Photo by John Eaton

 Elaine Benjamin, winner of the Dickens of a Christmas Best Dressed Showcase in 2019, participates in the Victorian Stroll on Main Street. The 37th annual Dickens of a Christmas is being held this weekend in Wellsboro. More details on our Calendar and Black Forest Trails.

Another Elk County ID theft probed…..State police release Thanksgiving weekend travel stats…PA residents invited to vote for River of the year….6.6 million state residents vaccinated…

Thursday’s high, 41; Overnight low, 33;.08” of rain







State police at Ridgway are investigating yet another ID theft. Someone used the name and social security number of a 62 year old Kersey man illegally Thursday. Several ID thefts have victimized residents of the Kersey area.

The Pennsylvania State Police investigated 1,155 crashes, including five fatal collisions, in which five people were killed during the Thanksgiving holiday driving period from November 24-28, 2021.

Of the 1,155 total crashes investigated, 91 were alcohol-related, two were alcohol-related fatal crashes and 225 people were injured. State police also made 533 DUI arrests over the long holiday weekend. In addition, Troopers issued 10,126 speeding citations, 849 citations for failing to wear a seat belt, and 84 citations to drivers for not securing children in safety seats.

More information on 2021 Thanksgiving holiday enforcement, broken down by troop, is available here. These statistics cover only those incidents investigated by the state police and do not include incidents to which other law enforcement agencies responded.

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and mitigation efforts that were in place throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at the time, statistical information was not collected during the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday driving period.

For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has announced the public is invited to again vote online for the 2022 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing from among four waterways nominated throughout the state.

The Catawissa Creek, Connoquenessing Creek, French Creek, and the Monongahela River are the nominations for the 2022 River of the Year. Nominations were based on each waterway’s conservation needs and successes, as well as celebration plans if the nominee is voted 2022 River of the Year. In cooperation with DCNR, selection of public voting choices is overseen by the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR). Dunn noted that the online public selection process continues to be increasingly popular as it enters its twelfth year.

The public can vote for a favorite state waterway beginning today, Monday, November 29, 2021, through 5:00 P.M. Friday, January 14, 2022. The POWR website  enables voting and offers details on nominated waterways and the River of the Year program. Voting is managed through Woobox, an online contest application restricting voting to one email address.

POWR, an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, administers the River of the Year program with funding from DCNR. Presented annually since 1983, this year’s 2021 designation was awarded to the Shenango River. The Allegheny River was the 2017 River of the Year.

After a waterway is chosen for the annual honor, local groups implement a year-round slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a paddling trip, or sojourn. The organization nominating the winning river will receive a $10,000 leadership grant from DCNR to help fund River of the Year activities.

POWR and DCNR also work with local organizations to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the River of the Year.

The River of the Year sojourn is among many paddling trips supported each year by DCNR and POWR. An independent program, the Pennsylvania Sojourn Program, is a unique series of a dozen such trips on the state’s rivers. The water-based journeys for canoeists, kayakers and others raise awareness of the environmental, recreational, tourism and heritage values of rivers. For more information about the sojourns, visit www.pawatersheds.orgOpens In A New Window.

To learn more about DCNR’s Rivers Program, visit the DCNR website.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed that as of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, there were 9,143 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide cumulative total cases to 1,753,669.








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. Wednesday, Dec. 1, there 128 new deaths identified by the Pennsylvania death registry and reported for a cumulative total of 33,649 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, Dec. 1, 69.3% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated.

Statewide data representing the 66 counties within the Department of Health’s vaccine jurisdiction:

Vaccine providers have administered 15,482,008 total vaccine doses, including 1,589,246 additional doses (which includes additional shots for immunocompromised individuals and booster shots).

189,882 total pediatric vaccines doses (ages 5-11) have been administered.

6,650,102 people are fully vaccinated; with 65,457 vaccinations administered since yesterday and a seven-day moving average of more than 37,500 people per day receiving vaccinations.

In licensed nursing and personal care homes, there have been a total of 68,415 resident cases of COVID-19 to date, and 50,604 cases among employees, for a total of 119,019 at 1,671 distinct facilities in all 67 counties.