Friday January 31, 2020

Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

Thursday’s high, 33; Overnight low 28







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 Obituary: Groves “Grover” West, Shinglehouse

 Landowners can now use purple paint rather than no trespassing signs….Legislation promoting an earlier presidential primary proposed in  state senate….Football fans encouraged to have a designated driver….Coudersport state police looking for would-be kidnapper…theft of snow blower investigated by troopers…Sinnemahoning driver hurt in Wharton Township crash…Kane motorist seriously injured in Elk County accident….

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Landowners who post their properties now have the option of using purple paint rather than signs to alert others that lands are private and trespassing isn’t permitted. House Bill 1772, which was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf in November, and took effect this week.The bill adds language to the section of state law dealing with criminal trespass.Under the law, a person is considered a “defiant trespasser” – which carries enhanced penalties – if he or she enters or remains in any place where notice against trespassing is given by actual communication, lawful posting or fencing.House Bill 1772 makes the use of purple paint on trees or posts a lawful posting method in all but Allegheny and Philadelphia counties.Vertical purple lines must be at least 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. The bottom of the mark must not be less than 3 feet or more than 5 feet from the ground. And painted marks must not be more than 100 feet apart.Now that the “purple paint law” is effective, hunters should know they might encounter purple markings on trees and that these marks are meant to define the boundary of an adjoining private property that’s posted against trespassing.The new law also authorizes unarmed persons to go onto private property for the sole purpose of retrieving a hunting dog.In Pennsylvania, defiant trespass is a third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines. And if trespassing occurs while hunting, additional game-law violations – and additional penalties – also might apply.A recent legislative act has provided the Game Commission the authority to investigate trespassing complaints and enforce trespassing violations as a primary offense, even if game-law violations aren’t alleged and the agency will enforce trespassing aggressively.

Pennsylvanians could play a more prominent role in future Presidential primary elections under a bill approved by the Senate today, according to Senator John R. Gordner (R-27), who authored the bill.Under current law, most Presidential primary elections are already decided before Pennsylvania voters have a chance to cast their ballots in late April.Senate Bill 779 would move up the date of the primary in Presidential election years from the fourth Tuesday in April to the third Tuesday in March. This would allow voters in Pennsylvania to cast their ballots the same day as other influential states, including Arizona, Florida and Illinois.The bill would not take effect until the 2024 election, and election dates would not change in non-Presidential years.The bill would not break any rules set forth by the Democratic National Committee or the Republican National Committee.Senate Bill 779 was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) urges designated driving and responsible party hosting during Super Bowl LIV.

According to preliminary 2019 PennDOT data, there were 56 crashes involving a drinking driver statewide from 6:00 PM Super Bowl Sunday to 6:00 AM the following morning. There was one fatality in those 56 crashes. Drinking driver crashes accounted for approximately 13 percent of the 416 total crashes during that span.

PennDOT offered the following advice when watching the Chiefs take on the 49ers Sunday:

  • Whether attending a party or watching from a bar, ensure your designated driver is sober before leaving. If they decided to drink, call a cab or catch a ride with someone you know hasn’t been drinking.
  • Walking while impaired has its own risks, so have a sober friend walk home with you.
  • If you’re the designated driver, don’t drink alcohol no matter what. Impairment begins with the first drink, and your friends are counting on you to get them home safely.
  • Encourage other designated drivers by using #DesignatedDriver on social media. You could be a positive influence that keeps other designated drivers on track.
  • If someone you know has been drinking tries to drive, take their keys and help them get home safely.
  • If you’re hosting the party, have plenty of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages for guests and designated drivers to enjoy.
  • Remind guests they have a long night ahead of them and encourage them to pace themselves, eat plenty of food and drink plenty of water.

For more information on the dangers and consequences of impaired driving, visit

For regional traffic updates, follow,,,.

Coudersport based state police are looking for a white male who reportedly tried to kidnap a Coudersport woman Wednesday afternoon along Rose Lake Road in Allegany Township. The 33 year old Coudersport woman told police she noticed a red SUV parked along a fence and tried to contact the driver who then reached through the open window of  her car, grabbed her and tried to pull her through the window. The victim hit the gas pedal and drove away before the suspect could do anything more. The victim gave authoritites a description of the suspect and sustained minor injuries during the alleged attack. Anyone with information is asked to call state police at 814.274.8690.

Troopers at Coudersport are investigating a cold case said to have occurred between September 2013 and September 2014 in Hebron Township in which a 22 year old man and a 12 year old boy were victims of an indecent assault. Police say the suspect is known and the investigation is continuing.

The theft of a snow blower from a Ulysses Township residence earlier this month is being probed by state police at Coudersport. A 42” Cub Cadet Model 341 snow blower attachment owned by Darrell Gamble was stolen January 14 and 15. It’s valued at $1300.

Minor injuries were reported for a Sinnemahoning driver after a one vehicle crash last Thursday afternoon in Wharton Township. Michael Haynes was going south near Elk Lick Road when his Chevrolet CK 2500 went of the Wharton Road and hit a culvert where it became disabled.

A Kane motorist was seriously hurt Tuesday night when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled over onto its side after striking a guardrail. John Marconi was going south on the Montmorenci Road in Ridgway Township when he lost control of his Jeep when he looked down to answer his phone. Marconi was taken by ambulance to Penn Highlands Elk for treatment of moderate injuries.

A hit and run on the Dingman Run Road in Hebron Township was investigated by state police at Coudersport. An unknown southbound vehicle went off of the road and hit mailbox just north of the Snyder Road at around 1:00 pm November 25. The driver left the scene without reporting the damage.


Groves E. “Grover” West, 85, of Shinglehouse, passed away on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, in Olean General Hospital, Olean, N.Y., after a short illness.

Born on Wednesday, September 5, 1934 in Millport, he was a son of John R. and Pauline M. Presher West. On January 4, 1959 in the Millport United Methodist Church, he married Janice E. “Janie” Taylor, who passed away on April 15, 2005.

Groves attended school in Millport and Shinglehouse. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army.

As a teenager and young man, Groves worked for his father’s gas and oil well drilling business. After serving his country, he was employed by Nichols Drilling in Shinglehouse. He and his wife moved to Ohio, where he was employed by Flanigan Brothers as a gas and oil well driller, followed by Perkins and Summers Drilling Company, Armstrong Drilling, and Cubby Drilling. Returning in 1980 to Shinglehouse, Groves worked for the family business, West Brothers, which is now Gas Field Specialists. Groves was a hard worker who started at the bottom and completed his gas and oil career as a work over operator.

Groves was a member of the First Baptist Church in Shinglehouse; was a member of the New York State Oil and Gas Association; and along with his wife, was a charter member of the former Oswayo Valley Lions Club in Shinglehouse, where they were very active in club functions. Every year Groves and his family made their annual trip to “Jamboree in the Hills”, a country music gathering in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Groves greatest love was his family, especially his grandchildren, who were such an important part of his life.

Surviving are six children, David L. (Juanita Blau) West of Shinglehouse, Edward R. (Sandi Perkins) West of Franklinville, N.Y., Katherine E. Hays of Olean, N.Y., Michael R. (Vera) West of Shinglehouse, Steven G. (Jamie) West of Prairieville, Louisiana, and Renee A. (Shawn) White of Shinglehouse; twenty-four grandchildren; thirty-one great-grandchildren; a brother, Lee (June) West of Hinsdale, N.Y.; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents and wife, Groves was predeceased by a daughter, Deborah L. Slutz; five brothers, Loyd, Lynn, Burdett, John, and Jerry; and five sisters, Mary, Virginia, Lucille, Louise, and Myrtle.

Family and friends may call from 6pm to 8pm on Monday and from 11am to 1pm on Tuesday, February, 4, 2020, at the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, 118 South Union Street, Shinglehouse, where funeral services will follow at 1pm with the Rev. Russell J. Horning, pastor of the First Baptist Church, officiating. Burial will be in the Pauline M. West Cemetery, Millport.

Members of the Potter County Honor Guard will accord full military honors on Tuesday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church, PO Box 68, Shinglehouse, PA 16748 or to the Shinglehouse Volunteer Ambulance Association, PO Box 98, Shinglehouse, PA 16748.

Groves 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 Groves, please visit or the funeral home Facebook page, Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home.