Congressman Fred Keller was the featured speaker at the Luncheon of Deplorables sponsored by the Potter County Republican Committee October 26. Hear his remarks by tapping on the Black Forest Trails link on our home page.


Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

                                        Wednesday’s high, 65; Overnight low, 50 .30” of rain







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Obituary: LaDessa Coats Chief, Rocklin, TX

Wind Advisory for tonight through Friday morning…Two area schools win places in “Paint the Plow” contest…slide repairs begin next week on Route 144 in Potter County…..ID theft investigated by state police n Cameron County….NY state driver seriously hurt in Tioga County car/deer encounter….

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* WHERE…The Laurel Highlands, much of the northern mountains andthe central and southern mountains west of I-99.* IMPACTS…Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects.

Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages mayresult.Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a highprofile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects.For high wind safety information, visit latest forecast information can be found on the

NWS State College Facebook page and Twitter @NWSStateCollege,

or on the web at

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is pleased to honor the regional winners of the “Paint the Plow” safety outreach contest which promotes winter driving safety and fosters appreciation for high school art programs and student creativity.This year’s theme was “Don’t rush in ice and slush”. DuBois Central Catholic High School won the “Fan Favorite” award, which was determined by online voting. The plow depicts a trio of penguins clearly dizzy from the fall they took while rushing through ice and slush. Sugar Valley Rural Charter School in Clinton County was the honorable mention.Winner of the “Judges’ Pick” award was Coudersport High School, with a plow depicting snowmen in peril as a car careens toward them through ice and slush.

Cameron County High School won honorable mention for the “Judges’ Pick,” which was determined through specific criteria by a panel of judges.   

Participating schools included Bellefonte High School, Cameron County High School, Central Mountain High School, Clearfield Alliance Christian School, Coudersport High School, DuBois Central Catholic High School, Harmony High School, and Sugar Valley Rural Charter School.

2019 was the first year of participation by Clearfield Alliance, Sugar Valley, and Cameron County. During the winter weather season, the blades painted by all eight schools will be used to maintain state-owned roadways in District 2’s 9-County region. District 2 serves, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Juniata, McKean, Mifflin, and Potter counties.  Members of the public can view photos of the painted plow blades online at by clicking on the “Paint the Plow” icon. More information on the program can be obtained by contacting Marla Fannin at or 814-765-0423 or Tim Nebgen at or 814-765-0598.“Paint the Plow” is a joint effort of PennDOT and area high schools. Students are invited to paint a plow blade with an original design based on a provided theme. The 2019 statewide theme is “Don’t Rush in Ice and Slush.” It was chosen to draw attention to the need for motorists to give themselves ample time for travel during wintry weather to arrive safely to their destination.For more information on winter driving and PennDOT operations, visit

 (PennDOTis alerting motorists that slide repair work will temporarily close a section of Route 144 next week. Starting Monday, November 4, Route 144 (Branch Road) will be closed from the Galeton Borough line,  west toward Germania for about a mile.

Crews will be working to repair a slide condition along the roadway and an official, 20-mile detour will be in place. Work hours will be during daylight between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. but the closure and detour will remain in place around the clock throughout the week. Drivers will be directed to use Route 144, Route 6, Route 2002 (Branch Road/West Street), and Route 44. Drivers familiar with the area may choose to use alternate routes.

Morning and afternoon school buses will be able to move through the work area and emergency vehicles will be accommodated through the work area as necessary.

This section of Route 144 is currently under a lane-restriction pattern and the slide repair work will restore Route 144 to two-way travel in this area. PennDOT expects the closure to be in place through Friday, November 8 but will open the road earlier if work progress allows. All work will be performed by PennDOT Potter County Maintenance and all work is weather dependent.

Emporium based state police are investigating an ID theft taking place October 19 in Emporium. A thief used a Discover Card and an AAA card at local businesses to make purchased without the cardholders permission or knowledge.

A Niagara Falls, NY woman was hurt in a one-vehicle accident last Thursday in Covington Township, Tioga County. State police say Alyssa Sacks was going north on Route 15  when a deer came onto the road from the western side, Sacks swerved her Toyota Corolla to avoid the white tail causing her car to hit some guardrails on the eastern side, The car bounced off the guard rail traveled across both northbound lanes and hit guardrails on the western side, then traveled back across the road before coming to rest. Sacks was taken to Williamsport General Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. Her passenger, Shane Hellems of Albion, NY was not hurt.

Troopers at Mansfield are still looking for a hit and  run driver from May 31, An unknown vehicle backed into a 2010 Lexus  owned by Anthony  Allen of Wellsboro and left the scene headed east. The case remains open.


LaDesssa Coats Chief, 61, of Rocklin, passed away on June 18, 2018, after a long illness. LaDessa was born in Moscow, Idaho to Durwood and Helen Longfors Coats. Preceded in death by her father and her sister Helmi Coats. Survived by her husband Leonard Chief of Rocklin, California; her mother Helen Henderson of Park Rapids, Minnesota; her brothers, Bob (Carla) Coats of Thorofare, New Jersey and Aarne (Cindy) Coats of Lone Pine, California; and several nieces and nephews.

LaDessa waited tables to buy her first car, a 1969 Mustang fastback; she enjoyed owning sports cars throughout her younger years. LaDessa was a 1975 graduate of Sierra High School in Tollhouse, California. She attended Reedley Junior College for two years before enlisting in the US Air Force as an Electronics Technician. She served honorably for four years active duty at Travis Air Force Base in California, followed by nine years in the Air Force Reserves. LaDessa had many temporary duty assignments, including Okinawa, the Philippines, Korea, and Hawaii. While serving she made two close, lifelong friends, Cecelia and Martha.

Upon discharge from active duty in 1982, LaDessa went to work for AT&T as a Testing Technician where she worked until retiring in 2012. Her friend Cecelia also worked with her at AT&T. She married her soulmate, Leonard Chief, in 2000 and they enjoyed almost two decades of marriage. LaDessa never had children of her own, but deeply loved her nieces and nephews. She enjoyed being a part of their lives through cards, letters, and visits. She was also very protective and supportive of her brothers and could be relied on for comfort at any time.

Like her father before her, LaDessa inherited Myotonia, a form of muscular dystrophy. It slowly took her health in her later years. Fortunately, Leonard was there for her and she remained independent of others and self-reliant.

LaDesssa will always be loved and missed by those whose lives she touched.

Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service at 11 am on Saturday, November 2, 2019, at the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, 118 South Union Street, Shinglehouse, Pa. The Rev. Thomas Isaacson, pastor of Grace Bible Independent Baptist Church, Shinglehouse, will officiate.  Burial will be in Maple Grove Cemetery, Shinglehouse, Pa.

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

LaDessa’s family has entrusted her care to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse, Pa.

To express condolences or share a fond memory of LaDessa, please visit or the funeral home Facebook page, Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home.

There’s still time to send flowers to the Memorial Service at the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home at 11:00 AM on November 2, 2019.