Friday January 24, 2020

Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

Thursday’s high, 40; Overnight low, 21






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Obituary: Margaret Wright, Sweden Hill (Ulysses)

Pennsylvania is addressing human trafficking with stronger legislation….More canines working with McKean County DA’s office…….Florida man arrested by Coudersport state police for “sexting” with two young children….Ridgway state police charged St. Marys man for throwing flashlight at passing vehicle….Troopers at Coudersport are looking for the owner of a truck tailgate…….

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Pennsylvania ranks 10th in the nation in human trafficking, a form of modern day slavery, but the states House  recently passed a package of bills which take aim at this worldwide problem. The legislation is now headed to the Senate.There were nearly 11,000 victims of human trafficking identified in the United States in 2018 and more than 600 were in Pennsylvania, but the fear experienced by victims and the secretive nature of these crimes tell us the numbers are much, much higher.

In addition to a House resolution recognizing January 2020 as National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, lawmakers voted to increase the penalty for patronizing a human trafficking victim and the trafficking of infants to a first-degree felony and would increase associated jail time and fines. The legislation would also expand the list of actionable offenses allowing for expert testimony on the dynamics of sexual violence and victim responses to it and prohibit defendants in human trafficking cases from using a victim’s past sexual history as evidence in their case.

Other bills would strengthen penalties for prohibited activities that, if committed, would constitute the crime of unlawful contact with a minor; expand the list of sexual offenses requiring offenders to participate in the Department of Corrections program of counseling and therapy for jailed sex offenders; and require courts to consider a family member’s human trafficking convictions when deciding child custody cases.

Human traffickers tend to exploit their victims’ vulnerabilities and make them dependent. Those at particular risk of victimization include runaway or homeless youth, recent migrants, people with substance use or mental health issues, or those involved with the child welfare system. Victims are likely living and working in our own communities, but you can help. To report suspected human trafficking, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).

McKean County District Attorney Stephanie Vettenburg-Shaffer announces the expansion of services of the McKean County Detectives Bureau operating out of the DA’s Office with the addition of more canines.  The canines assist law enforcement across the county in locating illegal narcotics, explosives and human remains as well as tracking individuals’  movements through scent.

Canine “LG” is a 7 year old Labrador Retriever trained and certified for narcotics detection through two national associations. Canine”Nico” is a 2.5 year old German Shepherd imported from Czechoslovakia. She is trained and certified in explosive detection through a national association.  “LG” and “Nico” join the DA’s Office and Drug Task Force at various events across the county, most often geared toward children to teach children to say “no” to drugs.  The community may see the dogs at different events and they have participated in Kids’ Fest; Welcome Back events at the Smethport High School; LEAF day events; Fire/EMS Night in Mount Jewett; National Night Out in Kane; and the Black the Blue 5K event at Pitt Bradford. “LG” has assisted law enforcement in searching for drugs at local schools and prisons.  “LG” will be accompanying District Attorney Stephanie Vettenburg-Shaffer in the next school year at different events geared toward elementary school children and he and “Nico” will be starring in their own coloring book warning children to stay away from drugs.

New to the DA’s Office in 2019, are dogs trained in search and rescue.    It takes hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to train a dog.  “Reeba”  is a trail dog “Izzy” is a cadaver and trail dog; and “Dixie” is a trail dog. The dogs have assisted law enforcement and search and rescue teams in McKean, Center, Elk, Potter, Tioga, and Warren counties.  They are certified by the American Working dog and the National Police Bloodhound Association.  Locally, they have found missing persons and tracked an arson suspect in Bradford Township.  These k9s have also been joining the District Attorney at events in the community including the Resource Fair at Pitt Bradford and the Back the Blue 5K event at Pitt Bradford.

If you would like a k9 at your event or school, please call the McKean County District Attorney’s Office at 814.887-3312.

Coudersport based state police have arrested a Florida man for corruption of minors. Troopers allege 38 year old Tarkan Ismailoff if Palm Coast exchanged explicit text messages with two children, ages 10 and 12 just after 9:00 am December e1 at 13 Dry Run Road in Hebron Township in Potter County. He is also charged with dissemination of an intimate image to a minor and unlawful contact with a minor.

Troopers at Ridgway have charged 59 year old Karl Krouse of Wilcox with propulsion of missles with intent to intent to injure in connection to an incident allegedly taking place just before 6:00 pm on January 14 at 1536 Wilcox Road in Ridgway Township.  Polikce claim Krouse threw a flashlight at a 2017 Dodge Ram driven by Donald Nunamker of St. Marys which was traveling on Route219 as Krouse was directing traffic for a truck backing a trailer into his driveway.

State police at Coudersport are looking for a pick up truck which lost a tailgate near 1075 Hurlbert Hill Road in Harrison Township between 6:00 pm Monday and 8:00 am Tuesday. The dark green  tailgate may have come from an older model Dodge truck. Owner may claim at the Denton Hill barracks: 814.274.8690.


Margaret L. Wright, 91, of Sweden Hill, formerly of Ulysses, passed away with her loving family by her side, at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Sharon and Jack Wilson of Coudersport, on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, after a short illness.Born on Wednesday, August 15, 1928 in Ulysses, she was a daughter of Frank and Maude Krusen Hilfiger.  On March 22, 1948 in Ulysses, she married Harold “Bill” Wright, who passed away on August 20, 1994.Margaret was a graduate of Ulysses High School, Class of 1947.  Margaret, along with her husband, owned and operated Wright’s Farm on Sweden Hill, which they purchased in 1952.  She held various other jobs over the years, including working at the former Wright’s Restaurant in Coudersport.  For over 60 years, Margaret graciously opened her home to take in hunters during hunting season.Margaret was a member of Central Grange 1216 in Sweden Valley.  She was well known for her homemade bread and peanut butter pie.  She will be lovingly remembered as a loving wife, mother and grandmother.Surviving are two daughters, Sharon K. (Jack) Wilson of Coudersport and Darlene M. Wright-Villa of Madison, Wisconsin; five grandchildren, Michelle, Daryl, Crystal, Billie, and Elizabeth; seven great-grandchildren, Ashley, Gage, Katie, Brianna, Courtney, Keelin, and Wyatt; two great-great-grandchildren, Bryson and Brynnlee; a sister, Frances Frost of Lampasas, Texas; and many nieces and nephews.In addition to her parents and husband, Margaret was predeceased by a son, Jerry Wright; a daughter, Judy Wright; four brothers, William Hilfiger, Malcomb Hilfiger, Kenneth Hilfiger, and Keith Hilfiger; three sisters, Margaret’s twin, Marian Payne, and Helen Flynn and Barbara Russell.A private family graveside funeral service will be held on Friday, January 24, 2020, in the Ulysses Cemetery with Kathy Boyd, lay speaker of the Sweden Valley Faith United Methodist Church, officiating.A memorial service will be held on a date and place to be announced.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.Margaret’s family has entrusted her care to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.To express condolences or share a fond memory of Margaret, please visit or the funeral home Facebook page, Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home.

Thursday January 23, 2020

 Photo by Gerri Miller

Wednesday’s high, 25; overnight low, 1







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Obituary: William “Bill” Worden, Canisteo (Genesee)

Tioga County business receives $50,000 grant….Smethport man arrested for stealing gun…..Theft of items from parked vehicle investigated by state police at Coudersport….Two young children hurt in Elk County crash….

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 The popular Main Street Creamery in Wellsboro has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the state to expand its retail business to include a wholesale operation as well according to State Senator Joe Scarnati and  Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) . The grant was awarded through the Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program, an initiative created in state law under legislation authored by Owlett.

The Main Street Creamery, located at 17 Main St., makes homemade ice cream using 100% locally sourced ice cream mix from a Pennsylvania dairy. Sales have exceeded expectations and there is now a local demand to expand to a wholesale operation to include take-home pints and quarts.

The grant will be used to renovate the building to include a larger production kitchen to house a new ice cream machine and additional refrigeration units to store the cream used in production, and additional freezer space to store the finished product.

The total project cost is $58,951. The Main Street Creamery will provide $8,951 in matching funds.

The Dairy Investment Program is administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

A 27 year old Smethport man has been jailed on burglary charges after being apprehended by Lewis Run  state police. Authorities did not release the suspect’s name, but claim he stole a gun f rom the home of a 53 year old man on Route 59 Wednesday afternoon. Troopers went to the suspect’s home. When he refused to come outside, he was subsequently arrested and taken to the McKean County Jail after being arraigned before District Judge Luther.

State police at Coudersport investigated a theft from a vehicle in Tioga County occurring between 1:00 and 5:00 am last Saturday. Multiple debit cards and a checkbook were stolen from a vehicle owned by Tracy Crawford of Galeton while it was parked at 21 Neal Park Lane in Richmond Township.,

Injuries were reported for a Brockway driver and two young passengers when an SUV went off the Toby Road in Fox Township Wednesday afternoon and hit a house. Kevin Klock was going north when his Toyota Highlander went onto the berm and hit a house before going down an embankment. Klock refused treatment but a male infant anmd aa two year old boy were taken to Penn Highlands Elk to be checked out.

An Erie driver escaped  injury in a car/deer encounter on River Road in Millstone Township Elk County Monday morning. Adam Wells lost control of his |Toyota 4-Runner when he tried to avoid a deer which came into his path. The SUV  veered to the right and hit an embankment where it became disabled.


William E. “Bill” WORDEN, 65, of Canisteo, NY, formerly of Bingham Center Road, Genesee, PA, died Friday, January 17, 2020 in Jones Memorial Hospital, Wellsville.  Born October 25, 1954, in Wellsville, he was the son of Lawrence A. and Gretchen I. Cosper Worden.  Bill assisted on the dairy farm operated by his parents.  Surviving are:  a sister, JoAnne Cooney of Canisteo, NY;  two nieces, Mary Ann (Thomas) Donovan of Eastlake, OH and Joan (Edward) Merry of Arkport; grandnephews, Christopher Cooney, Jacob Merry, and Justin Merry;  two great-grandnephews, Brayden Cooney and Rogan Cooney;  and cousins.  He was predeceased by his parents;  and a brother-in-law, Richard D. Cooney.  Friends may call at Mulholland-Crowell Funeral Home, Wellsville, NY on Thursday, January 23, 2020 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM, with Funeral Services following at 4:00 PM.  CLS Kathie Timpano will officiate.  Burial will be in Ulysses Cemetery, Ulysses, PA.  Memorials may be made to Genesee Volunteer Ambulance, P.O. Box 9, Genesee, PA 16923.  Online condolences may be expressed at


Wednesday January 22, 2020

Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

Tuesday’s High 27; Overnight low, minus 5







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Tougher hand-free cellphone law approved in  state House….Ag Dept. reminds dog owners it’s time to get license……Sweden Township police investigating theft of equipment from parked trailer…Smethport woman and passenger escape burning pick up truck….Vandalism on gas company property probed by state police…

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After many months of deliberation, Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe/Pike) announces  that her hands-free cellphone legislation, House Bill 37, was passed by the House with a vote of (120-74).

House Bill 37 would establish the prohibition on using an interactive wireless communication device (cellphone) while a person is operating a motor vehicle on a highway or trafficway.

The prohibitions in this bill include:

  • For an adult (18 years or older) – They may not use their cell phone while operating a motor vehicle on a highway or trafficway. An adult is still able to use their cell phone through Bluetooth or as a GPS, if they don’t grasp or support the phone with any part of their body. In addition, an adult would not be able to use their phone to write, send or read any text-based communications, record or broadcast a video or picture, and/or watch a video or movie on a cell phone while driving. The violation of the prohibition for an adult is a secondary offense, which means a driver or a passenger can receive a citation but only after a driver has been pulled over for a primary offense.
  • For a minor (under 18 years) – They may not control a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle on a highway or trafficway. The only exceptions for a minor are calling law enforcement or other emergency services, using the phone as a GPS while it is affixed to the vehicle, or when the vehicle is stopped outside the roadway. The violation of the prohibition for a minor is a primary offense.

The penalty for violating this prohibition states that the individual will be subject to a $150 fine and a summary offense.

More information on this legislation can be found at

The state department t of agriculture is reminding dog owners that it’s time to license. your dog. It’s a simple thing to do. It’s the right thing to do.In addition to finding a way home for lost dogs, dollars spent on a license allow the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement to protect dogs in kennels, keep track of dangerous dogs and investigate reports from Pennsylvanians.All dogs three months or older must be licensed by January 1 of each year.  Violators can be cited with a maximum fine of $300 per violation plus court costs.Dog licenses are available from local county treasurer and other licensing agents.

The Sweden Township police department is asking for help from the public in solving a theft occurring on the Coudersport side of Denton Hill over the past couple of weeks. Thieves stole a about $1000 worth of tarps, stakes and straps from a trailer parked along Route 5. Straps were also damaged during the theft. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact 911 or the Sweden Township Police Department @ 814.274.0656.

Coudersport based state police have arrested a Warren woman for drug possession. Troopers claim when they stopped 29 year old Nikki Poland on Route 6 at the Loucks Mills Road on the afternoon of December 12, they determined she was driving her 2004 Chevolet Malibu under the influence of drugs and charges have been filed in district court.

A Coudersport woman escaped injury in a one-vehicle crash Tuesday morning in Allegany Township. According to state police, Julie Thompson was going east, negotiating a right curve when her Jeep Grand Cherokee went off the pavement and into a ditch.

No injuries were reported for a Smethport woman and her passenger following a  fiery one-vehicle accident Satruday afternoon in Keating Township, McKean County. Troopers say Alicyn Zuver was going north on Route 46 when her Chevy Silverado spun around about 180 degreebefore sliding into a utility pole. After impact, the pole fell onto the truck bed and caused the pick up to catch on fire. She and her 17 year old male passenger were able to get out the truck safely.

Vandalism to property along National Fuel Drive in Wharton Township, Potter County is being investigated by state police. Criminals damaged property owned by National Fuel & Gas between January 14 and yesterday.