Thursday January 3, 2019

Black Forest Express

Wednesday’s high, 35; Overnight low, 30, trace of snow

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Obituary, Rhea Reeves, Coudersport

Sen. Scarnati sworn in again as Senate Pres Pro Tempore…..Causer re-assigned to Ag committee….Farm show about to begin…..McKean County DA releases details about drug drop off boxes….Kane bar fined by liquor authorities….Emporium state police investigate ID theft…..

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The State Senate convened at noon on New Year’s Day for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session Swearing-In Ceremony for re-elected members, newly elected members and to see to administrative duties. The Pennsylvania Constitution mandates that the Senate convene for Swearing-In Day on the first Tuesday in January of every odd year.This is the thirteenth time Senate colleagues have elected Senator Scarnati to serve as President Pro Tempore, the third-highest constitutional office in the Commonwealth. The Honorable Justice Thomas G. Saylor administered the Oath of Office.Following being sworn-in as President Pro Tempore, Senator Scarnati offered remarks on issues impacting the Commonwealth.“We are here at the beginning of a New Year, and ready to continue our work on the issues before us in the 2019-2020 legislative session. This year brings with it significant challenges. The budget will certainly be a tremendous focus this coming year. We must find balance with the budget while ensuring that we respect taxpayers.“It is also crucial that we recognize decisions and policies we put forth must lead to more jobs and opportunities for Pennsylvanians. The importance of business growth and development across our state cannot be overlooked. Providing a solid environment for family sustaining jobs is a critical responsibility.

“It is clear that we all come from different parts of the state and have very diverse backgrounds. This diversity has the ability to help us advance legislation that strengthens each of our communities across rural, urban and suburban regions of our state.
“While we are certainly a diverse group, it is crucial that we remember to also be a body that works together in a civil manner, despite our differences. In this new legislative session, when we disagree, may we remember to do so without being disagreeable with one another.”

Senator Scarnati is currently serving his fifth term in the Senate. He was born and raised in Brockway, Jefferson County, and represents the 25th Senatorial District, which includes Cameron, Clinton, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, Potter and Tioga Counties and portions of Clearfield County.

Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) has been reappointed chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee for the 2019-20 legislative session by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny).
Among the top priorities for Causer and the committee is boosting agriculture education opportunities in public schools and post-secondary institutions. The goal is to help students recognize the quality jobs available in the industry and ensure growth in the agriculture work force. Last session, as part of the state budget process, the General Assembly voted to create a Commission for Agricultural Education Excellence to develop a statewide plan for agricultural education and coordinate its implementation between the departments of Agriculture and Education.

To help farms and other agribusiness entities survive and grow, Causer said the committee will work to ensure regulations are more reasonable and permits are processed in a more timely manner. They will also continue to focus on the needs of the dairy industry, which has been struggling with declining prices and demand. Last year’s budget included $5 million in First Industries Program funding to support research and development, organic transition, value-added processing and marketing grants for dairy operations.

Other priorities include extending broadband service to rural communities and expanding the law allowing growth of industrial hemp in the Commonwealth in response to recent changes in the federal Farm Bill.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the industry supports more than 280,000 direct jobs, $10.9 billion in direct earnings and $83.8 billion in direct output, as well as 579,000 total jobs, $26.9 billion in total earnings and $135.7 billion in total output. The state is home to more than 59,000 farms covering 7.7 million acres of farmland.
Causer has served as representative for the 67th Legislative District since 2003. For legislative updates, visit and

The 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show will honor agriculture’s rich heritage and promising future with this year’s theme,” Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story.”  The theme, which will be represented throughout of the weeklong event, will include related events like a daily story time for children, interviews with real Pennsylvanians working in agriculture, and opportunities for attendees to engage and tell their own stories.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show has released a preview video on social media to announce the theme, unveiled the 103rd Farm Show logo, and will next week begin telling the stories of Pennsylvania agriculture on its social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram.

Monday, January 7 will incorporate this theme further into special events and activities held at the Farm Show Complex that day. Pennsylvanians from across the commonwealth are encouraged to visit the Farm Show and tell their stories celebrating our shared sense of community.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event, featuring 12,000 competitive exhibits, more than 5,200 of which are animal competitions, plus 300 commercial exhibitors. The show runs January 5 – 12, 2019. Admission is free and parking is $15 in Farm Show lots. The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is easily accessible from Interstates 81 and 83.
103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show Runs January 5-12, 2019

McKean County District Attorney Stepanie Vettenbrugh-Shaffer reports the medication drop boxes continue to be used by residents to discard unused medication. The four locations of the boxes in the county are at the McKean County Sheriff’s Department located at the jail; Bradford City Police Department; Bradford Township Police Department; and Kane Police Department.

The boxes were provided by the District Attorney’s Association and, the box in Kane, was sponsored by Pennsylvania American Water. The purpose of the boxes is to keep drugs off the street; keep drugs away from juveniles; and to keep drugs out of the waterways. Many experts believe that opioid addiction often starts with abuse of medication.
Each quarter the boxes are emptied and weighed by a county detective working out of the District Attorney’s Office and the medications are properly disposed of by members of the National Guard and Attorney General’s Office.
This quarter, the total weight of the medications discarded was 149.2 lbs. which is 63.2 lbs. less than last quarter that saw 212.4 lbs. collected.

This quarter, the medication in each box was:
McKean County Sheriff’s Department 73 lbs.
Bradford City Police Department 55 lbs.
Bradford Township Police Department 6.4 lbs.
Kane Police Department 14.8 lbs.

After the medication is collected and weighed, the data is reported to the District Attorney’s Association. In 2018, the total weight of the medication collected from the boxes in the county was 617.8 lbs.
Many experts report that opioid addiction frequently begins with the abuse of medication. The medication drop boxes are one tool to help prevent addiction by restricting access to medication.

Anyone who suspects illegal drug activity, is asked to call the McKean County Drug Task Force at the District Attorney’s Office at (814) 887-3312 or

The Buckhorn Hotel in Kane has been fined $2,650 by the state Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. An administrative law judge found that the bar failed to maintain and complete truthful records for two years immediately preceding April 4, 2018; and failed or refused to file sales tax and employer withholding tax returns from July 1 through March 31, 2018; failed to adhere to conditions of an agreement between the bar and the board which had placed additional restrictions on the business; vacuolated unemployment compensation law by failing to the make required periodic reports with the department of Labor and Industry from March 28, 2017 through March 1, 2018; and failed to pay the unemployment tax pf $1,578.39 or the same period.

State police in Emporium are investigating an ID theft victimizing a 62 year old woman Monday evening. The victim told police she found two fraudulent charges to her bank account.


Rhea Joan Reeves, 85, of Coudersport, went into the presence of her Savior on Monday, December 31, 2018.
Born on November 14, 1933, in Borie, PA, she was a daughter of Merrick V. and Miriam J. Reed Jackson. On August 30, 1957, at the Prouty Church, she married Charles H. Reeves, who died on January 6, 2009.
Rhea was a graduate of the Coudersport High School, class of 1951. She worked for a period of time in Emporium, PA, and then attended the Bryant and Stratton Business Institute in Buffalo, NY, graduating in 1954. She joined several sisters at Tennessee Temple School in Chattanooga, TN, and graduated from the Bible School in 1957.
In 1961, Rhea, along with her husband, Charles, was accepted by Baptist Mid-Missions to go as church-planting missionaries to the state of Alaska. From 1963-2004, Rhea work alongside her husband serving her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in many churches across the state of Alaska. She spent many years teaching children’s Bible clubs in her home, Sunday schools in churches, and ministering at Bible camps. She also invested herself into the lives of many women by discipling them in the Word of God.
Rhea enjoyed cooking and her table was often filled with friends who just stopped by to visit or were shown Christian hospitality.
She was always willing to learn new things. She taught herself to play the piano so there would be a church pianist; took classes in painting and produced many beautiful Alaska scenes; and learned how to decorate cakes and used her talent in providing wedding cakes to family and friends.
Rhea is survived by a daughter, Rebekah L. (Thomas) Jones of Chesapeake, VA; and two sons, Michael C. (Ruth) Reeves of Coudersport, PA, and Joel H. (Carole) Reeves of Anchorage, AK. Rhea is also survived by 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Greta Jackson of Sebring, FL and Marilyn (Robert) Wagner of Coudersport, PA; two brothers, Donald (Carol) Jackson and Daryl (Judy) Jackson, both of Coudersport, PA; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband, Charles, Rhea was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, and one sister.
Family and friends may call from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 5, 2019, at North Eulalia Baptist Church, 683 State Route 49 East, Coudersport, where funeral services will follow at 1:00 p.m. with Michael Reeves, pastor of North Eulalia Baptist Church and Mrs. Reeves’ son, officiating. Burial will be in Summit Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Baptist Mid-Missions, 7749 Webster Road, Cleveland, OH 44130.
Rhea’s family has entrusted her care to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.
To express condolences, share a fond memory or view a video tribute of Rhea, please visit