A state constable in Bradford County has been found not guilty of several charges stemming from an alleged road rage incident in Sayre last year. Terrance Blacknell was facing several charges in Bradford County Court, including intimidation, reckless endangerment, and making terroristic threats, accused of brandishing his gun at another driver last August. A jury found him not guilty following a one-day trial Tuesday. Pennsylvania elects constables for each county to help the court system by serving warrants and other papers, transporting prisoners, and providing courtroom security.
Northeast ATV Sales in South Waverly was completely destroyed by a fire that lasted for several hours from late Tuesday through early Wednesday. The large steel building full of ATVs, snowmobiles, and riding mowers caught fire just after 11pm Tuesday. Several fire departments were called to the scene, and many of them spent 9 hours fighting the flames and putting out hot spots. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
A trucking company garage was destroyed by fire in Rome, PA yesterday. Two employees inside the Romanik Trucking garage on Route 187 reported a fire at 2pm. By the time firefighters arrived, flames and a large cloud of smoke were visible. A total of 10 different departments from Bradford County responded to the fire call, and some in Tioga County were put on standby. Flames were out by 6pm and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it is not believed to be suspicious. Part of Route 187 was closed while crews battled the fire. The building was used to service the trucks in the Romanik fleet.
The 900,000 pound superload carrying a large GE turbine finally departed Chemung last night and traveled south into Bradford County on Route 220. The convoy was held up in Chemung for several days waiting for a PennDOT inspection and the weather to clear. The 900,000 pound truck is 345 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 18 feet high. Due to its size, it can only move 5 miles per hour and takes up both lanes of traffic. It will move during the overnight hours through PA, stopping this morning between Athens and Towanda. The turbine is on its way to the Moxie Power Plant in Salem Township, just east of Berwick in Luzerne County.
The 187-ton Superload is expected to leave Tioga County today and head south on Route 220 into Pennsylvania. The massive GE Turbine has been crawling across the state at a rate of 5 miles per hour on its way to Carbondale, PA. It made its way through Spencer yesterday and stopped last night off Route 17C in Chemung. After an inspection by PennDOT this morning, it will creep its way east down Chemung Street towards Waverly before turning south on Route 220. Since it is so large and moving so slow, traffic in the area of the convoy will be stopped and diverted. Our friends at Tioga State Bank posted a video of the superload traveling by their offices yesterday, and we have shared their video on the WEBO Facebook page.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf released his proposed state budget yesterday. The $32.3 billion proposal would close the state’s $2.8 billion deficit through cuts and agency consolidation. The governor also wants to levy a new tax on natural gas drilling and require municipalities that don’t have their own police department to pay a $25 per resident fee for the use of Pennsylvania State Police. That plan has been criticized by the more than 1,000 small municipalities that can’t afford their own police force. For a township like Ulster with 1,300 residents, that would mean a payment of more than $32,000 to the state if the plan is included in the final budget. The fiscal year begins July 1 in PA.
A third mayor in the Valley has announced that he will not seek re-election this year. Sayre Mayor Denny Thomas announced yesterday that he will not be seeking a fourth term as mayor, after spending the last 12 years in charge of the borough. Thomas becomes the latest long-serving mayor in the Valley to announce he will be leaving local politics, joining Waverly Mayor Dan Leary and Athens Mayor George Whyte. Thomas thanked the residents of Sayre for their support. Besides his civil service, Thomas also owns a funeral service and is the athletic director of the Athens Area School District.
Bradford County will move forward with plans to build a public safety building. The county has budgeted $6 million for the building, which will one day house the county’s sheriff’s department, 911 dispatchers, and other emergency personnel. The project will be paid for with impact fees from natural gas drilling instead of taxes or bonding. County commissioners approved a motion last night to start the architectural process for the building. They will also upgrade the radio towers that are used by first responders across the county.