Wednesday November 20, 2019

Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

Tuesday’s high 38; Overnight low, 29







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Obituary: Michel Bowen, Springfield, MO (Galeton)

State Senator introduces legislation to close a loophole in sexual assault cases….Safety Grants will be available for faith-based institutions and non-profits….NY state truck driver hurt when rig tips over in McKean County….

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In Pennsylvania, a police officer who sexually assaults a person in custody can use sexual consent by the individual as a defense in court. While state law bars consensual sex between corrections officers and prison inmates and between mental health workers and patients, no such protection exists for a person arrested or questioned by officers in the field. Senator Muth has sponsored Senate Bill 851 as a way to close this legal loophole in Pennsylvania’s sexual assault law. The legislation would expand Pennsylvania’s definition of institutional sexual assault to include law enforcement officers and any person in the officer’s custody. By doing so, it would eliminate sexual consent as a defense, making any sexual contact between an officer and a person in custody a third-degree felony.

Faith-based institutions and nonprofit organizations will be eligible for grants to boost security at their facilities under a new law approved by the General Assembly and signed by the governor. Act 83 of 2019 will make funding available to faith-based institutions and nonprofits that serve individuals, groups or institutions listed by the FBI as at risk for hate crime incidents. Grant awards will range from $5,000 to $150,000. Faith-based institutions and nonprofits could use the money for a variety of security planning, equipment and technology needs, including surveillance cameras, emergency communications equipment, electronic locksets, threat assessments and building upgrades.The program is similar to the School Safety Security Grant Program, which helps schools meet a variety of security needs. It will be administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Applications are expected to become available early next year.

The program is similar to the School Safety Security Grant Program, which helps schools meet a variety of security needs. It will be administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Applications are expected to become available early next year.


A New York  tractor trailer operator suffered minor injuries in a crash Tuesday morning in Lafayette Township McKean County  Lewis Run state police report Seth Darrah was going west on Route 59 when he overcorrected after his freightliner dropped onto the berm. The rig went off the road again and and collided with a ditch with the cab rolling onto the passenger  side and hit a utility pole Darrah was trapped inside and had to be removed by first responders  using  the jaws  of life. Darrah was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center and has been cited for failing to stay within his lane.


Michel P. BOWEN, 55, of Springfield, MO, formerly of Galeton, PA, died Saturday, November 16, 2019 in his home.  Born February 25, 1964, in Coudersport, he was the son of Perley and Suzan K. Richar Bowen.  A graduate of Galeton High School, he was employed as a cabinetmaker and welder.  Surviving are:  his mother, Suzan Richar of Wellsboro;  his father, Perley R. (Nancy) Bowen of Galeton;  two daughters, Malina Bowen of Pittsburgh and Larissa Bowen of Elizabethtown;  a step-daughter, Jessica DeMalia of Springfield, MO;  two sisters, Kelle Johnson of Wellsboro and Aimee (Patrick) Anderson of Lancaster;  nephews, Karl Welfling of Frederick, MD, Jon Welfling of Wellsboro, and Maxwell Johnson of Wellsboro;  a niece, Samantha Johnson of Montoursville;  an aunt, Mary Ann (David) Lugalia of Galeton;  an uncle, George Bowen, Jr. of Galeton;  and cousins.  A graveside service will be in held 3:00 PM, Friday, November 22, 2019 in West Hill Cemetery, Galeton.  The Rev. Thomas E. Brown will officiate.  Memorials may be made to any local food pantry.  Arrangements are entrusted to Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA.  Online condolences may be expressed at send flowers to Michel’s family, please visit our floral section.


Tuesday November 19, 2019


Black Forest Express


 Photo by Gerri Miller

Monday’s high, 40; Overnight low, 33







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Obituary: Thelma Swift, Coneville

State officials remind motorists Real ID goes into effect next October….. PSP @ Lewis Run investigate nude photographs of young girls in McKean County….Two teens charged for allegedly transmitting photos sexually explicit photos at Tioga County school……Troy woman accused of sending nude photos to victim’s relatives…..Emporium man arrested for burglary…..

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PennDOT and  the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA),held an event at the Harrisburg International airport yesterday to  remind Pennsylvanians who want to continue using their driver’s license or photo ID card as identification to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility to upgrade it to a REAL ID-compliant version before federal enforcement of the REAL ID Act begins on October 1, 2020.

This will be the last holiday travel season before REAL ID enforcement begins, and we encourage our customers who are considering upgrading their license or ID card to take care of it sooner rather than later.”

Beginning October 1, 2020,a federally-accepted form of identification (whether it’s a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building that requires ID at the door. REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and photo ID cards have been available at the customer’s option since March 2019, and to date, more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians have chosen to get a REAL ID-compliant product. Based on data from other states with optional REAL ID programs, PennDOT anticipates that approximately 1.3 million of its customers will get a REAL ID before the federal enforcement deadline of October 1, 2020.

Federal regulations require that to be issued a REAL ID-compliant product, PennDOT must verify the below documents:

Proof of Identity: Examples include original or certified copy of a birth certificate filed with the State Office of Vital Records/Statistics with a raised seal/embossed or valid, unexpired, U.S. Passport;

Proof of Social Security Number:  Social security card, in current legal name;

Two Proofs of Current, Physical PA Address: Examples include a current, unexpired PA driver’s license or identification card, vehicle registration or a utility bill with the same name and address; and

Proof of all Legal Name Changes (if current legal name is different than what is reflected on proof of identity document): Examples include a certified marriage certificate(s) issued by the County Court for each marriage, court order(s) approving a change in legal name or amended birth certificate issued by the State Office of Vital Records/Statistics. If current name is the same as what is reflected on proof of identity document (usually birth certificate or passport), a customer does not need to show proof of legal name changes.

Customers can take the required documents to any PennDOT Driver License Center. More info about document requirements, including a printable document checklist, can be found on the Document Check page of the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website.

More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and information on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at

State police at Lewis Run are investigating a possible incident involving nude photographs of Juvenile females taking place earlier this month in McKean County.

Meanwhile, two teenagers have been arrested by state police at Mansfield for the transmission of sexually explicit images of a 13 year old girl. The accused are a 13 year old Wellsboro girl and a 15 year old Michigan boy and the crimes allegedly occurred at the Rock. L. Butler Middle School in Middlebury Township on November 5.

Mansfield troopers have arrested a 56 year old Troy woman for harassment by communications. Authorities allege the suspect sent multiple messages over  Facebook to a 25 year old Mansfield woman’s mother and sister including nude photographs of the victim.

A 42 year old Emporium man has been arrested for burglary. Emporium based state police claim the suspect whose name was not released, committed the crime early Sunday morning at a home on Howard Circle occupied by a 46 year old woman.


Thelma E. Swift, 100, of Coudersport, formerly of Coneville, passed away with her loving family by her side, Saturday, (Nov. 16, 2019) in Sweden Valley Manor, Coudersport, after a short illness.Born on Monday, Oct. 27, 1919, in Pleasant Valley Township, she was a daughter of George and Agnes Reed Meacham. On April 25, 1942, in Port Allegany, she married Elton E. Swift, who passed away on April 12, 2004.Thelma was a graduate of Port Allegany High School, Class of 1938 and was a graduate of Eleanor Beauty School in Buffalo, N.Y. She worked as a hairdresser in Shinglehouse for one year, and then in Coudersport until 1944, and lastly in her home in Hebron.Thelma was a member of Hebron Union Church. She enjoyed knitting and volunteering at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport. She most especially loved spending time with her family.She will be sadly missed by her wonderful caregivers at Sweden Valley Manor.Surviving are two daughters, Bonnie J. (Wayne) Hathaway of Coudersport and Kim M. (Ivan) Work of Marysville, Ohio; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; a son-in-law, David Moyer of Montoursville; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents and husband, Thelma was predeceased by infant twin sons; a daughter, Sandra Lee Moyer, who died in 2017; a grandson, Allen Hathaway, who died in 2018; four brothers; and 10 sisters.Family and friends may call from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday (Nov. 21, 2019) at the Virgil L. Howard Funeral, 118 S. Union St., Shinglehouse, where funeral services follow at noon, with the Rev. Howard R. Burnham, pastor emeritus of Hebron Union Church, and Pastor Harold Kiel, of Bingham Center Bible Church, officiating. Burial will be in Rathbone Cemetery, Coneville. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hebron Union Church, 1149 State Route 44 N., Coudersport, PA 16915 or to the Sweden Valley Manor Patient Activities Fund, 1028 E. Second St., Coudersport, PA 16915.Thelma’s family has entrusted her 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 Thelma, please visit or visit the funeral home Facebook page, Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home.



Monday November 18, 2019

Black Forest Express

 Photo by Gerri Miller

Sunday’s high, 36: Overnight low, 33







 Kane resident jailed for assaulting girlfriend….two drivers hurt in multi-car pile up Saturday in St.Marys…Burglars steal buck deer mount from Elk County camp…Republican senator proposes relaxing small games of chance law…

A Kane man has been arrested for physical assault in connection to a domestic violence assault. State police claim when they responded to a domestic violence incident in progress at a home on Poplar Street at around 2:30 am Sunday they found that 28 year old William Greek had assaulted his 20 year old girlfriend. The victim was taken to UPMC for treatment of her injuries. A two year old boy was in the home at the time of the alleged assault. Greek was committed to the McKean County Jail after being arraigned on charges of simple assault, harassment and endangering the welfare of a child.

Two drivers were hurt in a pile-up Saturday afternoon in  Fox Township, Elk County. State police at Ridgway report the multi-vehicle rear- ender was caused when 85 year old Edward Palmer of Kersey failed to see a Ford Transit Connect partially parked in the right lane of The million Dollar highway due to sun glare and drove his Ford F-150 into the back of the delivery truck. Barbara Rettger also of Kersey could not stop in time and her 2007 Hyundai Tucson ran into the back of Palmer’s pick up and was rear-ended by a 2012 Hyundai Tucson driven by  79 year old James Ellis of Weedville . Palmer and Rettger were taken to Penn Highlands Elk with unknown injuries.  Ellis and his wife, Diane were not hurt. Police did not release the name of the delivery truck driver but cited him for improper stopping, standing or parking a vehicle.

Troopers at Ridgway are also investigating a camp burglary taking place sometime since Augsut 10 on Rover Road and Halton Road in Spring Creek Township. Burglars broke a window at the Twin Bucks” camp owned by Gregory Happ of Freedom, PA and forced their way through  a door to steal a Buck Deer mount valued at $450. While causing $215 in damage.  Anyone with information is asked to call the barracks at 814.776.6136.

State senator Gene Yaw (R-23) is proposing changes in the state law regarding small games of chance. Yaw says there is language in the current law that ties a violation of small games of chance to a tavern’s liquor license so any bars do not want to risk fines connected to their liquor licenses. His proposal would streamline the application process and make fines more pragmatic which would benefit non-profit organizations.