Thursday May 17, 2018

Black Forest Express

Wednesday’s high, 62; Overnight low, 56

Obituaries: Paul Haskins, Coudersport; Anna Van Etten, Ulysses; Larry Fletcher, Genesee; Lawrence Mehal, Genesee

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

Police week is being observed throughout the state…..PennDot will begin work next week on the Cherry Flats Road Tioga County…Westfield man accused of improperly operating junkyard…Animal cruelty case investigated in Elk County…..Tractor Trailer operator hurt in Tioga County when rig rolls over….Next- on-air report after 12:06 pm

To hear today’s podcast, click on arrows below:

17 Podcast part A

17 Podcast Part B

17 Podcast Part C

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.Senator Jay Costa, himself a former Allegheny County Sheriff’s Deputy, co-sponsored a Senate Resolution marking the week, which calls on citizens of the Commonwealth to honor police officers who gave their all in the line of duty. He says the families of those officers also deserve our respect and support. The senator says “Police officers know that the job is dangerous and that they’re leaving their family and loved ones behind—maybe forever—when they start a shift and that’s why we need to support their families as well.

Friends, families, and community members joined hundreds of current and retired troopers from across the commonwealth at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in Hershey on May 2 to honor the 98 members of the department who have died in the line of duty since 1905. Special attention was devoted to Trooper Michael P. Stewart III, who lost his life as the result of a two-vehicle crash while on patrol in Ligonier Township, Westmoreland County, in the early morning hours of July 14, 2017. Trooper Stewart was 26 years old.

The solemn remembrance took place on the 113th anniversary of the department. The Pennsylvania State Police was established on May 2, 1905, by Governor Samuel Pennypacker, becoming the first uniformed police agency of its kind in the United States. To mark the occasion, Governor Tom Wolf proclaimed May 2 as Pennsylvania State Police Day.

The ceremony included a moment of silence, rifle salute, helicopter flyover, and the reading of the names of each member who died in the line of duty, beginning with Private John F. Henry. Private Henry was shot and killed on September 2, 1906, while attempting to apprehend a fugitive in Jefferson County. His sacrifice is honored at the academy as part of the memorial wall and searchable computer kiosk, which contains the names, photos, and stories of each of the 98 members who died in the line of duty. An online version of the memorial wall is available at
On Tuesday, May 22, a PennDOT paving crew in Tioga County will begin a project on Route 2018 (Cherry Flats Road).

This work will be performed between the Village of Cherry Flats in Covington Township and Route 6 in Charleston Township.
There will be daylight lane closures with flaggers providing traffic control. This project is expected to be completed by Tuesday, May 29, weather permitting.

Mansfield based state police have arrested a Westfield man for operating a junkyard without a license. Troopers say they were tippeded off by a car dealership owned that Cowanesque Recycling owned by Vincent Osborne was buying cars for sc rap and not properly executing title transfers. Police found that the business was not properly licensed as a scrap metal or automotive dismantler through PennDot and that 21 vehicles had liens against them and Osborne did not have the titles through PennDot.l He was arrested for 21 counts of violating transfer to scrap metal processor and one count under the vehicle code concerning authorization of salvors.

A case of animal cruelty in Elk County is being investigated by troopers at the Ridgway barracks. Someone killed a cat belonging to a 26 year old Brockport woman and threw it in a nearby creek. Anyone with information is asked to call the arracks at 814.776.6136.

Minor injuries were reported for a tractor trailer operator whose rig went into a ditch on in Middlebury Township Monday afternoon. Robert Alexander of Mansfield was going north on Route 287 when his Peterbilt went off the pavement and continued for about 20 feet in a ditch before rolling onto its side, dumping a load of rocks. Alexander was taken by Middlebury ambulance to Soldiers and Sailors Hospital. Police said the road was closed for less than 30 minutes.


Paul S. Haskins, 78, a lifelong resident of Coudersport, passed away with his loving family by his side, on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at UPMC Cole, Coudersport, after a long illness.Born on July 6, 1939 in Coudersport, he was a son of Louis and Bernice Baker Haskins. On December 31, 1960 in St. Eulalia Catholic Church in Coudersport, he married Mikell Rita Quimby, who survives.Paul was a graduate of Coudersport High School. In 1958 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving mainly on the USS Forrestal. After serving in the Navy, he worked with Don Kelly of the Forestry Department, where they were instrumental in the development of Ski Denton. He was also employed in other jobs in the Coudersport area before going to work at Dresser Industries in Olean, N.Y., where he retired as a supervisor. He also served as a Sweden Township supervisor for 18 years and was the “self-appointed” mayor of Sweden Valley.
Paul was a life member of the Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department, where he served as past president and had also served on the Board of Directors. He was honored in being named Firefighter of the Year in 1993. He was also a member of the Coudersport Volunteer Ambulance Association. Paul was an active member of the Sweden Feedin’ Club and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and camping.
Surviving besides his wife of 58 years are four children, Kelly M. (Dan) Burdick of Albion, N.Y., Susan L. (Ray) Lawrence of Roulette, and Patrick J. (Barbie) Haskins and Tim P. (Amber) Haskins, both of Coudersport; fifteen grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren; five brothers and a sister, Ronald “Bub” Haskins, Calvin “Fuzz” Haskins, Sally Partridge, Gary Haskins, Dale “Did” Haskins, and Rob Haskins; and many nieces and nephews.In addition to his parents, Paul was predeceased by a brother, Tom “Tucker” Haskins.Family and friends may call from 10am to 1pm on Saturday, May 26, 2018 at the Sweden Valley Faith United Methodist Church Social Room, where a Celebration of Paul’s life will follow at 1pm with the Rev. Steven Small, pastor, officiating. Members of the Potter County Honor Guard will accord military honors on Saturday at the church.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department, 171 Port Allegany Road, Coudersport, PA 16915.Paul’s family has entrusted his 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 Paul, please visit

Anna M. VAN ETTEN, 81, of Ulysses, PA, died Tuesday, May 15, 2018 in Sweden Valley Manor, Coudersport, PA. Born March 9, 1937, in Brookfield, PA, she was the daughter of Adrian M. and Elsie Simmons Mills. On August 31, 1954, in Mills, PA, she married William D. Van Etten, who predeceased her on October 20, 2008. Mrs. Van Etten and her husband owned and operated Four Winds Dairy Farm for many years and were awarded the Dairy of Distinction. She was employed as a teller by First Citizens National Bank in Ulysses for many years. Anna was a member of Tri-Town Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary. Surviving are: a son, Richard “Rick” Van Etten of Ulysses; a daughter, Vicki (John) Moon of Ulysses; eight grandchildren, Jessica, Josiah, Billy, Kylie, Cassie, Kati, Jennifer, and Julie; seven great-grandchildren, Cooper, Charlie, Billy, Anna, Avery, Evelyn, and Layla; three brothers, John (Barbara) Mills of Avoca, NY, James (Jackie) Mills of Westfield, PA, Terrance (Susan) Mills of Ulysses; a sister, Dorothy (Wayne) Nelson of Shinglehouse, PA; a brother-in-law, Robert C. Nelson of Ulysses; and nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by a son, W. John Van Etten; and a sister, Wilma Nelson. Friends may call at the Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA on Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM, with a Memorial Service following at 4:00 PM. The Rev. Allyn R. Baker will officiate. Burial will be in Ulysses Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Ulysses Library, P.O. Box 316, Ulysses, PA 16948 or the Tri-Town Volunteer Fire Company, P.O. Box 156, Ulysses, PA 16948. Online condolences may be expressed at

Larry A. FLETCHER, of Genesee, PA, left this life (May 13, 2018) exactly as he lived it, decisively and ready for his next adventure. He was 80 years old and gave the best hugs in the world.Born in Nebraska to Hoye and Gwen Fletcher he later moved to the Washington DC area where he spent more than 50 years. Itching for one more adventure, he and his wife moved to Potter County, PA in 2014, where he remained until his death, happily spending time with his gun club, hanging out at Potter County Outfitters, eating at “Mama’s” and other local establishments, and chatting up the cashiers at the local Rite Aid.
A graduate of Colorado State (BS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS), and George Washington University (PhD AbD) he was an Electrical Engineer who spent his professional life in service for his country, designing communications systems used in support of military operations world-wide. He was considered by many to be the world’s leading expert on Very Low Frequency, which he would willingly discuss with anyone who expressed a passing interest and he could do it in English, Norwegian, German, and Russian. Passionate about his field of expertise, he also spent many years as an Adjunct Professor of Engineering at George Washington University where he delighted in encouraging future engineers to look for the possible in their craft. Despite his exacting standards, he was voted Professor of the Year several years running. He was an Amateur Radio hobbyist (K3SZN), active in several clubs and often first out to support communications during disasters, usually hurricanes. His other hobbies included shooting, gardening, ranting at current politics, and refusing to acknowledge his own mortality by taking up post-retirement activities such as riding motorcycles and flying experimental aircraft, both of which ended when he crashed his bike and his plane.He is survived by his loving, faithful, and amazingly patient wife Fredericka, as well as the five children they produced and sent into the world with instruction to be useful. They are three daughters: Debra Yamanaka and former husband Bill, who never successfully escaped the family, and their four children Reggie, Cheryl, Ken, and Gwendolyn and Cheryl’s husband Billy and daughter Aliana, Tamra and Tony Herring, and their children Nathan, Savannah, and AJ, and Amy and Andy Dove and their sons Andy, Josh, and Jacob. He is also survived by his two sons, Jon and David Fletcher and David’s wife Jennifer and their children Melissa, Kevin, and Mark. He is also survived by his only brother, Doug Fletcher and wife Jan along with their three children Julie, Kip, and Jill and many grand nieces and nephews. Friends may call Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA, where Funeral Services will be held on Friday at 11:00 AM. His brother-in-law, the Rev. James L. Green will officiate. Burial will be in Raymond Cemetery.Memorials may be made to Raymond Cemetery, c/o Tamra Herring, 38 Kidney Road, Genesee, PA 16923.
Online condolences may be expressed at

Lawrence R. MEHAL, 95, a 35-year resident of Genesee, PA, died Monday, May 14, 2018 in UPMC Cole, Coudersport, PA. Born May 31, 1922, in Creighton, PA, he was the son of John and Johanna GretzMehal. During World War II, he served honorably with the US Army Air Corps. On June 25, 1944, in Natrona, PA, he married the love of his life, Penelope “Penny” Walker Mehal.

After the war, he attended Penn State on the GI Bill, graduating with a BS in science and becoming a biology teacher. His first teaching position was at Bellwood-Antis High School in Bellwood, PA. He also served there as Commander of American Legion Post #424. He remained in touch with several of the students from his first class. Finding greener pastures in New Jersey, he moved with his family in 1952 to Old Tappan, New Jersey. He became head of the science department at Leonia High School. For 31 years, he inspired students with the love of biology. Never losing his love for Pennsylvania, he retired to Potter County, PA, which he considered paradise. Searching for artifacts, nature, hunting and fishing were his passions. He was predeceased by his brother, Richard, of Florida, his son, Larry, of Kentucky, and his beloved wife of 67 years, Penelope. He is survived by his daughter, Fleur, who resides in Massachusetts. There will be no visitation or service. Memorials may be made to Ulysses Library, P.O. Box 316, Ulysses, PA 16948. Arrangements are entrusted to the Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA. Online condolences may be expressed at

Harold F. Bledsoe, 88, of Austin, formerly of Wellsville, N.Y. and Hudson, N.Y., passed away on Monday, May 14, 2018, in Sweden Valley Manor, Coudersport, after a long illness.Born on October 28, 1929 in Whitesville, N.Y., he was a son of George and Laura Langdon Bledsoe. On July 2, 1954, he married Myra Harrington of Shinglehouse, who passed away on June 6, 2010.Harold was a graduate of Whitesville Central School and attended several AIB classes and received a certificate of Senior Management from Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. He was employed at the Hudson Branch of National Commercial Bank from 1954 to 1958 and retired as Vice President of the Hudson City Savings Bank Institution (now First Niagara) in Hudson, N.Y. in 1983. After retirement, Harold became a certified Home Health Aide and personal care worker for several years.Harold was an active member and past Master of Hudson Widow Sons Lodge #7 F. & A.M., past patron and District officer for the Order of the Eastern Star of the Amity Friends Chapter #192. In 1991, he was Grand Royal Patron of the Grand Court of New York, Order of the Amaranth. He was a board member of the International Order of Rainbow Girls and was presented with the Grand Cross of Color. He was also a member of COARC and Home for the Aged, an adult care home, for several years.After returning to Wellsville in 1998, he was a volunteer transporter at Jones Memorial Hospital and was active in the Auxiliary. His greatest hobby for the past 30 years was crocheting afghans and lap robes for his family members, nursing homes, and the Christmas House in Coudersport.The Bledsoes moved to Austin in 2006.Surviving are a son, Robert (Jayne) Bledsoe of Sheboygan, Wisconsin; a daughter, Rosemary (Kenneth) Glover of Monroe, N.Y.; a granddaughter, LauressaFaythe Glover; a grandson, Scott Logan Glover; a brother, Carol (Sherry) Bledsoe of Zephyr Hills, Florida; several nieces and nephews, including special a nephew and his wife, Paul and Pat Perry of Austin; and good friend and neighbor, Kris Rees of Austin.In addition to his parents and his wife, Harold was predeceased by twin grandsons, Drew and Drake Glover; three brothers, Eugene Bledsoe, Charlie Bledsoe and George Bledsoe; a sister, Donna Smith; and a special niece, Henrietta Harrington.Friends may call from 10am to noon on Friday, May 18, 2018 at the Austin United Methodist Church, Turner Street, Austin, where funeral services will follow at noon with the Rev. Todd Lamer, pastor of Genesee-Ulysses United Methodist Churches, officiating. Burial will be in Whitesville Rural Cemetery, Whitesville, N.Y.
Members of Eulalia Chapter #148 O.E.S., Coudersport, will conduct a memorial service at 11:45am on Friday in the church.In lieu of flowers, memorials in Harold’s name may be made to the Patient Activity Fund at Sweden Valley Manor, 1028 East Second Street, Coudersport, PA 16915.Harold’s family has entrusted his 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 Harold, please visit