Friday December 6, 2019

Black Forest Express


                       Photo by Gerri Miller

Thursday’s high, 39; Overnight low, 22






                                                                           SUN NIGHT-MOSTLY CLOUDY, LOW 24

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Obituaries: Maria J. KIBBE, 57, of Harrison Valley, PA;  Anne C. HAGER, 86, of Westfield, PA; Merle Dale “Chip” Clark, 63, of Shinglehouse,

Victims’ rights legislation advances…..PennDot will memorialize fallen employees by naming bridges…Bradford man arrested for drug possession….Snowy roads blamed for McKean County accident..

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Victims’ rights legislation related to childhood sexual abuse has passed the Pennsylvania General Assembly and taken an important step to becoming a constitutional amendment.House Bill 963, authored by Rep. Jim Gregory (R-Blair), would provide a two-year window to submit claims in civil court if the statute of limitations has already expired for that victim.House Bill 963 passed the House in April and the Senate on Wednesday.Its companion bill, House Bill 962 sponsored by Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks), would allow childhood victims to file suit until they reach age 55. That age is currently 30 under the statute of limitations.House Bill 962 would also remove the statute of limitations altogether for criminal cases.House Bill 962 was voted out of the Senate with an amendment this week and returns to the House for a concurrence vote.The bills are together known as the Hidden Predator Act.To become a constitutional amendment, the bills in the Hidden Predator Act would need to be approved in the next legislative session and then go before voters as a referendum question.Gregory’s bill seeks to amend Section 11 of Article 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution (known as the Remedies Clause) to create the two-year window for civil claims.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has  announced a statewide effort to memorialize fallen employees with bridge dedications.The department is in the initial stages of an effort to name bridges after the PennDOT employees who died while on duty since 1970. Once this has been completed, PennDOT will work with the General Assembly to pass a naming authorization bill in the spring 2020 legislative session. PennDOT’s intent, with the involvement and approval of the family, is to name a bridge after each fallen PennDOT worker as an acknowledgement of their service to Pennsylvania. Each bridge will be marked with a sign that includes the fallen worker’s name, a visual reminder to motorists to slow down in work zones.The statewide initiative was inspired by a similar effort completed in honor of PennDOT District 3 employee Harold “Don” Whipple, who was killed in the line of duty in 2016. A bridge in Northumberland County was memorialized in Whipple’s name earlier this year.PennDOT staff will reach out to the families of fallen employees to discuss the program and is currently working to identify families of fallen employees who the department does not have next of kin information for, due to the length of time since the employee’s passing.A list of the names of fallen PennDOT employees statewide and additional information on the Traveling Worker’s Memorial can be found on PennDOT’s website.

A 24 year old Bradford man is facing drug charges after being stopped last night on Jackson Avenue at Whitehead Avenue in the city by Lewis Run based state police. Troopers say the suspect’s 1997 Ford F350 was pulled over for a traffic violation and he was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia and is suspected of driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Charges against the unnamed suspect are pending blood results.

State police also did not release the name of a driver involved in a one-vehicle weather-related accident Wednesday evening in Wetmore Township. A 2008 Nissan Sentra while going west on Route 6, slid across both lanes and went into a ditch. Since there were no injuries and the car could be driven away, the accident is considered a “non-reportable.”


Maria J. KIBBE, 57, of Harrison Valley, PA, died Monday, December 2, 2019 in the Green Home, Wellsboro, PA, following a lengthy illness.  She was born October 1, 1962 in Alexandria, VA.  Maria enjoyed spending time with her family and friends at Keuka Lake, crocheting, shopping, and caring for her cats.  Surviving are:  her mother, Betty J. Metcalf Kibbe;  a son, Matthew (Whitney Schlimm) Kibbe;  three grandchildren, Dalton (Brittany Haskins) Kibbe, Preston Kibbe, and Lyndsey Wheeler;  three great-grandchildren, Oaklynn Kibbe, Sawyer Kibbe, and Adelayna Waseman;  a brother, David M. (Mary Dehner) Kibbe;  a niece, Sasha (P.J.) Stiles;  a nephew, Travis Brown;  aunts, uncles, and cousins.  She was predeceased by her father, Cleon L. Kibbe;  and a son, Joshua C. Wheeler.  A private graveside service will be held in Ulysses Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Potter County Animal Assistance Project, P.O. Box 25, Coudersport, PA 16915.  Arrangements are entrusted to Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA.  Online condolences may be expressed at To send flowers to Maria’s family, please visit our floral section.

Anne C. HAGER, 86, of Westfield, PA, died Wednesday, December 4, 2019 in Jones Memorial Hospital, Wellsville, NY.  Born March 21, 1933, in New Britain, PA, she was the daughter of Grant and Catherine Carver Lapp.  On August 7, 1964, she married Chester Hager, who predeceased her on March 9, 2010.  She was employed by Cole Memorial Hospital, retiring in 1998.  Anne was a member of the Brookfield Unitef Methodist Church.  She loved to can, bake, sew, and be outdoors in her garden.  Surviving are:  two daughters, Priscilla (Harold) Boothe of Groveland, FL and Tina Ferraloro of Wellsville;  two sons, James Histand of Westfield and Philip (Edna) Hager of Quakertown;  four grandchildren;  four great-grandchildren;  a sister-in-law, Marge Lapp of New Columbia;  nieces and nephews.  In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by a brother, Wayne Lapp;  and two sisters, Eleanor Landis and Priscilla Darrah.  A Memorial Service will be held 11:00 AM, Saturday, December 7, 2019 in the Brookfield United Methodist Church.  The Rev. Ed Rodarmel will officiate.  Memorials may be made to the Brookfield United Methodist Church.  Arrangements are entrusted to Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA.  Online condolences may be expressed at To send flowers to Anne’s family, please visit our floral section.

 Merle Dale “Chip” Clark, 63, of Shinglehouse, passed away Monday (Dec. 2, 2019) in UPMC Cole Skilled Nursing and Rehab Unit, Coudersport, after a long illness.Born Wednesday, March 28, 1956, in Olean, N.Y., he was a son of Merle D. and Janice M. Allison Clark. He was formerly married to Terri App Clark and then Jennifer Bosworth Clark.Chip was a graduate of Oswayo Valley High School, Class of 1974, in Shinglehouse, where he played baseball and basketball.Chip worked a number of odd jobs until he went to Jamestown (N.Y.) Community College to become a licensed practical nurse, graduating in 1994. He was employed at Sweden Valley Manor in Coudersport.He relocated to Virginia where he was employed at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, working in the burn unit from 1999 until 2013. In 2011, Chip went back to school and became a registered nurse. He also worked as a nurse in the Evans-Haynes Burn Unit at the VCU Medical Center in Richmond (the oldest burn unit in the country).In 2013, Chip moved back to care for his mom, who had ALS, and later his dad, who had cancer.
Chip was a member of the former Oswayo Valley Lions Club in Shinglehouse and a member of the former Oswayo Valley Alumni Association in Shinglehouse. He loved the NY Yankees and was a Buffalo Bills fan.Surviving are a son, Jared D. (Brianna) Clark of Oswayo; a granddaughter, Harper, and a grandson, Hazen, whom he dearly loved; a brother, Guy S. (Rachelle) Clark of Friendship, N.Y.; and three nieces.Chip was predeceased by his parents.
In keeping with Chip’s wishes, there will be no public visitation. A celebration of his life will be held in the Spring/Summer of 2020 at a place and date to be announced.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association at
Chip’s family has entrusted his care and cremation arrangements to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.To express condolences or share a fond memory of Chip, please visit or the funeral home Facebook page, Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home.

Thursday December 5, 2019

Black Forest Express


Wednesday’s high, 33; Overnight low,28







Experts say don’t worry about spotted lanternfly in Christmas trees….Snowmobilers reminded state trails are not yet open…..Dickens of a Christmas this weekend in Wellsboro…..Osceola woman accused of speeding for crash…

Folks worried that the spotted lanternfly will put a “bah humbug” into their holiday by taking up residence in their live Christmas tree should toss those concerns to the side like used wrapping paper, according to Penn State Extension experts.”Real trees are part of an outdoor ecosystem, and there is always a chance that insects may be brought indoors with a tree, and the spotted lanternfly is no exception,” said Tanner Delvalle, a horticulture extension educator based in Berks and Schuylkill counties. “However, Christmas trees are not a preferred host for spotted lanternflies, so the probability of finding a spotted lanternfly or an egg mass on Christmas trees is low and should not be a reason for anyone to forego having a live holiday tree.”To further quell concerns, Delvalle said that Christmas tree growers follow integrated pest management practices to minimize such risks. And, in the case of spotted lanternfly, growers in the quarantine zone of Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties work with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to meet the spotted lanternfly quarantine requirements prior to the sale of Christmas trees.Still, if consumers are concerned, they should inspect a tree for spotted lanternfly egg masses prior to purchase. Egg masses, which resemble gray mud splatters, can be scraped easily from tree bark, noted Heather Leach, spotted lanternfly extension associate in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.She recommends destroying removed egg masses by placing them in a container filled with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. While this is the most effective way to kill the eggs, she pointed out that they also can be smashed or burned. And, if by small chance, an egg mass is present on a tree and eggs hatch indoors, the nymphs pose no threat to people, animals or structures and will die quickly.After the holidays are over, Delvalle advises, those living in the quarantine zone should take their trees to recycling programs where they will be chipped and composted or burned and not transported out of the quarantine zone.”Overall, the benefits of having a live tree outweigh any risks associated with pests,” said Delvalle, who pointed out that Pennsylvania is the fourth largest Christmas tree-producing state with annual sales of more than $22 million. “Purchasing real Christmas trees benefits local growers and the local economy.”He added that live trees also are an environmentally friendly choice as they are a renewable resource and can be recycled easily, unlike artificial trees.

Tips on how to choose and care for a Christmas tree can be found on the Penn State Extension website at

To learn more about the spotted lanternfly, permitting regulations, management techniques and how to report a sighting, visit the Penn State Extension website at

The recent snowfall has made snowmobilers happy but Sweden Township police are advising that even though township roads may be open year round, the trail systems do not open until the 15th of December.And State trails open after the last day of Muzzleloader season in Mid January.

Snowmobilers are urged to  respect these rules/laws because the trail system is made up over private property that has been so graciously opened.

Reminder….all rules of the road apply while operating on Open Public Highways/Roadways( speed, registration, insurance, drivers license, single file ).

Photo by John Eaton

Singing, dancing and lots of fun provided free by musicians, choral groups and the Fezziwig Street Performers dressed in Victorian garb is what Wellsboro’s Dickens of A Christmas is all about.




The 36th Annual Dickens of a Christmas is this weekend in Wellsboro.

On Saturday, there will be 216 Dickens artists, craftsmen and food vendors, both indoors and outdoors. The business section of Wellsboro’s Main Street and two side streets, closed to motorized vehicles, will magically transform into an outdoor Victorian marketplace with 100 artisans offering delightful wares for holiday gift giving or to keep and 35 food vendors with delectable fare to eat or to give as gifts.

Promptly at 9 a.m., the town crier will greet everyone with the ringing of his bell.

Photo by Tim McBride

Town Crier Phil Waber rings his bell to open Wellsboro’s Victorian marketplace for the Dickens of a Christmas celebration and greet visitors.

The Dickens Fezziwig Street Performers will take the stage at the intersection of Crafton and Main. Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig will welcome the crowd and do the Sir Roger de Coverley contra dance with their entourage.

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7, an additional 32 art, craft and food vendors will be found indoors at the United Methodist Church and Wellsboro Active Living Center plus 49 more on Saturday when the Indoor/Outdoor Craft Show opens at the Wellsboro Firemen’s Annex on East Avenue.

The Dickens Best Dressed Showcase is celebrating its fourth anniversary with prizes valued at $1,000 for the first place winner along with prizes for second place and other participants. Registration for the contest is between 10 a.m. and noon Saturday. At 1 p.m., judges will select the Best Dressed for Dickens 2019.Everyone (in costume or not) is invited to participate in Saturday’s 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Victorian Strolls on Main Street.

At 5 p.m. Saturday night, the Candlelight Walk for Peace will begin at Packer Park on Queen Street and at 5:30 p.m. the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on The Green with Pennsylvania State Laurel Queen Allison Diehl, a senior at Millville Area High School; Santa Claus and a carol sing.

Hamilton-Gibson will present A Dickens of a Concert Friday night and six performances of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at the Deane Center’s two theaters on Saturday and one performance on Sunday.

All three days, the Arcadia Theater is showing the film “The Man Who Invented Christmas,” which is about Charles Dickens and how he came to write “A Christmas Carol”, published 176 years ago this December.

Local churches will host a variety of indoor events Friday and Saturday. Among them are a Dickens of a Dinner, lunches, concerts, a display of model trains, a cookie sale and in the spirit of helping others, an Alternative Giving Christmas Fair with entertainment and refreshments.

For more information or the schedule of events, contact the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce by calling 570-724-1926, emailing or visiting

The complete schedule is posted on our calendar of events.

An Osceola woman has been cited for speeding after a one-vehicle crash Monday morning in Lawrence Township. Mansfield based state police say a GMC Envoy driven by Jessica Becker went off of Station Road while making a downhill right had curve just before 9:00 am. The SUV swerved off the pavement and hit a utility pole. Becker is said to have left the scene without reporting the collision but was later located at a home on Station Road. She was not hurt.

Troopers at Mansfield did not release the name of a suspect who is accused of disorderly conduct in Mansfield late Monday night. The 46 year old Tioga, PA woman is accused of creating a disturbance at Wal-Mart.













Wednesday December 4, 2019

Black Forest Express

                                    Photo by Gerri Miller

Tuesday’s high, 33; Overnight low 29






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Obituary: Frisco Short, Coudersport

State Police Announces Thanksgiving Holiday Enforcement Results….Gov. signs bill to help curb opiod addiction….Several people hurt in Tioga County pile-up….Butler driver cited after McKean Coounty crash..possible Megan’s law violation investigated by state police at Lewis Run….

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Part A

Part B:

The Pennsylvania State Police investigated 1,116 crashes during the five-day Thanksgiving holiday driving period from Nov. 27 through Dec. 1, 2019, including seven collisions in which eight people were killed.

Of the 1,116 crashes investigated, 73 were alcohol related and 247 people were injured. State police made 729 DUI arrests over the long holiday weekend. The total represents a 14 percent increase from the 637 DUI arrests made during the same period in 2018. Troopers also issued 14,028 speeding citations, 1,366 citations for failing to wear a seat belt, and 205 citations to drivers for not securing children in safety seats.

These statistics cover only those incidents investigated by state police and do not include statistics on incidents to which other law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania responded.


​                Total Crashes     Fatal Crashes     People Killed      People Injured  Alcohol-Related Crashes               Alcohol-Related Fatal Crashes

2018       1,116     4              4              213         80           0

2019       1,116     7              8              247         73           1




​                DUI Arrests         Speeding Citations          Child Seat Citations         Seat Belt Citations           Other Citations

2018       637         13,863   136         1,256     18,320

2019       729         14,028   205         1,366     19,144

For more information about the Pennsylvania State Police, visit

While there were injuries, no one was seriously hurt in a multi-vehicle pile up including tractor trailers Monday evening in Tioga Township, Tioga County. According to Mansfield based state police the collisions began when Holly Partyka of Fairport, NY applied the brakes on her southbound Ford F-150XLT while making right curve. The truck spun around and the U-Haul  Trailer it was hauling overturned on the road. Bobir Kurbanov of Philadelphia who was a behind Partyka tried unsuccessfully to avoid impact by steering his Volvo Tractor Trailer to the left.  The rig continued on for a short distance and then collided with two concrete barriers. Both units were disabled. Then, a minute or so later, while Harinder Bains of Brampton, ON and Richard Innocent of Miami, FL parked the rigs along side the road, as  Milan Milosavljevic of Niagara Falls, Ontario approached, he braked but his Volvo slid out of control on the icy road and hit the trailers hauled by the other two semis, one on each side of the road. Partyka and her passenger, Francis Connelly of Penfield, Milosavljevic and Innocent were all taken to area hospitals. Bains and Kurbanov were not hurt.  Partyka was arrested for possessing marijuana.

Troopers at Lewis Run cited a Butler, PA driver for failing to stay within her own lane after a one-vehicle crash. Elizabeth Rodriguez was going east on Route 6 near Detrick Road in Wetmore Township Sunday afternoon when  her Chevrolet Trail Blazer went off the road, hit two road signs and a ditch before stopping. Rodriguez was not hurt.

Coudersport based state police cited a Lancaster driver for failing to stay on the right side of the road after a one-vehicle crash Saturday night in Abbott Township. Authorities  say Andrew Fridy was going south on Club Hill Road when his truck hit an embankment, struck a tree, reentered the highway and then rolled over. Fridy had to be extricated by the Jaws of Life and was flown to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville with unknown injuries.

A suspected violation of Megan’s Law on Route 446 in Eldred Township remains under investigation by state police at Lewis Run. A suspect reportedly failed to comply with verification requirements.


Frisco W. Short, 90, of Coudersport passed away Friday November 29, 2019 at Sweden Valley Manor. Born November 12, 1929 to Mark and Eloise (Harding) Short in Afton, OK, Frisco entered the US Army in 1952 and served for 25 years earning the rank of Colonel. Mr. Short was active in the churches where he lived and taught Sunday School, served on boards and provided security for his church. He loved his family and his country, and wrote a book with President Gerald Ford.


Frisco is survived by a son: Scott Short (Laurie) of Red Lion, PA; a daughter: Sallie Culberth (Tim) of Hot Springs, AK; 4 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; and a brother: Colonel Jim Short (Rose) of the Philippines. He was preceded in death by: his parents, wife, and 1 brother: Mark Short.


In accordance with his wishes, Colonel Short will be interred, with military honors, in a private ceremony at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. His family has entrusted the Thomas E. Fickinger Funeral Home, 210 N. East Street, Coudersport, PA 16901 with his arrangements. To share a memory of condolence, please visit

Breakfast with Santa Roulette fire hall 12/11 5:30-7:00 pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage/bacon oj hot chocolate coffee 0-5 frre 6 & up, $5