…Snow plow backs into passenger car in Hector Township…Lawrenceville woman arrested for assault and criminal mischief….New projects designed to monitor CWD…

Potter County

Both drivers were unhurt in a collision Saturday afternoon on Carr Hill Road in Hector Township. Jenny Delill of Whitesville, NY told troopers she was traveling about 50 yards behind a plow truck operated by James

McPherson of Sabinsville. McPherson stopped and while plowing the shoulder backed up toward Delill’s Chevrolet Equinox. Delill told police she screamed but couldn’t remember honking the horn however, the yellow light fixed atop the her car for mail delivery was flashing. McPherson told officers he was trying to clear snow drifts off the road and had to back up to clear the lane. He said he checked his left rear view mirror, and not seeing anything accelerated backwards eastbound while facing westbound. He said he didn’t realize the car was behind him until he felt his truck hit the car and saw plastic debris falling on the road. The drivers were able to separate the vehicles which could be driven from the scene.

Tioga County

Mansfield state police arrested a 20  year old Lawrenceville woman for assault with a weapon, harassment, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal mischief for an incident taking place January 13 on Liberty Road in Nelson Township. Police did not release the suspect’s name but listed the victims as a 86 year old Nelson man, a 35 year old Tioga PA man and a  19 year old Blossburg man. The two younger men were listed as suspects as well as victims.

A Westfield driver escaped injury in a one-vehicle accident Saturday morning. According to state police, Logan Ackley was headed south of Phoenix Run Road when his Toyota Tundra dropped onto the lower shoulder. Ackley over corrected and caused the truck spin back onto the road and strike a tree.


Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) – an always-fatal and untreatable neurological disease affecting white-tailed deer and elk – continues to expand across Pennsylvania. But it’s not going unchallenged. Several research initiatives launching this year aim to increase understanding of CWD and develop tools to confront it. The first project will look at the impact of CWD on deer in Bedford and Fulton counties, which have produced about 90% of known CWD-positive deer since the disease’s discovery in Pennsylvania in 2012.The Pennsylvania Game Commission, in cooperation with the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s (Penn Vet) Wildlife Futures Program, will capture and outfit deer with GPS collars over three years starting this winter. Deer will be monitored to examine their fates. A second project with the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State University will use modeling to investigate how CWD may affect future deer populations and what actions can be taken to reduce any negative effects. Right now, the ultimate impact of CWD on Pennsylvania’s deer herd is unknown. Research from Wyoming has shown that CWD can negatively impact deer populations, but Pennsylvania’s deer abundance and landscape are much different.

Two other research initiatives underway focus on improving CWD detection. Detection of CWD is particularly challenging.

CWD has a long incubation period. Infected animals might not show clinical signs of the disease for up to 18 to 24 months post-infection. In the meantime, they appear normal but continue spreading the disease. What’s more, there is no approved live-animal test for CWD. Current testing methods can detect it only by examining tissues – such as brainstem and lymph nodes – collected from dead animals.But the Wildlife Futures Program, a wildlife health partnership between Penn Vet and the Pennsylvania Game Commission, is currently engaged in two projects aimed at improving the Game Commission’s ability to detect CWD. The first involves using dogs trained to sniff out CWD. Phase one of this initiative, conducted through Penn Vet’s Working Dog Center, validated that dogs can distinguish feces from CWD-infected deer from those of deer that were not infected. In phase two, the Wildlife Futures Program’s K9 Conservation Team will move dogs into the field to determine their CWD scent detection on the landscape. The second project involves refining a highly sensitive detection method for prions known as real-time quaking-induced conversion test (RT-QuIC for short) to detect CWD in feces and other tissues. This would expand the Game Commission’s ability to track and monitor CWD.CWD, classified as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), is similar to scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or “mad cow disease”) in cattle, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. It represents a significant threat to deer and elk in Pennsylvania. There is no natural immunity to the disease and there is no cure. CWD spreads through direct animal-to-animal contact, as well as indirectly through prion-contaminated environments. Prions are misfolded proteins, and evidence supports prions as the infectious agent for CWD. CWD-infected individuals shed prions in saliva, urine and feces, and infected carcasses contribute to environmental contamination. Prions can pass through the digestive tract of scavengers and predators and remain infectious; plants can uptake CWD prions and remain infectious; and soils retain infectious CWD prions for years. Currently, there is no evidence of CWD infecting humans or other species under natural conditions, but much is still unknown about CWD. Given the uncertainty, limiting exposure of wildlife, livestock and people to CWD prions is essential.

Tuesday’s high, 47; Overnight low, 33