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…Snow plow backs into passenger car in Hector Township…Lawrenceville woman arrested for assault and criminal mischief….New projects designed to monitor CWD…
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.
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.
February 8, 2023: Ben Franklin—Wellsboro
Bill Robling is pictured as Benjamin Franklin.
February 8: Bill Robling of Philadelphia will take the Coolidge Theatre stage as Benjamin Franklin—Wellsboro at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro. Following his performance will be a question and answer session with the audience.
Benjamin Franklin was the 15th of 17 children. Born on Jan. 17, 1706, he died on April 17, 1790 at age 84. Among the leading intellectuals of his time, Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a drafter and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the first United States Postmaster General.He was a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher and political philosopher.
Pooling resources, Franklin initiated the first subscription library in the nation; gathering the leading thinkers of the day, Franklin promoted the exploration of science and humanities through scholarly research, helping to found the Philosophical Society; recognizing the need for better treatment of the sick, Franklin helped found Pennsylvania Hospital. He organized the first fire company in Philadelphia, as well as the first insurance company. As ambassador to France, he was the successful fundraiser for the Colonial Cause. A delegate to the Constitutional Convention, Franklin continued to exert his powerful influence, and as President of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery, Franklin spoke out against slavery. As Franklin said, “Well done is better than well said.”As Dr. Franklin, he has also officiated at weddings, thanks to the Pennsylvania Self-Uniting marriage license. Tickets are $15. Children 12 and under accompanied by a paying adult are admitted free. For information or tickets, call 570-724-6220 or visit www.deanecenter.com.
February 12: Mt. Tom Challenge—Wellsboro
Adventurous weekend warriors of any age who enjoy testing their skills are invited to participate in the Mt. Tom Challenge It is free and open to anyone who wants to give it a try. Sponsor is the Tyoga Running Club based in Wellsboro. Registration from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and the 9 a.m. start are both at the bottom of Mt. Tom. Participants run, climb or scramble up Mt. Tom’s 1,100 vertical feet of trail to its summit. After catching their breath and taking in views of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon and west nearly to Galeton, they continue a short distance along the ridge before descending Mt. Tom using a forest road. The challenge is to complete one lap up and down the mountain regardless of weather conditions. Many of those who complete one lap decide to do it again and again and again. Participants can start a lap any time between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The Mt. Tom Challenge course can vary greatly based on weather and snow and ice conditions at different elevations. Based on trail conditions, a traction device (screw shoes, yak tracks, microspikes, crampons or snowshoes) may be necessary. Runners, hikers and spectators drive to the Pine Creek Rail Trail Darling Run parking lot in Ansonia in Shippen Township. After parking, they cross Route 362 on foot and go to the registration tent located at the bottom of the trail on Mt. Tom. When registrants finish a lap, they can go to the tent for free snacks and beverages. To get to Darling Run from Wellsboro or Galeton, take Route 6, turn onto Route 362 and drive about 1.5 miles to Darling Run. For more information about the Mt. Tom Challenge, vIsit https://sites.google.com/site/mttomchallenge/home or call Tim Morey at 570-724-8561.
Around 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 99 Main Street in Wellsboro during this year’s Wellsboro Winter Celebration, adults, teens and children can sit on the Old Man Winter Throne made of ice as friends and relatives take their pictures.
The Winter Outing Series continues this weekend with the Wellsboro Winter Celebration Friday to Sunday, Feb. 10, 11 & 12 and Snowshoeing Basics on Saturday, Feb. 11 at Sinnemahoning State Park with registration by Thursday, Feb. 9.
February 11: Snowshoeing Basics—Sinnemahoning State Park
Free but Registration is Required by Thursday, Feb. 9
Park staff will help get people started from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Sinnemahoning State Park Wildlife Center at 4843 Park Drive in Austin, Potter County. Snowshoes and trekking poles will be provided. This program will begin indoors with an introduction to snowshoeing equipment and styles, followed by guided practice instruction on level ground and then a short excursion on the trail. If snow depth is insufficient for snowshoeing, the indoor portion of the program will still be held, followed by a 2- to 3-mile nature hike. Registration for this free program is required by Thursday, Feb. 9. Register online through the DCNR Calendar of Events. Questions? Call the park office at 1-814-647-8401 or email SinnemahoningSP@pa.gov.
February 10-12: Winter Celebration—Wellsboro
There will be a free Introduction to Cross-County Skiing on The Green, a park in the heart of downtown Wellsboro Saturday from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. Kids can try out cross-country skis with basic instruction. Tubing races will also be held at 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at this popular in-town event as part of the Wellsboro Winter Celebration. Also on Feb. 11 ice carvers will create a throne for children and adults to sit on and have their pictures taken by friends and relatives at 99 Main Street around 9 a.m. The carvers will then demonstrate their skills by creating four other ice masterpieces on the sidewalks in front of downtown Main Street businesses beginning at 11 a.m. The last sculpture will be finished by 3 p.m. The public is invited to watch the carvers work and ask them questions. It’s free. Find more information on the entire weekend at wellsboropa.com or call the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce at 570-724-1926. FMI: To learn more about Winter Outing events or for updates on snow and ice, trail conditions, directions and more, search for Step Outdoors Tioga County on Facebook or visit www.stepoutdoors.org.
February 11: Chili Taste off—Wellsboro
The Eighth Annual Chili With A Chance For Chocolate Taste-Off from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Wellsboro. There will be 13 different types of chili to taste at 13 sites with an opportunity to win one or more of the 13 fun and unique baskets of chocolates. In addition, passport holders are welcome to stop in at Century 21 Gold Star Real Estate to spin the wheel for a surprise. Those who want to taste the chili and select the winners can call or visit the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce office anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays to purchase a taste-off passport in advance for $5. Taste-off passports will only be sold outdoors in front of Penn Oak Realty, Inc. at 65 Main Street from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the day of the event.Each passport has a unique number and includes the businesses hosting the chili taste-off entries. Some locations enter their own chili and others host chili entered by other individuals or organizations.The 13 chili taste-off downtown locations are: Becks Bistro, From My Shelf Books & Gifts, Garrison’s Clothing, Hillstone Farms, Kelly’s Canyon Country Crafts, The Main Street Creamery, Oregon Hill Winery, Pop’s Culture Shoppe, The Roost, Senior’s Creations and The Main Street Olive Oil Company, Shabby Rue, Timeless Destination and Wild Asaph Outfitters.Special signs will be placed outside each chili-tasting site making it easy to spot chili and basket of chocolates locations. Passport holders can visit as many chili tasting sites as they wish, taste chili and show their passport number to enter the drawing for that site’s basket of all types of chocolates valued at $25. There are 13 baskets of chocolates to win, one at each of the 13-chili locations. When a taster finishes, he/she will cast votes for his/her three favorites by turning in his/her marked passports at any chili tasting site. Votes will be counted and the winners announced .All proceeds from the taste-off will benefit rescued animals and programs offered by Second Chance Animal Sanctuaries. For more information or to purchase a taste-off passport, contact the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce office at 570-724-1926 or firstname.lastname@example.org or stop in at 114 Main Street.
February 11: Elk Basics 2:00pm—Elk Country Visitors Center, Benezette
New to learning about elk? Join us for the basic breakdown as we learn about elk history, elk ecology, and elk behavior. Are you a seasoned “Elkspert?” We bet you’ll learn something new too!
February 12: Escape Room—Elk Country Visitors Center, Benezette
Escape rooms are all the rage these days and our staff has designed their own! Think you have what it takes to escape? In this free escape too, our elk biologist, Molly Werner has gone missing, and we need you to help search her office for clues to her whereabouts. The program will run every half hour from 12pm-2pm and is free of charge. You can pre-register by emailing ConEdSp@KECAUS.com or by calling 814-787-5173.