Thursday April 11, 2019

Black Forest Express

Wednesday’s high, 60; Overnight low, 30; Dusting of snow


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Obituaries: Christine Neefe Baumann, Coudersport and Travis Fuhrer, Ulysses

Two of Rep. Owlett’s bills regarding children have been passed by a House committee….$1000 in cash stolen from safe in Eldred area home….Mansfield police give details of accidental shooting….Two people arrested for allegedly driving under influence of drugs…Cruelty to animals case in Austin under police investigation….Ridgway man accused of public drunkenness…

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Two House committees this week approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) that would help infants and children impacted by the state’s opioid crisis and ensure parents use private health insurance for their children, if available and financially feasible, before relying on Medical Assistance.
“Pennsylvania has been one of the states hardest hit by an epidemic of heroin and prescription opioid abuse that is plaguing our country,” said Owlett. “One of the more tragic consequences of this crisis is the devastating impact it has had and continues to have on infants and children. Newborns are suffering through withdrawal from opioids because they’ve been exposed to these drugs in the womb, and fatalities, near-fatalities, abuse and neglect of infants and young children have all been linked to parental substance abuse.”

Two House committees this week approved bills sponsored by Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) that would help infants and children impacted by the state’s opioid crisis, and require the custodial or non-custodial parent of children for whom Medical Assistance is sought to enroll their children in their own health insurance plan before the state would begin paying for medical care.

Statistics reveal that between 2010 and 2104, more than 7,500 infants in Pennsylvania who were born on Medicaid were diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) after their mothers had used heroin or were prescribed opioids during pregnancy. Sixty-one of those infants died before reaching their first birthday.

Furthermore, of the 1,400 infants in Pennsylvania who were removed from their homes and placed in protective custody in 2014, 817 of them (56%) had parental substance abuse as a contributing factor in their placement.
Owlett’s House Bill 316 would establish a task force that would focus on improving the safety, well-being and permanency of substance-exposed infants and other young children adversely affected by their parents’ substance abuse disorders.
The task force would be charged with identifying strategies and making short- and long-term recommendations to prioritize the prevention of substance-exposed infants; to improve outcomes for pregnant and parenting women striving to recover from addiction; and to promote the health, safety and permanency of substance-exposed infants and other young children at risk of child abuse and neglect, or have been placed in foster care due to parental alcohol and drug abuse.
The composition of the task force would include representatives from various Commonwealth agencies as well as non-governmental stakeholders and experts in the field, including behavioral health treatment providers, obstetric and pediatric physicians, early intervention providers, and providers of home-visiting programs.

House Bill 316 was unanimously approved by the House Children and Youth Committee and now goes before the full House for a vote.
During a House Health Committee meeting, members also approved Owlett’s House Bill 833. This legislation would require the non-custodial parent of children for whom Medical Assistance is sought to enroll their children in their own health insurance plan before the Commonwealth would begin paying for medical care.

“Medical Assistance is a taxpayer-funded program and, as such, it should be the payer of last resort and used only for those most in need,” said Owlett. “Unfortunately, some children are enrolled in the program who have a parent who could add them to his or her health care plan, but don’t for any number of reasons. Even if a parent does not have custody of the child, or only has partial custody of the child, they are required to provide health insurance to their children.

“I believe, whether or not that parent has custody of the child, he or she bears a certain level of responsibility of care and should, therefore, provide health care coverage if able,” continued Owlett. “We want to make sure our tax dollars and health care resources are being put to the absolute best use and are not being used for individuals who have other access to coverage.”
House Bill 833 is also set to go before the full House for consideration.

State police at Lewis Run are investigating a burglary taking place over the past month at a ho9me on Artline Road in Eldred Township. Approximately $1,000 was stolen from a safe in a home owned by a 79 year old Eldred woman. Anyone with information is asked to call the barracks at 814.368.9230.

Troopers at Mansfield investigated an accidental shooting occurring at around 5:00 pm March 24 at 32 Central Avenue, Wellsboro. An unnamed ma was hurt when he was shooting a 9mm pistol at a steel target and a bullet fragment hit his face near the corner of his ey and the bridge of his nose. He was treated at Soldiers and Sailors Hospital.

Two people have been arrested for drug possession. Coudersport State police say charges are pending against the driver of a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado which they stopped in the 3700 blockof US Route 6 W in Ulysses Township on the afternoon of March 28.

State police at Ridgway claim a 32 year old Brockway woman was driving under the influence when her 2014 Chevrolet Cruze went off the Million Dollar Highway Tuesday night, while headed north, and collided with a vehicle parked in a driveway. The woman, whose name was not released, was not using a seatbelt and was taken to the St. Marys Hospital for chemical testing.
An alleged cruelty to animals case at 109 Thorn Street in Austin Tuesday evening remains under investigation by state police at the Coudersport barracks. No further details were released.

Bruce Woodford, 53 of Ridgway was arrested by state police for public drunkenness. Authorities allege Woodford was observed urinating on the bushes in front of CNB Bank in Ridgway early last Saturday morning.


Christine Neefe BAUMANN, 96, of Coudersport, PA, formerly of Honeoye Falls, NY, died Tuesday, April 9, 2019 in her home.Born May 19, 1922, in Coudersport, she was the daughter of Thomas J. and Lavana M. McCloskey Neefe.On December 19, 1942, in Rochester, NY, she married Harold J. “Hal” Baumann, who predeceased her on November 8, 2011.She was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Honeoye Falls, All Saints Episcopal Church in Brookland, PA, Burroughs Audubon Society in Rochester, Susquehannock Trail Club, Genesee Valley Hiking Club, and the Daughters of the American Revolution.Surviving are: a son, R. Wayne Baumann of Coudersport; two daughters, Sandra Hayner of Eureka, CA and Loren (Joel) Taylor of Rochester, NY; a granddaughter, Carly Przysinda of Vail, CO; and nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband and parents, she was predeceased by three brothers, Philip J. Neefe, Hollis Neefe, and Walter N. Neefe.Friends may call at Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA on Friday, April 12, 2019 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM, with Funeral Services following at 2:00 PM. The Rev. Janis Yskamp will preside. Burial will be in Sweden Hill Cemetery, Coudersport, PA.Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.Online condolences may be expressed at

Travis W. FUHRER, 38, of Ulysses, PA, died Saturday, April 6, 2019.Born November 28, 1980, in Wellsboro, he was the son of Brian and Sherry Van Etten Fuhrer.On September 27, 2003, in Jemison Valley Brethren in Christ Church, Westfield, he married the former Katrina M. Lamb, who survives.A graduate of Northern Potter High School, he was employed by Westfield Tanning Co. and Dresser Rand in Wellsville.Travis attended the Crosstown Alliance Church in Wellsville and was active with Genesee Youth Baseball.Surviving besides his wife, Katrina, are: two sons, Garrett Fuhrer and Ethan Fuhrer; his parents of Harrison Valley; two brothers, Brandon (Jessica) Fuhrer of Knoxville and Justin Fuhrer of West Bingham; grandparents, James Erickson of Ulysses, Elwin Van Etten of Harrison Valley, and Kathleen Fuhrer of Fishers, IN; aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was predeceased by grandparents, Faye Erickson, Helen Van Etten, and Stanley E. Fuhrer. Friends may call at Gold Church, 2402 SR 49 W, Ulysses, PA on Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM, with a Memorial Service following at 4:00 PM. The Rev. Frank Mickle and the Rev. Jeremy Gorham will co-officiate.Memorials may be made to Genesee Youth Baseball, c/o Julie Copp, 220 Academy St., Genesee, PA 16923.Arrangements are entrusted to Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA.Online condolences may be expressed at