Thursday August 22, 2019

Black Forest Express


   Hebron Township Bee Balm                                                                –Gerri Miller

                                                Wednesday’s high, 85; Overnight low, 67; .17” of rain






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State police look for a few good horses……..Grant Road in Ridgway is open…..NJ driver unhurt when tree lands on his moving car…Motorist unhurt in car/deer collision in Tioga County…citizens warned about discarded needles and other drug paraphernalia

Obituary : Dr. James Barke, Shinglehouse

The Pennsylvania State Police is asking the community for donations of horses to support its mounted patrol unit.

The department maintains a stable at the Academy in Hershey and relies on donations to fill a complement of 28 horses. The animals are deployed statewide for searches, crowd control, security, and patrol of remote areas. They also participate in parades, demonstrations and other community events.

Donated horses must be geldings between the ages of 5 and 15 years old and stand between 16 hands (5 foot 4 inches at the shoulder) and 18 hands tall. Draft and draft-crosses are the preferred breed. Thoroughbreds and other “hot bloods” are less desirable.

Animals must have quiet, sound dispositions and be free of serious stable vices. Horses will be accepted on a 120-day trial basis to determine their suitability. A veterinary examination will also be performed.

Upon retirement, state police horses are first offered back to their original owners. The department finds them suitable homes if the original owners are unwilling or unable to accept the animals.

To arrange a donation or for more information, contact Corporal Carrie Neidigh at 717-533-3463 or

A bridge on Grant Road (Route 4001) near Ridgway will be open to traffic sometime today, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Work to repair the bridge has been taking place since mid-April, with a detour in place since June. Repairing the bridge will improve its condition from “poor” to “good”.

When the bridge re-opens, the detour using Route 4002, Route 948 and Route 3002 will be lifted. Work on the bridge will continue through early September. Drivers should remain alert for the possibility of flaggers in the roadway as work concludes.

The bridge spans Alyworth Run in Ridgway Township, just outside of Ridgway Borough. It carries an average of almost 850 vehicles each day.

The overall project has included wing replacement, joint grouting, drainage improvements, water and sewer line relocation, structure repairs, paving, and miscellaneous items. Horizon Construction Group of Sandy Lake, PA is the contractor on this $876,000 project.

Subscribe to PennDOT news in Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Juniata, McKean, Mifflin, and Potter counties at

For regional updates on Twitter, follow\511PAStateCOLL

A New Jersey motorist escaped injury in a weather-related accident SXunday afternoon. According to state police at Mansfield Craig Basile of Somers Point ws traveling west on Route 414 when severe wind caused a tree to fall onto the roof of his 2008 Ford Explorer. The SUV sustained disabling damage and had to be towed from the scene. Basile was using a seatbelt at the time.

Troopers at Mansfield did not release the name of a driver whose sedan collided with a deer in Hamiton Township Tioga County Sunday evening.  State police report the driver was going north on Ogdensburg Road when she swerved into the left lane to avoid hitting the whitetail. When the woman tried to correct the Cadillac Seville’s path by returning to her lane, the car went off the road and went up an embankment. The car was towed from the scene. The driver was unhurt.

Sweden Township police are advising citizens that used needles and other drug paraphernalia have been found on Main Street in Roulette and also in Ulysses Borough and Sweden Township. Authorities advise finders to refrain from picking up the items; instead notify police of their location.


Born on July 8, 1943 in Woburn, MA, Dr. James Norman Barké, 76, of  Shinglehouse, known to family and friends as “Sandy” and to many as “Doc,” died on Sunday, August 18, 2019 in Erie, PA, member of the US Air Force from 1966-1970,. An intellectually curious and gifted man, he studied nuclear engineering at Arizona State University, earned a degree in Biology from Northeastern University, and a degree in Nursing from Northwestern State University. He worked as a nurse in Shreveport, LA. Before entering medical school and receiving his M.D. in 1986 from Ross University, completing an internship and his family practice residency in Reading, PA in 1989.

Surviving are daughter, Rachael Mueller, her daughters, Kayla Mueller and Maddie McDermott; daughter, Allison Dickson West, husband Jordan, and children, Sylvia and Abraham; daughter, Brittney Barké and Brad Williams, and daughter, Quinn; and his twins, Gavin and his fiancée, Haley Morgan, their daughters, Brinley and Bristo; and Gillian Brubaker and husband Kyle, and their daughter, Rylynn; son, Jeremiah Mehl and wife Mary and children Kyle, Kala, Cheyenne, and Jocelyn; son, Benjamin Mehl and wife Ali, and daughter, Josey; son, Josh Mehl and wife Kendra, and children Angela, James, and Shiloh; son, Steven Mehl and wife Charlene, and daughter, Faith; son, Jason Mehl and Brianna Broscious, and daughter, Kira; daughter, Jessie Perry and husband Shane; and son, Daniel Mehl and Katie Guyach. He is also survived by three brothers, Robert and wife, Nancy; Charles and wife, Rosemary; and Harvey, and many beloved and loving nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. He is also survived by the beloved mothers of his children Chris Barké, Joni Scott Dickson, Jan Barké (husband Tim Painter), and Carrie Lewis.

A celebration of life to honor and remember Dr. Barké will be held from 4pm to 7pm on Sunday, August 25, 2019, at the Shinglehouse Volunteer Fire Department, Puritan Street, Shinglehouse.  . Members of the Potter County Honor Guard will accord military honors at 5 pm at the fire hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those wishing to donate do so to make memorials in Doc’s name to the Shinglehouse Volunteer Ambulance Association, PO Box 98, Shinglehouse, PA 16748 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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


Wednesday August 21, 2019



Black Forest Express


           Hebron Township Bee Balm                                                                          –Gerri Miller

Tuesday’s high, 87; Overnight low 66; .04 ” of rain







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

Many schools resumed classes today….Several hundred Roulette resident suffered a long-term power outage Tuesday…..Potter County leaders brief state official on need for high speed internet service in the area….Emporium man arrested for punching another….Weedville woman arrested for possessing meth….

It’s the end of summer vacation for most area students. Classes resumed today at most area schools including Austin, Cameron County,  Coudersport, Galeton, Johnsonburg, Kane Northern Potter, Otto Eldred, Port Allegany and Smethport. Oswayo Valley and St. Marys will begin classes tomorrow. Bradford and Ridgway students have a few more days off with school starting on Monday. Students will ease into a routine after having Monday September 3 off for Labor Day.

Several hundred Allegheny Power customers in the Roulette  area lost power Tuesday afternoon when a combine reportedly dragged down some electric wires causing a series of transformers to explode. Tri-County members served by the Frank Lent Substation lost power for about five minutes as the co-op buys electricity from Allegheny Power and had to switch sources.

Potter County officials, educators and Tri-County leadership met with Sheri Collins, Acting Executive Director Office of Broadband Initiatives Tuesday at the Tri-County Coudersport office to discuss the Co-Op’s broadband project

(L-R) Doug Morley,Michelle Moore, Commissioner Susan Kefover,  Sheri Collins and

Bill Gerski


Bill Gerski  and Michelle Moore listen to Commissioner Morley’s comments

. Potter County Commissioner Chairman Doug Morley told Collins. In 1987 he became interested in ways for Charles Cole Hospital to communicate better with the outside world but every positive step the Education Council took, Verizon set up roadblocks. Michelle Moore, Executive Director of the Potter County Ed Council, told Collins about remote classrooms available through today’s technology affording students to take college level courses near their home. And, Moore  advised that the Ed Council has applied for a USDA grant which would allow seven school districts in the region to be have a teacher in one classroom teach to students in six other schools.  She said, for example, Northern Potter High School has a Spanish teacher who could teach a class to Port Allegany students, for example,who do not have a Spanish teacher currently. The school districts included in the grant application are Austin, Coudersport,  Galeton,  Northern  Potter and Oswayo Valley in Potter County and Otto-Eldred Port Allegany in McKean County.  Moore also explained the Seniors to Seniors computer mentoring program in which high school seniors teach senior citizens how to use a computer during one-hour sessions at Potter County Senior Centers with the idea, senior citizens would then be able to teach  there interested peers. Bill Gerski, Senior VP for Business Development at Tri-County Electric affirmed Moore’s statement that more senior citizens need to learn more about what they can get by using computers. He said the co-op recently conducted a survey among members and found internet availability was second only of importance to electricity. Gerski expressed gratitude for the state’s support of broadband expansion and credited the co-op’s board of directors for taking the initiative. Tri-County is the only co-op in Pennsylvania to undertake such a project but Gerski said a lot of things were already in place for that to happen. Gerski concluded that high speed internet will make the area more attractive to young families who want to enjoy the region’s way of life while having the convenience of modern technology.  The co-op’s  broadband deployment is underway and Gerski  recently told Black Forest Broadcasting that he expects the Coudersport area to be on line sometime this coming October.

Gerski explains some of Tri-County’s equipment to Collins

An Emporium man has been arrested for assaulting another Monday night. Emporium based state police claim 42 year old Luis Morales Rodriguez punched 59 year old Steven Malesovich during a disagreement  at a  house located at 54 Huckleberry Circle.

State police at Emporium have also charged a Weedville woman for drug possession. Troopers explained 19 year old Alexa Farabaugh was a passenger in a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu which was pulled over at around  2:30 am in Norwich Township on August 10.After a probable cause search, authorities allege Farabaugh was found in possession of methamphetamine.

Tuesday August 20, 2019

Black Forest Express

  Hebron Township Bee  Balm                                                                          —Gerri Miller

Monday’s high, 82; Overnight low, 60: some sprinkles







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Obituaries: Mark, “Skinny” Fay, Wesfield and Clark Lerch, Austin

Ulysses couple arrested on drug charges….Port Allegany man arrested for violating PFA order..Serious injuries reported for Austin driver after Saturday crash….thieves steal various items from a car parked  near Smethport

To hear today’s podcast, click on start button below:

A Ulysses couple are facing drug charges after a domestic violence incident taking place on the afternoon of August 11 on Rush Creek Lane. State police at Coudersport say when they interviewed  Susan Mills, 50 and Terrance Mills,61  they decided both should be charged with harassment. Troopers claim they spotted some pot and an odor was present. After a search warrant was obtained, officers allegedly found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. In addition to harassment,  Susan Mills has been charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana, paraphernalia and tampering with or fabricating evidence. Terrance Mills is also charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana  and paraphernalia.

State police at Lewis Run have arrested 33 year old Benjamin Rolfe of Port Allegany for violating an active Protection From Abuse Order on the night of August 10 at a Keating Township home. Troopers assert when they arrived at the home located at 1608 State Route 446, they found Rolfe standing the front yard. He allegedly initiated a verbal argument with a 34 year old woman about five hours earlier and alleged aggressively punch a hole in a wooden cupboard located on a kitchen wall. Rolfe was taken into custody and was transported to the Lewis Run Barracks.

An Austin driver suffered a serious spinal injury  Saturday evening in a one-vehicle crash on Route 607 in Austin. Travis Gribble was flown by helicopter to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre after his Toyota Tacoma zig zagged across the road and rolled into a large  ditch before striking several trees.

Troopers at Coudersport have just released details about a one-vehicle accident taking place August 12 on the Costello Road. Albert Glover, 88,, told police he was being passed by an unknown red sedan and he drove off the road to avoid a collision. His Dodge Ram hit a ditch and rolled over onto the passenger side. Glover declined treatment for his minor injuries. He was using a seatbelt at the time.

No injuries  were reported for a Maryland driver following an accident in Covington Township Tioga County last Wednesday. According to Mansfield based state police Paul Barrett of Greenbelt l was headed south just before 11:00 pm when his Scion went on the east berm. When Barrett tried to regain control the car hit some guardrails on the west berm. Barrett was using a seatbelt.

Troopers at Mansfield are looking for a tractor trailer which left the scene of a minor mishap at about 9:45 am last Wednesday. The rig pulled down a telephone cable while headed north.  Witnesses said the cab and trailer are both white but no company markings could be identified.

The theft of some items from a vehicle in Keating Township, McKean County is being probed by state police at Lewis Run. Thieves took a flashlight, headlamp, pack of cigarettes and LG Cell phone, wireless headphones and a bottle of prescription medication belonging to a 77 year old woman and a 35 year old man from Cyclone.


Mark R. “Skinny” FAY, 52, of Potter Brook, Westfield, PA, died Monday, August 12, 2019 in his grandmother’s home surrounded by his family. Born August 10, 1967, in Wellsboro, he was the son of Randy and Marilyn Hess Fay. He was a 1985 graduate of Cowanesque Valley High School, where he was active with FFA.Mark was a certified auto mechanic, autobody technician, and heavy equipment mechanic.  He was employed as a mechanic by Kibbe Oil and Gas Field Services in Harrison Valley. Mark was a technical manager and member of the track crew at Woodhull Raceway.  He was an avid hunter, fisherman, bowler, and a master maple syrup sugar maker.  He loved his dog, Millie. Surviving are:  three children, Cameron Fay of Westfield, Logan Fay of York, and Jenna Fay of York; two granddaughters, Cali Skye Fay and Carolina Fay;  his mother, Marilyn Hess of Knoxville;  his father, Randy Fay of Westfield;  maternal grandmother, H. Virginia Alexander of Wellsboro;  paternal grandmother, Eva Fay of Westfield;  sisters, Debora McCullen of Westfield and Sonya Kelley of Painted Post, NY;  half-brother, Barett Van Schaick;  step-brothers, John Van Schaick, Chris Van Schaick, and Victor Van Schaick;  niece, Kaila Reigh;  nephew, Dale McCullen;  former wife, Kimberly Fay of York;  aunts, auntie Linda (Donald) Rodman of Clifton Springs, NY, Eva (David) Buckley of Ulysses, Linda Eick of Osceola, PA, and Pat Haggard;  an uncle, James (Kim) Abbey of Tunnelton, WV;  great-aunts and great-uncles;  cousins;  close friends, Ted and Brandi White  and Matt Kibbe and Whitney Schlimm.  He was predeceased by his grandfathers, Walter Hess and Richard H. Fay;  and uncles, Dale Fay and Randy Abbey. Friends may attend a visitation at the Potter Brook People’s Church on Sunday, September 15, 2019 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM.  Burial will be in Champlin Cemetery, Westfield on a later date. Memorials may be made to the People’s Church of Potter Brook, 62 Rte. 49, Westfield, PA 16950.  Arrangements are under the direction of Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA.  Online condolences may be expressed at

Clark M. Lerch, 89, of Austin, passed away Friday, August 16, 2019 at UPMC-Hamot, Erie.Clark was born on October 1, 1929 in Cowanshannock, PA, the son of the late Lester Lee and Pearl (Schoonover) Lerch.  He married the former Vella E. Carr on July 18, 1952 and celebrated 63 years of marriage until her passing October 3, 2015.Clark was an Army veteran serving in Germany during the post WWII occupation.  He was a graduate of Austin High School and retired from GTE Sylvania, Emporium, as a Plant Manager after 35+ years of service.Clark was a member of the Austin United Methodist Church, the Austin Vets Club, Austin V.F.W Post 7810, a 60+ years member and past Master of the Arcana Lodge #580 F&AM Masonic Lodge, Austin, the Potter County Honor Guard, the Loyal Order of the Moose, Daytona Beach, FL Lodge 1263, and the Fraternal Order of Eagle’s, Ormond Beach, FL by the Sea Aerie 4435. Clark was an avid golfer, enjoyed fishing and spending time with his friends in Florida.Surviving are two sons, Clark L. (Randi) Lerch of Coudersport; Dennis Lerch of Austin; a daughter, Kathy R. (Mark) Jeffers of Austin; eight grandchildren; Angela Jeffers of Smethport; Sarah (Dustin) Stafford of Austin; Zachery Jeffers of Austin; Beth (Zeke) Drake of Shinglehouse; Candace Sturdevant of Galeton; Mark (Gail) Sturdevant of Emporium; Elliott Taylor of Australia; and Nicole Owens of Michigan; nine great grandchildren, a sister, Jeannine “Sis” Clark-Leavitt of Austin; a brother-in-law, Griff Ferguson of Oklahoma; and a sister-in-law, Ann Lerch of Florida; and several nieces and nephews.  In addition to his parents and wife, Clark was preceded in death by a brother, Donald Lerch and a sister, Betty Ferguson.  Family and friends are welcome to a visitation, Tuesday, August 20, 2019 from 1-2 pm at the Austin United Methodist Church, 26 Turner St., Austin with Co-Pastors Donald R. Caskey and Warren B Cederholm Jr. officiating.  Burial will be private in Forest Hill Cemetery.The family suggests contributions in Clark’s name to be made to the Austin VFW Post 7810, 293 Costello Ave, Austin, PA 16720 or the Austin United Methodist Church, 26 Turner St., Austin, PA 16720.Thomas E. Fickinger Funeral Home of Coudersport is in charge of arrangements.