TOWANDA — A four-month long Pennsylvania State Police investigation landed a Monroeton man in the Bradford County Jail for allegedly sexually abusing his 8-year-old daughter.
Daniel E. Harbst, 28, has been charged with one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, a first-degree felony; one count of aggravated indecent assault, a second-degree felony; one count of corruption of minors, a third-degree felony; and indecent assault, a first-degree misdemeanor.
According to the state police, the victim was interviewed at the Bradford County Children’s Advocacy Center on Jan. 27 and told investigators what her father had allegedly done to her.
The victim gave “detailed accounts as to what occurred,” police said.
Daniel Harbst also told the victim “not to tell nobody,” the affidavit stated.
After the interview, a rape kit was performed on the victim and a search warrant was issued for Daniel Harbst’s residence and to obtain DNA from the suspect.
Harbst refused to speak with investigators when they collected his DNA on Jan. 27.
The evidence was submitted to the Wyoming Regional Laboratory on Jan. 28, police said.
On March 11, a forensic scientist completed her report and the results verified the victim’s account.
The state police’s Forensics DNA Division in Greensburg confirmed on April 30 that the DNA did in fact match Daniel Harbst.
Harbst was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Todd Carr on May 9 and remanded on $50,000 straight bail. A preliminary hearing that was scheduled for Wednesday was continued, according to the Bradford County District Attorney’s office.
WAVERLY — Drugs affect more than just the person who is addicted to them. They can restructure entire families.
In Waverly, and in all of Tioga County, that possibility is all too real for many families, said CASA-Trinity Prevention Services Supervisor Christina Olevano Thursday.
“It’s more common than people might realize,” she said. “It affects a lot of families right here in the Valley.”
To help support those households, the Allies in Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) Coalition teamed up with the Waverly Central School District Thursday to connect grandparents who may be looking after their grandchildren with resources to help them.
“There’s special challenges for these families,” Olevano said. “In many cases, people are, as parents, dealing with their loved ones being either in jail or worse due to drug abuse — and then on top of that, need to raise their grandchildren.”
That means that these households are generally two generations apart age-wise, Olevano explained. The age difference can present unique challenges such as, testing the grandparents’ familiarity with monitoring social media.
“In a lot of cases, these kids are traumatized with what they experienced with their parents,” she said. “And the grandparents have to deal with that on top of seeing it unfold as a parent, because that’s their child. It’s heartbreaking.”
So after holding a similar event in Owego in April, the coalition brought many of those same resources, including representatives from Tioga Opportunities, Tioga County Health Department, Healthy Neighborhoods, Truth Farm, Family Enrichment Network and more, to offer support.
“We want families to know that they’re not alone,” Olevano said. “We want to be able to do something to help. There is support out there.”
The event also featured a personal testimony and a short film entitled “The Science of Addiction,” which looked directly at how substance abuse biologically affects the brain.
“It can really be difficult to grasp how substance abuse changes the brain,” said Olevano. “People ask ‘why can’t these people just stop? Why can’t they take care of their kids?’ But this film really shows why that is difficult physiologically.”
The event also include free Narcan training and kits for people to take home.
District Superintendent Eric Knolles described the event and resources as a major need in the community.
“There’s definitely a need in the Valley for these types of services,” he said. “And we wanted to bring those services to Waverly. It’s a community issue. And if we, as a school, are going to be the center of our community, it’s up to us to step up and get people the help and services that they need.”
Olevano added that the coalition will be releasing all four of its personal testimonials at the Ti-Awaga Community Players performing arts center in Owego on May 26.
“These are four Tioga County stories,” she said. “It’s very emotional, and it took a lot of courage for them to be willing to come on camera to share what they experienced. It’s free, and everyone who can should attend.”
WAVERLY — The Dandy Mini Mart on Chemung Street in Waverly continues to fuel more than just vehicles, as Tioga County Legislator Dennis Mullen explained this week.
“Over the first four months of the year in Tioga County, we’re up almost 4 percent (in sales tax), which is good news on top of the 16.9 percent increase over the previous year,” Mullen said. “So we’re still on an upwards trend in the county as far as sales tax revenue goes, which is good for the villages and towns because we do share a portion of that revenue with them.”
Last year, Tioga County’s sales tax revenue grew at one of the highest rates in the state — and much of that growth has been attributed to the Dandy Mini Mart in Waverly.
Mullen also kept the board up to date on the progress of the Tioga County Land Bank, which now owns several dilapidated properties in the village and plans to demolish the blighted structures on those parcels.
“The funding of the money for the land bank is almost a monthly thing,” he said. “And the rest of the monies for the demolitions should be appropriated and be able to be put forth to the contractor who got the demolition jobs in the village next month.”
Mullen added that he expected a “significant portion” of the blighted buildings to be down by the end of the summer.
“I’m very pleased with the process now that it’s moving forward,” he said. “I think it’s good for everyone involved.”
ATHENS TOWNSHIP — The highly-anticipated Herrick Avenue paving project will begin today and should be completed early next week, according to Athens Township officials.
The road that runs from Pennsylvania Avenue to Elmira Street will be closed to traffic — other than emergency vehicles — today for pavement milling.
Herrick Avenue will also be closed (weather permitting) on Monday for paving.
The Athens Township Supervisors approved the $60,000 project back on April 29 and expected it to be finished in a few weeks.