Friday December 14, 2018

Black Forest Express







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 Obituary: Kenneth “Ken” Martin, Coudersport

Lawmakers warn of  holiday scams and provide resources for verifying charities….Olean man convicted in McKean County for delivering morphine…Harassment charges filed against Rixford man for an alleged assault last month at the Eldred Legion….Wellsboro man accused of injuring a Wellsboro woman….Several  motorists arrested fro DUI…..Burglars steal small amount of cash from Tioga County business….

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Crooks take advantage of the generosity most Americ ians  and come up with all sorts of scam, especially during this holiday season. Rep. Martin Causer Black Forest Broadcasting News  there is a way citizens can check to see if a charity is a bonafide non-profit institution.  The Pennsylvania Department of State bureau of corporations and Charitable Organizations administers the state’s charitable Institution law. It also maintains registration and financial information on over 13,000 charities soliciting in the state. To check on an organization visit the website, and click on the “Charity Search Link”. You can also call Toll Free: 1-800-732-0999.

As if that isn’t enough,  Congressman Tom Marino of the new 12th congressional district says during the holiday season, it is more important than ever to protect your personal information from fraud and scams. Fraudsters contact individuals demanding sensitive information claiming to be representatives of the Social Security Administration (SSA). These individuals are even been able to have the incoming call appear to come direct from the SSA. The SSA has confirmed that you should avoid providing information such as your social security number and bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet. If you have been contacted by one of these individuals and believe it to be fraudulent, please call the number below or file a complaint online. • Phone: 1-800-269-0271 • File a complaint with the Social Security Administration’s Inspector General online

On December 12, 2018, following a two day jury trial in the McKean County Courthouse, Jeremy Carrier was convicted of Delivery of a Controlled Substance – Felony and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility – Felony 3. The defendant was accused of selling morphine pills and utilizing a cell phone to arrange the sale of the narcotic on January 11, 2017 in Foster Township. The McKean County Drug Task Force investigated the case. District Attorney Stephanie Vettenburg-Shaffer prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth. Morphine is a Schedule II narcotic under the Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act. Sentencing is scheduled for January 10 at 1pm.

State  police at Kane are charging a 54 year old Rixford man with harassment for an altercation at the Eldred American Legion on the night of November 25. Authorities claim the suspect, whose name was not released, physically assaulted a 45 year old Eldred woman during a disagreement.

A 32 year old Wellsboro man is accused of assaulting a 31 year old woman from that town Wednesday afternoon. Mansfield based state police allege the suspect hit the victim in her face causing a bruised left eye. The suspect’s name also was not released.

No injuries were reported for a Wellsboro man whose car hit a tree next to Route 362 in Shippen Township Tioga County. State police report Terry Drake was headed east when his Ford Freestyle went onto the berm on a left hand curve.

Frederick Wescott, 54, of Sabinsville has been arrested for drug possession. According to Mansfield state police, Wescott was found unresponsive in his 2003 Buick Century on the Pritchhard Hollow Road at around 1:30 pm December 4 and a syringe was allegedly found in his hand.

DUI  charges have been filed against 47 year old Stacey Teel of Lawrencevville. Her arrest came after troopers pulled her 2015 Subaru Crosstrek over for a traffic violation on Route 287 in Lawrence Township during the early morning hours November 24.

Terry Clark, 21, of Arnot was also arrested for DUI after patrol officers stopped him on Rpute 6 in Charleston Township early October 2.

A theft at Florida Fried Chicken on Route 287 in Tioga Township overnight November 11 is being investigated by state police. Burglars caused $200 in damage to a Casio PCR 1495 cash register while stealing about $10.


Kenneth W. “Ken” Martin, 60, a longtime resident of Coudersport, passed away in the home he built, surrounded by his loving family, on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, after a year-long battle with cancer.

Born on November 4, 1958 in Silver Creek, N.Y., he was a son of James W. and Alice F. Silleman Martin.  On January 8, 2011 in the Swedish Union Church in Tidioute, he married Autumn L. Shoemaker, who survives.

He was a graduate of Ten Broeck Academy in Franklinville, N.Y., Class of 1976.  Ken honorably served in the U.S. Army from 1976 to 1981, predominately in Germany.  Upon discharge, he served in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Ken was employed for many years at Kightlinger Motors in Coudersport, starting first as a master mechanic, then becoming service manager.  At the time of his death, Ken was the fleet manager.  Despite his illness, he worked until November 21, 2018.

Ken was a member of Coudersport American Legion Post 192.  He loved to travel.  He enjoyed dirt track racing and NASCAR.  His greatest love was his family.

Surviving besides his wife are his beloved mother, Alice Martin, of Allegany, N.Y.; three stepsons, Jason Bohn of Coudersport, Jerrad (Lacey) Rimel of Cambridge Springs, and Jed (Katrina) Rimel of Coudersport; six grandchildren; a cousin, Ralph Silleman, Jr., of Forestville, N.Y., who was like his brother; and his mother-in-law, Lillian Shoemaker of Holiday, Florida.

In addition to his father, James W. Martin, Ken was predeceased by his father-in-law, Thomas G. Shoemaker.

Family and friends may call from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, December 15, 2018, at the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, 118 South Union Street, Shinglehouse, where funeral services will follow at noon with the Rev. Frank Mickle, pastor of Gold Church, Gold, Pa., officiating.  Burial will be in Swedish Union Cemetery, Tidioute.

Family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of life for Ken from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 16, 2018, at the Coudersport American Legion Post 192.

Members of the Potter County Honor Guard will accord full military honors on Saturday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Cole Memorial Home Health and Hospice, 102-108 South Main Street, Coudersport, PA 16915 or to the Coudersport American Legion Post 192, 2 Buffalo Street, Coudersport, PA 16915.

Ken’s family has entrusted his care to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.

To express condolences, share a fond memory, or view a video tribute of Ken, please visit



Thursday December 13, 2018

Wednesday’s high, 33; Overnight low, 21







BFB Headlines (Thursday December 13, 2018) Wreaths Across America will be observed Saturday throughout Potter County…..Interested students encouraged to apply for White House internship…NY state man arrested for vandalizing tree stands in Potter County…Mansfield police looking for hit and run vehicle…..Next on-air report after 12:06 pm today on

More than 900 Coudersport area military veterans’ service will be honored with large, vibrant wreaths placed on their graves Saturday, Dec. 15, as part of a national campaign that traces its roots to Arlington National Cemetery.

Connie Kallerson, who volunteered to serve as Coudersport area location coordinator for Wreaths Across America, said the support for the campaign from organizations and individuals has been overwhelming. Potter Post 192 Ladies Auxiliary sold 419 wreaths.

“We’ve met our goal of having every Coudersport area veteran’s grave honored,” Kallerson said. “This is a great community!”

Plans call for veterans’ graves in the Ayers Hill, Eulalia, St. Eulalia, Homer, Woodland, Hebron, Reed, Old Knickerbocker, Sweden Hill, Summit, Lymansville and Ianson cemeteries to be marked. In addition, several wreaths have been purchased by family members for veterans in other cemeteries.

Volunteers are needed to help with the wreath-laying on Saturday, Dec. 15. An opening ceremony will be held at noon that day at Eulalia Cemetery, coinciding with wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 1,400 cemeteries across the nation. More information is available from Connie Kallerson at 814-655-6562 or

All told, there will be more than 1,700 locations worldwide participating this year to lay a projected 2 million wreaths. Two dozen of those are overseas at American cemeteries.

Saturday’s ceremony will include representation by each branch of the military service, as well as prisoners of war. High school students will be assisting. The public is welcome.

Next year’s Wreaths Across America Day is scheduled for Dec. 14.


U.S. Representatives Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson and Tom Marino are  encouraging  interested students in Pennsylvania’s Fifth and 12th  Congressional  Districts to submit applications for a 2019 summer internship at The White House.

Those interested in this competitive internship should apply at: The application portal will remain open until 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, January 11, 2019.

The Summer 2019 White House Internship Program term runs from Wednesday, May 29 to Friday, August 9, 2019.  All applicants must be at least 18 years of age by the internship program start date, and must be able to commit to the full internship term to be eligible.  Additionally, applicants must be U.S. citizens and meet at least one of the following criteria to apply:

– Are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution).

– Have graduated from an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution) no more than two years before the internship program start date.


– Are veterans of the United States Armed Forces who possesses a high school diploma or its equivalent and has served on active duty—for any length of time—in the two years preceding the internship program start date.


Questions about the White House Internship Program application can be directed to More information on the White House Internship Program and a list of frequently asked questions can be found on the White House website:


Coudersport based state police have arrested 28 year old Jaymes Shaffer of Westfield with criminal mischief for tampering with a tree stand on Howard  Road in Harrison Township. Authorities claim sometime between November 28 and December 2, Shaffer cut straps on two tree stands owned by 84 year old Catherine Flewellyn of Harrison Valley and 59 year old Jeffrey  Flewellyn of Wellsville, NY.

Troopers at the Mansfield barracks are looking for the driver of a hit and run vehicle which damaged a parked pick up truck in Tioga Township, Tioga County sometime Tuesday. An unknown northbound Audi went onto the berm along Route 287 and hit a 1998 Chevrolet S10 which was parked there due to a flat tire. The hit and run unit continued headed north after damaging the truck’s taillight and rear driver’s side fender.

Wednesday December 12, 2018


Black Forest Express

Tuesday’s high, 30: overnight low, 21







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Penn State study finds lack of broadband services more than originally believed as Tr-County Rural Electric Co-op announces plans to launch broadband services…..Ridgway man facing additional federal charges for child pornography….Similar charges filed against Bradford County resident….

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Statewide research from Pennsylvania State University finds that there’s a severe lack of connectivity to high-speed broadband internet for much of Pennsylvania. The preliminary results of the study suggest that the problem is far worse than experts initially estimated.

Using data self-reported from internet providers, the Federal Communications Commission estimates about 800,000 Pennsylvanians lack access to broadband, which is about six percent of the state’s population.

But Penn State researcher Sascha Meinrath said, in reality, the actual figure nears 11 million people across the state without high-speed broadband — which the F.C.C. defines as download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps.

The previous figure from the F.C.C. dramatically understates the issue because private internet providers tend to skew numbers to make themselves look good, Meinrath said.

The preliminary results of the research indicate that in nearly 95 percent of Pennsylvania’s land area, less than half the population receives high speed broadband.

Meinrath’s numbers come from nearly three million historic data points dating back to 2009, combined with about one million new samples collected in 2018.

State Senator Eugene Yaw, R-Lycoming, chairs the Center for Rural Pennsylvania says the new finding took him by surprise.

“There had been suspicion that maybe some of the data being kept was really not accurate,” Yaw said. “The bottom line is that we don’t have the broadband coverage as good as we thought it was — and that was bad at that time. So, it really is something that we need more work probably than what we anticipated.”


Yaw said the federal government has been providing help on the issue. He points to the Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative, which serves seven rural counties in the northern part of the state. The non-profit company is in line to get grants from the federal Connect America Fund, which will provide about $3.2 million each year for the next decade for the company to build infrastructure in its service areas.

While the researchers will continue to collect new data, Meinrath said his team will release a report early next year. He said what was originally thought to be a mostly rural problem is now clearly a statewide issue.

Congressman Tom Marino introduced legislation this past September  to aid in deploying rural broadband to unserved and underserved areas. H.R. 6871, the Rural Broadband Connectivity Act delivers on the need to incentivize more private investment in broadband deployment for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District and the rest of the country.

Specifically, the Rural Broadband Connectivity Act provides a tax credit to entities that make investments in broadband infrastructure that will provide service to rural areas. This is critical for more access to connectivity because in many cases, it does not make sense from a business perspective to make expensive investments to provide rural broadband in areas where few people will sign up for service. This legislation changes that dynamic.

Bill Gerski, a former Coudersport resident while working for Adelphia Communications, has been appointed a Vice President at Tri-county to oversee the co-o’ development and implementation of the co-ops’ broadband infrastructure.  Gerski was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Coudersport Area Chamber of  Commerce last night. His wife, the former Denise Potter grew up in Oswayo.

– A former resident of Ridgway, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on additional  charges of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children,

The eight -count indictment named Jesse Porter, 41, as the sole defendant. He had previously been indicted on three counts. Authorities claim he used his cell phone to commit the crimes.

According to the indictment presented to the court, Porter took sexually explicit photos of a minor victim who was under the age of five. He also distributed and received computer images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 70 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

In a related note, a resident of Towanda, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children,  according to an announcement by United States Attorney Scott W. Brady.

John David Martin, 61, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Martin possessed computer images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 8, 2019. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Martin on bond.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Erie County Detectives Bureau conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Martin.

State police in two counties investigated a couple of “non-reportable”  accidents over the past couple of days. Since the vehicles could be driven away and no one was hurt, the drivers’ information was not released.

The driver of a 2013 Audi A5 escaped injury early this morning in a weather-related accident on the Pittsburgh-Buffalo Highway in Jones Township, Elk County. Kane based state police report the northbound  car skidded off of the highway due to icy conditions and struck a guardrail. A motorist driving a Ford Focus on Route 49 in Westfield Township, Tioga County early Monday morning lost control of his car when it went onto a soft shoulder after veering onto the berm.