Open House Series to Feature Transportation and Economic Development

The Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission will host an open house in each of its member counties—Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga and Wyoming—to take public comments on its updated priorities for bicycle and pedestrian mobility, transportation services (bus, shared ride, and other transportation assistance), and economic development.

Stop in to learn what the Commission has prepared as priorities for the next five years, then give your perspective on their value to your community and to our region. Your input strengthens our understanding and decision-making!

Open House Schedule

  • Mansfield, Tioga County on Monday, September 17, 2018 from 2-4pm at the Mansfield Borough building, 14 South Main Street, Mansfield, PA 16933.

  • Dushore, Sullivan County on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 from 9-11am at the DCNR District Office, 6735 US Highway 220, Dushore, PA 18614.

  • Towanda, Bradford County on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 from 2-4pm at the Stoll Natural Resource Center, 200 Lake Rd #E, Towanda, PA 18848.

  • Tunkhannock, Wyoming County on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 from 9-11am at the Wyoming County EMA Building, 3880 Sr 6 Tunkhannock, PA 18657.

  • Montrose, Susquehanna County on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 from 2-4pm at the Susquehanna County Office Building conference room, 81 Public Avenue, Montrose, PA 18801.

Each facility is accessible and has convenient parking. If you need special accommodations, please contact Brian Baker at 570-265-1540 or Katie Prichard at 570-265-1532.

Summary priorities and recommendations will also be available on the Northern Tier website,, under New Updates beginning September 14, 2018. Public comments received by October 15 will be considered prior to the Commission’s approval, which is scheduled for Friday, October 19.

Northern Tier Disaster Recovery Loan Fund (DRLF)

The northern tier region of Pennsylvania is suffering from the aftermath of recent heavy rains, leaving homes and businesses destroyed by flood waters.  Communities have come together to salvage what they can.  Businesses are making pledges to come back, but they will need an enormous amount of help along the road to recovery. 

Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission (NTRPDC) provides economic development services to small businesses in five counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Four of those five counties have received the most damage – Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Wyoming

The NTRPDC Loan Program, through funds provided by the USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant has developed the NT Disaster Recovery Loan Fund (DRLF), a micro loan fund to help small business on their road to recovery. 

Northern Tier Disaster Recovery Loan Fund (DRLF)

Micro loans up to $25,000 with or without a private match

Interest rate of 0%

Term of 3 to 5 years

Payment Deferral up to 3 months, giving businesses time to establish cash flow

For more information, please contact:
NTRPDC – Stacey Urban, Loan Program Manager

For additional assistance and coordination, please contact:
Sullivan County - Mark Haas, Economic Development Director
570-946-5201 extension 733


Northern Tier is an Equal Opportunity Lender/Provider

Wolf Administration Opens Public Inquiry Hotline to Coordinate Volunteers for Flood Clean-Up

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today said a public inquiry hotline is now available to citizens who need assistance cleaning up after devastating flooding in central and eastern Pennsylvania.

“We’re working with volunteer organizations that have offered to help residents in these communities,” said Governor Wolf. “I know that some of these survivors have been hit multiple times in the last few weeks, and the willingness of these volunteers to do this hard work is greatly appreciated.”

Anyone who would like to request help should call 272-200-3211 for assistance. The hotline will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., including weekends through August 31. Volunteers will provide physical labor, such as mucking out basements, removing damaged flooring and drywall, and removing debris.

A variety of organizations make up the PA VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters).They provide assistance that complements the efforts of municipal, county and state governments. Their members active in this recovery mission include the American Red Cross, Southern Baptist Convention, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Lions Club International, Salvation Army, Team Rubicon, A.G.A.P.E of Columbia County, Mennonite Disaster Services, United Church of Christ, LDS Charities, Lend-a-Hand of Lebanon County, and Lutheran Disaster Response.

Callers will need to provide basic information, including but not limited to their address, the type of work they need help with, and the status of utility services at the site. Callers will also need to verbally give their permission for call takers to share their information with the volunteer organizations.

PEMA Director Rick Flinn said that while every effort will be made to help those who need it, the responding organizations will prioritize service delivery according to their own criteria and ability to assist. It may take several days for volunteer teams to respond.

In addition, the Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7 national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

“We know that this has been a stressful time for flooding survivors as well as first responders who have been doing stressful and dangerous work to help their neighbors,” Flinn said. “Please reach out if you need someone to talk to. Free help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

A Message From The Commissioners Regarding Recent Flooding In The County

Flooding has once again impacted areas in Sullivan County.  The Commissioners have visited many of the worst sites and have been in routine contact with elected officials and agencies at state and Federal levels.  This communication is essential for managing recovery efforts and to obtain information on potential funding sources.  County personnel are conducting field surveys to ascertain damage to bridges and residential properties impacted by flooding.  These efforts begin the recovery process and are critical for establishing damage totals which will be reported to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).

Useful information has been posted to the Sullivan County website regarding flood response under the Public Notices section.  It can also be found on the Sullivan County Facebook page.  For example, you will currently find Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) guidelines for maintaining streams posted to our social media.  The county serves primarily as an information center to direct you to the appropriate local, state, and Federal agencies.

One way everyone can help is to keep track of damage and damage mitigation costs and report it to your local municipality.  Total municipal expenses are combined at the county level, and the county then reports figures at a regional level.   The damage totals from a regional perspective will help determine our eligibility for state and Federal disaster recovery aid programs.  Since there is a minimum amount needed to reach, it is very important that everyone reports their damage.

While the county has no direct funds to assist property owners, we are more than willing to help direct impacted property owners to the appropriate resource.  Once again, the Commissioners would like to thank our Fire and EMS volunteers for responding to those in need.  Your dedication is unmatched and so critical at times like this.

Guidelines for Maintaining Streams in Your Community

DEP wants to help Pennsylvania communities complete all necessary stream work in a way that is environmentally-responsible, reduces the likelihood of future ooding problems, and complies with regulations. When in doubt, contact PA DEP for assistance before you start stream work projects.

Green Light-Go!

Proceed—These actions do not require DEP notification, pre-approval, or additional permits:

  • Removing woody debris and manmade debris materials from the stream, banks, and riparian areas by hand or using handheld equipment
  • Removing above items using heavy equipment from the bank; equipment should not enter the stream or dig into the streambed
  • Removing gravel and debris in and close to bridges and culverts (Note: review permit conditions first)
  • Crossing a flooded stream for emergency access to your property, if conditions are safe

Yellow Light-Slow Down!

Call DEP first—Notification, pre-approval, or emergency permits may be required:

  • Rebuilding roads and bridges across streams
  • Streambank stabilization projects, including riprap
  • Removing gravel bars from the stream channel using heavy equipment
  • Repairing a bridge or culvert, or removing one in danger of failure

Red Light-Stop!

These actions require permits from DEP, and possibly from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or other agencies:

  • Redirecting the flow of a stream by reshaping gravel bars, or moving gravel to the streambank
  • Moving/relocating a stream
  • Dredging or damming streams, or creating dikes Building a new bridge or culvert

For more detailed guidelines, please see the following DEP PDF Resource.


Documentary Mimi & Dona

Please consider attending this impactful documentary about 92 year old Mimi who is still taking care of her 64 year old intellectually challenged daughter Dona. The documentary shows their story as they navigate their next steps. It’s their story but also the entire families story. It touches on siblings, a 20 something with a diagnosis and the parents plan and a newly diagnosed 5 year old.

An unforgettable story
of love and tough choices,
exploring issues of disability, 
long-term care and the realities of aging.

A film by Sophie Spartain

WHEN:  September 20, 2018 at 6:30PM
WHERE:  Penn State Conservation Center, 9219 Rte 487 Dushore, PA.

 Free screening and discussion and open to the public.

Limited seating/Pre-registration is strongly encouraged!
Register at Sullivan Library 570-928-9352 or Tammy Pursel at

Sponsored by:

Friends of the Sullivan County Pa. Library & The United Way of
Lycoming County & B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging
The Special Kids Network
Pennsylvania Elks Home Service Program

Loyalsock Love Continues to Flow at Worlds End State Park

FORKSVILLE (August 10, 2018) – The year-long series of special events to recognize the 2018 Pennsylvania River of the Year heads to the Endless Mountains at Worlds End State Park on Saturday, August 25, for a day-long celebration.

Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association in partnership with PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources at Worlds End State Park announces Worlds End Day! , bringing art, music, history, nature, and more to the banks of the Loyalsock Creek and to residents and visitors who cherish this 64-mile mile long natural resource.

“One of the gems of the Loyalsock Creek watershed,” explains Carol Parenzan, Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper and Executive Director of Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, Inc., the nominating organization for this waterway distinction, “is Worlds End State Park, a destination location for campers, hikers, paddlers, birders, and photographers. It is the perfect setting to provide opportunities for the public to connect with our Pennsylvania River of the Year.”

The day is divided into three main parts. The morning will focus on The Art of Fly Fishing from 10AM until 12noon. Susquehanna Chapter Trout Unlimited, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and Lycoming College Clean Water Institute will provide hands-on angler education for all ages, to include fly tying, casting, and macroinvertebrate identification.

The afternoon is filled with a variety of programs. Two-hour workshops from 2PM to 4PM include Nature and Wildlife Photography for Beginners with award-winning photographer Joseph Simons, Quick Sketch Poetry with Ann Keeler Evans, who authored the Loyalsock Creek blessing for the official River of the Year sojourn, Songwriting: Playing with Words and Notes with Adirondack folk musician Dan Berggren, Women in the Mountains with author and historian Peggy Lynn, and Hammered Dulcimer for Beginners with Grammy nominee Dan Duggan.

Additionally, during that same time period, families can rotate among a series of hands-on activities and explore Birds of the Watershed with Lycoming County Audubon, Freshwater Mussels with Bucknell University, Found Instruments and Nature Journaling with PA DCNR Worlds End State Park, and Creek Bugs and Other Slugs with Sullivan County Conservation District.

“Our goal for this afternoon of hands-on activities is to connect our future environmental stewards to our creek and watershed,” offers Jane Swift, DCNR Worlds End State Park Environmental Education Specialist. “They are our future caretakers and we will be leaving this beautiful Loyalsock Creek – and all waterways in Pennsylvania – in their hands.”

Running concurrent with the workshops will be a Loyalsock Creek Watershed Small Business Spotlight, where local business owners will showcase their products and services and engage with the public. The spotlight will conclude at 6PM, when all ears will tune in to a concert along the creek.

The Jamcrackers of the Adirondacks from upstate New York, comprised of Dan Berggren, Dan Duggan, and Peggy Lynn, will bring music to the mountains through their original songs about mountain life and the environment.

“In 1998, this Pennsylvania girl migrated north to the Adirondacks to experience living in a cabin and working in a sparsely populated part of the country. One of my first Adirondack experiences was the music of the Jamcrackers, explains Parenzan. “I quickly grew to love “Mountain Air,’ ‘One with the Water,’ ‘This Planet We Call Home,’ and ‘Power from Above.’ Since returning to Pennsylvania in 2016 to serve as your Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper, it has been one of my goals to bring the music of the Jamcrackers here to those who call the Susquehanna River watershed home. The message is universal.”

Concert attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy before or during the concert. McCarty Mercantile, in Hillsgrove, is offering special Picnic under the Pines take-out dinners for the event. Please contact them at 570-924-3425 for details and to place an order.

All activities will take place in the day use area of Worlds End State Park. Please bring a lawn chair for the workshops and evening concert. In the event of bad weather, the evening concert will be moved to an indoor location.

Worlds End State Park is a 780-acre park situated in a narrow S-shaped valley of the Loyalsock Creek. It is located south of Forksville in Sullivan County.

Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper is 1 of 340 licensed Waterkeepers on 6 continents in 44 countries, working to bring swimmable, drinkable, fishable water to all residents and visitors of the Susquehanna River watershed defined by the West and North Branches of the River and her tributaries, including the Loyalsock Creek.

This project was financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, using Environmental Stewardship Funds, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation and administered by the Pennsylvania Organization of Watersheds and Rivers.

For more information, please contact Middle Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER® Carol Parenzan at 570-768-6300 or

Stream Maintenance & Flood Intervention Workshop


9:00 AM TO 4:00 PM

This one-day workshop is geared toward local municipalities
and emergency flood response professionals. We aim to give
training on stream behavior and how to use basic stream
assessments to design interventions that will work in
cooperation with a watershed’s natural tendencies. Proactive
planning strategies will result in a stream’s capacity to restore
itself after a flood event and reduce the erosion and
sedimentation that occur during repeated reconstruction efforts.

This workshop will include classroom-style presentations in the
Ag. Center meeting room and strengthened with a relevant, onsite
stream demonstration on a local stream. Be prepared to be
outside for part of the day. Pre-registration is required and
refreshments and lunch will be provided at NO Cost.

To register, email Corey Richmond at or call the
Sullivan County Conservation District at (570) 928-7057.

Download Brochure

UncoveringPA: 15 Things To Do In Words End State Park

Without a doubt, one of my favorite outdoor areas in Pennsylvania is Worlds End State Park. In fact, this park, as well as the Loyalsock State Forest that surrounds it, were a major part of the reason why I picked Sullivan County as one of my favorite counties for outdoor adventure in PA.

At less than 800 acres, Worlds End State Park isn’t a large park. However, since it’s surrounded by Loyalsock State Forest, it creates a wide swath of land that’s perfect for exploring. Because these areas of public land are so closely intertwined, I’ve included many things to do in the forest as well as Worlds End State Park.

While Loyalsock State Park is very large, I’ve limited inclusions on this list to the area that surrounds the park and are on the parcel of land that contains the 59-mile Loyalsock Trail. That corresponds roughly to the forest and park land on the southern shores of Loyalsock Creek in Sullivan County.

So, if you are trying to figure out what to do in Worlds End State Park near Forksville, PA, here are my favorite things to do in this great corner of the state.

UncoveringPA: Hiking To The Ketchum Run Gorge In Loyalsock State Forest

Loyalsock State Forest in Sullivan County is home to many beautiful natural features including many great waterfalls. Some of these, like Dry Run Falls, are well-known. Others, are located far from the road on trails or even located off of the main trails.
There are four waterfalls along Ketchum Run in Ketchum Run Gorge. One of these waterfalls is along the Loyalsock Trail, which meanders for a short distance along the creek. Another is just off the trail, but is easy to miss. The other two, however, are off the main trail and only seen by those that know where to look.
Rode Falls is a highlight of Ketchum Run Gorge.
I decided that I wanted to see all four and headed out for a somewhat long, but relatively easy hike to see them. All told, this loop is roughly 4-4.5 miles in length
The Ketchum Run Trail is a lightly trafficked trail that starts behind a gate on High Knob Road. The trail is wide and easy to follow as it meanders its way through the woods. Several trails come off from the side, but continue following the yellow and blue blazes.

WBRE/WYOU Met With Commissioners To Discuss County Broadband Problems

LAPORTE TOWNSHIP, SULLIVAN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - There's a problem in many parts of Pennsylvania and it may be affecting the economy, healthcare industry and public safety.
The lack of reliable internet service, especially in the northern tier, is coming under the microscope by state officials.
Sullivan County is regarded as the "Gem of the Endless Mountains."
The beautiful views in the Laporte area hide a problem that is well-known to locals, the lack of affordable and reliable internet access.
"Broadband touches almost every other issue we're working on in some way, shape or form," Sullivan County commissioner Brian Hoffman said.
While divided by political party, the county's three commissioners are united in tackling dropped calls and spinning wheels of death.
"We have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find alternative technologies for it," Sullivan County commissioner Wylie Norton said.
Norton believes the lack of connectivity is driving many young people away from Pennsylvania's northern tier.
"If we're sitting there and the computer is up-down, up-down, up-down or doesn't have the speed to even look at it or don't have it at all, they're going to get further and further and further behind," Commissioner Norton said.
The broadband problems are more than just annoyances.
Wayne County ranks 59 out of the commonwealth's 67 counties for upload speeds greater than 10-megabits per second.
With the county being only two hours from New York City, county leaders believe it's hurting economic development.
"It's a double-edged sword that right now is really hindering our capabilities," Wayne County commissioner Joseph Adams said.
Nationwide, nearly half of all states have an office dedicated to broadband initiatives and now Pennsylvania is among them.
In March, Governor Tom Wolf announced the creation of the Pennsylvania Office of Broadband Initiatives.
It's being led by Mark Smith, a former Bradford County commissioner, who understands the issue.
"Seventy percent of teachers now assign homework that requires internet access and every child should be able to have some internet access to have the same educational opportunity," Mark Smith, Pennsylvania's Executive Director of Broadband Initiatives said.
Smith's office is now offering incentives to private providers hoping to entice them to help underserved or unserved areas.
"We've inventoried all the state's assets, towers and buildings and all of the infrastructure that may be useful in building out and we're trying to figure out the best way to sort of utilize that to work with the private sector and bring down costs," Smith said.
A 2016 Federal Communications Commission report found that more than 800,000 people in Pennsylvania, roughly six percent of the population, still lacked high speed internet.
The governor's goal is to completely close that digital divide by 2022.
"It's a bold goal," Smith said.
That might sound lofty but Mark Smith believes it can be done.
He looks at other states, including neighboring New York, that have already tackled the issue.
"We have to set big goals if we want to accomplish big things and that's the way Governor Wolf thinks about this," Smith said.
Back in Sullivan County, those words bring hope.
"It's a process. It's slow. I wish we could do it tomorrow but unfortunately it's a slow process," Sullivan County commissioner Donna Iannone said.
For a county with only 6,500 people, Sullivan County actually has four different service providers.
Lawmakers know the solution isn't going to come from just one company but more likely a public-private partnership.
"We're encouraged that the providers are talking to us, they're meeting with us, they're taking us seriously," Commissioner Iannone said.
"There's a sense of urgency to get this done," Commissioner Hoffman said.
While Pennsylvania's northern tier may be rural, commissioners say they're not backwards and the time for change is now.
"Maybe our kids will be telling their kids, I can remember the day when all of a sudden I can watch a video all the way through!" Commissioner Norton joked.
For more information on Governor Tom Wolf's Office of Broadband Initiatives, visit:

Swift911 Weather Alert Phone Calls Notice

On the morning of 4/4/2018 at 3:40am a warning notification was sent to Sullivan County residents from the National Weather Service of a High Winds Warning for all of Sullivan County through the Swift911 Notification system that the county implemented in March of 2018. This notification system (Swift911) was implemented to inform the residents and businesses of Sullivan County of any imminent danger due to weather so the people can take necessary action to the specific weather warning that is issued.

Most of the residents who received this call received it because Swift911 uses a partner company who can collect public telephone numbers and create a database for users in the public safety field. The residents who received this call have public/listed telephone numbers. Others who have received the notification signed up for the services and this is a field they have chosen.

This was our first use of the Swift911 notification system and we are still working on the content for public notices. We have the best intentions in notifying the public of life threatening weather alerts to try to ensure the safety of the residents and businesses of Sullivan County. Since the notification this morning we have made some changes to how certain alerts will be disseminated. As of now, you will only receive the phone calls if there is a Flash Flood Warning, Flood Warning, Hurricane Warning or Tornado Warning.

Those who do not want these notifications can go to the Swift911 portal on the Sullivan County webpage located here. and remove yourself from these services.

You must click on the add/remove tab on the first page. Then Unsubscribe from phone calls tab and put the phone number that you want removed from the call list. If this is done, you will not receive any notifications in the future.  If you change your mind, you will have to create an account and select which type of notifications you wish to receive.

"What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?" Sullivan County School District

Update: March 28, 2018

 Sullivan County Students with Lewis Lumber

Sullivan County Students with Lewis Lumber

Sullivan County School District won the Viewer's Choice Award for their video. According to Debra Lindner, the Sullivan County video received 12,000 of the 24,000 votes cast. A big thank you to those who participated in the voting. You can view Sullivan County's video on the What's So Cool website.


Sullivan County School District 8th grade students compiled and submitted a video to WVIA’s contest entitled “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?”.  The video can be viewed on the website (  There is online voting for the Viewer's Choice Award starting today! The online voting is only for 3 days (March 21-23) and we are looking for county support.

NTSWA Welcomes Electronic Recycling

Certain types of electronic devices have been banned from landfill disposal by the PA Department of Environmental Protection.

Effective January 1, 2018 the following electronic devices will be accepted for recycling at NO CHARGE.

Program is for residents of Bradford, Sullivan and Tioga County only!

  • TELEVISIONS (any size or type)
  • COMPUTER PERIPHERALS (i.e. keyboards, mice, routers, servers, modems & cables)


Materials are accepted Monday-Friday 8 am - 4 pm & Saturday 8 am - noon at the following locations:

  • Bradford & Sullivan Counties - NTSWA, 108 Steam Hollow Road, Burlington, PA  18814    
    (570) 297-4177
  • Tioga County - NTSWA - 540 Old Bloss Road, Blossburg, PA  16912  
    (570) 638-2017
  • Tioga County - Tiadaghton Area Transfer Station, 10455 Route 6, Wellsboro PA  16901

If you have questions regarding electronic recycling, please contact NTSWA at (570) 297-4177.

If you see a Spotted Lanternfly, please report it!

The Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White), an invasive planthopper, has been discovered in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It is native to China, India, Vietnam, and introduced to Korea where it has become a major pest. This insect has the potential to greatly impact the grape, hops and logging industries. Early detection is vital for the protection of Pennsylvania businesses and agriculture.

If you live outside of the current (quarantine area) in Pennsylvania and find a spotted lanternfly, report it! Use this interactive Plant Pest Quarantine Search to see if you're in the spotted lanternfly quarantine area.


The Spotted Lanternfly adult is approximately 1” long and 1/2” wide at rest. The forewing is grey with black spots and the wings tips are reticulated black blocks outlined in grey. The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band. The legs and head are black; the abdomen is yellow with broad black bands. Immature stages are black with white spots, and develop red patches as they grow.

Signs & Symptoms:

Trees, such as tree of heaven and willow, will develop weeping wounds. These wounds will leave a greyish or black trail along the trunk. This sap will attract other insects to feed, notably wasps and ants. In late fall, adults will lay egg masses on host trees and nearby smooth surfaces like stone, outdoor furniture, vehicles, and structures. Newly laid egg masses have a grey mud-like covering which can take on a dry cracked appearance over time. Old egg masses appear as rows of 30-50 brownish seed-like deposits in 4-7 columns on the trunk, roughly an inch long.

The PA Department of Agriculture is asking you to do the following to help minimize the spread.

What to do:

If you see egg masses, scrape them off, double bag them and throw them away. You can also place the eggs into alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them. Please report all destroyed egg masses on our website.
Collect a specimen: Specimens of any life stage can be turned in to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Entomology lab for verification. Submit samples with the Entomology Program Sample Submission Form.
Take a picture: A photograph of any life stage (including egg masses) can be submitted to
Report a site: If you can’t take a specimen or photograph, call the Automated Invasive Species Report Line at 1-866-253-7189 and leave a message detailing your sighting and contact information.