Tuesday January 2, 2018


New Year’s Moon 2018

  –Gerri Miller

Sweden Valley family loses home and belongings in fire Saturday night…..Clearfield log truck driver fatally injured in Tioga County wreck….slippery roads contribute to several accidents….Both men involved in Shinglehouse area scuffle…..Tioga County woman loses more than $25,000 in electronic scam….Wellsboro resident accused of Potter County burglary….Elk county authorities look for missing teen…….

To hear today’s podcast, click on arrow below.

Monday’s high, 17; Overnight low, 8; .25” snow







To hear today’s forecast, click on arrow below.

Obituaries: Miriam “Mim” Powell, Shinglehouse & Bernice, “Bunny” Bertron, Sweden Valley Manor (Roulette)

A Sweden Valley family lost their home and all of their belongings in a fire Saturday night. According to Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bryan Phelps, the Chappell family was awakened just after 9:00 pm byhering something and  smelling smoke coming from from the basement. They called 9-1-1 and everybody safely evacuated before firefighters arrived.  The blaze was well out of control upon volunteers’ arrival and the flames were fanned by stiff winds in the frigid weather.  Chief Phelps said 1200’ of 5 inch hose was laid up the steep snow covered driveway but frozen lines caused a shortage in water for awhile until a tanker shuttle could be established. Firefighters from Roulette, Port Allegany, Austin, Galeton, Tri-Town (Ulysses) and the Coudersport ambulance were on scene. Smethport stood by at the Coudrsport station Chief Phelps thanked all of the mutual aid companies for their response in the extreme cold. There were no injuries and the family is in touch with the Red Cross and is staying with family members. The chief reports due to the extent of the fire the cause remains undetermined.


A log truck driver from Clearfield was fatally hurt in a crash last Thursday morning in Delmar Township, Tioga County. According to Mansfield based state police 46 year old Jason Kane ws headed east on Route 6 when his Volvo crossed the fog line and hit an embankment. The impact caused the cab tojerk to the left which resulted ion the cab and trailer both to flip onto the passenger side. The semi continued on colliding with a group of trees. The cab came to rest after hitting a grassy mound in a front yard while the trailed stopped on the road, blocking both lanes. Kane was flown to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre were he succumbed to his injuries. Police noted he was not using a seatbelt and a medical condition may have caused the accident. Results are pending an autopsy. Both lanes of the highway were closed for about four hours. American Truck sto was able to tow both the tractor and log-filled trailer from the location.

Speeding charges have been filed against 22 year old Ayla Markell of Wellsboro after her Saturn  Ion crashed last Friday morning in Delmar Township. Troopers explained Markell’s car spunoff Route 6 after encountered ice and snow She escaped injury.

Troopers at Coudersport also claim a Henrietta, NY woman was speeding when her Honda Civic went up a small embankment on the Ellisburg Road last Thursday night. Janice Tripi told police she was going west when she swerved for a small animal. causing her Honda Civic to go off the pavement. Tripi declined medical treatment and was able to drive her car  after it was pulled off the embankment by Kightlinger Motors.

A speeding charge has also been filed against a Philadelphia driver after a crash Sunday afternoon on Route 44 in Hebron Township. According to Coudersport based state police., Fsrren Ishman was driving south when his Saturday LS went off the road on a left hand curve,  and traveled down an embankment.

Authorities also claim Kelsey Palmer of Coudersport was going too fast when her Ford Escape spun off of Route 6 in Eulalia Township Sunday afternoon. Palmer was trapped inside the wreckage but was removed without mechanical means. She wasa taken by ambulance to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

 A Coudersport man escaped injury in a one-vehicle mishap Friday morning in Genesee Township. Troopers related that 67 year old David Lydic lost control of his GMC Sierra when he bent down to retrieve a dropped item while going East on the Whitney Hill Road.

Four people avoided injuries   Saturday afternoon when a Dodge Caliber driven by Dawn Giovannelli of Ridgway slid off of snow covered Keystone Road in Horton Township and collided with an embankment. Police said Dawn Giovannelli and her  adult passengers were using seatbelts and a one-year old infant was riding in a child safet4y seat.

Slippery road conditions are blamed for a one-vehicle accident later that day in Jones Township, Elk County. According to troopers at Ridgway, Thomas price was traveling north when his GMC 3500 slid off of snow covered Pumpkin Hill Road ona right curve and rolled over onto its side before sliding into a tree.

Elizabeth Trunzo of Kersey also escaped injury in a weather-related crash Saturday in Fox Township. According to police. Trunzo’s Subaru Outback slid out of control on a slight right hand curve while going south on Skyline drive. Trunzo overcorrected causing the car to slid  off the western shoulder and impact an embankment.

A vehicle driven  by Russell Roads Jr. (no address given) rolled onto the passenger side when it slid across both lanes on Straight Creek Road last Thursday night and hit an embankment. No further details were released.

No injuries were reported for an elderly East Smethport driver whose compact car collided with a guardrail in Keating Township Sunday morning. Troopers explained 87 year old Leroy Beeson’s Ford Focus slid off of the snow-covered Farmers Valley-Eldred Road while going south.

Both men involved in a scuffle last Thursday afternoon at a house on Kellytown Rod, Shinglehouse have been cited for harassment. State police allege 37yearold Michael Newand and 25 yer old Darren Blauvelt were arguing when each hit and struck the other.

An electronic theft has been investigated by troopers at Mansfield. Ruby Bentley, 46 of Mann Hill Road told authorities she received a phone call stating that she needed to contact a phone number or her computer would be permanently locked out. While speaking with the criminal, who claimed to work for Microsoft, Bentley gave him her bank account information. As a result, hers savings account and checking account were wiped out and her credit card was maxed out amounting to a loss of $21,575.68 between September 7 and December 22, 2017.

A 27 year old man has been arrested for shoplifting at the Mansfield Walmart last Thursday afternoon. According to state police at the Mansfield barracks, Cody Gross, no address given, stole $168 worth of merchandise.

State police at Coudersport have charged 25 year old Drew Crawford of Wellsboro with burglar claiming he stole $4,596.50 from 48 year old Tracey Crawford of Galeton between October 17 and December 11. Following arraignment  the burglary charge, theft, criminal trespass, receiving stolen property and unsworn falsification to authorities., he was released ib $5,000 unsecured bail. State police did not indicate the relationship between the accused and the victim.

The theft of several survey markers from land along the Shale Road in Sharon Township, Potter County was investigated by trooper st Coudersport. The stakes, owned by Frank Fabrizio of Shinglehouse were taken between December 13 and Christmas Day.

State police in  Ridgway are trying to locate a runaway teenager. Alexa Farabaugh, 17 of Weedville has not been seen since last Friday. She is driving a silver 2007Ford Focus with license plate # KJH6790. She is 5’2”and has long straight black hair.

Troopers in Kane are looking for litterbugs who dumped various items including a mattress in a field off of Hutchings Drive in Sergeant Township sometime last week.




Miriam M. “Mim” Powell, 89, of Shinglehouse, passed away on Sunday, December 31, 2017 in Sweden Valley Manor, Coudersport, after a brief illness.Born on October 5, 1928 in Collingdale, she was a daughter of William and Miriam Paul Oldham.  On June 22, 1973 in Broomall, she married Richard A. “Rich” Powell, who survives. Mim received her Bachelors of Nursing degree from Philadelphia General Hospital. Mim was employed as a registered nurse, retiring as Director of Nursing at Rosemont Manor Nursing Facility in Bryn Mawr, PA.Mim was a member and past matron of Eureka Chapter #52 Order of Eastern Star in Shinglehouse and a member of the Shinglehouse American Legion Post 530 Ladies Auxiliary where she was very active in legion fundraising and events.

Surviving besides her husband are a son, George “Larry” (Cathy) Miksit of Bristolville, Ohio; a daughter, Karen M. Gauna of Woods Cross, Utah; two stepchildren, Richard A. “Rick” Powell of Covington and Penny Powell of McEwensville; four grandchildren; a great-grandson; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Mim was predeceased by three brothers, William “Bill” Oldham, Richard “Dick” Oldham, and Harry Oldham.In keeping with Mim’s wishes, there will be no public visitation.  A celebration of her life will be held on a date and time to be announced.Flowers are gratefully declined.  Memorials in Mim’s name may be made to any organization that supports U.S. military veterans.Mim’s family has entrusted her 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 Mim, please visit www.virgillhowardfuneralhome.com


Vernice “Bunny” Bertron of Sweden Valley Manor passed away Saturday December 30 at Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport, PA.  She was born to Chester and Ethel (Pelchy) Haynes in Keating Summit, PA.   On April 22, 1955 she married Francis Bertron, who preceded her in death.

She worked for Sylvania in Emporium early in life, and always enjoyed gardening.  She was accomplished enough as a gardener that people would commonly stop and photograph her flowers.

Bunny is survived by 2 daughters:  Wanda Randall (Harold) of Coudersport, and Penny Bosworth (Ron) of Pittsfield; 8 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; 1 great great-grandchild; 1 brother:   Harry Haynes of State College; and 2 sisters:  Florence Rossman of Coudersport and Eleanor Sebring of Colorado.  Along with her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; 1 son:  Steven Bertron; 3 brothers:  Walter, Norman, and Lester Haynes; and 4 sisters:  Jenny Ludwig, Rachael Boyer, Fanny Weaver, and Dorothy Shunk.


Friends and family are invited to Vernices’s Life Tribute service on Thursday January 4, 2017 from noon to 1pm at the Thomas E. Fickinger Funeral Home 210 North East Street, Coudersport, PA with a funeral to follow at 1pm with Pastor Douglas Cameron officiating, burial in the Card Creek Cemetery.  Those wishing to make a donation in her name are encouraged to support the Teacher’s Pet Rescue at 19 Blackberry Lane Coudersport, PA 16916.  To share fond memories of Bunny, or to sign her guestbook, visit:  www.thomasfickinger.com.




Friday December 29, 2017

Thursday’s high, 14; Overnight low, .25” snow







   The 2018 Winter Outings series has been expanded in Potter and Tioga Counties….First Day hikes planned at state parks including three in the Black Forest Service area Tioga County home burglarized…..State  police seek owner of ATV found in Covington Township Creek…

Obituaries: Ruth Gamble, Brookland, Ulysses & Doris Mitchell, Port Allegany

Photo by John Eaton

Tim Morey is shown with a snowshoe, kayak paddle and ski pole representing the type of equipment that will be provided free for the public to use during the Winter Outings series in Potter and Tioga counties. Those who have their own equipment are encouraged to take  it. 

The 2018 Winter Outings series has been expanded to include more events in Potter County, according to organizer Tim Morey, a natural resource specialist with the Hills Creek State Park Complex. “This is our largest Winter Outing series yet with more than 25 activities offered in Tioga and Potter counties during the months of January and February,”  said Morey.

“The   Step Outdoors program  has expanded from a Tioga County-based program to a regional forma. With the recent merger of the Tioga County Visitors Bureau and the Potter County Visitors Association, the network is including more activities in both counties.

Activities are for youngsters and adults of all ages, from beginners to experienced and include both snow and no snow and ice and no ice opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

This year’s Winter Outings will begin with a free 5K and free First Day Guided Hikes or First Day Guided Snowshoe Hikes at three different state parks on New Year’s Day, Monday, Jan. 1. Dress for the weather, wear proper footwear with traction devices if necessary or snowshoes if there is enough snow. Bring water and a snack. Limited snowshoes and traction devices will be available to use free during activities as well as cross-country skis, ice skates, tubes and saucers.

To promote a healthy start to the new year, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) officials will be joining hikers at several parks across the state as DCNR again sponsors free, guided hikes in 30 state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states.

“Our First Day Hikes help remind people our state parks and forests are open for healthy outdoor adventures in all four seasons, including winter,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “They are a terrific way to make a resolution to enjoy nature, get more exercise and encourage keeping that New Year’s resolve through the coming years.”

Dunn noted 2017’s First-Day events drew almost 1,970 visitors who hiked more than 5,180 miles in state parks across Pennsylvania.

Organized by the National Association of State Park Directors to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year-round recreation at state parks, all 50 states have cooperatively sponsored First Day Hikes since 2012.

State parks participating during daylight hours January 1, 2018, include: Black Moshannon, Caledonia, Canoe Creek, Codorus, Colonel Denning, Delaware Canal, French Creek, Gifford Pinchot, Greenwood Furnace, Hills Creek, Keystone, Lackawanna, Lyman Run, Marsh Creek, Moraine, Nescopeck, Ohiopyle, Pine Grove Furnace, Prince Gallitzin, Pymatuning, Raccoon Creek, S.B. Elliott, Shawnee, Sinnemahoning and Susquehannock. Also, Jacobsburg, Nolde Forest and Kings Gap environmental education centers.

Presque Isle State Park and Jennings Environmental Education Center will offer a New Year’s Eve or “Last Night” hike for those who wish to ring in the New Year mid-hike.  These 1- 3-mile easy hikes begin at 10:30 PM December 31 and end around 12:30 AM January 1.

Pennsylvania State Park staff and volunteers lead all hikes, which usually are about one or two miles, but can be longer depending on the park and its terrain.

Additional details can be found at www.dcnr.pa.gov (click on Events then type First Day Hikes in the search bar).

Hikers are invited to share their experience on social media using #FirstDayHikes.

Hills Creek First Day 5K & First Day Hike/Showshoe

A First Day Guided Hike or Snowshoe Hike, and a First Day 5K are being offered at Hills Creek State Park at 111 Spillway Road, seven miles northeast of Wellsboro in Tioga County. Meet at the park’s beach parking area to participate in either the hike or 5K.

For the First Day 5K, runners should arrive between 12 and 12:30 p.m. to register and pick up course information and details before the 1 p.m. start. The 5K is a free, no frills event. There are no aid stations and no awards. Runners have to write down their own times. The goal is to challenge themselves and their friends by running around Hills Creek Lake as fast as they can.

The short, family oriented, slow-paced 1.5-mile guided hike will be on Tauscher’s Trail. If there is snow, it will be a guided snowshoe hike. Hikers are encouraged to bring their own snowshoes or traction devices. A limited supply of both will be available to use free. Leader is Daryl Warren.

Hikers will cheer on runners in the 5K at 1 p.m. and then leave on their own adventure.

Come early and stay late if there is snow. Sledding hill is nearby so families are welcome to bring sleds, tubes or toboggans and give the hill a try, or cross-country ski, snowshoe or hike on the park’s trails and campground roads. For information, call the park at 570-724-4246.

Hike/Snowshoe Options at Lyman Run

At 12 p.m. two First Day Guided Hikes or Snowshoe Hikes will be offered at Lyman Run State Park at 454 Lyman Run Road, Galeton in Potter County. The first will begin at 12 p.m. It will be less than a mile from the trailhead near the lower campground along the Lower Lyman Trail to the beach area. This hike is suitable for adults, children and pets. Leader Maxine Harrison will identify different trees along the trail and animal tracks near Lyman Lake. The second hike will begin at 12 p.m. and end by 2 p.m. It is for the more adventurous. Join Wanda Shirk on this three-mile hike on a combination of roads and trails around Lyman Lake. Due to conditions, traction devices may be required and hiking poles are recommended. If there is enough snow, bring sleds and saucers or borrow them to go sledding after the hikes. For more information, call the park at (814) 435-5010 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

First Day Hike/Snowshoe at Sinnemahoning

Starting at 12 p.m. at the Sinnemahoning State Park Office & Wildlife Center at 4843 Park Drive, Austin in Potter County, will be a 2.5-mile First Day Guided Hike or Snowshoe Hike on fairly level trails near the center. See a bald eagle’s nest, learn about the park’s trail system and additional hiking and outdoor recreational opportunities. Waterproof footwear is recommended. For information, call the park at (814) 647-8401.

Run on Thursdays, Jan. 4, 11, 18 & 25

The Tyoga Running Club is hosting free Thursday Night Runs that are open to the public on Jan. 4, 11, 18 and 25. Meet at the Packer Park parking lot behind the Wellsboro Senior Center at 3 Queen Street in Wellsboro to go on a one-hour run beginning at 6 p.m. no matter what the weather conditions. Wearing a headlamp is recommended. There are different pace groups with varying distances for runners of all ages and ability levels. For information, email run4trc@gmail.com or visit www.Facebook.com/tyogarunningclub.



Eagle Watch is Jan. 6

At 1 p.m., a one-hour Eagle Watch led by local expert Matt West will begin at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Connecting Channel Overlook at the Tioga-Hammond Dam. This is one of the best spots in the area to see bald eagles. Those who have binoculars are encouraged to bring them. A limited number of spotting scopes and binoculars will be available. West will talk about the life of the bald eagle, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s reintroduction program, how to identify this raptor and areas on Hammond, Tioga and Cowanesque lakes and other locations in Tioga County where people can go to see them. For information, call the Ives Run Visitor Information Center at 570-835-5281. To get to the overlook, take Route 287 north for 17 miles, turn right onto South Main Street in Tioga Borough, drive to the end of the street, wind past the park entrance gate and drive to the top of the hill until the road ends at the overlook parking lot.

Sunday Funday Snow Biking

Sundays, Oswald Cycle Works is sponsoring the Mountain and Snow Bike Riding Series. On Sundays, Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28, these rides will start at 9 a.m. at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Appalachian Research Branch at 176 Straight Run Road, Wellsboro. It is just off Route 6 in Asaph in Shippen Township, eight miles west of Wellsboro. The rides last two to three hours and the routes are always different to keep the rides interesting. For weekly updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/OswalCycleWorks/ or contact Tom Oswald at 570-662-3097.

Snowman Building & Snow Art

From 1-3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 7, families are invited to build a snowman and use the snow as a blank canvas to create snow art. Everything is free, including materials and hot beverages. If there is no snow, participate in the Hoop It Up and Ice Maker contests, go on a scavenger hunt, make a winter craft to take home or play tic-tac-toe. This event will be at the Stephenhouse Pavilion at the Ives Run Recreation Area on Hammond Lake. The park entrance is 14 miles north of Wellsboro on Route 287. For information, call leader Debbie Calkins at 570-662-3968.

Weekly Hiking Series

Daryl Warren, local hiking guru and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources volunteer leads hikes year-round on Mondays and Saturdays. In addition to the Jan. 1 First Day Hike/Snowshoe at Hills Creek State Park and the Jan. 6 guided snowshoe or regular hike at Mill Cove, Warren will lead hikes on Monday, Jan. 8 through Monday, Feb. 26. The hikes range from easy (Pine Creek Rail Trail) to strenuous (narrow, steep mountain trails), short (3 miles) to lengthy (12 miles). Each week, hikers will meet at the parking lot at Packer Park behind the Wellsboro Senior Center at 3 Queen Street in Wellsboro to carpool to the hike location. Warren ranks each hike on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the easiest and 5 the hardest. “My hiking speed averages 1.7 miles per hour,” Warren said. “If necessary, the pace will be set slower. The time listed for each hike is the actual hiking time. It does not include shuttling to and from trailheads.” On Monday, Jan. 8, Warren will lead an 8.6-mile, 5-hour hike on Larry’s Loop. He rates it as a 3 based on its length. At 8 a.m., meet Warren at Packer Park to carpool to Larry’s Loop. On Saturday, Jan. 13, Warren will lead a 3-mile, 2-hour hike on Hamilton Lake loop. He rates this as a 2 because it is on mostly level terrain and has one short bushwhack. At 9 a.m., meet Warren at Packer Park to carpool to Hamilton Lake Loop. On Monday, Jan. 15, Warren will lead a 6-mile, 3.5-hour hike on Bee Tree Ski Trail. He rates this as a 3.5 because of its length. This hike is on mostly level terrain and has one moderate climb. At 9 a.m., meet Warren at Packer Park to carpool to the Bee Tree Ski Trail. To receive detailed information about the hikes and to sign up for weekly updates, email Daryl at rindercella@epix.net or call him at 570-724-7721 or 570-439-3739.


To learn more about Winter Outings series events or for updates on trail conditions, directions and more, visit www.stepoutdoors.org or call 570-724-0635 or 570-724-0300.



Burglars caused $250 in damage to a wooden door when they forced their way into the home of Teena Jackson on Route 49 in Osceola Township, Tioga County between 11:00 am Chrhistmas Day and 11:00 the day after. Several items were taken including coins and jewelry.

Troopers at Mansfield  are looking for the owner of an ATV found November 14 in a creek off of Hilfiger Road in Covington Township. The black framed Kazuma ATV has a vin number of LWOXCGLP140014789

Anyone with information about the burglary or ATV is encouraged to call state police at 570.662.2151.


Ruth F. GAMBLE, 98, of Brookland, Ulysses, PA, died peacefully on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 in her home surrounded by her family.Born September 11, 1919, in Spring Mills, NY, she was the daughter of William and Hattie R. Whitman French.On July 4, 1942, in Buffalo, NY, she married Edward L. Gamble, who predeceased her on October 19, 2009.A graduate of Harrison Valley High School and Mansfield Normal School, she began her teaching career in Thompson, PA and later taught home economics at Genesee High School and Northern Potter High School.  While attending college, she was employed by State Sen Raymond Stone at Oak Hall in Brookland, where she met Edward.She was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Brookland, serving as one of the first women delegates to the diocesan convention, Episcopal Church Women, serving as president, secretary, and treasurer, Potter County Historical Society, PA Association of School Retirees, and Delta Kappa Gamma, serving as chapter president and historian.  Ruth was a volunteer with Potter County Hospice.Surviving are:  a daughter, Phyllis (Alan) Scardina of Winston-Salem, NC;  a son, Darrell (Patti) Gamble of Brookland;  a daughter-in-law, Bonnie Gamble of Mayville, NY;  seven grandchildren, Lori (Matt) Maughon, Michael (Debbie) Scardina, John (Mandy) Scardina, Sara Gamble, Aimee Crowl, Emily Gamble, and Nick Gamble;  seven great-grandchildren;  a sister, Doris F. Clark of Westfield;  and nieces and nephews.  In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by a son, Quentin A. Gamble;  and a sister, Bonnie Miller.Friends may call at the Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA on Friday, December 29, 2017 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM.  Funeral Services will be held 2:00 PM, Saturday in All Saints Episcopal Church, Brookland.  The Rev. Janis Yskamp and the Rev. Carol Carlson will co-officiate.  Burial will be in Ulysses Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to All Saints Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 52, Coudersport, PA 16915 or Potter County Hospice, c/o Cole Memorial Hospital, 1001 E. Second St., Coudersport, PA 16915.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.olneyfuneralhome.com.

 Doris M. Mitchell, 92, formerly of Laurel Lane, Port Allegany passed away Sunday (Dec. 24, 2017) in Sena Kean Manor, Smethport. Born May 20, 1925, in Port Allegany, she was a daughter of Earl and Hilda Ellison Hurd. On Jan. 1, 1944, in Port Allegany, she married Richard F. Mitchell, who died Apr. 8, 2004.
Doris was a lifetime resident of the area and a graduate of the Port Allegany High School, class of 1943.
Mrs. Mitchell was a member of Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Port Allegany, and Gethsemane Lutheran Women. Surviving is a daughter, Sandra K. Piscitello of Hamburg, NY; a daughter-in-law, Suzanne Mitchell of Nashville, TN; three grandchildren: Todd (Shannon) Mitchell, Jennifer (Matt) Reed, Melissa (Brian) Gehring, nine great-grandchildren; and 4 nieces and 1 nephew.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Richard, a son, James Mitchell, and a sister, Joyce Bickford. Friends will be received from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 31, 2017) in the Switzer Funeral Home, Port Allegany, where a funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. with Rev. Joanne Piatko, pastor of the Gethsemane Lutheran Church, officiating. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, Port Allegany.
Memorials can be made to the Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Port Allegany.

Condolences can be made to:    Sandy Piscitello
3960 Tudor Place
Hamburg, NY  14075

Thursday December 2017

Wednesday’s High, 14; Overnight low; -10; no snow





To hear today’s forecast, click on arrow below.

 Famed author James Patterson award;s two Wellsboro store employees with grants…PennDot announces almost 400 bridges have been repaired or replaced this year….DCNR says there is plenty to do outdoors this winter…..Area fire departments respond to furnace leak at glass plant in Port Allegany…..State police warn residents about deadly drugs appearing in the region….St. Marys woman arrested for shoplifting at Walmart…

To hear today’s podcast, click on arrows below. For some reason we could not post podcast in its entirety. Just click on the arrows sequentially for the entire podcast.




Photo by John Eaton

Kris Dickinson (left) and Kasey Cox Coolidge hold a copy of the letter signed by James Patterson and Oren Teicher that each one received along with a check.  “It’s very clear that you have gone above-and-beyond in your work as a bookseller. We hope that this check will allow you to continue doing good work in your store and in your community,” the letter reads. 

 On Monday, Dec. 18, multi-million dollar bestselling author James Patterson announced the names of more than 300 independent booksellers receiving grants totaling $350,000, up $100,000 over previous years, as part of his Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program and two Tioga County residents were among the recipients.

Patterson partnered with the American Booksellers Association to distribute the funds, which were awarded to individual booksellers in amounts ranging from $750 to $1,250. The full list of the recipients is at BookWeb.org/bonus. Among them are Kris Dickinson and Kasey Cox Coolidge both of From My Shelf Books & Gifts at 7 East Avenue in Wellsboro. Both were anonymously nominated for a Patterson Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program award.

The grant application asked one question: “Why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?” Patterson personally selected winners from bookstores all across the country. Many of the recipients are from areas hard hit by natural disasters, including Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Copperfield’s in Napa, and various stores in Florida. Nominated booksellers were praised for their perseverance, as well as for their contagious enthusiasm, skilled hand-selling, innovation, and, most importantly, dedication to books and reading.


American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher said, “With this expansion of his Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program, James Patterson continues to demonstrate his extraordinary commitment to literacy and independent booksellers. In a year that has proved so challenging to many booksellers because of natural disasters, we are even more grateful. Thanks to his ongoing generosity, over twice as many independent booksellers who are working so hard to serve their communities by connecting authors and readers of all ages will receive well-earned bonuses.”

In 2016, Patterson donated $250,000 in holiday bonuses to 149 independent bookstore employees across the country; in 2015, he donated $250,000 in holiday bonuses to 87 bookstore employees. In 2014, he awarded $1 million in grants to 178 independent bookstores that were recognized for doing an outstanding job of fostering a love of reading in young children. He has had many generous philanthropy programs supporting community literacy. Over the past decade, Patterson has given away over a million books to students and visited hundreds of schools to advocate for youth literacy.

PennDot and its development partner, Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners, expect to finish the 2017 construction season with the opening of its 390th bridge this week. When this multi-year project is completed, PennDOT will have replaced 558 structurally deficient bridges with its Rapid Bridge Replacement Project

2017 Rapid Bridge Replacement Project successes include:

  • PWKP has completed 212 bridges so far this year, with another 6 scheduled to complete before the end of year, for a total of 218 completed bridges in 2017.
  • 96 percent of all bridge replacements on time or ahead of schedule.
  • 284 bridges are now under maintenance responsibility of Walsh Infrastructure Maintenance for the next 25 years.
  • PWKP construction teams have worked a total of 1,464,901-man hours.
  • Over 500 subcontractors have performed work on the project.

Bridge replacements to date across 61 counties in Pennsylvania include:

  • 241 single span bridges
  • 12 multiple-span bridges
  • 129 box culverts
  • 8 Pipe culverts and arch bridges

The Rapid Bridge Replacement Project is an $899 million public-private partnership (P3) awarded by PennDOT to PWKP. PWKP includes, Plenary Group USA Ltd. and Walsh Investors, LLC, which are providing financing and long-term management; a joint-venture construction team of Walsh Construction Company and Granite Construction Company; HDR, Inc., which is the lead design firm; and Walsh Infrastructure Management, which will provide maintenance for a 25-year period upon completion of the bridges.

To see the bridges included in the statewide initiative and to learn more about the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project and P3 in Pennsylvania, visit www.p3forpa.pa.gov. Additional information on the project, the team, and how to bid on the project can be found at www.parapidbridges.comor by calling the project hotline at 877-444-9990 or email info@parapidbridges.com.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says with the arrival of winter, there is plenty to do outdoors and there are plenty of ways to find out more.

Winter Report: To find out if your favorite PA State Park has favorable conditions for winter activities, please check the State Parks Winter Report at http://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/WinterReport/Pages/default.aspx.  The Pennsylvania state parks Winter Report allows winter outdoor recreation enthusiasts to monitor snow and ice conditions with state parks.  The Winter Report is updated weekly (at a minimum) by state parks during the winter season. The report lists the ice thickness and what ice activities are available at that park. Sometimes a park can have ice, but if it is not thick enough, then the activities are not available. The report also lists the snow depth and what snow activities are available at that park. Sometimes a park can have snow, but if it is not deep enough, then the activities are not available. This easy-to-use website allows you to search either by park or by specific winter recreation activity.

Snowmobile Information:  When snow conditions allow, snowmobile riding is permitted on designated trails and joint-use roads on DCNR lands.  The public can access maps and trail conditions through the DCNR web page athttp://www.apps.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/snowmobile/snowindex.aspx. To see information on current trail conditions by county, justscroll down. For trail maps, click on the icon of the specific map you need.  Trail information will be updated by 12:00 noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the snowmobile riding season.  The snowmobile trail conditions can also be access by telephone, toll free, at 1-877-766-6253.

Winter Loaner Program at Sinnemahoning State Park: Explore Sinnemahoning State Park in the winter with the Get Outdoors Loaner Program.  When enough snow covers the trails, a limited number of cross-country skis and snowshoes will be available for use within the park, with staff on hand to loan equipment and assist borrowers. Snowshoes and skis will be available Tuesday through Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and 2 p.m., when sufficient snow covers the trails.   Sizes are limited, but most adult sizes are available.  There is no fee for this loaner program, but donations are requested.  A driver’s license and valid credit card must be provided in order to borrow equipment. Orientation and brief instruction will be provided upon request at the time of loan. For more information or to confirm size availability, call the Park Office and Wildlife Center at 814-647-8401.

Attend A Program To Learn A New Skill: Are winter sports new to you?  Attend a beginner’s class at your local PA State Park or a Winter Festival.  Many introductory programs are offered including snowshoeing, cross country skiing and ice skating.  To find programs and events near you, please visit the DCNR Events Calendar at http://events.dcnr.pa.gov/.  You can search for specific outdoor activities using the search tool on the bottom right of the page,

Several area volunteer fire departments responded to the Ardagh Glass plant in Port Allegany Tuesday night as a precaution when a furnace developed a small leak. Star Hose volunteers were dispatched at around 10:00 pm. Firefighters from  Smethport, Roulette, Coudersport and Westons Mills, NY were summoned under the mutual aid system. All units were back in service about 45 minutes later. There were no injuries.

Pictured above are stamp baggies associated with the recent overdoses. Red beetle on left; Blue Thumbs Up in center; no image on right baggie.

State police across the region are advising citizens to be on the lookout for  suspicious baggies holding dangerous drugs which have resulted in three recent overdoses, one of them fatal. Three users in Clearfield County to our south were revived. The fatality occurred in Clarion County. Authorities say the overdoses are the result of suspected Fentanyl being sold as heroin or as an additive to heroin. Authorities say the region is being flooded with a deadly cocktail that will cause an overdose and most likely lead to death. Anyone who comes across suspicious packages should contact local police.

A St. Marys woman is facing retail theft charges according to state police there. Troopers did not release the 29 year old woman’s name but assert she took $31.16 in merchandise  from the Walmart store Saturday afternoon without paying for the items.