​Dept. of Agriculture phasing out Bradford Pear. See story below:

Sunday’s high, 36; Overnight low, 29






Elderly Smethport driver killed in one-vehicle crash Friday….Victim sent multiple payments to crook pretending to be from Publishers Clearing House…State police at Ridgway find copious amounts of heroin in stopped vehicle….Motorcyclist seriously injured in DUI related crash near Coudersport…Department of Agriculture is phasing out Bradford Pear Tree in PA…..

McKean County

An elderly Smethport man died in a one-car accident Friday morning in Annin Township, McKean County. Troopers report 78 year old David Shick was going east on the Champlin Hill Road, downhill, when his Ford F-150XLT slid across the slippery road, traveled 116 feet where it struck a tree and continued for another 29 feet before hitting a second tree. Shick was pronounced dead at the scene, his wife, 76 year old Linda Schick was not hurt.

A 39 year old Bradford driver has been cited for driving a vehicle without the required ignition interlock. The unidentified suspect was stopped on Miller Street in Bradford on the afternoon of December 17.

A theft by deceptive impersonation is being investigated by state police at Lewis Run. The victim told authorities he/she sent multiple payments to someone posing as an associate for Publishers Clearing House.

Elk County

Ridgway based state police have arrested two people for drug possession after stopping a 2002 Toyocar Van Container  Trailer December 15 in Fox Township. Troopers claim when they initiated a traffic stop on Gardner Hill Road and determined a probable cause existed to impound the vehicle related to drug activity and a search warrant turned up 10 bricks of suspected heroin. Both 51 year old Jason Mildrew of Clearfield and 37 year old Autumn Sidelinger of Weedville are facing charges in district court. Authorities did no reveal the street value of the illegal drug.

DUI charges are being filed against 28 year old Kelsey Gardner of Johnsonburg after a traffic stop on the Ridgway/Johnsonburg Road during the early morning of November 27 in Ridgway Township.

Potter County

Serious injuries were reported for an unidentified motorcyclist following a crash on the night of December   6 on Buffalo Street in Eulalia Township, Potter County. Police did not release the name of the operator of a 2021 Harley Davidson  but say he was thrown off when the machine flipped several times. He was taken to UPMC Cole for treatment of  serious injuries.

A South Carolina woman escaped injury in a one-vehicle crash last Thursday evening in Allegany Township, Potter County. Chelsea Santos Van Ryn  of Simpsonville was going north on the North Hollow Road when her Toyota Scion slid off the road in a right turn, and traveled into a field. She was cited for speeding.


The PA Department of Health has updated Covid-19 information for counties in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service Area as of noon, Friday December 24,2021:






ALLEGANY (NY)-  6823



The PA Department of Agriculture added Callery pear, or Pyrus calleryana, commonly called Bradford Pear to a list of noxious weeds — plants that cannot be legally sold or cultivated in the state. The popular, non-native, flowering fruit tree naturalizes, spreading from planted landscapes, crowding out other plants and disrupting native ecosystems. The ban on sale and cultivation will take effect February 9, 2022 with enforcement phased in over two years.

“Callery pear is another non-native plant that was brought to this country for its beauty and rapid growth, without regard for its long-term potential to harm our environment and food supply,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Banning the sale of an invasive plant is an important tool to stop its spread and is a step we take only after careful consideration of the damage it causes and its potential for continued harm to our ecosystem and economy.”


Enforcement of the ban will be phased in over two years to allow time for nurseries and landscaping businesses to eliminate it from their stock and replace the trees with alternatives that pose less threat to the environment and agriculture. The department has established an exemption procedure for breeders who own the rights to varieties that have been researched and proven sterile, and will consider exempting these varieties from the ban.


Callery pear was brought to the U.S. in the early 1900s by researchers looking for a fire blight-resistant species that could be bred with European pear to increase fruit production. It has garnered attention in recent years as a prolific invader that can easily spread into woodlands, pastures, fields and natural areas.


Property owners should control the tree’s spread on their land and consider native alternatives when planting new trees. Find native alternatives and information on how to control the plant on the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website, dcnr.pa.gov.


The timeline for the two-year rollout of the ban is as follows:


Winter 2021 – Callery pear added to Pennsylvania’s Controlled plant and Noxious Weed list as a Class B weed. Class B weeds are those that are so prolific they cannot realistically be eradicated. These plants are targeted for control measures.

February 2022 – Nursery and landscape businesses will receive notice from the department, advising them to immediately begin adjusting propagation, ordering and planting of Callery Pear to decrease inventory.

February 2023 – The department will issue letters of warning to any plant merchant still selling Callery Pear, providing a date in February 2024 after which remaining inventory will be subject to a destruction order.

February 2024 – The department will issue Stop Sale and destruction orders to plant merchants selling or distributing Callery Pear.

Merchants with questions should contact ra-plant@pa.gov.

Find more information about Callery pear and other noxious, controlled and poisonous plants in Pennsylvania  visit agriculture.pa.gov. For comprehensive information about controlling all invasive species in Pennsylvania, visit the Governor’s Invasive Species Council.