Elk County hit and  driver facing numerous charges…Car/deer collisions reported in Tioga County….Bill to expand broadband in PA now law…..71% of PA residents now vaccinated…

Wednesday’s high, 37; Overnight low, 19; 1.5” of snow






At St. Marys man is facing numerous traffic charges including hit and run following a collision Tuesday evening in Jay Township, Elk County. According to troopers at the Ridgway barracks, a Chevrolet Silverado driven by 24 year old Thomas Stefano crossed the Mount Zion Road and became disabled after colliding with a tree. Police allege Stefano and his passenger 18 year old Destini Damerst of Johnsonburg left the scene but were located later at a St. Marys residence Damerst was taken to Penn Highlands Elk for treatment of minor injuries.

State police at Mansfield report two car/deer collisions occurred in Tioga County over the past few days. A Lawrenceville driver escaped injury Sunday evening when her Chevrolet Cobalt hit a whitetail on Route 328 in Lawrence Township. Rachel Gardner of Middleburgh Heights, Ohio was going west on Route 6 in Richmond Township Sunday morning when her Honda Civic hit a deer . Both drivers escaped injury.

Area lawmakers have applauded the signing of a new law they authored to finally establish a cohesive, coordinated effort to bring high-speed internet service to rural and other underserved communities across the Commonwealth.


Sponsored by Reps. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter), Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) and Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna), House Bill 2071 – now Act 96 of 2021 – would establish the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority to coordinate and 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.

“The COVID-19 pandemic proved once and for all that access to high-speed internet is not a luxury but a necessity,” Causer said. “Successful expansion of broadband comes down to coordination and funding, and this new law addresses both. It is what we need to get across the finish line of providing broadband to all who need it.”

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.

“I’m confident this law is going to be a game-changer for our farmers, business owners, teachers, students, doctors, patients and all of us who have been hampered by slow or no internet service,” Owlett said. “I believe the funding and coordination facilitated by this law will finally get broadband service to the ‘last mile.’”

“This is a great day for all of us who have been fighting for broadband access in the most rural areas of the Commonwealth,” Pickett said. “Broadband infrastructure is as vital to our communities and our economy as our utilities and transportation infrastructure. I look forward to better connectivity for everyone in the Northern Tier.”

The authority will dissolve in 10 years, or when all available federal funds have been exhausted.

The law is effective immediately.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health provided a weekly COVID-19 update as of Monday, Dec. 20.

Approximately 675,000 more Pennsylvanians have already received their third vaccine dose and approximately 300,000 more are already fully vaccinated.

Hospital and health systems across the state continue to report the overwhelming majority of their COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.

The department will continue providing the public with accurate data updated daily on its vaccine dashboard to represent all vaccinations administered within the 66-county vaccine jurisdiction excluding Philadelphia County.

This week marks the second time in a month that the CDC accepted updated data from the department and incorporated it in the national data.

Weekly Update

According to the CDC, as of Monday, Dec. 20, 70.9% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated. This percentage reflects all 67 counties in Pennsylvania.

This week, the Department of Health analyzed the following vaccine data within its 66-county vaccine jurisdiction; Philadelphia is a separate vaccine jurisdiction:

406,243 vaccine doses were administered in the past week, including:

213,101 booster doses administered in the past week.

50,778 pediatric doses administered in the past week.

2.8% decrease in vaccines administered from previous week.

Here is a statewide summary of COVID-19 trends over the past 7 days Monday, Dec. 13 – Sunday, Dec. 19:

The daily average number of cases was 7,252.

The number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday, Dec. 20 was 0.3 percent lower than on Dec. 13. The percent of available adult and pediatric ICU beds in the state rose to 14.4% and fell to 8%, respectively.

There have been 800 deaths attributed to COVID-19 identified in the Pennsylvania death registry in the past 7 days, with 59% occurring in people 70 years and older.

The PA Department of Health has updated Covid-19 information for counties in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service Area.






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Robert L. “Chip” HAUBER, 69, of Genesee, PA, died Tuesday, December 21, 2021 in his home.  Born June 12, 1952, in Harrison Valley, he was the son of Mahlon and Gladys Schultz Hauber.  On August 22, 1976, in Genesee, he married the former Monica J. Easton, who survives.  He was employed by Cooper Slide in Genesee for 21 years and MedPlast in Westfield for 12 years.  An avid racing fan, he could be found as a flagman at KB Speedway in Wellsville on Friday nights and as a pit/grandstand gate operator at Woodhull Raceway on Saturday nights.  Surviving besides his wife, Monica, are:  three children, Tara Simmons of Sabinsville, Robert M. Hauber of Genesee, and Jason (Jackie) Hauber of Mills;  four grandchildren, Trevor Burdick, Britney Hauber, Devin Hallett, and Chase Hauber;  two brothers, Mahlon Gene (Pat) Hauber of Elmira, NY and Raymond (Gretchen) Hauber of Harrison Valley;  two sisters, Shirley Mead of Westfield and Mary Lou Van Etten of Harrison Valley;  an aunt, Phyllis Moon of Westfield;  nieces and nephews.  In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by two brothers, Larry W. Hauber, Sr. and Bernard Hauber;  and a sister, Faye M. Starks.  Friends may call at Olney-Foust Funeral Homes & Crematory, Ulysses, PA on Monday, December 27, 2021 from 9:00 – 11:00 AM, with Funeral Services following at 11:00 AM.  Rev. Allyn R. Baker will officiate. Burial will be in North Bingham Cemetery.  Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.olneyfoust.com.