Wednesday August 8, 2018



Black Forest Express

                                                                                                          Photo by Gerri Miller

Tuesday’s high, 84; Overnight low 69; .24 “ rain

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Wolf administration announces grant to expand broadband access in region…..Three Emporium women facing charges for yelling at man digging ditch…..Teen driver hurt after falling asleep at the wheel in Cameron County….Gifford woman injured when SUV collides with parked unit….Elderly Delaware man causes collision by making U-Turn on Million Dollar Highway….Cyber thieves open accounts using Tioga County woman’s ID information….Money stolen from wallet at Tioga County bar…..

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                                                                                                         Photo by Gerri Miller

Potter County Commissioner Susan Kefover and  PA Commerce & Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin visited the Potter County Artisan Center Tuesday August 8, 2018

Pennsylvania Secretary of Community and Economic Development Dennis Davin was in Coudersport Tuesday to announce a $1.5 million grant for Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative to expand broadband services.
Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-25) and Reps. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter) and Clint Owlett (R-Bradford/Potter/Tioga) applauded the release state funds for the project.

The funding was awarded to Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative through the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project program.

“Quality broadband service is vital to the livelihood of the rural communities we represent, affecting our local economy, educational opportunities and access to health care,” Scarnati said. “This is an important and much-needed investment in our future.”
The funding will be used by Tri-County Rural Electric to provide broadband service to approximately 1,383 customers in portions of Potter County, including approximately 830 residential, 540 seasonal and 13 commercial customers who currently lack access to adequate internet speed. It includes the construction of 103.1 miles of fiber, attached above ground on poles owned by the cooperative and in rights of way already acquired by it.

“I commend Tri-County Rural Electric officials for their initiative in addressing the need for broadband service in our communities,” Causer said. “In today’s world, quality internet access is becoming just as important as the electric service the cooperatives made possible decades ago. This is great news for our region.”The governor for releasing this funding for the Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative Fiber to Home project,” said Owlett. “I was happy to advocate for this injection of funds, which will help improve broadband access for the region. This is a total game changer and just the first step in increasing service to the entire Northern Tier.”
Craig Eccher, president and CEO of Tri-County Rural Electric, notes the project is the just the first phase of a long-term effort to boost internet speeds in the cooperative’s sevice area.

“Our goal is to bring broadband to rural communities just like we brought electricity to them back in the 1930s,” Eccher said. “The entire initiative is a six-year project with 2,700 miles of fiber delivering high-speed internet to our members. We are excited to get started on phase one.”

Secretary Davin toured the Coudersport business district and told a group at the Potter County Artisan Center that Governor Tom Wolf became committed to broadband expansion last fall when he visited Charles Cole Hospital and had spotty cell phone service.

Funding for the project was authorized by lawmakers in the Capital Budget Project Itemization Act.

For some unknown reason, state police at Emporium have chosen not to release names of drivers 18 and older or of suspects arrested for harassment. Troopers say three Emporium women, ages 34, 55 and 75 have been cited for harassment in connection to a shouting match allegedly taking place on the morning of July 28 on Sunny Lane in Shippen Township. The trio is accused of yelling at a 33 year old Emporium man working on a ditch on a right of way and calling him names. The women were reportedly asked to leave the victim alone several times but continued to yell at him and call him names until police arrived. Police say the charges have been filed with District Judge Barry Brown but Black Forest Broadcasting could not find evidence of the arrests.

The name of an 18 year old driver was also concealed by troopers at Emporium. For the past several years, it has been state police policy to hide the names of drivers UNDER the age of 18 but to release the names of those 18 and older. An18 year old St. Marys boy was hurt Tuesday morning when his pick up truck rolled over on Beechwood Road in Shippen Township. The teen was going east on Route 120 when he fell asleep at the wheel of his Ford F350 minutes after 7:00 am causing the truck to go off the road, travel down an embankment and roll onto the passenger side before coming to rest in a creek of the western side of the road. The driver was taken by ambulance to Penn Highlands Elk for treatment of minor injuries.

Minor injuries were also reported for a 19 year old Gifford resident after her SUV collided with a parked car on Route 646 in Keating Township, McKean Count about a half hour earlier. According to state police at Kane Aimee Burke was headed south when her GMC Terrain went onto the shoulder and rrear-ended am unoccupied parked Pontiac owned by Joshua Crum of Cyclone pushing it off the road and into a house. The SUV spun around clockwise before coming to a s top in the southbound lane. Burke was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center with minor injuries.

A Ridgway man suffered minor injuries in a collision Monday afternoon in Fox Township, Elk County. Troopers report the collision on the Million Dollar Highway occurred when 76 year old Thomas Spangler of Dover, DE who made a U-turn with his Chevrolet Tahoe to head north and drove into the path of a Ford Mustang driven by Brandon Quail. Spangler and his passenger 73 year old Jerry Spangler were not hurt but Quail was taken by ambulance to PennHighlands Elk with minor injuries.

An unknown cyber crook apparently tried to open credit card accounts and use existing store credit cards illegally using the identity of Sherry Vanhorn of Roaring Branch, PA. State police at Mansfield report the attempted crime took place between July 14 and this past Monday.

Troopers at Mansfield are also investigating the theft of some cash late July 25 or early July 26 at that “Damn Bar” on Route 287. An unknow thief took $230 from a wallet belonging to Savannah Dunlap of Blossburg.

Tuesday August 7, 2018

Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

Monday’s high, 91; Overnight low, 61

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Today is Purple Heart Day…..Police answer two domestic violence incidents….150 ft. of tri rated cable stolen and several more spools damaged in Tioga County…Mansfield Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant loses more than $600 in phone scam….Car/deer collision investigated by state police at Emporium….Vandals cause $550 in damage to car parked in Covington……

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Monday’s high, 91; Overnight low, 61

Today is Purple Heart Day…..Police answer two domestic violence incidents….150 ft. of tri rated cable stolen and several more spools damaged in Tioga County…Mansfield Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant loses more than $600 in phone scam….Car/deer collision investigated by state police at Emporium….Vandals cause $550 in damage to car parked in Covington……

Today is Purple Heart Day. The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who are wounded or killed during service. It was created by Gen. George Washington, whose appreciation of the importance of a soldier in any campaign impelled him to recognize outstanding valor and merit by granting a commission or an advance in rank for the person concerned.
Unfortunately, in the summer of 1782, he was ordered by the Continental Congress to cease doing so – as there were no funds to pay the soldiers, much less the officers. Deprived of his usual means of reward, he searched for a substitute. On Aug. 7, 1782, he created the Badge of Military Merit, later to be known as the Purple Heart.
On the bicentennial of the first U.S. President’s birthday, February 22, 1932, the badge was reinstated. This time it was called the Order of the Purple Heart, a purple-enameled, gold-bordered heart with a profile of Washington in the center.
The Purple Heart has since become the oldest military decoration in the world still in present use.

This past June 22, the state house approved a resolution making Pennsylvania the 24th state to honor its military veterans wounded and killed in combat by becoming a Purple Heart state. Companion legislation in the Senate authored by Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) was also passed.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart – an organization established in 1932 strives to foster an environment of goodwill among combat wounded veterans, promote patriotism, support legislative initiatives, and provide services to all veterans and their families.

The heat must be causing tempers to flare. State police answered two more domestic violence calls within the past week. Because these are domestic violence incidents, police have not revealed names of those involved. A 43 year old Westfield woman is accused of hitting her 56 year old husband and threatened to shoot him with a semi-automatic handgun during an argument in the home of the Potter Brook Road last Wednesday afternoon. She is facing charges of harassment, simple assault and reckless endangerment in district court. Both James City residents involved in a scuffle last night on Pennsylvania Avenue in Highland Township, Elk County are being cited for harassment. State police at Ridgway explained a 42 year old man and a 37 year old woman hit each other when their disagreement escalated.

A burglary at 5225 Route 14 in Union Township, Tioga County is being investigated by state police at Mansfield. Sometime between July 12 and 31, burglars made off with 150 ft. of #3 conductor #2 #6 Ground Tri-rated cable belonging to John Smith of Roaring Branch. Seven spools of tri-rated wire were cut at various locations so the thieves could determine the gauge of the cable inside.

Troopers also investigated a phone scam victimizing the Mansfield Dunkin’ Donuts, An unknown crook called the business at around 11:30 pm on July 28 and posed as a corporate store manager. He told an employee to remove $672 from the cash register and deposit it onto two Walmart Prepaid money cards. After the employee gave the caller the credit card numbers, he had the employee scratch off the numbers making them illegible. The loss totaled $685.00.

A Dubois driver and his wife escaped injury in a car/deer collision Sunday evening on the Sizerville Road in Portage Township, Cameron County. According to state police at the Emporium barracks, Steven Ribble was headed south when the whitetail bounded onto the road from the west in front of his Dodge Dart. Ribble was unable to avoid impact. Both Ribble and his wife, Lisa, were using seatbelts. The car had to be towed from the scene due to windshield damage.

Vandalism to a car in Ward Township, Tioga County is being investigated by state police. The rear window, tail light and roof were damaged when the 2004 Dodge Neon was parked at 93 White Tail Crossing late Saturday night. Damage to the car, owned by Kristin Kingsley of Covington amounts to an estimated $550.

Edwin L. Spittler, Sr., 90, of East Smethport, passed away Saturday (August 4, 2018) surrounded by his loving family and friends at Bradford Regional Medical Center, Bradford.He was born Aug. 5, 1927 in Ashford, NY, a son of Charles and Winona Smith Spittler. On April 12, 1959, in Limestone, NY, he married Mary R. Rumsey, who died Aug. 15, 1996.Mr. Spittler was a 1943 graduate of Limestone High School and joined the U.S. Navy, serving from 1948 to 1953, during the Korean Conflict. Ed worked at Bell Telephone in several positions before retiring. He retired from the company when it was still named Bell.Ed was a member of the VFW Post #2497 Aux. of Smethport, the American Legion; John Berg Post #976 of Crosby, was a founding member and life member of the State Line Draft Horse Club, and was a volunteer firefighter in Limestone, NY. Ed loved music, sports, horses and spending time with his family.

He is survived by:
one daughter: Susan I. Clark of Smethport
two sons: Edwin L. (Cheryl) Spittler, Jr. of Bradford, and Dana L. (Teri) Spittler of East Smethport
his companion for several years, Linda Peterson, of Bradford, and her children and grandchildren
seven grandchildren: Jacoby (Megan) Spittler, Jenna (Cassidy) Corah, Abbie Spittler, Lynn Spittler, Marcus Spittler, Julia (John) Amon and Shawna Clark
four great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Milton and Charles Spittler, Jr., as well as two nephews.

A graveside funeral service will be held on Tuesday, August 7 at 10:00 am from the Norwich Cemetery, Colegrove, with the Rev. Vincent Cieslewicz, pastor of St. Elizabeth Church, officiating. Military Honors will be accorded by the American Legion; John Berg Post #976 of Crosby.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the East Smethport Baseball Association or the Potter County Education Council, in care of the Homeland Security Program at Seneca Highlands Career & Technical Ctr., Port Allegany. Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Inc., Smethport.


Monday August 6, 2018

Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

Sunday’s high, 86; Overnight low, 59







Cause of fire in Bradford last week undermined…..Electrical short blamed for blaze late last month in Emporium…..Both people involved in domestic quarrel facing charges….Brake failure results in rear-end work zone collision near Shinglehouse….Charges pending against alleged drugged driver…..Harassment of Hebron Township man being investigated…..Rixford resident facing charges after his dog  allegedly bites neighbor…

Obituary: James W.Minor, Jr., Coudesport

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The cause of a fire last Thursday afternoon in Bradford Township remains unsolved. When the first firefighters arrived at 87 South Gate Road they saw smoke coming from the rear of the building. The Deputy Fire Marshal says the quick response and actions kept the fire contained to one room in the insured house owned by Greg Grassi . There were no injuries.

An electrical short is blamed for a fire during the evening of July 26 at 347 Tannery Heights in Emporium. The investigation revealed the blaze started in a wall on the northwest corner of the house owned y Michael Dixon, of Emporium. It was occupied by the David Akins, Jr. family. The contents and building were  total loss. There were no injuries.

Both Industry, PA residents are being charged with harassment in connection to an argument in an SUV on the Sandy Beach Recreation Area in Ridgway Township Saturday afternoon. Ridgway based state police say 48 year old Michael Grey and 46 year old Diana Klavon injured each other during a scuffle inside a 2012 Nissan Rogue. Klavon was additionally charged with DUI. Unable to post bail, both defendants were committed to the Elk County Jail.

Brake failure is blamed for a rear-end work zone collision last Thursday afternoon on Route 44 in Clara Township. According to Coudersport based state police, Wanda Boden of Genesee who was traveling north lost the brakes on her Ford E-150 causing it to bump the rear-end of a Ford F-150 driven by Kenneth Herzog of Shinglehouse.  Neither driver was hurt.

A Gifford teenager escaped injury when his Chevrolet 1500 rolled over  and came to rest on its roof after going off of School Street in Foster Township Saturday morning. Dakota Kirkman,18,  was headed east at the time and has been cited for speeding.

Troopers did not release the name of a Mt. Joy man suspected of drug possession. The 20 year old driver was stopped by a patrol officer Sunday morning in Wet more township for a traffic violation and allegedly found to be driving under the influence of marijuana and in possession of pot and paraphernalia. Charges are pending lab results.

A 52 year old Rixford man is facing charges for allowing his dog to run loose into his neighbor’s yard where it allegedly bit the 28 year old victim causing a puncture wound Sunday evening.

 Keating Township  of Potter County pa residents the Upper Bark Shanty PCCD project started earlier today. The road will be closed to all through traffic during this time. There are trucks bringing stone to feed into the paver then pressed with a roller. This will take all day. Some residents will not be able to drive on the road so plan according to park at the end so you can get out. thank you for your cooperation. we have had to delay this due to rain.


James Walter Minor, Sr., 92, a longtime resident of Coudersport, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, July 31,2018 in Sweden Valley Manor, Coudersport, after a short illness.Born on August 17, 1925 in Atwood, Tennessee, he was a son of Cecil and Sophia Springer Minor.  On December 26, 1945 in Brooklyn, N.Y., he married Elvira R. Rinaldi Minor, who passed away on January 11, 2011.Jim was a 1940 graduate of Public School #3 in Brooklyn, N.Y. and graduate of New York High School of Industrial Arts in January of 1944 where he was a commercial art major. During World War II, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on January 22, 1944 when he was 18 years old. He was first assigned security detail on the USS Missouri at the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard.  He then participated in action against the forces of the Empire of Japan where he earned the Combat Action Ribbon and also was awarded 14 other medals.  On September 2, 1945 he was assigned to the Honor Guard detail at the formal surrender of the Japanese government to Allied powers aboard the USS Missouri BB-63 in Tokyo Bay.  He attained the rank of corporal.After the war, Jim was employed by the United States Post Office in New York City and retired in May of 1968 after 25 years of service.  He then moved to Coudersport and started working for the Coudersport Police Department in November of 1968.  In April 1973, he was the first police officer to attend a 10-week police training course at the State Police Academy in Hershey.  In April of 1979, Jim was appointed Chief of Police in Coudersport, where he remained until retiring in September of 1990.


Jim was a member of Gospel Tabernacle in Coudersport for 50 years and a member of the Coudersport American Legion Post 192.  He loved anything involving history and was an avid reader of history books. He loved watching old movies and had a sizeable collection of classic movie DVD’s. He loved working with wood and had built many pieces of furniture which can be found throughout his home.  He was a prolific artist.  Jim had a great love of Coudersport and for the people he served.  His greatest love was his family and the Lord.

Surviving are four children, Elizabeth Ortiz of Saint Petersburg, Florida, James W. (Peggy) Minor, Jr. of Sarasota, Florida, Judith A. (John) Bertone of Holbrook, N.Y., and John J. Minor of Deer Park, N.Y.; seven grandsons; three granddaughters; seven great-grandsons; nine great-granddaughters; six adopted great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandsons; a brother, Paul (Susie) Minor of Coudersport; four sisters, Dorothy (David) Ross of Mechanicsburg, Naomi Frombach of Coudersport, Mary (Bruce) Quimby of Lincoln University, and Kathleen Minor of Coudersport; a son-in-law, Kevin Donnelly of Sarasota, Florida; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents and wife, Jim was predeceased by a daughter, Linda R. Donnelly; and a brother, the Rev. David J. Minor, Sr.

Family and friends may call from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, August 9, 2018, at the Gospel Tabernacle, 420 Route 6 West, Coudersport, where funeral services will follow at 1 p.m. with the Rev. John J. Minor, pastor and Jim’s nephew, officiating.. Burial will be in Sweden Hill Cemetery, Coudersport.Members of the Potter County Honor Guard will accord full military honors on Thursday.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Gospel Tabernacle, 420 Route 6 West, Coudersport, PA 16915.Jim’s family has entrusted his 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 Jim, please visit





BFB headlines  (Monday August 5, 2018)Cause of fire in Bradford last week undermined…..Electrical short blamed for blaze late last month in Emporium…..Both people involved in domestic quarrel facing charges….Brake failure results in rear-end work zone collision near Shinglehouse….Charges pending against alleged drugged driver…..Harassment of Hebron Township man being investigated…..Rixford resident facing charges after his dog  allegedly bites neighbor…Next on-air report after 12:06 pm today on