Wednesday October 23, 2019



Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

                                                 Tuesday’s high, 69; Overnight low, 31; .62″ rain






FRI NIGHT-low 38

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State lawmakers endorse bill increasing Lyme Disease treatment…..House committee approves Owlett’s bill to place carfentanil on the list of controlled substances….Coudersport Fire Chief testifies in Harrisburg….Port Allegany man found guilty of violating drug laws…Eldred man accused of damaging vehicle belonging to Smethport woman…..

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Senator Lisa  Boscola joined with other lawmakers and activists in support of House Bill 629, which would ensure patients have access to available and emerging diagnostics and treatment options for Lyme disease and related tick-borne diseases. The legislation will require health insurers to cover treatment plans for Lyme disease or related tick-borne illnesses as prescribed by a patient’s health care practitioner, regardless if the treatment plan includes short-term or long-term antibiotic treatment.

In the last six years, Pennsylvania has ranked highest in the country in the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease. In 2016 Pennsylvania reported 12,200 cases of Lyme disease, which translates to 122,000 new cases and about 40 percent of the nation’s cases in Pennsylvania alone. Senator Boscola joined with other lawmakers and activists in support of House Bill 629, which would ensure patients have access to available and emerging diagnostics and treatment options for Lyme disease and related tick-borne diseases. The legislation will require health insurers to cover treatment plans for Lyme disease or related tick-borne illnesses as prescribed by a patient’s health care practitioner, regardless if the treatment plan includes short-term or long-term antibiotic treatment.

In the last six years, Pennsylvania has ranked highest in the country in the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease. In 2016 Pennsylvania reported 12,200 cases of Lyme disease, which translates to 122,000 new cases and about 40 percent of the nation’s cases in Pennsylvania alone.


Continuing the fight against the state’s opioid epidemic, the House Judiciary Committee today approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/ Bradford/Potter) that would give law enforcement another tool in its arsenal. House Bill 616 would place the drug carfentanil on the list of Schedule II controlled substances. The designation would severely restrict availability of the drug and make it illegal to possess or distribute it without a license or a prescription. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carfentanil is one of the most potent opioids in existence. It is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times more powerful than fentanyl. It is commonly used as a tranquilizer for large animals, such as elephants. It is unsafe for human use, and even a very small dose can be lethal .In fact, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has warned that carfentanil poses a serious risk to public safety, first responders, medical treatment and lab personnel. The substance can come in a number of forms, including powder, blotter paper, tablets, patch and spray. Some forms can be absorbed through the skin or accidentally inhaled. The DEA warns first responders to have respirators available when handling the drug. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

Coudersport Volunteer  Fire Department Chief Bryan Phelps was among those testifying at a hearing in Harrisburg yesterday as the General Assembly considers bills to support fire and EMS personnel and organizations. He focused his remarks on the ongoing need for grant funding and easier access to training. Rep. Martin Causer thanked Chief Phelps for making the trip to present the perspective of rural departments.  Phelp’s statement can be heard on Causer’s website,

Following a jury trial Monday in McKean County, Donald Green of Port Allegany was convicted of crimes related to an incident involving illegal gun possession within Port Allegany.  The defendant, a person who is prohibited by law from possessing firearms, was charged with possessing numerous firearms on August 25, 2017.  He was also charged with possessing illegal drugs and paraphernalia.  The case was investigated by Trooper Matthew Petrof of the Pennsylvania State Police.  The defendant was convicted of 3 Counts of Persons Not to Possess Firearms – Felonies; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia- Misdemeanor; and Possession of a Controlled Substance – Misdemeanor.  He was found not guilty of 2 additional counts of Persons Not to Possess Firearms and one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver.  Bridget Murphy, Assistant District Attorney, prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth.

State Police at Lewis Run have charged 37 year old Dwayne Shaw of  Eldred with criminal mischief. Troopers claim Shaw intentionally struck a 2016 Chevrolet Traverse owned by Alexandra Wilber of Smethport on the night of October 12 while it was parked at 8 South Main Street Eldred. The alleged action resulted in body damage to the SUV.

Troopers at Mansfield report the driver of a 2014 Kia Optima escaped injury in a collision with a deer on Route 49 in Lawrence Township Tioga County Monday morning.Since there was no property damage or injuries, the accident is considered  a “Non-reportable”.

Tuesday October 22, 2019

Black Forest Express

Monday’s high, 68; LOW, 54







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DUI  charges pending following McKean County crash…NY state motorcyclist hurt in Potter County spill….One driver hurt in chain reaction collision in Tioga County…Ed Council says Census work will result in extra  money for local residents…..Owlett’s bill to provide tax credits for first responders passes House Committee…

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DUI charges are pending against a driver whose name was not released by state police at Lewis Run following a crash early last Friday morning near Ormsby. The 20year old Bradford driver was going north on Route 646 when the front driver’s side tire became flat.  When a state police patrol unit encountered the driver he was trying to change the tire. The investigation determined  , while the pick up was going north  it crossed the Ormsby Cross Road and traveled onto private property where it collied with two metal t-posts, then struck a pile of stacked logs, continued east on the property, sideswiped a parked 2011 Ford Ranger, then reversed and collided with the log pile again, then continued north on Route 646 finall stopping north of the crash scene. The driver and his 21 year old female passenger also from Bradford were not hurt but the driver was taken to the Bradford Regional Medical Center for a legal blood draw.

A Poughkeepsie NY motorcyclist was hurt in a mishap occurring last Friday afternoon on Pine Hill Road in Stewardson Township, Potter County. According to Coudersport based state police, John Champion lost control of his northbound Harley Davidson while negotiating a left curve. The bike went off the road and laid down on its side. Champion was wearing a half style helmet and suffered chest and rib contusions. He was taken by ambulance to the Bucktail Medical Center for treatment.

One driver  was hurt in a four car pile up in Charleston Township, Tioga County last Tuesday. State police at Mansfield last night released details saying the multi-vehicle collision occurred as Joseph Boyce of Mansfield was traveling east behind vehicles d riven by Brandon Hughes of Wellsboro, Patricia Cummings  of Mansfield and Alexandra Lundgren of Wellsboro which all had stopped on the right shoulder of Route 6 East. Boyce’s Ford F-150-XLT rear-ended Hughes’s Ford Explorer which ran into the rear of The Cummings Nissan Rogue which then rear-ended Lundgren’s Town and Country. Cummings was taken to Soldiers and Sailors Hospital with chest pain. The other drivers and ther passengers were not hurt.

The death of an elderly Harrison Valley man was due to natural causes according to state police at Coudersport. Troopers were called to the home of 74 year old Thomas Harris for a welfare check and found him deceased. An investigation by the Potter County Coroner’s office determined the death had occurred  between October 2 and 5.

The recruiting of hundreds of thousands of temporary workers for the 2020 Census – often described as the nation’s largest civilian mobilization — is now underway and the Potter County Education Council says it is a good way for area residents to earn extra money.

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting 2.7 million people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. The week of October 21, 2019, the Census Bureau is hostinnng  2,020 recruiting informational events  around the country.

In the spring of 2020, the Census Bureau will launch the largest 2020 Census field operation, known as Nonresponse Follow-up, Census Takers will knock on doors to follow up with households who have not responded to the census questionnaire.

Applicants can qualify for both field and office positions. The office positions, which are more limited, will be located in area census offices. The role of these offices is to recruit, select, hire, train, manage, and pay all office and field staff who work within the designated boundaries of the geographic territory assigned to the office.

The Census Bureau is in the process of opening 248 offices to support the 2020 Census. As these offices become ready for business, they are listed at

Applying for one of these jobs is simple. Just visit 2020census/jobs or call 855-JOB-2020 and select option 3 for more information. Pay rates for field and clerical jobs can be found at

Applicants will need to complete paperwork online and make an appointment to get fingerprinted for the background check. Once they are offered the job, there will be a period of time before their start date to allow time for the background clearance process. To search for possible management positions, go to

Most applications will remain active throughout the 2020 Census and may be considered as positions

Working to support the state’s first responders, the House Finance Committee has  unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) that would offer a tax credit to volunteers who pay for equipment out of their own pockets. House Bill 376 would provide a tax credit of up to $500 for volunteers who purchase firefighting or other relevant equipment using their own money.

Owlett  (left) addresses House Finance Committee

Under the bill, any tax credit amount claimed by a volunteer emergency responder would have to be used in the taxable year in which the purchase of equipment was made. To receive a tax credit, a volunteer emergency responder would have to provide documentation to the Department of Revenue showing he or she is an active volunteer and the type and purchase price of the equipment.

The bill is one of several being considered by the state House this week as part of its “Heroes and Helpers” initiative. The measures are aimed at providing support and assistance to volunteer fire and emergency services organizations across the Commonwealth as they work to recruit and retain the volunteers they need to continue answering calls for help in their communities.

In addition to Owlett’s proposal, the package includes bills that would provide other incentives to volunteers, such as property or income tax credits, tuition assistance and loan forgiveness. Other measures would provide increased funding opportunities with greater flexibility for emergency responder organizations, expand access to online training, create stress management programs for first responders and more.

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

In an effort to ensure ambulance service remains available in rural counties like Tioga, Bradford and Potter, Owlett is also the author of House Bill 1869. That measure, which passed the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee last month, would allow EMS companies in sixth-, seventh- and eighth-class counties to apply for a waiver to staffing requirements on a Basic Life Support ambulance. That bill is also pending consideration in the full House.







Editor’s Note: Please consider using the following caption with the attached photo (linked above):


Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) addresses members of the House Finance Committee seeking support for his legislation that would offer a tax credit to volunteers who pay for equipment out of their own money. The committee approved the bill unanimously.


Bradford, PA –  The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is alerting area drivers that the Route 346/Forman Street bridge in Bradford will reopen to traffic by the end of the day today. The bridge has been closed since mid-July as crews worked to make repairs to the bridge. With work nearing completion, the rating of the bridge will improve from “poor” to “good” and will remain in service for years to come.


Once the bridge reopens to traffic, the official detour around the closure will be lifted. The bridge spans the west branch of Tunungwant Creek on Forman Street (Route 346) and carries an average of almost 7,800 vehicles each day.


Overall work included construction of a temporary access road, replacement of the bridge superstructure, concrete repairs, paving, guide rail updates, piping, and miscellaneous items.

Bob Cummins Construction Company of Bradford has been the contractor on this $1.1 million project.

Monday, October 21, 2019

                           Photo by Gerri Miller


Sunday’s high, 64; Overnight low, 36







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Burglars  steal more than $10,000 worth of jewelry, silver bars, and cash from Elk County home….Port Allegany man claims assault by lawnmower. Car/deer collisions investigated in two counties…votes encouraged in snow plow painting contest….Final race of 2019 Sinnemahone held Saturday…

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State police at Ridgway are probing a burglary at a home on Boot Jack Road in Ridgway Township between October 5 and this past Saturday. More than $10,000 worth of items including silver bars, an Indian Head gold coin, and an assortment of jewelry were stolen along with $600 in cash from a home belonging to an elderly Ridgway couple.  Police said the entree was not forced but said a screen door was damaged to the tune of $50. A list of the stolen property appears at the end of today’s news.

An alleged reckless endangerment on Bramblewood Lane in Port Allegany  last Tuesday afternoon  remains under investigation by state police at Lewis Run. A 30 year old Port Allegany man told troopers his neighbor ran over his feet with a lawn mower.

Car/deer collisions continue across the region. A Bradford driver was slightly hurt early this morning when his Chevrolet Cruze hit a whitetail on Route 59 in Lafayette Township just before 2:00 am. Patrick Caskey  refused transport to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries. A Knoxville motorist and his passengers escaped injury when his SUV  hit a deer on Route 15 near the Spencer Road in Richmond Township Saturday afternoon. Alexand Rodriguezxcacancel  was  headed north when a deer ran into his lane from the median in front of the Hyundai Elantra. The driver and front seat passenger Michael Magnusson of Elm ira were using seatbelts and a five year old Knoxville boy was in a child safety seat.

DUI charges are pending against a Bradford driver who was pulled over by state troopers on East Main Street in in Foster Township Sunday afternoon. Christopher Kirk, 30, was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center for a legal blood draw.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) northcentral region invites the public to vote on eight plows decorated by high school students as part of the“Paint the Plow” program.“Paint the Plow” is a statewide outreach aimed at promoting winter driving safety and fosteringappreciation for high school art programs and student creativity.Earlier this year, PennDOT invited high school students across the nine counties of District 2 topaint plow blades based on the statewide theme “Don’t Rush in Ice and Slush.” The theme was chosen to highlight the importance of taking precautions before traveling in wintry weather.

Coudersport Area High School’s entry

Cameron County High School’s entry

Students from Bellefonte High School in Centre County, Cameron County High School, CentralMountain High School and Sugar Valley Rural Charter School in Clinton County, Coudersport  High School in Potter County, and Clearfield Alliance Christian School, DuBois Central Catholic High School, and Harmony High School in Clearfield County all participated this year in District2’s competition. District 2 serves Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Juniata, McKean,Mifflin, and Potter counties.A new voting format has been introduced for the 2019 “Paint the Plow” program. Members of the public can vote for their favorite plow through the PennDOT website by clicking on the “Paint the Plow” icon. Voters will be taken to a survey site where they can pick their favorite plow. The plow photo that receives the most votes between October 21 and 11:59 P.M. October 27 will be deemed the “Fan Favorite.” Schools and participants are encouraged to share the link to the contest to promote voting. PennDOT will also post the pictures on Facebook in the album labeled 2019 Paint the Plow –District 2, however responses on social media will not count toward the voting totals this year.The plows have been on display in their home counties—most at PennDOT’s County Maintenance offices. During the winter weather season, the blades will be used to maintain area roadways. Along with the “Fan Favorite” award, the blades are also eligible for the “Judges’Pick” honor that will be determined by a panel of judges.

Saturday, October 19 marked the final race of the Inaugural Sinnemahone Triple Crown.  The events including a canoe/kayak race in April, gravel bike race in September and trail run.  The events brought more than 200 people to Cameron County, which according to organizers was the goal.  “We wanted something unique to attract people to the county that would not only show off the DCNR Elk State Forest, but also expose people to our wonderful businesses,” says Cameron County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Tina Solak.  Participants from 10 states and 3 countries (Canada, Germany and Belgium) stayed in the county.

Eleven people participated in all the events earning them the triple crown.  Three of those are members of one family.  “Having events that encourage family members to compete together is a bonus of the Triple Crown”, continued Solak.  Saul Solveson, his wife, Cristy and their 14 year old son Eastyn took home the pins.  Others from Emporium include:  Toni Flament, Garrett Hornung, Dave McManigle, and Dustin Burgoon.  Randy Bailey from Driftwood joined Stephen Spinda from Kersey, Adam Reed from State College and Corrie Amick from Fairview.  Corrie made headlines on the Sinnemahone Gravel Race when she ran over a rattlesnake on the course.  Several of the individuals never competed in running or biking events according to Solak.

On Saturday two records in the six year old Sinnemahone Ultra Trail Run were broken in the 12K race.  Andrew Mitcheltree from North Carolina completed the event in 57:33, while Eugenia Recendez-Clark from Emporium smashed the women’s record by finishing in 1:18:15.  A total of 73 registered for the races which began at 7:30am and finished at 5:15pm when the final contestant crossed the finish line on the West Creek Recreational Trail in Emporium.Plans are already underway to continue the series in 2020 which will begin with the canoe/kayak race on April 4.



Mary Lou Perkins, 87, of Shinglehouse, passed away in her home, surrounded by her loving family, on Friday (Oct. 18, 2019) after a long illness.Born on Saturday (Dec. 5, 1931) in Oxford, Ala., she was a daughter of James Franklin and Van Dora Bailey Walker. On Aug. 10, 1963, in Talladega, Ala., she married Louis A. “Louie” Perkins, who passed away on March 22, 2019.Mary Lou graduated from high school in Anniston, Ala. She had been employed in the cafeteria for the Oswayo Valley School District, in Shinglehouse, and for many years, along with her husband, had owned and operated Perkins Air Tools.Mary Lou was a member of the First Baptist Church in Shinglehouse. She was a member of Eureka Chapter 52 OES, in Shinglehouse, where she served as worthy matron three times. She served as an appointed grand chapter member numerous times, was also a past district deputy grand matron, and past grand representative to Kentucky.She enjoyed quilting; reading; and word search puzzles.Surviving are two daughters, Becky E. Ebbert of Allegany, N.Y. and Sharon A. Dean of Pelham, Ala.; three grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; a brother, Charles Chandler of Heflin, Ala.; two sisters, Jean Donahue and Edith (Paul) Trammell, both of Anniston, Ala.; and several nieces and nephews.In addition to her parents and husband, Mary Lou was predeceased by a daughter, Brenda Gail Snyder; four sisters, Lillie Morris, Sara Mobley, Laura Reaves and Gladys Owens; and a son-in-law, Bill Ebbert. A Funeral Service was held this morning  at the First Baptist Church, 120 Academy St., Shinglehouse, where funeral services will follow at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Russell J. Horning, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Eleven Mile Cemetery, Chrystal.

Poverty stolen from Ridgway home.