Tuesday’s high, 36; Overnight low, 31







Force PA driver hurt while swerving to avoid an elk…PennDot is seeking public opinion about winter response….Owlett’s bill to protect child victims approved in state House….Covid cases slow down locally and across the state…

Elk County

State Police at Ridgway report that a 21 year Old Forge Pennsylvania driver suffered minor injuries and a one vehicle crash occurring early Monday morning a little before 6am on the Bennetts Valley Highway in Jay Township .Nicholas Knight was going south on Route 255 when he swerved his Dodge Power Ram to avoid an elk which had come onto the highway. The truck went off the road and struck a ditch then traveled over 100 feet until stopping.

A Port Matilda driver  escaped injury on Route 219 near the Toby Road in Jay Township  at around 8:15am yesterday, Joel Morrison  swerved his Honda Pilot when a deer jumped from the east side of the highway in front of the but was unable to avoid the collision. The SUV sustained functional damage. Police say Morrison  was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured.

Probably sometimes when you’re driving down the road you think you’d like to give PennDot a piece of your mind. Well, the department is seeking the public’s feedback Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is seeking the public’s feedback on winter services through an online survey found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PDWinter2021.

The survey is available through April 6 and should take about five minutes to complete. All responses are completely anonymous.


The 12-question survey asks respondents about their timeline expectations for safe and passable roadways, how they rank snow-removal priorities, and how they rate PennDOT’s winter services.


Respondents are also asked how they receive PennDOT roadway information, and whether or how they use the state’s 511PA traveler information services. During the winter, www.511PA.com offers its standard traffic and incident information while adding PennDOT plow-truck locations, winter roadway conditions, and other services.

At any time, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

As construction season begins, information on projects occurring or being bid this year is viewable at www.projects.PennDOT.gov. Visit the “Regional Offices” page at www.PennDOT.gov to sign up for travel alerts in a specific area.

Subscribe to statewide PennDOT news at www.PennDOT.gov/news. Follow PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews, like the department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation and Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennsylvaniadot.

Force PA driver hurt while swerving to avoid an elk…PennDot is seeking public opinion about winter response….Owlett’s bill to protect child victims approved in state House….Covid cases slow down locally and across the state…. https://soundcloud.com/gerri-miller-611294886/17-podcast

Rep. Clint Owlett’s (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) bill to help ensure justice is served in cases where children are victimized was approved by the state House this week and now moves to the Senate for its consideration.

“We want to see justice served in every case, but it is especially challenging and important to achieve with cases involving children,” Owlett said. “My bill can make a difference in achieving justice for a child victim and his or her family, as well as ensuring offenders are taken off the streets so they cannot victimize anyone else.”

House Bill 156 would amend the state’s Tender Years Hearsay Act, which permits the introduction of hearsay statements concerning violent or sexual offenses against children. Currently, a victim must be age 12 or younger to enable hearsay statements in the case. Owlett’s bill would increase the maximum age to 16, meaning hearsay statements may be presented from child victims age 16 and under. Allowing the statements would remain at the judge’s discretion.




A fear of testifying is one of the primary reasons many sexual assaults go unreported. Child victims in sexual assault cases who do testify are routinely subjected to long periods of cross examination and are often forced to repeatedly describe the explicit details underlying any assault in front of a jury, the media and the offender. By extending the age from 12 to 16 in the Tender Years Hearsay Act, Owlett said the legislation will provide additional protections to child victims and will ensure that offenders are brought to justice.

“This issue was brought to my attention by a local constituent, and I’m proud to have the opportunity to advocate for its passage to help child victims and their families,” Owlett said.

The bill now heads to the Senate for its consideration.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., March 16, there were 3,119 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 970,717.


There are 1,450 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 286 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. More data is available here.


The trend in the 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients per day is about 4,500 lower than it was at the peak on December 25, 2020.  The current 14-day average is now also below what it was at the height of the spring peak on May 3, 2020.

Statewide percent positivity for the week of March 5 – March 11 stood at 5.7%.

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

As of 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 15, there were 65 new deaths identified by the Pennsylvania death registry, reported for a total of 24,652 deaths attributed to COVID-19. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

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. The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine was first allocated to Pennsylvania the week of March 1, and the commonwealth is using it for a special initiative involving educators. Vaccination numbers for Pennsylvania do not include Philadelphia, which is its own jurisdiction, or federal facilities, which are working directly with the federal government.


Vaccine highlights

More than 3.7 million doses of vaccine administered across the state — more vaccine administered than 44 other states.

More than 1.3 million people fully vaccinated – with a seven-day moving average of 77,000 people per day receiving vaccinations.

This week, a total of 4,699,560 doses will have been allocated through March 20:

278,670 first/single doses will have been allocated this week.

242,270 second doses will have been allocated this week.

To date, of the 4,699,560 doses allocated through March 20, we have administered 3,735,484 doses total through March 15:

First/single doses, 92 percent (2,486,324 administered of 2,705,155 allocated)

Second doses, 63 percent (1,249,147 administered of 1,994,405 allocated)

Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home, even if fully vaccinated. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

There are 118,092 individuals who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases and 640 individuals who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure.

There are 4,008,754 individuals who have tested negative to date.

In licensed nursing and personal care homes, there are 68,608 resident cases of COVID-19, and 13,903 cases among employees, for a total of 82,511 at 1,559 distinct facilities in all 67 counties. Out of total deaths reported to PA-NEDSS, 12,779 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here. Note that the number of deaths reported to NEDSS is not exactly the same as the COVID-19 related deaths reported by the death registry. The number of deaths among nursing and personal care home residents and employees is taken from the PA-NEDSS death data, as this information is not available in the death registry data.

Approximately 25,801 of the total cases are among health care workers.

Joseph W. RAYMER, Jr., 66, of Galeton, PA, died Friday, March 12, 2021 in Sweden Valley Manor, Coudersport.


Born September 15, 1954, in Wellsboro, he was the son of Joseph William “Bill” and Elizabeth YahnRaymer.  A graduate of Galeton High School, he earned a degree in political science from the University of Pittsburgh.  Joe worked as a laborer and was last employed by Pike Township.


Surviving are:  a sister, Marjorie (Timothy) Smith of Westfield;  two nieces, Sarah and Tiffany;  an aunt, Helen Turner of Tampa, FL;  and cousins.  In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a sister, Debra Raymer.


Services will be private.  Memorials may be made to any local animal shelter.


Arrangements are under the direction of Olney-Foust Funeral Homes & Crematory, Ulysses, PA.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.olneyfoust.com.


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Melvin S. EASTON, 81, of Genesee, PA, died Saturday, March 13, 2021 in Wellsville Manor Care Center, Wellsville, NY.


Born January 29, 1940, in Coudersport, he was the son of Marvin R. and Alberta Freeman Easton.  On July 14, 1962, in Hickox, he married the former Jill C. Hokenson, who survives.  A 1957 graduate of Northern Potter High School, Melvin owned and operated Easton’s Mundy Brook Farm in Genesee for many years.  He was a member of the Genesee Grange.


Surviving besides his wife, Jill, are:  three children, Brian (Heather) Easton of Westfield, Timothy (Delanne) Easton of Genesee, and Ellen (Kevin) Erdmann of Whitesville, NY;  nine grandchildren, Zachary Easton, Jeffrey (Lindsay) Easton, Brianne (Zachary) Putman, Kurtis Easton, Joseph Easton, Brock (Rebecca) Erdmann, Bryce Erdmann, Mariah (Connor) Rittwage, and Spencer Easton;  eight great-grandchildren;  a brother, Rodney (Joan) Easton of Genesee;  nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his parents.


Friends may call at Olney-Foust Funeral Homes & Crematory, Ulysses, PA on Friday, March 19, 2021 from 12:00 – 2:00 PM.  CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines apply.  A private graveside service will be held in Genesee Cemetery.


Memorials may be made to Genesee Volunteer Fire Company, P.O. Box 9, Genesee, PA 16923.


Online condolences may be expressed at www.olneyfoust.com.


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