Wednesday April 4, 2018

Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

Pussy Willow Imposters (Forsythia bush touched by April Snow)

Tuesday’s high, 53; Overnight low, 52; .25” rain







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

BFB Headlines (Wednesday April 4, 2018)Unemployment went up in  three of five counties last month in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service Area….PennDot is set to begin work on Route 44  between Shinglehouse and Millport this week…Ulysses man scammed out of $1100 over the internet….theft of cash during an Easter party investigated by troopers at Coudersport….Millerton resident cited for dumping trash on private property….Broken tie road causes Easter morning  collision in Coudersport….

Obituaries: Joshua Himes, Coudesport & Kathryn Vanwegen, Coudersport

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

What we gained last month, we lost this month. Unemployment throughout the region went up between January and February according to figures just in from the state department of labor and industry. Only  Potter and Tioga Counties  held steady –Potter at 6.1% and Tioga, an even 6.0%. Elsewhere McKean saw a slight increase from 5.6% to 5.7%; Cameron jumped from 6.0% to 6.7% and Elk realized an uptick from 4.2% to 4.4%.Adams County had the best rate in the commonwealth at 3.6% the same as the last reporting period. Forest was 67th in Pennsylvania i with 6.7% an increase if 7/10s of a percent. Cameron County was next in line, placing 66th. Pennsylvania’s jobless rate for the period was 4.8% while the national figure was better at 4.1%.

PennDot says it will  begin roadway improvement work late this week on Route 44 in Potter County. This work will improve roadway ride quality and extend the life of the roadway surface from Shinglehouse Borough to Coneville.

Across 9 miles of roadway, overall work will include roadway grinding, installation of pavement base drain, drainage replacement, pipe flushing, roadway widening, overlay, tree trimming for daylighting, pavement markings, basic repairs on three structures, new signage, and miscellaneous construction.

Drainage work will be underway first, with the potential for short delays and alternating traffic patterns enforced by roadway flaggers.

PennDOT will issue project updates as bridge repair work gets underway and temporary signals for that work become operational. Two of the bridges are near the village of Millport. The other bridge is between Millport and Shinglehouse.

Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. of State College is the contractor on this $9.1 million job. The project is expected to finish by October. All work is weather and schedule dependent.

A Ulysses man is the latest  victim of an internet scam. Coudersport based state police report Chad Erhard was bilked out of $1100 in Ebay gift cards while shopping for a car online between March 23 and 26.

Troopers at Coudersport say they have several suspects in a theft taking Sunday afternoon on Kline Road in Pike Township. While 24 year old Jenna Rinehart was hosting an Easter holiday gathering for friends and family, someone stole six $20 bills from her wallet. The investigation is continuing.

Mansfield based state police have arrested 22 year old Cody Dibble of Millerton for scattering rubbish. Authorities allege Dibble dumped trash on property on  Mountain Ridge Road owned by Larue Vanzile of Mainsburg last Saturday afternoon.

A break-in at an Emporium home remains under investigation by state police there. Someone broke the glass in the front door in order to enter that home at 511 N. Vine Street at around 11:30 pm Sunday March 26.

And troopers there also investigated a criminal mischief occurring this past weekend on East Allegheny Avenue in Shippen Township.  Unknown vandals used a blunt object to smash a mailbox belonging to Costanzo’s Off Road.

Vandalism taking place last Friday or Saturday in Elk County is being investigated by state police at Ridgway. Criminals broke and removed a Cadillac emblem from the front grill on a vehicle owned by a 48 year  old St. Marys woman while the car was parked at her home on the Million Dollar Highway.

A mechanical failure is blamed for a collision at a  Coudersport intersection Sunday morning. Troopers explained that Karla Karr was unable to turn off of Route 44 onto Davidge Street because the steering on her 2013 locked up due to a broken tie rod. The SUV collided with a Chevrolet Cruze operated by Katherine Harvey which was sitting at the intersection. Both Coudersport women escaped injury.

Minor injuries were reported for a Smethport man whose sedan collided with another car on the Christian Hollow Road in Norwich Township last night. Ryan Corbett was going west when his Chevrolet Malibu went off the right side of the road and struck a Chrysler Town and Country owned by Misty Taylor also of Smethport. The impact  caused Corbett’s car to overturn completely before coming to rest in a ditch on the passenger side.

A Portville, NY passenger did not require treatment for minor injuries she received in a collision Sunday morning in Eldred Township.  According to State police at the Kane Barracks, the fender bender happened when Michael Chastain of Olean, NY pulled into a driveway while going west on the Prentisvale Road to turn around and backed out onto the highway in front of a Chevrolet Silverado driven by Robert Putt of Portville. Police said Putt swerved his Buick in a futile attempt to avoid contact. His wife, Bobbie was slightly injured.

A 2005 Nissan 350Z driven by a 19 year old West Seneca, NY resident hit a tree off of  Route 15 in Liberty Township, Tioga County  Tuesday morning. Troopers report 19 year old Noah Shults was going north in the left lane of the highway when the car bounced off the road after going across rumble strips.


Joshua Mark Himes, 39, of Cherry Springs Road, Coudersport, passed away Saturday, March 31, 2018 at his residence. Josh was born on March 8, 1979 in Dubois, the son of the late Marlene (Himes) Gaberseck.Josh was a graduate of Northern Potter High School, Class of 1998. He was a maintenance worker at Olga Gallery, Cafe, & Bistro, Coudersport and previously worked at McDonald’s, Coudersport and Sweden Valley Manor, Coudersport.He enjoyed the outdoors; fishing, swimming and camping as well as playing pool, miniature golf, his console games and watching professional wrestling.  Josh enjoyed his time attending Partial Hospitalization Group at the Dickinson Center, Coudersport, where he met many of his friends.

Surviving are a sister; Margaret J. Heiser of Coudersport; a brother, Joseph B. Himes of Dubois; a step father, Andrew Gaberseck of Coudersport; a great grandmother, Florence Rossman of Coudersport; a niece, Ella Heiser, two nephews, Dustin and Jensen Gaberseck, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.There will be no visitation and services will be at a later date at the convenience of the family.Family suggest contributions be made to the family of Joshua M. Himes c/o Margaret Heiser, PO Box 568, Coudersport, PA 16915 or to GoFundMe, the arrangements for Joshua M. Himes.Arrangements being handled by the Thomas E. Fickinger Funeral Home, 210 N. East Street, Coudersport.


Kathryn B. VanWegen, 88, a lifelong resident of Coudersport, passed away in her home on Monday, March 26, 2018, after a short illness.Born on March 11, 1930 in Force, she was a daughter of Guy and Mary Trentini Brunelli.  She married Harold F. VanWegen, who passed away in 1997.Kathryn was employed as a legal secretary by Mahaley and Duvall in Coudersport and later was employed by the former Commonwealth Bank in Coudersport.  She was a longtime member of the Central Grange in Sweden Valley.Surviving are two daughters, Cynthia V. Kelly and Elaine Butler; two grandchildren, Cody Butler and Melanie Connell; a great-granddaughter, Olivia Kathryn Connell; two brothers, Vincent Brunelli and Albert Brunelli; and a sister, Ginger Skidmore; and several nieces and nephews.In addition to her parents and husband, Kathryn was predeceased by a sister, Aileen Monteleone.In keeping with Kathryn’s wishes, there will be no public visitation or funeral services.  Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery, Coudersport.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Cole Memorial Home Health and Hospice, 102-108 South Main Street, Coudersport, PA 16915.Kathryn’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 Kathryn, please visit


Tuesday April 3, 2018

                                                                                                                                             –Photo by Gerri Miller

Pussy Willow Imposters thanks to April snow

Monday’s high, 47; low 34; trace of rain before 8:00 am







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

 Obituary: Wilma Vansickles, Turtlepoint

 Wolf Administration is now pursuing expansion of broadband internet access in rural areas. A  public hearing on the subject will be held Thursday in Wellsboro….Small wildfire in Ceres  Township was accidental….62 year old Mansfield woman accused of shoplifting…..DUI charges filed against Canton man in connection to a one-vehicle crash early last month in Chatham Township, Tioga County…

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

 Potter County Commissioner reported at last week’s board meeting that she had attended a meeting of the Rural Development Council. Governor Wolf’s recent initiative to expand  broadband accessibility across the commonwealth was one of the hottest topics. Kefover said she learned that of the 800,000 residents without broadband access include 500,000 in rural areas. Pennsylvania ranked 27 in broadband availability and 24th in ability to expand services. According to the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 Broadband Progress Report, 39 percent of rural Americans, or 23 million people, lack broadband internet access. In Pennsylvania, 29 percent of the population in Tioga County, 39 percent in Bradford County, 30 percent in Potter County, 69 percent in Sullivan County, and 11 percent of the population in Lycoming County do not have access to fixed, advanced telecommunications.

Meanwhile a bipartisan legislative package designed to investigate what Pennsylvania can do to accelerate the deployment of high speed internet service in rural areas has been introduced in Harrisburg. Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), is co-sponsor of four measures that would: create a legislative commission to recommend improvements in underserved areas; audit the compliance of telecommunication carriers; examine the Department of Education’s E-Fund program; and inventory the facilities and assets of state agencies that could be used to help bring broad-band internet to unserved areas. Phillips-Hill said these measures are designed to help Pennsylvania live up to past promises to provide high speed internet access for the state’s large rural population

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania will hold a public hearing in Wellsboro at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 5, to hear from broadband service providers and consumers about the issues, challenges, and opportunities of delivering broadband services in rural Pennsylvania.

Hearing participants include representatives from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Blue Ridge Cable, Indigo Wireless, Tri-County Rural Electric, Progress Authority-Bradford County, UPMC Susquehanna, JC Blair Memorial Hospital, Wellsboro School District, local development districts, and the PA Route 6 Alliance.

The public hearing will be held in the Red Room of the Penn Wells Hotel, 62 Main St., Wellsboro.

Another hearing will be held at 10 o’clock Thursday in the auditorium of the Susquehanna County Career and Tech Center at Elk Lake High School. It is located at 2380 Elk Lake School Road in Springville.

Barring any technical difficulties, that  hearing will be streamed online at

Shinglehouse volunteer firefighters were called to douse a brush fire on the Bells Run Road. Initial reports indicated a can exploded in a burn barrel at the Shreckengost and ignited dry vegetation below. Volunteers returned a short time after the 3:14 pm call.

A 62 year old Mansfield woman has been arrested for shoplifting at the Mansfield Walmart last Monday, March 26. State police there contend Nina Powell took six pairs of earrings, a pay of Levi Jeans, pair of FG Skinny Jeans and a hobo bag totaling $67.85 in value. Powell who was apprehended by store security allegedly hid the merchandise under her clothing.

DUI charges have been filed against a Canton, PA man in connection to a one-vehicle crash last month in Chatham Township, Tioga County. According to Mansfield based state police, 31year old Logan Rumsey was going south at around 2:45 am March 10 when his 1997  Chevrolet Silverado went off the east side of the road on a right hand curve, collided with a guardrail, then re-entered the higway, crossed both lanes, and went into a ditch where it rolled over coming to rest on the driver’s side. Rumsey was not hurt in the crash.


Wilma Ann VanSickles, 86, of Turtlepoint, died Saturday (Mar. 31, 2018) at her home in Turtlepoint. She was born Jun 4, 1931 in Crosby, a daughter of Martin and Anna Yaksetich Vicic. On June 6 1949 in Smethport she married Kenneth VanSickles Sr. Mrs.VanSickles was a graduate of and attended . Mrs. VanSickles was a Nurse, employed by Charles Cole Memorial Hospital She is survived by Friends may call Tuesday from 6-8 P.M. at Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Inc., 105 N. Main St., Port Allegany, PA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday (Apr. 4, 2018) at 11:00 am in St Gabriel’s Catholic Church, Port Allegany, with the Rev. James Campbell, Pastor, as celebrant a prayer service will be held Tuesday eneing at 7:30 in the funeral Home Burial will be in St. Gabriel’s Cemetery, Port Allegany, PA Memorials if desired may be made Online condolence may be made at Arrangements under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Inc., Port Allegany, PA

Monday April 2, 2018

Black Forest |Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

“Pussy Willow Imposters” (Forsythia buds covered with April Snow)

Sunday’s high, 53; overnight low, 24; .25” snow







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

 DEP soliciting public comments about methane emission permits…..Causer says regs for conventional and non-conventional gas wells should be different…Elk County teen facing charges of DUI and drug possession….Coudersport man to be charged with DUI…..

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

 Obituaries: Marian Jean Buchanan, Shinglehouse and Arthur Thorne, Wesfield

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is accepting public comments on the draft final general permits (GP) that address methane emissions and other air pollutants from unconventional well sites and from midstream and natural gas transmission facilities. The additional comment period is opening to provide the opportunity for public comment on the updated documents and to comply with the publication and notice requirements in DEP’s regulations.

The 45-day public comment period, which closes May 15, 2018, is to receive comment on the updated draft final versions of GP-5, which is applicable to midstream and natural gas transmission facilities, and the proposed GP-5A, for unconventional well sites and pigging stations. Both general permits incorporate the most current state and federal requirements.

DEP received more than 10,000 comments on the proposed general permits during the initial comment period in 2017. Based on these comments, DEP made several changes to the general permits and the Air Quality Permit Exemptions List, which can be found here:

Interested persons may submit written comments on the Draft General Permits and Air Quality Permit Exemption List by Tuesday May 15, 2018. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. Comments, including comments submitted by e-mail, must include the originator’s name and address. Commentators are encouraged to review the proposed General Permits and Air Quality Permit Exemption List and submit comments using DEP’s online eComment system at or by e-mail to Written comments should be submitted to the Policy Office, Department of Environmental Protection, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063.

Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) , earlier this Spring,  introduced legislation to make sure the state treats the two kinds of wells differently.

The bill comes as a follow-up to the years-long fight to stop the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from applying regulations necessary to address unconventional, deep-well drilling in Marcellus shale to the very different process of conventional, shallow well drilling. Those changes threatened to drive many conventional operations out of business according to the lawmaker.

Specifically, the legislation would re-enact an updated version of the Oil and Gas Act, which had governed the industry until the Marcellus Shale boom and proliferation of advanced drilling methods prompted development and passage of new regulations included in Act 13 of 2012.

“Although Act 13 was intended to address new issues with the unconventional industry, it also placed an unbearable burden on the much smaller conventional producers,” Causer said. “The operations are very different, and the regulations must be as well.”

The proposal to re-enact the Oil and Gas Act includes several regulatory updates and clarifications, and would serve as the framework for any future changes to rules impacting the conventional oil and gas industry.

House Bill 2154 was introduced with bipartisan support from across the state and has been referred to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for consideration. A companion bill, Senate Bill 1088, has been introduced by Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Butler/Clarion/Forest/Venango/Warren) and was referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

Ridgway based state police are charging an 18 year old Ridgway driver with DUI and drug possession. Troopers allege when they stopped Zachary Stolburg for a traffic violation at the intersection of Montmorenci Road and Commons Drive this past Friday night, they found Stolburg had marijuana and paraphernalia in his vehicle. Formal charges are pending lab results.

Troopers at Coudersport claim a 63 year old  Coudersport man was driving under the influence with an alcoholic beverage in full view when they stopped his 2014 Chevrolet at the intersection of North East Street and East Fifth Street in Coudersport Monday night. The suspect’s name was not released pending the formal filing of charges after police receive confirmed BAC results.

Marian J. “Jean” Buchanan, 87, of Shinglehouse, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, March 30, 2018, in Sweden Valley Manor, Coudersport.Born on August 22, 1930 in Hebron, she was a daughter of Lorne and Aleta Fisk Hawkes.  On March 17, 1951 in Genesee, she married Robert E. “Bob” Buchanan, who passed away on June 14, 1991.Jean was employed at the former Westons City Shopper’s Center in Weston Mills, N.Y. and later worked for the former Acme Electric in Cuba, N.Y.Jean was a member of the First Baptist Church in Shinglehouse and was a member of the former Shinglehouse Volunteer Fireman’s Ladies Auxiliary.  She enjoyed crocheting, word search puzzles, and doing crafts.  Her greatest love was her family.Surviving are a daughter, Donna L. Warner of Richburg, N.Y.; a son, Richard L. Buchanan of Crosby; four granddaughters; fourteen great-grandchildren; twelve great-great-grandchildren; a brother, Gordon (Doris) Hawkes of Lecanto, Florida; a sister, Caroline Mitchell of Farmers Valley; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents and husband, Jean was predeceased by her son-in-law, Gary Warner; a grandson, Dean Warner; and three brothers and three sisters.

Friends may call from 10am to noon on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, 118 South Union Street, Shinglehouse, where funeral services will follow at noon with the Rev. Russell J. Horning, pastor of the First Baptist Church, Shinglehouse, officiating.  Burial will be in Chrystal Cemetery.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.Jean’s family has entrusted her care to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home.

To express condolences or share a fond memory of Jean, please visit

Arthur W. THORNE, 77, of Westfield, PA, died Friday, March 30, 2018 in Cole Memorial Hospital, Coudersport, PA.  Born July 18, 1940, in Wana, WV, he was the son of Addison and Ruby E. Jones Thorne.  He was married to the former Patricia Funk, who survives.  Art was employed by Breeden School of Welding in Genesee, PA for 23 years, retiring as assistant director.  Surviving besides his wife, Pat, are:  two sons, Wayne A. (Cheryl) Thorne of Whites Corners, PA and Ricky L. (Dina) Thorne of Nunda, NY;  six grandsons;  seven great-grandchildren;  three step-daughters, Martie (Joel) Wheeler of Harrison Valley, Mary (Kenneth) Ransom of Sabinsville, PA, and Peggy (Scot) Short of Westfield;  six step-grandchildren;  seven step-great-grandchildren;  two brothers, James (Crystle) Thorne of Wellsboro, PA and Aaron Thorne of Galeton, PA; two sisters, Barbara McNeill of Osceola, PA and Betty Inghram of Haines City, FL;  nieces and nephews.  Friends may call at Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM, with Funeral Services following at 4:00 PM. The Rev. Gene N. Miller will officiate. Burial will be in Mills Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Teacher’s Pet Rescue, 19 Blackberry Lane, Coudersport, PA 16915. Online condolences may be expressed at