Hills Creek Road Repairs Start Today

By Lonny Frost

Road repairs will begin along the Hills Creek Road (Route 4039) in Charleston Township, Tioga County, starting in the morning hours of April 18, 2014.

PennDOT maintenance crew will start the work at 8:00 AM daily, and the road will be CLOSED except for local traffic. A red-arrow detour will be in place using Hills Creek Lake Road.

Any motorists traveling in the area are asked to follow the signed detour and to use extreme caution.

Work is expected to be completed in two days, Friday and Monday, pending good weather.

Charleston Road repairs continue in Charleston Township.  Photo by Lonny Frost

Charleston Road repairs continue in Charleston Township. Photo by Lonny Frost

Remember crews are also still working along the Charleston Road just past the Living Word Fellowship Church on Charleston Road.

2 Vehicles Crash Head On

By Lonny Frost

On Thursday, April 17, 2014 just before 10:00 AM, State police, along with Mansfield fire and ambulance crews were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident in Richmond Township.

First unit arrived on scene at 9:58 AM and reported that the accident was near Napa on South Main Street and involved 2 vehicles in a head on collision.  One lane of traffic was closed due to the accident.

As other crews arrived on scene it was reported that there was 1 injury.  One person was loaded into an ambulance around 10:14 AM.

The condition of that person was unknown.  In fact, not much information was available all day.  Tioga Freedomist could not confirm where the patient was taken for treatment.

State police left the scene shortly after 10:30 AM.  Last fire crew left the scene after the vehicles had been removed around 11:00 AM.

Please pray for those involved in the accident.  If we learn any further information, Tioga Freedomist will update this story.


Lawrence Township fire caused by burning trash.  Photo courtesy of Brad Wilson

Lawrence Township fire caused by burning trash. Photo courtesy of Brad Wilson

Multiple Departments Fight Brush Fire in County

By Lonny Frost

On Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 4:08 PM Lawrenceville and Millerton fire departments were dispatched to a brush fire at 259 Collum Road in Lawrence Township.

Fire units from Lawrenceville arrived on scene first at 4:20 PM and requested additional assistance with the fire.  Mansfield and Tioga fire departments were both dispatched at 4:26 PM.  Fire crews from Lindley and Gang Mills also responded as the fire spread quickly.

Law S14 and Law S15 were also dispatched to the scene.  By 4:44 PM Wellsboro was also dispatched, but at this time it is unknown if they were called to standby for another department or called to the fire scene to assist.

At least 8 fire departments were on scene still fighting the fire at 5:40 PM, when Tioga Freedomist reported on it.  The last fire crew left the scene of the brush fire shortly after 7:30 PM.

The brush fire did damage to some of the forest in that area.  It was reported that over 4 acres were burnt due to a family member burning trash.

A big thanks to all the fire departments and fire personnel who worked hard to extinguish this large brush fire in Tioga County.  You all are great appreciated for preventing a greater disaster to the forest area in Lawrenceville.

The County Treasurer’s office announced that the Dog Warden for our region is going to be out going door to door checking to see if your dogs have a license. This has been controversial in the past as it appears to many to be a violation of the Fourth Amendment and it assumes the individual being questioned has to prove that they are not guilty.

The door-to-door checks are ongoing. UPDATE: This time the impetus is the Governor himself who declared March an awareness month for dog licenses. After that push the State is moving onto enforcement.

The Tioga Freedomist had opposed such measures as being a precedent that, if accepted, could be used for any number of other purposes. In a nation of untold MILLIONS of regulations at every level, the random search of your home or persons without a warrant to check for compliance would ensnare the most innocent people who unwittingly violated some regulation or rule that they could not possibly even be aware of violating. We do however support the effort to get animals licensed, including public outreach by the Dog Warden, and citing people if animals are found outside without a license.

During the election in 2013 the County Treasurer, who was then a candidate, was directly asked by the Freedomist about this issue and she was up front about her intentions- to push this door to door enforcement of the dog license and rabies shots laws in order to mitigate the problem of stray animals and  for public safety. ADDED- The State law regarding enforcement authorizes such inspections of the home. The Treasurer did NOT set that policy and is following the law.

During the debate on this issue in 2013, many asked if the same treasurer can authorize searches for pets without a warrant, considering all the duties of this office, what other searches might she contemplate for the County? There is no incidence where our Treasurer has pushed for any inspections outside of what this law provides for or for any other issues.

Many are surprised that a Republican who would typically be against such moves is now pushing what many see amounts to a violation of the fourth amendment. While it has been pointed out to us by readers that Kera Hackett had been a registered Democrat before switching to Republican party, the truth is her passion for the issue of unlicensed animals has been well publicized by this newspaper, as  as her willingness to have the Dog Warden knock on doors and adj for proof of a dog license. From her perspective, the issue of unlicensed animals is a real problem and it needs to be addressed. We would also note that our Governor, a Republican, is supporting this effort. So our Treasurer’s current or former party status is not the issue. (We add this due to the number of readers who pointed this out to us.)

ADDED for clarification – The Treasurer is not alone in her concern over strays and unlicensed animals. Other readers have defended her as not being responsible for the policy and merely following the law as it is written. Even some who oppose the law feel that blaming the Treasurer is not warranted.

Her press release follows:

Notice for Immediate Release

April 16, 2014

State Dog Wardens to Canvass Tioga County; All Dogs must be Licensed, Vaccinated Against Rabies

Details – During the month of April, dog wardens will canvass homes throughout Tioga County.

It’s the Law – All dogs three months or older must be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year. The fee is $6.45 for each spayed or neutered dog and $8.45 for other dogs. Older adults (65 and over) and persons with disabilities may purchase a license for $4.45 for spayed or neutered dogs and $6.45 for others.

Additionally, all dogs and non-feral cats three months of age and older must be vaccinated against rabies. Booster vaccinations must be administered periodically to maintain lifelong immunity.

Violators can be cited with a maximum fine of $300 per violation plus court costs.

Purchase a License – Licenses may be purchased at:

118 Main St
Wellsboro, PA 16901
Phone:(570) 724-9213


Walmart Supercenter
1169 S Main St
Mansfield, PA 16933

Bloss Hardware
218 Main St.
Blossburg, PA 16912
Phone:(570) 638-2600

Pleasant Valley Veterinary Care
102 South Buffalo Street
Elkland, PA
(814) 258-5719

The Pennsylvania Law on this

§ 459-218. Inspections

(a) Premises and dogs.–State dog wardens and other employees of the department are hereby authorized to inspect all licensed kennels , all dogs within the Commonwealth and all unlicensed establishments which are operating as a kennel as defined by section 206. [FN1] For purposes of inspection, a State dog warden and other full-time employees of the department shall be authorized to enforce the provisions of this act and regulations promulgated by the department under this act. State dog wardens and employees of the department shall inspect all licensed kennels within the Commonwealth at least twice per calendar year to enforce the provisions of this act and regulations promulgated by the department under this act. State dog wardens and only regular, full-time employees of the department shall be authorized to enter upon the premises of approved medical, dental or veterinary schools, hospitals, clinics or other medical or scientific institutions, organizations or persons where research is being conducted or where pharmaceuticals, drugs or biologicals are being produced. It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse admittance to such State dog wardens and employees of the department for the purpose of making inspections and enforcing the provisions of this act.

(b) Records.–State dog wardens and other employees of the department shall be authorized to inspect the records required under this act of all licensed and unlicensed kennels.

(c) Search warrant.–State dog wardens and other employees of the department may apply for a search warrant to any court of competent jurisdiction authorized to issue a search warrant for the purposes of inspecting or examining any kennel or for the purpose of removing any dog under section 207 or 211. [FN2] The warrant shall be issued upon probable cause. It shall be sufficient probable cause to show any of the following:

(1) That, in cases involving kennels other than private kennels, the State dog warden or an employee of the department has been refused entry as defined under section 220(a) [FN3] for an inspection or examination of the kennel.

(2) The State dog warden or employee of the department has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of this act or the regulations promulgated under the authority of this act has occurred.

(d) Results of inspection.–Only employees of the department who have received the training required under section 901

(b) [FN4] may issue reports of the inspection.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-206.
[FN2] 3 P.S. §§ 459-207, 459-211.
[FN3] 3 P.S. § 459-220.
[FN4] 3 P.S. § 459-901.


1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 218, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 7, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 9, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

Assault in Blossburg Borough

By Lonny Frost

On Wednesday, April 16, 2014, just after 10:00 PM, Blossburg Borough Police officer called to have an ambulance dispatched to a location on Main Street.

Although there is very little information available about an assault that is said to have occurred in town.   Police are investigating this incident.

All that is known at this time is borough police requested an ambulance for an assault victim found along main street.  There is no danger to the public.

The injured individual was questioned by police as emergency crew members checked the victim out.   However, around 11:14 PM the ambulance returned to their station and it is believed that the victim was NOT taken to the hospital.

Tioga Freedomist is hoping to gather further information as it become available from Blossburg Borough Police.


Morris And Liberty Involved In Search

By Lonny Frost

Tioga Freedomist has confirmed that a search started unfolding in the area around 8:30 PM on April 12, 2014.

Morris and Liberty firefighters assisted State police and several other police units in a search along Route 414.  Morris and Liberty personnel arrived at the designated search area around 9:00 PM.

The search came to an end around 9:20 PM when it was terminated by law officials.  It is unknown if they found who they were looking for.

Tioga Freedomist has not been able to get any more information about the details on the individual or individuals officers and searchers were looking for.  Nor do we know why the search was requested at this point.

If you have any information please message us or email Lonny Frost at lfrost@tiogafreedomist.com  .

Please add a prayer of safety over all involved.

Tioga Freedomist will continue to follow the story.


Blossburg Fire Unit.  Photo by Lonny Frost

Blossburg Fire Unit. Photo by Lonny Frost

County Firefighters Spring Into Action On Multiple Fires

By Lonny Frost

LIBERTY TWP - Saturday, April 12, 2014, started early for Tioga County volunteer firefighters.

Liberty Fire Department was dispatched at 2:02 AM to a vehicle fire on Route 15 in the southbound lane in Liberty Township.

First fire crew arrived on scene at 2;14 AM and reported that the vehicle was fully involved.

State police from Lycoming County arrived on scene around 2:30 AM.  By then the fire was knocked down by Liberty firefighters and was soon reported under control by 2:41 AM.

The fire was finally out by 2:52 AM and the final fire unit was able to leave the scene just before 4:00 AM.

LAWRENCE TWP - Lawrenceville and Nelson fire departments were dispatched at 8:48 AM for a possible structure fire at 13305 Route 49 in Lawrence Township.

First crew arrived on scene at 8:54 AM.  All units were recalled and returned to their station just before 9:00 AM.

Wellsboro Fire Department Photo.

Wellsboro Fire Department Photo.

DELMAR TWP – Wellsboro fire units were dispatched to a structure fire at 10106 Route 6 in Delmar Township shortly after noon.  This location is the Stokesdale Acorn Market.  All fire crews responding were cleared within 3 minutes of being dispatched.

Wellsboro Fire Department was dispatched to an automatic alarm going off at that same location again.  This alarm went off around 7:15 PM.  The cause of the alarms going off is a faulty heater according to fire personnel on scene.

LIBERTY TWP -  The county’s first wildfire was reported at 2:07 PM at 1640 Bloss Mountain Road in Liberty Township.  Liberty fire units arrived on scene by 2:21 PM and reported an 1 acre fire with exposures.  Blossburg Fire Department was dispatched.  As Liberty was able to quickly control the fire Blossburg crews were recalled around 2:30 PM.

Liberty volunteers were finally cleared from the scene at 3:05 PM.

RUTLAND TWP -  Mansfield and Dagget (Big Elm) fire crews were dispatched at 2:48 PM to a wildfire at 3105 Route 549 near the Murus Company.

Mansfield arrived on scene around 3:00 PM and requested assistance from Blossburg, Wellsboro, Millerton and Clymer.  Blossburg and Wellsboro also responded with ambulances, however, both ambulances were recalled at 3:13 PM.

Several fire units started returning to their stations from the wildfire around 3:45 PM.  Just before 4:00 PM most of the remaining crews were cleared from the scene.

Mansfield Fire Department unit.  Photo by Lonny Frost

Mansfield Fire Department unit. Photo by Lonny Frost

LIBERTY TWP -  Another wildfire had Liberty fire crews headed back out at 3:00 PM.  Crews were quickly on scene within 3 minutes and instantly began fighting the wildfire along 128 Dusty Lane.  After 40 minutes crews were returning to their station.  Fire units were back at the station by 4:00 PM.

RICHMOND TWP - At 3:54 PM Mansfield police along with Mansfield, Blossburg and Wellsboro fire departments all responded to a wildfire at 1955 Mann Creek Road.

By 4:01 PM Lawrenceville fire Department was dispatched, but it was believed to be standing by for another department.  Tioga and Middlebury fire units were also dispatched.  Tioga Freedomist was told that “Law S14 and Law S15″ were dispatched to this wildfire around 4:15 PM.

Fire was reported “under control” at 4:31 PM by Mansfield fire personnel, as other fire units continued to arrive on scene to assist in this large wildfire.

Several fire crews started returning to their stations just before 5:00 PM.  The last group of firefighters headed home around 5:30 PM.


Middlebury Fire Department.  Photo courtesy of Middlebury Fire Dept.

Middlebury Fire Department. Photo courtesy of Middlebury Fire Dept.

MIDDLEBURY TWP -  Middlebury Fire crews has just been cleared from standing by for Wellsboro when they were suddenly dispatched to a vehicle fire at 742 Monkey Run Road.

Crews arrived on scene at 4:36 PM to find the vehicle fully involved.  Fire crews quickly attacked the fire and it was under control by 4:42 PM.  The fire was finally out by 4:49 PM and crews were heading back to their station by 5:00 PM.

No injuries were reported in any of the fires that Tioga County volunteers handled in the numerous calls listed above.

Special thanks goes out to all of our volunteer fire and ambulance crews who responded to this fire and prevented further damage to property and wilderness.




The afternoon of April 12th proved to be an active one for firefighters in Tioga County as a car fire and two potential wild fires were reported within an hour of one another.

A car fire at Middlebury Center on Monkey Run Road, an approximately 3 acre ground fire on Mann Creek Road, and a ground fire on route 549 by the Murus Company resulted in lots of local volunteer firefighters being rushed to the three scenes.

The vehicle was near a residence and became “fully involved”. Firefighters also reportedly resorted to using ATV’s according an eye witness who see a trailer with ATV’s being rushed toward one of the ground fires, they were seen heading east on Route 6 out of Wellsboro.

Stay tuned for updates….


Traffic Deaths Are Lowest On Record For Pennsylvania
     The number of highway deaths on Pennsylvania roads tumbled to a record low last year when 1,208 were recorded, the lowest number since record keeping began in 1928, PennDOT Secretary, Barry J. Schoch announced today.
     “Though Pennsylvania has made significant progress in reducing highway crashes and deaths, our efforts to ensure that all travelers reach their destinations safely will remain paramount,” Schoch stated. “However, our efforts cannot reach their potential if drivers refuse to do their part by observing traffic laws and always using common sense on our roads.”
     While the number of highway deaths dropped in many types of crashes, there were significant decreases noted in unbuckled, speeding and single vehicle run-off-the-road related deaths. Unbuckled fatalities dropped from 503 in 2012 to 425. Speeding-related fatalities also decreased from 262 in 2012 to 193 last year. Deaths attributed to single-vehicle, run-off-the-road crashes declined to 566, down from 648 in 2012.
     Another area where significant numbers were noted includes fatalities in crashes involving a drinking driver which decreased from 377 in 2012 to 342 last year, the lowest number since 1997 when this data collection began.
     “Regardless of the record-low number of highway deaths recorded this year, we must never forget that these aren’t just random statistics, but rather they were  somebodies loved ones,” Schoch said. “With that, we turn our attention to those crash areas where Pennsylvania saw an increase in fatalities.”
     Fatalities increased in some types of crashes, including those involving distracted drivers and in head-on or opposite direction side swipe crashes.  There were 64 fatalities in crashes involving distracted drivers, up from 57 in 2012. Also, deaths in head-on or opposite direction side swipe crashes increased to 178 up from 148 in 2012.
PennDOT has invested $50 million over the last five years for safety improvements at approximately 4,000 locations. These include low-cost safety measures such as centerline and edge-line rumble strips.
     PennDOT also invests about $20 million annually in state and federal funds for safety education and enforcement efforts statewide.
Fatalities in crashes involving drivers ages 75 and older also increased to 142 from 126 in 2012. To help address safe driving in this age group, PennDOT offers information on approved Mature Driver Improvement courses available statewide, a brochure on talking with mature drivers and other safety tips at its highway safety information website, www.JustDrivePA.com.
     Media contact: Ashley Schoch 717-783-8000 Editor’s Note: Following is the total number of traffic fatalities in the counties encompassed by PennDOT District 3:
• Bradford County: 15 fatalities; • Columbia County: 6 fatalities; • Lycoming County: 10 fatalities; • Montour County: 1 fatality; • Northumberland County: 15 fatalities • Snyder County: 4 fatalities; • Sullivan County: 0 fatalities; • Tioga County: 11 fatalities, and • Union County: 5 fatalities.

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