another crash and a tractor trailer slammed into the back of McCollum’s vehicle, pushing it into another one which eventually damaged five vehicles.
Two other men, Andrew Puhlick and a passenger in his vehicle, Harold Whipple remain in critical condition. Three others were treated for minor injuries.
Monday Aug 8
Man Accused Of Possessing Meth Making Materials
State police in Tioga County have announced the arrest of a Tioga man accused of possessing meth making materials.
31 year old Sean Holleran was seen with two others at the Mansfield Wal-Mart as well as the Dollar General store on July 31st purchasing lighter fluid, pseudoephedrine and lithium batteries among other items commonly used to make methamphetamines.
He was stopped by police with the items found in his car and allegedly admitted that he was going to use the items not only to make meth, but also to trade for meth.
He was charged and jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Friday Aug 5
Thursday Aug 4
The preliminary hearing for a Canton man who is accused of killing his girlfriend has been postponed.
28 year old Michael Houseweart is accused of the killing of his girlfriend at the time, 32 year old Michelle Inch in Bradford County back in January of this year. Inch disappeared back in late January after incidents in which Houseweart allegedly stole checks form Inch’s parents, went to their Montoursville area home with another man, tying them up and setting the house on fire, and allegedly killing Inch whose body was not found until two months later.
His preliminary hearing on homicide and other counts has been rescheduled to August 30th.
Wednesday Aug 3
Baker to Host Senior Expo in Wellsboro Aug. 5
citizens residing in the 68th District are invited to a Senior Expo hosted by
Rep. Matt Baker
(R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) on Friday, Aug. 5, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the
Wellsboro Area High
School, 225 Nichols St. in Wellsboro.
The event, which is expected to draw approximately 1,000 attendees, will feature more than 75 vendors from federal, state and county agencies; area businesses; and health organizations providing information and answering questions important to senior citizens.
“The senior expo is always a great event for area residents,” said Baker. “It is a time when older neighbors can catch up with one another while gathering helpful information important to folks their age. I look forward to seeing everyone again this year.”
The Pennsylvania mobile veterans outreach van will be available during the expo to answer questions, offer counseling and help veterans obtain assistance. In addition, flu shots will be administered by Weis Pharmacy to those who present their insurance card, and free hearing screenings will be performed by Dr. Richard Strauch. The Wellsboro Police Department will also be offering a drug take-back program in which individuals can bring in their outdated or no longer used prescription drugs for proper disposal.
Educational programs will include Attorney Rita Alexyn speaking about grandparent’s rights and David Shallcross from the Office of Attorney General presenting information on common scams and how to recognize them.
Admission to the expo is free, lunch and light refreshments will be served, door prizes will be awarded, and local musician Brandon Lusk will provide live music courtesy of Intermediate Unit 17. Free shuttle bus service will also be available from nearby parking lots around the school.
The event is being co-sponsored by the Elder Services Work Group of the Tioga County Partnership for Community Health.
For more information, contact Baker’s district offices at (570) 724-1390 in Wellsboro or (570) 297-3045 in Troy.
New Gmeiner Exhibit To Open This Sunday
The opening reception for
"Standing Stones of Strength & The Winding Ways of Water" will be from 2-4 p.m.
this Sunday, Aug. 7 at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center, 134 Main Street,
Wellsboro. There will be refreshments.
The reception and exhibit are open free to the public.
This multimedia exhibit features the work of Carol Ann Simon Cillo and Steven L. Getz, two artists who find inspiration and solace in the healing spirit of nature and the insight it brings to the complex philosophies of everyday life.
"Whether an interpretation of the forces of nature in a variety of realistic styles or a commentary wound around abstracted images and concepts, this exhibit should tantalize the curiosities of those who appreciate the wonder of a running stream, the stability of a rock outcropping or the glimmer of this precious habitat," said Cillo. "We can find strength in those foundations and encounter new paths along hundreds of winding streams," she added. "Life and art are both journeys of discovery and introspection - both worthy of our best solutions."
To combine their creative skills and ideas into one visual message, the two artists have collaborated on special installation pieces for this show. His work includes oil paintings on canvas or birch and digital prints. She creates acrylic paintings on canvas and sculptural pieces in ceramics that often include graphics or writings accompanied by a poem she has written.
Cillo graduated with a B.S. degree in Art Education from Edinboro University and is a founder and current partner and owner of If-the Idea Factory, a design studio in Lock Haven. The company has been in business for 25 years servicing clients nationwide for graphic and surface design; creative solutions and custom exhibit work. She serves as vice president on the Clinton County Arts Council Board of Directors.
Getz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Lycoming College in Williamsport. He is the 2016 PA Wilds Artisan of the Year, is a partner in the If-the Idea Factory, president of the Clinton County Arts Council Board of Directors and a member of the PA Wilds Artisan Trail Advisory Board, Down Town Lock Haven Board and Clinton County Tourism Advisory Board.
As principals in the idea factory, Cillo and Getz have worked on many projects together, including exhibits and murals at the Taber Museum's collections in Williamsport. They did their first two-person exhibit of oil and acrylic fine art paintings at the Station Gallery in Lock Haven, in 2012, the year it opened.
This exhibit will remain on display through Sunday, Aug. 28. It will be open from 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, Aug. 10-12, 17-19, and 24-26 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Aug. 13 and 14, 20 and 21 and 27 and 28. Admission to the gallery is always free.
To schedule a private tour of this exhibit, contact Director Anna Wales at email@example.com.
Tuesday Aug 2
Friday July 29
Borough Police are attempting to locate SHIRLEY M
FREDERICK, of Galeton. She was last
seen Friday the 7-15-206 In Galeton at about 2:30 PM. She is
about 4'11", wearing teal capri pants,
white t-shirt, and new balance sneakers.
If anyone sees her please contact this department 814-435-2600
or call 911
Thursday July 28
Tioga Man Charged
Keith A. Monroe Jr., of 47 Coleman St., Tioga, was charged by state police with purchasing items used to make methamphetamine.
According to documents, Monroe went into the Richmond Township Wal-Mart on July 21 and purchased a quantity of pseudoephedrine and lighter fluid and took other items from the store, including lithium batteries and a steel necklace.
Monroe was charged with possession of methamphetamine, a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and retail theft.
Monroe was jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail
Mansfield Man Charged For Attacking Child
Chad A. Smith, 23, of 31 Robinson Drive, Mansfield, was charged by state police with attacking a 5-year-old child.
According to documents filed at District Judge James Carlson's office, Smith was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and endangering the welfare of children July 24 after the boy's mother, who was in the bathroom, said he heard a noise and came out to find Smith assaulting the child. She had to pull him off of him, she told police.
Smith was jailed in lieu of $120,000 bail and his preliminary hearing set for Aug. 3.
Tuesday July 26
Robbery in Mansfield
Police are investigating a home robbery in Mansfield this month after a 54 year old resident reported the theft of a Glock 22 pistol, a 220, a Remington 870, a Bushmaster XM15, and assorted ammunition, as well as a ND3 laser, three fishing rods, a 35mm camera lens, and assorted baseball cards.
The total loss to the victim is estimated at over $6,000 and police are asking anyone with information on the crime or the stolen property to contact them in Tioga County.
Thursday July 21
Three Are Dead In Bradford County
A head on crash in Bradford County yesterday morning took three lives. The crash happened around 1pm in Burlington Township on Burlington Turnpike.
A vehicle driven by Phillip Frisbie of Towanda crossed the center line for an
unknown reason and
struck a car driven by Sarah Heasley of Towanda head on. Heasley, and a
Heasley of Towanda were pronounced dead following the crash. An unidentified
in Frisbie’s vehicle was taken to Towanda Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead from his injuries. Frisbie and his passenger, Chey Wood were injured as was a juvenile in the Heasley car.
Their conditions were not released. The crash investigation continues.
IRS Scam In Bradford County
Pennsylvania state police have issued a warning to Bradford County residents about a scam involving the Internal Revenue Service.
Troopers have received from residents reporting that a male identifying himself as an IRS employee contacted them to inform them they are delinquent on their taxes and that state police will arrest them if they do not pay immediately.
Police are reminding residents not to give personal or financial information over the telephone. The IRS will initiate contact with taxpayers through the mail, and doesn't ask for credit card numbers or request prepaid debit cards or wire transfers over the phone or via email, according to the agency's website.
Wednesday July 20
Monday July 18
Baker Says 2016-17 State Budget Invests In Schools, Health Care
Historic Investments In Education Require No Broad-Based Tax Increases
General Assembly this week approved several budget-related bills that were
signed into law to finalize implementation of the 2016-17 state budget,
Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter).
“The 2016-17 budget, which spends $31.6 billion, makes an historic investment in education,” said Baker. “I am pleased we were able to do this while still bringing down the governor’s original budget spending plan by $2 billion and getting him to take off the table any broad-based
taxes on working men and women in the form of a Personal Income Tax or Sales and Use Tax increase.”
The final budget invests $250 million more in PreK-12 education, which includes $200 million more for basic education, $25 million more for Pre-K Counts, $5 million more for Head Start and $20 million more for special education.
Schools within the 68th Legislative District will see the following basic education increases:
• Canton Area School District – $123,516
• Troy Area School District – $ 137,929
• Northern Tioga School District – $247,842
• Southern Tioga School District – $176,148
• Wellsboro Area School District – $172,546
• Galeton Area School District – $57,698
Baker noted that in addition to significant increases in education funding, health care also benefits under the new state budget.
The budget allocates $15 million to combat heroin and opioid addiction, including funds for emergency addiction treatment and behavioral health services.
“In order to further address the state’s growing opioid addiction problem, the governor has also agreed with our call to hold a special session of the Legislature when we can deal exclusively with this matter through new legislation,” said Baker, chairman of the House Health Committee. “This special session, which is rarely done, will allow us to focus our efforts on legislation to address this singular issue.”
Another important health care initiative which will receive funding is West Nile Virus and Zika Virus Control, which will receive increased funding of $1.4 million, for a total of $5.3 million.
The budget also restores funding that was eliminated by the governor for a number of key health programs, including regional cancer institutes, Lupus, trauma prevention, Epilepsy support services, bio-technology research, Tourette Syndrome and ALS support services.
Critical access hospitals will also benefit under the new budget by receiving an additional $1.3 million in funding, which includes money for the newest facility to join the group – Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Wellsboro.
“Critical access hospitals serve some of the state’s most rural areas,” said Baker. “In our area of the state, we already have two such facilities that serve residents – Troy Community Hospital and Charles Cole Memorial Hospital – and now Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital will join the list of critical access hospitals.
“I am pleased health care-related programs and services were prioritized within the 2016-17 state budget,” concluded Baker.
Friday July 15
Elkland Man Faces Charges
Clinton B. Wheaton, 57, of Elkland, faces charges of making a materially false written statement on an ATF form regarding prior commitment to a mental institution, in the attempted purchase of a gun at Beikirch's Hunter's Supply at 210 W. Main St., Elkland, on Nov. 27.
He was released on $5,000 bail and his preliminary hearing set for Aug. 4.
Lawrenceville Man Charged
Seth M. Thomas, 26, of 893 Collum Road, Lawrenceville, faces charges of possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana following a traffic stop on Wheeler Road, Lawrence Township July 5.
He was issued a summons to appear at an Aug. 4 preliminary hearing.
Warnings Issued For Those Playing Pokemon Go
Pennsylvania State police are putting out a warning for those playing the new game Pokemon Go which is downloaded as an app onto phones.
The interactive virtual game utilizes GPS and a camera to allow players to see and virtually capture Pokemon characters while walking around their communities. State police are warning players to be aware of their surroundings as criminal’s might seek the opportunity to target players by luring them or waiting for their arrival at various stops for the game.
Citizens should be aware that distracted game users might not be aware of their surroundings, stopping into streets or into restricted areas.
Thursday July 14
Wellsboro Woman Facing Charges
Julie L. Sherman, 46, of 19 Cone St., Apt. A, Wellsboro, faces charges of aggravated assault, harassment, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness after police responded to a report of a hit-and-run.
According to documents on July 8 Wellsboro police were dispatched to the corner of Cone and Purple streets where they found Sherman lying in the parking area of the apartments located there.
Police said Sherman immediately became "belligerent" with the officer, telling him that she had not been hit by a car, but rather beat up by another person she called "Kathy Bro."
Sherman continued to be belligerent with police and ambulance personnel after they arrived on the scene, the police said.
Police said she also allegedly hit one of them in the face as he was assisting with her litter straps, causing police to put her in handcuffs and take her to the hospital in a patrol vehicle.
Police said she continued shouting and swearing at the hospital, where she was placed in a psychiatric emergency room.
After removing the handcuffs at the request of the emergency room staff, Sherman hit one of the nurses in the face. She then kicked another nurse and hit the officer in the chest.
Police said they later received a call from Kathryn Keyser, who identified herself as the vehicle driver, and told police she had been in an altercation with Sherman after Sherman called her and asked for a ride to a store. Police said Keyser said she saw Sherman drinking what she thought were shots of vodka when she went to her residence to pick her up.
Police said that Keyster told them Sherman demanded 20 presciption pills. When denied, Sherman put Keyser in a chokehold.
Keyser then ran to her car and Sherman followed and began hitting the driver's door and window as Keyser drove away.
Sherman was jailed and later released on $7,000 bail.
Tuesday July 12
Baker Bill to Make Oral Cancer Treatments More
Affordable Becomes Law
After a long journey
and much hard work, legislation that will require insurance companies to
provide coverage for oral anti-cancer medications on the same level they do for
treatments has been signed into law in Pennsylvania, announced Rep. Matt Baker
(R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter), author of the bill.
“This legislation was a long time in coming,” said Baker. “With more than 80,000 people per year receiving a cancer diagnosis in Pennsylvania, we needed to step up and make sure everyone hasaccess to the best and most cutting-edge cancer treatments. This legislation will help make sureoral anit-cancer treatments receive the same insurance coverage as intravenous treatments. This kind of parity was missing before and that put many individuals in difficult financial situations when they were unable to pay for the oral medications their doctors prescribed.”
House Bill 60, now Act 37 of 2016, addresses the cost disparity between intravenous and oral anti-cancer treatments. Previously, intravenous anti-cancer medications were covered under a health plan’s medical benefit, often only requiring patients to pay a minimal fixed co-payment; however, oral anti-cancer medications were covered under a health plan’s pharmacy benefit, and required patients to pay a percentage of the total cost of the drug, generally between 25 percent to 30 percent. With the average cost for a one-month supply of an oral anti-cancer medication costing $7,000, some cancer patients in Pennsylvania were left with a coinsurance cost of between $1,400 and $3,500 per month.
“I am thrilled for all those who will benefit from this legislation,” said Baker. “I have met many people through the process with this legislation who reached out to me with their stories, and to be able to provide help for them through this bill is an honor. I am thankful my colleagues and the governor worked in an expedient manner to get this bill passed into law this session.”
Baker said Pennsylvania now joins more than 40 states and Washington, D.C., in having enacted legislation to control out-of-pocket costs for cancer patients.
Hickory Project Homecoming Concert To Be Rescheduled
The Hickory Project Homecoming Concert is being rescheduled to a later date.
This concert was originally set for this Saturday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Deane Center.
A family emergency involving several of the band members led to the need to reschedule the show.
"Anyone who has bought tickets can contact the Deane Center and request a refund. Or, tickets will be honored at the rescheduled show," said Deane Center Executive Director Kevin Connelly. "As soon as we know the new date, we will announce it on our website and Facebook page and through the news media," Connelly said.
For a refund, call the Deane Center at 570-724-6220 or stop in at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro.
Friday July 8
Thursday July 7
Woman Charged In Death Of Her Baby
Police in Tioga County have charged a Westfield woman with various counts stemming from the use of heroin back in March which killed her child who died after he was delivered that day.
25 year old Danielle Redig had injected heroin just before delivering her son
on March 8th. The
child was delivered via emergency cesarean section. Redig faces charges of drug
in death, recklessly endangering another person, possession of a controlled
possession of drug paraphernalia.
She is jailed in lieu of $65,000 bail.
Missing Woman Found Safe
State police in Bradford County say a missing woman from Troy has been found safe.
Police issued a missing/endangered persons report for 24 year old Danielle Heasley who left her home in Troy Township on the morning of July 4th. She was located in Kentucky and after being interviewed by law enforcement is was determined that she had voluntarily left her residence with a traveling companion.
She is no longer considered a missing person in Pennsylvania.
Wednesday July 6
State police in Bradford County have issued a missing/endangered person report for a 24 year old Troy woman. Danielle Heasley was last seen leaving her residence in Troy around 5:30 yesterday morning. She is described as a white female, 5 ft. 2 inches tall, weighing 117 lbs., and has long blonde hair, blue eyes and a pale complexion.
She is described as having cerebral palsy, walks with a limp and a limited intellectual ability and is believed to be in the company of a 65 year old male who is possibly driving a red Toyota SUV.
Anyone with information into her whereabouts is asked to contact state police in Towanda.
Baker Welcomes $2 Million in Funding for Water Treatment Plant Upgrades in Blossburg
Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) today announced a $2 million state loan to
help fund an expansion project at the Blossburg water treatment plant in Tioga
“This funding will be used to help the Blossburg treatment plant purchase the equipment needed to keep pace with the amount of water it treats, which includes fracking water from the natural gas industry,” said Baker. “I’m pleased we could secure a loan amount of this size for the facility, which is essential to maintaining clean and healthy water for the surrounding community and environment.”
The water treatment plant, Hydro Recovery, will use the money to purchase a cogeneration system that will help the plant meet the demands of purifying fracking water and other industrial fluids to discharge standards.
The total cost of the expansion project is $7 million. Hydro Recovery will provide $5 million in matching funds.
Funding comes from an Alternative and Clean Energy Program administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.
Friday July 1
Man Charged In Death of Toddler
Pennsylvania State police have arrested a 27-year-old Forksville man in the death of an 18-month-old girl.
Jeremiah A. Cordell has been charged with second- and third-degree murder in the death of the girl, who was discovered dead in her New Albany residence Sept. 14, 2015.
Cordell also was charged with aggravated assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault.
Cordell was remanded to the Bradford County Correctional Facility without bail.
Baker Bill to Help Cancer Patients on Its Way to Governor’s Desk
needed legislation that would require insurance companies to provide coverage
for oral anti-cancer medications on the same level they do for intravenous
treatments has passed the House and Senate and is now on its way to the governor
to be signed into law, announced Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter)
author of House
“Each of us has been touched by cancer in some way, whether a personal battle or watching a loved one go through it, and with new medications now being offered for some types of cancer that would be more convenient, more effective and have fewer side effects, we need to make sure insurance is keeping pace and providing adequate coverage for these medications,” said Baker, chairman of the House Health Committee. “Right now, the cost of oral anti-cancer medications for many patients is cost prohibitive, leaving them with fewer options for effective treatment. That is unacceptable.”
House Bill 60 would help address the cost disparity between intravenous and oral anti-cancer treatments. Currently, intravenous anti-cancer medications are typically covered under a health plan’s medical benefit, often only requiring patients to pay a minimal fixed co-payment; however, oral anti-cancer medications are covered under a health plan’s pharmacy benefit, and require patients to pay a percentage of the total cost of the drug, generally between 25 percent to 30 percent. With the average cost for a one-month supply of an oral anti-cancer medication costing $7,000, some cancer patients in Pennsylvania are left with a coinsurance cost of between $1,400 and $3,500 per month. This creates an enormous financial barrier for most patients to follow their doctor’s prescribed course of treatment.
“It has been a long road to get this legislation through the many legislative hurdles, but with widespread support from the medical community and the public, we are on the precipice of reaching our goal,” said Baker. “I am hopeful the governor will sign this legislation in all haste in order to finally bring about needed relief to so many cancer patients and their families.”
Baker noted that House Bill 60 enjoys the support of 23 health-related organizations. In addition, a total of 40 states and Washington, D.C., have enacted similar legislation to control out-of-pocket costs for cancer patients.
Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter), chairman of the House Health Committee, spoke during a press conference on June 28 held by the Pennsylvania Cancer Treatment Fairness Coalition in support of his legislation to make oral anti-cancer medications more affordable for patients in the Commonwealth. The legislation is now heading to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
Thursday June 30
State House Says Yes To Budget Plan
The state house of Representatives voted 132-68 yesterday on a state budget plan of which the state would spend $31.55 billion dollars in the next fiscal year.
Among the funding increases are Pre-K and basic education money which is being increased by $250 million dollars. The state’s share of school funding all together including school employee pension payments totals approximately $11.5 million dollars.
The house was also able to pass it without having to raise sales taxes or income taxes. The budget will now to the state senate for their consideration. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf has come out saying he doesn’t believe that the budget is balanced and does not include enough revenue.
Wednesday June 29
Mobile Meth Lab Found
Ben McCormack, 31, of Jamestown, New York, was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday in U.S. Middle District Court in Williamsport.
McCormack faces charges of conspiracy, theft of firearms, possession of stolen firearms and possession of a firearm by a felon.
James W. Thorne, 36, listed as jailed in New York state, was charged as co-conspirator.
Another by-product of this year’s budget and the scramble for more revenue in the state of Pennsylvania could hit state smokers a little harder in their wallet.
The legislature is discussing a bill which would raise the stage cigarette tax a full dollar to from $1.60 to $2.60. The tax increase could also include new taxes on e-cigarettes and other tobacco products as well.
Officials say that if the increase does go into effect that the state will move from the 23rd highest cigarette tax in the country to the 10th highest.
Tuesday June 28
Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Approves
Natural Gas Royalty Legislation
by Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming/Union) designed to protect natural gas
drilling lease owners’ royalty payments was approved on a bipartisan vote of
20-7 by the House
Environmental Resources and Energy Committee today. Joined by co-sponsors Reps.
(R-Susquehanna/Wayne), Matthew Baker (R-Bradford/Potter/Tioga), Tina Pickett
(R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) and Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming),
the following statement was issued:
“There has been a great deal of work done with legislative colleagues and stakeholders on this issue for some time and House Bill 1391 represents a more simplified effort to provide fairness for natural gas drilling lease holders. The approval by the committee signals that this is a good
bill worthy of open debate on the House floor.
“This bill would protect lease owners by guaranteeing that a minimum royalty payment for unconventional gas well production would not be less than one-eighth (12.5 percent). Companies have reduced royalty payments by deducting post-production costs.
“A 2010 Pennsylvania Supreme Court case determined that the General Assembly is the proper branch of government to determine public policy regarding royalty valuation. We have continued to push this effort for the protection of the shale gas well lease holders.
“We anticipate the floor debate to include an amendment process and we look forward to a spirit of cooperation as we get to the final passage of this legislation.”
Friday June 24
Elkland Man Charged
Brandon L. Fuller, 28, of 624 E. Main St., Elkland, faces charges of endangering the welfare of children after his two sons were found playing in the street in front of his residence June 15.
According to documents, Elkland police were on patrol on Barney Hill Road when the officer noticed two unsupervised children playing in the road, one approximately 2 years old and the other about 4.
Police said that after driving by the residence repeatedly, the children still were in the road, so they found out who the mother was and contacted her at her place of employment, but she said she couldn't leave until her shift was over.
About an hour later when the officer drove by the boys were no longer outside. The officer banged on the door of the mobile home repeatedly but no one came to the door.
Police contacted Children and Youth Services and its representative also banged on the door repeatedly but no one opened it.
After police and CYS agents finally gained entry, Fuller said he thought the boys were down for a nap so he decided to take a nap too.
CYS inspected the residence and concluded it was not suitable for anyone to live there and they had to find another place to stay with the children or they would be placed elsewhere until other living arrangements were made.
Fuller was issued a summons to appear at a July 14 preliminary hearing.
Baker Supports Special Session On Opioid Abuse
addiction, which often starts with prescription pain killers and later moves to
illegal drugs such as heroin, is having a profound impact on both our state and
country, announced Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter), which is why he
joined a press conference with both Republican and Democrat House leaders in
encouraging Gov. Tom Wolf to call attention to the issue through the use of a
special session on opioid abuse.
“The Legislature has already been moving and passing into law several meaningful bills aimed at addressing drug abuse in our state, but death rates and hospitalizations due to drug abuse continue to rise,” said Baker. “Clearly, more still needs to be done to stop the proliferation of drugs on our streets, curb the use of prescription pain killers and have programs in place to help those who are addicted.”
According to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, Northcentral Pennsylvania, the rural 10-county region including Tioga County, saw the state’s largest percentage-wise growth in hospitalizations for heroin overdoses between 2000 and 2014, with a 509 percent increase.
“Drug abuse is certainly not just an urban issue, as our rural areas are getting hit hard and we need to work collaboratively among state and local officials, law enforcement, school districts, the medical community and families to recognize and attack this deadly epidemic,” said Baker.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives formed a House Task Force and Advisory Committee on Opioid Prescription Drug Proliferation last session, which proposed a series of bills designed to proactively address the growing opioid epidemic in the Commonwealth. The House completed action on that package of bills this week. The measures addressed opioid addiction by improving insurance coverage of abuse-deterrent opioids; setting a limit on opioid prescriptions in emergency rooms; requiring prescribers and dispensers to undergo continuing education in pain management, addiction and prescribing practices; mandating that publicly funded recovery houses have the opioid overdose antidote on hand; and directing the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to find ways to increase access to addiction treatment through health plans.
Baker, who has been very active on this issue, also had legislation he authored signed into law recently that will speed up the process by which new substances used in the manufacturing of illegal designer drugs can be added to the state’s banned list of drugs and enable law enforcement to arrest and prosecute individuals for use of these new drug cocktails.
“Today’s criminals are experimenting with new drug combinations in their quest to manufacture new, addictive illegal drugs. My legislation, now law, allows the use of these new substances and combination chemicals to be quickly added to the state’s banned list – a process that previously took a fair amount of time to accomplish. Law enforcement will now be able to keep up with the quickly changing illegal drug market and prosecute those who possess these substances with the intent to manufacture illegal drugs,” said Baker.
Other measures recently passed into law that are designed to help address the drug abuse problem plaguing our state include a new electronic database listing all controlled substances that are prescribed and dispensed in Pennsylvania. The database will help identity drug addiction, improve patient care and prescribing practices, uncover drug diversion and identify “doctor shopping.” Also, two new laws encourage others to call for help in the event of a drug or alcohol emergency and help reverse opioid-based overdoses.
Thursday June 23
Galeton Man Charged
Harvey F. Howell Jr., 31, of 1 Bridge St., Galeton, faces charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia following a traffic stop by state police on Route 6, Gaines Township, on June 19, during which police allege they found 30 wax packages of heroin and six empty blue packages for heroin in Howell's right shoe.
He was jailed in lieu of $40,000 bail and his preliminary hearing set for June 29.
Wednesday June 22
The Tioga State Forest Announces that there will be a Bioblitz in the Asaph Wild Area June 23 – 25, 2016. The Bioblitz will be scientists together from all over the state to inventory the animal and plant species in wetland, vernal pools and upland habitats of the Asaph Wild Area.
Public participation is encouraged on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at the USGS North Appalachian Research Lab in Asaph Pa and at Colton Point State Park. Activities on Saturday include a tour of the research lab, wildflower walk, drone photography demo, rattlesnake talk, macro-invertebrate demo. Visit the Asaph Wild Area Bioblitz Facebook page or call the Tioga State Forest at 570-724-2868 for times and details.
Monday June 20
Bradford county commissioners: $4,923,334.81
Bradford county municipalities in the 68th district: $2,660,899.52
Tioga county commissioners: $2,621,033.57
Tioga county municipalities: $4,600,396.07
Potter county commissioners: $215,208.72
Potter county municipalities in the 68th district: $8,750.53
Fees are collected from the drilling companies with 60 percent returned to
benefit our counties and local municipalities affected by drilling. The rest of
the money goes into a
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.
Counties and municipalities have the option to use funds to address a variety of drilling impacts, including preservation and reclamation of water supplies; improvements to local roads and bridges; construction and repair of water and sewer systems; delivery of social services including domestic relations and drug and alcohol treatment; local tax reduction; local affordable housing needs; and assistance for county conservation districts.
Thursday June 16
Saturday, June 25, between 12:01 a.m. and 8 p.m., a Family Fishing Day Tournament will be at Hills Creek Lake. Weigh-ins will be at the beach area near from 12 noon to 1 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
No registration is required prior to the weigh-ins. Medallions will be presented after the 7 p.m. weigh-in to the winners in the following categories: largest perch, largest bluegill, largest bass, largest crappie, and largest stringer of game fish by weight (one angler’s legal limit of game fish for the day). A one-ounce bonus will be awarded for game fish that are caught and released.
All fish must be caught by legal means. This is a no cull contest (no replacing a smaller fish with a heavier fish on the stringer). In the event of a tie, the fish weighed the earliest will win. Spectators are welcome to watch the weigh-ins.
For more information about this tournament, call the Hills Creek State Park office at (570) 724-4246 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.
Tuesday June 14
Jim Caudet & The Railroad Boys
This Sunday, June 19, at 2
p.m., Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys will bring their dynamic blend of
traditional mountain music fused with Gaudet’s diverse contemporary songwriting
to the Deane Center’s
outdoor stage on Central Avenue. If it rains, the show will be indoors on
the Coolidge Theatre stage at
104 Main Street.
The Wellsboro Community Concert Association is sponsoring the performance. “It is rare that you have the opportunity to enjoy a band of this caliber as a free show,” said Kevin Connelly, Deane Center executive director.
Gaudet plays acoustic guitar and is the songwriter and lead vocalist for The Railroad Boys. He started his musical journey as a flat-picker and re-emerged in the late 1980s as a classic singer/songwriter.
By the time 2006 rolled around Gaudet had been out of the music business for a while but had written some songs he wanted to record. The rest is history. Sten Isachsen on mandolin, guitar and Dobro and Bobby Ristau on bass have been playing with Gaudet as The Railroad Boys for 10 years, since the band was first formed. Ristau also sings harmony vocals. Performing with them in Wellsboro will be Tucker Callahan on fiddle.
At the June 19 concert, band members will introduce Gaudet originals from their just released fifth CD, “When It Rains.” His songs have been called “hard-driving,” “a folk-country fusion,” and “hybrid folk/bluegrass” with an “energetic front-porch feel.” Gaudet calls his style “hillbilly rock ‘n’ roll.
“Gaudet is anchoring his deft wordplay and savvy song craft in the classic roots music that so thrilled him as a young man. It’s a unique, driving style, firmly-based in Americana and Gaudet’s own guitar work now more fiery than every, is characterized by forceful, percussive rhythms that lack for easy comparison,” wrote Michael Eck in the Albany Times-Union.
The Albany, New York-based musician also credits the success of The Railroad Boys to the support of his fellow bandsmen who allow him to experiment. His songwriting influences are Bob Dylan, John Prine, Randy Newman. Loudon Wainwright and Steve Earle.
Gaudet is also known for winning audiences with his witty, unassuming stage presence and his mix of candor and comedy. Together, he, his band mates and the audience create one big “down home” family.
For more information, call the Deane Center at 570-724-6220.
Friday June 10
Arrests Made In Home Invasion
Thursday June 9
Wednesday June 8
A tax increase is in the works for Southern Tioga School District Property owners.
A meeting is scheduled for Thursday night for approval of a $29.8 million dollar budget for the 2016-2017 school year. The budget will contain a tax increase of 3.1 percent for property owners in Tioga County and 2.75 for property owners in Lycoming County who live within the district.
Even with the increase, a deficit of $571,000 dollars is expected. Increases in salaries and benefits will come out to about $72,000 dollars.
Baker Welcomes News of PA Manufacturing Plant to
Boost Natural Gas Industry
Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) welcomed news today that Shell
Chemical Appalachia has decided to build a multi-billion dollar ethylene cracker
plant in Beaver County, which will rely heavily on the abundance of natural gas
produced in the Commonwealth.
“With the need for large amounts of natural gas in the plastic manufacturing process, this type business should lead to an increase in production of natural gas from our area,” said Baker. “With the natural gas industry taking hits the past couple of years with lower gas prices, we have had some companies move out of the area and others decreasing their job force. I am hopeful the new Shell plant will help put more people back to work and even create new ancillary jobs in our region.”
According to Shell, the complex will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins to produce polyethylene, which is used in many products, from food packaging and containers to automotive components. The company said up to 6,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs will be created.
Baker also noted that a third-party study concluded that up to 17,500 in direct, indirect and induced jobs could be created by this plant, which could positively impact jobs in the 68th Legislative District.
“This is a business deal that has been years in the making, and thanks to sound business policies we have enacted and our determination to keep business taxes in check, the people of Pennsylvania will benefit from an influx of new job opportunities that will reach well beyond the borders of Beaver County,” said Baker.
Tuesday June 7
Deadline To Apply For Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Extended
The deadline to
apply for the state’s 2015 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is being extended
from June 30 to Dec. 31, Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) announced
Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2015. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities.
Income eligibility limits for homeowners are set at the following levels, excluding 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits:
• $0 to $8,000, maximum $650 rebate (homeowners and renters).
• $8,001 to $15,000, maximum $500 rebate (homeowners and renters).
• $15,001 to $18,000, maximum $300 rebate (homeowners only).
• $18,001 to $35,000, maximum $250 rebate (homeowners only).
Residents are reminded that they need not pay a private entity for assistance in filing the forms. Copies of the forms, as well as assistance with filing them, are available at Baker’s office at no cost. Applicants should be prepared to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately.
For additional information or assistance, contact Baker’s office at (570) 724-1390 in Wellsboro or (570) 297-3045 in Troy, or visit his website at RepBaker.com.
Claimants who already applied for their rebates may check the status of claims online at revenue.pa.gov or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-PATAXES.
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is one of many initiatives supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery, which dedicates its proceeds to support programs for older Pennsylvanians. Since the program began in 1971, approximately $6 billion has been paid to qualified applicants.
Monday June 6
Firemen's Carnival Set To Open
The Wellsboro Firemen’s
Carnival will open Tuesday, June 7, and remain open through Saturday, June 11.
Carnival rides for children, teenagers and adults, food and games will be on the
grounds at the Wellsboro
Firemen’s Annex at 21 East Avenue in Wellsboro. Hours will be 6-10 p.m. every
night, Tuesday through
Friday. On Saturday, the carnival will be open from 3-10 p.m.
Wristbands for rides Tuesday through Friday will be $15 each and good for the day of purchase. Wristbands for Saturday rides will be $20 each and good for that day. Individual tickets and strips of tickets will also be available.
Firefighters will be offering hamburgers, hot dogs, fresh cut French fries, hot and sweet sausage sandwiches, funnel cakes and beverages. Bartlebaugh Amusements will have cotton candy, candied apples and beverages.
“The Annex will be open so folks who purchase refreshments will have a place to come in and sit down and eat,“ said Wellsboro Fire Chief Lonnie Campbell. "Our overall goal is to have a great show so folks will attend. The carnival is our major fundraiser with the proceeds serving as the Wellsboro Fire Department’s main source of funding during the upcoming year. We rely on that money to help purchase uniforms and other needed equipment.”
Bridge Replacement Begins On Hills Creek Road
On Monday, June 6, A
Penndot Maintenance Crew In Tioga County Will Begin A Bridge Replacement Project
On Route 4039 (Hills Creek Road) In Charleston Township.
The Existing 21 Foot-Long, Single-Lane, Concrete Slab Bridge Spans A Tributary To Hills Creek. It Was Built In 1932 And Is Considered Functionally Obsolete. It Will Be Replaced By A Two-Lane Box Culvert.
The Bridge Will Be Closed During The Project. A Detour Will Be In Place Using Hills Creek Lake Road.
Work Is Expected To Be Completed In August.
Friday June 3
Wednesday June 1
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