Wednesday July 10, 2018

Black Forest Express

                                                                                                                                        Photo by Gerri Miller

Fish Commission will not close Oswayo Hatchery at least for now….Potter County Commissioners agree to borrow money to upgrade 911 system…..Local Ham Radio operators will be involved in the planning…..Vandals cause more than $1000 in damage to log skidder parked in McKean County last month

Tuesday’s high, 86; Overnight low, 48

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

Local Ham Radio Operators Tom & Diane Guilfoy (See Story below)
Fish Commission will not close Oswayo Hatchery at least for now….Potter County Commissioners agree to borrow money to upgrade 911 system…..Local Ham Radio operators will be involved in the planning…..Vandals cause more than $1000 in damage to log skidder parked in McKean County last month…

Obituary: Elaine Frances Loucks Harris, Oswayo

To hear today’s podcast, click arrow below:

Rep. Martin Causer reports The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced Tuesday it would postpone action on a proposal to close the Oswayo trout hatchery. In a news release Rep. Causer praised the action and thanked local Fish Commissioner Bill Brock for his leadership on the issue.“This is great news for area anglers, as the Oswayo hatchery plays a vital role in ensuring quality fishing opportunities in our region,” Causer said.

Closing the facility would have resulted in a loss of local jobs, as well as the elimination of 240,000 adult stocked trout in four lakes and 61 streams, including many in McKean, Potter, Cameron and Clinton counties.
Causer noted PFBC Executive Director John Arway had proposed closing the Oswayo hatchery, along with the Union City hatchery in Erie County and the VanDyke Research Station in Juniata County, last September as a means to save about $2 million in the commission’s budget.

“I recognize the financial challenges facing the Fish and Boat Commission, but I believe closing the hatchery and the resulting reduction in stocked trout in the area would have cost the agency money in the form of fewer anglers and fewer license sales,” Causer said. “With about $50 million in uncommitted reserve funds available within the agency, there was no need to close any hatcheries at this time.

“I look forward to working with the board of commissioners to address the long-range fiscal health of the agency, keeping the best interests of our anglers and boaters at the forefront of the discussion,” he concluded.

The Potter County Commissioners last Thursday approved a $3.8 million loan which will be used to upgrade the county’s 911 system. Four area banks had submitted proposals for the loan which will be spread out over a 10 year period. The board accepted the lowest bid, which was from Juniata Valley Bank. there is a $500 origination fee and the loan includes a one-year advance with the balance being paid over the next nine years at the fixed rate of 3.69%. The commissioners said it made fiscal sense to spread the payments out over along period of time. The upgrades will convert much of the equipment from analog to digital and will allow emergency services personnel across the region to communicate with each other rather than having messages relayed by a dispatcher. Chairman Doug Morley explained the need for the loan, saying there is “no second round of funding from the Department of Homeland Security” so improvements are left to each county to handle by itself.

Tom and Diane Guilfoy members of  Headwaters Amateur Radio Club and licensed operators attended last week’s meeting at the commissioners’ invitation. Club member will be Headwaters club will be assisting in the planning process for the county’s reconstruction and modernization of the 911 emergency communications system by advising on areas of service gaps and other details. The county allows the club to mount its aerials on county-owned towers and by providing a small operations center in the county’s Gunzburger Building.Tom Guilfoy said the “ham radio” operators not only can bridge the gaps of communications in sections of terrain inaccessible by traditional 911 service, they can also use their battery-operated units to relay urgent communications in the event of power outages or other emergencies. “If you would like two good examples of how ham radio operators were pressed into service, you need look no further than the attacks on the World Trade Center and the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico,” he pointed out. “The only way to relay communications in and out of the disaster scenes was by amateur radio operators.” In fact, after Hurricane Andrew ravaged Florida in August 1992, causing 25.3 billion dollars in property damage and taking 44 lives, ham radio operators in this area assisted Adelphia Communications officials in reaching employees. The company was headquartered in Coudersport at the time and there was no other way to communicate. There were few cell phones at the time and towers might have been taken down by hurricane winds anyway. Portion’s of Adelphia’s cable system and buildings and employees’ properties were devastated during the worst hurricane ever to impact the Sunshine State. More information about the Headwaters Amateur Radio club is available here
State police at Kane are looking for vandals who caused more than $1000 in damage to a 2000 Caterpillar Tractor log skidder while it was parked at 3`78 Route 219 in Hamlin Township sometime during the month of June. Unknown criminals dumped a quantity of sand into the gasoline tank on the machine owned by Steven Chittester of Kane.

Elaine Frances Loucks HARRIS, 88, of Oswayo, PA, peacefully entered into the presence of her Lord and Savior while surrounded by her family on Monday, July 9th, 2018 in Meadville Medical Center, Meadville, PA.
Born August 10, 1929, in Ceres, NY, she was the daughter of Roy and Edrie Torrey Loucks. At the age of 15, she found new life in Christ and served Him faithfully for the remainder of her life. On November 23, 1952, in Ceres, she married Darell D. Harris, who survives. She served alongside her husband in full-time pastoral ministry for over 37 years.
Elaine was a devoted pastor’s wife and her door was open to anyone in need, whether they needed a hot meal or a place to sleep for several months. After retirement, she continued to serve the Lord through various ministries in her church and community. Until very recently, she hosted two weekly Bible studies in her home.
She was also extraordinarily talented. For many years, she supplemented the family income by painting signs and producing artwork. Her talents were on display at many local businesses. Furthermore, Elaine was known for her sewing abilities, having sewn gowns for entire bridal parties as well as designing and sewing all her daughters’ clothing for many years.
Her strong faith in God led Elaine to be known as a great prayer warrior. Many families and friends called upon her for special prayer in times of need.
Surviving besides her husband of more than 65 years, Darell D. “Bud” Harris, are: her daughters, Kay Kilburn (Larry) of Arcade, NY, Sue Hill (Rahn) of Cooperstown, PA, and Jan Rodriguez (Manuel) of Shiloh, IL; ten grandchildren, Greg Kilburn, Kurt Kilburn (Nancy), Stacy Kilburn, Laura Pierce (Jared), Matthew Kilburn (Julie), Rebecca Mattocks (Dustin), Kristin Walker (Jamie), Kelly Koelle (Jerad), Christopher Rodriguez, and Mary Rodriguez; 16 great grandchildren; three sisters, Betty LeBlanc of Bluffton, SC, Marlene Chapman of Olean, NY, and Valerie Konert of Bolivar, NY; a brother, David Loucks (Catherine) of DeSoto, MO; several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents; and an infant sister.
Friends may call Thursday, July 12, 2018 from 2:00 – 4:00 and 7:00 – 9:00 PM at the Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA. Funeral Services will be held 11:00 AM, Friday, July 13, 2018 in the Ellisburg Union Wesleyan Church, Ellisburg, PA. Visitation will precede the funeral at the church from 10:00 – 11:00 AM. The Rev. Roy Ward, Pastor, and the Rev. Clint Pearsall will co-officiate. Burial will be in Rathbone Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Ellisburg Union Wesleyan Church, 1020 Rag Hill Road, Genesee, PA 16923 or to the Galilean Children’s Home, P.O. Box 880, Liberty, KY 42539.
Online condolences may be expressed at