News from across the Commonwealth
Remaining Flight 93 wreckage to be returned to crash site
Following a final search of the remaining wreckage from Flight 93, it will be returned to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County for burial later this year. It has been in secure storage following the completion of the FBI investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001, crash. The burial will take place in a restricted access zone at the memorial and will not be accessible to the public.
The National Park Service (NPS) coordinated with the Families of Flight 93 to complete the final search of the wreckage. The NPS assembled a collection recovery team, led by Flight 93 National Memorial Curator Brynn Bender.
“It was important for us to touch everything so we knew, without a doubt, that every possible effort was made to reunite family members with any objects belonging to their loved ones,” Bender said. “We also searched for significant pieces that may help tell the heroic story of the passengers and crew members of Flight 93.”
In 2015, Flight 93 National Memorial opened the doors to its visitor center, and this year will mark the completion of the memorial’s original design with the dedication of the Tower of Voices, a 93-foot tall structure with 40 wind chimes that will serve as an enduring memory of the voices of the passengers and crew members. A dedication ceremony is planned for Sept. 9, 2018.
Hunting, furtaker licenses, permits on sale
Hunting and furtaker licenses and permits for the 2018-19 license year (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019) are now on sale.
For more information about the licenses and permits, as well as details on the Deer Management Assistance Program and shooting range permits, check the Pennsylvania Game Commission website at pgc.pa.gov.
Center awards research grants to study invasive species in Pennsylvania
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board of Directors has awarded two research grants to study invasive species in Pennsylvania. One will study the economic impact of the spotted lanternfly and the other will focus on efforts to combat the spread of invasive species within the Commonwealth.
“The spotted lanternfly and other invasive species are threats to Pennsylvania’s agriculture, natural resources and tourism,” says state Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), chairman of the center’s board. “The spotted lanternfly has the potential to severely damage Pennsylvania’s natural areas and agricultural commodities, just as other invasive species, plants and animals have already upset Pennsylvania’s ecology and economy. With these research projects, the center’s board wants to document the current and potential economic damage of the spotted lanternfly, and analyze response efforts to other invasive species.”
Michigan scientists believe they have solved Susquehanna mystery
Scientists at Michigan State University believe they have solved the mystery of what has killed so many smallmouth bass in the lower Susquehanna and Juniata rivers beginning in 2005. They say the answer is largemouth bass virus, a disease known to be present in the smallmouths, but thought to be harmless.
The Michigan State University scientists injected a smallmouth bass from a fish farm in Pennsylvania with the virus, and found that mortality was heightened in stagnant, hot water found in the summer near the banks of the river where young bass live.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat officials report the population of smallmouth bass has rebounded in the last several years, leading them to believe the fish have built up an immunity to the virus or the virus has mutated in a good way. However, they do caution that the virus could appear in other similar locations in the Delaware and Allegheny rivers under the same conditions of warm water and low flow. Also, they note it is possible the virus could mutate and return to the Susquehanna River.