Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

Thursday’s high, 67; Overnight low, 41







To hear the complete weekend forecast, click on start button below:


 PennDot prepares for winter….State police confiscated more than $8.6 million in illegal drugs during third quarter….State police allegedly find substantial amount of drugs at Emporium man’s residence…Bench stolen from Elk County camp….Lumber Museum  antique show and sale this weekend…First Fork Festival to be  held Saturday at Sinnemahoning State Park…Full moon watch tonight and tomorrow night at Cherry Springs State Park…..

To hear today’s podcast, click on start button below:

With the winter season approaching, Pennsylvania Department of

Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards, Pennsylvania Turnpike

Commission (PTC) CEO Mark Compton, and Pennsylvania Emergency Management

Agency (PEMA) Director Randy Padfield held an event this week at PEMA to outline the

commonwealth’s plans for winter services, highlighting the tools the public can use to

successfully prepare for the season.


The public can also access travel information on nearly 40,000 state-maintained roadway

miles year-round at, and during the winter they can find plow-truck

locations and details of when state-maintained roadways were last plowed. The information

is made possible by PennDOT’s Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) technology, which uses

units in each of the over 2,500 department-owned and rented plow trucks to send a cellular

signal showing where a truck is located. Motorists can expect additional enhancements to

511PA throughout the winter season.


To help the public prepare for the season and share information about winter services,

PennDOT offers operational information and traveler resources

The site also has a complete winter guide with detailed information about winter services in

each of PennDOT’s 11 engineering districts.


This winter, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), is prepared to battle the

elements as well, with 380 trucks, plows and salt spreaders and 400 licensed equipment

operators ready to activate 24/7 staffing this fall. Their goal is to keep the Turnpike system

as free of snow and ice as possible, but motorists too have a responsibility to know their

own winter driving skills and their vehicle’s performance.


With $223 million budgeted for this winter’s statewide operations, PennDOT deploys about

4,500 on-the-road workers, has more than 620,000 tons of salt on hand across the state

and will take salt deliveries throughout the winter.


PennDOT is actively seeking more than 500 temporary equipment operators statewide for

the winter season to supplement the department’s full-time staff. Details on minimum

requirements, such as possession of a CDL, as well as application information, are

available at Through the same website, job seekers can apply for

other types of non-operator, winter positions such as diesel and construction equipment

mechanics, welders, clerks and more.


If motorists encounter snow or ice-covered roads, they should slow down, increase their

following distance and avoid distractions. Last winter in Pennsylvania, preliminary data

shows that there were 440 crashes resulting in one fatality and 221 injuries on snowy,

slushy or ice-covered roadways where aggressive-driving behaviors such as speeding or

making careless lane changes were factors.


Motorists should prepare for potential bad weather by ensuring they have supplies in their

cars before heading out: food; water; blankets; extra gloves and hats; cell phone charger;

hand or foot warmers; windshield brush and scraper; and any specialized items like

medications or baby and pet supplies.

Officials say it’s also important to know the difference between a weather watch and



  • A watch means there is increased risk of a hazardous weather event, but its

occurrence, location, or timing is still uncertain. Pay attention to forecasts and plan

out what you will do if/when it occurs.


  • A warning means the weather event is imminent or is happening. Take immediate

action to protect lives and property.


In addition, snow squalls can often produce dangerous and deadly travel hazards on

otherwise clear winter days. The National Weather Service now issues “Snow Squall

Warnings” which alert drivers of whiteout conditions and slippery roadways, so motorists

can avoid traveling directly into these dangerous squalls.


For more information on PennDOT’s winter preparations and additional winter-driving

resources for motorists, visit the department’s winter website,

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded

winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting 511PA, which is free and

available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed

information, and access to more than 950 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a

free smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by

following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.


For more PennDOT information, visit Follow PennDOT Information on

Twitter at, and follow the department on Facebook

For more PennDOT information, visit Follow PennDOT Information on

Twitter at, and follow the department on Facebook and Instagram




The Pennsylvania State Police announced this week  that troopers confiscated $8,630,235 worth of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and other illicit drugs in the third quarter of 2019.From July 1 through September 30, troopers seized 192 pounds of cocaine valued at $4.2 million; as well as nearly 37 pounds of heroin and fentanyl, with a combined street value of $953,274.

Third Quarter Drug Seizure Totals


Drug             Total Seized        Total Value of Amount Seized

Cocaine                192 lbs. $4,195,044

Crack Cocaine    0.83 lbs.                $13,851

Heroin  23.1 lbs.                $733,594

Fentanyl              13.73 lbs.             $219,680

LSD         86 doses              $1,720

Marijuana THC – Liquid  20.5 pints             $137,350

Marijuana THC – Solid    5.93 lbs.                $29,500

Marijuana Plants              229 plants            $37,785

Processed Marijuana     773.5 lbs.             $2,321,359

Methamphetamines      65.67 lbs.             $656,700

MDMA – Ecstasy              3.44 lbs.                $113,877

MDMA – Pills                   992 pills                $14,880

Other Narcotics                5 lbs.                                   $10,145

Other Narcotics (Pills)    5,791 pills             $144,750

Total Value         $8,630,235

State police also collected 1,083 pounds of prescription and other medication as part of its drug take-back program. There are 65 drug take-back boxes at state police stations throughout the commonwealth, providing a safe way to dispose of unused or unwanted medication 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Troopers at the Emporium barracks have charged  28 year old Dustin Clark of that town for drug possession. Police allege when they arrested Clark for public drunkenness and similar misconduct Wednesday afternoon on West Fourth Street, he told them he was under the influence of three different controlled substances. Authorities claim they found an assortment of controlled drugs and a large amount of cash on his person. A search warrant was issued for his residence and state police assert they found a vast amount of equipment used to grow marijuana, paraphernalia, packaging products and a substantial amount of methamphetamine. The investigation is continuing and charges are pending.

The theft of a small wooden bench from an Elk County camp last weekend is being  probed by state police at Ridgway. The bench was taken from the front porch of a camp located at 3138 Rasselas Road in Jones Township and belonged to 78 year old Frank Petro of Clymer, PA