Friday March 9, 2018

Black Forest Express



Photo by Gerri Miller

Thursday’s high, 40; Overnight low, 22; 1” snow







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

Photo by John Eaton

Jim Howe (right), organizer of the 2018 Chili with a Chance for Chocolate Taste-Off congratulates Cal VanNess on his first place win. Looking on is Greg Nagy who finished third. Not shown is Brad Goodwin who was second.

(See story below)

Webinar next week will focus on foam replacing water in gas well drilling…..Municipalities encouraged to apply for DCNR grants…..Winners of Chili contest announced with a chili cook-off planned Saturday in Sweden Valley…..Rockton man jailed in Elk County for violating PFA….Harassment charges pending against both people involved in an argument early today in McKean County…

To hear today’s podcast. click on arrow below.

Ongoing research on using natural gas-based foams to replace water in fracturing Marcellus and other deep shale formation wells will be the topic of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension.

A one-hour webinar, “Research on Natural Gas Foam as a Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid,” will be presented from 1-2 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, by Griffin Beck, research engineer for propulsion and energy machinery with the Southwest Research Institute.

Hydraulic fracturing, a technique used to increase oil and natural gas production by injecting a high-pressure fluid to fracture rock and release this trapped energy resource, uses huge amounts of water. Once used, the recovered water represents an environmental challenge because it needs to be treated or stored in underground injection wells. Research is underway to find alternatives to using water as the main fluid.

One such study, overseen by the National Energy Technology Laboratory, is looking at naturalgas-based foams. Using natural gas, which is readily available at the wellhead and from nearby processing plants, will reduce water use; the need to transport water to and from the site; decrease handling waste products; and minimize traffic, emissions and road wear.

Research is focusing on the identification and development of an optimized, lightweight and modular surface process to prepare natural gas for injection into the well, according to Beck. “For sites where natural gas supply rates are sufficient, a simple compression process is the most energy efficient method to prepare natural gas for injection into a well,” he said.

“While the compressors required for this process are commercially available today, there are some technology gaps that must be addressed before a mobile compressor train can be deployed.”

Ongoing research is investigating properties of natural gas-based foams, Beck noted. Research efforts also have  focused on characterizing fluid properties of natural gas-based foams, revealing properties that have not previously been reported in the public literature. To support this work, a pilot-scale test facility was designed and operated and natural gas foams have been tested.

The presentation is part of Penn State Extension’s Shale Education Monthly Webinar Series. Upcoming webinars include the following:

–April 19: “Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site: Field Test Site in the Permian Basin Dedicated to Environmental Safety and Stimulation Efficiency Research,” presented by Jordan Ciezobka, senior engineer with Gas Technology Institute, and Gary Covatch, petroleum engineer with the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory.

–May 17: “Trends in Natural Gas Indexation and Price Transparency,” presented by Dexter Steis, executive publisher of Natural Gas Intelligence.


–June 21: “Biomethanation: A Unique and Sustainable Approach to Renewable Natural Gas,” presented by Kevin Harrison, program manager of hydrogen systems owner-energy systems integration facility, and Nancy Dowe, group research manager, biological science, both with National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The webinar is free, but registration is necessary. To register, visit the Penn State Extension Natural Gas Events webpage at More information is available by contacting Carol Loveland at 570-320-4429 or at

Previous webinars, publications and information also are available on the Penn State Extension natural-gas website (, covering a variety of topics such as liquid natural gas; seismic testing; methane emissions; water use and quality; Marcellus and Utica basins; natural gas reserves; gas-leasing considerations for landowners; legal issues surrounding gas development; and the impact of Marcellus gas development on forestland.

​ The  Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is  reminding  local governments and recreation and conservation organizations that grant applications now are being accepted through DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program.

The grants are administered across the state by DCNR through the Community Conservation Partnerships Program. Funding comes from the Keystone Fund, which is generated from a portion of the realty transfer tax; the Environmental Stewardship Fund; the ATV/Snowmobile Fund generated through fees for licenses; and federal monies.

Grants benefit:

Planning, acquisition, and development of public parks

Recreation areas

Motorized and non-motorized trails

River conservation and access

Stream buffers

Conservation of open space

Regional and statewide partnerships to better develop and manage resources

The 2018 grant application round opened January 22 and will close April 11. Funds will be awarded for applications that meet priorities established in the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.

Primary source of grant funding is the Keystone Fund, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Since 1993 through the Keystone Fund:


More than 300 trail projects have been built and improved

More than 2,400 community park development projects were completed

117,400 acres have been conserved

Late last year, Governor Tom Wolf announced an investment of $44 million for 266 projects across Pennsylvania that create new recreational opportunities, conserve natural resources, and help revitalize local communities.

Those 2017 investments are benefitting a variety of proposals, including:

49 trail projects

Protecting almost 8,000 acres of open space

Nine projects for planting riparian buffers along streams

14 projects for rivers conservation

More than 100 projects to develop or rehabilitate recreation, park, and conservation areas and facilities

For details on DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program, visit DCNR’s grants web page. For more information on the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, visit the plan’s website.


It’s a good time to enjoy chili. For the fourth year in a row, tasters’ votes gave Cal VanNess of Wellsboro first place in the Chili with a Chance for Chocolate Taste-Off held on Feb. 17 during the Wellsboro Winter Celebration. Only five votes separated VanNess from second place finisher Brad Goodwin. Taking third was Greg Nagy. The winners each received a basket containing gift cards and/or certificates from local businesses and chamber dollars.

Each year, tasters vote to select the three top winners.  All four years, VanNess has dished up samples of his award-winning Smoked Brisket Chili at Garrison’s Men’s Shop on Main Street in Wellsboro.

“I have done a different chili every year for the taste-off,” said Goodwin. “This is the first time I have placed.” His chili this year was named “Hawaii Five-O Spicy Pineapple. “I was dishing out my chili at The Fifth Season,” Goodwin said.

Greg Nagy of The Roost named his chili Black and Tan. It was dished up at the Roost at 83 Main Street in Wellsboro.


The other 13 downtown Wellsboro businesses where chili was served included: From My Shelf Books & Gifts, Indigo Wireless, In My Shoes, Mountain Home, The Native Bagel, Peggy’s Candies & Gifts, Pop’s Culture Shop, Senior’s Creations, Shabby Rue, Stained Glass Reflections, Timeless Destination, United Methodist Church of Wellsboro and Wild Asaph Outfitters.

A total of 274 passports were purchased by chili tasters.

All proceeds from the taste-off will benefit rescued animals and programs offered by Second Chance Animal Sanctuaries.

Even though the Wellsboro contest is over, there is still time to enjoy the spicy soup. The Second Annual Chili Cook-off will be held at the Sweden Valley Faith United Methodist Church @ 6p thia Saturday. $6 donation at the door.  Proceeds will go toward this year’s mission trip.

A Rockton, PA man has been jailed for violating a Protection from Abuse order filed by a 28 year old Weedville woman. Troopers at the Ridgway barracks claim John Carey, Jr. contacted the victim’s father attempting to relay a message to her through him in violation of the PFA. Carey was pipcked up on an arrest warrant and placed in the Elk County Jail last Friday.

State police at Kane did not release the names of the couple involved in a domestic violence incident early this morning on Church Street in Hamilton Township.  Authorities claim a 45 year old woman and a 47 year old man became involved in a verbal argument a few  minutes after  2 o’clock which escalated to the point where a physical altercation followed. However there were no injuries but both are facing charges of harassment in District Court.




Heidimarie B. Meacham, 70, of, Turtlepoint, PA, died Wednesday (March 7, 2018) in the UPMC Cole, Coudersport.She was born Apr 24, 1947 in Bavaria, Germany a daughter of Gertrude M Dalaba. Mrs. Meacham was a 1965 graduate of Port Allegany High School.Mrs. Meacham was a homemaker and enjoyed taking care of her family.She is survived by One daughter: Sandy Cirko of Weedville, PA;One son: Earl Meacham of Roulette, PATwo granddaughters; Carlee Cirko of Coudersport, PA and Tara Meacham of Olean, NY.;One grandson, Kari Cirko of Weedville, PAShe was preceded in death by her mother and step-father Ramsey Dalaba.Following Heidi’s wishes there will be no visitation or funeral at this time.Burial will be in the Fairview Cemetery, Port Allegany.Memorials may be made to Port Allegany Veterans Memorial Home, P.O. Box 241, Port Allegany, PA 16743Online condolences may be made at are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Inc., Port Allegany.a