Wednesday March 18, 2020

Black Forest Express








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Obituary: Donna Hardy, Austin

Department of Human Services Closes County Assistance Offices Statewide to the Public, Encourages All Pennsylvanians to Use Online Services….The Red Cross desperately needs blood donations and advises bloodmobiles will still happen…..Potter County Artisan Center launches “GoFundMe” campaign …two fugitives nabbed in the village of Roulette…..

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health has been providing daily reports but in the last couple days has not issued in news release about the coronavirus. However, the Pennsylvania  Department of Human Services yesterday closed assistance offices statewide to the public and encourages all Pennsylvanians to use online services in coordination with Governor Wolf’s mitigation guidance regarding the corona virus. in person business will resume no sooner than Wednesday, April 1.. Pennsylvanians are encouraged to use DHS’ online applications and resources to apply for benefits or submit paperwork as necessary.

While the CAOs are closed to the public, eligibility determinations, application processing, and benefit issuance will continue for Pennsylvanians in all counties. Applications for benefits and renewals can be submitted online at For Medicaid, contact the Pennsylvania Consumer Service Center at 1-866-550-4355 to apply over the phone. Pennsylvanians can also complete semi-annual renewals and check their benefit status through the myCOMPASS PA mobile app. Clients who prefer to submit paper documentation can mail documents to their local CAO or leave documents in a CAO’s secure drop box, if available.

EBT payments are still scheduled to occur during the closure and activated EBT cards can still be used as usual at ATMs and in stores at point-of-sale machines if the client has a balance. Balance and transaction inquiries, as well as EBT card replacement, can be requested from DHS’s EBT contractor, Conduent, at 888-328-7366.

Managed Care Organizations (MCO) providing Medicaid coverage will be available to address claims and coverage issues with clients, and Medicaid Access cards can still be used at participating medical facilities to obtain care.

LIHEAP Crisis, which assists households who are without or are in danger of being without heat, will still be available to clients via phone. Clients should call the Crisis Hotline at 1-866-452-6152, which will be operating to serve individuals in crisis situations during the office closure.

Visit the PA Department of Health’s dedicated Coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

The Potter County Department of Emergency Services reports the American Red Cross desperately needs blood donations because of  the severe blood shortage in Pennsylvania. Thousands of blood drives have been canceled as schools and businesses have closed in response to COVID-19. The situation is expected to worsen over the next week, and more and more hospitals may have to make tough medical choices due to a shortage of blood.

The Potter County Ed Council announces due to Governor Wolf’s order  urging nonessential businesses throughout Pennsylvania to close, its offices will be  closed to the public until Monday, March 30. At that time, the Ed Council  hopes to resume normal activity, and should be able to host schedule classes. In the meantime, staff will be monitoring phone calls and emails. For the Coudersport office, please call (814) 274-4877 or email For the Port Allegany office, please call (814) 545-1333 or email .

With the start of a new decade, The Potter County Artisan Center is facing new challenges.The Center, located at 227 N. Main Street, Coudersport was started five years ago as a means to benefit local artists and artisans and provide a place for the community and visitors to purchase unique gifts.  The center sells paintings, pottery, jewelry, photographs, fiber arts, herbal goods, soaps, gourds and other handmade items as well as locally made maple syrup, honey, cheese and preserves.  The center also promotes art to the community and host a wide range of classes.The Center began  as a project of the Visitors Association, which merged with neighboring Tioga County’s Tourist Promotion Agency and relocated a couple of years ago.  The local  Chamber of Commerce also had office space in the building so the center became a project of the Chamber which has now  opted for alternative arrangements and has moved.  Without these two supporting organizations, The center  cannot pay the full amount of rent and utilities and has launched a “GoFundMe: campaign to raise $24,000 which will cover operating expenses (rent and utilities, etc.) for the next two years. The center is  now actively recruiting new members which will add income from membership fees and increased sales. Plans  are being made  reorganize to incorporate other cultural groups under an umbrella organization and apply for non-profit status, enabling it to offer more programs and classes. The goal is to become self-supporting while continuing to promote such attractions as the Dark Skies of Cherry Springs, The Eliot Ness Fest, Potter-Tioga Maple Festival and Habitat for Humanity’s Outdoor Show. All donations will be appreciated. Donations can be made online @


Two fugitives were arrested in the village of Roulette  earlier this week, police officers were called  to a location for a reported home invasion with five young children in the house .after arriving and securing the scene and speaking with the children in the family Chief Bryan Phelps directed others responding to saturate the area and attempt to locate the described suspects after a short time. A woman taken into custody on Third Street on a bench warrant from Potter County, But the man fitting the description was not located.  All units for released while Chief  Phelps and Patrolman  White were taking the woman to the Tioga  county prison the original 9-1-1 caller came back on stating that the man was back in their yard. Officers immediately summoned  the state police to respond to the home. The woman stated that the man fitting the description given to state police was located at a residence just behind the location of the reported home invasion. State police arrived and through their investigation found the male suspect and took him into custody, taking him directly to Potter County Jail on his bench warrant. The investigation is continuing. Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Sweden Township police department, which provides police service to Roulette  Township.

State police at Ridgway have arrested a 31 year old Punxsutawney woman on drug possession charges after finding her lying alongside Toby Road near Thompson Hill Road in Fox Township. Monday night. When police interviewed the woman she told them she was waiting for a ride.  Upon further investigation, she was allegedly  found to be in possession of marijuana and charges are pending in District Court.


Donna J. Hardy, 69, of Austin, passed away Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at UPMC – Cole, Coudersport.Donna was born on November 17, 1950 in Greensburg, the daughter of the late James E. and Frances (Tomecello) Parsons.  She was married to Joseph R. Hardy, who survives.Donna worked as a nurse’s aide.Surviving are sons, Richard (Christine) Phillips of St. Mary’s; Jeff (Jill) Hardy of Robinson; 8 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.At Donna’s wishes there will be no visitation or services.The family has entrusted the Thomas E. Fickinger Funeral Home 210 North East St. Coudersport, PA 16915 with his arrangements. To share your fondest memories of Donna or to sign her guestbook, please visit send flowers to Donna’s family, please visit our floral section.