Local News


                                                                            

Wednesday April 16

              Dog Wardens Conducting License, Rabies Compliance Checks in Tioga County
 
Dog wardens are canvassing Tioga County homes throughout April and May to ensure all dog owners
have current licenses and rabies vaccinations for their dogs.
 
All dogs three months or older must be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year. The fee is $6.45 for each
spayed or neutered dog and $8.45 for other dogs.  Older adults and persons with disabilities may
purchase a license for $4.45 for spayed or neutered dogs and $6.45 for others.
 
Additionally, all dogs and non-feral cats three months of age and older must be vaccinated
against rabies. Booster vaccinations must be administered periodically to maintain lifelong immunity.
 
Violators can be cited with a maximum fine of $300 per violation plus court costs.

 

 

 

Tuesday April 15

More Teacher Furloughs

The Southern Tioga School District continues to make moves to try and pare down a projected budget deficit, which stands at about $194,000 dollars as of right now. 

Last night the school board approved a furlough of 13 faculty members, and cut a full timer down to part time. The furloughs are part of the closing of the North Penn High school, which leaves the district with two high schools, which will be renamed North Penn-Mansfield,
and North Penn-Liberty High Schools.  Several teachers will also be transferred as part
of the school closing. 

Work continues to try and balance the budget.

 

 

 

Monday April 14

                                              Crash Sends One Person To The Hospital

According to Pennsylvania State Police, around 10:30 Thursday night, a Ford F-350 driven by 45 year old Eugene Lampman of Westfield lost traction because of poor road grading, went off the road, and hit a tree. Lampman was airlifted to Robert Packer Hospital.

Both Lampman, and his passenger, 29-year-old Tim Teller of Harrison Valley, were cited for not wearing their seatbelts.

 

 

                                                            Road Work Begins Today
 

Roadway base repairs are planned for Route 4002 (Charleston Street in the Borough of
Wellsboro and Charleston Road in Charleston Township) this week.


Work will begin today, April 14 and continue for three days, pending favorable weather.

A PennDOT maintenance crew will perform the base repairs starting at 6 a.m. daily, and the road will be limited to a single lane controlled by flaggers.

Motorists using Charleston Street/Road should plan for delays or take an alternate route.

Any motorists traveling within the work zone are asked to slow down and pay attention to daylight work signs and flaggers.

 

 

 

 

Thursday April 10

                                                                                        Bradford County Meth Bust

State Police have charged Elizabeth Bishop, 28, of Ulster, with Possession with the Intent of Manufacturing a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Liquefied Ammonia Gas, Precursor and Chemicals, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Pennsylvania State Police executed a Search Warrant at Bishop’s home, yesterday. The Search Warrant for the home was from information received that Bishop was using and cooking meth at her home.
 
During the time of the Search Warrant, Bishop’s child was home. The child was subsequently turned over to a family member. Bishop is also charged with Endangering Welfare of Childen.

Bishop being held in the Bradford County Jail.

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday April 9

                                                                                  Woman Charged In Liberty Murder

Fifty-seven year old Debra Lockett has been charged in connection to a homicide in Liberty Township, which took place  in September of 2013. 

Pennsylvania State Police in Montoursville and Mansfield investigated the incident that occurred  on September 13th when 82 year-old Oliver Litzelman and 81 year-old Edwina Litzelman were found in their home on Route 414.


Oliver was found dead on the kitchen floor, Edwina was injured and sent to the hospital.

According to Edwina, a woman came to her house claiming to be working on genealogy when she attempted to steal cash,she then shot Oliver and pulled the phone cord from the wall before fleeing. 

Edwina was able to recognize a picture of Lockett. Also, a spent bullet was found at the scene and Lockett's car matches description given by Edwina.

Lockett is charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault and robbery as well as six other charges. 

 

 

Monday April 7                                                   

                                          Meth Bust                                                                  


State Police have arrested John Janelli, 48, and Michael Gilbert both of Tioga, and

have charged them with multiple felonies following a drug bust at Gilbert's home.

Both are charged with: Manufacturing a Controlled Substance, Operating a methamphetamine
laboratory and illegal dumping of methamphetamine waste, Liquefied Ammonia gas; precursors
and chemicals, Possession with Intent to Manufacture a Controlled Substance,
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Risking a Catastrophe.


Gilbert is also charged with a misdemeanor charge of Possesion of a Small Amount of
 

Marijuana Only For Personal Use.

 

 

 

Tuesday April 1

Fatal Accident In Middlebury Township

Pennsylvania state police are investigating a fatal motor vehicle accident on route 287 in Middlebury Township.

Just after 5am this morning, Sueann Jane Chilson, 29 of Knoxville, was killed from blunt force trauma when her vehicle struck a deer and swerved into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

The coroner declared Chilson dead at the scene. The second driver in a Ford F150 was not injured.

 

 

 

Monday March 31

Man Charged With Choking Woman

State Police have charged Frankie A. Caparulo IV, of Lawrence Township, after he allegedly choked a woman and threatened to kill her.

According to documents, Caparulo was charged with simple assault and two counts of harassment March 13, after he choked the victim, Kelli L. Swimley.

Police said he pinned her down and put his hands around her throat and said he was going to kill her. She had visible bruising on her neck, police said.

Caparulo was released on $5,000 bail and his preliminary hearing set for April 1.

 

             

Lower Arnot Road Bridge Replacement Project Starts April 7

A PennDOT bridge crew in Tioga County will begin a bridge replacement project on Route 2023 (Lower Arnot Road) in Bloss Township on Monday, April 7.
 
The existing 28-long bridge over Sawmill Creek was built in 1964.
 
The project is located in the Village of Arnot, just south of the Arnot Road/Lower Arnot Road intersection.
 
The existing bridge will be removed and a new precast concrete box culvert will be installed on the same alignment. The roadway approaches will then be reconstructed and all other work needed to open the new bridge to traffic will be done.
 
While the project is underway, the road will be closed at the bridge. Traffic will be detoured onto Arnot Road and Bloss Mountain Road.
 
The new bridge is expected to be in service by mid-June, weather permitting. 

 

 

 

 

Thursday March 27

Wellsboro Woman Injured In Crash

According to police, Susan K. Pierce, 47, of Wellsboro, sustaining minor injury in a crash that occurred 7:40 a.m. Wednesday on Stony Fork Road north of Balsam Road in Delmar Township.

Pierce was northbound and lost control on the snow-covered road, police said. Her vehicle left the east side of the road and hit a tree, spun about 180 degrees and came to rest facing northwest partially in the roadway.

Pierce was ticketed for driving at a speed unsafe for conditions, police said.

 

 

Holden Brook Road Bridge Replacement Project Starts March 31

A PennDOT contractor will begin a bridge replacement project on Route 4017 (Holden Brook Road) in Osceola Township, Tioga County next week.

The existing 45-foot-long bridge was built in 1929 and is currently classified as structurally deficient. It carries Holden Brook Road over Holden Creek, approximately one-half mile south of the New York State line. 

Nestlerode Contracting, Inc. will first build a temporary roadway to maintain traffic. Once traffic is switched to the temporary road, the contractor will remove the existing bridge and build the new structure on the existing alignment. 

All work under this $973,326 contract is scheduled for completion by late October.

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday March 26

Tioga Co. Man Charged

State police have charged Frankie A. Caparulo IV, of Lawrence Township, after he allegedly choked a woman and threatened to kill her.

According to documents Caparulo was charged with simple assault and two counts of harassment after he choked the victim, Kelli L. Swimley.

According to police, he pinned her down and put his hands around her throat and said he was going to kill her. She had visible bruising on her neck, police said.

Caparulo was released on $5,000 bail and his preliminary hearing set for April 1.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday March 25

The Partnership For Community Health To Host “Be Your Best You” Egg Hunt & Activities

March 24, 2014 – Mansfield, Pa. – The Tioga County Partnership for Community Health is hosting a “Be Your Best You” Egg Hunt. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 12 at The Island Park in Blossburg. The event will incorporate the classic aspects of an Easter egg hunt with information about the ways that you can “Be Your Best You.” 

The event will start with light refreshments and Easter related treats. Sue Sticklin, the Executive Director of The Partnership, will share information about what The Partnership provides.  “We are proud of the good work of the Partnership to address issues that assist our communities within Tioga County to be healthier.  Our volunteer network is our greatest asset; without it, we would not have been able to accomplish all that we have over the past twenty years,” Sticklin said.

The Easter egg hunt begins at 11:30 a.m. on the one mile Island Park path. The path will be sectioned into parts representing each aspect of The Partnership’s work. The eggs in each section of the path contain various items which The Partnership believes contribute to people achieving “Be Your Best You.” There will also be a section of eggs containing candy for children. After the hunt, participants will have an opportunity to make a poster stating when they consider themselves at their personal best.

The event is being facilitated by a group of Mansfield University Public Relations students. For any questions about the event, contact Bri Burkhart by phone at (717) 968-7464 or e-mail briannapburkhart@gmail.com

 

 

Bath Va Medical Center To Hold Veterans Event In Westfield

 
The Bath VA Medical Center (VAMC) is holding a Veterans economic hardship event on Thursday, March 26 from 10:00 am to Noon.  The event will be conducted out of the VA Mobile Clinic Van which will be located at the Westfield Community Center, located at 429 East Main Street. 
 
Veterans who are facing economic hardship, housing issues or need help accessing health care are encouraged to attend.  Personal hygiene supplies, military surplus (blankets, boots, coats, sleeping bags) and other give away items will be distributed to Veterans facing economic hardship, while supplies last.
 
For more information, please contact the Bath VA Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Office at 607-664-4541.  Please note that Veterans not currently enrolled should bring their DD214 and current income information to the event in order to determine eligibility for care.

 

 

 

Monday March 24

Car Wish Ripped Off

A car wash near Mansfield was ripped off over the weekend and state police in Tioga County continue looking for information. 

Police say that on Friday night into Saturday morning, someone removed the button of the auto cashier machine at Butters Car Wash along South Main Street in Richmond Township and attempted to gain access into the machine.  They were then able to disable it by shorting the wires, which caused the machine to distribute quarters.

It’s estimated the thieves got away with approximately $500 to $700 dollars’ worth of quarters in all and the fled the scene. 

Anyone with information into that theft is asked to contract state police in Mansfield at 570-682-2151.

 

 

Route 15 Slide Repair Project In Tioga County Resumes Soon

A slide repair project adjacent to Route 15 southbound in Tioga County is scheduled to resume work on or about March 31. 

Prime contractor Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. will implement a lane restriction for all southbound traffic in the vicinity of the Mill Creek Bridges. The driving lane will be closed and the passing lane will remain open. Northbound traffic is unaffected. 

Work will take place two miles south of the Route 15 South Welcome Center, between the Tioga Reservoir and the highway.

This work (begun last year) includes the repair of the embankment slide area, rock placement, stabilization piles, vibration monitoring, instrumentation modifications, topsoil, seeding, tree plantings and other related work within a length of approximately one-half mile.

All physical work under this $1,369,659 contract is scheduled for completion by this summer.

 

 

 

Friday March 21

Blossburg Man Charged

A Blossburg man is charged with simple assault, unlawful restraint and criminal trespass following the beating of a man earlier this month in Mansfield. 

Police say Phillip Jennings and five others went to the Meadow Street residence of Tyler Stettler on March 8th, believing that his girlfriend was with Stettler. They broke into the house, and found Stettler coming out of the bathroom.  Jennings then allegedly beat Stettler, driving him back into the bathtub.  At least three others are charged with disorderly conduct for stopping others from coming to Stettler’s aid. 

Jennings is jailed in lieu of $10,000 dollars bail.

 

 

Longer School Days On The Horizon?

Longer school days could be coming to Pennsylvania districts plagued by snow days over the winter. 

The State Senate yesterday passed a bill which would give public schools more flexibility in making up snow days, allowing districts to lengthen school days to make up time by allowing them to calculate the school year on an hourly basis rather than a daily basis. 

Proponents of the bill say that districts could avoid extending their school years deep into June.  The bill would also allow one Saturday session each month. 

The bill now goes to the state house.

 

 

 

 

Thursday March 20

Wellsboro Man Charged With Possession

State Police have charged Chancy L. Decoursey, 30, of Wellsboro, with possession of heroin.

According to, Decoursey was charged following a vice/narcotics unit methamphetamine investigation during an undercover drug and cash trade for meth with Craig L. Fassett at the Wal-Mart in Richmond Township.

During the meeting, state police arrived on scene to take him into custody of Fassett, who had a cigarette package containing about five packages of meth.

Police said they also found 14 bags of heroin after searching Fassett. He was taken into custody and the car's driver, Decoursey, also was taken into custody.

Decoursey was issued a summons to appear at a March 26 preliminary hearing.

 

 

 

Mansfield Woman Charged With Possession of Controlled Substance

 Carol S. Knable, 58, of Mansfield, has been charged with possession of a controlled substance.

According to documents, Knable was charged March 13 with possession of fentanyl and criminal use of a communication facility after an undercover investigation conducted by the vice/narcotics unit in Montoursville.

During the investigation the informant purchased fentanyl patches for $80 from Knable at her residence and then another five patches for $200.

Knable was released on $7,500 bail and her preliminary hearing.

 

 

 

New Minimum Wage Bill In State Senate

A new minimum wage bill was introduced in the state senate yesterday. 

The bill, which is being floated by the Democratic Chair of the Senate Labor and Industry Committee, calls for a hike in the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2016. 

In introducing the bill, Senator Tina Tartaglione said that increasing the minimum wage would benefit everyone and provide a higher standard of living in the state. 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday March 18

House Gives Unanimous Approval to Baker’s Hepatitis C Screening Act

In an effort save lives and improve the quality of life for potentially thousands of Pennsylvanians, Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Tioga), chairman of the House Health Committee, authored legislation unanimously approved by the House today encouraging physicians to offer hepatitis C screening for patients born between 1945 and 1965. 

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. First identified in the late 1980s, this virus is one of the more common blood-borne infections in the United States, with an estimated 4 million individuals infected. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer and the leading cause of liver transplants. 

“My legislation is aimed at encouraging greater testing and awareness of hepatitis C and its possible health impacts,” said Baker. “The more dialogue doctors have with their patients about hepatitis C and the greater availability testing becomes, the better it is for patients. As with all diseases, the earlier they are detected and treated, the better the health outcomes.” 

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hepatitis C is most prevalent in the Baby Boomer generation. And, unfortunately, many of these individuals are unaware they have the virus. In 2012, the CDC released guidelines recommending those born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for hepatitis C.

If the patient agrees to undergo a hepatitis C screening test and it comes back reactive, the patient would then be offered follow-up health care, which would include a hepatitis C diagnostic test. 

Baker noted last year that legislation similar to his was enacted by the New York Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support. 

“I am pleased with the support my legislation gained from the House, and I look forward to having 
House Bill 2003continue to move through the legislative process in a positive, bipartisan fashion in the state Senate,” said Baker. 

 

 

Monday March 17

Covington Man Charged With Theft

State Police have charged Dylan M. Cavanaugh, 20, of Covington, with theft of gasoline from Sullivan Township.

Police said on the weekend of Feb. 8, Cavanaugh and a female juvenile took at least 100 gallons of gasoline, valued at more than $300, from the Sullivan Township building.

Cavanaugh was issued a summons to appear at a preliminary hearing March 19.

 

 

Boat Concession Opportunity

Want to make some money working outdoors while helping a local park?  Hills Creek State Park is accepting applications for a watercraft concessionaire. 

The deadline is fast-approaching as applications must be received by April 1st with the bid opening taking place on April 2nd.  You will be in charge of renting different watercraft to our visitors for the summer season at Hills Creek Lake. 

For more information call or visit the Hills Creek State Park office at (570)724-4246 or look online at http://www.apps.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/ConcessionBids/default.aspx and click on the watercraft contract for Hills Creek State Park.

 

 

 

Wednesday March 12

Tioga County Man Dies In Crash

A 70-year-old man died in a Sunday night crash in Morris Township, Tioga County. 

State police in Mansfield say that for an unknown reason, a vehicle being driven by Albert Person, crossed over the centerline on Route 287 and crashed into an embankment.  The vehicle then rolled over and hit another embankment.  Person was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash that occurred around 6pm. 

No one else was involved in that Tioga County crash.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday March 11

Court Date Set In Death Of Puppy

Matthew Scott Stone, 27, of Elkland, charged with animal cruelty in the death of a 4-month-old dog last October of last year, has waived his preliminary hearing

Stone has been free on $15,000 unsecured bail since state police filed charges in January.

Stone is accused of taking the puppy, named Charley, to a location off Cummings Creek Road in Farmington Township, and leaving him in a locked animal carrier without food or water.

Stone's arraignment is set for March 31 in Tioga County court.

 

 

 

Monday March 10

Shooting At Fred’s

Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a shooting outside of Fred’s Gentlemen’s Club in Tioga Township.

According to State Police, around 5:40 Sunday morning, troopers were called to the Acorn Market at the corner of State Route 287 and State Route 328 for a person who was shot. Police say 20-year-old Antonio McBean of Rochester, NY was shot in the chest.

State Troopers say they were told McBean was shot outside of Fred’s Gentlemen’s Club. He was taken to Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira to be treated. There is no word on his condition at this time.

State Police say the shooting is under investigation. They are asking with anyone with information to call 570-662-2151.

 

 

Break-in In Mansfield

Six people may be facing charges following a burglary that turned violent Friday night in Mansfield.

Mansfield Borough Police Officer Stephen Earp reported that six people kicked in the door to a trailer home on Meadow street then assaulted a person inside.

The victim sustained facial damage and initially refused treatment on Friday, but police say he went to the hospital on Saturday.

The six individuals have been identified, but their names have not yet been released.
Nothing was stolen, but Officer Earp describes a burglary as any intent to commit crime inside a home, and that’s why this assault is also being called a burglary.


 

 

 

Friday March 7

Towanda Woman Charged With Stealing From Bank

A Towanda woman has been arrested and charged with forgery, identity theft, theft by unlawful taking or disposition and receiving stolen property for stealing from customers of a Bradford County bank which she worked for. 

32-year-old Jessica Miller reportedly took the money from the bank accounts at the M&T Bank Branch in North Towanda Township where she worked from November of 2009 to July of 2013.  In all, it’s believed more than $97,000 dollars.

The bank has made restitution to the victims and has been named as a victim as well. 

 

 

Blossburg Man Charged

Pete D. Smith, 33, of Blossburg faces charges that he attempted to manufacture methamphetamine between Jan. 1 and June 23, 2012, according to state police.

Smith allegedly attempted to produce the controlled substance at a home on Log Row Street, Hamilton Township.

According to an affidavit, Smith "had found instructions for how to make 'meth' by doing a search on YouTube and from knowledge he had gained from street talk."

The investigation revealed that Smith had purchased 2.88 grams of pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used in producing methamphetamine, from the Wal-Mart in Mansfield on Jan. 8, 2012, court documents said.

 

 

 

Thursday March 6

Westfield Woman Charged

Michelle R. Wright, 31, of Westfield who worked in the pharmacy at Weis Markets faces charges for allegedly stealing oxycodone and cash from the store between March 3 and Dec. 12, 2013.

Wright allegedly stole two bottles of oxycodone and $8,685 from Weis Market over a period of 10 months, an affidavit said.

Police said Wright allegedly stole the money by making false transactions almost daily as well as altering transactions. According to an affidavit, Wright "would write refunds to customers and pocket the cash refund herself."

Wright was sent a summons for an April 10 preliminary hearing to face a theft charge.

 

 

 

Woman Charged With Shoplifting

State Police have charged Chelsea L. Garverick, 22, of Blossburg, with attempting to steal $62 worth of merchandise from Wal-Mart on Feb. 2, state police said.

This is the second time Garverick has been arrested in connection with shoplifting, according to an affidavit.

She has been sent a summons to appear for preliminary hearing on March 26 to face a charge of shoplifting.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday March 5

Dog Dies From Beating

Coudersport Pennsylvania State Police are looking for those responsible for beating a dog that later died from its injuries.

According to police, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Feb. 24, a dog named Scooter owned by Marchelle Wallace, 48, of Galeton, was beaten in the area of State Route 144 and Paul Hollow Road in West Branch Township.

The dog was treated for a gash above the right eye and later succumbed to seizures onset by the trauma, police said.

Anyone with information regarding this animal cruelty incident is asked to call police at (814) 274-8690.

 

 

 

Tuesday March 4

Westfield Man Charged In 2006 Fatal Accident

Pennsylvania State Police have arrested Simon Eugene Gigee, 44, of Westfield and have charged him with two counts of accidents involving death or personal injury.

According to police,  Gigee was driving a truck, pulling a trailer on Route 287 in Tioga Township in 2006, when the trailer detached and rolled into oncoming traffic. The trailer hit a car driven by Rhonda Fromm. She was killed and her husband Michael Fromm was injured.

Police say Gigee fled the scene, failing to give information and aid as required by Title 75 in the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.
 
Police now say several witnesses indicate they've since heard Gigee talk about the crash and one woman told police she was a passenger in the truck during the accident, and named Gigee the driver.

Gigee is being held in the Tioga County Prison on $100,000 bail.

 

 

 

Monday March 3

 

Baker Co-Sponsors Legislation To Address Variable Rate Electric Plans

In response to the thousands of complaints statewide about skyrocketing electric rates for those individuals who entered into variable rate contracts with their electric generation supplier, the House Consumer Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing in March to gather more information on the issue, announced state Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Tioga), who is also a co-sponsor of comprehensive legislation to address consumer concerns. 

“Within the past few weeks, my office has received numerous inquiries about recent increases in some area consumers’ electric bills,” said Baker. “This spike is a result of the variable rate charged by electric generation suppliers. Although this seems to be the result of the specific types of contracts these consumers entered into, we need to make sure consumers are not experiencing price gouging and that utility companies are operating above board.” 

The House Consumer Affairs Committee will be looking into this matter by holding a public hearing on Thursday, March 20. From testimony gathered at that hearing, lawmakers will be able to see if legislation would help correct this situation. 

In addition, Baker is co-sponsoring a bill that would address recent concerns by requiring that specific information be contained in all supplier contracts and that this information is provided in an easily readable and understandable manner. The bill also would place a cap on the amount by which a rate may change under a variable rate contract, prohibit cancellation and early termination fees for variable rate contracts, require the posting of current and historic rates on the PA Power Switch website and reduce the amount of time it takes to switch electric generation suppliers. 

Baker said he cannot stress enough being fully aware and reading the “fine print” before entering into any agreement. Variable or adjustable rates in any type of contract mean savings in good times and an added expense in difficult circumstances. The winter weather being experienced now is different than in recent years, but an example of what can happen. 
If a consumer believes he or she is paying a rate that is inconsistent with his or her supplier contract, please contact the supplier and attempt to resolve the issue. If the supplier is unable to resolve the complaint or is unresponsive, go to www.puc.state.pa.us
 to file a complaint with the Public Utility Commission or call 1-800-692-7380. 

 

 

 

 

Thursday Feb 27

Blossburg Man Charged
 

Blossburg police have charged James R. Price, 20, , Blossburg, with allegedly possessing a controlled substance and driving without a license on Morris Street on Jan. 30.

Price was sent a summons to appear before District Judge James E. Carlson for a preliminary hearing on March 12 to face charges.

 

 

Covington Woman Charged

State Police have charged Holly M. Butler, 28, of  Covington, with paying for merchandise using bad checks at Donna's Corner Mart, on Jan. 24, Jan. 25, and Feb. 1, state police said.

Butler allegedly bought gas, food and soda with the bad checks. Police got involved when the co-owner of the store received notices from their bank regarding bounced checks totaling $90.50.

Butler was sent a summons to appear before District Judge Robert L. Repard for a preliminary hearing on March 27 to face charges related to theft and bad checks.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Feb 25

Everett, Major, Baker, Pickett Call For Investigation into Gas Drilling Royalty Withholding

In a letter delivered to Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane this week, Reps. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming), Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Tioga) and Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) are calling for an investigation into Chesapeake Energy Company’s practice of deducting gas royalty payments for post-production costs. 

“The letter to the attorney general is clear that an investigation into post-production royalty deductions is needed as many land owners in our region have seen, and are seeing large amounts of money being taken out of royalty checks, and in some cases, consuming the entire check,” said Everett. “This, and other practices, are in violation of leases signed in good faith by the owners. This is plain wrong and needs to be addressed.” 

Everett said many owners signed leases that specifically precluded those deductions, not realizing that those costs would be subtracted royalties under other confusing lease terms. He said his House Bill 1684, co-sponsored by Major, Baker and Pickett is the remedy for the issue, but it is currently before the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, which is expected to conduct a public hearing. The legislation was referred there in September of last year. 

“The deduction of these costs from royalty checks, we believe, is a direct violation of 1979 state law, and that is why we are asking the attorney general to investigate why this has been allowed to continue,” Pickett said. “While we work on legislation to further address this in the House, an investigation by the attorney general would send a clear message this practice must stop NOW and that it will not be tolerated in any way.” 

According to a 1979 state law, a minimum royalty payment of one-eighth for oil, natural gas, or gas of any other designation was guaranteed, helping to ensure fairness and protect landowners from deceptive leases. 

“I am hopeful Attorney General Kane will heed our call and conduct a thorough investigation into this matter,” added Major. “Land owners who signed contracts need to have their agreements upheld in the same good faith in which they were signed, which our legislation seeks to address.” 

“I have heard from several land owners in my area who have legitimate concerns as to the deductions Chesapeake is taking out of their royalty payments,” said Baker. “The natural gas industry is continuing to grow and Chesapeake Energy is a big player in the market that needs to be held accountable for commitments it made to land owners. I look forward to a resolution to this matter.” 

 

 

 

Monday Feb 24
 

                                                                  Lake Nessmuk Closed For Construction Of New Dam Spillway

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has closed Lake Nessmuk to the public to conduct a fish salvage and begin construction to rebuild the lakes dam and spillway.

The fish salvage is expected to begin the week of Feb. 24 or March 3 and may take up to two weeks. The lake was first lowered by 10 feet last fall. It will remain drained until construction is completed. The $1 million construction project is expected to begin in mid-March, weather permitting, and be completed by the end of the summer or early fall. It includes widening the existing earthen spillway and extending the spillway conduit, installing a new stilling basin at the outlet, and installing new drains at the base of the dam.

Also, the top of the dam will be raised by approximately 2.2 feet and the downstream embankment will be flattened. The project is being funding by a $1 million H2O grant for the state.

 

 

Three Injured In Fire

Three people were taken to the hospital Friday afternoon following a house fire in Harrison Valley.

Fire officials say the alarm came in at 4:15 p.m. at a house on East Tannery Street.

One person was flown by helicopter to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester with severe burns. 

Another person jumped out of second floor window to escape the fire. That person was injured from the fall and also received burn injuries.

The house was destroyed by the fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

 

 

Friday Feb 21

Wellsboro Man Charged

Police have charged Jason A. Kline, 29, of Wellsboro, for allegedly getting into a physical altercation with his stepfather on Feb. 11.

According to police, Kline allegedly struck his stepfather on the head with an unknown object.  

The fight started when Kline's stepfather tried to stop him from leaving the house and return to an apartment on Pearl Street where Kline already had dealt with police earlier in the night following an alleged domestic disturbance with his girlfriend.

Kline was sent a summons to appear before District Judge Robert L. Repard for a Feb. 27 preliminary hearing where he will face charges related to assault, harassment, criminal mischief and public drunkenness.

 

 

 

 

Thursday Feb 20

Man Sentenced To State Prison

A Tioga County man who went on a week-long crime spree in the Williamsport Area back in October of last year to fuel his heroin habit will spend the next 7 to 14 ½ years in state prison. 

Jess Keck robbed four separate places, two in Loyalsock Township, one in Old Lycoming Township and another in the city of Williamsport, all with a gun between October 7th and October 14th of last year, all reportedly in order to get money for heroin. 

 

 

 

Blossburg Man Charged
 

Christopher V. Price, of Blossburg, faces charges for allegedly exchanging naked pictures of himself with a 17-year-old female he met on the Internet on various dates in 2012.

When Price was apprehended by police following the report of a burglary at Old Bloss Road on Aug. 5, 2012, police confiscated his cellphone for possible evidence related to the burglary.

Investigators found images on Price's phone that he had sent to a 17-year-old in Kentucky in which Price is allegedly performing sexual acts on himself, an affidavit said.

And according to police they also found images of the juvenile in various states of undress that she had sent to Price.

His preliminary hearing is set for March 5th where he will face charges related to sexual abuse, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of a minor.

 

 

 

Monday Feb 17

Home Heating Assistance Available for Those in Need

Bitter cold temperatures continue across the region and some homeowners may be having trouble meeting the financial demands to heat their homes.

If you, or someone you know, are at risk of being unable to heat their home, check out the states Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP helps low-income people pay their heating bills through home energy assistance grants and crisis grants. Cash grants are awarded based on household income, family size, type of heating fuel and region.

Crisis grants are provided in the event of a heating emergency, including broken heating equipment or leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced, lack of fuel, termination of utility service or danger of being without fuel or of having utility service terminated. In most counties, assistance with home heating crisis situations is available 24 hours a day.

Residents should contact the Bradford County Assistance Office at 1-800-542-3938 or the Tioga County Assistance Office at 570-724-4051.

 

 

 

Friday Feb 14

Fire Destroys Cabin Home

Fire destroyed a log cabin in Tioga County leaving four persons homeless. The fire broke out shortly before noon at the home just off of Route 49 in Deerfield Township quickly spreading through the structure as firefighters had to carry hose up the mountain because the house was not accessible to fire trucks. 

The family who lived there was not named.  Damage is estimated at $125,000 dollars and the cause of that fire is under investigation. 

 

 

 

Thursday Feb 13

Wellsboro Woman Charged

State Police have charged Jessica M. Gile, 30, of 19 Wellsboro, with purchasing a TV from the Wal-Mart in Richmond Township and then using her receipt to return a TV taken off the display shelf.

Gile received $210 when she allegedly returned the unpaid display TV to the customer service desk, police said.

 

 

 

PennDOT Driver License, Photo Centers Closed for Presidents Day
 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation today announced that all driver license and photo centers, including its full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Feb. 15, through Monday, Feb. 17, in observance of Presidents Day. 
 
Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOTs Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.state.pa.us

 
Driver and vehicle online services are available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week and include drivers license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling.  There are no additional fees for using online services.
 
A complete listing of PennDOT driver and photo license center closings in 2014 is available on the website under News, Stats and Facts.
 
PennDOT reminds motorists they can log on to www.511pa.com
or call 511 from any phone to check traffic conditions before heading out.

 

 

 

Wednesday Feb 12

Potter County Woman Injured In Crash

Cheryl Furman, 57, of Austin was seriously injured Monday afternoon when her vehicle collided with a school bus.

The driver of the bus and two passengers suffered minor injuries.

The accident took place at 3:42 p.m. Monday on First Fork Road in Summit Township, Potter County.

Furman was northbound on First Fork Road when she crossed into the southbound lane and struck a school bus operated by Francis Ayers, 33, of Coudersport, according to state police.

Furman was airlifted to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, where she was listed in critical condition Tuesday.  

 

 

Mansfield Man Charged

State Police have charged Paul Beuter, 66 of with cruelty to animals for keeping several cows in a field without access to clean and sanitary shelter.

Beuter was charged in connection with the incident that occurred at about 6 p.m. Monday in a field on Ashley Road in Charleston Township, police said.

 

 

 

Tuesday Feb 11

Board Votes To Close School

Monday night the Southern Tioga School District Board voted to close North Penn High School.

The 8-1 vote followed discussion among school directors who were in agreement that the move had to be made given the district's financial status.

The school closing leaves the district with just two high schools, Mansfield and Liberty.

 

 

 

 

Route 15 Project In Tioga County Wins Quality Pavement Award
 

A Route 15 resurfacing project constructed in Tioga County last year has just won a statewide award; the Pennsylvania Asphalt Pavement Association’s Asphalt Pavement Quality Award 2013.

PennDOT District 3-0 and prime contractor Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. received the honor for the Route 15, Section M57 project, which involved resurfacing of eight miles of northbound Route 15 in Mansfield Borough, and Richmond and Tioga townships.

The Asphalt Pavement Quality Award 2013 is for “outstanding pavement construction which best exemplifies the use of asphalt concrete quality control and placement technology for the advancement of highway safety and long-term pavement performance.”

“I am pleased that our district received this recognition. It is an example of our employees’ and contractors’ commitment to providing a high-quality product for our customers, the traveling public,” said District Executive Sandra Tosca, P.E.

The Route 15 project has a very smooth ride quality, along with tight joints and good density – both of which are a reflection of quality construction and should result in a longer pavement life.

The Route 15 project involved resurfacing of the two northbound lanes and shoulders, which required 25,675 tons of blacktop. A typical triaxle truck can haul 20 tons of blacktop per trip, so the project used 1,284 truckloads of blacktop. This project also included a small percentage of recycled asphalt.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Feb 7

Police Investigate Dog Shooting

Pennsylvania State Police in Mansfield are investigating a case of cruelty to animals following the shooting of a dog.

A Tioga, Pa., woman told police that her dog returned to her home on Wednesday afternoon with a gunshot wound and died shortly thereafter. Police said there are currently no suspects or witnesses.

 

 

 

Canton Man Dies In Crash

A 70-year-old David B Morris of Canton died at Robert Packer Hospital after Pennsylvania State Police in Mansfield said he drove into the path of another car.

Morris pulled onto Route 6 from Cherry Flats Road in Charleston Township into the path of a car driven by 19-year-old Heather Geiser of Millerton, police said. Geiser’s car struck the driver’s side of Morris’ car.

Geiser was also injured and taken to Robert Packer Hospital. The accident occurred just after 8 a.m. on Jan. 29.

 

 

Thursday Feb 6

Corbett Releases Budget Proposal

As expected, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett unveiled a budget plan for the state of Pennsylvania for the 2014-2015 fiscal years, which would increase spending by 3.6 percent.

The total of the new budget is $29.4 billion dollars and Corbett says the budget contains no new taxes.  He is banking on increased tax collections and a better state economy to boost revenues. 

Corbett is also calling for a $340 million dollar Ready to Learn block grant program to increase subsidies to public schools across the Commonwealth.  During his address, Corbett also continued his call to privatize the state’s liquor system, and is hoping to foster job creation for state residents.

 

 

Baker Says Governor’s Budget Focuses on Health, Education

Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Tioga) offered the following statement after hearing the governor’s 2014-15 state budget address, which proposes to spend $29.4 billion, a 3.3 percent increase over the 2013-14 state budget: 

“I applaud the governor’s commitment to increase funding for education, including providing new higher education scholarships and money for special education. Under his proposal, we would dedicate $10.3 billion to basic education alone, which would be the highest amount of state funds ever. We need to make sure all Pennsylvania students are provided with a quality education, and this is a move in the right direction. 

“As chairman of the House Health Committee, I am encouraged to learn that the governor would like to implement two Healthy PA programs to improve patient access to health care. The programs would include the creation of four new health care centers and support for 36 existing health care centers, which deliver health care to underserved areas of the state. In addition, he plans to invest more dollars in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, otherwise known as CHIP, and to put more state troopers on the road. Seeing to the health and safety of Pennsylvania citizens should always be a priority and the governor clearly made that know through this budget proposal. 

Of course, this is only the first step in the budget process. There is still much work to be done prior to the June 30 budget adoption deadline. That being said, I will be paying close attention during budget hearings scheduled to take place in the House of Representatives over the next month and examining closer the governor’s budget proposal as we move toward a final budget plan.” 

 

 

 

Wednesday Feb 5

 

Snow Emergency Declared Inn Wellsboro

The Wellsboro Mayor Has Declared A Snow Emergency In Wellsboro, Which Means There Will Be No On Street Parking Until Snow Removal Is Completed. Please Remove All Vehicles Parked Along The Streets

 

 

Monday Feb 3

Man Charged With Possession Of Pot

Blossburg Police have charged Timothy M. Suda, 23 of Blossburg, with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia following a traffic stop in the borough Oct. 4.

According to documents, police stopped Suda's vehicle on Main Street for a loud muffler, and found him to be in possession of a syringe, a glass marijuana pipe and a small bag of marijuana.

He waived his preliminary hearing and his county court arraignment was set for Feb. 24.

 

 

Teen Injured In Crash

A Tioga County juvenile suffered serious injuries in a one-vehicle crash late Saturday night.

According to State Police, the teen was eastbound on U.S. Route 6 in Charleston Township around 10:30 p.m. when the vehicle lost control around a curve, left the roadway and struck an embankment.

The driver was ejected from the vehicle and was airlifted to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, troopers said.

State police did not release the name or condition of the victim.

 

 

PennDOT Encourages Customer Calls For Maintenance Concerns

With the freeze-thaw cycle taking its annual toll on pavement, PennDOT urges motorists to call 1-800-FIX-ROAD (1-800-349-7623) to report the location of potholes on state roads.

Callers are asked to be as specific as possible when reporting pothole locations. For state routes, callers must report the county, municipality, street name, or preferably the state route (SR) number found on small, black-and-white signs posted along state roadways. Callers should also offer a description of any familiar landmarks that will help PennDOT find the problem area.

The hotline may be used to report any maintenance concern on state roads such as potholes, deer removal or signage issues.

Once notified, PennDOT will work expeditiously to address concerns when weather permits; however, winter services remain the primary focus of maintenance crews at this time of year.

To report potholes on local roads, motorists should contact the municipality in which the pothole is located.

Potholes develop when water seeps below the road through small cracks in the pavement surface. As the water repeatedly freezes and thaws, a cavity below the road is formed and larger cracks develop, causing the pavement to crumble.

The 1-800-FIX-ROAD hotline should not be used to report traffic accidents, disabled vehicles or other emergencies. Motorists should continue to call 911 to report those types of incidents. 

 

 

 

Wednesday Jan 30

Gaines Woman Charged

Gaines Township Police have charged Sherri L. Leach, 43, of Gaines, with five counts each of theft and receiving stolen property after she allegedly took firearms from her landlord and sold them to a gun shop.

According to documents, Leach took five long guns from Martin Gleason between Jan. 14 and Jan. 23 and sold them to Ziggy's Gun Shop in Gaines Township for a total of $1,000.

On Jan. 16, she allegedly brought in a Remington 760 Game Master .30-.06 and on Jan. 21, a Springfield A101 .30-.06.

Then on Jan. 23 she allegedly brought in a Benelli Nova 12-gauge shotgun, telling the gun shop owner all the guns were "hand-me-downs" from her father or brother.

The firearms had not yet been reported stolen so he didn't question her.

All the weapons except the Mossburg have been recovered.

Leach was jailed in lieu of $35,000 bail and her preliminary hearing set for Feb. 9.

 

 

Woman Charged With ATM Card Theft

Blossburg Police have charged Courtney J. Marbaker with theft and receiving stolen property after she allegedly took two ATM cards from another person and used them.

According to documents, Marbaker took the cards from the victim on Jan. 16, while residing with the victim.

Police said she also took a piece of mail with a PIN for the cards on it from the victim between Dec. 13 and Jan. 16 and used them to withdraw $200 from an ATM.

She then allegedly used about $100 to buy food at McDonalds, food and clothing at Wal-Mart and to pay on a previous balance owed to Tioga County Probation.

 

 

 

Tuesday Jan 28

Arrest Made In Animal Cruelty Case

Pennsylvania State Police have made an arrest in connection to the puppy found dead and frozen in an animal carrier in Tioga County Last week.

Matt Stone, 27, of Elkland, has been with a misdemeanor of animal cruelty along with other charges.

The young dog was found dead along Cummings Creek Road in Farmington Township.

 

 

 

Monday Jan 27

Fire Damages Wellsboro Home

Douglas and Rebecca Candelario, of 6 Hastings St., have a neighbor to thank for alerting firefighters to a chimney fire that burned through the wall of their two-story residence Friday.

According to Wellsboro Fire Chief Lonnie Campbell, the fire started in a wood stove and traveled into the chimney of an old fireplace in the house where it was vented through a pipe and "started to burn through to the outside."

The fire is not considered suspicious, Campbell said, and there was "moderate smoke damage throughout."

The fire was contained to the partition on the same side as the chimney, though it did burn into the second floor.

The house was insured, Campbell said, and the couple is staying with friends in the area.

 

 

Wellsboro Police Warn Of Local Phone Scam

The Wellsboro Police Department has received complaints from local businesses stating an unknown individual is calling them and claiming they represent the Wellsboro Electric Company. 

The individual is stating the business is behind on their electric bills and they need to pay with a credit card or their electric will be shut off.   The individual appears to be targeting local businesses however, local residence should also be aware they may be targeted also. 

Should you receive a call from this individual DO NOT give your personal information out.

 

 

 

 

Friday Jan 24

 

 

 

Woman Dies Outside Of Home

85-year-old Marjorie Colegrove was found frozen outside her home in Nelson Township Wednesday morning.

According the Tioga County Coroner Colegrove is believed to have suffered a heart attack outside her home.

After the heart attack, officials believe she could not make it back into the house.

 

 

Baker Announces More Than $250,000 In Grants For Fire, EMS Companies

Fire and emergency medical services companies in the 68th Legislative District have been awarded $251,021 in funding through the state’s Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program, announced Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Tioga). 

“Our local fire and ambulance companies work hard each and every day to serve those in our communities. Unfortunately, these companies have limited resources for funding and often struggle to afford new equipment, pay for training and maintain their facilities,” said Baker. “This funding will go a long way in helping them meet those goals.” 

Baker said the grants may be used for construction or renovation of a company’s station, the purchase or repair of equipment, training or debt reduction. 

The following Bradford County fire and EMS companies within the 68th Legislative District received grants: 
• Innes Hose Company – $12,323.21. 
• Oscoluwa Engine and Hose Company Inc. – $12,323.21. 
• Ridgebury Volunteer Fire Company Inc. – $12,323.21. 
• Smithfield Township Volunteer Fire Department – $12,647.24. 
• South Creek Volunteer Fire Company Inc. – $12,161.20. 
• Tri Township Ambulance Association – $7,091.40. 

Grants were awarded to the following fire and EMS companies in Tioga County: 
• Blossburg Fireman’s Ambulance Association – $7,091.40. 
• Blossburg Volunteer Fire Department – $12,000. 
• Clymer Township Volunteer Hose Company – $12,323.21. 
• Crary Hose Company – $12,007.29. 
• Elkland Borough Volunteer Fire Department – $12,000. 
• Knoxville-Deerfield Volunteer Fire Company – $12,323.21. 
• Lawrenceville Fire Department – $12,486.03. 
• Lawrenceville Fireman’s Ambulance Association Inc. – $7,091.40. 
• Middlebury Township Volunteer Fire Department Inc. – $12,323.21. 
• Millerton Volunteer Fire Department – $12,808.44. 
• Morris Fireman’s Ambulance Association Inc. – $7,091.40. 
• Morris Township Fire Company – $12,000. 
• Nelson Volunteer Fire Company Inc. – $12,161.20. 
• Tioga Volunteer Fire Department Inc. – $12,000. 
• Tioga Volunteer Firemen’s Ambulance Association Inc. – $6,382.26. 
• Valley Community Ambulance Association – $7,091.40. 
• Wellsboro Firemen’s Ambulance Association Inc. – $12,972.07. 

The grant program is funded solely by state gaming proceeds and is administered by the Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner within the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. 

 

 

 

 

Thursday Jan 23

Millerton Man Charged With Theft

State Police have charged Virgil M. Miles, 23, of Millerton, with theft by deception and retail theft from Wal-Mart.

According to documents, Miles took two combo ink cartridge two packs from the store on April 13 valued at $113.

Police said he took the two packages from the store shelf and then took them to the customer service desk to return them as though they had been purchased, and was given a refund.

He waived his preliminary hearing and his county court arraignment was set for Feb. 24.

 

 

Tioga County To Benefit From Nearly Half Million Dollar Investment In Watershed Improvements

Two state grants totaling $449,925 for the Tioga County Conservation District and Babb Creek Watershed Association Inc. were announced today for projects aimed at improving waterways in Tioga County, said Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Tioga). 

“Making sure the quality of water in our rivers and streams is at acceptable levels is essential to the health of area wildlife and the environment as a whole,” said Baker. “The grants distributed through the state’s environmental programs help our counties and local communities make the necessary repairs to our waterways.” 

The Tioga County Conservation District received a grant of $196,478 to help meet agricultural best management practices regarding tributaries to the Cowanesque River. 

The Babb Creek Watershed Association received a grant of $253,447 for repair of a passive treatment system for Klondike acid mine drainage. 

“Acid mine drainage is a major problem within the Babb Creek Watershed in particular, and this grant will help address that issue and improve local water conditions,” said Baker. 

Baker noted these grants were part of more than $20.65 million in funding awarded to organizations across the state for watershed protection projects to improve watersheds, reduce stormwater runoff and acid mine drainage, and support educational programs, among other environmental efforts. 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Jan 22

Sayre Man Arrested

Police Tuesday arrested Dustin James Onofre, 23, of Sayre in connection with a December 2013 heroin overdose, which resulted in a death.

Onofre is charged with drug delivery resulting in death, delivery of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and possession of a controlled substance.

Onofre was committed to the Bradford County Correctional Facility in lieu of $500,000 bail.

 

 

 

Tuesday Jan 21

Six Arrested In Drug Ring

A release from the U.S.  Middle District Court in Pennsylvania on Friday announced an 11-count indictment by a federal grand jury against six persons who are accused of operating a heroin, crack cocaine and cocaine ring in the Williamsport Area. 

Malik Hannibal and Arnell Monroe of Williamsport and Lamont Blount, Joey Elmore, Derrick Savage and Zuriel Love, all of Philadelphia have been arrested for distributing the drugs in the Williamsport area as well as in Lycoming and Tioga Counties. 

The group called themselves the Tat Gang and used mobile phones, social media, two addresses in Williamsport and multiple motor vehicles during the drug activity which lasted from November of 2012 through November of last year. 

All six have been arrested and jailed.

 

 

 

Monday Jan 20

Mansfield Man Dies In Fire

Terry A. Thomas, 63, of Canoe Camp Creek Road, died in the fire that was dispatched at 12:09 a.m. Saturday morning.

Though not considered suspicious, a state police fire marshal from Montoursville was on scene investigating what may have caused the blaze.

No other injuries were reported.

About 25 firefighters with tankers from Blossburg and Wellsboro fire departments responded.

 

 

Assault Charged Filed

Police have charged Travis G. Burdick, 32, of Westfield, with simple assault and harassment after he allegedly beat up another man.

According to documents, Burdick beat up Murray F. Johnson Jr. at the Colonial Hotel parking lot, 122 E. Main St., hitting and kicking him.

Burdick was issued a summons for a Feb. 4 preliminary hearing.

 

 

 

Friday Jan 17

Elkland Woman Charged

State Police have charged Dorothy L. Wyble, 66, of Elkland, with forgery and theft after she allegedly took money from a non-profit organization with which she was working.

According to documents, Wyble, who was working with the Tioga Old Home Days organization in Tioga, signed her name on two checks for deposit into the victim's personal account, but instead took the money for herself.

She also allegedly wrote six other checks to herself for a total of $2,095 during 2012.

She was issued a summons to appear for a Jan. 28 preliminary hearing.

 

 

Tioga Man Charged

Lawrenceville police have charged Cole M. Mack, 20, of Tioga, after he allegedly sold heroin to a confidential informant.

According to documents, Mack sold two bags of heroin on Nov. 3 to the informant for $50.

He was charged with manufacture, delivery and possession of a controlled substance.

He was issued a summons to appear at a Jan. 28 preliminary hearing.

 

 

Thursday Jan 16

Troy Man Charged

State police in Tioga County have arrested a Troy man for an incident in which he threatened himself and police at his mother’s home Sullivan Township back on January 1st

Police say they were called out to the residence after 18-year-old Shawn Shaffer began making threats and locked himself inside a trailer with knives and a bb gun.  At one point Shaffer opened up the door of the residence and threw a knife at one of the officers. 

He was charged last week with aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, reckless endangerment and other counts and is jailed in lieu of $25,000 dollars bail.

 

 

 

Wednesday Jan 15

State Money Available

State money is available for municipalities, pre-qualified land trusts, non-profits and other eligible agencies for planning, acquisition and development of park, recreation, conservation and greenway projects. 

The money will be available through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Conservation Partnerships Program. 

Applications will be accepted from January 15th through April 16th.

 

 

Legislation Aimed At Improving Care And Reducing Costs For Medicaid Patients Garners House Approval, Says Baker

The Pennsylvania state House today unanimously approved legislation authored by Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Tioga), chairman of the House Health Committee, aimed at improving patient care and reducing health care costs through the development and use of a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Advisory Council for the state’s Medicaid program. 

The PCMH model basically has a primary care physician or nurse practitioner be the primary point of contact for all medical care having to deal with an individual patient. This model of care is especially effective for those who have chronic diseases that require one or more specialists. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and others are all communicating to ensure the patient is receiving coordinated care, which includes making sure the patient does not undergo duplicative testing, receives important routine exams, and is alerted when immunizations are needed. 

“My legislation will ensure we are delivering the best possible care to individuals within the state’s Medicaid program by adopting a more streamlined and better coordinated system of care,” said Baker. “Although this model of care is being used by many doctors already, my legislation will make sure every patient within the Medicaid program benefits from increased communication between each of their health care professionals.” 

Baker noted 26 other states have already launched Patient-Centered Medical Home initiatives within their Medicaid programs on a state or regional level. Private insurers also are already using PCMH models. 

“The side benefit of this model of care is that it has also been proven to reduce health care costs through improved management of chronic and long-term illnesses and better coordination of routine tests and immunizations to head off more costly health complications down the line,” said Baker. “The Medicaid program currently accounts for roughly 30 percent of the state’s General Fund budget. Being able to reduce costs while improving the quality of patient care is a win-win situation.” 

House Bill 1655
 will now be sent to the state Senate for consideration. 

 

 

 

 

Monday Jan 13

Human Remains Found In Bradford County

The investigation continues into a set of human remains found in Bradford County over the weekend. 

Hunters were hunting in the vicinity of Bennett road in Burlington Township near Towanda on Saturday around 11:15 when they came upon human remains.  It’s not known who that person is or how long they have been there. 

State police say they are investigating the incident and are asking anyone with any information to give them a call at 570-265-2186. 

 

 

 

Friday Jan 10

Winter Driving Awareness Week Encourages Safe Driving, Preparation

 Although Pennsylvania is heading for a January thaw, safe winter driving skills will be called on again soon, and as part of the state’s first Winter Driving Awareness Week, PennDOT is asking all drivers to be ready. 

Winter Driving Awareness Week, Jan. 12-18, highlights the need for motorists to keep safety in mind throughout the winter season. 

“During Winter Driving Awareness Week I’m asking all motorists to do their part to help increase safety for all drivers this winter season,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. “Safety begins before drivers even leave home by ensuring that vehicles are properly equipped and mechanically ready to deal with winter driving challenges.” 

"While we have this temporary respite from winter weather, motorists should have their vehicle serviced now by a mechanic they trust," Schoch added. "A properly trained mechanic can check the cooling system, battery, hoses, drive belts, tires and wiper blades to ensure they are in good condition and functioning properly."
Motorists should frequently check all fluid levels, lights and wiper blades. Tires should also be checked often for the correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to perform on ice and snow.

Now is also a good time for motorists to prepare a vehicle emergency kit. The kit should contain items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel. Additionally, motorists should tailor their kits to any specific needs that they or their families have such as baby supplies, extra medication and pet supplies.

When winter weather does make a return appearance, PennDOT asks drivers to be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment. When encountering a plow truck, drivers should:

• Stay at least six car lengths behind an operating plow truck and remember that the main plow is wider than the truck. 

• Be alert since plow trucks generally travel much more slowly than other traffic. 

• When a plow truck is traveling toward you, move as far away from the center of the road as is safely possible, and remember that snow can obscure the actual snow plow width. 

• Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a "plow train." The weight of the snow thrown from the plow can quickly cause smaller vehicles to lose control, creating a hazard for nearby vehicles. 

• Never travel next to a plow truck since there are blind spots where the operator can't see and they can occasionally be moved sideways when hitting drifts or heavy snowpack. 

• Keep your lights on to help the operator better see your vehicle. Also remember that under Pennsylvania state law, vehicle lights must be on every time a vehicle's wipers are on due to inclement weather.

For more information on safe winter travel as well as PennDOT’s winter operations, visit www.dot.state.pa.us/winter. 

 

 

Thursday Jan 9

Mansfield Man Charged

Police have charged Joseph S. Harzinski, 54, of Mansfield, with retail theft and receiving stolen property in the theft of several hundred scratch-off lottery tickets from Sara Jo's convenience store between May 30 and Sept. 12.

According to documents, Harzinski and an employee at the store at the time, Connie R. McCullough, 43, of the same address, took more than 600 lottery tickets.

Police said the two were captured on video surveillance camera.

The face value of all 672 tickets lost was $11,320.

Harzinski was issued a summons to appear at a Feb. 5 preliminary hearing.

 

 

 

Middlebury Center Man Charged

State Police have charged Nathan F. Davis, 24, of Middlebury Center, with theft after he allegedly took cash from his mother's residence.

According to, Davis allegedly took $800 in cash from a safe in the basement of his mother, Janelle Davis's home on Nov. 22.

He was issued a summons to appear at a Jan. 30 preliminary hearing.

 

 

 

a safe and secure location and to only share the information with trusted organizations.” 

 

 

State Police Holiday Driving Report

Highway crashes and deaths investigated by state police across Pennsylvania were down over the Thanksgiving Holiday driving period. 

State police report that they investigated 936 crashes over the five-day holiday driving period in which 9 persons were killed and another 236 injured.  Deaths were down by 4 and injuries down by 133 with more than 1100 crashes investigated last year. 

In addition, State police say they arrested 433 persons for driving under the influence, issued more than 7400 speeding citations, issued citations to more than 1200 motorists for not wearing their seatbelts and another 104 were cited for not properly buckling their children in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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