Two area women have been charged with physical harassment….E.Smethport man arrested for operating UTV under the influence…..falling rocks cause Tioga County accident….State Senate approves bill eliminating election drop boxes….

McKean County

Two area women have been charged with physical harassment for a scuffle taking place last Thursday evening at the Sheetz Store on Route 219 in Hamlin Township. Troopers say a 39 Kane woman and an 18 year old St. Marys woman are being charged  district court.

DUI charges are being filed against a 32 year old E. Smethport man whose UTV was stopped on Route 6 in Keating Township late Friday night. State police pulled the UTV over for various traffic violations. The suspect’s name was withheld.

Elk County

Drug possession charges are being filed against two 21 year old  Ridgway woman by state police there. Troopers claim when they stopped a 2015 Chevrolet Sonic on Route 219 Friday afternoon they found both the driver and passenger were in possession of drugs. They were identified as Dallas Gustafson and Cheyenne Gausman.

Troopers at Ridgway are continuing to investigate a sexual assault  allegedly taking place on a school bus on March 28 in Ridgway Township.

Tioga County

Minor injuries were reported for a Morris, PA man following an unusual accident Friday afternoon In Delmar Township Tioga County. According to Mansfield based state police, Alan Osborn was  making a slight left curve while going north on Route 287 and swerved to avoid some rocks that had slid down an embankment onto the road. His Nissan Versa struck a guardrail, traveled back across the road, and hit an embankment before stopping. Osborn declined treatment but was cited for failing to use a seat belt.

Statewide

The Pennsylvania  Senate approved two bills last week that would prevent the future use of unsecured ballot drop boxes and ban private money to fund election operations. Senate Bill 1200 – sponsored by Senators Cris Dush (R-Jefferson), Ryan P. Aument (R-Lancaster), Jake Corman (R-Centre) and Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) – would require mail-in ballots that are not returned in the mail to be returned only to the County Board of Electionsoffice, effectively eliminating drop boxes in Pennsylvania.Drop boxes were permitted by a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in 2020, despite the fact that they were never authorized or intended by the General Assembly through the legislative process. Since that time, numerous examples of drop boxes being misused have been discovered throughout the state, including:

Video evidence from Lehigh County showing ballot harvesting in the 2021 General Election.

Video evidence from Lackawanna County showing a man allegedly harvesting multiple ballots into a drop box during the 2021 Primary Election.

Video evidence from Montgomery County showing ballot harvesting in the 2021 General Election.

Memorandum from Lehigh County explaining how detectives reviewed video from four different drop boxes in the county and determined there were overvotes at each of the locations.

Testimony from a Luzerne County Judge of Elections indicating an individual admitting to repeatedly harvesting ballots at a drop box, not realizing it was even illegal.

“Drop boxes are the least secure way to vote in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – period,” said Dush. “Because drop boxes were written into law by the courts, the Senate is now taking steps to mitigate the negative effects of that action and restore the integrity of our elections.”

With many other, more secure ways available for Pennsylvanians to vote, the elimination of these unsecured ballot drop boxes will not negatively impact voter access. There are over 10,000 publicly available locations across the Commonwealth that voters can use to return their ballots, the Senators said.

Senate Bill 982 – sponsored by Senators Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) – would ban any state employee or county from accepting money from outside groups to pay for the administration of elections in Pennsylvania. The bill was approved by a 37-12 margin with bipartisan support.

The legislation was created in response to the use of grant money from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) during the 2020 Election. Correspondence between CTCL officials, the Wolf Administration and county officials demonstrates that funding was intentionally directed predominantly to counties that favor Democrats.

Democrat-leaning counties were selectively invited to apply for the grants before Republican-leaning counties were even made aware of the funding. Philadelphia and its surrounding counties received more than $18 million from CTCL in the 2020 Election, while other counties received significantly less.

For example, Philadelphia received $8.83 per voter in CTCL funding in 2020.  On the other side of the state, Venango County, with a Republican voter registration advantage, received only $.64 per voter in CTCL funding in 2020.

Both bills were sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Region

The PA Department of Health reports, there have been 44,488 (+24) Covid 19 deaths in the state to date. Deaths  in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service area  to date are mostly  holding steady.

Cameron 20

Elk 101 McKean 138

Potter 92

Tioga 192

All 154

Cat 221