Local News


                                                                            

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 passenger, Clifton
Heasley of Towanda were pronounced dead following the crash.  An unidentified male juvenile
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

                                                         Construction To Continue On Tioga County Bridge Project

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Rapid Bridge Replacement Project continues in Tioga County in August with the reconstruction of a bridge in Jackson Township. Replacing the bridge will allow PennDOT to remove it from Tioga County’s structurally deficient
list.

The state-owned bridge (JV130) is located on Route 549, spanning Seely Creek. Construction is expected to begin in August and be complete in October. During this time, drivers will be detoured using State Route 1011 (Bailey Creek Road) while the new bridge is replaced.

In the event of unfavorable weather or unforeseen activities, this schedule may change. 

This bridge replacement is part of the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project, a Public-Private Partnership (P3) between PennDOT and Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners (PWKP) under which PWKP will finance, design, replace and maintain the bridges for 25 years. The P3 approach will allow PennDOT to replace the bridges more quickly while achieving significant savings and minimizing impact on motorists. 


 

Baker to Host Senior Expo in Wellsboro Aug. 5

 Senior 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. 

 

 

Monday July 18

                                          Baker Says 2016-17 State Budget Invests In Schools, Health Care
                                    Historic Investments In Education Require No Broad-Based Tax Increases

The Pennsylvania General Assembly this week approved several budget-related bills that were signed into law to finalize implementation of the 2016-17 state budget, announced Rep. 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 intravenous 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

                                              Bridge Preservation Work Next Week On Leetonia Road

On Monday, July 11, a PennDOT maintenance crew in Tioga County will place an epoxy overlay on a bridge on Route 3001 (Leetonia Road) in Morris Township.

The bridge, located at the intersection of Mine Hole Road, will be closed from 8 a.m. to about 5 p.m. while work is being performed.

A detour will be in place using Mine Hole Road, West Rim Road and Route 414.

This work is weather permitting.

 

 

 

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 delivery resulting in death, recklessly endangering another person, possession of a controlled substance and
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

Morris Man Dies In Accident

63-Year Old Delbert Schmouder of Morris died over the weekend after the truck he was working on, fell on top of him.

State Police say Schmouder was working underneath his truck Saturday afternoon.

It was lifted on the front axle by two hydraulic jacks when the truck came off one or both of the jacks and fell on top of Schmouder.



 

Missing Woman 

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

 Rep. 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 County. 

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

 Critically 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 Bill 60

“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

Jeffrey Deitrick has been arrested by Elkand Borough Police after they they found meth paraphernalia and a mobile meth lab in the trunk of his vehicle.

Deitrick was taken into custody and transported to the Tioga County Prison.

The arrest came after police say Deitrick had carried several bags of unknown items to a vehicle while it was under surveillance and a search warrant was then issued.

 


 

Two Arrested In Gun Store Robberies
 

Two New York state men has been charged with stealing nearly 100 handguns and rifles from three area businesses.

 

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.


The burglaries were at GNR Sporting Goods located near Mansfield on June 17, Fulmer's Sporting Goods near Towanda and a store in Forest County.

 


 

Another Hike In The Cigarette Tax?

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

                                                                  House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Approves
                                                                      Natural Gas Royalty Legislation

Legislation authored 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. Sandra Major (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

 Opioid 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

Fatal Shooting In Bradford County

State Police say 51-year-old Daryl Barnes Jr., of Gillett, is charged with one count of Criminal Homicide after police say he shot and killed 46-year-old Fred Barnes of Elmira.

Police say Daryl Barnes Jr. allegedly shot Fred Barnes with a shotgun following an altercation at the accused's home just before 8 p.m. Tuesday. Fred Barnes was taken to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre where he died from his injuries.

Daryl Barnes Jr. is being held without bail in the Bradford County Correctional Facility.


 


 

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

ASAPH BIOBLITZ

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

Guns stolen

Pennsylvania state police in Mansfield report that 36 various hand guns and rifles were stolen from GNR Sporting Goods on south main street in Richmond township.

The burglary took place sometime between 6:00 p.m. Thursday and 7:45 a.m. Friday.

Police say someone gained entry by force, stole the guns and then fled the scene in an unknown direction and by unknown means.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pennsylvania state police in Mansfield at (570) 662-2151.



 

 

Baker Announces More Than $15 Million In Natural Gas Impact Fees To Benefit 68th District

State rep. Matt Baker (r-Tioga/Bradford/potter) said it was announced this week that more than $15,029,623.20 in impact fees from act 13 are coming back to the counties and municipalities that make up the 68th legislative district. 

Under act 13 of 2012, impact fees are generated by the extraction of natural gas, which fluctuate depending on the price of natural gas and the rate of inflation, with a portion of those fees being directed back to the communities impacted by natural gas drilling. Since 2012, impact fee revenues have topped $1 billion. Bradford and tioga counties have received more than $100 million between them since implementation of the impact fee. 

“Despite the reduction in production, natural gas drilling continues to generate significant economic benefits for pennsylvania and especially the northern tier where actual drilling is taking place,” said baker. “i am pleased to have money coming back to the counties and our municipalities to help with housing, social service programs, watershed remediation and various infrastructure improvements that may be needed. Between lower gas prices, jobs and increased revenue produced by the industry, we have seen real and tangible benefits from the harvesting of this natural resource.” 

Impact fee revenues for 2015 resulted in the following (see attached list for complete municipality breakdowns.): 

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 Marcellus 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

Pipe Replacement On Stoney Fork Road

On Monday, June 20, a PennDOT maintenance crew in Tioga County will begin a pipe replacement
project on Route 3007 (Stoney Fork Road) between Route 3006 (Stoney Fork School Road) and the
Wellsboro Borough limits in Delmar Township, Tioga County.

The road will be closed during daylight hours and a detour will be in place using Route 660 and
Stoney Fork School Road. Motorists should plan extra time for their travels.

This project is expected to last two weeks, weather permitting.



 

Family Fishing Day Tournament 

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
 

Police have arrested four men for an attempted robbery and assault in Bradford County.

They are accused of breaking into the home of William Miller Ewing, in Smithfield Township, early Tuesday morning where they tried to take his money and assaulted him.

Arrested are 24-year Isaac Clark of Milan, 19-year old Bryant Ashby of Milan, 20-year old Dakota Walters of Athens and 18-year old Bradley Stroud of Athens.

They face charges of Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Attempted Robbery and making Terroristic Threats.

 


 

15th Annual Family Day And Children’s Health Fair

The 15th Annual Family Day and Children’s Health Fair will kick off the 75th Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival. The event will be Saturday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. outdoors on “The Green” in Wellsboro, rain or shine. Everything is free.

Hosting Family Day, which promotes wellness and healthy activities, are the Tioga County Partnership for Community Health, the Wellsboro Montessori Children’s Center, and the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce. 

By resolution, the Tioga County Commissioners have designated June 11, as “Smoke Free Day on The Green.”

There will be activities for children of all ages, including games, refreshments and entertainment.

Over 30 businesses and non-profit organizations are participating in Family Day. Some will involve youth in creative projects or activities. At the Tioga County Relay For Life booth, youngsters can play Simon Says: Sunscreen, be on a watering can relay team and plant a seed that has a special meaning.

Other booths will have information about children’s health, safety and well being such as self-expression through music, eye health, substance abuse prevention, bicycle safety, car seat safety, emotional wellness, wildfire, water and fire safety, and healthy snacks with samples.

At 10 a.m., children and adults are invited to join guitarist and singer Mr. Ronn for a lively show. He will involve the audience in singing 1950s rock and roll and old-time country tunes and playing percussion instruments such as bells, tambourines, maracas, washboards, cymbals, bongos, accordions and a bass drum.

Sadie Green Sales will perform at noon. Timothy Walker and David Driskell will sing jug band songs and play a host of instruments, from banjo, harmonica and flute to a penny whistle, musical saw and washtub bass.

Pony hoppers for youngsters, teens and adults to ride; a bounce house with a slide; and slacklines to try will be on The Green.

Being given out free to participants will be a choice of one of the following: a rubber playground ball, a foam football, a foam Frisbee or a jump rope.

Wellsboro Pediatric Health Care Associates is sponsoring the giveaway of free bike helmets in sizes toddler to extra large while supplies last. For a free helmet, the youth must register and must be present to be fitted. 

Among the many free treasures at the booths will be hacky sacks, badges, ice/cold packs, bracelets, stickers, pens, pencils, crayons, coloring books, a 10-inch flying disk with pouch, T-shirts and nail files.

For more information about Family Day and other Laurel Festival events stop in at the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce office at 114 Main Street Monday through Friday, call 570-724-1926 or email info@wellsboropa.com.

 

 

 

Thursday June 9

Armed Robbery In Bradford County

Pennsylvania State Police in Towanda are looking for three men who broke into a home in Bradford County and assaulted a man who lived there.

It happened on State Route 40-14 in Smithfield Township shortly before 2:00 a.m. Wednesday.

Police say three broke into William Miller Ewing's home, tried to get money from him, and assaulted him in the process.

Ewing was taken to Robert Packer hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Police say two of the men were wearing ski masks and the third was wearing a handkerchief over his face.

If you have any information you're urged to call state police at 570-265-2186.


 


 

Baker Bill To Crack Down On New Illegal Drug Substances Becomes Law

 Legislation Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) has been working on for several years to aid in the fight against the proliferation of newly created designer drugs has finally been signed into law. 

The new law will work by speeding up the process by which new substances used in the manufacturing of designer drugs can be added to the state’s banned list of drugs, thereby enabling law enforcement to arrest and prosecute individuals for use of these new drug cocktails. 

“Today’s criminals are smart and savvy and have learned how to use different chemicals to create new drug combinations to try and avoid prosecution,” said Baker. “My legislation combats those efforts by allowing the use of these substances and combination chemicals to be quickly added to a banned list – a process that use to take 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.” 

The new law permits the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health to ban substances temporarily, pending full regulatory review, when there is a threat to public health. Currently, banning a substance under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act requires an act of the General Assembly, which can often be a time consuming process. 

“This is one more step forward in our fight against the illegal drug market,” said Baker. “Drug abuse and misuse has become an epidemic and I have been a leader and avid supporter of new laws to help combat this trending crime. Next to prescription drug abuse, these new designer drugs are a major plague on our society with individuals exposing themselves to unknown chemicals and toxins in order to get a ‘high.’ Giving law enforcement the tools they need to thwart illegal drug manufacturers can help save lives.” 

The new law also will make changes to the state’s current schedule of controlled substances in order to reflect the federal controlled substance laws. 

This new law has the support of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, the Pennsylvania State Police Troopers Association and the state Office of Attorney General. 

 

 

 

Wednesday June 8

Southern Tioga Tax Increase

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. 


 

 

 

 

Pa. Legislature Approves Bill To Allow Wine Sales In Grocery Stores
 

The Pa. House approved a Senate-amended plan that would allow grocery stores and other places to sell wine with the proper license.

Officials say selling wine in convenience and grocery stores will not only make it more convenient for the consumer, but will also generate millions of dollars initially to Pennsylvania's economy.

In a bi-partisan approved vote, house members say this bill is projected to bring in as much as $150 million initially, plus added revenue to help the budget yearly, "It will provide revenue from a budgetary perspective and provide the convenience that consumers have been looking for years across this commonwealth."

According to legislators, customers could buy up to four bottles of wine  at a time from the store.

 

 

 

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 today. 

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

Pipe Replacement Next Week On Old Mill Road


On Monday, June 6, a PennDOT maintenance crew in Tioga County will begin a cross pipe replacement project on Route 2031 (Old Mill Road) in Sullivan Township.

The road will be closed during the day between Route 2022 (Old State Road) and Rumsey Hill Road during this week-long project.

A detour will be in place during daylight hours using Rumsey Hill Road, Route 2029 (Mainesburg Road) and Old State Road.


 

Expanded Drug Monitoring Program Finally Set to Launch

 According to the state Department of Health, the Commonwealth’s newly improved prescription drug monitoring program is set to launch this summer, giving doctors, pharmacists and law enforcement more information to tackle Pennsylvania’s growing prescription drug abuse epidemic, announced Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter), House Health Committee chairman. 

The program, called the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions Program (ABC-MAP) Act, is an electronic database listing all controlled substances that are prescribed and dispensed in Pennsylvania. The database will help improve patient care and prescribing practices, uncover drug diversion and identify “doctor shopping.” 

“I am proud to have supported key language in the legislation creating this program,” said Baker. “As a longtime advocate of using technology to improve health care, this program seems like the perfect tool to identify patients in need of treatment and pinpoint any possible fraud or abuse taking place by those professionals prescribing and filling prescriptions. Although the state had a previous drug monitoring program, it was not being used to its fullest potential.” 

Until now, neither physicians nor dispensers had access to information that would help them address the growing negative effects of non-monitored scheduled drugs on the health and safety of Pennsylvanians. ABC-MAP will rectify this and give health care professionals the ability to address potentially fatal drug abuse and provide improved and streamlined care to their patients. 

Baker explained that this confidential database will supply the information they need to, in essence, “red flag” any instances of unusual or unacceptable practices in the prescribing, disbursement or procurement of a controlled substance. For example, if someone receives prescriptions from two different doctors for a narcotic and goes to two different pharmacies to get the prescriptions filled, that information will show up on the database. 

“According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription drugs are the second-most abused category of drugs in the United States, following marijuana,” said Baker. “In fact, drug overdoses now surpass the number of deaths each year from automobile accidents in Pennsylvania. We need to be more proactive in helping those who have been caught in the web of drug addiction, and stop those who are overprescribing these addictive narcotics.” 

With virtually every state having in place some type of prescription drug monitoring system there will eventually be the opportunity to share information across state borders, which will enhance tracking of those who live along the borders and may use doctors and pharmacies in two states to feed their prescription drug habit. 

Signed into law in 2014, the database has undergone extensive improvements and will be launched this summer. It will be maintained by the state Department of Health. 


 

 

Wednesday June 1

CAPTURED

Elkland Pharmacy Robbed

Police are looking looking for 35-year old Christopher McCormick of Tioga, and 35-year old Angela Cox/Watson also of Tioga in connection to a robbery at Buchanan Brothers Pharmacy in Elkland.

At 9:40 yesterday morning they passed a note to the clerk on the pharmacy demanding opioid drugs.

The two were last seen traveling in a 2003 red Chevrolet Cavalier with license plate HCT-5531. 

If anyone comes in contact or has information regarding these two, police urge you to call 911. 



 

Star Party at Cherry Springs


The Astronomical Society of Harrisburg is sponsoring the Cherry Springs Star Party this Thursday through Sunday, June 2-5. Astronomers will be set up at the park’s Astronomy Observation Field to view the night skies and listen to speakers who are experts in astronomy and astrophysics.

During this pre-paid, pre-registered event, the public is invited to look through different telescopes set up on the Astronomy Observation Field to view the stars one night only - this Saturday, June 4, from 8-11 p.m. Cherry Springs State Park is 15 miles from Coudersport on Route 44 in Potter County.

Bring a small flashlight with a red lens. The park’s Dark Sky Team volunteers will assist by providing visitors with red cellophane and rubber bands to convert flashlights with white light to red; white light is not permitted on the field.

The volunteers will also assist visitors in getting to Astronomy Field. Light sticks, strategically placed, will identify the 30 to 40 astronomers who have volunteered their scopes for the public viewing.

On a good night, thousands of stars can be seen along with planets, nebulae and distant galaxies. The entire Milky Way stretches from horizon to horizon and the view is spectacular. Even under partly cloudy skies, many wonders of the Milky Way can be observed and enjoyed. If it is raining or totally overcast, the public viewing night will be cancelled.

The concession stand will be open and food and hot drinks will be for sale.

All visitors who are not registered to attend the star party will be asked to leave the park by 11 p.m.

For more information, visit the Cherry Springs Dark Sky Fund/Association website (www.csspdarkskyfund.org) or call 1-814-435-1037.

 

 

 

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