Photo by Jean Grinell

Historic Hotel Crittenden damaged by fire…..Harassment of Hebron Township teen investigated….Sweden Township burglary probed…Theft of UHaul trailer investigated in Tioga County….Republican Senator introduces legislation to strengthen cyber security…

Potter County

For the third year in a row, Coudersport has been dealt a blow with a major fire. A three alarm fire erupted shortly after 6:30  Wednesday at the historic Hotel Crittenden located at the corner of Main and East Second Streets. Several departments from Pennsylvania and New York responded to the mutual aid call. Tenants on the third floor were rescued by the Coudersport department’s aerial unit. Five were taken to UPMC Cole with apparently non-life threatening conditions. All humans and their pets were safely evacuated. On a Facebook post, the owner promises to repair the structure and re-open. On the night of May 2, 2021 Kaytee’s Restaurant on Route 6 west of the main business district was heavily damaged by a blaze ignited by an ashtray left by an employee after hours. The restaurant has since been repaired after several months of work and has re-opened. Then on the afternoon February 5, less than a year later flames broke out at Olga’s Restaurant on East Second Street, across the street  from the Crittenden. The fire originated between the ceiling and roof and was probably due to an electrical short. The business has been undergoing extensive repairs and owners are hoping to re-open soon. Fortunately there were no serious injuries in any of the fires. The town has survived other fires perhaps the most significant was when the entire business district was leveled by a fire on May 18,1880 but was rebuilt with some stores being stocked for Christmas.

 State police at Coudersport are investigating the harassment by a 16 year old Hebron Township girl. Troopers say threatening pictures were sent to the victim on the night of March 28.

A burglary in Sweden Township between March 18 and last Friday, is being investigated by state police at Coudersport. Thieves took $1695 worth of items including a Honda EV 2001, Sega Gaming system, DVD player, adaptor box for electronic devices and an orange 25 foot extension cord from a camp owned by Gregory Reisinger of Ickesburg, PA. Anyone with information is asked to contact state police at 814-274-8690.

Tioga County

An elderly Mansfield man was scammed out of $14,000 through an ID theft according to state police. Cyber criminals used personal information belonging a 78 year old victim to steal the money on Tuesday.

A criminal mischief in Lawrence Township is being investigated by state police at Mansfield. Vandals cut a 3 by 2 ft hole in a chain link fence surrounding a maintenance building on the north side of Route 49. The fence is owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The damage is believed to have occurred between March 17 and 24..

A break-in at the Jemison Valley Church in Westfield is being investigated by state police at Mansfield. Sometime between 8:00 pm March 23 and 11:00 am March 24 burglars used a pry bar to force open the front door but apparently nothing was taken although damage was estimated to be $50.

The theft of a  1992 6×12 UHaul trailer from 699 S. Main Street in Richmond Township is being investigated by troopers in Mansfield. The theft occurred between March 7 and 14.

Anyone with information about any of the crimes  is asked to contact state police at 570-662-2151

On the heels of the Senate tackling the cybersecurity threat of TikTok, Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) introduced two measures aimed at addressing ransomware attacks and IT procurement in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 563 would establish that the Commonwealth agencies have strong capabilities in place to discourage, combat and recover from ransomware attacks. Under the measure, an individual found guilty of a ransomware offense would be subject to a range of penalties – first-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony – depending on the monetary amount exploited.

Senate Bill 284 would establish a standalone Office of Information Technology (OIT) under the Office of Administration. The role of the OIT would be to establish a strategic plan for future IT projects across state government, as well as manage and maintain all future IT procurement within state agencies.The legislation is the result of public testimony to review best practices in other states, as well as feedback from the state’s former chief information officer.PENN

Senate Bill 563 heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Bill 284 heads to the Senate Communications and Technology Committee for consideration.

Wednesday’s high, 81; overnight low,51; .60” of rain