Thursday’s high, 88, Overnight low, 66; .24″ of rain







State police across the region continue to investigate ID thefts for unemployment…Penn State researchers are working with the Game Commission to find cause of song bird illness….Covid cases slow down in region and across the state….

State police across the region continue to investigate ID thefts for fake unemployment compensation claims . Coudersport based state police investigated when 73 year old Dennis Smoker of Genesee discovered his employer had received certification forms for a fraudulent claim. A 48 year old Wellsboro woman told police someone submitted a claim in her name Wednesday. A fraudulent claim was filed last Thursday in the name of a 55 year old resident of Horse Thief Run Road in Wellsboro.

State police at Mansfield have just released details about a collision on the afternoon of June 30 on South Main Street in Richmond Township. The fender bender  occurred when a 17 year old Morris, PA girl, while going south, failed to yield to a GMC Sierra driven by Jeffrey Catherman of Wellsboro which was going north, while making a left turn. Her 2007 Mercedes Benz C280 hit the SUV and became disabled. Catherman was able to drive away from the scene. Both drivers escaped injury.

A male Northern Cardinal perches on a tree branch in Virginia on a spring day.

Pennsylvania residents may see dead and dying songbirds exhibiting strange symptoms, warns a Penn State Extension wildlife specialist who is monitoring the spread of a mysterious disease in the eastern United States.

The affected birds have crusty eyes and neurological symptoms that may include seizures, difficulty standing and head shaking.

In late May, bird mortalities were reported in the Washington, D.C., area, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. In June, there were additional reports from Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. In Pennsylvania, most of the cases have occurred in the southeast region of the state.

The primary species reported to be affected are blue jays, common grackles, American robins, northern cardinals and European starlings. Many of the reports are of young birds that recently have left the nest, but adults also are affected. In Pennsylvania there have been 70 reports of birds showing the described neurological symptoms and crusty eyes. These birds are not restricted to a specific family or group of birds. Those affected include 11 species from 10 bird families.

The Wildlife Futures Program at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School is working in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to test birds for different pathogens and toxins.

At a national level, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Wildlife Health Lab are tracking results from across the country and have reported that they have not detected any of the following pathogens in birds tested to date: Salmonella and Chlamydia bacteria; avian influenza virus, West Nile virus and other flaviviruses; Newcastle disease virus and other paramyxoviruses, herpesviruses and poxviruses; and Trichomonas parasites. Toxicology tests are ongoing.

One speculated cause circulating in the popular media is that the illness is related indirectly to the emergence of brood X periodical cicadas because of the timing and geographic correlation between the emergence and bird deaths, residents  are urged to follow the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s recommendations:

— Report any birds that you find dead from apparent illness using the Bird Mortality Report Form online at

— Take birdfeeders down to increase “social distancing” in birds to reduce the risk of disease spread.

— Wash feeders and bird baths and soak them in a 10% bleach solution before putting them back out after this problem is over.

— Wear disposable gloves to collect any dead birds and place the birds and gloves in plastic bags for disposal in trash.

— Keep pets away from sick or dead birds.

— Wash your hands with soap and water after handling birds or feeders.

Residents should consider other ways to help birds, Brittingham suggested, adding that birds rely on natural habitats such as forests, fields, wetlands and woodland edges. Backyards, community parks and other open space can provide critical habitat, especially in urban and suburban areas.

Information on landscaping for wildlife and related topics can be found on the Penn State Extension website at


The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed that as of 12:00 a.m., Thursday, July 8, there were 222 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 1,213,543.







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There are 295 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 58 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. More data is available here.

Statewide percent positivity for the week of June 25 – July 1 stood at 1.1% an improvement over the previous week.

As of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, July 7, there were 11 new deaths identified by the Pennsylvania death registry, reported for a total of 27,729 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 Wednesday, July 7, Pennsylvania has administered first doses of vaccine to 63.3% of its entire population, and the state ranks 9th among all 50 states for first doses administered by percentage of population.

According to the CDC, as of Wednesday, July 7, 60.8% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated while 76% have received their first dose.

According to the CDC, as of Wednesday, July 7, Pennsylvania ranks 5th among all 50 states for total doses administered.

Vaccine providers have administered 11,800,591 total vaccine doses as of Thursday, July 8.

First/single doses:  6,778,127 administered

Second doses:  5,022,464 administered

5,472,507 people are fully vaccinated; with a seven-day moving average of more than 13,100 people per day receiving vaccinations.

1,305,620 people are partially vaccinated, meaning they have received one dose of a two-dose vaccine.

The department continues to urge Pennsylvanians to follow CDC for wearing a mask where required by law, rule and regulations, including healthcare, local business and workplace guidance. For the protection of themselves and others, individuals who have not yet been vaccinated or are partially vaccinated, are still encouraged to wear a mask when in public.

In licensed nursing and personal care homes, there have been a total of 72,090 resident cases of COVID-19 to date, and 15,561 cases among employees, for a total of 87,651 at 1,599 distinct facilities in all 67 counties. Approximately 29,050 of total cases have been among health care workers.

All Pennsylvanians age 12 and older are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine. Use Vaccine Finder to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.