Friday February 9, 2018


 Photo by Gerri Miller

Do you know where this is (was)?

Thursday’s high, 24; Overnight low -5; no snow prior to 7:00 am







Potter County Special Olympics needs coaches….Rep. Baker retiring…..Lots of snow related activities planned in Potter and Tioga Counties this weekend….Woman suspected of stealing PlayStation and DVD player….Bradford Club fined for liquor law violations…Police release details on several traffic accidents

Part A




Photo by Paul Heimel

Potter County’s Special Olympics Ambassador Denise Mindelerer (R) and Shawn Pritt

The Olympics are now underway in South Korea, with the opening ceremony taking place early this morning, US Eastern Standard time. As athletes gather from around the world to compete in a variety of sports, there is an effort here in Potter County to revive Special Olympics. Potter County Commissioner Susan Kefover reported at the February 1 board meeting that the organization is looking for coaches for the three sports in which athletes will participate—bowling, bocce and softball. A training for bowling coaches will be held from 5:30-8:00pm February 20 at OV Lanes in Shinglehouse. Potter County Special Olympics will pick up the $10 coaching fee.  For more information, contact Commissioner Kefover at 274-8290 or  cut and paste into your browser:  Kefover said that when  Kefover said that Penn Coup from Pennsylvania Special Olympics advised local officials when she visited the county a few weeks ago, estimates there are more than 500 residents in the county who could participate. Under the “Eligibility” section of the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules, it states that people are eligible for Special Olympics provided they meet the following criteria:

  1. People age eight and above who are considered to have intellectual disability* as determined by their local¬ities.
  2. People with closely related developmental disabilities** such as those who have functional limitations, both in general learning and in adaptive skills, such as recreation, work, independent living, self-direc¬tion, or self-care.

Note: People with functional limitations based solely on a physical, behavioral, emotional, specific learning disability, or sensory disability are not eligible.

* Any person eight (8) years of age or older who is identified as having intellectual disability by an agency or a pro¬fessional in any given local area is considered eligible for Special Olympics. Other terms that may be used synonymously with intellectual disability include: cognitive disabilities, mental handicaps, or mentally challenged.

Several years ago Potter County athletes successfully competed on a statewide level. Denise Mindereler (pictured above)  from the Shinglehouse area  brought home a number of medals as was recognized by Senator Robert  Casey, Jr.  a couple of years ago for her achievements.

You know th4e expression, “When handed lemons, make lemonade.” Well to many, this winter has been a lemon but you can make lemonade this weekend with “Snowmobility at The PA Lumber Museum.

Photo provided

On Saturday, Feb. 10, at 9 a.m., Curt Weinhold will lead a cross-country ski excursion on mostly downhill cross-country ski trails on Denton Hill to the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum at 5660 Route 6 in Ulysses Township. Shown are cross-country skiers on museum property.

The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum is  hosting Snow-Mobility Weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9, 10 and 11 from 9 .m. to 5 p.m. each day.  The museum is 10 miles west of Galeton and 10 miles east of Coudersport at 5660 Route 6 in Ulysses Township.

For this weekend only, the museum will work with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to create a special 5-mile route for snowmobilers that starts at Thompson Road, south of Route 6 in the Susquehannock State Forest and ends on museum property. Way-finding signs and instructions will be placed along the route. Snowmobilers are urged to use extreme caution and watch for oncoming traffic when crossing Route 6 to get to the museum.

On Saturday, Feb. 10, a free cross-country skiing excursion led by Curt Weinhold, a museum board member, will begin promptly at 9 a.m. at the DCNR Bureau of Forestry District 15 Office at 3150 2nd Street, Coudersport. Interested skiers should meet at the District 15 trailhead on top of Denton Hill by 8:45 a.m. The mostly downhill 4.5-mile route includes Denton Hill cross-country ski trails. The excursion will end at the museum.

Between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Feb. 9, 10 and 11, the museum will show a variety of documentary films on a continuous basis for free. Among the documentaries are: “The CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), A Peaceful Revolution;” “The Last Raft, a Story of Courage and Tragedy on the Susquehanna;” “Gifford Pinchot’s Conservation Legacy;” “Mira Lloyd Dock: A Beautiful Crusade;” “Straight Talk: the Ralph Abele Story;” “Voices of Pine Creek: An Oral History (Vols. 1 & 2)” and “America’s First Forest: Carl Schenck and the Asheville Experiment.”

All visitors, including snowmobilers and cross-country skiers, are welcome to warm up in the museum with free hot beverages available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. On Saturday only between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. will be an all-you-can-eat pancake brunch for $8 per person with all proceeds to benefit the museum and its educational programs. The brunch also includes two sausage patties and a choice of coffee, tea or cocoa.

Regular admission rates apply for entry into museum exhibits but there is no cost to enter for food purchases or to see the documentaries. Admission rates are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors 65 and older and $5 for youth ages 3 to 11.

For more information or to verify snow conditions, call the museum at 1-814-435-2652.

Kane based state police say they have a suspect in a theft taking place last night at a home on Plunkett Driver in Annin Township.  A 32 year old woman reportedly sole a Play Stazation 4 and DVD play from the home of a 25 year old man .

An administrative law judge has ordered the Bradford Club on Boylston Street to pa a $900 for three violations between June 2016 and June 2017. Enforcement officers found the club had failed to adhere to its constitution and/or by-laws; failed to maintain cleaning records for a dispensing system and failed to maintain required PALCB records.

State police are catching up on sending news releases about several traffic accidents occurring recently.  A Port Allegany woman and  her young passenger were not hurt when her car rolled over on Route 6 west of Coudersport Borough last Friday morning. Suzanne Payne was going west on Route 6 whn heer Ford Taurus went off the pavement on a right curve, struck an embankment and rolled over. Payne was using a seatbelt and the three year old girl was riding in a child safety seat located in the rear. Police charged Payne with speeding. Troopers investigated a hit and run occurring last Saturday night on the Jackson Road in Bingham Township. An unknown vehicle went off the road while headed west and collided with a fenc and mailbox. The driver took off without notifying the property owner or police. Both drivers were hurt in a collision Monday morning on Route 49 in Ulysses Township. According to state police impact occurred when a Chevrolet Equinox driven by Lynn Harmon of Ulysses crossed into the opposite lane and struck a Dodge Caravan SXT., The female driver, whose name was not released probably due to age, and Harmon were taken to Charles Cole Hospital. A state police trooper was not hurt last night when his patrol unit hit a deer on Route 49 in Osceola Township,  Trooper Timothy Burke was headed east when the whitetail bounded onto the highway in front of the Police Interceptor Tioga County. Damage was minor and the vehicle was driven from the scene. One passenger was hurt in a collision Sunday morning on Route 6 in Richmond Township. Cassina Valentine of Liberty was traveling east on Route 6, making a left hand curve when her Chrysler Town and Country  began to slide. Valentine tried to correct the path but the sedan went off the left side of the road and hit a tree. A 10 year old boy was taken to Soldiers and Sailors Hospital for treatment of unknown injuries. Valentine and her passengers, Cheynne Clark of Morris and a 13 year old boy were not hurt.

Thursday February 8, 2018


Wednesday’s high, 31; Overnight low, -5; 35” snow







To hear today’s forecast, click on arrow below.

Speed limits restored in wake of storm….West Penn reveals cause of outage……Causer’s bill  to help ambulance companies has been approved in the House….State police warn citizens scammers are very active in the region…

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

Speed limits restored in wake of storm….West Penn reveals cause of outage……Causer’s bill  to help ambulance companies has been approved in the House….State police warn citizens scammers are very active in the region

Even  before Tuesday’s  storm  began,  almost 3500 area residents were plunged into darkness., Black Forest Broadcasting News has confirmed the outage was caused by a West Penn Power blown fuse on a poll. The utility said 929 of their customers in the Roulette and Coudersport area lost power while 2529 Tri-County members were also affected. The lights went out at about 7:25 pm for everyone but was restored a few hours later for West Penn customers. Tri-County’s outage lasted until 3:20 am Wednesday. The rural co-op buys electricity from West Penn which is why Tri-County members were affected. A similar malfunction occurred this past December 4th.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT restored speed limits on Route 22/322 in Juniata and Mifflin counties Wednesday afternoon . In the interest of public safety, speeds had been reduced to 45 miles per hour earlier in the day. In the afternoon, PennDOT restored speed limits for I-80 in Clearfield, Centre, and Clinton counties, I-99 in Centre County, and Route 322 in the Seven Mountains/Potters Mills Gap area in Centre County.

PennDOT encourages drivers to “Know Before You Go” by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting 511PA. The site is free and available 24 hours a day, providing traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 850 traffic cameras. Users can also see the status of plow trucks and travel alerts along a specific route using the “Check My Route” tool.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

For regional updates on Twitter, follow\511PAStateCOLL

Several area volunteer emergency crews responded to vehicle accidents Wednesday across the region, but details have not yet been released by state police.

With many ambulance companies struggling to keep their doors open, the state House on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) to increase the Medicaid reimbursement for emergency medical services.

“The current reimbursement rates come nowhere near covering actual costs. In fact, they are more than 200 percent below reimbursements provided by Medicare and commercial insurance,” Causer said. “Ambulance services that care for a high volume of Medicaid patients cannot continue to provide these life-saving services without additional support.”

House Bill 699 would increase reimbursements for Advanced Life Support (ALS) services from $200 to not less than $300, and for Basic Life Support (BLS) services from $120 to $180. The rates were last adjusted in 2004.

“Access to emergency medical services can mean the difference between life and death for many patients, and that is especially true in rural areas where many people live far away from local hospitals,” Causer said. “This is a major step forward in addressing the financial challenges facing our ambulance services.”

Causer noted the Medicaid reimbursement rate was one of several challenges identified by the Rural EMS Task Force he formed with ambulance officials, health care providers and other impacted groups across the three-county area.

The state House has also approved legislation to address another financial concern raised by the group. House Bill 1013 would allow for reimbursement when treatment is provided but transport does not take place. The bill sets the following conditions for reimbursement: The BLS or ALS unit must be dispatched by a county 911 center, and the EMS provider must have rendered care even though the transport was declined.

Both bills are now awaiting consideration in the Senate.


The Pennsylvania State Police would like to remind citizens that scammers continue to conduct illegal activities in the area.

Scams are “easily committed on an unsuspected person.” If not careful, anyone can become a victim, said state police, adding scammers are “smooth talkers” and can get information out of people without them realizing it.

According to state police, everyone understands the dangers of providing credit card information. However, if the proper person obtains a little personal information, they have abilities to commit one of the most popular crimes, identity theft.

“Some victims of identity theft have lost thousands of dollars and in some cases spent years trying to get associated problems corrected,” said state police. While there are many varieties of scams, state police said most involve a telephone call, mail, etc. from a lottery, corporation or a foreign country.

Other scams, state police said, use online selling and auction sites. In most cases, the victim is instructed to cash a check, keep a small portion of the money and send the remaining amount to an address provided. Some scams, state police said, promise a larger cash prize by sending money back.

“The crime is the fact that the prize or product is non-existent and or the initial check is fraudulent,” said state police. If a person sends the amount required by personal check, the scammer not only cashes it and steals the money, but also obtains bank account information.

Another scam, according to state police, has become popular and involves people being called about a family member who is in legal trouble. The scammer usually asks to be quickly wired money for bail or to pay fines. The scammer, state police said, obtains information about family members on social media.


To thwart this scam, state police said people should ask questions of the caller that only a family member would know. These include extended family members’ names, mother’s maiden name, the birth dates of family members, anniversary dates or the names of current or past pets.

“The primary prevent tip to remember is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” said state police. Anyone who believes they are a victim of a scam should save all information and promptly contact their local police department.

Black Forest Broadcasting News has learned of yet  another scam in which the caller claims to be a representative of the victim’s cable TV provider or even financial institution. The tip off is that the caller often asks for the citizen’s social security number which has no bearing on the account. The best policy is to hang up immediately call the cable company or bank directly and ask if such a call was made. If you have caller ID, you may have noticed an increase in calls which purport to be from legitimate organizations or individuals.  This is called Spoofing  and is often used the harass, defraud or  obtain enough information to steal from a person’s account(S).  Rep. Martin Causer tells Black Forest House Bill 979 to outlaw phony caller IDs  has moved out of the Judiciary Committee and will now be considered by the full House. We know of one case in which a widow received a phone call showoing up with her late husband’s name. Again the best advice is to hang up.


Wednesday February 7, 2018


East Branch of Fishing Creek, looking north


Tuesday’s high, 31; Overnight low 15; 2” snow between 5:30 and 8:00 am





To hear today’s forecast, click on arrow below.

Winter storm warning remains in effect until 10:00 pm tonight…..Classes cancelled at most area schools… More than 2500 Tri-County members affected by 8 hour outage last night…Game Commission has tree seedlings for students……Ridgway based state police suspect St. Marys woman stealing money from elderly Wilcox resident by forging checks…..DUI charges filed against Mansfield driver…

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

WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM EST THIS EVENING…The National Weather Service says we can expect heavy snow through out the day with  total snow accumulations of 6-10 inches. The heaviest snow will   occur from the late morning through the mid afternoon hours  when snowfall rates will exceed one inch per hour. The snow may mix with sleet and freezing   rain for a few hours during the mid to late afternoon hours  south and east of Williamsport.  Be prepared for significant reductions in visibility at times. In anticipation of significant snow fall during the daylight hours, these area schools cancelled classes for the day: Austin,  Bradford, Cameron County, Coudersport, Galeton, Johnsonburg, Northern Potter Oswayo Valley, Penn College of Technology, Ridgway, Smethport, and  St. Marys. All Potter County Senior Centers were closed; the Port Allegany Food bank was closed and a program at Sinnemahoning State Park on American Indians in Potter County was postponed until February 28.

With the  forecast for winter weather across Pennsylvania today, PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards today advised drivers that with conditions expected to change from snow during the morning rush hour to sleet and then rain later in the day, drivers should lower their speeds and be aware of changing conditions. Richards said PennDot is prepared to deal with this rapidly changing storm, but the key for drivers is to slow down, “PennDOT will be aggressive in lowering speed limits on interstates, but it is up to drivers to react properly to the fact pavement conditions will not be the same during a storm as when weather is clear.”  Speed limits on Route 15 and I-80 and I-180 were reduced to 45 mph this morning.

If motorists encounter snow or ice-covered roads, they should slow down, increase their following distance and avoid distractions. Last winter in Pennsylvania, preliminary data shows that there were 252 crashes resulting in 129 injuries on snowy, slushy or ice-covered roadways where aggressive-driving behaviors such as speeding or making careless lane changes were factors.

To help make decisions as to whether to travel during winter weather, motorists are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” by checking conditions on more than 40,000 major roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 850 traffic cameras. Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the “Check My Route” tool.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

For more PennDOT information, visit Follow Local PennDOT Information on Twitter at, and follow the department on Facebook at and Instagram at

Tri-County Rural Electric reports 2529 members served by the Frank Lent and Coneville substations were plunged into darkness Tuesday night. The outage was caused by a West Penn (First Energy) malfunction began at 7:25 pm and all members were back on line by 3:20 am today. West Penn supplies Tri-County. So  far  we have not had a response from West Penn as to the cause. A similar outage occurred on December 4, 2017 and affected many of the same Tri-County members.

On a day like today, it  seems Spring is a long way off but The Pennsylvania Game Commission once again is helping students learn about the vital role trees play in the environment. The Seedlings for Schools program provides tree seedlings to classrooms so students can plant them as part of projects to improve wildlife habitat. Orders placed as part of the “Seedlings for Schools” program are being accepted through March 30. To order, visit the agency’s website,, and click on “Seedling Sales” in the Quick Clicks column, then select “Seedlings for Schools.”

There is no charge to schools that participate in this program. The seedlings are provided by the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery and shipping costs are offset by the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation.

“Seedlings for Your Class” provides a classroom, grade level or entire school with enough seedlings so each student can take one home to plant. Traditional favorites white spruce and silky dogwood are available again this year. Four other species also are being offered: grey-stemmed dogwood, American sweet crabapple, American highbush cranberry and our beloved state tree, eastern hemlock. A teachers’ guide and planting instructions come with the seedlings and also can be accessed through the website.

In years past, “Seedlings for Your Class” was intended primarily for pre-K and elementary students, but this year it’s been extended to middle- and high-school students.

Seedlings come in bundles of 25, and depending on spring weather, will be shipped directly to schools by UPS from April 2 to 4 and April 9 to 11. The nursery does not ship on Thursdays or Fridays so seedlings should not arrive on weekends when no one is at school to receive them.

Once seedlings do arrive, it is important to moisten the roots immediately and plant them as soon as possible, said Brian Stone, manager of the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery.

Seedlings should be handed out to students with their roots in plastic bags with moist shredded newspaper, or with the seedlings planted in juice or milk cartons for transplanting at home, Stone said.

More information about the program can be found on the Game Commission’s website, or by contacting

Seedlings distributed through the Seedlings for Schools program are provided by the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery. The shipping costs are paid in full by the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation and its contributors.


Individuals and groups wishing to donate to the program can send checks to the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Fund, which maintains the account for donations. Be sure to indicate the donation is for the Game Commission’s “Seedlings for Schools” program. Donations can be mailed to the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation, 341 Science Park Road, State College, PA 16803.

State police at Ridgway have not released the name of a St. Marys woman suspected of theft  by deception. The 51 year old woman reportedly wrote checks out in her own name and deposited them in her bank account without the knowledge of the 92 year old victim, a woman residing on Rasselas Road in Wilcox.

A Mansfield driver has been charged with DUI. State police in that town filed the charges after stopping Jeffrey Wood on Route 49in Nelson Township, early November 25.