Several DUI arrests made in Elk County….Game Commission says feeding of wild birds can resume…Covid cases increase in region….






Elk County

The passenger in a pick up truck involved in a crash Saturday evening was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia. Police say James Wickwire, 42 of Ridgway, had been  riding in a 2013 Dodge Ram when it crashed on the Arroyo Road in Spring Creek Township.

A 59 year old St. Marys man was arrested for DUI after state police responded to a report of an erratic driver in the Walmart Parking lot on the afternoon of August 6. Authorities claim he was driving his 2007 Chevrolet Silverado under the influence of drugs.

DUI and drug possession charges are being filed against a 36 year old South Wales, NY man after police stopped his 2008 Ford Explorer on the Burning Well Road in Jones Township last Friday evening. Troopers did not release his name but say he was found in possession of drugs and related paraphernalia .


With decreasing reports of sick and dead wild birds, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is lifting the recommendation to cease feeding birds.

Much is still unknown about what caused the mortality event documented in Washington D.C. and at least 10 states, including Pennsylvania, since late May. No definitive cause of illness or death has been determined. But research has ruled out many potential causes and there is no indication that feeding birds or maintaining bird baths were contributing factors.

No human health or domestic animal (livestock, poultry, pets) issues have been documented.

While the issue appears to be resolving on its own, the response has highlighted how much the Game Commission and other wildlife agencies rely on the greater community. “The public plays a vital role in wildlife health surveillance”, said Game Commission Wildlife Veterinarian Andrew Di Salvo. “They are often the first to notice and report injured, sick, or dead wildlife. All those extra sets of eyes and ears enables us to respond as quickly as possible and resolve or investigate the situation. We certainly appreciate their vigilance and look forward to continue to work closely with them into the future.”

Natural resource management agencies in the affected jurisdictions continue to work with diagnostic laboratories to investigate the cause(s) of this event. The USGS National Wildlife Health Center, the University of Georgia Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, the University of Pennsylvania Wildlife Futures Program, the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, and multiple state labs have been involved.

Based on results received to date, the following pathogens have not been detected in any of the birds tested: Salmonella and Chlamydia (bacteria); avian influenza virus, West Nile virus, coronaviruses, Newcastle disease virus, herpesviruses, and poxviruses; and Trichomonas parasites. Toxicology tests have been negative for heavy metals along with common pesticides and herbicides. Transmission electron microscopy and additional diagnostic tests, including metagenomics work, are ongoing.

Because birds congregate at bird feeders and baths, the standard recommendation to keep that equipment clean remains in place, along with additional guidelines:

Clean feeders and bird baths with soap and water, then disinfect with a 10% household bleach solution. After allowing 10 minutes of contact time, rinse with clean water and allow to air dry. Cleaning and disinfection should be done at a minimum weekly basis or more frequently when soiled to prevent potential spread of any infectious diseases between birds and other wildlife, as well as remove spoiled food.

When feeding birds, follow expert recommendations such as those listed in Audubon International’s Guide to Bird Feeding.

Remain vigilant and report any sick or dead wild birds to your local Pennsylvania Game Commission office.

Keep pets away from sick or dead wild birds.

Avoid handling wild birds. If you must do so, wear disposable gloves or use inverted plastic bags on your hands to avoid direct contact. Dead birds can be disposed of in a closed plastic bag in household trash or buried deeply (> 3 ft.) to prevent disease transmission to other animals.

Wildlife disease investigations can be inherently challenging and sometimes do not identify conclusive cause(s). If additional guidance or significant diagnostic results come to light, that information will be shared with the public in a timely manner.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed that as of 12:00 a.m., Friday, Aug. 13, there were 2,082 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 1,246,014.


ELK 1603

McKEAN 2952


TIOGA 2629



There are 935 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 226 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19.

The trend in the 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients continues to increase again. Statewide percent positivity for the week of July 30 – Aug. 5 stood at 5.4%.

As of 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12, there were 16 new deaths identified by the Pennsylvania death registry, reported for a total of 27,957 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 Thursday, Aug. 12, Pennsylvania ranks 5th among all 50 states for total doses administered.

According to the CDC, as of Thursday, Aug. 12, 64% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated.

Vaccine providers have administered 11,847,371 total vaccine doses as of Friday, Aug. 13.

5,802,463 people are fully vaccinated; with 20,257 vaccinations administered yesterday and a seven-day moving average of more than 15,000 people per day receiving vaccinations.

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. CDC also recommends all individuals wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.

In licensed nursing and personal care homes, there have been a total of 72,689 resident cases of COVID-19 to date, and 15,730 cases among employees, for a total of 88,419 at 1,603 distinct facilities in all 67 counties.

Approximately 29,657 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.

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.