Thursday December 13, 2018

Wednesday’s high, 33; Overnight low, 21







BFB Headlines (Thursday December 13, 2018) Wreaths Across America will be observed Saturday throughout Potter County…..Interested students encouraged to apply for White House internship…NY state man arrested for vandalizing tree stands in Potter County…Mansfield police looking for hit and run vehicle…..Next on-air report after 12:06 pm today on

More than 900 Coudersport area military veterans’ service will be honored with large, vibrant wreaths placed on their graves Saturday, Dec. 15, as part of a national campaign that traces its roots to Arlington National Cemetery.

Connie Kallerson, who volunteered to serve as Coudersport area location coordinator for Wreaths Across America, said the support for the campaign from organizations and individuals has been overwhelming. Potter Post 192 Ladies Auxiliary sold 419 wreaths.

“We’ve met our goal of having every Coudersport area veteran’s grave honored,” Kallerson said. “This is a great community!”

Plans call for veterans’ graves in the Ayers Hill, Eulalia, St. Eulalia, Homer, Woodland, Hebron, Reed, Old Knickerbocker, Sweden Hill, Summit, Lymansville and Ianson cemeteries to be marked. In addition, several wreaths have been purchased by family members for veterans in other cemeteries.

Volunteers are needed to help with the wreath-laying on Saturday, Dec. 15. An opening ceremony will be held at noon that day at Eulalia Cemetery, coinciding with wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 1,400 cemeteries across the nation. More information is available from Connie Kallerson at 814-655-6562 or

All told, there will be more than 1,700 locations worldwide participating this year to lay a projected 2 million wreaths. Two dozen of those are overseas at American cemeteries.

Saturday’s ceremony will include representation by each branch of the military service, as well as prisoners of war. High school students will be assisting. The public is welcome.

Next year’s Wreaths Across America Day is scheduled for Dec. 14.


U.S. Representatives Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson and Tom Marino are  encouraging  interested students in Pennsylvania’s Fifth and 12th  Congressional  Districts to submit applications for a 2019 summer internship at The White House.

Those interested in this competitive internship should apply at: The application portal will remain open until 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, January 11, 2019.

The Summer 2019 White House Internship Program term runs from Wednesday, May 29 to Friday, August 9, 2019.  All applicants must be at least 18 years of age by the internship program start date, and must be able to commit to the full internship term to be eligible.  Additionally, applicants must be U.S. citizens and meet at least one of the following criteria to apply:

– Are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution).

– Have graduated from an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution) no more than two years before the internship program start date.


– Are veterans of the United States Armed Forces who possesses a high school diploma or its equivalent and has served on active duty—for any length of time—in the two years preceding the internship program start date.


Questions about the White House Internship Program application can be directed to More information on the White House Internship Program and a list of frequently asked questions can be found on the White House website:


Coudersport based state police have arrested 28 year old Jaymes Shaffer of Westfield with criminal mischief for tampering with a tree stand on Howard  Road in Harrison Township. Authorities claim sometime between November 28 and December 2, Shaffer cut straps on two tree stands owned by 84 year old Catherine Flewellyn of Harrison Valley and 59 year old Jeffrey  Flewellyn of Wellsville, NY.

Troopers at the Mansfield barracks are looking for the driver of a hit and run vehicle which damaged a parked pick up truck in Tioga Township, Tioga County sometime Tuesday. An unknown northbound Audi went onto the berm along Route 287 and hit a 1998 Chevrolet S10 which was parked there due to a flat tire. The hit and run unit continued headed north after damaging the truck’s taillight and rear driver’s side fender.

Wednesday December 12, 2018


Black Forest Express

Tuesday’s high, 30: overnight low, 21







To hear today’s complete forecast, click on arrow below:

Penn State study finds lack of broadband services more than originally believed as Tr-County Rural Electric Co-op announces plans to launch broadband services…..Ridgway man facing additional federal charges for child pornography….Similar charges filed against Bradford County resident….

To hear today’s podcast, click on arrow below:

Statewide research from Pennsylvania State University finds that there’s a severe lack of connectivity to high-speed broadband internet for much of Pennsylvania. The preliminary results of the study suggest that the problem is far worse than experts initially estimated.

Using data self-reported from internet providers, the Federal Communications Commission estimates about 800,000 Pennsylvanians lack access to broadband, which is about six percent of the state’s population.

But Penn State researcher Sascha Meinrath said, in reality, the actual figure nears 11 million people across the state without high-speed broadband — which the F.C.C. defines as download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps.

The previous figure from the F.C.C. dramatically understates the issue because private internet providers tend to skew numbers to make themselves look good, Meinrath said.

The preliminary results of the research indicate that in nearly 95 percent of Pennsylvania’s land area, less than half the population receives high speed broadband.

Meinrath’s numbers come from nearly three million historic data points dating back to 2009, combined with about one million new samples collected in 2018.

State Senator Eugene Yaw, R-Lycoming, chairs the Center for Rural Pennsylvania says the new finding took him by surprise.

“There had been suspicion that maybe some of the data being kept was really not accurate,” Yaw said. “The bottom line is that we don’t have the broadband coverage as good as we thought it was — and that was bad at that time. So, it really is something that we need more work probably than what we anticipated.”


Yaw said the federal government has been providing help on the issue. He points to the Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative, which serves seven rural counties in the northern part of the state. The non-profit company is in line to get grants from the federal Connect America Fund, which will provide about $3.2 million each year for the next decade for the company to build infrastructure in its service areas.

While the researchers will continue to collect new data, Meinrath said his team will release a report early next year. He said what was originally thought to be a mostly rural problem is now clearly a statewide issue.

Congressman Tom Marino introduced legislation this past September  to aid in deploying rural broadband to unserved and underserved areas. H.R. 6871, the Rural Broadband Connectivity Act delivers on the need to incentivize more private investment in broadband deployment for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District and the rest of the country.

Specifically, the Rural Broadband Connectivity Act provides a tax credit to entities that make investments in broadband infrastructure that will provide service to rural areas. This is critical for more access to connectivity because in many cases, it does not make sense from a business perspective to make expensive investments to provide rural broadband in areas where few people will sign up for service. This legislation changes that dynamic.

Bill Gerski, a former Coudersport resident while working for Adelphia Communications, has been appointed a Vice President at Tri-county to oversee the co-o’ development and implementation of the co-ops’ broadband infrastructure.  Gerski was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Coudersport Area Chamber of  Commerce last night. His wife, the former Denise Potter grew up in Oswayo.

– A former resident of Ridgway, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on additional  charges of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children,

The eight -count indictment named Jesse Porter, 41, as the sole defendant. He had previously been indicted on three counts. Authorities claim he used his cell phone to commit the crimes.

According to the indictment presented to the court, Porter took sexually explicit photos of a minor victim who was under the age of five. He also distributed and received computer images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 70 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

In a related note, a resident of Towanda, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children,  according to an announcement by United States Attorney Scott W. Brady.

John David Martin, 61, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Martin possessed computer images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 8, 2019. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Martin on bond.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Erie County Detectives Bureau conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Martin.

State police in two counties investigated a couple of “non-reportable”  accidents over the past couple of days. Since the vehicles could be driven away and no one was hurt, the drivers’ information was not released.

The driver of a 2013 Audi A5 escaped injury early this morning in a weather-related accident on the Pittsburgh-Buffalo Highway in Jones Township, Elk County. Kane based state police report the northbound  car skidded off of the highway due to icy conditions and struck a guardrail. A motorist driving a Ford Focus on Route 49 in Westfield Township, Tioga County early Monday morning lost control of his car when it went onto a soft shoulder after veering onto the berm.

Tuesday December 11, 2018

Monday’s high, 31; Overnight low, 22







BFB Headlines (Tuesday December 11, 2018) Game Commission has launched  5th live stream of eagle nest….Burglars take money from homes in Tioga and McKean Counties….NY state man cited for speeding in connection to Potter County crash….Next on-air report after 12:06 pm today on

The livestream from a bald-eagle nest near Codorus State Park in Hanover, Pa. has launched for a fifth season, with Hawk Mountain Sanctuary joining HDOnTap and Comcast Business as a partner in the project.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission in November awarded a permit to HDOnTap to manage the cameras at the nest and livestream the action.

In the live stream’s first four seasons, the Game Commission had secured permission for audio and video equipment and components to be installed at the Hanover, Pa. nest, and the 24-7 livestream was made possible through services donated by HDOnTap and Comcast Business. This year, HDOnTap secured the permit after the Game Commission decided it would explore a new livestream opportunity envisioned to launch early next year.

It’s the second time a Game Commission live stream from a bald-eagle nest was adopted by a private partnership.

The Game Commission’s first EagleCam in Pittsburgh was continued in its second and subsequent years by PixController and the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.

In the inaugural run of the Pittsburgh live stream and the first four seasons of the Hanover, Pa. live stream, the Game Commission had provided the project’s primary educational component, with the agency working to explain wildlife behavior viewers see while watching, and answer their questions. This season, Hawk Mountain has taken over that role.

Hawk Mountain and HDOnTap will work together to help educate livestream viewers through a blog to be updated and posted bi-weekly during peak nesting season.

The Hanover, Pa. livestream can be found on HDOnTap’s website.

Meanwhile, the Game Commission still is finalizing plans for its next live stream, which it hopes to announce in the coming weeks.

A  burglary at a Tioga County home last week remains under investigation by state police at Mansfield. Sometime between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm Tuesday December 4 crooks entered the home of Preston Simonds and Tonya Carleton on the Stony Fork Road and made off with $280 in $20 bills.

An undisclosed amount of currency was stolen from A McKean County home Monday afternoon. The burglary at the residence of a 37 year old man on Dewey Avenue in Hamlin Township was discovered a little after 3:00 pm

A Wellsville man has been cited for speeding following a one-vehicle crash Sunday morning in Ulysses Township Sunday morning. State police at Coudersport explained 24 year old Cherokee Pensyl was headed north when his Ford F-350 went off of Routed 449 on a left hand curve and hit a guardrails.

Troopers at Mansfield have just released details about a one-vehicle crash last Thursday evening in Westfield Township. Christopher Bailey was  taken  by ambulance to Soldiers and Sailors Hospital by ambulance after his Subaru Outback  skidded off of Route 49, hit a fence, then an embankment and rolled over three times before stopping.

Vandals damaged a mailbox in Sharon Township last Friday afternoon. Damage to the plastic  mailbox owned by 85 year old James Babcock is estimated to be about $50.

Donald W. HILFIGER, 67, of Ulysses, PA, died Sunday, December 9, 2018 in his home. Born February 25, 1951, in Coudersport, PA, he was the son of Malcolm and Dorothy M. Stiles Hilfiger.  On June 13, 1970, in Gaines, PA, he married the former Betty Jo Pepperman, who predeceased him on February 5, 2015.  Don was employed as an x-ray technician on pipeline construction for many years.  He was a member of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 2B.  Don and Betty owned and operated the Hitchin’ Post in Shongo from 1993—2008.  Surviving are:  his mother, Dorothy Lerch of Ulysses;  two children, Todd (Vickie) Hilfiger of Whitesville, NY and Billie Jo Hilfiger of Austin;  six grandchildren;  two great-grandchildren; five siblings, Sandra Potter of Ulysses,Bonnie (Terry) Timmerman of Whitesville, NY, Debra (Elwood) Lewis of Ulysses, Pamela (Kevin Davis) Wheaton of Addison, NY, and C. John “Goog” (Amanda) Putman Hilfiger of Ulysses, PA;  two step-siblings, Wendy (Mark) Willenbecker of Elizabethtown, PA and Randy (Judy) Lerch of Middletown, PA;  two aunts, Frances Frost and Margaret Wright;  and nieces and nephews.  In addition to his wife and father, he was predeceased by his step-father, Joseph N. Lerch.  A private graveside will be held in Ulysses Cemetery.  Memorials may be made to Ulysses Library, P.O. Box 316, Ulysses, PA 16948 or the Tri-Town Volunteer Ambulance, P.O. Box 247, Ulysses, PA 16948.  Arrangements are entrusted to Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.olneyfuneralhom