Wednesday October 31, 2018


                            Dreary Saturday at Barnum Road Wetlands–Photo by Gerri Miller

Tuesday’s high, 54; Overnight low, 38; no rain







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Obituaries: Billy “Bill” Earle, Austin & Velma, “Bernie” Wiley, Shinglehouse

Area schools receive safety grants….deer and bears continue to cause traffic accidents across the region…Four Ridgway drivers hurt in a four-car pile-up…..Teen driver facing drug and DUI charges in Elk County….

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Twenty-seven local school districts who educate children from the 25th Senatorial District have been awarded state grants to help improve student safety through a new program strongly supported by Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25).
Scarnati explained that The School Safety and Security Grant Program was created by the legislature earlier this year to provide grants to school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and private residential rehabilitative institutions for a wide variety of projects to
Eligible uses for the grants include hiring school security officers, purchasing security-related technology, completing safety and security assessments, implementing violence prevention curricula, offering counseling services for students, and creating other programs to protect students.
Each local school district that applied through the program was awarded a grant of $25,000. Local grant recipients include: (Bold face for schools in the Black Forest Service Area)
Cameron County School District
Clarion-Limestone Area School District
DuBois Area School District
West Branch Area School District
Keystone Central School District
Johnsonburg Area School District
Ridgway Area School District
Saint Marys Area School District
Forest Area School District
Brockway Area School District
Brookville Area School District
Punxsutawney Area School District
Jersey Shore Area School District
Bradford Area School District
Kane Area School District
Otto-Eldred School District
Port Allegany School District
Smethport Area School District

Austin Area School District
Coudersport Area School District
Galeton Area School District
Northern Potter School District
Oswayo Valley School District
Canton Area School District
Northern Tioga School District
Southern Tioga School District
Wellsboro Area School District

Scarnati explained that a total of 496 grants were approved today for schools across the state. The grants being awarded through this round are the meritorious application grants, which are the first part of the program’s grant awards. The meritorious application was only for school districts making a meritorious application to receive a minimum grant allocation of $25,000. The second round of competitive application grants for school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and private residential rehabilitative institutions seeking additional funding beyond their meritorious grants will be announced at a later time.
The new program was created as part of a comprehensive school safety bill that was signed into law in June. More than $60 million in new funding was dedicated in the current year’s budget to improve school safety, the Senator noted.
More information on school safety measures under consideration in the General Assembly is available online at

A neighbor dispute has resulted in two Eldred Township women facing charges in district Court. State police at Kane report a 56 year old woman and a 63 year old woman became physical on Fowler Brook Road Tuesday afternoon while arguing over property . Both have been identified as victim and “arrestee”. However the caption on the news release said “strangulation” but did not indicate who allegedly strangled who and their names were not released. Strangulation is now a stand alone crime in Pennsylvania.

A Rixford woman escaped injury early Tuesday morning when her car went into a ditch along Barden Brook Road in Ceres Township, McKean County State police allege Katherine Strang left the scene of the 3:00 am crash but somehow determined she was not wearing a seatbelt.

Police say a Cyclone driver was also unbelted and speeding when his Nissan Altima wrecked about 90 minutes later on the Ridge Road in Keating Township, McKean County. Paul Catt told them he lost control of the northbound car when he swerved onto Route 770- to avoid a deer. The car went off the pavement and collided with a utility pole, shearing if off at the base before stopping about 10 yards later. Catt refused treatment at the scene.

Another whitetail was hit by an SUV on Route 59 iin Lafayette Townsihp just after 10:00 am yesterday. Troopers said Kristan Reynolds also of Cyclone could not avid hitting the deer which had jumped in front of her eastbound Jeep Patriot. She and her passenger John Knapp of Bradford were not hurt.

Velmaa bear while headed north of Route 219 in Ridgway Township. Since there were no human injuries and the car could be driven from the location the collision is considered a “non-reportable.” Authorities did not indicate how severe the bear’s injuries were.

Both St.Marys drivers escaped injury in a collision Monday morning in Fox Township, Elk County. According to Ridgway based state police the collision occurred when Amy Johnson who was turning south from W. Theresia Road onto Route 255 and drove her Ford Edge in front of a Jeep Wrangler driven by Ronald Green.

All four Ridgway drivers were hurt in a chain reaction collision Tuesday morning on Boot Jack Road in Ridgway Township. State police there explained the pile-up happened when Greta Challingsworth was trying to turn left onto Servidea Drive. Monique Schaeffer who was behind Challingsworth slowed her VW Beetle down but was rear-ended by a Honda Pilot driven by Michelle Freeburg. A Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Kathleen Uber collided with the back of the Beetle. All were treated for minor injuries at PennHiglands Elk.

A 17 year old Kersey girl is facing drug charges in juvenile court. Troopers in Ridgway claim when they pulled over a 2008 Chevrolet Impala, Tuesday afternoon on Kyler Road Fox Township they determined the occupants were involved in drug activities and say that a search of the car turned up a small amount of pot and related drug paraphernalia. The driver is also suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Billy D. “Bill” Earle, 73, a lifelong resident of the Austin area, passed away with his son by his side on Friday, October 26, 2018, in UPMC Cole, Coudersport, after a short illness.
Born on August 26, 1945 in Westfield, N.Y., he was a son of Richard E. and Geraldine Schruise Earle.
Bill attended Austin High School and later earned his GED.
Bill held many positions throughout the years, including being employed at Emporium Specialties in Austin, as a pipeliner, and lastly retiring as a maintenance man at Sweden Valley Manor in Coudersport.
He enjoyed hunting, trapping and fishing.
Surviving are a son, Victor F. “Vic” Earle of Austin; a daughter, Karen L. Benson of Eldred; eight grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren; a great-grandson to be born in February; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Bill was predeceased by a brother, Richard Earle, Jr.
In keeping with Bill’s wishes, there will be no public visitation. A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at his son’s business, the Keating Summit Hotel in Keating Summit, on Monday, November 5, 2018, starting at 5pm.
Burial will be in Forest Hill Cemetery, Austin, at the convenience of the family.
Bill’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 Bill, please visit

Velma B. “Bernie” Wiley, 90 of Shinglehouse, formerly of Zanesville, Ohio, passed away in her home surrounded by her loving family on Saturday, October 27, 2018, after a short illness.
Born on May 31, 1928 in McConnelsville, Ohio, she was a daughter of Fred and Bertha B. Murphy Beach. In 1946 in Covington Kentucky, she married Earl B. Wiley, who passed away on March 4, 2016.
Bernie was employed by American Technologies in Zanesville as an assembler. She loved life to the fullest.
Surviving are six children, Patricia (Jerry) Davis of Columbiana, Ohio, Anne (Rick) Farrington of Heath, Ohio, Brad (Konny) Wiley of Zanesville, Peggy (Jason) McLane of Shinglehouse, Lynne Bushey of Elliottsburg, and Allan (Elizabeth) Wiley of Seattle, Washington; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Barbara Brock of Avon Park, Florida; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents and husband, Bernie was predeceased by two brothers and a sister.
In keeping with Bernie’s wishes, there will be no public visitation. A graveside burial service will be held in the Zanesville Memorial Park Cemetery, Zanesville, on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 11:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Cole Memorial Home Health and Hospice, 102-108 South Main Street, Coudersport, PA 16915.
Bernie’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 Bernie, please visit