Tuesday’ high;  36 Overnight low, 16





Elk County

State Police in Ridgway did not release the suspect’s name but say that a 35 year old Ridgway woman is being charged with physical harassment for a  domestic violence incident allegedly taking place last Wednesday afternoon at a home on Boot Jack Road in Ridgway Township. Troopers claim that the woman threatened to physically harm her sister a 36 year old Ridgway woman. A summary charge of harassment has been filed in District Court according to troopers.

Elk County authorities  are looking for a vehicle from which snow and ice dislodged and hit another unit on the Penfield Road on Fox township last Wednesday at around 12:30pm. This is a second such accident we’ve reported on within the past few days. Mark Friedenfeld of York, Pennsylvania was driving a Ford F 550 West on the Penfield Road when ice flew off an unknown vehicle and damaged the front end of the truck. Police say that the offending car is a small maroon or red sedan.

Tioga County

A minor hit and run on Route 49 in Osceloa Township just after 7:00 pm February 5 is being investigated by state police in  Mansfield.  A 2010 Chevy Impala struck  the rear bumper of a Ford F 250 super cab. while trying to leave the parking lot of the Rusted Nut Restaurantno one was hurt but the identity of the other driver was not revealed.

The discovery of a disabled UTV at 235 Airport Road in Delmar  Township Tioga  County Sunday morning a little before 11am remains under investigation. Police report  the 2018 Honda UTV was found to have been stolen but no further details are available.


Some songbirds are not dissuaded by constant, loud noise emitted by natural gas pipeline compressors and will establish nests nearby. The number of eggs they lay is unaffected by the din, but their reproductive success ultimately is diminished.

That’s the conclusion of a team of Penn State researchers who conducted an innovative, elaborate study that included unceasing playback of recorded compressor noise, 80 new, never-before-used nest boxes occupied by Eastern bluebirds and tree swallows, and behavioral observations with video cameras placed within boxes.

“Importantly, the birds did not preferentially select quiet boxes over noisy boxes, suggesting they do not recognize the reduction in habitat quality resulting from the noise,” said study co-author Margaret Brittingham, professor of wildlife resources, College of Agricultural Sciences. “But both bluebirds and tree swallows nesting in noisy boxes spent less time incubating their eggs, had fewer eggs hatch and produced fewer young than their neighbors nesting in quiet boxes.”

Natural gas is one of the most rapidly growing global energy sources, with continued expansion expected in shale gas development in particular. Compressor stations needed to pressurize gas and push it through pipelines to consumers — often located in interior forests used by breeding birds — may be depressing birds’ reproduction in isolated forested areas.

“The loud, low-frequency noise emitted by natural gas compressor stations travels hundreds of yards into undisturbed areas,” said co-author Julian Avery, associate research professor of wildlife ecology and conservation. “Because shale gas development often occurs in relatively undisturbed natural areas that provide important habitat for breeding birds, it is imperative that we develop plans to manage and mitigate noise.”

The experiment, believed to be the first of its kind, was conducted at Penn State’s Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, in central Pennsylvania. The study was unique because the researchers took extensive precautions to be sure they were assessing only the birds’ reaction to the compressor noise and not other factors.

The design of the experiment allowed researchers to control for the confounding effects of both physical changes to the environment associated with compressor stations as well as the strong tendency for birds to return to the specific locations where they previously had bred.

Researchers established the 40 pairs of nest boxes to attract bluebirds and tree swallows to a site with no previous breeding population and immediately introduced shale gas compressor noise to half the boxes before birds returned to the region, while the other 40 boxes served as controls.

However, in both species, she observed a reduction in incubation time, hatching success and fledging success — the proportion of all eggs that fledged — in noisy boxes compared to quiet boxes.

The findings, recently published in Ornithological Applications, demonstrate that compressor noise caused behavioral changes that led to reduced reproductive success for eastern bluebirds and tree swallows. The results indicate, the researchers said, that natural gas infrastructure can create an “equal-preference ecological trap,” where birds do not distinguish between lower and higher quality territories, even when they incur reproductive costs.

Nest success — the probability of fledging at least one young — calculated from all nests that were initiated, was not affected by noise in either species studied.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Penn State’s Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, the Association of Field Ornithologists and the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium funded this research.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., February 23, there were 2,830 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 917,848.

There are 1,963 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 418 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.

The trend in the 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients per day is about 3,700 lower than it was at the peak on December 25, 2020. However, the current 14-day average is just below what it was at the height of the spring peak on May 3, 2020.

Statewide percent positivity for the week of February 12 – February 18 stood at 6.5% a decrease from the week before.

As of 11:59 p.m. Monday, February 22, there were 97 new deaths identified by the Pennsylvania death registry, reported for a total of 23,711 deaths attributed to COVID-19. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

Pennsylvania hospitals began receiving shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 14 and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 21. Please note that this includes vaccine administration through CVS as part of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership. Vaccination numbers for Pennsylvania do not include Philadelphia, which is its own jurisdiction, or federal facilities, which are working directly with the federal government.

This week, a total of 3,172,900 doses will have been allocated through February 27:

225,890 first doses will have been allocated this week.

180,610 second doses will have been allocated this week.

To date, of the 3,172,900 doses allocated through February 27, we have administered 2,034,123 doses total through February 22:

First doses, 80 percent (1,474,479 administered of 1,836,065 allocated)

Second doses, 42 percent (559,644 administered of 1,336,835 allocated)

Today, the CDC ranks Pennsylvania fifth in the nation for number of vaccine doses administered.

Mask-wearing is required in all  Pennsylvania businesses,  whenever leaving home and while outside when social distancing is not possible, even if fully vaccinated. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 according to officials.

There are 108,561 individuals who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases and 636 individuals who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure.

There are 3,834,470 individuals who have tested negative to date.

In licensed nursing and personal care homes, there are 66,173 resident cases of COVID-19, and 12,838 cases among employees, for a total of 79,011 at 1,568 distinct facilities in all 67 counties. Out of total deaths reported, 12,256 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities.

Approximately 24,462 of ther total cases are among health care workers.