Friday March 29, 2019

Black Forest Express

 

Thursday’s high, 52; Overnight low 43

FRI-WIDE SPREAD SHOWERS, HIGH 51

FRI NIGHT-CLOUDS, SHOWERS POSSIBLE,  LOW 47

SAT-AFTERNOON SHOWERS, HIGH 61

SAT NIGHT-A FEW FLURRIES, LOW 39

SUN-OVERCAST & COOLER, HIGH 33

SUN NIGHT-MOSTLY CLOUDY, LOW 21

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Warrant issued for arrest of Kane attorney for fatal collision last September …Bradford resident sentenced to state prison for role in meth manufacturing….Counterfeit $50 bill passed at Mansfield convenience store where a $100 phony bill was rejected….Witness identifies female trespasser at  house in Richmond Township, Tioga County….

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A warrant  was issued yesterday for the arrest of Kane attorney Marc Nuzzo who  had been the subject of an investigation into a fatal car crash that occurred on Route  219 in McKean County last September 5. . Nuzzo has been charged by criminal complaint with Homicide by Vehicle; three counts of Aggravated Assault by Vehicle; Involuntary Manslaughter; 6 counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person; and several summary violations. The complaint states that Nuzzo was traveling in the southbound lane when he crossed the double yellow lines entering the northbound lane, striking a vehicle traveling in the northbound lane driven by Stanley “Guy” Austin of Bradford  and occupied by five passengers. After impact, the Austin vehicle caught fire. Fellow motorists assisted the passengers by helping them escape the engulfed vehicle. The occupants sustained injuries and some were hospitalized. Austin was found on the ground behind his Ford Escape. He died in Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo on September 20 from injuries suffered in the collision.

Corry Robinson, 35 of Bradford  was sentenced in McKean County Court Thursday to 6 years to 12 years in state prison following his  conviction  for various crimes related to methamphetamine. The sentence concludes the prosecution of the case that began after a three day jury trial in McKean County. He was convicted on January 31, 2019 by a jury,  of Conspiracy to Manufacture over 1,000 grams of methamphetamine (Felony); Conspiracy to Possess Precursor Chemicals with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine (Felony); Conspiracy Risking a Catastrophe (Felony 3rd); Conspiracy Operation of a Methamphetamine Lab (Felony); and Recklessly Endangering Another Person (Misdemeanor 2). Robinson’s three co-defendants have already been sentenced after pleading guilty.

No details yet from state police at Coudersport  regarding a rear-end collision Tuesday afternoon in front of Sweden Valley Manor, Route 6 East in Eulalia Township.

Mansfield based state police are looking for the person who passed a phony $50 bill at the Aces and Eights convenience store at 1164 S. Main Street in Richmond Township recently. The counterfeit bill was discovered by a Northwest Savings Bank employee. A suspect was observed on video using the fake bill to buy items at around 8:15 pm on March 11. A month earlier, on February 10, a woman tried to pay for gas with a counterfeit $100 bill at the very same store. The cashier  quickly notice the money was fake and turned the customer away. Anyone with information is asked to call state police at the Mansfield barracks 570.662.2151.

Troopers at Mansfield also investigated a criminal trespass at a vacant house on Newtown Hill Road in Richmond at around 12:30 on Tuesday March 19. An unknown person entered the house through  an unlocked window to allow  two women to go inside. An eyewitness told police she knew the two women. The investigation is continuing.

State police at Lewis Run are investigating a burglary taking place on Biddle Street in Wetmore Township late last night. Criminals broke a lock to enter a building owned by a 33 year old Kane man and made off with some tools.

Senator Art  Haywood joined with PA Treasurer Joe Torsella and fellow lawmakers to say that legislation will soon be introduced to offer an automatic IRA program to Pennsylvania residents. Secretary Torsella says these retirement accounts would be deducted from participants paychecks, similar to the way Social Security is deducted.  The Treasury would use a management company to invest the money, and dividends would go into the retirement account. Torsella added that the program won’t cost employers anything.

The Pennsylvania Treasury Department Private Sector Retirement Task Force spent a year coming up with a report on the retirement status of Pennsylvania residents.  It found that the Commonwealth has the fifth largest population over 65 in the United States. The number of seniors in the state – people aged 65 to 74 – rose by 303,000, or 31 percent, between 2010 and 2017. That number will increase by 270,000 by 2025, for a total of 1.55 million. The Task Force report says that financially unprepared retirees will demand social services costing Pennsylvania an additional $14 billion between the years 2015 and 2030. It also found that more than 2.1 million Pennsylvanians work for employers that do not offer retirement plans.

Senator Haywood says that in 2020 – next year – one quarter of Pennsylvanians will be 65 or older. He added that the program wouldn’t just help older adults; it would also aid millennials, who are stuck deep in student debt, in saving for their eventual retirement.

Thursday March 28, 2019

Black Forest Express

 

Wednesday’s high, 42; overnight low, 24

THU-OFF & ON SHOWERS, HIGH 56

THU NIGHT-DITTO, LOW 44

FRI-SHOWERS LIKELY, HIGH 55

FRI NIGHT-SHOWERS, LOW 47

SAT-RAIN POSSIBLE, HIGH 59

SAT NIGHT-CHANCE OF SHOWERS,, LOW 35

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

Obituary: Dennis Copp, Coudersport (Ulysses)

A state senate committee has approved legislation to help rural fire departments…DCNR advises volunteer fire departments of available programs…A 34 year old Emporium man is accused of assaulting another in a scuffle Tuesday evening….State police in Coudersport advise motorists that they will be conducting sobriety check points….Austin teenager arrested for drug possession…Wellsboro man cited for criminal trespass….

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It takes a lot of chicken barbecues and pancake breakfasts for volunteer fire departments to raise  money for equipment. Now, the Senate Finance Committee has approved legislation that would allow volunteer fire companies to keep more of the money they bring in during fundraisers, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Scott Martin (R-13).

Senate Bill 83 would exempt volunteer fire companies from paying sales tax on food and beverages sold during fundraising events, such as chicken barbeques and pancake breakfasts.

Under current law, volunteer fire companies pay the sales tax on all sales during these events. Exempting these events from the sales tax would mirror the approach the state takes toward similar fundraising efforts, such as school sports booster clubs.

“It is a constant battle for volunteer fire companies to raise enough money to get the equipment and training they need to respond to emergencies,” Martin said. “Exempting volunteer fire companies from paying the sales tax on these kinds of fundraisers would provide more time and money for these organizations to focus on protecting our communities.”

Martin said the legislation is a priority because the cost of firefighting equipment and training continues to rise, while the number of volunteers continues to decline. On average, the cost of equipment increases by 4.5 percent every year. A cancer preemption law passed in 2011 also placed additional financial burdens on fire companies.

The bill was sent to the full Senate for consideration.

Meanwhile , it is wildfire season and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is advising rurall volunteer fire departments there are programs to help them obtain necessary equipment.

Federal Excess Property Program

Under the Federal Excess Property Program (FEPP), the DCNR Bureau of Forestry acquires excess federal equipment and assigns that equipment to rural fire departments. The federal government maintains title to property made available through FEPP, and therefore the equipment is considered on loan to the receiving fire department. Only equipment used for fire suppression activities is available through this program. DCNR will license FEPP vehicles for participating fire departments.

Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program

The DCNR Bureau of Forestry acquires excess military equipment and transfers the equipment to fire departments and emergency service agencies. A certificate to obtain title will be made available to recipients of the equipment once the equipment is converted and ready to be placed in service. Fire departments are responsible for licensing these vehicles.

For more information about these federal property programs, contact the local forest district office in which your organization is located.

 

Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is authorized to provide financial, technical ,and other assistance to state officials in cooperative efforts to organize, train, and equip local forces in rural areas or communities under 10,000 in population to prevent, control, and suppress fires which threaten:

Human life

Livestock

Wildlife

Crops

Pastures

Orchards

Woodlands

Farmsteads

Other improvements in rural areas

 

The key objectives of this program are to save lives and protect property in unprotected or inadequately protected rural areas. Therefore, the selection of the participating agencies must be based on vulnerability and the adequacy of existing fire protection.

This is a cost-share program. Financial assistance on any project during any fiscal year cannot exceed 50 percent of the actual expenditures, including expenditures of local, public, and private nonprofit organizations participating in the agreement. The maximum grant for 2019 is $10,000.

The 2019 grant round will close Thursday, May 2, at 4:00 P.M.

Pennsylvania fire company officers can apply for Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grants using DCNR’s Grant Portal. Check the directions for the VFA grant application (PDF) before beginning the process.

 

Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Eligibility

Grants can be used for:

Purchase of wildfire suppression equipment

Wildfire protective gear

Mobile or portable radios

Installation of dry hydrants

Wildfire prevention and mitigation

Wildfire training

 

Certain projects involving the conversion and maintenance of federal excess vehicles received from the DCNR Bureau of Forestry and used for fire suppressionA priority will be placed on projects that include the purchase of wildland fire suppression equipment and wildland fire protective gear. Priority also will be given to fire companies which have established goals and objectives and have developed plans to meet them.

Grants CANNOT be used for:

Purchase of structural fire equipment or protective gear

Supply hose larger than 2.5 inches in diameter

Structures

Routine maintenance of vehicles not received from the DCNR Bureau of Forestry

Medical services

Ambulance services

Fire police equipment and gear

Search and rescue equipment and gear

Unmanned Aerial Systems

 

Federal regulations require that all single item purchases costing more than $5,000 be tracked; therefore, purchases of items costing this amount will be limited to new/used 4×4 vehicles, which will be utilized as a Type 5/6/7 Wildland Engine — as defined by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (PDF)Opens In A New Window — with a total cost of $40,000 or less, slip-on/skid units, pumps, and UTVs only.

Due to high demand and limited funding there is a five-year waiting period between years a fire company is eligible to receive grants. However, if a fire company received a $6,000 grant or less in the last five years they are eligible for assistance one additional time as long as the two-year total does not exceed the maximum grant established for the program each year.

Since planning is the key to the efficient and effective use of equipment, personnel, and organization, priority will be given to fire companies which have established goals and objectives and have developed plans to meet them.

Successful recipients will be notified after Monday, July 1, 2019.

Emporium based state police have charged a 34 year old man from that town with harassment. Police did not release the suspect’s name, but say the charges came Tuesday night after an argument between him  and 55 year old man, also from Emporium, escalated into a scuffle on Songer  Lane.

Troopers at the Coudersport barracks are alerting motorists that they will be conducting sobriety checkpoints during April in Potter County.

A 17 year old Austin boy has been charged with drug possession. State police at Coudersport allege when they pulled over the teen’s 2002 Jeep Cherokee on Main Street and Route 6 in Roulette on the afternoon of March 3, they determined he was driving under the influence of a controlled substance. A probable cause search yieled a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Steven Reed,53 of Wellsboro has been charged with criminal trespass by state police at Mansfield. Authorities claim Reed didn’t have permission to enter a residence at 101 Valley View Estates on January 21 when he tried  to repossess a vehicle from an adjacent garage.

Obituary

God called Dennis W. Copp, 42, a longtime resident of Coudersport and  formerly of Ulysses, home on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in UPMC Susquehanna of Williamsport, after a sudden illness.

Born on Wednesday, August 25, 1976 in Coudersport, he was a son of Ronald L. and Rose M. Brown Copp.  On June 13, 1998 in Coudersport, he married Donna G. James, who survives.

Dennis was a graduate of Northern Potter School, Class of 1994, in Ulysses.  At the time of his death, Dennis was a water truck driver for GTown Properties in Coudersport.  Prior to that, he worked for Phoenix Drilling #5, Chattanooga Labeling in Galeton, and Campbell Trucking in Galeton.

Dennis was a member of the Roulette Fish and Game Club.   He enjoyed hunting and fishing.   His biggest passion was spending time with family and friends.  Dennis always had stories to tell, a smile to share, and a big heart to give.

Surviving besides his wife are their two sons, Cody W. (Dylan Williams) Copp of Coudersport and Cory J. (Aunnie Osborne) of Genesee; four sisters, Debbie (Paul) Williams of Florida, Darlene Presha of New York, Collene (Tim) Flory of Pennsylvania, and Malinda “Kay” (Ernie) Caldwell of Pennsylvania; a brother, Kris (Julie) Copp of Pennsylvania; and several aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandnieces, grandnephews, and cousins.

In addition to his parents, Dennis was predeceased by his grandparents, Clair and Ann Brown; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Don and Vivian James.

Family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of Dennis’ life at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 31, 2019, at the Coudersport American Legion, with Pastor Preston L. Hutchins, Jr., of the Shinglehouse United Methodist Church, officiating.  A gathering for a time of remembrance and fellowship will follow.

In honor of Dennis and his passion for truck driving, he will be honored by his fellow truck drivers in a convoy from Goodwin’s Quarry to the Coudersport American Legion via Route 6 prior to the service.  “This will be Dennis’ last run”.

Condolences may be sent to Donna Copp, 22 Liberty Lane, Coudersport, PA 16915.

Dennis’ family has entrusted his care and cremation arrangements 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 Dennis, please visit www.virgillhowardfuneralhome.com

 

 

Wednesday March 27, 2019

Black Forest Express

 

Tuesday’s high, 44; Overnight low, 17
WED-MOSTLY CLEAR, HIGH 51
WED NIGHT-LOW 29
THU-RAIN SHOWERS POSSIBLE HIGH, 55
THU NIGHT-43
                          FRI- SHOWERS INCREASING HIGH, 55                       FRI NIGHT-LOW 45

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Bradford man charged with homicide by vehicle for September crash in Duke Center….Lawrenceville couple charged for hitting each other….Tioga County teen arrested for taking knife onto school property…St. Marys man accused for “keying” parked vehicle…Ridgway woman arrested for smoking pot in apartment building…

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On March 26, 2019, charges were filed against Daniel Walter Oaks, II, of Hemlock Street in Bradford. The defendant was charged with Homicide by Vehicle Felony 3; three counts of Aggravated Assault by Vehicle Felony 3; Involuntary Manslaughter Misdemeanor 1; 5 counts Recklessly Endangering Another Person Misdemeanor 2; and several summary violations for a crash that resulted in the death of one person and serious bodily injuries to three others. On September 8, 2018, Officers with Otto-Eldred Regional Police Department responded to a crash on Main Street, in Duke Center. The officers observed a blue Subaru that had left the roadway and impacted a silver Dodge pickup truck that had been parked in a yard. The Subaru came to rest in the yard after the collision. The impact of the collision pushed the Dodge truck into a porch on a residence and an ATV. A passenger in the Subaru is deceased. Three men outside the residence suffered serious bodily injuries. A Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Specialist was engaged to assist in the investigation into the cause of the crash. Charges were filed by Officer Eric Neiswonger of the Otto-Eldred Regional Police Department. The defendant was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Richard Luther who set bail at $100,000 percentage. A central court date has been set for April 4 at 8:30.

State police at Mansfield have arrested two Lawrenceville residents on charges of harassment with physical contact. Troopers allege 22 year old Crawford and 31 year old Anthony Crawford subjected each other to unwanted physical contact during an argument in their home at 52 Main Street on February 20.

A Liberty, PA teenager is being prosecuted through juvenile court for taking a knife onto school property. State police allege the 17 year old boy took the knife to the Liberty Elementary School on March 8. Authorities did not explain why a 42 year old Mansfield man is considered “victim” in the case.

Troopers at Ridgway have arrested 24 year old Jordan Peterson of St. Marys for criminal mischief. Police allege Peterson “keyed” a 2007 Hyundai Elantra owned by a 54 year old Ridgway woman while it was parked in the Walmart Super Center lot Monday afternoon.

A drug possession charge has been lodged against 35 year old Amie Matson of Ridgway. State police report they were called to 139 Commons Lane on the afternoon of March 1 on a complaint of someone smoking marijuana inside the apartment complex. Upon inspection, troopers allegedly fund Matson had been smoking pot inside her apartment and the odor lingered out into the hallway.

March 26, 2019, following a jury trial at the McKean County Courthouse, Richard D. Yovichin was convicted of Recklessly Endangering Another Person and Propulsion of Missiles onto Roadway. On December 20, 2017, Bradford Township Police responded to South Avenue within the township for a call of gun shots in the area. Neighbors reported to police they saw the defendant shooting a gun towards the roadway, in the direction of other homes. The defendant was found not guilty of disorderly conduct. Bradford Township Police Chief Robert Shipman filed charges. Assistant District Attorney Jerry Grill prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth. Sentencing is scheduled for May 9, 2019.

Citizens & Northern Bank is inviting area residents to visit any of their branches this week to make a  donation for a flag in honor of a military veteran to be displayed publicly on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. 100% of the proceeds will go to local organizations that support veterans in need.

And while you’re there,  you are invited check out the other fundraisers the  branches are holding in support of our local veterans!

Senate and House Democrats are introducing a package of bills designed to deal with and ultimately prevent all types of harassment in the workplace. In putting the package of bills together, Senate Democrats found that:
• Sexual orientation and gender expression are not included in the classifications protected under the Human Relations Act
• Contractors and unpaid interns are not covered under the Human Relations Act
• Domestic workers are not covered under the Human Relations Act
They say this package of bills rectifies many of those problems.
Senator Farnese’s legislation would prohibit discrimination of any kind because of a person’s sexual orientation. It also expands coverage by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to employers with only one employee – the old statute only covered businesses with four employees or more.
Senator Fontana’s bill would require employers to train all their employees in what constitutes harassment.
Senator Haywood’s bill protects whistleblowers by expanding the time they can file a complaint from six months to two years. It also provides whistleblowers with a jury trial in event of retaliation and the right to sue for punitive damages.