February 28, 2019


Black Forest Express

Wednesday’s high, 28: Overnight low, 12; 3” of snow

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

Roulette man accused of indecent assault of juvenile…Troopers arrest Port Allegany man for harassment with physical contact….Cyber thief scams Sabinsville man….theft of items from Mainsburg home probed by state police at Mansfield…Governor Wolf proposes PA GI Bill to help families of National Guard members…..

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

A Roulette man has been arrested for indecent assault and related crimes. Coudersport based state police claim 27 year old Joshua Gockley committed the crimes against a known juvenile between February 9, 2017 and August 9, 2018 in Austin Borough . He was arraigned before District Judge Annette Easton on charges of public display of obscene/sexual material, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault and criminal solicitations. Judge Easton set Gockley’s bail at $75,000.

State police at Coudersport have also arrested 52 year old Joseph Cirko of Port Allegany for harassment with physical contact. Troopers allege Cirko pushed and shoved a 39year old Port Allegany woman during an argument on the evening of February 17 on Sartwell Creek Road in Pleasant Valley tow ship. He was arraigned before District Judge Kari McCleaft.

A Sabinsville man was scammed out of $2,000 by a cyber thief earlier this week. Jason McPherson told state police he was given a fraudulent shack for a snowmobile but the check was s$2,000 more than his asking price. He was told to send the $2,000 overpayment to the “buyer” via Western Union and an online banking application. The investigation is continuing.

State police at Mansfield are probing a tangible theft. Someone cut multiple fetal scrub uniform as belonging to Pamela Seeley of Mainsburg on the morning of February 15 and stole a computer table, a 17.3” HP touch laptop, a firebox containing persona items and medications prescribed for Seeley. The scrubs were valued at $300.

Governor Wolf has proposed the Military Family Education Program, or PA GI Bill, enabling members of the Pennsylvania National Guard to earn college benefits for their spouse and children. Senator Williams will co-sponsor the legislation in the state Senate.

The PA GI Bill would be the first program of its kind in the nation. The education benefit will be available to Guard members and existing service members transferring into the National Guard who completed their initial military term and commit to an additional six years of Guard service. The program will provide for 10 semesters of tuition-free education for family member(s). The benefit must be used at a Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) approved educational institution, and at the tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). Currently, National Guard members are eligible for the Education Assistance Program with their initial service obligation of six years that provides them a non-transferable educational benefit.

Wednesday February 27, 2019


Black Forest Express

Tuesday’s high, 20; Overnight low 12

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

 Fire heavily damaged vacant house in Galeton Tuesday…..Fatal accident near Shinglehouse last night…..Pick up truck wrecks on snow covered road in Tioga County Tuesday…semi-trailer overturns last week in Tioga County…St. Marys teen allegedly shoplifting nabbed by security personnel…State police at Coudersport investigate possible PFA violation…..CWD moves closer to Black Forest Broadcasting Service area….PA Route 6 Alliance plans workshops on bike tourism…..

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

A vacant house located at 127 Germania Street in Galeton sustained moderate damage in an electrical fire Tuesday afternoon. According to Gale Hose Chief Joe Cimmino, borough police were first on the scene and saw smoke coming from the two-story house which caused him to request a second alarm. Volunteers from Germania, Clymer, Coudersport and Wellsboro answered the mutual aid call. Chief Cimmino said approximately 40 fire fighters battled the blaze for about two and a half hours. Some 1400 feet of 5” hose was laid to draw water from the West Branch of Pine Creek. Chief Cimmino said “thank God the forceful winds from Sunday and Monday had subsided” and while chilly, the temperature was much better than some subzero temperatures fire fighters had to endure in previous memorable fires. He explained the rental house had been vacant for a couple of weeks and was being remodeled in anticipation of new tenants. There were no injuries.

There was no information available at news time from State Police at Lewis Run regarding a fatal vehicle crash last night in Ceres Township. Social media reported early on that two men were killed in the single car accident but we have not been able to confirm details however police did say their department investigated a fatal crash.

A Millerton driver escaped injury in a one-vehicle weather-related accident early Wednesday morning. Mansfield based state police report Stephen Chilson was going south of Route 15 a few minutes before 3:00 am when his Ford F250 went out of control on the snow-covered rad and struck a set of guardrails on the west side before tipping over onto its side. The truck came to rest partially in the right hand lane.

A tractor trailer operator also escaped injury Saturday afternoon in a mishap occurring on Route 414 in Union Township, Tioga County. State police said the right rear tire on the trailer slid off the right side of the road, causing the trailer to roll over onto its side. Only minor damage occurred and police did not release the name of the Freightlinger operator.

Retail theft charges are being filed against a 16 year old St. Marys girl. Troopers at the Ridgway barracks say the girl was nabbed by Walmart security personnel Tuesday afternoon when she allegedly removed merchandise without paying for the items. The girl was held by staff until state police arrived.

Coudersport based state police say they are continuing to investigate a possible PFA violation. A 24 year old Ulysses woman told troopers that she had received an intimate image sometime since the first of November. No further details were released

It’s getting closer…..A captive deer that has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) will require Disease Management Area3 (DMA 3) to expand into Pennsylvania’s elk range.

The exact adjusted boundary of DMA 3 and all other DMAs that could expand due to newly detected CWD-positive deer will be announced in coming weeks, after all samples collected from 2018 hunter-harvested deer are tested. About 3,000 of 6,309 samples from hunter-harvested deer remain to be tested.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture last week announced a buck on a hunting preserve near Curwensville in Clearfield County tested positive for CWD.

The CWD-positive buck had been brought to the Clearfield County hunting preserve from a Fulton County captive-deer facility, where it was born and raised. The state Department of Agriculture placed the Clearfield County hunting preserve and the Fulton County captive-deer facility under quarantine and they are to remain under quarantine for five years.
While the new DMA 3 boundary will be announced after all sampling of hunter-harvested deer is final, the CWD-positive captive deer would expand DMA 3 to the northeast, where it would encompass at least some Elk Hunt Zones, said Game Commission Wildlife Management Director Matthew Schnupp.

Within DMAs, specific regulations apply to help prevent the spread of CWD. The intentional feeding of deer is prohibited within DMAs, as is the field possession by hunters of urine-based deer attractants. Hunters harvesting deer and – in the case of an expanded DMA 3 – elk within DMAs are prohibited from exporting the entire carcasses or high-risk parts from those animals outside the DMA.

High-risk parts where the CWD prion (causative agent) concentrates are: the head (including brain, tonsils, eyes, and lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone (vertebra); spleen; skull plate with attached antlers, if visible brain or spinal cord material is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord material is present; upper canine teeth, if root structure or other soft material is present; any object or article containing visible brain or spinal cord material; and brain-tanned hide.

Hunters within DMAs can help prevent the spread of CWD by limiting the movement of high-risk parts and properly disposing of high-risk parts in lined-landfills or in Game Commission provided dumpsters.

Currently, state Department of Agriculture coordinates a mandatory surveillance program for 874 captive cervid facilities throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Since 1998, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has tested over 39,000 captive deer, of those, 96 have tested positive. For more information on the mandatory surveillance program or CWD in captive facilities, please visit https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx.

With PA Route 6 recently being named US Bike Route 36 and the development of more rail-trails along the Corridor, the PA Route 6 Alliance plans to develop and promote this designation to bring more travelers to our communities. The goal is to create a Bike Friendly Business and Community Program that will enhance the biking experience. The Alliance will be holding workshops MARCH 13, 14, & 15in Kane, Corry, Wellsboro and Wyalusing
Russ Roca from Path Less Pedaled
Russ has worked with many states and regional organizations to develop Bike Tourism Plans
What is Bicycle Tourism?

Topics to be discussed include:

The Economic Impact
Business Testimonials
Case Studies: Oregon Scenic Bikeways, Otago Central Rail Trail,
Bicycle Friendly Business Program
What we can do now!
For more information and to register at Route 6 Alliance at 814-435-7706.

Tuesday February 26, 2019


Black Forest Express


Monday’s high, 24; Overnight low, 12 some blowing snow







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

Obituaries:Marlene “Marty” Kromar, Shinglehouse; Marcella Merritt, Roulette, Gregory Greene, Galeton

Judge rules in favor of “Friends of the Coudersport Arboretum”….Three people hurt in Elk County Collsison…Mansfield resident arrested for harassing teens….DUI Charges filed against Harrison Valley man….Troopers investigate unauthorized use of a vehicle in Austin area…..

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

Senior Judge, J. Michael Williamson has ruled in favor of the Friends of the Coudersport Arboretum that the park cannot be sold as proposed by Coudersport Borough Council. The judge cited similar cases in Downingtown and Erie in deciding Coudersport Borough had not provided a preponderance of evidence that the property is no longer practicable or possible and has ceased to serve the public. In referencing the Downington case, the judge also referred to the principles of the public trust doctrine” all lands and buildings dedicated or to be dedicated shall be held in trust for the benefit of the public. Coudersport Borough Council first rejected the idea but when two members were absent from an official meeting, those in favor of selling the park to Sheetz for expansion shoved the proposal through. In August a group of citizens formed  “Friends of the Coudersport Arboretum”  to fight the proposal and engaged famed attorney Samuel Stretton to represent them in the court case against the Borough. complete ruling is at the end of this report, after the obituaries.

Three people were hurt in a collision Monday afternoon in Fox Township, Elk County. Ridgway based state police report impact occurred when Caylene Genevro of St. Marys tried to make a left turn onto Route 248 from Route 555 and failed to notice a Chevrolet Colorado driven by Chelsea Bonfardin of Force, PA which was traveling south on Route 255. The Bonfardin vehicle hit Genevro’s Subaru Outback in the southbound lane. Both drivers and a passenger in Genevro’s car, Logan Gilmore, also of St. Marys were taken by ambulance to Penn Highlands Elk for treatment of undisclosed injuries.

A Mansfield resident has been charged with harassment following a domestic violence squabble last Friday evening at a home on South Main Street in Richmond Township. Mansfield based state police allege 30 year old Jesse Vanskiver harassed a 14 year old boy and a 15 year old girl from Osceola.

DUI charges have been filed by Coudersport based state police against a Harrison Valley man. Troopers allege when they stopped  a 2015 Buick Encore driven Phillip Stiles Jr., 38, for a variety of traffic violations on Fox Hill Road in Ulysses Township early December 9, they detected the odor of alcohol. Stiles was given the Field Sobriety Test and taken to UPMC for blood work. He has also been charged with numerous related offenses.

State police at Coudersport are continuing to investigate the unauthorized use of a vehicle early Sunday morning in Portage Township. A known suspect allegedly drove a 2012 Cadillac SRX from  591 Costello Road without the owner’s permission. Police did not release the suspect’s name.


Following 51 weeks of intensive training, the 31st Class of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Ross Leffler School of Conservation graduated Saturday during a ceremony at Susquehanna Township Middle School.This is the first class of graduates to enter the field with the official title of State Game Warden. While Game Commission conservation officers have been called game wardens for years, the title didn’t become official until 2018.Graduates on Saturday were commissioned as officers, and have been assigned to their new districts.During the ceremony, graduates were recognized for achievements in the areas of academics, marksmanship, physical fitness, driving skills and leadership.Graduate Andrew Hueser received the class award for academics, with a score of 97.9 percent. Graduate Daniel Carl was honored with the marksmanship award, scoring 571 out of a possible 700 points.Graduate Trevor Shauf was selected as the fitness award winner for maintaining the highest standard of physical fitness during the 51-week training program.Michael Smith received the Emergency Vehicle Operator Course driving award.And, Graduate Cody Jones was chosen by his classmates to receive the “Torch Award for Leadership.”Members of the 31st Class, their hometowns and their new assignments are:

Praveed Abraham, of Lansdale (northern Monroe County); Tyler Barnes, of West Chester (southern Bucks County); Ethan Beale, of Fenelton (eastern Venango County); Christopher Bence, of Johnstown (western Greene County); Scott Brookens, of Enola (northern York County); Zebulun Campbell, of New Wilmington (western Allegheny County); William Car, of Bechtelsville (southern Montgomery County); Daniel Carl, of Jackson Center (southern Mercer County); Adriel Douglass, of Scranton (northern Wayne County); Justin Faus, of Bloomsburg (southern Luzerne County); Anthony Ferreri, of Newmanstown (western Berks County); Daniel Gibble, of Jonestown (southern Lancaster County); Andrew Hueser, of Wellsville (northern Erie County); Cody Jones, of New Cumberland (southeastern Erie County); Madison Kyle, of Darlington (northern Mercer County); Kolton Mueller, of Denver (eastern Elk County); Cameron Murphy, of Camp Hill, (southwestern York County); Thomas Nelson, of Enola (northwestern Tioga County); Denton Schellhammer, of Johnstown, (eastern Armstrong County); Jared Schibik, of Mercer (eastern Crawford County); Charles Schuster, of Pottsville (northern Fayette County); Trevor Shauf, of Shippensburg (southern Franklin County); Michael Smith, of Duncannon (southwestern Tioga County); Patrick Sowers, of North Wales (southern Pike County); Derek Spitler, of Cleona (southern Northumberland County); Adam Traynor, of Eighty-Four (southwestern Washington County); and Ryan Zawada, of Lincoln University (southern Bucks County).

In 1930, Ross Leffler, then president of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, proposed the establishment of a training school for game protectors. When the training school opened its doors in 1932, in Brockway, Jefferson County, it was the first such conservation officer training school in the world and served as a model for other states.

From 1932 until 1935, the Ross Leffler School of Conservation offered in-service training for game protectors. The Commission voted to make the school a permanent facility and enrolled its first class of trainees in 1936, and continued training new classes at this facility until 1986.

In 1987, the training school was moved to the Harrisburg headquarters, which just opened the doors to its current facility in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County.

Game Commission Game Wardens are responsible for administering a wide variety of agency programs within an assigned district of about 350 square miles.

Primary duties include law enforcement, responding to wildlife conflicts, conservation education, and administration of the Hunter-Trapper Education program. Wardens also are responsible for supervising and training part-time Deputy Game Wardens.


-Marlene A. “Marty” Kromar, 83, of Shinglehouse, formerly of Portville, N.Y., passed away with her daughter by her side on Monday, February 25, 2019, in the Olean General Hospital, Olean, N.Y.Born on November 20, 1935 in Wellsville, N.Y., she was a daughter of Clarence L. Kelligan and Evelyn N. Stewart Kelligan Allen.  On May 24, 1980 in Coudersport, she married Henry S. “Hank” Kromar, who passed away on June 25, 2009.Marty was a graduate of Coudersport High School.  She was employed as a manager at the former Farad Electronics Corporation in Coudersport.She was a former longtime resident of Coudersport.Marty enjoyed reading and crocheting, and especially enjoyed playing the organ for her grandchildren.  She loved fishing, baking and cooking.  Her greatest love was her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.Surviving besides her mother, Evelyn Allen, of Coudersport, are a daughter, Colleen M. (Walter) Ramsey of Oswayo; a son, Kevin Kohn of Texas; a step-daughter, Kathleen (Lynn) Lotter of Portville, N.Y.; three grandchildren, Kelly (Jay) Gooch, Jennifer (Gary) Merriman, and Harley (Kristen) Ramsey; two step-grandchildren, Preston Lotter and Chase Lotter; nine great-grandchildren; one step-great-grandchild; a sister, Shirlee A. Leete, of Coudersport; and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and great-grandnieces and grandnephews.In addition to her father and husband, Marty was predeceased by a brother, Keith C. Kelligan; and two sisters, Sheila Allen and Dorla Tucker.Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service at 6pm on Friday, March 1, 2019, at the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, 118 South Union Street, Shinglehouse, with Mrs. Kathryn Boyd, lay speaker of the Sweden Valley Faith United Methodist Church, officiating.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society.Marty’s family has entrusted her care and cremation arrangements to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.To express condolences or share a fond memory of Marty, please visit www.virgillhowardfuneralhome.com

Marcella Merritt was born in Shelter Island, New York and was raised in Greenport, New York where she attended school and later married John Merrill of Amagansett, New York. She is survived by Marjorie Ruthenberg (daughter), James Ruthenberg (Marjorie’s husband), Mark Merrill (son), Elizabeth Merrill (Mark’s wife) and was preceded in death by her son, Loren Merrill.  She is survived by many loving grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.  Marcella’s grandchildren, Dawn Kent and Emily Shaw, were fortunate to have her presence in raising three great-grandchildren (Dawn & Kenny Kent’s children, Christa and Joshua Kent, and Emily Shaw’s son, Elijah Gant).  Mark and Elizabeth Merrill’s children (Marcella’s grandchildren), Rebecca, Cole, Andrew, and Violet were also survived by her.  Our family was blessed to be able to watch Marcella love and raise great-great-grandchild, Aliyah Kent (Christa Kent’s daughter).All of Marcella’s family were originally from Long Island, New York before they departed to several locations including Roulette, PA and Port Allegany, PA.Marcella was loved by all and will leave many cherished memories and imprints in the people’s lives that she touched.  She was a kind, compassionate, caring and generous woman who was graced by God to find peace at home alongside her family.There are currently no services planned at this time.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Cole Memorial Home Health and Hospice, 102-108 South Main Street, Coudersport, PA 16915.Marcella’s family has entrusted her care and cremation arrangements to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse, Pa.To express condolences or share a fond memory of Marcella, please visit www.virgillhowardfuneralhome.com

Gregory Peter Greene, 70, a lifelong resident of Galeton, passed away in his home on Thursday, February 21, 2019.Born on May 1, 1948 in Wellsboro, he was a son of Leighton Raymond and Edna Abrahamson Greene.He was a graduate of Galeton High School.  Greg honorably served in the U.S. Army as an administrative specialist.  He was employed in the oil/gas industry.Greg was a member of the Raymond Richar VFW Post 6611 in Galeton.Surviving are a sister, Marcia E. (Kenneth J.) Wingo of Ulysses; two nieces, Tess (Mike) Thome and Amanda (Dave) VanderWeele; and seven grandnieces and grandnephews.In addition to his parents, Greg was predeceased by a sister, Cheryl A. Greene.Private graveside burial services will be held in the West Hill Cemetery, Galeton.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Gale Hose Ambulance Company, PO Box 223, Galeton, PA 16922.Greg’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 Greg, please visit www.virgillhowardfuneralhome.com