Monday February 25, 2019

Black Forest Express

Sunday’s high, 40; Overnight low, 21; 1” new snow, gusty winds







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Elderly Emporium man killed when hit by a truck…..Slippery roads blamed for two Tioga County accidents…Two McKean County fires traced to electrical shorts…..Weedville woman accused of stealing more than $1100  in merchandise from St. Marys Walmart over past several weeks…

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An elderly Emporium man was killed Sunday afternoon when he was struck by a vehicle on Fourth Street in that town. Troopers there say 81 year old Robert Herbstritt was pronounced dead at the scene of the 2:00 pm accident by the Cameron County Coroner. Herbstritt was crossing Fourth Street near Spruce Street when he was hit by a 2003 Dodhge 2500 pick up driven by James Ramey of Springville. Police say the investigation is continuing.

Serious injuries were reported for a Ludlow resident following an ATV crash Saturday afternoon in Hamilton Township, McKean County. Kane based state police said DUI charges may be pending against 36 year old Jake Avenali whose ATV went off of  West Main Street at the intersection with Overbrook Road and hit an electric pole. He was taken to UPMC Kane for evaluation and treatment. The investigation is continuing.

A Dayton, PA woman was hurt in a one vehicle accident Sunday morning on Laurel Mill Road in Elk County. According to Ridgway based state police, Linda Ziembecki was headed west when her SUV slid out of control on the icy road, spun around, traveled backwards for a few feet and went of the road before overturning. Ziembecki did not require treatment for her injuries.

Icy roads are blamed for two Tioga County accidents last week. Matthew Mosher was unhurt when his Chevrolet Silverado slid off of ice covered Rice Road in Charleston Township at around 5:30 pm last Wednesday and collided with a utility pole. A few minutes later, James Colton of Canton, PA escaped injury when his Chevrolet Cruz slid out of control on an uphill left hand curve, went up an embankment and rolled over coming to rest in the southbound lane.

Electrical shorts are blamed for two fires in the City of Bradford over the weekend. Damage is estimated to be $50,000 for a two-story home on Miller Street where a fire broke out just before 5:00 am Saturday. The blaze originated in the attic of the Richard Wison residence. Three people and two dogs were able to get out of the house safely with no injuries. Early Sunday morning, a fire on Chestnut Street caused an estimated $100,000 to a building owned by James Andrews which housed a Laundromat on the first floor and two apartments on the second. One resident was home and asleep when flames erupted but he was helped out of the burning building by City police and was treated for smoke inhalation. The blaze originated on the front entrance of the first floor.

A Weedville woman has been charged with retail theft for stealing merchandise from the St. Marys Walmart over the past few weeks. State police at Ridgway allege 43 year old Hope Senior stole  a total $1113.75 worth of items from the self- check out counter on several occasions between December 2, 2018 and January 5, 2019. Charges are being filed in district court.

A 35 year old Bradford woman is facing DUI charges after being stopped early this morning on E. Main Street in Bradford. State police did not release the suspect’s name but claim when they pulled over 1995 Chevrolet Tahoe Sunday evening for an alleged traffic violation, they determined she was driving under the influence. Charges are pending blood test results.


Jack U. Ford, 80, of Shinglehouse, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, February 21, 2019, in Sena Kean Manor, Smethport, after a short illness.Born on December 18, 1938 on the family homestead in Shinglehouse, he was a son of O. Glenn and Eva Sherwood Ford.  On October 28, 1967 in Coudersport, he married Della M. Green, who survives. Jack attended school in Shinglehouse. For a period of time he was employed by the former Olean Tile Company in Olean and was later employed in the local oil fields.  In 2000, Jack retired from Dresser-Rand in Olean after 33 years of service.  Throughout his years of employment, he also was a general contractor.Jack was a longtime member of the Grace Bible Independent Baptist Church in Shinglehouse, where he faithfully served his church in many capacities.  He loved his farm and doing woodworking.  His greatest loves were his Lord and his family.

Surviving in addition to his wife are eight children, John Feely of Bolivar, N.Y., Brenda (Tom) Robinson of Richburg, N.Y., Melinda Berkheart of Grey Court, South Carolina, Paula (Ken) Dillard of Inman, South Carolina, Michael (Cherry) Feely of Bolivar, N.Y., Thomas (Linda) Feely of Englewood, Florida, Timothy Feely of Olean, N.Y., and Brian (Melissa) Ford of Shinglehouse; twenty-one grandchildren; twenty-seven great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; two brothers, Kenneth (Teresa) Ford and Dennis “Sam” Ford, both of Shinglehouse; a sister, Jessie Schoonover of Eldred; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Jack was predeceased by a daughter-in-law, Jean Feely; two brothers, Orville Ford and Rollie Ford; and three sisters, Lorena Pratt, Loretta McCaffrey, and Agnes “Aggie” Pratt.

Family and friends may call from 11am to 1pm on Monday, February 25, 2019, at Grace Bible Independent Baptist Church, Coons Crossing Road, Shinglehouse, where funeral services will follow at 1pm with the Rev. Thomas Isaacson, pastor, Pastor Jack Gregg of the Regular Baptist Church, Smethport, and the Rev. Roger Hain of Olean, officiating.  Burial will be in Bell Run Cemetery, Shinglehouse.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Shinglehouse Volunteer Ambulance Association, PO Box 98, Shinglehouse, PA 16748. Jack’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 Jack, please visit


Friday February 22, 2019

Black Forest Express

Thursday’s high, 45; Overnight low 24







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Statewide movement opposes Gov. Wolf’s plan for funding state police….Legislation proposed in the Senate provides for safe storage of guns in PA homes….Smethport man accused of violating PFA…Mansfield state police investigate terroristic threats in elementary school…Port Allegany teen driver hurt in Potter County accident …

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Governor Wolf, last week, presented his proposed budget and Potter County’s official website is reporting local governments in Potter County have joined a statewide movement in opposition to a plan that has been hatched in Harrisburg to force many residents to pay an annual tax for Pa. State Police coverage. Gov. T Wolf’s proposed 2019 budget includes a proposal to require residents in townships and boroughs that do not have local police departments to pay an $8.00 per capita fee to support state police coverage. Wolf floated the proposal two years ago and received little support from the state legislature, due to its impact on smaller, cash-strapped communities. This year’s plan may be more palatable to lawmakers because it holds the fee at $8.00 per-capita for municipalities with fewer than 2,000 residents, while imposing a higher tax on more populous townships and boroughs. Rep. Martin Causer tells Black Forest Broadcasting News the governor’s proposal is the first step in a lengthy process which includes three weeks of appropriations hearings which are underway.

Senator  Steve Santarsiero  of Yardley is the primary sponsor of Senate Bills 137 and 138.  SB 137 requires the safe storage of a firearm when the gun owner resides with a person who may not lawfully possess a firearm; SB 138 requires safe storage regardless of who resides with the gun owner.

The Senator says such Safe Storage laws have worked well in other states where they have been enacted.  He says he knows many gun owners who already practice safe storage of their weapons, and says most gun owners should not have a problem with the legislation.

A Smethport man has been arrested for violating  Protection From Abuse order. State police did not release the name of the 26 year  old suspect but allege he sent an alarming message to his former girlfriend, a 25 year old Eldred woman. After being arraigned on the charge, the defendant taken into custody and remanded to the McKean County Jail.

State police at Mansfield say they are continuing to investigate a case of terroristic threats at the Liberty Elementary School Monday afternoon. An 11 year old girl was found in possession of a  threatening  note     but police did not say if the girl was the victim or  alleged perpetrator.

A Port Allegany teen driver was slightly hurt in a one-vehicle accident last Saturday afternoon in Hebron Township, Potter County.  The 16 year old girl was going south on Route 44 when her 2009 Pontiac G6 went onto shoulder veered  across the opposite lane, hit a utility pole and rolled over twice before stopping. She was using a lap and shoulder belt but declined transport to UPMC for treatment of minor injuries.

Troopers at Coudersport are looking for a vehicle which damaged some property in Eulalia Township Sunday afternoon. The unknown vehicle hit a support pole near the main entrance of the Laurelwood Inn but the driver failed to report the damage to the property owner.

A Kane woman is being charged with DUI after being stopped early this morning on Greeves Street in that town. State police claim when they pulled dover the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse, the 46 year old woman appeared to have been driving under the influence. Charges are pending lab results.


Thursday February 21, 2019

Black Forest Express

Black Forest Express


Wednesday’s high, 37; Overnight low, 36; 1.5” snow, sleet, freezing rain







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Obituary: Novice June Johnson, Bradford

Travel restrictions lifted….PA is promoting electric cars and solar power….Elkland woman hurt in weather-related accident…..Ridgway state police looking for fugitive…..

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With recent severe winter weather conditions ending, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has restored speed limits on a number of roadways in the north central region. PennDOT has restored normal speed limits on where the speed limit had been reduced to 45 mph yesterday. Additionally, all commercial vehicle bans have been lifted .

Pennsylvania is getting ahead of the proposed federal initiative “Green New Deal.”  The state  could gain almost $2.8 billion in benefits from lower greenhouse gas emissions, help reduce respiratory disease, increase consumer savings, and create jobs if just three in 10 vehicles were electric, according to a plan released by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Led by DEP, a coalition of public and private partners called Drive Electric PA analyzed barriers to electric vehicle use. They developed Pennsylvania’s Electric Vehicle Roadmap, recommending 13 strategies to increase use of these zero-emission vehicles. Partners include PennDOT; the Pennsylvania Departments of General Services and Conservation and Natural Resources; the Public Utility and Turnpike Commissions; and about 100 industry, business, community, and academic partners.

Transportation generates 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Pennsylvania, according to DEP’s draft 2018 Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Governor Wolf’s Executive Order on climate change requires that 25 percent of state government passenger cars be replaced with electric vehicles by 2025. A few cities, such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and organizations are working to expand electric vehicle use locally. Increasing numbers of residents, businesses, and organizations are applying to DEP rebate programs for electric vehicles or charging stations. For example, in the past two years, Pennsylvania residents have received more than $3.3 million in rebates for 2,135 electric vehicles.

Still, there are only about 15,000 electric vehicles in the state, a fraction of the approximately eight million passenger cars registered.

By 2023, an electric vehicle will emit 50 percent less greenhouse gas than a gasoline-powered car, according to Pennsylvania’s Electric Vehicle Roadmap. The plan projects that if three in 10 cars and light-duty trucks were electric by 2033, Pennsylvania could enjoy almost $2.8 billion in benefits. Asthma and other respiratory disease related to air pollution would be lower. Jobs in electric vehicle manufacturing and infrastructure would be created. Consumers would save money through fuel efficiency and less maintenance. Utility ratepayers would have lower costs from improved efficiency in the electric grid.

But public knowledge of the benefits of electric vehicles is low. People are uncertain about the availability of charging stations and mileage range. Up-front cost may be high. There’s currently no statewide policy to increase adoption.

The Electric Vehicle Roadmap identifies seven strategies to start to overcome these barriers in just two years:

  • Develop policy or legislation to encourage utilities to invest in transportation electrification and leverage their expertise and consumer relationships to improve the electric market in a way that maximizes benefits to ratepayers and society.
  • Establish statewide electric sales goals.
  • Expand DEP’s Alternative Fuel Investment Grants program for municipalities, businesses, and organizations.
  • Increase investment in charging stations and public awareness of them.
  • Create an education program and a cooperative program to support fleet purchases.
  • Develop a consumer education campaign.
  • Develop an outreach program to raise awareness of electric vehicles among car dealerships.

The plan recommends six other strategies for five years and beyond. Coalition members are now collaborating on potential ways to put the strategies in place.

Pennsylvania’s Electric Vehicle Roadmap was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, under State Energy Program Award Number DE EE0006994 through contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

As more and more Pennsylvanians turn to solar energy to power their homes, a bi-partisan group of representatives introduced on Tuesday legislation to allow for community solar projects in the Commonwealth.

At this time last year, the number of solar energy system installations in the state increased 24 percent over the same period in 2017. At nearly the same time, the cost to install large solar farms decreased 11 percent while the cost of rooftop systems decreased 26 percent. Solar is becoming increasing popular and even more cost effective for consumers.

Under the bill, homeowners, renters and other property owners would be able to join other participants in subscribing to a portion of an offsite solar project and receive credit on their electricity bill for the power that is produced, just as if the panels were on their roofs.

The bill would give residents a choice to take part in greener energy production,” Millard said. “Those who we anticipate taking part in this initiative include renters, who may be prohibited from installing panels on a property, property owners with shaded properties or homeowners who may not intend to stay at their current property long enough to reap the full financial benefits of a personal solar energy system.

The bill would also create new and exciting energy markets in the Commonwealth and encourage entrepreneurship. It would also open solar energy systems to low- and moderate-income residents who may otherwise not be able to afford solar energy systems. Nineteen other states and Washing, D.C., have already given their residents the option of taking part in community solar projects. Of course, Pennsylvania has its share of cloudy days–some 56% while states such as Arizona, Texas and California have 90% or better sunny days.

An Elkland woman was  hurt in a one-vehicle accident last Monday, February 11 in Farmington Township, Tioga County. Mansfield based state police overnight reported Katrina Edwards was going east on the Pleasant Valley Road when her Suzuki Aerio SX slid off the snow and ice covered road and hit an embankment. Edwards was taken to Soldiers and Sailors Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

State police at Ridgway are looking for 26 year old Seth Stephen Duttry for felony hit and run, fleeing or eluding police and a probation violation for failing to report to Elk County Probation as required. Duttry may be driving a dark late 11990’1 or early 2000’s Jeep Grand Cherokee. He is described as being 6 ft. tall; weighs 140 pounds, has hazel eyes and brown hair. His las known address was Weedville.  Anyone with information as to his whereabouts is aske3d to call state police at 814.776.6136 or the Probation office at776.5365.

On February 20th, District Attorney Stephanie Vettenburg-Shaffer and Corporal Ted Race of the Pennsylvania State Police presented a program to students at Smethport High School. The program focused on the danger of impaired driving and the risk that drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine pose to them. Increased education to students has been credited with greatly reducing the number of DUI by minor cases. The District Attorney overseas the McKean County Drug Task Force and presented a video showing a scientist with the Clandestine Lab Team handling a meth pot after responding to an active meth lab in McKean County. Corporal Race is a trained Drug Recognition Expert specially trained to identify signs of impairment due to drugs or alcohol.  To report information on illegal drug activity to a McKean County Drug Task Force Detective, please contact Chief County Detective Ryan Yingling at the District Attorney’s Office 887-3312 or


Novice June Johnson, 70, of Bradford, passed away unexpectedly in her home on Wednesday, February 13, 2019.Born on February 18, 1948 in Pineview, Georgia, she was a daughter of Wilbur and Myrtis Highsmith Gammage.  She was married to Jack “Jacky” Johnson, who preceded her in death.

In her younger years, Novice was employed as a secretary and was also employed as skilled seamstress. She loved her cats.  Her greatest love was her family, especially her grandchildren.  Novice was a loving caregiver to her special needs son, Robby.Surviving are two sons, Robert “Robby” Johnson of Bradford and Charles “Charlie” Johnson of Georgia; three grandchildren, Britney Johnson McMichael and Christopher Michael Johnson, Jr., both of Nahunta, Georgia and Austin Christopher Johnson of Jesup, Georgia; two great-grandchildren, Kenzleigh Nevaeh Ashton McMichael and Brysan Liam Asbell;one niece, Carla Tidwell of Bennett, Alabama; and her niece by marriage, Misti McCullen of Bradford.In addition to her parents and husband, Novice was predeceased by a son, Christopher “Chris” Johnson; and a sister, Enid Elizabeth Tidwell.In keeping with Novice’s wishes, there will be no public visitation or funeral services.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to an ASPCA of the donor’s choice.Novice’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 Novice, please visit