Monday April 9, 2018


Black Forest Express



Photo by Gerri Miller

Sunday’s high, 32; Overnight low, 16;  no precipitation







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Authorities investigate deadly helicopter crash near Smethport….Cause of massive fire early Sunday  in Emporium is unknown…..Smethport man jailed after allegedly threatening his wife and her daughter with a machete over the weekend…Tioga County teen arrested for spreading rumors have contacting victim repeatedly….Friday’s mid-morning wet snowfall resulted in several traffic accidents….Roulette man accused of drug and paraphernalia possession… Manager assigned to Sinnemahoning  State Park…..

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Representatives of the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will be in the Smethport area today investigating a deadly crash of a helicopter Sunday afternoon. Kane based state police report the chopper went down just before 5:30 pm along the East Valley Road in Keating Township. McKean County Coroner Michael Cahill pronounced two of the occupants dead at the scene. A third person was taken to Hamot Medical Center in Erie. Troopers believe the accident happened when workers tethered to the ‘copter were performing maintenance on the lines.

The state police fire marshal is investigating the cause of a massive fire which leveled an apartment building and single family home on East Allegheny Avenue in Emporium early Sunday morning.   Emporium firefighters were dispatched a couple of minutes before 1:00 am Sunday. They were assisted at the scene by members of the Austin,  Port Allegany, St.Marys and Ridgway departments. Many worked there for the better part of the day. Fortunately, there were injuries. At least seven people are homeless from the fire and are being helped by the Red Cross.

A Smethport man has been jailed in lieu of $85,000 bail for a  domestic violence assault allegedly taking place Friday night at his home Keating Township home. State police were called to the home located at 20 Water Street  just before 8:00 pm on a report that 45 year old Mark A. Carlson had threatened to kill  his wife, 45 year old Heather Carlson and her daughter,23  year old Jada Priest with a machete and had strangled one of the victims. A one year old boy was in the house at the time. Mark Carlson reportedly left the scene before police arrived but was committed to the McKean County Jail  in lieu of $85,000 bail after being arraigned on charges of strangulation and aggravated assault. Under new Pennsylvania law, strangulation is a stand alone felony crime.

A 17 year old Tioga, PA boy is being prosecuted in juvenile court on a harassment charge. Troopers at Mansfield claim the youth repeatedly spread rumors about 18yarold Nicole Young of Millereton and contacted her numerous times even after being asked not to.

Two weather-related accidents in Tioga County Friday morning resulted in injuries to four people. According to Mansfield based state police, William Eltz of East Islip was traveling on Swede Hill Road, , in Charleston Township just before 10:00 am when his Ford Explorer slid on the ice and snow covered dirt road and traveled through a nearby yard before the undercarriage got caught on an embankment. Elts was able to keep the SUV from hitting a house. He and his passenger, Harry Lesher of Olyphant, PA did not require medical attention for their slight injuries. About 45 minutes later, 19 year old Ryan Osgood of Wellsboro was injured when his Pontiac Grand AM slid off of the Cherry Flats Road during the snow storm, while going downhill on an “S” curve. The car continued going straight, and the undercarriage collided with a culvert before skidding into a tree.  Osgood was taken to Soldiers and Sailors Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

All four drivers escaped injury Friday morning when their vehicles wrecked near each other on Route 6 in Liberty Township a few minutes before nine o’clock.. East of Port Allegany. Kane based state police report 18 year old Dylan Lloyd was going east when his Jeep Cherokee slid off the  road and rolled onto the driver’s side. A Chevrolet Silverado driven by Thomas Johnson of Port Allegany was ‘rear-ended” as he slowed down at the accident scene, by a Hyundai Elantra driven by Nicole Austin of Smethport, When Edith Vangorder of Bradford braked, her Kia Sorento slid across the highway and got stuck in some mud.

Troopers at Kane are looking for a hit and run vehicle which damaged a parked truck on the Bells Run Road  in Ceres Township Saturday afternoon. The northbound unit sideswiped a legally parked 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 causing minor damage to the mirror and hood.

Minor injuries were reported for a Towanda, PA driver and his passenger after a one-vehicle crash last Wednesday at aroundn8:15 am  in Allegany Township, Potter County. Coudersport based state police this morning, released details saying  William Slocum was headed west on Route 49 just past the North Hollow Road when he fell asleep at the wheel of his Chevrolet Silverado causing it to go off the pavement and  collided with the guide wire to a telephone pole. The truck, traveled through a field and struck a small tree before stopping. Slocum and his passenger, Roy Salsman of Wyalusing did not require medical attention.

A Roulette man has been arrested on charges of drug possession and paraphernalia . State police claim when they stopped 41 year old Timothy Kiser on the West Branch of Fishing CreekRoad on the night of March 17, they smelled booze and allegedly found Kiser had been driving under the influence of alcohol and a controlled substance. Drugs and paraphernalia were allegedly found in his 2001 Ford Exploer Sport Trac.

A retail theft charge has been filed against a 17 year old  St.Marys resident. State police assert the youth alked out of theSt. MarysWalmart on Easter afternoon without paying for an item valued at $1.79.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn has  announced the appointment Tracy Zupich as manager of Sinnemahoning State Park in Cameron and Potter counties.

Zupich was named to head Sinnemahoning operations after a three-year assignment managing Reeds Gap State Park Complex, based in Mifflin County. She also oversaw the nearby Poe Valley State Park and lake, and Poe Paddy State Park, both in Centre County. She assumes her new post after hiking the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

At Sinnemahoning, she will oversee 1,910 acres of parkland in Cameron and Potter counties; a 145-acre reservoir created by the George B. Stevenson Dam, which provides excellent fishing and water recreation opportunities; and the Widlife Center, all of which draw visitors into the Pennsylvania Wilds. The state park is one of 29 in the Wilds area, and part of its 2.1 million acres of public land.

“For those who lov the outdoors, it’s all here at Sinnemahoning —  the elk, fishing, kayaking — they all keep drawing visitors back,” Zupich. “I am truly honored to be entrusted with this outdoors jewel, and I’m committed to making all visits memorable ones, regardless of the season.”

A native of Lucinda, Clarion County, Zupich said she welcomes the chance to manage the park’s Wildlife Center, offering state-of- the-art and hands-on exhibits about natural habitats, resource management, and area history. Exhibit gallereries contain information and displays that orient visitors and provide a centrally located starting point for exploration of Sinnemahoning State Park and the Pennsylvania Wilds. Also featured is wildlife watching and photography, outdoor recreation, green camping, local history and conservation heroes.


Before her Reeds Gap complex assignment, Zupich worked as assistant manager at the 5,900-acre Bald Eagle State Park, near Howard, Centre County. She began working for the Bureau of State Parks in 2009 as a DCNR ranger at the Little Pine State Park Complex in Lycoming County. She later worked as a ranger at Parker Dam State Park, Clearfield County.

Zupich, 33, holds a bachelor’s degree in recreation management from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

For more information on Sinnemahoning and Pennsylvania’s other 120 state parks, telephone 1-888-PA-PARKS from 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Saturday; or visit DCNR’s state parks web page.



Attached photo courtesy of Solomon’s Words to the Wise

Friday April 6, 2018

Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

Pussy Willow Imposters thanks to April snow.








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Westfield woman scammed out of thousands of dollars….Theft of money from an Austin home under investigation…..Two area residents arrested on drug charges….Bear harvest was one of the best….Work on Route 59 in McKean County begins Monday….Eliot Ness Fest  will feature a number of authors…

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A Westfield woman has been scammed out of thousands of dollars. According to Coudersport based state police 63 year old Vicky Brimmer was led to believe through text messages that she was signing up for a federal government grant claim and she would receive $100,000 and a new car. She was told that the money she sent was to  cover taxes and she complied by sending $10,973 VIA Western Union and Walmart

Coudersport based state police are also investigating a tangible theft. Sometime last Saturday or Sunday, thieves took two coffee cans, one a red Folgers container and the other a blue Maxwell House holding an undisclosed amount of money from the home of Tammy Purdy on Summit Street  in Austin.

Two are residents have been arrested on drug charges. Troopers at Coudersport allege when they pulled 21 year old Christopher McGarry of Galeton over for traffic violations march 2 at the intersection of Germania Street and Bridge Street they  found he was driving under the influence of a controlled substance and had marijuana and paraphernalia I his 2003 Chevrolet C/K 1500.Brian Carr, 25 of Roulette was charged when he was stopped for a lane violation on the Burtville Road in Roulette Township  on the night of March 16. Officers contend Carr was driving his 2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac under the influence of a controlled substance and was allegedly found in possession of drugs and paraphernalia.

Troopers at Emporium have updated information about a one-vehicle crash taking place Tuesday evening on the Sizerville Road in Shippen Township. Authorities say charges are pending against Richard Dill of Driftwood whose Chevrolet Silverado crossed the highway and hit an embankment.

State police at Coudersport are looking for a hit and run vehicle which damaged property on the Honeoye Road in Sharon Township early Monday morning. The unknown vehicle collided with a mailbox while going west but the driver did not stop to report the damage.

 Plans for the  Eliot Ness Fest to be held July 20-22 in Coudersport continue to develop. As you may have heard, the committee is putting together a “Salute to Law Enforcement” on the Courthouse square on Friday. Several law enforcement agencies are expected to participate.Meanwhile, the committee is looking for townspeople who actually knew the famous crime fighter when he lived in Coudersport. One of the highlights of the Eliot Ness Fest: Touched by the Untouchable is coming together rapidly. It’s the Authors’ Roundtable and “The Eliot Ness I Knew” event on Sunday afternoon, July 22, at the Coudersport Theatre. Local author Paul W. Heimel, whose new book, “Behind the Badge: The Untold Story of Eliot Ness” (Knox Books, 2018) will be published in June, will be joined by A. Brad Schwartz for an engaging discussion and Q&A on the famous crime fighter  – his life and times and his career. Schwartz and Max Allan Collins have authored the new book, “Scarface and the Untouchable: Eliot Ness and the Battle for Chicago” (HarperCollins, 2018), which is expected to debut at the local festival…… Bill Pekarski, a member of the committee told Black Forest Broadcasting News that the caliber of the authors and the information they will provide is impressive and like, many things, the books will prove even more interesting than the movie. Pekarski adds the Coudersport Public Library is actively participating. Some of the people who knew Ness when he resided in Coudersport in 1956-57, and perhaps earlier in his life, will be asked to share their memories during this roundtable. Anyone who would be interested in sharing reminiscences, no matter how brief, should contact committee member Bill Pekarski at

You can hear our entire interview with Bill Pekarski on our website

Click on the Black Forest Trails button.

Legislation intended to address Pennsylvania’s opiod crisis  has been introduced  in the state senate according to Hanson Quickle but unfortunately opiods, aren’t the only drugs of choice. According to a report in yesterday’s BRADFORD ERA,    the manufacturing and use of methamphetamine is once again on the increase in the area.  The efforts to cut back on prescription abuse of opioids, is forcing  addicts to switch to meth which is easy , but very dangerous to concoct  and a lot cheaper. It is popular in rural areas. In fact few years ago, Bradford county to our east was considered the “meth” capital of the US. That drug  can be made from ingredients found at pharmacies  and hardware stores but can cause explosions while being mixed or stored. As  is often the case with addiction, addicts switch to something else when a supply of the drug of choice dries up. It’s like an alcoholic going from whiskey to beer.

On Monday, April 9, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will re-start work to replace a bridge on Route 59 in Keating Township, McKean County. This is the second of two bridges to be replaced under this contract. Last year, crews replaced a bridge about 1 ½ miles west of Smethport. This year, replacement work will concentrate on a bridge spanning Blacksmith Run about 2 miles west of Smethport. It dates from 1930 and carries an average of more than 2,400 vehicles daily. The existing bridge will be replaced with a concrete box culvert. Initial project work will get underway Monday, with daylight flagging in place to control an alternating traffic pattern. Temporary traffic signals are expected to be in place the week of April 23. The bridge will be replaced using half-width construction with the temporary signals enforcing an alternating traffic pattern. Other project work includes drainage improvements, roadway reconstruction, paving, and guide rail updates.  Completion of the new bridge is expected by mid-September, with all work weather and schedule dependent. Thomas Construction, Inc. of Grove City, PA is the contractor on this $2.6 million project.

Despite one of the worst opening days in more than three decades of bear hunting, Pennsylvania charted yet another Top 10 bear harvest in 2017. Hunters harvested 3,438 bears in the 2017 seasons, with the archery harvest of 493 bears and the extended season harvest of 1,083 bears setting records for those seasons. Forty-eight bears weighing 500 pounds or more, including 14 weighing 600 pounds or more and two weighing 700 pounds or more, were part of the2017 harvest. Bears were taken in 57 counties and 22 of Pennsylvania’s 23 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). The totals represent a rebound from what was a rough start to the firearms bear season, when widespread wind and rain noticeably reduced hunter participation on opening day – traditionally the top day for bear hunters. Only 694 hunters were successful on opening day, compared to the usual 1,500 hunters that typically harvest a bear, said Game Commission bear biologist Mark Ternent.“In fact, the last time opening-day harvest dipped below 700 bears was in 1982, when bear season was only two days and the statewide bear population numbered less than 5,000 animals,” Ternent said. Participation returned to normal by the second day, and hunters proceeded to take 1,852 bears in the general season, which is just over 70 percent of the average, Ternent said. But new bear-hunting opportunities – including an earlier bear archery season that overlaps with a week of the archery deer season, and expanded extended bear seasons – paved the way for new records in those seasons, making up for some of the opening-day loss. “The net result is that 2017 ranks as the ninth best all-time bear harvest, and hunters will have the same season opportunities and a strong bear population again in 2018,” Ternent said. The all-time bear harvest high was recorded in 2011, when 4,350 bears were harvested. Hunters harvested 4,164 in 2005. All other bear harvests have been under 4,000.While the 2017 harvest was down compared to 2016’s harvest of 3,529, harvest totals increased within the Game Commission’s Northeast and Southeast Regions.View 2017 bear harvest numbers by wildlife management unit and region.

Thursday April 5, 2018

Black Forest Express


Photo provided

Oswayo Valley Students advance in video competition. See story below.

Wednesday’s high, 54 (early); Overnight low, 22; 15” rain then .25” snow







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Ol’ Man Winter is apparently refusing to hand the torch to Miss Spring. Winter weather continues to plague the region. Bands of snow came through during last night creating slippery roads across the Northern Tier. The snow followed a day and evening of strong winds gusting to more than 30 mph locally. Trees and utility lines were knocked down blocking several roads. Volunteer fire departments were called out frequently to  clear debris and to protect the public from downed lines until utility workers could arrive.

Obituary: Bradley Hart, Roulette

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

 Governor Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards yesterday highlighted transportation investments as PennDOT held an event outlining the anticipated 179 roadway miles that will be rehabilitated, reconstructed or resurfaced, and 66 bridges that will be improved this year in the nine-county northcentral region.

Complementing the significant projects in the northcentral region, Governor Wolf recently reinforced the administration’s commitment to rural roads with new plans to improve more than 1,100 rural and low-volume roadway miles and rehabilitate or replace at least 85 municipally owned bridges over five years.

During yesterday’s media briefing, District 2 Executive Karen Michael discussed the more than $279 million in new and continuing projects the public will see in Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Juniata, Mifflin, McKean, and Potter counties throughout the year. Roughly 146 highway and bridge projects are anticipated to begin or continue across the region during this construction season.

Notable projects that will continue this year include:

  • Resurfacing on Route 155 in Cameron County from Emporium to the Potter County line with a box culvert replacement, super structure replacement, and preservation of three other bridges ($8.8 million);
  • Roadway restoration/overlay on Interstate 80 in Centre County from mile-marker 138 to mile-marker 152; ($21.7 million);
  • Bridge preservation of four structures on Route 879 in Clearfield County in the Clearfield area ($2.5 million);
  • Full-depth reclamation, drainage, and paving of 12 miles of Route 46 in McKean County

($3 million);

  • Route 4004 bridge replacement near the Bradford campus of the University of Pittsburgh in McKean County ($3 million);
  • Bridge preservation of three structures on various roads in Mifflin County ($4.4 million); and
  • A local bridge replacement of the Iva-Jen bridge on Harrison Township Road 487 over Cowanesque River in Potter County ($768,000).


Notable projects that are expected to be begin this year include:


  • Route 301: a highway restoration and drainage improvement project of Business Route 322/Atherton Street in Centre County including a wide-range of utility relocations ($12.8 million);
  • Reconstruction of U.S. 322 in Centre County from Potters Mills to Sand Mountain Road along with a new, local interchange, part of the three-phase Potters Mills Gap project ($83 million);
  • A surface improvement project on various routes in Clearfield County for a total of 28.4 miles ($5.7 million);
  • Route 64 bridge replacement over Big Fishing Creek in Clinton County ($3.3 million);
  • A surface improvement project on various routes in Elk County for a total of 10.2 miles ($2.1 million);
  • Route 35 bridge replacement over East Licking Creek in Juniata County ($2.3 million);
  • Route 6 roadway betterment in Kane, McKean County ($5 million);
  • Route 322 resurfacing from Reedsville to Burnham in Mifflin County ($8.6 million); and
  • A surface improvement project on various routes in Potter County for a total of 17.8 miles ($3.9 million).


As construction projects are underway in the region, the traveling public can anticipate seeing many work zones and are urged to keep their safety and the safety of highway workers in mind. When encountering a work zone, please drive the posted speed limit, turn on your headlights, pay close attention to signs and flaggers, and avoid all distractions. In high traffic locations, motorists are encouraged to use both lanes of travel to the merge point and to take turns merging into the open lane.


For more information on projects occurring or being bid this year, those made possible by or accelerated by the state transportation funding plan (Act 89), or those on the department’s Four and Twelve Year Plans, visit

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 major  roadway 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.

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\511PAStateCOLL.

The Oswayo Valley Middle School participated in the Dream It, Do It: What’s So Cool about Manufacturing competition that featured local partner Cutco Cutlery Corporation.  The goal of the competition was to expose students to the different aspects of manufacturing careers.Superintendant Dr. Michele Hartzell congratulated  Mrs. Cook, Oswayo Valley teacher, and her middle school students for receiving the “Viewer’s Choice” and “Outstanding Cool” Awards.   As the regional winner, the students’ video will be included in the statewide What’s So Cool about Manufacturing contest which will be held in Harrisburg on May 2, 2018The video can be viewed on the Oswayo Valley School District website or the OV Facebook page.

Dr. Hartzell also extended thanks to the North Central Work Force Development Board, the Potter County Education Council, and a special thank you to our community partner, Cutco Cutlery Corporation, for their outstanding support and dedication to the children of the Oswayo Valley School District.

State police at Emporium are investigating the theft of some construction equipment Wednesday from the intersection of the Gardeau Road and Route 144 in Lumber Township. Sometime before 8:30 am, thieves made off with a WackerDPU tamper, an aluminum man basket and 10-15 orange road cones. The items belonged to Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. of State College.

Both people involved scuffle last Thursday night in Lawrenceville, Tioga County, have arrested for harassment. Mansfield-based state police allege 27 year old Martin Main and 28 year old Cheryl Lyman shoved each other during an argument at a home on Mountain View Lane.  Both will now answer charges in District Court.

Troopers at Ridgway did not release the suspects’ names but claim two Elk County residents have been cited for being on property owned by Walmart on the Million Dollar Highway on three occasions between February 16 and March 28. Images of the 33 year old woman from Kersey and a 35 year old man from Ridgway were captured on video surveillance camera.

A Kersey man has been cited for careless driving after a collision Wednesday afternoon in Fox Township, Elk County.  According to state police at Ridgway, Cory Frantz turned south from a private drive onto The Fairview Road (Route 948) and failed to stop his Chevrolet Silverado tor a Ford Edge driven by Valiery  Mattiuz, also of Kersey, which was traveling north on Route 948. Frantz was not hurt and Mattiuz apparently did not require  medical attention for her injuries.

Emporium based state police report charges are pending against a 52 year old Driftwood man whose Chevrolet wrecked  at the intersection of East Allegheny Avenue and Route 155 in Shippen Township Tuesday evening. Richard Dill’s vehicle went off the road while headed east and hit an embankment after he passed out. Despite having no visible injuries, Dill was taken to Penn Highlands Elk and police sent a revised news release indicting charges are pending against Dill.

A hit and run on Moore Hill Road in Emporium was also investigated by troopers at the Emporium barracks. An unknown northbound vehicle went off the pavement and collided with a mailbox owned by James Eastman. The driver left the scene without notifying police or the property owner.


Bradley James Hart, 64, of Lanniger Creek Road, Roulette, passed away Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at UPMC Cole, Coudersport Brad was born on August 5, 1953 in St. Mary’s, the son of the late Thomas Leslie and Augusta (Connor) Hart. Brad was a graduate of Bradford High School, Class of 1972. He worked for Dresser Manufacturing as a Mechanical Draftsman.He enjoyed fishing and hunting. Surviving are three brothers; Sam Hart of Turtlepoint; Thomas (Patricia) Hart of Bradford and Les Hart of Bradford: three sisters, Connie (Lee) Baker of Greensville; Evelyn Byerly of Bradford and Virginia (Jerry) Kellogg of Olean, NY and two good friends, Glenda Davis and Cindy Yeager.In addition to his parents Brad was preceded in death by a brother, Vic Hart and three sisters, Kathy Snyder, Elva Goff and Lillian McKenzie.In keeping with Brad’s wishes there will be no visitation or service .Family suggest contributions in Brad’s name be made to The American Cancer Society, 1001 East 2nd Street, Coudersport, PA 16915 or the McKean County SPCA, 80 Glenwood Avenue, Bradford, PA 16701.  Arrangements being handled by the Thomas E. Fickinger Funeral Home, 210 N. East Street, Coudersport.