Alleged sexual assault involving babysitter investigated by Lewis Run State police….Items stolen from Tioga County home include riding mower….Penn State Reseachers encourage people to look for Spotted Lantern Fly….9.3 million vaccine doses have been administered……

Tuesday’s high, 50; Overnight low, 35

WED- SUNNY, HIGH 60

WED NIGHT-CHANCE OF FLURRIES, LOW 39

THU MORNING CLOUDS, HIGH 65

THU NIGHT-LOW, 40

FRI-CHANCE OF SHOWERS, HIGH 65

FRI NIGHT-LOW 39

 

McKean County

State police at Lewis Run are reporting an alleged indecent assault occurring on the afternoon of January 6. Authorities were notified through a Childline report which reported that the crime occurred between a babysitter and a juvenile. The investigation continues.

Tioga County

Several items were stolen from a Charleston Township residence a week ago, last Wednesday. A thief made off with a Craftsman riding lawn mower, an FCS auto strut, hammer and lawn mower starter. Value of the stolen items is estimated to be $192.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Mansfield State Police barracks at 570.662.2151.

Statewide

Sunny skies and rising temperatures have many on cloud nine with anticipation of summertime fun. But for residents in parts of Pennsylvania and beyond, these weather conditions also signal the return of a trespasser that aims to rain on their parade — the spotted lanternfly.

The pest, which feeds on the sap of grapevines, hardwoods and ornamentals, strikes a double blow — not only does it stress host plants, but it also can render outdoor areas unusable by leaving behind a sugary excrement called honeydew, explained EmelieSwackhamer, a horticulture educator with Penn State Extension.

“Egg-hatching season is here, and that has some people on edge,” said Swackhamer, who added that the pest now has been reported in 34 Pennsylvania counties. “The spotted lanternfly is an insect that takes time, energy and money to keep under control, especially in heavily infested areas. Those dealing with this pest for the first time likely will be frustrated, but arming oneself with knowledge can help.”

The nonnative spotted lanternfly completes its life cycle in one year. It grows from egg to adult in three stages, with its appearance changing during the molting process for each stage, noted Amy Korman, an extension educator based in Northampton County.

“Unless you are paying daily attention to changes in this insect’s life stages, its appearance can be confusing and misleading,” said Korman. “It is important to be able to identify what is happening during the life cycle to accurately evaluate the effects of management methods.”

Hatching lanternflies are initially white and can be observed from late April until June, depending on environmental conditions. Their exoskeleton hardens, quickly becoming black with white spots.

As they enter their “teenage” days, the insect’s primary color is red instead of black. By midsummer, the nymphs will become adults, measuring about an inch in length and sporting artfully patterned wings of red, black, white and tan, accented by dots.  During this last phase of their development as the last nymphal stage molts, Korman pointed out, the newly emerged adults look odd, exhibiting a disfigured appearance.

“Their wings are soft and folded and not the typical colorful patterns that we see on adults,” she said. “However, they are normal lanternflies entering the last phase of their lives. Once the insect emerges from its old skin, it expands its size, and additional physiological processes will cause the insect skin to harden and darken.”

Throughout the transformation, one thing remains constant — the lanternfly’s voracious appetite, and that has citizens looking for ways to control the clusters that have taken up residence on their properties. The educators offer the following management tips based on the pest’s life cycle:

Destroy egg masses — fall, winter and spring

Check for egg masses — gray-colored, flat clusters — on trees, cement blocks, rocks and any other hard surface. If egg masses are found, scrape them off using a plastic card or putty knife, and then place the masses into a bag or container with rubbing alcohol. The egg masses also can be smashed or burned.

Circle traps — spring and summer

Trapping is a mechanical control method that does not use insecticides. While traps can capture a significant number of spotted lanternflies on individual trees, they do not prevent lanternflies from moving around in a landscape and returning.

When the nymphs first hatch, they will walk up the trunks of trees to feed on the softer, new growth of the plant. People can take advantage of this behavior by installing a funnel-style trap, called a “circle trap,” which wraps around the trunks of trees. Spotted lanternflies are guided into a container at the top of the funnel as they move upward.

Circle traps can be purchased commercially or can be a do-it-yourself project. A detailed guide on how to build a trap can be found on the Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/how-to-build-a-new-style-spotted-lanternfly-circle-trap.

Sticky bands are another method that has been used. Sticky bands have a major drawback: the sticky material can capture other insects and animals, including birds, small mammals, pollinators such as bees and butterflies, and more. To reduce the possibility of bycatch, a wildlife barrier of vinyl window screening or other protective material must be installed. Sticky bands deployed without a wildlife barrier are not recommended.

Removal of tree-of-heaven — spring and summer

While the spotted lanternfly will feast on a variety of plant species, it has a fondness for Ailanthus, or tree-of-heaven, an invasive plant that is common in fencerows and unmanaged woods, along the sides of roads, and in residential areas. For this reason, there is a current push from spotted lanternfly officials to remove this tree.

The best way to do this is to apply an herbicide to the tree using the hack-and-squirt method, a critical step to prevent regrowth, and then cutting it down after it is dead from July to September. More information on how to destroy this aggressive tree can be found at https://extension.psu.edu/tree-of-heaven.

Use of insecticides — spring, summer and fall

When dealing with large populations of the insect, citizens may have little recourse other than using chemical control. When applied properly, insecticides can be an effective and safe way to reduce lanternfly populations.

Penn State Extension is researching which insecticides are best for controlling the pest; preliminary results show that those with the active ingredients dinotefuran, carbaryl, bifenthrin and natural pyrethrins are among the most effective.

However, there are safety, environmental and sometimes regulatory concerns that accompany the use of insecticides, so homeowners should do research, weigh the pros and cons, and seek professional advice if needed.

Swackhamer also warned against the use of home remedies, such as cleaning and other household supplies, as they can be unsafe for humans, pets, wildlife and plants.

More information about the spotted lanternfly’s life cycle and management techniques is available at https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly.

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., May 11, there were 2,385 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 1,177,072.

CAM-199

ELK-1557

McK-2764

POT-973

TIO-2467

CAT-5525

ALL-3336

There are 1,798 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 406 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. More data is available here.

The percentage of COVID-19 cases in 0-to-49-year-olds is rising as indicated by the COVID-19 age distribution of COVID-19 cases from January 2021 to present in May 2021:

COVID-19 cases from January 2021 to present in May 2021:

The trend in the 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients per day is coming down, after peaking at 2,661 patients which is slightly below what it was at the height of the spring 2020 peak of 2,751 patients on May 3, 2020. Statewide percent positivity for the week of April 30 – May 6 stood at 6.6%.

The most accurate daily data is available on the website, with archived data also available.

As of 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 10, there were 57 new deaths identified by the Pennsylvania death registry, reported for a total of 26,607 deaths attributed to COVID-19. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

According to the CDC, as of Tuesday morning, May 11, Pennsylvania has administered first doses of vaccine to 52.7% of its entire population, and the state ranks 10th among all 50 states for first doses administered by percentage of population.

According to the CDC, as of Tuesday morning, May 11, 45.6% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated.

According to the CDC, as of Tuesday morning, May 11, Pennsylvania ranks 5th among all 50 states for total doses administered.

Statewide data representing the 66 counties within the Department of Health’s vaccine jurisdiction:

Vaccine providers have administered 9,300,680 total vaccine doses as of Tuesday, May 11.

3,939,478 people are fully vaccinated; with a seven-day moving average of more than 67,300 people per day receiving vaccinations.

1,748,289 people are partially vaccinated, meaning they have received one dose of a two-dose vaccine.

5,687,767 people have received at least their first dose.

This week, a total of 9,556,320 doses will have been allocated through May 15:

320,320 first/single doses will have been allocated this week.

297,520 second doses will have been allocated this week.

To date, we have administered 9,300,680 doses total through May 11:

First/single doses:  5,687,767 administered

Second doses:  3,612,913 administered

Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Fully vaccinated people are permitted to participate in some activities without a mask based on CDC guidance. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

There are 157,352 individuals who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases and 639 individuals who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure.

There are 4,476,217 individuals who have tested negative to date.

In licensed nursing and personal care homes, there are 71,244 resident cases of COVID-19, and 14,971 cases among employees, for a total of 86,215 at 1,590 distinct facilities in all 67 counties. Approximately 28,064 of our total cases are among health care workers.

All Pennsylvanians age 16 and older are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine. Use Vaccine Finder to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.

A commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination guide explains the current process for getting one. Pennsylvanians with questions about the vaccination process can call the Department of Health hotline at 1-877-724-3258.

Vaccine provider map to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.

If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing. Fully vaccinated people are allowed to participate in some activities without a mask.