State House votes unanimously to advance broadband services in PA. See Story below.

St. Marys man suspected of shoplifting at Walmart a dozen times..Bolivar, NY resident accused of writing bad check to Tioga County business…..Lewis Run state police make several DUI arrests…..state house passes broadband legislation unanimously…..

Monday’s high, 50; Overnight low, 19


Elk County

State police at Ridgway have charged 35 year old Joshua Sporner of St. Marys for shoplifting. Troopers claim Sporner is responsible for over a dozen  retail thefts over the past six months. He is facing felony and misdemeanor charges for retail theft and corruption of minors.

A Bolivar, NY man has been arrested for writing a bad check to a Tioga County, PA business. State police at Mansfield allege 38 year old Michael Mesler wrote a worthless check to Steve Shannon Tire I Mansfield on August 25 and has not made the check good.

McKean County

Troopers at Lewis Run have made several recent DUI arrests. A 43 year old Bradfprd wp,am was arrested after troopers stopped her 2005 Jeep on Mill Street in Bradford early Saturday morning. A 24 year old New Castle man was arrested after police stopped his 2001 Dodge on Champlin Hill Road in Annin Township early Sunday morning. Their names were not released but authorities have reported50 year old Dennis Sandberg of Wilcox was charged after his 2019 Subaru was pulled over on W. Main Street in Mt. Jewett Saturday evening. All suspects were taken for blood tests.


With the goal of ensuring more Pennsylvanians have access to high-speed internet service, the state House today approved legislation authored by three Northern Tier lawmakers to better coordinate and handle funding for the state’s efforts.

House Bill 2071, sponsored by Reps. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter), Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) and Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna), would establish the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority to facilitate funds anticipated through a federal infrastructure bill recently approved by Congress.

The Commonwealth is expected to receive at least $100 million initially with the potential to obtain more after the authority develops a statewide plan for broadband expansion.

“This represents a major step forward in our broadband deployment efforts across the Northern Tier and other unserved or underserved areas of the Commonwealth,” Causer said. “High-speed internet access is vital to our efforts to educate our children, help our farmers and business owners stay competitive, and give our doctors and patients another tool to stay healthy.”

Under the bill, the authority would serve as a single point of contact for parties interested in developing broadband or having broadband developed, helping to minimize duplication and maximize the use of existing infrastructure. The authority would also be charged with identifying access to funding sources and help coordinate joint efforts for broadband buildout.

“This type of coordination is just what we need to finally get broadband service to the ‘last mile,’” Owlett said. “We’ve made some progress here and there over the last few years but having this single entity to actually award funding and coordinate deployment should be a game changer.”

“It is more important than ever to get quality broadband service out to our unserved and underserved communities here in the Northern Tier and across the state,” Pickett said. “It is encouraging to see this level of support and investment in an initiative that is truly vital to the success of rural Pennsylvania.”

The lawmakers noted the law creating the authority would sunset after six years.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announces he department is seeking applicants for its new Next Gen Council  which has a goal to increase public participation and diversity at state parks and forests by gathering input from a diverse group of engaged individuals. The development of the council is part of DCNR’s mission to conserve and sustain Pennsylvania’s natural resources for present and future generations’ use and enjoyment.

DCNR is launching the Next Gen Council to increase public participation and expand its diversity of perspectives to help to inform DCNR programs and operations, while also creating lasting engagement with young people. Those selected to the council would help inform the agency’s work, advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and create lasting change and necessary conditions to ensure all Pennsylvanians feel welcome on public lands.

Applications will be accepted through Sunday, January 16, 2022.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about careers in conservation, gain additional knowledge and experience in outdoor activities and sports in parks, forests, and trails, the chance to meet and work with DCNR staff and leaders, obtain invaluable leadership experience, and help their communities by working with DCNR to serve all Pennsylvanians more effectively.

The council will meet once every three months. Meetings are virtual to reduce travel and promote accessibility. Council term is two years, and council members are expected to participate in at least 75 percent of meetings.

In addition to its commitment to diversity through its Next Gen Council, DCNR has led on DEI efforts among commonwealth agencies, creating a DEI-focused committee in 2017. The department also recently introduced “Nature for All” trailhead signs.

Working to make the outdoors more accessible for all people is a part of Pennsylvania’s Outdoor Recreation Plan and the Penn’s Parks for All strategic plan.

Some actions DCNR has taken to address DEI on public lands include:

An ongoing employee training program

Utilizing GIS mapping to improve equity in grantmaking

Studying park and open space accessOpens In A New Window across the state

Incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into the daily work of all areas within the agency

Any questions about council, and your application materials, can be directed to Emily Hendrickson. For more information about DEI at DCNR, please visit DCNR’s website.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has updated the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service Area.