Friday September 20, 2019

Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

Thursday’s high, 74; Overnight low 58







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 Several  organizations have teamed up for Seniors 2 Seniors program…..Elk cam is operational…..Thieves steal two dune buggies from Tioga County dealership….Three people arrested for assaults…police say speeding teen driver crashes car in Tioga County…Criminal trespass investigated in Potter County

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The Potter County Education Council, Tri-Co Connections, the Potter County Human Services Area Agency on Aging, the Seneca Highlands CTC and local school districts are teaming up to develop a program called Seniors 2 Seniors. This program will teach basic computer skills, digital literacy, and cybersecurity to senior citizens so that they have the knowledge to utilize the many benefits of high-speed Internet which include:

  • Staying connected to friends and family
  • Utilizing telemedicine (Health care from home)
  • Accessing numerous government on-line tools
  • Using on-line banking
  • Working from home for a company
  • Shopping from home (for items not available in the local area)
  • Improving eye-hand coordination (strategy-based video games)

As a part of this program, Tri-Co Connections, the Potter County Education Council and the Area Agency on Aging would like to have local high school students volunteer to provide on-site support to each of the adults who participates in the course. The area high school students are a logical resource to support the senior citizens as they learn about the Internet since this generation of students has grown up with technology as a part of their daily lives. They are a true “tech savvy” population and can provide valuable support to older adults who are learning to navigate and use new technological skills and information.

The Seniors 2 Seniors technology course will be offered at each of the four senior centers in Potter County on an eight-week rotating schedule, meeting on Wednesdays from 1-2 PM (following the school districts’ calendars), throughout the 2019-2020 school year. The first Seniors 2 Seniors course will be at the Shinglehouse Senior Center beginning on Wednesday, October 2nd and will run through Wednesday, November 20th. The course will also run at the Coudersport Senior Center (December 4th – February 5th), the Ulysses Senior Center (February 12th – April 1st) and then at the Galeton Senior Center (April 8th – May 27th)

You can register yourself or a parent or grandparent by calling the Potter County Education Council at (814) 274-4877, registering on the Potter County Education Council’s website at or stop by the Potter County Education Council’s Coudersport office at 5 Water Street to register in person.

It’s that time of the year when Pennsylvania’s Elk become more active and Rep.Martin Causer says if you can’t make the trip to elk country, you can watch them on line. The Game Commission’s Elk Cam is up and running . The Elk cam is located in Benezette, Pennsylvania on some of the 1.5 million acres of state game land owned by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. This camera is live during the elk rut, which takes place between September and October. During this time, male elk (bulls) attempt to win the loyalty of a “harem” of female elk (cows). To show their strength and prowess, bulls will bugle and rub their antlers on trees, shrubs and the ground, as well as occasionally engage in battle with other bulls. The elk bugle is one of the most distinctive sounds in nature – you will certainly know this high-pitched squealing noise when you hear it!The best viewing hours for the Elk Cam are dawn and late afternoon/dusk (Eastern time). Keep your eyes peeled, as adult bulls can weigh up to 1,000 pounds! You may also see white-tailed deer, turkeys, and ground hogs.

As of April 2019, there are about 1,000 elk in Pennsylvania.  In Pennsylvania wild cow elk live and average of 10 years, while bulls live an average of 8 years. The oldest known cow in Pennsylvania was 32, and the oldest bull was 15.

Mansfield based state police are looking for the thieves who stole two dune buggys from A.J’s Outdoor Power Equipment in Mansfield early last Saturday morning. Three men tampered with a green and a red 2020 Can-AM SSV Maverick Turbo and drove them to a trailer parked along the Route 15 Southbound on ramp before leaving the area. Anyone with information is encouraged to call state police at 570-662-2151.

Both people involved in an argument on the afternoon of August 10 at 150 North Street in Westfield have been arrested for harassment with physical contact. Troopers claim 18 year old Shayann Button of Elkland and 24 year old Bryan Strauss of Westfield subjected each other to unwanted physical contact during a disagreement.

Scott Place, 51 of Elmira has also been charged for physical harassment. State police allege Place grabbed a 49 year old Nelson, PA woman during a confrontation a few hours later on Village Drive in Nelson, PA.

A NY state teenager has been cited for speeding following a one-vehicle crash early Sunday morning in Bloss Township,Tioga County. Troopers report a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic driven by 18 year old A.J,Surra  of West Henrietta went off the road from the passing lane on a right curve in dense fog and hit some guardrails. The car spun around before stopping in the right hand lane.

Troopers at the Coudersport barracks are investigating a defiant trespass occurring in West Branch Township on the afternoon of August 25. A white  dirt bike and a Yamaha Kodiak Four Wheeler were secen operating on property posted dlan d at 466 West Branch Road.


Thursday September 19, 2019


Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

Wednesday’s high 75; Overnight low, 36







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Obituaries: Andrew “Andy” Dwyer, Coudersport and George A. “Al” Miller III, Coudersport

Farm tractor destroyed by fire while in a Potter County field….Shinglehouse woman victim of ID theft….$6000  Stewardson Township cooler damaged by vandals …Levittown driver escapes injury in car/deer collision in Potter County…No injuries reported for Tioga County woman whose SUV rolled over Tuesday evening…

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A farm tractor was destroyed by fire yesterday in Allegany Township, Potter County. Coudersport volunteer firefighters were dispatched shortly after 2:00 pm to a location about a mile and a half off of The Tauscher Road.  Chief Bryan Phelps told Black Forest Broadcasting News, the Ford/New Holland tractor hauling a Brush Hog was completely enveloped when the first responders arrived on the scene. The tractor was owned by a contractor who was clearing a right of way for Kinder Morgan.  Despite using several extinguishers, workers were unable to quell the fire. Chief Phelps said some grass adjacent to the equipment had caught fire and the department was able to douse those flames by using water and Class B Foam. There were no injuries. Roulette Volunteer Ambulance assisted at the scene. Damage is estimated to be in excess of $85,000.

A Shinglehouse woman is the latest ID theft victim. According to Coudersport based state police, criminals gained access to Trisha Sebastian’s debit information and used it to buy two gift cards totaling $160 in valued September 5 or 6.

Troopers at Coudersport are also investigating a criminal mischief taking place on the morning of September 11 in Abbott Township. A cooler owned by Daniel Elliot of Galeton was damaged by unknown culprits. The cooler is valued at $6,000.

A Levittown, PA driver and his passenger escaped injury in a car/deer collision Wednesday morning in Stewardson Township, Potter County .State plice report Dominic Delmont was going south on Pine Hill Raod when the whitetail came onto the highway in front of his 2014 Subaru Impreza.  Delmont and his passenger Kelcie Waslenko also of Levittown were using lap and shoulder belts. The car was disabled and had to be towed from the scene.

No injuries were reported for a Wellsboro woman whose car rolled over on Route 287 in Delmar Township Tuesday evening. According to state police in Mansfield,  Sarah Wisniewski  over compensated when her  Ford Explorer went onto the berm while headed south. The SUV traveled back its  lane, then crossed to the other side and hit an embankment before rolling over and colliding with a guardrail.

State Police at Lewis Run report Angela Mae Newton,  who had been missing since Sunday, returned home Tuesday night.

The House Health Committee has approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) that would improve the credentialing process in Pennsylvania for health care practitioners and address unwarranted delays by health insurers in credentialing applicants for inclusion in their networks.

“When talking with those in the health care field about what barriers they face when seeking employment, the amount of time in the credentialing process has been identified again and again,” said Owlett. “If we want to attract talented physicians to Pennsylvania and save our smaller rural hospitals money, then we need to make the transition of new physicians as smooth and as quick as possible. Right now some doctors are waiting up to six months to be credentialed.”

Hospitals, physician practices and community health centers across the state routinely face the situation where a newly hired health care professional who is fully licensed and qualified to provide care is not reimbursed by insurers for months while the insurers work their way through an unnecessarily long and cumbersome credentialing process. Not only does this cost these facilities money, but it also limits access to care by keeping fully licensed and qualified providers on the sidelines until they are credentialed by insurers.

Owlett’s bill, House Bill 533, would require all health insurers in Pennsylvania to accept The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare’s credentialing application or another nationally recognized credentialing application designated by the Insurance Department in order to streamline the process. Health insurers would then have 45 days to complete the credentialing process after receiving the credentialing application.

“This is all about improving the process in order to put skilled practitioners to work quicker,” said Owlett. “I am pleased members of the Health Committee recognize this as an area in the system that needs to be improved upon, and I look forward to a vote by the full House in the near future.”


Andrew J. “Andy” Dwyer, 86, a longtime resident of Coudersport, passed away peacefully with his loving family by his side on Monday, September 16, 2019, at UPMC Cole, Coudersport, after an aggressive battle with cancer.Born on Sunday, May 7, 1933 in Eganville, Ontario, Canada, he was a son of John and Mary Jennings Dwyer. He is survived by the love of his life, Roxanna L. Brewer Dwyer, who he met on Valentine’s Day 1970 and married on May 5, 1970.Andy was a graduate of St. Paul Catholic School in Sheenboro, Quebec, Canada. Andy at a young age was a logger in Canada. Later he became a diesel mechanic and transitioned to a long haul truck driver, having worked for many firms, including Buckler Transport in Roulette. He most recently was employed for Kaytee’s Restaurant in Coudersport. He, along with his wife, were owner/operators of their own truck. He proudly logged over 4 million miles of driving. He also served as a CDL licensing examiner.Andy was a member of St. Eulalia Catholic Church in Coudersport and was a member of Coudersport Knights of Columbus Council 1355, where he served as Grand Knight for 19 years. He was very involved in the free throw basketball tournament, an activity sponsored by the Knights for area youth. He was a passionate supporter of the Knights 350 Club fundraiser, which benefits the educational fund. His genuine charm and charisma made saying no to his fundraising activities an impossibility. He loved hockey, playing as a child and young adult. He never missed watching a Stanley Cup playoff. Andy was an avid Dodger’s fan. He always enjoyed a “robust” debate with his nephew, Danny, who is a Yankee’s fan, much to the chagrin of his uncle. His greatest love was his family, especially his grandchildren.Left to cherish his memory is his beloved wife of nearly 50 years, Roxanna, who he lovingly called “Q-Tip”; two daughters, Jalyn D. (Jarrod) Tezik of Coudersport and Amy S. (Edward Kelly) Dwyer-Kelly of Copley, Ohio; three granddaughters, Torie S. Tezik, Karlee J. Kelly, and Kylee S. Kelly; a sister, Mary Dwyer Hunt of Ottawa, Canada; a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Penny and William Bollhorst of Coudersport; and many nieces and nephews.He was preceded in death by his parents at an early age. He and his sister were raised by their maternal grandparents, aunts, and uncles on the family farm in Sheenboro.Family and friends may call on Saturday, September 21, 2019, from 9am to 12 noon at the gathering space at St. Eulalia Catholic Church, Coudersport. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12 noon with the Rev. James Campbell, pastor, as celebrant. Burial will be in St. Eulalia Catholic Cemetery, Coudersport.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Coudersport Knights of Columbus Council 1355, 6 East Maple Street, Coudersport, PA 16915.Andy’s family has entrusted his care to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.To express condolences, share a fond memory, or view a video tribute, please visit or visit our Facebook page, Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home.

George A. “Al” Miller III, 76, of Coudersport, formerly of Galeton, passed away on Monday, September 16, 2019, in Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre, after a long illness.Born on Wednesday, January 27, 1943 in Mt. Holly, N.J., he was a son of George A. Miller, Jr. and Mary Isabelle Davis Miller Harris.  On November 28, 1970 in Burlington, N.J., he married Linda F. Githens Miller, who survives.Al was a graduate of Bordentown High School in Bordentown, N.J.  Al, for many years, was the owner/operator of Allen’s Exxon in Wrightstown, N.J.  In 1986, he and his family moved to Galeton where he established a saw mill, Miller Lumber Company, which he ran for several years.  He later was employed at Kightlinger Motors in Coudersport, first as a salesman, then a service advisor, and lastly as the manager of the body shop.  He was a Township supervisor and roadmaster in Pike Township for many years.  He was a former mayor, fire chief, member of the Municipal Utility Authority, the Planning Board, and a former president of the Town council, all in Wrightstown, N.J.In his younger years, Al enjoyed fishing and hunting.  He loved to camp and travel, having made annual trips to Ocean City, Maryland.  His greatest love was his family.Left to cherish his memory are his wife of nearly 49 years; a son, Michael J. (Krista) Miller of Coudersport; a daughter, Melissa A. (Ed) Stanley of Cumberland, Maryland; three grandchildren, Michael J. (Sarah Furman and her son, Camden) Miller, Tori R. Miller, and Mason A. Salvadge; two brothers, Warren O. Harris, Jr. of Lilburn, Georgia and Richard D. (Missie) Harris of Loganville, Georgia; a sister, JoAnn Smith of Miami, Florida; and several nieces and nephews.In keeping with Al’s wishes, there will be no public visitation or funeral services.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Coudersport Volunteer Ambulance Association, PO Box 651, Coudersport, PA 16915 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.Al’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 Al, please visit or visit our Facebook page, Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home.

Wednesday September 18, 2019

Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

Tuesday’s high, 75; Overnight low, 38







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DAR members hold Constitution Day ceremony in Coudersport…..Smethport  Borough receives grant for Hamlin Lake improvements….Rally held in Harrisburg in support of minimum wage increase…..Penfield man killed at Greentree  Landfill in Elk County…..Bradford resident found guilty of felony drug charges…..Elderly driver cited following Tioga County  collision…church vandalism investigated by state police at Mansfield….

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Photo by Gerri Miller

Members of the Allegewi Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution held a Constitution Day Ceremony, Tuesday September  17, 2019 on the Potter County Courthouse Square. The preface to Constitution was read prior to the 4:00pm tolling of the courthouse bell. Member Barb Heimel read the “Bill of Rights” during the group’s evening meeting.

Rep. Martin Causer announces Smethport Borough has been awarded a $250,000 grant for improvements to Hamlin Lake Park. The project involves replacing an existing pedestrian bridge in the park with a new structure that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as installing ADA-compliant walking paths to access the bridge, an ADA compliant-parking lot and a connected ADA-compliant kayak launch. The plan reflects recommendations made in the Hamlin Lake Park Master Plan developed with input of borough residents. According to the grant application, the goal is to improve the functionality of the park and make it more enjoyable and inclusive for the entire community.The estimated total cost of the project is just under $295,000. The borough will provide the required 15% match of approximately $44,000.The grant was awarded through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Greenway, Trails and Recreation Program administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

At a rally in the state Capitol’s East Wing, activists and lawmakers once again called for Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to rise to $12 an hour immediately, and $15 an hour within three years.

The state minimum wage was last increased ten years ago to $7.25 per hour— one of the lowest in the country.  The minimum wage in nearby New York State is currently $11.00. The rate for tipped workers in Pennsylvania has been stuck at $2.83 per hour for nearly 30 years.

Senator Haywood is one of the primary sponsors of state bills (SB 1044 and SB 1045, respectively) that propose to increase the minimum wage to $12 and eliminate the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers.  Raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 would bump minimum wage workers above the poverty line with a yearly salary of $24,960. Senator Haywood says those making the minimum wage and working 40 hours a week are stuck in poverty and says the state encourages people to take any job available, but a minimum wage job keeps them in poverty.

A Penfield man apparently died accidentally Tuesday afternoon in Fox Township, Elk County. State police report 56 year old Gary Haupt got pinned beween a semi-trailer and garbage tipper at the Greentree Landfill on the Roby Road a few minutes after 4 o’clock. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Elk County Coroner. The investigation is continuing. It is the second such death at the landfill within a couple of years.

Following a two day jury trial in McKean County,  Monday and Tuesday,  David Kelsey of Bradford was convicted of Delivering a Controlled Substance (Felony) and Criminal Use of a Communicate Device (Felony 3).  The defendant was charged by McKean County Drug Task Force Detective Michael Ward following his investigation into the unlawful delivery of a Schedule II narcotic in Bradford on January 17, 2018.  McKean County District Attorney Stephanie Vettenburg-Shaffer prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth.  Sentencing was scheduled for October 24, 2019.

Both drivers escaped injury in collision Monday evening in Richmond Township Tioga County. According to Mansfield based state police the collision occurred when 87 year old Raymond Kaminski of Blossburg, while going north, turned left off of Main Street, in front of Scott Gee of Tioga, PA who was travelling south. Gee steered to the right in  in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid impact but Kaminski’s Chevrolet Trax hit the Gee Dodge Ram 1500 in the left front.  The force of the collision caused  Kaminski’s  car to spin onto the center line where it came to rest. The pick-up stopped in some nearby grass off the side of the road. Both men were using seat belts as was Gee’s wife, Kristi. Kaminski was cited for driving with an expired registration and making an improper left turn.

Vandalism to an Tioga County church earlier this summer remains under investigation by state police at Mansfield. Vandals broke a double pane window at the Ansonia Gospel  Church between 8:00 am August 8 and noon the next day. Entry was not made into the building but damage is estimated by be $100.