Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter), chairman of the House Majority Policy Committee, leads a hearing about health care staffing challenges at Penn State Health in Hershey. The hearing was held in the Life Lion hangar on the hospital campus. See story below.

Eldred woman victim of cyber scam….Two Port Allegany residents arrested for physical harassment….several  vehicle crashes investigated in McKean County….Hearing hosted by Rep. Causer looked at medical staffing issues this week….

Wednesday’s high, 35; Overnight low, (went up) 38; .53” of rain







McKean County

Cyber thieves bilked a 53 year old Eldred Township woman out of an unreported amount of money in a scam November 13-20. Authorities say the victim responded to a Facebook ad to become a secret shopper and was requested to buy gift cards when she received checks in the mail. The checks turned out to be fraudulent. Police encourage people who are asked to purchase gift cards to send back to an unknown person, to avoid doing so as such request are associated with various thefts and can result in a financial loss. Anyone with information about the latest such crime or who has been victimized in the past, is asked to call state police at The Lewis Run barracks at 814.368.9230.

Two Port Allegany residents have been charged with physical harassment after a dustup Wednesday morning in Annin Township. Responding troopers discovered that a verbal argument between a 72 year old and a 63 year old escalated to a point where each shoved the other. Names were not released.

An Almond, NY driver has been cited for speeding after a one-car crash in Liberty Township, McKean County Tuesday morning. State police report Cali Gordon was going south when her Ford F350, slid off the North Brooklynside Road hit a mailbox and collided head-on with a rock wall. Gordon and her passenger, Donald Parris of Port Allegany were not hurt.

Speeding charges have been filed against an East Smethport driver after a collision on Route 646 in Keating Township. According to state police, a northbound Chevrolet Malibu driven by Jada Priest slid into the southbound land and collided head-on with a Chrysler Sebring driven by William Keene of Cyclone. Both cars were disabled and had to be towed away. Priest, Keene and a passenger in Priest’s car, KaitlynBillyard of Smethport escaped injury.

A Niagara Falls, NY motorist and his passenger were unhurt in a weather-related accident Sunday evening in Hamlin Township, McKean County. Troopers explained Adam Bir was driving a Jeep Cherokee north on Route 219 which slid off the road after running into slush on the unplowed road, hit an embankment and rolled over several times before stopping upright in the southbound lane.Bir and his passenger, Rachel Carter of Buffalo were using seatbelts.

A Bradford driver escaped injury early last Saturday morning when his Dodge Ram slid off of Route 59 in Lafayette Township and hit a downed tree. Troopers said Shawn Hartman’s pick up went off the road when he braked for a unit ahead which was stopping.

Minor injuries were reported for a Shinglehouse woman following a one-car accident on Route 44 near Bells Run Road Sunday evening. State police say Amanda Mellin was going north when her Subaru Forester went onto the east berm and became disabled after colliding with a ditch. She did not require transport to a hospital for treatment of a slight injury.

State police at Lewis Run arrested 53 year old Jody Stafford of Bradford for DUI after stopping her 2009 Pontiac on High Street in Bradford early Sunday morning for an alleged traffic violation. Stafford was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center for chemical testing.

A 32 year old unidentified Port Allegany man has been arrested for drug possession. The charges were filed against the suspect after troopers allegedly found him in possession of drug paraphernalia when they stopped his 2010 Subaru  Outback on South Avenue in Bradford last Saturday afternoon.


With staffing levels to best meet patient needs, the House Majority Policy Committee, chaired by Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter), convened a public hearing to examine the issue Tuesday at Penn State Health in Hershey.

A second hearing on challenges specific to rural health care is planned for January in Bradford.

Testifiers included nurses, hospital executives, and representatives of health care and home care agencies. All expressed concern about the challenge of retaining current health care providers who are struggling with stress, burnout and other strains on their physical and mental health. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, health care providers also saw an increase in the number of nurses leaving facility jobs in favor of higher-paying traveler positions.

With the American Hospital Association estimating hospitals will need to hire at least 200,000 nurses a year to meet increased demand and replace retiring nurses, testifiers urged increasing the number of nursing school programs, offering financial aid programs for candidates and supporting new care models for patients.

In addition to staffing issues, Causer said the committee will hold a hearing next month to discuss rural health care challenges, including situations like the one being experienced in Bradford with the loss of acute care and surgical services at Bradford Regional Medical Center earlier this year.

“Rural health care facilities across the state are struggling to keep their doors open to meet the needs of their communities,” Causer said. “We need to identify solutions that will enable these vital health care services to remain available and accessible to our rural residents.”

The hearing is tentatively planned for Wednesday, Jan. 19, at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

To watch a video of Wednesday’s hearing in Hershey or to read testimony submitted to the committee, go to

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed that as of 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, there were 7,606 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide cumulative total cases to 1,744,526. Please note, this includes 372 cases from two labs that collected results more than four days ago.








Currently, there are 3,939 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 858 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. .The trend in the 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients is increasing Statewide percent positivity for the week of Nov. 19 – Nov. 25 stood at 12.1%.

As of 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, there 100 new deaths identified by the Pennsylvania death registry and reported for a cumulative total of 33,521 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, Nov. 30, 69.3% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated.

Vaccine providers have administered 15,416,551 total vaccine doses, including 1,553,848 additional doses (which includes additional shots for immunocompromised individuals and booster shots).

180,486 total pediatric vaccines doses (ages 5-11) have been administered.

6,637,418 people are fully vaccinated; with 60,298 vaccinations administered since yesterday and a seven-day moving average of more than 37,300 people per day receiving vaccinations.

There are 286,663 individuals who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases. There are 5,911,989 individuals who have tested negative to date.

In licensed nursing and personal care homes, there have been a total of 68,315 resident cases of COVID-19 to date, and 50,392 cases among employees, for a total of 118,707 at 1,671 distinct facilities in all 67 counties.