n NEWS ARCHIVE |January - March 2007

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03/30/07

Kane-based state police are charging 23 year old Brandon Freer of Eldred with failing to drive at a safe speed and failing to wear a seatbelt following a rear-end collision Thursday morning on the West Eldred Road, about four and a half miles north of Route 446 in Eldred Township. Troopers said Freer was unable to stop his northbound Chevy truck in time, and allowed it to run into the back of a Dodge Dakota driven by Roger Moyer also of Eldred. Freer and his wife, Beth, were taken to Olean General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries while their daughter, 3 year old Jenna who was in a child safety seat escaped injury.  Moyer was transported to Bradford Regional Medical Center for treatment of moderate injuries. No one, including 26 students, was hurt in a rear-end collision Thursday morning in Tioga County involving a school bus. State police said the collision occurred on Route 287 near Morris when Joseph Bohnert tried to make a left turn with the bus into a pull-off area just as Steven Johnson of South Williamsport was attempting to pass after passing an SUV. The bus’s left front hit the front right tire on Johnson’s 2004 Grand Prix and sent it spinning off the road and into the brush.  Police said an inspection of the bus showed the left rear turn signal was not working so Bohnert, the owner of the bus will be charged for traffic and equipment violations.

 The theft of a car from Stuck’s Garage in Otto Township is being probed by State police at Kane.  The 1999 Ford Escort owned by Eleanor Schwab of Duke Center was found Wednesday night  in a ditch along New York State Route 16, about a mile and a half from where it was taken earlier this month.

 Underage drinking charges have been filed against  19 year old Joshua Smith of St. Marys by Kane based state police. Authorities allege Smith was found to be consuming beer along the east side  of Route 219, a mile south of Route 6 in Hamlin Township just before 1:00 p.m. today.

 A Duncannon, PA man has been admitted to the Potter County ARD program for 9 months  after pleading guilty to DUI and various traffic violations. John Hall, 48, was arrested by Coudersport Borough Police last August 18 when he failed to use a turn signal and allowed his car to cross the center line several times. His blood alcohol content was found to be .17%, more than twice the legal limit.  Hall was also ordered to attend DUI Alcohol Safe Driving School, perform 25 hours of community service, surrender his drivers license for 60 days and attend the DUI Victim Impact Panel. Todd Wright, 36 of Genesee will be sentenced on May 2 after recently pleading guilty in Potter County Court to DUI. According to Potter County DA Dawn Fink, Wright was arrested following a vehicle crash on March 2, 2006.

 Consider it a warning. Coudersport-based state police have announced that sometime over the next two weeks they will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint on a section of highway that has had a high incidence of impaired drivers both in terms of  alcohol related crashes and arrests. The site and time will not be specified.

 

03/29/07

The warmer temperatures and March winds are combining to create conditions which make wildfires more likely. Nearly 85 percent of Pennsylvania's wildfires occur in March, April and May, before the greening of state woodlands and brush lands and 98% are caused by people. Wildfires devastate nearly 10,000 acres of state forest and even more private land annually threatening life, property, and the sustainability of valuable natural resources. Campers and other state forest visitors are reminded open fires are prohibited on state forestland when the fire danger is listed as high, very high, or extreme, unless authorized by the district forester. The Department of Community and Natural Resource's Bureau of Forestry is responsible for prevention and suppression of wildfires on the commonwealth's 17 million acres of state and private woodlands and brush lands.  The bureau maintains a fire-detection system, and works with fire wardens and volunteer fire departments to ensure they are trained in the latest advances in fire prevention and suppression. The first one of the season blackened only a small area on Fishing Creek north of Roulette Wednesday afternoon. Roulette volunteers were summoned to the Dana Halle residence when a brush fire got out of hand. All units were back in service a short time after firefighters doused the brush fire and watered down the surrounding area according to Chief Mike Ingalls. The threat will continue over the next several days.  

An Eldred man has been released on $5,000 bail after being arraigned on charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault and indecent assault. Authorities allege that 22 year old Leonard Windsor had sexual relations with a 16 year old girl several times between November 2005 and January of this year. Police claim the two met through activities at a McKean County fire department and that some of their sexual encounters took place inside a fire hall and, a fire department vehicle and Windsor’s vehicle.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 2 in front of District Judge Bill Todd.

 

State police here have charged 20 year old Iva Scharlau of Beech Street Coudersport with simple assault. Troopers claim that Scharlau hit a young girl Saturday afternoon causing a red welt on the child’s back.

 

David Lush, Apprise Coordinator for Potter County, has recently become aware that one or more insurance company representatives are deliberately misrepresenting themselves, and may be involved in illegal sales tactics.   “Our Agency had contact with a Medicare beneficiary who was recently visited by an insurance agent selling Medicare Advantage Plans for an insurance company.  The beneficiary indicated that the insurance agent claimed to work with me, and that I approved of the Advantage plan he was offering.  That is completely false” Lush explained that as an Apprise Coordinator/Counselor, his role in assisting Medicare beneficiaries is to be a neutral source of unbiased information to help the beneficiary make an informed choice about their Medicare options. In general, all Medicare beneficiaries should be aware that there may be several insurance agents who are being very aggressive trying to enroll beneficiaries in their Medicare   Advantage plan, and that there are 24 Advantage plans available to Potter County.  Which Medicare Advantage plan, or if a Medicare Advantage plan is a good choice for a person very much depends on their specific situation.  Beneficiaries should be aware of their rights- they are in no way obligated to listen to a sales pitch that they have not specifically requested, and that door-to-door solicitation of Medicare Advantage plans is illegal.  Also, beneficiaries have the right to fully understand what it is they are enrolling in; and they have the right to take time to think things over.  Lush says “don’t let an insurance agent use high-pressure tactics to force you into making a decision that you are not yet ready to make”.For more information contact him at the Area Agency on Aging at 800-800-2560 or 544-7315.

   

03/28/07

Kane-based state police are continuing their investigation into the apparent accidental death of a young Port Allegany man Monday night. Authorities say 22 year old Michael Evens was taken to Charles Cole Hospital at around 11:00 p.m. and was pronounced dead a couple of hours later. Potter County Coroner Kevin Dusenbury says the cause of death will not be determined until toxicology tests are completed.

A hit and run taking place sometime between Sunday and Tuesday at the Clermont Cemetery in Sergeant Township, McKean County is also  being investigated by state police at Kane.  Troopers said an unknown vehicle, probably while backing down the hill caused about $150 in damage when it struck the headstone of Helen Emma Rice and an eternal light vessel.

 A theft at a Wetmore Township home is also being probed by troopers at the Kane barracks. Sometime between 7:00 a.m. Monday and 3:30 p.m. Tuesday thieves entered the home of Ronald Swanson on Kinzua Avenue and removed about $2000 worth of property including a Sentry safe with personal papers, jewelry, state quarter books, and a small cedar box containing old coins and several two dollar bills.

 Potter County Director of Veterans Affairs, Joe Becker tells WFRM some vets are getting mis-information about a tax reduction. Becker says in order to qualify, a vet must be totally and permanently disabled.  Becker also recommends visiting the updated website for Pennsylvania veterans, www.paveterans.state.pa.us which he says is very easy to navigate.  Becker is available Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Potter County  Court House but he says he will make an appointment anytime to meet with a vet. Call him at 274-8290, ext. 210.

 Pennsylvania hunters interested in applying for a second spring gobbler tag have until April 1, according to  the Game Commission. Fees for the special license are $21 for residents and $41 for nonresidents.  Mailed applications for special wild turkey licenses must be sent to: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Special Spring Gobbler License, P.O. Box 61317, Harrisburg, PA 17106-1317. The spring gobbler season is set for April 28-May 26, and the daily limit remains one bird. Hunters are allowed to submit only one application for the special wild turkey license during a license year.   So far, the agency has received applications for more than 3,100 second spring gobbler tags.

 

03/27/07

The engineer operating the Norfolk Southern train which derailed last summer near the McKean/Cameron County border was committed to the McKean County jail in lieu of $20,000 bail after being arraigned Monday on charges of risking a catastrophe and reckless endangerment. Kane-based state police claim 45 year old Michael Seifert of Buffalo was under the influence of drugs when the speeding train went off the tracks near Gardeau on June 30 and spilled some 43,000 gallons of caustic lye onto the ground and into the Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek devastating fish and other aquatic life for miles downstream. Investigators found the train was going 77 mph in a 15 mph zone. Norfolk Southern is conducting a clean-up of the area but faces nearly $9 million in fines.

A Westfield resident has reportedly confessed to scattering rubbish on land in Harrison Township owned by Hancock Forest Management of Smethport. State police locally said 22 year old  Jeffrey Martin admitted dumping several garbage bags of miscellaneous trash down over an embankment along the Cole Branch Road about a half mile east of the Dodge Hollow Road and will be making restitution to the victim.

Several area drivers have been cited for DUI. Troopers here pulled over 43 year old Robert Bruce of Roulette Friday evening on Route 6 in Eulalia Township for a traffic violation and allegedly found him to be driving under the influence of alcohol. Kane-based state police have charged 38 year old Shellie Doty of Lewis Run with DUI after she went to the Kane Barracks Friday evening to pickup someone who had been arrested earlier. Upon questioning Doty, troopers allegedly found she drove to the location while under the influence of alcohol. Troopers at Kane have also charged a Bradford  minor with DUI. The youth was allegedly discovered under the influence in a car at the Country Fair Parking lot Saturday at around 3:15 a.m. And, Mansfield-based state police have charged 56 year old Terry Yoder of that town with DUI after pulling him over Friday evening on the Westgate Road in Richmond Township for multiple traffic violations.

 Meanwhile, a couple of DUI defendants are awaiting sentencing in Potter County Court.Todd Wright, 36 of Genesee was arrested for DUI following a one-vehicle crash on March 2, 2006.  He’ll be sentenced on May 2. Julie Vecellio, 40, of Bradford was arrested by State Police on March 19, 2006 when she was observed driving erratically while speeding on Route 6 near Roulette. According to Potter County District Attorney Dawn Fink, both Wright and Vecellio pleaded guilty recently to the charges.

 

03/26/07

Kane-based state police have filed charges against the engineer who was operating the Norfolk Southern train which derailed last summer, spilling some 43,000 gallons of caustic lye near the McKean/Cameron County Border.  A warrant has been issued for the arrest of 45 year old Michael Seifert of Buffalo. He is charged with two counts of risking a catastrophe and one count of reckless endangerment. Authorities allege Seifert was under the influence of drugs when the speeding train derailed on June 30.  The lye spilled into the Sinnemahoning Portage Creek devastating acquatic life for several miles downstream. Norfolk Southern is currently cleaning up the spill and is facing fines of more than $8 million.  There were no human injuries but private water supplies will continue to be monitored for infiltration.

Charges of reckless driving  are pending against an Olean driver following a crash Friday afternoon on Route 770 near the Pine Acres Golf Course in Lafayette Township, McKean County. State police said Jessie Green, 19, was driving his Chevrolet Camaro at a high rate of speed when it slid off the road for about 500 feet before striking a tree on the Pine Acres Golf Course. Green and his passenger Towadi Williams of Lewis Run both escaped injury.

 Coudersport volunteer firefighters were able to keep a chimney fire contained to the chimney itself Saturday afternoon.  A crew responded with one engine to the Darrell Quintrell residence on the Green Forest Road in Sweden Township. They were assisted at the scene by volunteers from Galeton.

 State police locally have charged 19 year old LaShella Noles of Port Allegany with simple assault for an incident allegedly taking place at around 9:30 Saturday morning at Faith’s Café and Country Store in the village of Roulette. Authorities claim Noles struck the store owner, Faith Cornelius, several times during an argument, causing minor injuries.

 A Smethport man has been charged with simple assault for a domestic violence incident allegedly taking place Sunday morning at his home on Willow Street. Tropers claim 45 year old John Braitwaite hit his wife Tina in the face and head several times during an argument.

 Disorderly conduct charges have been filed against a Mt. Jewett man who reportedly could not quiet his dogs.  Troopers said 64 year old John Minehart had been previously warned about causing a public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm.

 Michael Conner, 36 of Lewis Run is being charged with criminal trespass and public drunkenness for a couple of incidents taking place Friday afternoon. State police say they were called to Jose’s Bar in that town when an employee told them that Conner was smoking an illegal substance. When troopers arrived, they found Conner had left Jose’s and had gone to Ross’s Inn but had left there.  He was later located and taken into custody.

 A camp burglary taking place over the past month or so in Sharon township is being probed by troopers here.  Thieves kicked in the back door  to gain entry to a camp owned by Edward Hellriegel of Barton, PA which is located on the Eleven Mile Road.

03/23/07

A Roulette woman is facing charges in connection to a one-vehicle crash taking place early this morning on Route 6 just east of Potter Pack in Roulette Township. Troopers said Kelli Snyder left the scene without notifying authorities  or the property owner when her westbound Jeep Cherokee crossed to the other side of the road, and came to rest in a yard off of the north berm just after 2:00 a.m. today.  Snyder suffered unknown injuries. One of her passengers Ronald Drabert suffered minor injuries while a second passenger, Zachary Easton escaped injury. Minor injuries were reported for a Genesee woman following a collision Thursday afternoon on Route 449 a half mile north of the Brookland Road in Ulysses Township. State police said the collision happened when Sherry Harmon’s 2007 Honda Civic crossed the double yellow line and sideswiped a tractor trailer driven by Eric Stephens of West Haven, Connecticut. The compact sideswiped the entire length of the 48 ft. trailer before coming to rest along the east berm.  Harmon was taken to Charles Cole Hospital. The truck driver was unhurt and initially believed there was no significant damage to the rig but it broke down later and had to be repaired by White’s Repair Service. Harmon has been cited for failing to stay within a traffic lane and police noted that Tri-Town Volunteer fire personnel provided excellent traffic control in very dense fog.

 A Shinglehouse man has been remanded to the McKean County Jail in lieu of $20,000 cash bail after being arraigned on charges of criminal trespass, theft, burglary,  and forgery in connection to two burglaries at Ram Forest Products on Route 44 in Ceres Township on January 4 and 11th. Ryan Dexter, 24, a former employee, was allegedly videotaped by surveillance camera. He’s accused of stealing a computer and taking a check belonging to an employee and cashing it at a bank in Olean.  A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for April 2 before District Judge William Todd.

 State police are continuing their investigation into an identity theft victimizing an Abbott Township couple. Authorities say Sharon and Gerald Rawson noticed charges on their Mastercard account totaling more than $283 taking place between early December and mid-February which they did not authorize.

 Potter County District attorney Dawn Fink tells WFRM she is considering re-filing charges against 28 year old Shawn Foringer, the former Austin Borough Police Chief. A Potter County jury could not reach a decision last week on charges of theft and intent to deliver drugs but found him guilty of a misdemeanor charge of making false reports. Foringer resigned his position in October 2005 shortly after being charged with stealing about two pounds of marijuana which was being held by his department as evidence in a drug case.

03/22/07

A Coudersport man has been sentenced to a jail term of 16 to 48 months on aggravated assault and harassment charges. According to Potter County District Attorney Dawn Fink 26 year old Justin Houghtaling became combative with police last June 11; threatened to beat and kick them and spat blood at them while at Charles Cole Hospital. Houghtaling  was arrested by Borough Police and was  represented by Public Defender Brent Petrosky.

In other Potter County Court action, 19 year old Vincent Langworthy of Roulette will be sentenced on April 11 after  pleading  guilty to two counts of burglary, criminal trespass and theft. According to DA Fink, between September 8 and 13, 2005, Langworthy and co-conspirators were involved in five camp burglaries in Sylvania and Keating Townships. He was represented by Coudersport attorney Walter Stenhach.

 A couple of area drivers are facing DUI charges.  Troopers here pulled  33 year old Betsey Daniels of Genesee over late Saturday night on Route 6 in Sweden Township for alleged traffic violations and reportedly found her to be driving under the influence. Kane-based state police have charged 59 year old David Carlson of that town with DUI after responding to the intersection of Route 6 and Biddle Street from a caller who reported seeing Carlson erratically driving.

 Governor Edward G. Rendell announced this week  that a partnership with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will create the largest elk watching and conservation education center in the eastern United States in Benezette Township, Elk County. The governor said the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources signed a 30-year partnership agreement with the foundation, one of the country’s premier conservation organizations, for construction of the 7,000-square foot facility that will include interpretive exhibits, wildlife trails and viewing blinds, year-round restrooms and parking for cars and buses.

Under the partnership agreement with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the commonwealth will provide $5 million in Public Improvement Project funds for construction of the center.  The foundation will initially invest $2 million for the land purchase and the center’s exhibits in addition to committing an estimated $5.6 million over 30 years for the operation of the facility. Completion of the center’s design is expected by the end of this year.  Construction completion is projected for spring 2009. 

  03/21/07

Kane-based state police have charged a 20 year old resident of that town with burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, criminal trespass and criminal mischief in connection to a break-in at the Kinzua Country Family Restaurant  on Main Street in Mt. Jewett during the early morning hours Tuesday.  Police said they followed footprints from the restaurant to a house where Dylan Forsythe was staying.  They allege he forced open a rear window and once inside removed four bottles of liquor valued at about $600 and took $400 in currency from a cabinet from behind the bar. Following arraignment before District Judge Todd, Forsythe was committed to the McKean County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. The restaurant is owned by Lisa Ginkle and troopers said a friend of hers helped them “tremendously” in following the footprints. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 2. Troopers here have charged 41 year old Brenda Kay Williams of Emporium with criminal mischief in connection to an incident taking place Saturday night in the parking lot of the Forest House Bar located in Keating Summit. Authorities claim Williams used a hammer to smash the driver’s side headlight in a vehicle owned by Kimberly Jones also of Emporium

 In recent Potter County court action, 49year old Harvey Howell of Galeton was ordered to spend 12 months on probation, pay a $100 fine, court costs and restitution and to perform 25 hours of community service on a criminal mischief conviction.  Potter County District Attorney Dawn Fink said Howell was arrested when he was observed slashing tires on four vehicles parked at the Lakeside in Galeton last September 16th.  Matthew Louser, 20 of Shinglehouse was ordered to spend four to 18 months in jail for theft. According to the DA, Louser stole about 50 gallons of gasoline, four plastic jugs and a gas gauge during the fall of 2005. 

 A couple of area residents have been cited for DUI.  Jerome Dubots, 54, of Coudersport was arrested by state police  after being stopped on the night of  February 28 in Coudersport Borough. And, 54 year old Herman Beyer of Austin was pulled over early Monday morning by a trooper  at an intersection in Austin.

Emily Gamble, of Ulysses  was one of three young women honored today as “Women of Promise” for their achievements in athletics, community service and creative and performing arts. Emily, the daughter of Darrell and Patti Gamble was honored for her athletic ability. A senior at the Northern Potter High School, Emily has excelled in four sports, basketball, volleyball, softball and track. She is the captain of the volleyball and basketball teams and was named most outstanding athlete in girl’s track. Gamble plans to major in either business or one of the health-related fields at either Susquehanna University or Slippery Rock University. She hopes to study abroad and play volleyball while in college. Susan Valentine, Northern Potter principal says Emily is an outstanding young lady, and is a true leader for her teams.

 The Department of Agriculture is  conducting random inspections of pet food inventories at more than 100 facilities in Pennsylvania to make sure that recalled pet food is removed from shelves, according to  Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff .Certain wet food products, labeled “Cuts in Gravy,” and manufactured by Menu Foods of Ontario have been recalled by the company in response to reported pet illness. All pet owners are urged  to check the labels of their pets’ food and call their veterinarians with any signs of illness.The cause of illness is unknown at this time, but has been linked to wet pet foods under more than 40 dog and cat food brands manufactured by Menu Foods and distributed throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  Only wet food sold in cans or pouches is affected.Owners should consult a veterinarian immediately if pets show symptoms of illness, including loss of appetite, lethargy or vomiting.For a complete list of products affected by the recall, visit www.menufoods.com/recall.  For more information about the recall, call Menu Foods at 866-463-6738 or 866-895-2708.

  03/20/07

Several area drivers are facing charges in connection to recent crashes. State police at Kane say both truck drivers will be charged in district court following a collision Monday morning at the intersection of Route 6 and the West Brick Road in Wetmore Township.  Troopers said the collision occurred when Michael Hayward of Cuba, NY backed his rig off of Route 6 onto the West Brick Road, attempting to travel east. His rig blocked both lanes as Ervin Abers Jr of Bradford approached with his tractor trailer. Abers tried to avoid hitting Hayward’s semi, and traveled into the opposite lane, went off the road, struck a utility pole and a headstone in the cemetery at the Lebanon Lutheran Church Cemetery before coming to rest.  Both drivers escaped injury but major damage was reported for the rigs.

A 24 year old Smethport woman is being charged with failing to drive at a safe speed following a one-vehicle crash Monday afternoon in Eldred Township. State police said Elise Elderkin was headed north when her Ford Escort traveled off the road and struck a guardrail. She escaped injury. A couple of hours later, Douglas Kramer’s Toyota Tacoma rolled over after cresting a hill on Route 219 a mile and half north of Route 6 in Hamlin township  when he slowed down for another unit. And, a few minutes later, Theodore Phalon III of Smethport received minor injuries when his Chevrolet Lumina struck a utility pole on Route 646 in Keating Township.  Police said Phalon was traveling too fast for conditions at the time.  He was treated at the scene by ambulance personnel.

  An underage  Roulette driver is being charged with DUI and furnishing alcohol to minors. State police say they pulled Crystal VanZile’s car over on Route 6 near Seymour Drive in Roulette Township early Sunday morning and allegedly found she was under the influence of alcohol.  State police say her passengers, a 16 year old boy from Shinglehouse, a 16 year old girl from Roulette and a 15 year old boy from Coudersport had also been drinking.

 Troopers now say charges of disorderly conduct and criminal mischief have been filed against 24 year old Jason Greiss of Ulysses for an incident allegedly taking place on March 12.  Previously, authorities had not released his name but now say he is the one who became vulgar toward officers who accompanied Teri Mills to retrieve personal belongings from a vehicle parked at his residence. And, that after being placed in handcuffs for his own safety, he smashed his head against the patrol car causing damage to the car when officers tried to force him inside. 

 A Roulette businesswoman is being charged with yet another count of writing bad checks. State police claim 32 year old Faith Cornelius doing business as Faith’s Café and Country Store, wrote a check for more than $871 last October to Hershey’s Ice Cream in Harrisburg and has failed to make the check good or arrange payment. Cornelius is facing similar charges for worthless checks written to suppliers and even employees.

 The Potter County EMA is advising any permanent Potter County resident who suffered damage due to last week’s flooding to contact their township or borough and provide an estimate of damage and pictures, if possible.  Municipalities will be collecting the data and reporting it to the EMA.

03/19/07

A couple of Potter County residents have been given jail time for DUI convictions according to District Attorney Dawn Fink.  Philip Bennett, 44, of Ulysses was arrested last June 10 following a one-vehicle crash on Route 49 near Seven Bridges. His car drifted off the road and went into a ditch. When State Police investigated, they found he had been driving under the influence of alcohol.  Judge John Leete ordered Bennett to spend 90 days to five years in jail, pay a $1550  fine, all costs and fees and to perform 25 hours of community service.  Robert Siebert, 24, of Shinglehouse was ordered by the judge to spend four months to five years in jail and pay a $1500 fine. Siebert was arrested by Shinglehouse Borough police following a one-vehicle crash on June 23, 2006 in that town. His blood alcohol was found to be .16%, twice the legal limit.

State police at Emporium and Kane report investigating harassment incidents. Troopers at Emporium charged both people involved in a fight Friday afternoon.  Authorities said Rhonda Mason of Emporium and Harry Erskine of Galloway, NJ were involved in an argument in the Village of Truman which became physical.  State police at Emporium have charged 52 year old Lavonne Jarvie of Clymer, PA with harassment for making repeated phone calls to Roger Jarvie of Driftwood, even though she had been asked to refrain from calling. And troopers at Kane say they are continuing to investigate a harassment taking place over the past several months victimizing Paula Piero of Ludlow.  No further details were released. 

 For the 12th year in a row, Shinglehouse Borough has been named a Tree City USA community by the National Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to community forestry. The award will be presented during Shinglehouse’s Arbor Day Ceremony in April by representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Susquehannock State Forest. Shinglehouse has met the four standards to become a Tree City USA community by having a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance.

 The Game Commission says that hunters took more deer last season even though fewer licenses were allocated. An estimated 361,560 deer were harvested  in the 2006-07 seasons, similar to the 2005-06 estimated harvest of 354,390..  Hunters took 135,290 antlered deer in the 2006-07 seasons, compared to the previous year's harvest of 120,500.  Also, hunters harvested 226,270 antlerless deer in 2006-07, compared to 233,890 in 2005-06.  The 2006-07 antlerless deer license allocation was reduced by two percent, from 879,000 to 859,000. Total deer harvest estimates by WMU for 2006-07 (with 2005-06 figures in parentheses) are as follows: WMU 3-A, the area north of Route 6 in Potter, McKean, Tioga and Bradford Counties, 4,500 (4,000) antlered, 8,800 (8,700) antlerless; and WMU 2G(the area south of Route 6 in Potter and McKean Counties, 7,200 (5,000) antlered, 4,600 (6,200) antlerless;

03/16/07

Having survived Thursday’s flooding, residents across the Twin Tiers braced for Part Two of Ol’ Man Winter’s “One Two Punch” today. The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Storm warning for the entire WFRM Listening Area until 8:00 a.m. Saturday.  Snow began falling locally at around 8:00 a.m. today and anywhere from 6 to 10 inches accumulation is possible before the system moves out. As a consequence of the storm, several cancellations and postponements have been received at the WFRM News Desk..  All activities  and practices at Coudersport Area Schools scheduled for tonight and tomorrow have been cancelled. The Junior High Basketball game at Oswayo Valley scheduled for this afternoon has been postponed and will be re-scheduled.   Bingo at the Shinglehouse and Smethport  fire halls scheduled for tonight has been cancelled and the St. Patrick’s Day dinner and concert at the Austin United Methodist Church planned for Saturday night  have been postponed and will be re-scheduled. Meanwhile, PennDot told WFRM earlier today that all roads closed Thursday due to flooding have been re-opened.  Roulette Township reports that all roads were open as of early this morning at least to one-way traffic. However, the bridge at the western end of Atkins Road remains closed pending inspection by engineers.  Flooding was reported earlier today in downtown Portville, NY and the Allegheny River reportedly crested early in Salamanca and waters began to retreat earlier than originally anticipated.

A Turtlepoint driver escaped injury in a one-vehicle crash Thursday morning on Route 155 a mile south of Route 446 in Eldred Township, McKean County. State police said Twila Feile was traveling north when her Ford Explorer slid across the snow and ice covered  road and struck an embankment; rolled over and came to rest on the driver’s side.

In recent Potter County Court, 44 year Kevin Kiselyk of Galeton pleaded guilty to theft for an incident taking place last August 19. According to Potter County DA Dawn Fink, Kiselyk and an accomplice stole a car parked in front of Crickets in Galeton and it was found burned the next day in Tioga County. Sentencing will be scheduled later. Walter Gutshall, 24 of Shinglehouse was sentenced 185 days to a year in jail for simple assault. According to DA Dawn Fink, on July 9 of last year, Gutshall grabbed Verna Sowers by the neck during an argument. And, Raymond Shuff of Show Low Arizona was ordered to spend 8 to 23-1/2 months in jail for theft. According to the DA, Shuff stole $300 in coins, and jewelry from Rae Blackwell this past August 13.

 In regional news, State police at Mansfield have charged 30 year old Shawn Wilcox of that town with indecent exposure. Authorities claim that on the afternoon of February 9, Wilcox, while headed north on Route 15, pulled up along side a vehicle driven by Laura Douglas of Elmira and exposed himself to her. She was able to get an accurate description of the vehicle and operator as well as the license plate number and notified state police. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident that afternoon is asked to notify the Mansfield barracks to 570-662-2151.

03/15/07

To many, this week’s storm was a reminder of the storm of Janauary 1996 which brought flooding followed by ice. There were similiarities.  Warmer temperatures ushered in fog early Wednesday afternoon, and rain began falling in the WFRM Listening Area by early evening, accompanied by thunder and lightning during the night and into the early morning.  The rain and warm temperatures quickly put away the dense snowpack sending it  into streams and rivers and by daybreak Thursday, extensive flooding was reported throughout the region. The hardest hit areas appear to be Roulette, Shinglehouse and Genesee in Potter County.  Genesee and Shinglehouse became virtual islands with the flooding earlier this morning. Shelters were set up at the fire halls in both towns and some families were evacuated. A water main apparently broke in Genesee causing an interruption in service for the entire town.  Potter County Human Services personnel shuttled drinking water in throughout the day.  During the morning commute, temperatures dropped, bringing  freezing rain into the mix. That was followed by heavy wet snow. Fortunately, temperatures remained above freezing most of the day. As of news time several roads remained closed but waters are receding and most should be re-opened by evening.  Route 44 from the intersection of the Oswayo Road in Hebron Township to the intersection of the Blauvelt Hollow Road in Hebron Township is closed in both directions. Route 244 from the intersection of the Gold Road in Genesee to the intersection of Township Route 248-A-NY to the New York State line in Genesee is closed.  The Eleven Mile Road near Millport in Sharon Township is closed in both directions. The Sunnyside/Shaytown Road in Shinglehouse is closed from the Gadsby Hollow Road to the intersection of Oswayo and Academy streets in Shinglehouse borough is closed in both directions. The East Fork Road and Cherry Springs Road from Route 872 to Route 44 in Wharton Township is closed in both directions. Kim Hill Road in Roulette Township is closed near the intersection with Route 6 at Burtville. Main Street in the Village of Roulette is closed from Elliott Lumber to the Route 6 intersection.  The West Branch of Fishing Creek north of Roulette is closed to traffic at the Coyle Cottage bridge and so is the western end of Atkins Road in Roulette Township. In McKean County,  Route 155 south of Port Allegany is closed at the bridge near the ball field; Route 44 from Bells Run to the New York State line in Ceres Township is closed as is a section of Route 146 from Red Mill to Clermont.  As a result of the flooding, Coudersport Area Schools have cancelled all activities for this evening and Thursday night bowling at the Old Hickory Lanes in Coudersport has been cancelled.Adding insult to injury, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Potter County from Friday morning through Friday evening. Snow is expected to arrive around noontime and 6-10 inches accumulation is possible. A Snow Advisory is in effect for McKean and Elk Counties Friday with some 2-5 inches of snow possible. Additional accumulations are also possible on Saturday.This is Weather Emergency Preparedness Week in Pennsylvania and Potter County’s one-day exercise as part of the event was scheduled to run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. .  Instead, the County Emergency Operations Center was activated at 6:00 a.m. to deal with a real emergency                            

Weather was a factor in a one-vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of Routes 59 and 321 in Corydon Township, McKean County. State police at Kane said 21 year old Christopher Wiley of Port Allegany encountered dense fog while traveling north on Route 321 and did not see the stop sign, drove through the intersection across Route 59 and struck an embankment.  Wiley and his passengers, Nick Herbstritt of Eldred and Mike Brooks of Lewis Run  were not wearing seatbelts and all suffered moderate injuries. Police said they will not be filing charges due to the extreme weather conditions.

03/14/07

Despite the threat of colder weather later this week, it appears Punxsutawney Phil may have been right predicting an early spring.  Several listeners  have phoned WFRM in the last couple of days to report seeing flocks of robins in the area. And, Isaac Burr a pre-schooler from Roulette saw a groundhog trying to go up a snowbank this morning. And with spring comes flooding.  The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for all of the WFRM listening area through Thursday evening and just recently issued a flood warning for Cattaraugus County. The Allegheny River is expected to crest at  14-1/2 feet to 15-l/2 feet by Thursday evening near Olean and Salamanca . Flood stage is 12 feet.   Very warm temperatures will continue to produce rapid snowmelt and additional rainfall this afternoon and evening from a half inch to an inch may aggravate the situation. The flooding threat includes the possibility of local ice flooding as well as more widespread lowland flooding. Listen to WFRM for further weather updates.

A couple of area residents are facing charges after tangling with state police. Troopers at Emporium have charged 19 year old Jonathan Aikens with simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and purchase, consumption possession or transportation of alcoholic beverages for an incident allegedly taking place Tuesday evening in that town. Authorities claim that while being cited for underage drinking, Aikens became combative and struck and scratched Trooper Darren  Ott.  After being arraigned on the charges, Aikens was remanded  to the Potter County Jail. Police say charges are pending against a woman suspected of supplying the alcohol to Aikens. And, state police here have not yet released the name of a man who is facing charges of disorderly conduct and criminal mischief for an incident taking place Monday evening on the White Knoll Road in Ulysses Township when officers went to assist a woman retrieve personal belongings from a vehicle parked at the suspect’s residence. Troopers assert the suspect was handcuffed for his own safety and that when they tried to put him into the patrol car, he smashed his head off the car, damaging the vehicle.

State police have also not yet released the name of a person suspected of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.  The known suspect reportedly took a vehicle belonging to David Mink of Austin Friday night or Saturday morning and as of Tuesday night, had not returned the vehicle.

A Hazel Hurst woman has been charged with harassment for incidents taking place last night in McKean County. State police contend 22 year old Stephanie Nichols made four harassing phone calls to Bettina Ginkel during a three hour period.

 The theft of some items from a car Saturday night is under investigation by troopers at Emporium. Sometime between 7:00 and 11:30 p.m. someone reached into Heather Uber’s unlocked  Suzuki and took a case containing two credit cards, two debit cards and Uber’s driver’s license.

 In recent Potter County court action, 22 year Jonathan Haun of Eldred was ordered to spend 18 months on probation and pay a $150 fine for writing a worthless check in the amount of $654.02 to Larry’s Sport Center in Pike Township.  Colton Main, 21, of Galeton will be sentenced on March 21 for writing three bad checks to the same business in September 2005.

03/13/07

Coudersport based state police say their investigation is continuing into a crash Monday afternoon at the intersection of Marsh Creek Road and Route 49 near the Mills Country store which left five people, including three children injured.. Authorities say 18 year old Anayia Clugh of Genesee was headed south on Marsh Creek Road and was unable to stop her Ford Tempo before it crossed Route 49. The car went off the road, entered a grassy area, hit a small mound of dirt, became airborne, cleared a small creek and struck an embankment before coming to rest.  Clugh was flown by helicopter to Arnot Ogden Hospital in critical condition. Sheila Prouty, 24, also of Genesee was airlifted to Geisinger Medical Center in stable condition. A five year old boy was flown to Geisinger for treatment of a skull fracture and two girls, ages 1 and 4 were released after being treated at Soldiers and Sailors Hospital for minor injuries. State police were assisted at the scene by members of the Tri Town Fire and Ambulance, Harrison Township Fire and Ambulance and Sabinsville Fire and Ambulance departments.  Police say they do not yet know why the compact did not stop at the intersection.Kane-based state police say two recent McKean County fires were accidental.  A blaze Sunday afternoon which caused about $150,000 in damage to the home of Mark and Sonia Havers on No Name Road in Corydon Township was like the result of a faulty stove pipe. An electrical malfunction in the bathroom ceiling caused a fire Monday afternoon which resulted in about $10,000 worth of damage to a mobile home on the Ormsby-Cyclone Road in Keating Township owned by Janet Swick. 

Troopers here are probing an identity theft victimizing a Galeton couple. Authorities say an unknown person set up an account to Secret Cash Card, an online Virtual Prepaid Debit Mastercard charging Betty and Terry Gorg’s bank account $49.95 without their knowledge.

In regional news, 30 year old Gerald Morrow of Corning  charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault, waived his arraignment in  Tioga Court on Monday, causing the court to automatically enter a plea of not guilty on his behalf. Morrow faces trial on two counts of attempted murder, three of aggravated assault and one count each of criminal trespass, simple assault and terroristic threats stemming from the Feb. 2 shooting of his wife, Darlene Morrow, 30 and a Middlebury Township couple: Frederick Douglas, 33, and Rebecca Douglas.

The state labor department reports the jobless rate in Potter County increased a half a percent to 6.1% between December and January.  The unemployment rate in neighboring counties for the period was 5.8% in Cameron; 5.2% in McKean and Elk; and 5.1% in Tioga. The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania for January was 4.7% while the jobless rate nationwide was 4.6%.

 03/12/07

Moderate injuries were reported for a Cyclone woman following a one-vehicle crash Sunday afternoon on the Newell Road in Eldred Township, McKean County. State police said Susan Smith’s Dodge Neon failed to negotiate a right hand curve and went off the road, hitting an embankment before coming to rest. Smith had to be extricated from the wreckage by members of the Eldred Township Fire Department and was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center.

State police at Kane say charges are pending against Steve Walb following a crash Sunday morning on Champlain Hill Road in Annin Township, McKean county. Walb’s Ford F-350 slid out of control on the icy road, spun into an embankment and continued spinning counter clockwise before coming to rest in the middle of the road. He and his passenger Victor Lushbaugh, both of Bradford escaped injury.

 Troopers at Emporium are investigating a hit and run taking place Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of the May Hollow Sportsman Club in Lumber Townshp. An unknown vehicle damaged a Pontiac Sunfire owned by Daniel Morton of Emporium and the driver failed to provide information to him or authorities.

 A Lewis Run resident was jailed in lieu of $5,000 bail after being arraigned Saturday on charges of terroristic threats, simple assault and harassment.  Kane-based state police claim 39 year old Paul Conner, Jr. disconnected a phone and hit Lisa Berkhouse in the head with it, grabbed her by the hair and threw her into a table while verbally threatening her during an argument in their home during the early morning hours. 

 Several recent thefts are being probed by state police at Kane.  Sometime between 6:0 p.m. Saturday and 6:00 p.m. Sunday, someone took a miniature horse from property along the Two Mile Road in Annin Township. The horse, which belonged to Sally Corey is a stallion, about 27 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds. He’s mostly brown with some white spots. Thieves broke into the Warehouse Restaurant last Thursday night or Friday morning and stole $620 in US currency from a private area of the restaurant. Three or four four wheeler tires with rims belonging to Glenn Wank were taken last week from his property on the West Eldred Road, about a mile north of the Fowler Brook Road. The wheels are valued at $60 to $80. And in early January, thieves took several items from the Ram  Forest Products office on Route 44 in Ceres Township. Anyone with information about any of the incidents is asked to contact the Kane Barracks at 778-5555. 

The theft of a black  House 150 cm snowboard at Ski Denton last Tuesday night is under investigation by state police here. The board had Fusion Bindings and is valued at $300. It belonged to a 13 year old boy.

 A Roulette resident is being charged with criminal mischief for an incident allegedly taking place early Friday morning on Burleson Avenue in that village.  Troopers say Charles Marsh, while intoxicated, walked over a vehicle owned by April Brimline of Coudersport  causing the rear window to shatter which Brimline did not discover until later that day.

 03//09/07

A couple of former tellers at the First National Bank of Port Allegany have been released after posting $10,000 bail following arraignment  Thursday on nine felony counts of theft and conspiracy.  Kerrie Meacham, 30 of Vine Street, Port Allegany and 29 year old Merry Marsiglio of Rock Run Road, Turtlepoint are accused of stealing nearly $35,000 while employed there between December 2000 and August 2006.The two women are scheduled to appear in a preliminary hearing before District Judge Bill Todd  on March 19.

 Coudersport-based state police are looking for a vehicle involved in a minor hit and run  Monday afternoon at about 2:20 p.m. on the Honeoye Road  just south of the Plank Road in Sharon Township. Authorities say Debra Taylor of Bolivar was cresting a hill while northbound when a southbound vehicle struck the drivers side rearview mirror on her blue Pontiac Sunfire and continued on without stopping. Taylor told police she pulled over and waited for about 15 minutes to see if the other vehicle would return and it didn’t. Anyone with information about the car is asked to contact the local barracks at 274-8690 and speak to trooper Adam Pufka as the investigation continues.

 Emporium-based state police are probing an access device fraud crime victimizing an Emporium woman in Mid-February. A known suspect is believed to have unlawfully debited Janet Lininger’s account.

 State police here are continuing their investigation into a bounced payroll check. Judith Bennett of Rixford told authorities that when she deposited her paycheck from Faith’s Café and Country Store in Roulette on November 26, the check was returned due to “various problems with the account.”

 

It’s a big playoff weekend in area high school sports.  Coudersport Freshmen Wrestler Dirk Cowburn advanced to the AA state semi-finals tonight after beating his opponent 2-1 in the quarter finals consolation round in the 160 pound class  earlier today in Hershey. Oswayo Valley’s Zeke Drake, a senior advanced to the championship round of semi-finals in the 140 pound class with a 6-4 decision this morning. The Coudersport boys basketball team will be playing Kennedy Christian tonight in the first round of the PIAA Class A state playoffs in Hershey. Tip off is 7:30 p.m. The Coudersport Lady Falcons will play Eisenhower at St. Marys Saturday with a 3:00 p.m. tip-off. Both games will air on WFRM. 

  Senator Joe Scarnati and Representative Martin Causer announced this week that several state grants from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) totaling more than $450,000 are headed to  area municipalities. The grants are part of the Community Conservation Partnership Program, administered by DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, aimed at providing local governments, river and trail organizations, land trusts, and other nonprofits with financial and technical assistance to facilitate park, recreation, conservation and greenways projects. Coudersport Borough will receive $12,500  to study the feasibility of rehabilitating the Municipal Swimming Pool. The Tuna Valley Trail Association has been given $150,000 for further development of a 1.4-mile segment of the Cook Farm Loop Trail, including trail and bridge construction, installation of ADA access, landscaping, sign and related site improvements. Jones Township in Elk County has been awarded $25,860 for further development of the Community Park, including installation of walking paths, ADA access, fishing piers, landscaping, sign and related site. The  Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has been given $29,500  for a feasibility study to determine the scope, format and content of conservation education programs that could be offered on and off site at the Elk Country Wildlife Education Center, and to examine the feasibility of constructing an overnight facility on the Winslow Hill property. St. Mary’s City  has been awarded $13,200 to prepare a Master Site Development Plan for Elk Creek Park to include stream stabilization and trail linkage assessments. And, the Borough of Wellsboro will be receiving $106,000 for rehabilitation and further development of the Hamilton Lake Boat Launch to include construction of a boat ramp, dock, comfort station parking lot, installation of utilities, ADA access, signage, and related site improvements.

  

It’s a big playoff weekend in area high school sports.  Coudersport Freshmen Wrestler Dirk Cowburn advanced to the AA state semi-finals tonight after beating his opponent 2-1 in the quarter finals consolation round in the 160 pound class  earlier today in Hershey. Oswayo Valley’s Zeke Drake, a senior advanced to the championship round of semi-finals in the 140 pound class with a 6-4 decision this morning. The Coudersport boys basketball team will be playing Kennedy Christian tonight in the first round of the PIAA Class A state playoffs in Hershey. Tip off is 7:30 p.m. The Coudersport Lady Falcons will play Eisenhower at St. Marys Saturday with a 3:00 p.m. tip-off. Both games will air on WFRM. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

03/08/07

A Cyclone teenager received minor injuries in a one-vehicle crash Wednesday morning on Route 6 in front of the Smethport Tastee Freez. Kane-based state police said Matthew Braund headed north when his Ford Forestar slid off the road and struck a snowbank. A 16 year old male passenger escaped injury.A hit and run taking place last weekend on the Bark Shanty Road in Keating Township is being probed by state police here. An unknown vehicle bumped a 1998 Chevrolet S-10 owned by Wyllis Caldwell of Austin while it was parked in his driveway causing minor damage to the right rear wheel well.

Kane-based state police are investigating a burglary taking place Wednesday between 1:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Mountain Inn on the Wilcox Clermont Road in Sergeant Township, McKean County. Thieves broke out a window and a door to gain entrance and then removed numerous items from the interior.

Troopers here are probing a scattering of rubbish incident occurring earlier this month on the Reed Run Road  a mile south of Route 6 in Roulette Township. Someone deposited ten bags of trash on property owned by Hancock Forest Management of Smethport.

The case of a Port Allegany man charged with numerous traffic offenses has been bound over to McKean County Court. Francis Kramer, 34, was arrested by Bradford City police on January 13 when they tried to pull him over for reckless driving, careless driving, failing to stop at stop signs, failing to yield to emergency vehicles, reckless endangerment, fleeing or attempting to elude police  and a host of other offenses. When police investigated, they found Kramer was driving with a suspended license.

Both people involved in a domestic violence incident have been charged with harassment by state police here. Authorities say that Shawn Rader and Amy Scott began arguing when they returned to their  East Second Street apartment at around 2:30 Tuesday morning  “from a local establishment” and became physical when Rader tried to leave.

If you’ve ever seen a cougar or mountain lion in the WFRM listening area, you might be interested in this. The state game commission announces that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is beginning a review of scientific and commercial information to determine the status of the endangered eastern cougar, the first review the Service has done since publishing a recovery plan in 1982.  As part of the process, the USFWS has requested that anyone wishing to submit information regarding the eastern cougar may do so by writing to: Eastern Cougar, Northeast Regional Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035.  Comments also may be submitted via e-mail to EasternCougar@fws.gov <mailto:EasternCougar@fws.gov>.
 Information must be received for the state review by the USFWS by March 30, although the Service will continue to accept new information about eastern cougars at any time. The USFWS placed the eastern cougar on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in 1973.  The last known Pennsylvania native mountain lion was killed in Berks County in 1874. Officials say that while mountain lion sightings have been reported throughout the state.  The overwhelming majority of cases investigated have been  proven to be mistaken identity based on examination of tracks, photos or other physical evidence.  Some cases are inconclusive. And, while some believe mountain lions exist in the wilds of Pennsylvania, we have no conclusive evidence to support such views.  However, if someone does encounter a mountain lion, the most logical explanation would be that the animal escaped from or was released by someone who either legally or illegally brought the animal into Pennsylvania according to the commission.

 

 

03/07/07

A Coudersport man will be spending 4 to 10 years in state prison after being found guilty of aggravated indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors. According to DA Dawn Fink, 32 year old Curtis Proctor was arrested by Sweden Township police for  committing the crimes in 2003 and 2004 against a 9 year old victim. The judge also ordered Proctor to participate in and complete  all recommended sex offender treatment programs.  Procter was represented by Coudersport Attorney Walter Stenhach.

In other  court action, 23 year old Ryan Snyder of Emporium pleaded guilty to fleeing and eluding police officers. According to DA Fink Ryan was arrested last May 6 in Ulysses Township when state police tried to stop his car after observing him speeding. Snyder tried to lose police by hiding behind a building but the building owner called police to let them know where Snyder was. He’ll be sentenced on May 2.

No one was hurt when a snowplow and SUV collided in Eldred Township this morning.  State police said Scott Dowell could not stop the Eldred Township plow at the icy intersection of Route 446 and the Burris Road and slid into the opposite lane, hitting a Ford Escape driven by Chad Ewings of Olean.

Yesterday was the last day for candidates to file their signed petitions with county boards of election for the upcoming May Primary.  Here in Potter County, the field of commissioner candidates narrowed considerably from earlier rumors. Kenneth Wingo, Catherine Bowers, and Susan Kefover filed as Democrats and John Torok, Douglas Morley and Paul Heimel filed as Republicans.  Two candidates will be selected by each party in the Primary election, and the four successful candidates will square off in the fall election with the top three vote-getters assuming office next January.  Democrats Margo Germino and Bernard Mike Fowler filed for Auditor as did Republicans Pauline Kleintop and Patricia Nichols. Two candidates of each party will be chosen as well in the Primary, with the three top vote getters winning the General Election in November.  Incumbents Sheriff Kenneth Sauley, Prothonotary Amy Moshier, Treasurer Krista Miller and Register and Recorder Gary Kelsey, all Republicans are unchallenged in the Primary and there were no Democrat candidates to file for those offices. A host of municipal and township offices will be up for grabs in the primary and general elections.

 The Coudersport High School Mock Trial team, having won the District Championship last month, competed today in the Regional Semi Finals in the Lycoming Court of Common Pleas with the Honorable Dudley Anderson presiding. Team Attorney Advisor Andy Watson told WFRM that ten enrichment students have been working for the past three months memorizing a large volume of mock trial materials and have spent countless hors preparing themselves to go into a courtroom and act out the roles of real attorneys and witnesses. He said the teacher Advisor Theresa Daniels and Potter  County Judge John Leete were extremely helpful.

 

03/06/07

The state police fire marshal is investigating the cause of a blaze which destroyed a  home  on the O’Donnell Road in Genesee Township early Monday morning.  Firefighters from Genesee were summoned just after 4:00 a.m. to the Pat Cooney residence and found the house heavily involved They were assisted at the scene by firefighters from the Willing, Whitesville and Tri-Town departments. According to chief Alan Kibbe, no one was home when flames broke out.  Then, several hours later, at 9:40 p.m. Genesee volunteers were summoned to the Lydic residence on Rose Lake Lane  in Hebron Township for a chimney fire. According to Chief Kibbe, damage was confined to the chimney.A Bradford man was arrested by New York State Police, using an internet sting Friday for having sexual contact with a 14 year old girl.  Police said the investigation began when a school resource officer discovered the criminal activity and identified the 14-year-old girl. Authorities say Timothy D. Peterson, 45, met the victim in an online chat room this past December . After months of conversation, they both agreed to meet in New York State. Peterson provided the girl  with alcohol and had sexual contact with her. Investigators, posing as the teen, made contact with Peterson over the Internet to set up a second encounter.  Instead of meeting the teen, Peterson was introduced to  state police investigators who placed him under arrest for  second-degree criminal sexual act, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawfully dealing with a child. He was arraigned in Olean Town Court and was remanded to the Cattaraugus County Jail on $10,000 bail.

State police here have charged an Austin resident with disorderly conduct and other offenses following several incidents allegedly taking place Friday evening at various locations between Costello and Austin. Troopers said 39 year old George Sams “created a hazardous condition by an act that served no legitimate purpose causing serious inconvenience” for Bryan Moate.  A review of the criminal complaint indicates Sams followed Moate from Costello to Austin, engaging in road rage activities including tailgating, stopping suddenly and gesturing. He’s even accused of backing up his vehicle toward Moate who had gotten out to copy down his license number.   

A Friendship, NY woman had to be extricated from her wrecked car Monday afternoon on Route 44 in Hebron Township.  State police said Jeanne Kemp was headed north on Greenman Hill when her Jeep Grand Cherokee went off the road, rolled over several times before coming to rest on its roof about 30 feet from the road. Coudersport Volunteer Emergency Services personnel responded to the scene, removed Kemp from the wreckage and took her to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

No injuries were reported for a Westfield woman following a one-vehicle crash Monday morning on Route 449 two miles north of Route 6 in Ulysses Township.  Troopers said Dawn Lowe’s Chevy Cavalier slid out of control on the snow covered road, crossed to the other side, hit an embankment and came to rest on its side in a small stream. 

And, Jerry Crumrine of Austin escaped injury a few minutes later when his Ford F-350 skidded on snow-covered Grace Street in that town  and hit a large protruding rock  

 

03/05/07

Ol’ man winter has the region in an icy grip for a few more days anyway.  The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for the entire WFRM listening area from midnight tonight through noon Tuesday. Winds from the west will range from 20-25 mph, gusting  to 45 mph as the mercury drops down to single digit numbers, making the windchill as low as 24 degrees below zero.  Cold temperatures and snow showers will be possible until Thursday when sunny skies may usher in slightly warmer temperatures.

An Ohio woman has been jailed in McKean County  in lieu of $25,000 bail after being arraigned on numerous charges in connection to an incident allegedly taking place Saturday afternoon at the BP Gas Station on Route 6 at Lantz  Corners.  State police say the incident began at about 2:30 p.m. when 42 year old Jacqueline Gan of Antwerp, Ohio pumped $19.64 worth of gasoline into her ’93 ford Escort and took off toward Kane without paying for the fuel. Kane Borough police initiated a stop at the intersection of Route 321 and Rout 6 and awaited state police. Upon arrival of Trooper Russell Stewart., Gan allegedly refused to answer any of his questions and according to police put her car into gear and tried to flee. Trooper Stewart tried to stop her by reaching in to turn off the key and became entangled in the drivers side door. Then, Gan rammed the rear of the state police cruiser. She was finally taken into custody and was arraigned before District Judge Dominc Cereone on charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, fleeing or attempting to elude police, retail theft, driving without a license, reckless driving and criminal mischief. 

 Two people were hurt in a collision Saturday evening  on Route 219 a mile from the Route 6 Intersection in Hamlin Township and that crash resulted in two others taking place almost immediately afterward. State police at Kane said the first crash occurred when Lucas Lekanka of Kane was trying to pull out a Jeep Liberty driven by his wife, Michele Lekanka which was stuck in the snow off the east side of the highway.  Nathan Mealy of Kane swerved to miss another vehicle and his Toyota Forerunner struck the rear of the LeKanka jeep, the spun around and struck the side of Lucas Lekanka’s Ford pickup.  Mrs. Lekanka suffered moderate injuries and Mealy, suffered minor injuries. Both were taken to Kane Community Hospital.  Moments later, Colin McGuire of Kane lost control of his Kia Rio when he tried to avoid the previous collision. His SUV slid off the road into a snowbank. He and his passenger, Amy Conwell of Spring Lake Heights, NJ escaped injury. Then, a GMC Jimmy driven by Scrubb Younes of Kane slid off the road and rolled over once after hitting a snow bank when he swerved to avoid the other units. He and his wife, Susan Younes also escaped injury.

 Charges are pending against an elderly Rixford driver following a collision Friday afternoon on Main Street in Duke Center.  State police said 72 year old Betty Elder was trying to go into the parking area at the Post Office, and turned into the path of an SUV operated by Heather Tipton of Bradford. Both drivers escaped injury.

 State police at Kane have charged Jeffrey Beatty of Mt. Jewett with public drunkenness for an incident taking place early Sunday morning at the firehall in that town. Authorities claim Beatty was “under the influence of alcohol to the degree that he annoyed persons in his vicinity.”

 

 

03/02/07

Several Port Allegany residents were sentenced yesterday in McKean County Court, three of them in connection to the same crime.  Christopher Rethmel, 23, was ordered to spend 182 days to 23-1/2 months in jail for criminal conspiracy, burglary and receiving stolen property followed by three years on probation for a burglary at the Port Allegany Jubilee last summer. His co-defendant, Shawn Griffith, 24 was ordered to spend 6 to 23-1/2 months in jail, followed by three years of probation  and to make restitution.  Danielle Toupin, 24, was ordered to spend 12 months on probation for receiving stolen property and to perform 80 hours of community service. Griffith and Rethmel cut their way into roof of the supermarket and removed money and other property from the interior.  Toupin received items the next day which she had been taken from the store. All three were given credit for time already served

Glenn Gallup, 50, formerly of Port Allegany, now of Bolivar, NY was sentenced 120 days to 23-/2 months for simple assault, criminal mischief, carrying a firearm without a license and reckless endangerment. Gallup was charged in connection to an incident taking place December 15 at the home of Norma Ostrander and Steven Hardway on the Upper Portage Road. Gallup went into the home during the early morning hours and waved the load gun around until the gun could be taken from him.

In recent Potter County Court action, 71 year old Lucille Stangl of Coudersport was admitted to the ARD program for 10 months on DUI and related charges. According to Potter County DA Dawn Fink, Stangl was arrested last October 22 for DUI after she was pulled over by state police in Austin for traffic violations.  Chemical testing confirmed an alcohol level of .19 percent, more that twice the legal limit. Stangl must also surrender her drivers license for 60 days, pay all costs and fees and attend DUI Alcohol Safe D riving School and the DUI Victim Impact Panel.

An Emporium man will be sentenced on April 4 here in Potter County for DUI and related offenses. He was arrested last April 22 in Portage Township after State Police stopped him for speeding and careless driving. His BAC was fond to .24%, three times the legal limit.

Potter County’s Emergency Management Agency has expanded with action taken Thursday by the County Commissioners and Salary Board.  John Hetrick, longtime EMA Coordinator was promoted to EMA Deployment Coordinator at an annual salary of $56,000 and Jim Steiner, a paramedic with the Coudersport Volunteer Ambulance Association, was hired as Emergency Management Coordinator at a salary of $30,000.  Hetirk will be responsible for organizing and developing a deployment plan for the E-911 Wireless program.

 Punxsutawney Phil may have been right. The Blaser’s on the Two Mile Road outside of Port Allegany tell WFRM they heard geese flying north Thursday afternoon and Geoff Mahaley saw a robin Thursday near Seven Bridges, northeast of Coudersport.

 

03/01/07

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch the Pennsylvania Counties in the WFRM listening area. An intense storm system could produce a widespread rainfall around an inch with locally higher amounts possible over all of central Pennsylvania into Friday. The rain and milder temperatures will cause snow to melt and add to the runoff into the waterways. While the rain will be on the light side early in the event, rain will likely be heavier Thursday night into Friday morning There will also be a chance of thunderstorms along with gusty winds which could increase the snow-melt. The National Weather Service has also issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Potter and Tioga Counties tonight through 1:00 a.m. Friday noting there is a possibility of a rain and snow mix or freezing rain before the precipitation changes over to all rain.

 A Shinglehouse driver is being charged with failing to yield one half of the roadway following a collision Monday afternoon on Honeyoe Street just past the Shinglehouse Borough limits.  Troopers said the collision occurred when a Pontiac Sunfire driven by Brett Osgood and a Ford Taurus driven by Pamela Schultz negotiated a curve. Neither driver was hurt and two passengers in the Schultz car, Patrick Schultz and Daniel Gressley escaped injury.

A couple of Coudersport residents were recently sentenced in Potter County Court for theft. Todd Caward, 27 was ordered to spend 11-1/2 to 23-l/2 months in jail, pay a $100 fine, make full restitution, pay all costs and fees and perform 50 hours of community service.  According to Potter County DA Dawn Fink in May of  2006, Caward accepted $1975 from Sally Hershey to fix her rental property, but pocketed the money and never performed the work.  Edward Mulzet, 40, was ordered to spend 60 to 120 months in jail, make restitution and undergo drug and alcohol treatment.  Last July 22, Mulzet forced his way into Erway’s Restaurant, where he had formerly been employed and stole about $2600 in cash and a handgun.  Mulzet was also found guilty of  violating laws which prohibit convicted felons from having a gun. 

 

02/28/07

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for all of Central Pennsylvania for Thursday through Friday. A storm system moving into the Great Lakes will spread rain into the area Thursday morning which may begin as a period of freezing rain or sleet across the WFRM listening area.  Warm air will be drawn north across all of the state. The melting snow pack and rainfall will likely cause flooding in some areas.

A couple of sex offenders have been sentenced recently in Potter County Court.  Christopher Ayers, 36, of Butler was ordered to spend five to ten years in prison for aggravated indecent assault, and  corruption of minors.  According to Potter County District Attorney Dawn Fink Ayers had sexual intercourse with a 15 year old girl  on three different occasions between October 2004 and April 2005.  Zachary Duncan, 22, of Whitesville, North Carolina was ordered to spend 10 to 23-1/2 months in prison, pay a $250 fine all court costs and supervision fees, make restitution and perform 50 hours of community service.  According to the DA, Duncan had consensual sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16 during June 2005 in Homer Township.

 A couple of other defendants have been sentenced for simple assault.  John Sheets, 37 of Ulysses was found guilty of hitting his wife in the face  with a closed fist during an argument last March 8.  Sheets was put on probation for 18 months; ordered to pay fees and costs and at undergo approved counseling with an anger management component.

 John Cooley, 35, of Shinglehouse was sentenced to four months in jail, already served, for simple assault and driving without a license.  According to DA Fink,  Cooley struck his “paramour” in the face twice while arguing with her and while investigating the incident state police found he was driving a car without a license.

 A Coudersport retailer is one of a handful nationwide to participate in judging for a contest which will award an aspiring entrepreneur a fully-stocked Ace Hardware store valued at $1 million.  Mike Wagner of Wagner Ace Hardware in Coudersport and Ulysses is one of only 28 Ace Retailers to serve as a judge for the Dream Ace contest  He was chosen by participating in a contest himself at last year’s dealer convention. 

 

02/27/07

A Bradford driver is being charged with driving too fast for conditions following a collision at about 7:30 this morning on Route 46 in Keating Township, McKean County. Kane-based state police say a southbound Pontiac Sunfire driven by Judith Zetts fishtailed on the slippery road and crossed over into the northbound lane were it struck a Ford Ranger driven by Robert Kelley Jr. of Eldred.  Neither driver was hurt but both units received moderate damage.

An unattended kerosene heater is blamed for a fire which destroyed a home last night on the Gardeau Road in Keating Township, Potter County.  Firefighters responding the the 7:50 p.m.  call found the house owned by Jim Babcock fully engulfed upon their arrival a few minutes later. According to Austin Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Chase Cooney, Babcock’s son who was staying in the house while his father wintered downstate, left for St. Marys earlier in the day and did not turn off the heater. When he returned, the blaze was out of control.  Volunteers from Coudersport, Emporium, Port Allegany and Shinglehouse responded to the scene.  There were no injuries.

 An Austin man has been ordered to spend 24 to 56 months in jail; pay restitution and undergo drug and alcohol treatment. According to Potter County District Attorney Dawn Fink, 26 year old Victor Vallejo was found guilty of burglary and criminal conspiracy in connection to numerous break-ins taking place between march 15 and May 17, 2006 in and around Austin. Several camps and the Austin Game Room were burglarized and stolen items included firearms, cash, a tool box with tools, alcohol, television sets, stereo, deer mount, cash, candy, video games and pool cue.  In other recent court action, 22 year old Eric Lopez of Gaines was sentenced to a jail term of three to 23-1/2 months and was ordered to pay a $250 fine, court costs and supervision fee plus perform 25 hours of community service and make restitution.  According to the DA, during last May, Lopez received $60 cash and alcohol which he knew had been stolen from the Ox Yoke Inn. And, 44 year old Manuel Senna of Coudersport was ordered to spend 23-1/2 months on probation for terroristic threats. He was arrested by Coudersport Borough Police last August 21 for becoming verbally abusive and making threatening statements during a conversation with the victim.

 

02/26/07

Last week was a rough week for PennDOT truck drivers.  State police here have charged 56 year old Donald Leilous, Jr. of Shinglehouse with harassment for an incident allegedly taking place last Tuesday morning on the Horse Run Road in Sharon Township. Authorities allege Leilous stopped a PennDOT snowplow operated by Thomas Jacoby of Genesee and threatened to do bodily harm to Jacoby.  An Eldred resident received minor injuries Friday morning when his GMC pickup collided with a PennDOT plow on route 155 near the Potter/McKean County line. State police said Benny Prescott II was trying to pass the plow operated by Scott Knapp of Lewis Run, just as Knapp turned left to enter a dirt pull off area. The pick up hit the gas tank on the PennDOT plow.  The pickup  had to be towed from the scene but only minor damage was reported for the plow. Knapp was unhurt.  A Duke Center man is being charged with disorderly conduct in connection to a one-vehicle crash taking place Saturday afternoon on Main Street in that village.  State police say Paul Isaman argued with his wife about ownership of their 1991 Chevy Cavalier in the parking lot of the Superette. Isaman reportedly pumped 37 cents worth of gas and drove off without paying. A short distance later, Isaman lost control of the car which went off the road and struck a pole owned Armstrong Telephone Company. Isaman then, according to police walked back to the store and paid for the gas before being taken by ambulance to Bradford Regional Medical Center for treatment of head and neck injuries. He’s also being charged with careless driving and failing to drive without a seatbelt.

 Kane-based state police have charged 34 year old Michael Furmen of Lewis Run with indecent exposure following an incident allegedly taking place Friday afternoon on Water Street near the Smethport Post Office. The victim told police that Furmen exposed himself while riding in a car as it traveled through Smethport.

 An air intake unit at the Coudersport McDonalds shorted out Saturday morning and sent smoke back inside the restaurant. Coudersport Volunteer firefighters responded with one unit, cut the power and extinguished the fire and returned to the hall some 40 minutes after the 11:30 a.m. call.  According to Assistant Chief Bryan Phelps, damage was confined to the rooftop unit itself, and amounts to some $300 to $500. 

Mansfield based state police are looking for the thief who took a pick up truck belonging to Dorr Perkins of Westfield Friday night. The truck was removed from the garage and was abandoned after being wrecked about a half mile from the Mill Street residence.

 

02/23/07

No information was available at news time regarding a collision this morning near the Potter/McKean County line.  According to reports the collision involved a PennDot truck and at least one person was hurt.

 An Oswayo woman suffered moderate injuries Thursday morning in a one-vehicle crash on Route 44 just south of the Whitney Creek Road in Hebron Township. State Police said Bonnie Bachard lost control of her Chevy Blazer while headed south on the snow covered road. The unit crossed to the other side and struck an embankment. She was taken to Charles Cole Hospital by a passerby.

A Warren driver and his passenger received minor injuries in a one-vehicle mishap Wednesday morning on the East Fork Road near Cherry Springs. Troopers said James Bugbee was headed south when the Ford 150 owned by Waste Treatment Corporation failed to negotiate a sharp left turn on the slippery road and slid off the road into a culvert. Bugbee and his passenger, Bradley Pfendler, also of Warren, were both taken to Charles Cole Hospital by Austin Volunteer Ambulance.

 A couple of Port Allegany men are awaiting preliminary hearings on March 5 for separate incidents.  Garrett Ford, 27, is charged with corruption of minors, two counts of selling or furnishing alcohol to minors, and making false reports to authorities plus various summary traffic violations.  He was arrested during the early morning hours of January 22 when police found his vehicle stopped along the road and he and two girls, ages 19 and 15 were found in the back seat, allegedly consuming alcohol. Ford was released after arraignment on $5,000 unsecured bail. Kevin Fuller, 48, was committed to the McKean County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail after being arraigned on charges of unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault and corruption of minors Authorities claim Fuller inappropriately touched a nine year old boy and had the youth touch him.

 A Philadelphia man will spend ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing some 160 guns from Ackley Sporting Goods in Westfield in January of 2005. John Malloy was sentenced in Middle District Court yesterday, and judge who sentenced him imposed the ten-year sentence once he took into account Malloy’s previous criminal record. Four other Philadelphia men are charged in the case, two of them have entered guilty pleas while the other two have decided to face a trial. Out of the 160 guns that were stolen from the dealer and then sold, only 30 or so have been recovered.

 02/22/07

A frontal system moved quickly through the region mid-day today bringing snow squalls with it, resulting in a quick inch or two of snow. While the snowfall amount was not all that much, the high water content of the snow, landing on roads warmed by moderate temperatures Wednesday made area streets and highways extremely treacherous for a time.  Visibility was close to zero some of the time in various locations.  Sweden Township Police Chief Bryan Phelps ordered Route 6 at Denton Hill to be closed for about an hour due to the conditions and the fact that several tractor trailers had become stuck on the hill.

Yesterday we reported the death of 84 year old Joseph Berberian of Wellsboro in a one-vehicle crash on Route 6 in Tioga County. Today, a spokesperson for Charles Cole Hospital confirms  that Dr. Berberian was the pathologist at the hospital.

 A Friedens, PA truck driver received minor injures Wednesday when his rig wrecked on snow and ice covered Route 449 about three miles north of Route 6 in Ulysses Township. State police said Gregory Walker was hauling a Fruehauf tanker containing about 4600 gallons of liquid nitrogen which slid out of control on a left banked curve and rolled onto its side. None of the load spilled but the road was shut down for about 6 hours as EMA, Penn Dot and Portville Truck personnel worked to remove the rig from the scene.

 State police here have charged 49year old Doyle Cleveland of 1714 Route 6 West, Roulette with violating Megan’s Law. Authorities say when Cleveland arrived at the barracks Wednesday to register his new address and new place of employment, it was discovered that he had failed to register with state police within the required time frame.  After being arraigned before District Judge Barbara Easton on one felony county and one misdemeanor charge for failing to comply with the law’s requirements, Cleveland was remanded to the Potter County jail in lieu of $5,000 bail. 

Troopers at Kane are probing the theft of some $7500 worth of tools from various PennDOT sheds around McKean County over the past month or so. Thieves have taken four Stihl chain saws, a Stihl weedeater, Stihl concrete saw,  water pump, gas powered jack hammer and a gas powered stamper. Anyone with information is asked to call the Kane Barracks at 778-5555.

 

02/21/07

The rain which came with last night’s warmer temperatures helped to slicken up snow covered roads and state police locally report responding to a couple of crashes this morning in the area.  It’s not known if road conditions were a factor in a fatal crash this morning on Route 6 in Tioga County.  Joseph Berberian, 84, of Wellsboro  was killed instantly when his 1973 Mercedes Benz Coupe veered off the road, traveled into a ravine, struck a tree and overturned.  He was pronounced dead a half hour after the 8:15 a.m. crash by Tioga County Chief Deputy Coroner James Daughtery. 

An elderly Mount Jewett driver was hurt Tuesday around noontime in a three-vehicle pile-up on Route 219 just north of the Westline Road in Lafayette Township, McKean County.  Troopers said Clarence Clawson, 73, was traveling south when his Dodge Van swerved into the opposite lane, and came back into the southbound lane where it struck the rear of a 2006 Ford F-150 driven by Bruce Smith of Mahaffey which had stopped for traffic. The impact forced the pick-up into the back of a 2006 Dodge Ram driven by Gary Rounsville of Smethport.  Clawson was flown by helicopter to Altoona Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries while the other drivers were unhurt.

An electrical fire caused minimal damage in a Coudersport apartment Tuesday afternoon. According to Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Phelps, a bathroom ceiling light/fan combination in a first floor apartment at 312 N. Main Street  occupied by Jon Wilson malfunctioned and filled the apartment with smoke.  Wilson and building owner, John Wright, were able to extinguish the fire and shut off the power. Firefighters pulled the ceilings and further quelled the fire. Damage was said to be in the range of $150 to $200.  There were no injuries and all units were back in service in less than an hour.  Coudersport Borough Police re-routed traffic on North Main Street while emergency crews were on the scene.

A Genesee man will be sentenced on March 7 after pleading guilty recently to disorderly conduct and public drunkenness for an incident taking place last June 18..  According to Potter County DA Dawn Fink, 31 year old Jason Bundy entered the Genesee Environmental Center during a folk music concert and passed out. When he awoke, he tripped the alarm as he tried to leave the building.

In regional news. Gerald Morrow, 30,  of Corning, NY charged with shooting his wife and a Tioga County couple waived a preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon before Wellsboro District Judge Phillip Sweet, Morrow was returned to the Tioga County Prison following the hearing where he’s held at the jail after failing to post $750,000 bail. Before the hearing, state police and District Attorney John F. Cowley changed the charges against Morrow.  Police dropped one of the attempted murder charges and added single counts of criminal trespass, simple assault and terroristic threats.

 

 

02/20/07

It’s been just over two weeks since the Time Warner Call Center closed in Coudersport,  eliminating about 500 jobs, and today there’s the glimmer of light on the horizon with the confirmation by AP Wagner that it will be opening a call center here within the next few weeks. In an exclusive interview, company president Mike Magnan told WFRM that initially 25 people will be hired, but he’s hopeful the number will grow over the next few months.  Magnan says he believes all of the initial hires will be former Time Warner employees, adding interviews should be finished within the next couple of weeks; training should be completed by the third week of March and the center will be fully operational by the first of May, the beginning of the company’s busy season. The center will be located in the former Job Center office, next to the Ag offices in the Industrial Park.  Magnan says the jobs are currently filled in a foreign country.  AP Wagner is an appliance parts distributor based in Buffalo which began operations in 1928.  Its call centers respond to consumers who have questions or problems with their appliances. Magnan told WFRM that the main reason for locating here is the workforce. Community leaders are optimistic AP Wagner will be the first of several companies locating here. In fact, Doug Morley, chairman of the Potter County Redevelopment Authority told members of the Coudersport Area Chamber of Commerce today, there are three or four viable companies who are in serious negotiations with the various government entities which can facilitate a move here.  In fact, Morley said, the authority found, primarily because of the trained work force and its work ethic, “we’re in the catbird seat.  Companies are coming to us, not the other way around.”

 The State Police Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of a blaze which resulted in  an estimated $25,000 in damage to a mobile home on Keesler Avenue in Mt. Jewett Monday evening.  The fire in the 16 x 80 trailer owned by Robert Mix was discovered just after 6:00 pm.

A Shinglehouse man has been ordered to spend a year on probation, pay a $200 fine along with  all court costs and fees and to perform 25 hours of community service after being found guilty of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.  According to Potter County DA Dawn Fink, 24 year old Seth Moffitt was arrested on July 21, 2005 after being found in possession of a plastic baggie containing several “hits” of LSD.

Gerald Morrow, 30, of Corning, NY was scheduled to appear before Wellsboro District Judge Phillip Sweet. for a hearing on three felony counts each of attempted murder and aggravated assault. The hearing was set initially for Feb. 15 but was postponed to allow newly acquired legal counsel to review the case. Mansfield based state police have charged Morrow with shooting his wife, Darlene Morrow, 30, and Frederick Douglas, 33, and his wife Rebecca Douglas, on Feb. 2 at the Douglas home along Southard Road, about 10 miles north of Wellsboro. The victims were all flown by helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center. Mrs. Morrow was released from the hospital a few  days later.  Mr. Douglas was released yesterday while Mrs. Douglas remains at  Geisinger in fair condition.

02/20/07

It’s been just over two weeks since the Time Warner Call Center closed in Coudersport,  eliminating about 500 jobs, and today there’s the glimmer of light on the horizon with the confirmation by AP Wagner that it will be opening a call center here within the next few weeks. In an exclusive interview, company president Mike Magnan told WFRM that initially 25 people will be hired, but he’s hopeful the number will grow over the next few months.  Magnan says he believes all of the initial hires will be former Time Warner employees, adding interviews should be finished within the next couple of weeks; training should be completed by the third week of March and the center will be fully operational by the first of May, the beginning of the company’s busy season. The center will be located in the former Job Center office, next to the Ag offices in the Industrial Park.  Magnan says the jobs are currently filled in a foreign country.  AP Wagner is an appliance parts distributor based in Buffalo which began operations in 1928.  It call centers respond to consumers who have questions or problems with their appliances. Magnan told WFRM that the main reason for locating here is the workforce. Community leaders are optimistic AP Wagner will be the first of several companies locating here. In fact, Doug Morley, chairman of the Potter County Redevelopment Authority told members of the Coudersport Area Chamber of Commerce today, there are three or four viable companies who are in serious negotiations with the various government entities which can facilitate a move here.  In fact, Morley said, the authority found, primarily because of the trained work force and its work ethic, “we’re in the catbird seat.  Companies are coming to us, not the other way around.”

 The State Police Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of a blaze which resulted in  an estimated $25,000 in damage to a mobile home on Keesler Avenue in Mt. Jewett Monday evening.  The fire in the 16 x 80 trailer owned by Robert Mix was discovered just after 6:00 pm.

A Shinglehouse man has been ordered to spend a year on probation, pay a $200 fine along with  all court costs and fees and to perform 25 hours of community service after being found guilty of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.  According to Potter County DA Dawn Fink, 24 year old Seth Moffitt was arrested on July 21, 2005 after being found in possession of a plastic baggie containing several “hits” of LSD.

    
Gerald Morrow, 30, of
Corning, NY was scheduled to appear before Wellsboro District Judge Phillip Sweet. for a hearing on three felony counts each of attempted murder and aggravated assault. The hearing was set initially for Feb. 15 but was postponed to allow newly acquired legal counsel to review the case. Mansfield based state police have charged Morrow with shooting his wife, Darlene Morrow, 30, and Frederick Douglas, 33, and his wife Rebecca Douglas, on Feb. 2 at the Douglas home along Southard Road, about 10 miles north of Wellsboro. The victims were all flown by helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center. Mrs. Morrow was released from the hospital a few  days later.  Mr. Douglas was released yesterday while Mrs. Douglas remains at  Geisinger in fair condition.

02/19/07

DUI charges are being filed against two motorists  following mishaps and a snowmobiler.  Patrick Chastain, 42, of Bremerton, Washington escaped injury early Sunday morning when his Ford Club Wagon traveled off of Route 6 near the ABC Motel in Burtville and struck a snowbank State police allege Chastain was driving under the influence at the time.  Troopers at Emporium have charged 35 year old Michael Moscato of that town with DUI after he backed his Eagle Vision over a descending embankment on the South Mountain Road in Shippen Township early Saturday morning while trying to turn around.  He and his passenger, Michael Hollowell also of Emporium both escaped injury.  State police here pulled 43 year old Richard Tobias of Shoemakerville over early Saturday morning on near the Loucks Mills Road in Pike Township when they saw him drive his Polaris snowmobile eastbound on the berm of Route 6. And, authorities claim Tobias appeared to have been drinking.

A 17 year old Coudersport area youth has been cited for terroristic threats and drug offenses for an incident taking place last Wednesday at the home of Susan Lieberman on Hillcrest Drive in Hebron Township.  The youth is accused of threatening to do bodily harm to Lieberman with a gun and a small amount of marijuana and smoking pipes belonging to the teen were turned over to the investigating officer.

 The theft of some logs from a location in Oswayo Township last February 8 or 9 is being probed by troopers here.  Authorities say 74 logs, soft and hard maple, ash and birch were loaded on a log landing to be transported to a receiving yard in Bradford but never made it to the destination. They are valued at some $1200 to $1800 and belonged to Bradford Forest Products.

 Roy Weidler, representing the IUE CWA union, advised WFRM earlier today that the members had ratified a three year with Morgan AM & T, formerly Pure Carbon, Saturday. The vote was 111 in favor to 107 against.

 

02/16/07

Gov. Edward Rendell has declared a disaster emergency in Pennsylvania in the wake of the storm that dumped heavy snow across virtually the state. The Governor transferred up to $1 million to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency for disaster-related expenses incurred by state agencies and departments. The proclamation also allows for the activation of Pennsylvania National Guard troops to help with the towing of stranded vehicles and other tasks. Motorists were stranded on several interstates across Pennsylvania following the storm.

Closer to home, Coudersport Borough Manager Marlin Moore is asking resident s to help clear the area around fire hydrants. He says the snow piles prevent the fire department from locating them in an emergency. Moore also reminds property owners that snow removal from sidewalks is their responsibility. It is unlawful to shovel or plow or blow snow onto the street or highway.  We may have been spoiled with the mild weather up til now, but Moore also reminds motorists that Odd Even Parking is in effect on all streets beginning at noon each day and continues until noon the following day. Vehicles are to be parked on the even house numbered side of the street on even days and the odd side of the street on the odd house numbered side of the street on odd days of the week. For instance, since today is the 16th, cars should be parked on the even side of the street now until noon tomorrow, then be moved to the other side of the street to help snowplows remove snow.

During Friday’s meeting of the Potter County Commissioners Joe Pagano from the Redevelopment authority responded to a question from WFRM about the progress in recruiting employers to locate in Coudersport following the closure of the Time Warner Call Center. Pagano said there are three or four large companies looking at the “Tennis Center” as well as several small companies.  Pagano says the rural lifestyle we enjoy here is being accurately described to the prospects.

In recent Potter County court news, James Williams, 24, of Coudersport was ordered to spend 9 to 60 months in jail and pay a $1525 fine for DUI. Williams was also ordered to pay all fees and costs, attend DUI Alcohol Safe Driving School, and attend the Victim Impact Panel Presentation.  According to Potter County DA Dawn Fink, Williams was arrested this past June 28 by Sweden Township police when he was found behind the wheel of his car, stopped in the middle of the road, facing the wrong direction. His blood alcohol content was found to be .34%, more than four times the legal limit. Walter Gutshall of Shinglehouse will be sentenced on March 7 after pleading guilty last month to simple assault.  The DA said Gutshall grabbed Verna Sowers by the neck during an argument last July 9.

A Port Allegany man will be sentenced March 1 after pleading guilty Thursday in McKean County Court to possession of a firearm without a license and using the gun to recklessly endanger other people.  Glenn Gallup, 50, was charged in connection to an incident taking place December 15 at the home of Norma Ostrander and Steven Hardwar on the Upper Portage Road. Gallup went into the home during the early morning hours and waved the load gun around until the gun could be taken from him.

02/15/07

The official snowfall for the Valentine’s Storm  in  the Coudersport area, according to EMA weather observer Tony Pierotti was 14 inches, though more may have fallen in some locations. Sub-zero temperatures and snow-covered roads forced a two-hour delay in the start of classes at the Oswayo Valley Schools and Potter County Senior Centers remained closed for the second day in a row but most other schools and organizations returned to regular schedules.

THE BRADFORD ERA is reporting today that the Pennsylvania Superior Court has denied a request for a new trial from convicted cop-killer Timothy Williams, a former Coudersport resident.  According to the report, the court upheld a post conviction ruling that alleged admissions by another person were not enough to give him another trial.  In recent years, allegations had been made that Becky Lucrezi-Olson, of Coudersport was overheard bragging that she fired the shot on February 20, 1999 that killed Kane Borough Police Officer Steve Jerman, not Williams.  Lucrezi-Olsen and Matt Seeley were backseat passengers in a car driven by Williams which was pulled over by the veteran police officer for erratic movement.  Williams, who was found guilty  by a jury of killing Jerman, said he was too drunk that night  to know what actually happened. He’s serving a 22 to  47 year sentence in state prison after being found guilty of third degree murder later that year.

 In recent Potter County Court action, 22 year old Jonathan Haun of Eldred pleaded guilty to writing a bad check.  According to Potter County DA Dawn Fink, Haun wrote a check for $654 to Larry’s Sport Center in Pike Township in May of 2004 which was returned due to insufficient funds and Haun failed to make it good.  He’ll be sentenced on March 7.  In other action, 19 year old Charity Safford of Ceres, NY was ordered to spend 9 months on probation and pay all costs and fees for a charge of unsworn falsification. According to DA Fink, this past July 20, Safford told authorities she had been raped by an acquaintance and the charge turned out to be unfounded.

 State police at Kane are continuing their investigation into a scam which victimized an elderly Kane couple earlier this month.  Authorities say someone phoned the couple and told them they had won a lottery and would receive the cash prize once they paid the taxes on the winnings. After sending the money for the “taxes,” the couple failed to receive their prize and troopers used the occasion to remind residents to be cautious before sending money to strangers. Authorities say these types of scams are common and popular especially over the internet.

02/14/07

While the snowfall was a little less than originally feared, some 7 to 9 inches of snow did fall overnight in the Coudersport area prompting the cancellation of classes in most area schools. Classes will meet on Friday which had been a planned holiday. The Potter County Courthouse and Human Services offices all closed for the day and mail delivery from the Coudersport Post Office was affected by the wreck of a mail truck outside the borough early in the morning.  The Post Office itself was open and deliveries were made within the borough. The Northern Potter vs. Port Allegany boys basketball game scheduled for tonight has been rescheduled for Thursday night at the same time.  The Coudersport at Otto-Eldred boys basketball game also scheduled for tonight has been postponed and no new date has been set. The Otto-Eldred Show Choir’s Soups On fundraiser has been postponed until 5:00 p.m. in the school cafeteria prior to the start of the basketball game The Potter County Fine Arts Council has announced that the concert by acoustic guitarist Eric Bibb will be held as scheduled tonight at the Coudersport Area School. Curtain time is 7:00 p.m. Forecasters say as the storm moves out of the area, gusty winds are moving in behind it and severe drifting and whiteouts may occur. Caution is advised motorists and Potter County EMA Director John Hetrick is advising against any unnecessary travel.

Weather conditions factored into a number of traffic mishaps.  A 15 year old female passenger received minor injuries in a one-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon on Route 872 about 5 miles south of Route 6 in Homer Township. State police said Terry Setzer’s GMC truck slid off the road, hit an embankment and overturned. He and a 6 year old girl escaped injury. The teen was taken to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment. Troopers say charges are pending against Setzer.  Paul Kimes Jr. of Kane received minor injuries this morning when his Jeep Cherokee struck an embankment on Route 219 just south of the Lantz Corners intersection in Lafayette Township, McKean County. The jeep went out of control when Kimes tried to miss another vehicle and charges are being filed in district court.

 DUI charges are pending against 26 year old John Ensworth of Coudersport following a one vehicle crash early Tuesday morning on Route 6 West in Roulette Township. His eastbound Chevrolet Blazer crossed the road, became airborne for about 70 yards and struck the northwest corner of the John Hackett house, causing structural damage to the home.  No one was hurt. 

 Denise Windsor, 29,  of Smethport who is charged with having sex with a teenage boy in Shinglehouse waived her  preliminary hearing Tuesday  before District Judge Barbara Easton, sending the case to Potter County's Court of Common Pleas. State police at Coudersport have charged Windsor with  felony counts of soliciting a minor to traffic in drugs, providing obscene materials to a minor, unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a communication device, plus one misdemeanor count of corrupting the morals of a minor. Authorities claim Windsor had sex with the boy and sent him sexually-oriented items via the internet last spring. She remains free on percentage bail

 

02/1307

The WFRM listening area remains under a “Heavy Snow Warning” through Wednesday afternoon. Forecasters now say northern tier counties may see 16 to 22 inches of snow and as much as 2 feet are possible to the east of Coudersport.  There is still also a possibility that snow will mix with sleet and/or freezing rain in some locations, especially to our south but it is believed the storm will be mainly a snow event in the listening area. In a conference call with the National Weather Service this morning, Potter County EMA learned that Potter County is in a “sweet spot” along with Clinton/Northern Lycoming/Sullivan counties to receive the heaviest amount of snowfall.  The heaviest snow is expected to blanket the area between 5:00 p.m. today  and 2:00 a.m. Wednesday and may fall at the rate of 2-3 inches per hour.

PennDot advises that crews are anticipating the bad weather and have been  pre-treating major highways ahead of the snowfall.  Crews will remain out as weather conditions require but officials are asking motorists to avoid any unnecessary travel and if you must be on the road, allow for extra travel time. Potter County EMA Coordinator John Hetrick is discouraging travel tonight and suggests being prepared for power outages.

 Cancellations and postponements we have received so far are as follows: All Potter County Senior Centers will be closed Wednesday. Seniors receiving Home Delivered Meals are advised to use their “Blizzard Boxes.”  All IU9 Pre-School classes scheduled for Wednesday in Potter, McKean, Cameron and Elk Counties have been cancelled.  The Bradford at Coudersport wrestling match scheduled for tonight has been postponed until a date to be determined. The Coudersport at Port Allegany girls’ basketball game scheduled for tonight will start earlier at 6:45 p.m.  The Potter County EMS Council Meeting scheduled for Wednesday has been cancelled.

 In Potter County Court News, 21 year old Tara Knapp of Coudersport was sentenced to a jail term of 10 days to 23-1/2 months on four counts of theft.  Potter County District Attorney Dawn Fink told WFRM that Knapp and a co-defendant, Shauna Covert, last June stole a large sum of money from Knapp’s father and used it to buy drugs Judge John Leete also ordered Knapp to pay all court costs and fees, to make restitution and to perform 50 hours of community service. She must also follow all treatment recommendations and including AA and NA meetings.

 Larae Lynn White,25, of Galeton has been cited  for harassment following incidents allegedly taking place Sunday. State police claim White made numerous phone calls to Sandy Ayers and sat outside Ayers’s apartment and blew the horn on her vehicle with the goal of annoying Ayers.

 

02/10/07

National Weather Service forecasters say it may not be a “historic storm” but a “major”: storm is headed toward the WFRM listening area.  A Winter Storm Watch has been cancelled and a Heavy Snow Warning has been posted for all of  the Pennsylvania portion of the WFRM listening area..  Meteorologists say the storm will start in the Southwestern part of the state and take aim on Northwestern counties.  Snow will likely arrive in the listening area Tuesday afternoon and could drop an inch to two inches per hour before sunset with most of the snow falling through the nighttime hours into Wednesday. A foot or more of snow is likely. The snowfall will begin to taper off  by Wednesday afternoon.  Even though the snow will wind down, winds will pick up through Thursday driving the windchill to temperatures 15 below zero or greater.  Listen to WFRM for further updates. Friday’s snow shower caused slippery roads throughout the region, resulting in a number of  vehicle crashes.  Kelley Herzog of Smethport received minor injuries in a three-vehicle crash just before 8:00 a.m. on Cemetery Curve, west of Coudersport. Her eastbound Buick slid out of control and struck a pickup driven by Samuel Duell of Coudersport. The Herzog’s car bounced off the truck and hit an Chevy Silverado driven by Mary Keglovits also of Coudersport. Police say Herzog will be cited for failing to drive at a safe speed.  

An elderly Austin resident received minor injuries around noon time when the car in which she was a passenger hit an embankment on the Dutch Hill Road, south of Coudersport. Ruth Jacobs, 71, a passenger in a car driven by Judith David of Austin, was taken to Charles Cole Hospital by the local ambulance.

 Matthew Finkele of Harrison Valley received minor injuries later in the afternoon when his Ford Escort zig zagged across East Main Street in that town, became airborne, struck two trees and the side of a garage owned by Lee LaBarr. Two vehicles parked inside the garage were damaged in the crash. He’s being cited for traffic violations.

 The passenger on a snowmobile suffered moderate right ankle injuries in a mishap taking place early Friday evening on the Rausch Road in Abbott Township.  State police said 18 year old Tyler Light had stuck his right foot out beyond  the vehicle body line and it hit a reflector pole as the Yamaha operated by Mark Eisehour passed it. Both the operator and passenger are from Jonestown, Pennsylvania.

 A Troupsburg, New York man was arrested by State Police locally recently on charges of theft by deception for writing a worthless check to Connie’s Market in Harrison Township on January 14.  Jason Meise, 31, was remanded to the Potter County jail in lieu of $20,000 bail after being arraigned before on-call District Judge Barbara Easton. Meise and Simon  Gigee, 35 of Westfield, and 26 year old Thomas Rosenbalm of Hickory, NY were apprehended by state police last week and charged with numerous burglaries taking place in the northern part of the county over the past couple of months.

  

02/09/07

Snow showers during the Friday morning commute caused area streets and highways to become snow-covered and extremely slippery.  Just before 8:00 a.m. Coudersport volunteer emergency services personnel responded to the scene of a three-vehicle collision on “Cemetery Curve” just west of the borough. Injuries were reported for at least four people, though some reportedly declined treatment. Both lanes of the narrow highway were blocked for a time.  Another one-vehicle crash occurred at about the same time a little further west on Route 6 between Coudersport and Roulette.  Then, a few minutes later, Route 6 East between the Park Avenue entrance and Route 872 was blocked due to another crash. PennDot told WFRM that a one-vehicle crash on Route 49.  Injuries were reported for two people involved in a noon-time crash on Dutch Hill.  Specific details were not available from state police as of news time.

In other news, a Port Allegany man was sentenced Thursday in McKean County Court to 18 to 36 months in a state prison on a burglary charge. The sentence is to be served concurrently with the sentence 27 year old Kevin Barber is already serving on similar charges.  In the most recent case, Barber admitted stealing $500 worth of DVDs and Playstation 2 games from the home of Eric Culver in Liberty Township last summer.  Assistant McKean County DA Scott Klein told WFRM that Barber is eligible for boot camp on both sentences.

 Terrance Carr, 19 of Elkland has been charged with terroristic threats, simple assault, harassment and violating laws regarding persons not permitted to possess firearms.  State police at Mansfield allege Carr committed the crimes several times between Monday and Wednesday of this week and that he threatened to shoot 18 year old Amanda Post while holding a handgun.

 During the February 1, meeting, the Potter County Salary Board voted to eliminate the position of Children, Youth and Families Program Specialist 2 and create the position of CYF Program Director, retroactively effect to this past January 23. The change was made at the recommendation of Potter County Human Services Executive Director, Jim Kockler who said he was making the recommendation because Joy Glassmire’s responsibilities have changed over time.  A formal request for the change was submitted to the state Civil Service Commission and Glassmire’s salary was increased by the board by $1,258.00 to $51,576.00. The position is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of  Public Welfare.

02/8/07

Yesterday we reported that several companies have expressed an interest in locating customer call centers here in the Coudersport area, and today comes news that one of the companies may already be here. Zito Media is announcing a nationwide “soft launch” of its new internet-based phone service and has posted a notice on its website inviting potential employees interested in learning more about possible P4B customer service or marketing jobs to attend meetings at the Coudersport Theatre. Two were held today. and another, is scheduled for Monday, February 12 at 10:00 a.m., also at the theatre.  Zito Media is the Rigas family company which acquired several area cable systems when Adelphia’s other assets were sold off to Time Warner and Comcast.  The company is being run by James Rigas , who was not criminally charged in the accounting scandal which brought down the company founded by his father, John Rigas, and managed Adelphia Business Solutions when it was spun off from the parent company just before the cable company’s meltdown began in early 2002.  The company changed its name to ABiz and provided telephone service to business and government. With the launch, Zito Media will be entering a highly competitive market. Vonnage may be the best known to consumers because of its extensive radio and tv advertising.

State police at Coudersport have announced an initiative for the Harrison Township, Route 49 corridor due to an increase in crime activity between 05 and 06, specifically burglary, criminal mischief, arson and narcotic type incidents.  In an effort to be more proactive, when manpower is available, troopers will be assigned to that area to aggressively enforce any violations of state law they observe and they’ll be active in gathering information/intelligence regarding pending investigations and drug activity. Troopers are asking that anyone who has information concerning crimes and quality of life issues in Potter County to contact them at 274-8690..  Trooper Scott Henry, the information officer assigned to several area barracks says the initiative is well underway with several arrests taking place last week.

 A former Harrison Valley  resident was among five suspects rounded up by police in Tioga County during that  drug bust last Thursday.  Roshanti Plaza, 23, was held on a detainer because of a bench warrant for her arrest issued by Potter County Judge John Leete  for failing to report for a probation hearing last summer. Three people were arrested last week  in connection to a rash of burglaries taking place throughout the region since Christmas Eve. Simon Gigee, 36 of Westifield, Thomas Rosenbalm, 26, of Hickory, NY and 31 year old Jason Meise of Troupsburg, NY are accused of burglarizing Hamilton’s Car Wash in Ulysses, Buchsen’s Car Wash in Coudersport and the Foodland Supermarket in Galeton.  All three were remanded to the Potter County Jail in lieu of bail and are awaiting preliminary hearings tentatively scheduled for this coming Thursday. Authorities claim the trio confessed to similar burglaries in Tioga County and New York State and may face charges there and more charges may be pending here.

02/7/07

With the closing of the Time-Warner call center in Coudersport this week, community leaders are working to bring in potential employers.  John Wright, executive director of the Potter County Redevelopment Authority told WFRM in a phone interview, that there have been serious inquiries from a half dozen or so companies. Wright says, the quality and work ethic of the local employees is clearly an attraction for prospective employers and he says, even though the technology in the industry “turns on a dime,” the telecommunications infrastructure here is also attractive. Wright said the authority sent emails to all of the displaced workers assuring them that every effort is being made to bring in new employers as soon as possible. Apparently the phone outage we reported yesterday afternoon was more widespread than originally thought. McKean County EMA issued an Emergency Alert Message at 1:11 p.m. advising listeners that there were “intermittent problems due to a broken phone line” and urged those needing emergency services to call their local fire department, ambulance service or police until the problem could be corrected.  While working on the story, WFRM learned that some Potter County communities were affected by the outage but phone service here was quickly restored.  The McKean County alert was cancelled about three hours later but according to published reports, the problem, extended from Warren County to Tioga County and as far south as Elk County and may have originated near Wilcox.  While the cause had not been determined as of news time, there is speculation that the severe cold temperatures may have adversely affected Verizon’s Fibre optic cable causing the interruption.

 In regional News, Gerald A. Morrow, 30, of Corning, was arraigned yesterday by District Judge Phillip Sweet in Wellsboro on three felony counts each of attempted murder and aggravated assault. Morrow was remanded to the Tioga County Prison in lieu of bail. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled  for 9 a.m. on Feb. 15. State police have charged Morrow with shooting his wife, Darlene Morrow, 30; and Frederick Douglas, 33, and Rebecca Douglas in the Douglas home along Southard Road, 10 miles north of Wellsboro, at about 3 a.m. last Friday. All three were flown by helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville were they are recovering from their wounds.

02/6/07

For the second day in a row, bitter cold temperatures caused a two-hour delay in the start of classes at all Potter County schools.  McKean County schools operated on their regular schedules.  The forecast for the next several days is much the same—with the overnight lows hovering around 0 and the highs only in the single digits and there is no indication as of news time regarding school starting times.

There was a brief 9-1-1 phone outage in the WFRM listening area early this afternoon.  McKean County EMA issued an EAS message that the system was experiencing “intermittent problems due to a broken phone line and suggested those needing to contact 9-1-1 to call 887-4911 or local fire, police and ambulance.  A check with Potter County EMA found that some departments  experienced a temporary problem but all were back in service a short time later.

 State police locally say charges may be pending upon completion of their investigation into a collision taking place Monday morning on Hector Township Route 545 a mile and half from the Loucks Mills Roads. Troopers said pick up trucks driven by Sabinsville residents John James and Brandon Proctor collided on the crest of a hill after a bend in the highway. Bother drivers and a passenger in the Proctor truck, Ronald Burdick, also of Sabinsville, escaped injury.

 A Port Allegany man, already serving time in state prison on burglary charges, waived another case into McKean County court yesterday.  Kevin Barber, 27, is accused of stealing 35 DVD movies and Playstation 2 games from the Liberty Township home of Eric Culver recently. The property is valued at some $500.

 In regional news, Elk County Crimestoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for an armed robbery of the Valley Farm Market in Weedville on the night of January 29. At about 7:00 p.m. a man wielding a pistol ordered the clerks to empty the cash registers and hand the money to him. They complied and he left the store with an undisclosed amount of cash. He’s described as being Caucasian, 5’8” to 6’0 tall of medium build. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, gry or light colored knit hat, a red or burgunday colored bandana covering his face and dark-colored pants and gloves. His gun was a silver semi-automatic handgun with black stripes.  All calls remain anonymous. Call 1-800-4-PA Tips.

 A Corning New York man awaits extradition back to Pennsylvania on charges of attempted homicide and aggravated assault following the shooting of three persons in Tioga County on Friday morning.Police say  30 year old Gerald Morrow went to the Middlebury Township residence of Frederick and Rebecca Douglas to look for his estranged wife Darlene who was staying there. Morrow then shot the couple and his wife and fled the scene. All three persons were flown to Geisinger Medical Center where they underwent surgery. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas remain in serious condition though they are improving. Mrs. Morrow is in fair condition. Morrow was apprehended by New York State Police near Dundee, NY.

 

02/5/07

Bitter cold weather is firmly entrenched in the twin tiers and will remain here for several days.  As a result of the sub zero windchills,  all Potter County Schools had a two-hour delay in the start of classes, while McKean  County schools kept their regular schedules.  The decision to start late was made just before 6:00 a.m. and while tomorrow’s conditions will be more of the same,  school administrators have not yet announced their plans for Tuesday except for Northern Potter which announced this afternoon, a two hour delay for students tomorrow morning. However, teachers and staff are to report at the regular time.  State police across the region investigated a number of traffic mishaps over the weekend, starting with several Friday afternoon when an inch or so  of very wet snow made area streets and highways extremely greasy for the afternoon commute. Some mishaps were considered “non-reportable” meaning there were no injuries and vehicles were able to leave the scene on their own.  Wilbur and Margaret Gummo escaped injury at around 2:20 p.m. Friday when their Chevrolet Tracker struck an embankment off of snow-covered Route 120 in Gibson Township, Cameron County.  Heath Evingham of Oswayo escaped injury at around 4:00 p.m. when his Ford truck hit some guardrails and a guard rail post on the East Branch of Fishing Creek, about three miles north of Roulette.  The truck spun around about 90 degrees before coming to rest.  Troopers said Evingham will be cited for failing to drive a safe speed.

 Injuries were reported following a three-vehicle crash Saturday a half mile south of the McKean County village of Aiken. Authorities said a Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Mallory Stewart of Port Allegany spun out of control on icy Route 346 and crossed over into the path of a Dodge Stratus driven by Ashley Williams of Bradford.  Deborah Gross who was traveling behind the Williams coupe, swerved to avoid the crash and her Toyota van slid off the road into a tree.  Williams suffered serious injuries while her passenger Michelle Williams of Smethport and Stewart both received minor injuries. Gross was unhurt.

 Minor injuries were reported for a Mechanicsburg woman following a snowmobile collision Saturday after at the intersection to FR 321 and the Westline Road in Lafayette Township, McKean county. State police staid Carolyn Erno  had stopped her Arctic Cat at the intersection and was rear-ended by a machine operated by Jewel Vargas of Harrisburg. Both Artic Cats are owned by Richard Teats of Liverpool, PA.

State police locally have nabbed three people in connection to a rash of burglaries taking place throughout the region since Christmas Eve. Simon Gigee, 36 of Westfield, Thomas Rosenbalm, 26, of Hickory, NY and 31 year old Jason Meise of Troupsburg, NY are accused of burglarizing Hamilton’s Car Wash in Ulysses, Buchsen’s Car Wash in Coudersport and the Foodland Supermarket in Galeton.  All three were remanded to the Potter County Jail in lieu of bail and are awaiting preliminary hearings tentatively scheduled for this coming Thursday. Authorities claim the trio confessed to similar burglaries in Tioga County and New York State and may face charges there and more charges may be pending here.

 The theft of a snowboard and bindings at Ski Denton is under investigation by state police here. The items, belonging to Ryan Fish of Wellsboro were taken during  a 10 minute period of time last Wednesday night while he purchased his lift ticket. The board is cream colored on top, black on the bottom and has an orange “X” marking. It’s a Burton Custom X brand.

 

02/02/07

Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania’s famous groundhog did not see his shadow this morning, and according to legend that means an early spring. It was one of the few times in recent history Phil did not see his shadow. His  forecast notwithstanding, the National Weather Service says that some of the coldest weather of the season will move into the WFRM listening area and stay until the middle of next week.  Low temperatures will fall tonight into the single digits and Saturday night’s lows will average near zero. Sunday’s high will only be in the mid single digits and gusty west winds will cause wind chills to drop below zero. As the Arctic front moves across the region, snow showers and squalls may occur in some locations.Potter County Human Services Director Jim Kockler, yesterday rescinded his resignation, and accepted a counter offer made by the County Commissioners to increase his salary from $58,205 to $70,000.  The commissioners explained that his salary does not come out of the county’s general budget and is paid through various grants.  Kockler said it was a difficult decision but the commissioners were very convincing. The board  said the increase brings Kockler in line with his counterparts in neighboring counties and noted that he oversees more programs than other area administrators. They added that the costs associated with recruiting and hiring another administrator will be considerable and that Kockler has been an effective leader for the department. Chairman Wingo, said the county is fortunate to have dedicated workers throughout the county’s departments.

  State police at Kane have charged 27 year old Robert Fry of Kane with criminal mischief and criminal trespass for incidents allegedly taking place Thursday at Kane Hardwoods in Wetmore Township. Troopers said Fry at a round 9:30 a.m. Fry destroyed real and personal property owned by the company and was advised by state police not to have any contact with the company or a number of its employees but returned to the scene around noontime causing the charges to be filed with a District Judge.

 A Port Allegany man pleaded guilty Thursday in McKean County Court to burglary, theft, and related offenses in connection to a burglary at the Port Allegany Jubilee last August. Christopher Rethmel, 23, will be sentenced on March 1.

 A former Potter County resident was among five suspects rounded up by police in Tioga County Thursday during a drug bust.  Roshanti Plaza, 23, is charged with two felony counts of delivery of cocaine, four counts of possession with intent to deliver, one count of criminal conspiracy and one of using a telephone to make a drug deal, plus one misdemeanor count of possession and two of theft. Police said Plaza sold $800 worth of cocaine to a confidential informant on Nov. 30 and Dec. 5, took $400 from the informant on Dec. 13 but did not deliver the drug and also stole a digital scale from the informant. The former Harrison Valley resident is wanted here on a bench warrant for a probation violation in connection to an incident taking place during the early summer of  2004 in Galeton Borough. Plaza had pleaded guilty to interference with the custody of children but failed to report for a probation violation hearing this past June and Judge John Leete subsequently issued a warrant for her arrest. Police also arrested 45 year old Paul Surine, his son, 20 year old Sonny and live-in girlfriend 40year old Lisa Marie Lehman-Curry near Elkland. A second son, Francis Surine, 23, of Corning was taken into custody by New York State Police. All are suspected of selling cocaine to undercover agents and the elder Surine is accused of having seven guns in his home, in violation of state law which prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms.

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2/01/07

Winter’s slow start has brought some good news for National Fuel Gas customers. The utility announced Wednesday that a decrease in costs, or Gas Supply Charges for customers in its Pennsylvania division would become effective today, February 1. In a news release, the company says the typical residential customer will see a monthly decrease from $120.05  to $113.49. National Fuel says it is the fourth consecutive decrease in gas costs it has implemented as a result of changes in the market price of natural gas.  Nancy Taylor, Senior manager of Corporate Communications is quoted in the news release as saying warmer than normal temperatures in November and December and early January reduced the demand throughout the Northeast which resulted in lower commodity prices, now being passed on to customers.  She also said that according to Enerfax Daily, a source of information for the industry, that natural gas storage levels are currently 20% above the five year average, despite the recent colder temperatures and increased demand.  The utility serves some 214,000 customers in 14 northwestern Pennsylvania counties. DUI charges are pending against 37 year old Daniel Shimkanin of Ulysses following a one-vehicle crash early Wednesday morning on Route 49 near the Post Office in the village of Mills. State police said Shimkanin’s Pontiac Sunfire traveled off the road and struck a tree and that he left the car on the roadway. Authorities claim when they caught up to Shimkanin, they found him to be under the influence of alcohol.  He was transported to Charles Cole Hospital for chemical testing and police say he received minor injuries in the crash.

Both Kane drivers are being cited for traffic violations following a collision Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Route 6 and The Greendale Road in Wetmore Township,  McKean County. State police said the crash occurred when 79 year old Joseph Wolfe, blinded by blowing snow after a log truck passed, turned left onto the Greendale Road in front of a Ford Explorer driven by John Sheaffer. Troopers said Sheaffer tried unsuccessfully to avoid the collision on the slush covered highway. 

A couple of vandals who caused $1000 in damage to the check-in booth at the Willow Bay Campgrounds in Corydon Township, McKean County during the night of January 20, were recorded on surveillance video while throwing beer bottles through the windows. But Allegheny Site Management, owner of the building, asked police not to release the suspects names after they agreed to pay for the repairs, unless the agreement is not kept.

 State police  here are investigating a minor criminal mischief taking place Tuesday night between 8:30 and 8:30 p.m. on East Main Street in Harrison Valley.  Vandals damaged a window at the home of Melissa Wheater causing an undetermined amount of damage.

   

1/31/07

An Austin woman escaped injury Tuesday afternoon when she jumped out of her car as it slid out of control on the East Fork Road just north of the Wharton Tavern in Wharton Township. State police said Megan Fry was headed south when her 2006 Toyota Corolla went out of control . After Fry jumped, the sedan went down an embankment and hit a tree where it came to rest. Authorities say charges are pending completion of their investigation.

Troopers say they aborted a pursuit due to poor road conditions during the early morning hours last Wednesday.  Authorities said the chase began when the patrol officer noticed a black Pontiac Grand Prix moving erratically through Coudersport borough after leaving the Sheetz store parking lot just after 1:00 a.m. the pursuit continued to the Route 872 intersection at Ladona.

State police at Kane are calling it a criminal mischief, but it could have been a hit and run taking place Sunday night between 8:15 and 8:45 p.m. along the JoJo Road in Wetmore Township. An unknown vehicle struck a mailbox owned by Christopher Niklaus of Kane after apparently swerving to pass a vehicle parked in front of the residence. The driver continued on without providing identification or insurance information.

 The Eldred VFW has been cited for violating a state law regarding alarms and automatic dialing devices. State police at Kane say they  recently responded to four false burglar alarms within a two week period.

 Rep. Martin Causer has been appointed to four state House Committees that he says will enhance his ability to work on issues that matter most to people in Potter, Cameron and McKean Counties.  Causer has been appointed for the first time to the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee and to the Aging and Older Adult Services Committee.  He returns to the Environmental Resources and Energy and the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committees.

  Governor Edward G. Rendell announced this week that  the Tioga State Forest, will increase by nearly 3,000 acres  as the result of a generous gift from the Bob and Marion Jones family. The approximately 3,000-acre forested tract is located near Morris Run in Hamilton, Ward and Union townships, in the 12-county region known as the Pennsylvania Wilds. Acquiring the property, which lies in the headwaters of the Tioga River, provides considerable public access to the river.

1/30/07

The National Weather Service says locally heavy snow squalls are possible this afternoon and this evening as a  cold front sweeps through the WFRM listening area.  Forecasters at the Penn State Weather Center say an inch or so of new snow could fall this afternoon and another inch or so tonight    

The state Labor Department reports that Potter County’s jobless rate improved between November and December, dropping from 5.9% down to 5.7%.  The figure compared to 5.2% in Tioga County’ 5.3% in McKean; 5.4% in Elk and 5.9% in Cameron County during the period.  Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 4.6% during the period. The national rate was 4.5%.

 State police locally are probing a hit and run taking place Saturday night in the parking lot of the Friendly Inn on Main Street in the village of Roulette.  An unknown vehicle backed into a Chevy Astro Van owned by Barbara Martin of Roulette, causing minor damage to the left front fender and turn signal.

 Harrassment charges are being filed against a Ulysses couple following a fight Sunday evening on North Street in that town. State police claim 54 year old Ronald White and 55 year old Sandra Ayers became involved in an argument with Larae Lynn White, 25, of Galeton on the street in front of their home and say Ronald and Larae shoved each other and that the altercation moved onto the porch where Ronald is accused of slapping Larae and Ayers is accused of pushing her down and also slapping her with an open hand.  Ronald White is being charged with harassment, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness while Ayers is facing a charge of harassment.

 And, troopers are charging 50 year old Faith Banks of Emporium with harassment for making several harassing phone calls last Thursday to 37 year old Robert Cornelius of Roulette.

 A criminal mischief taking place Sunday between 5:00 and 8:30 p.m. on Railroad Avenue in Roulette is being investigated by state police locally. Someone pried open a side door at the home of Michael and Laurie Milliron but were unable to enter the home and left the scene.

 State police are also investigating a burglary taking place between 4:30 p.m. Friday and 4:00 p.m. Sunday on the Dutch Hill Road in Eulalia Township.  Would-be thieves broke a door knob to enter a cabin on property owned by Richard and Mary McCaigue. The intruders apparently rummaged through the cabin but it appears nothing was taken.

 The Pennsylvania Game Commission says its  is partnering with the National Aviary and Carnegie Museum of Natural History to evaluate how eastern golden eagles migrate through Pennsylvania, and identify areas of potential conflict that migrating eagles face from the developing wind energy program in the Commonwealth. The commission says
the possible increase of wind power on Appalachian ridges may threaten golden eagles as they travel their historic migratory corridor that follows these mountains through Pennsylvania to reach their nesting grounds in eastern Canada or wintering grounds in the southern reaches of the mountain chain. Since all known eastern golden eagle migratory routes track over the Appalachian Mountains, possibly along or in close proximity to ridges targeted for wind power development, the Game Commission must ensure the well-being of this state and federally-protected species - as well as other wildlife - as this growing industry sites turbines between the state's Allegheny Front and Blue or Kittatinny Ridge. The study will use gps transmitters to track the eagles as they fly over Pennsylvania. The data will be used to generate maps to show the specific route usually taken.

1/29/07

State Police and emergency services personnel across the region were kept busy over the weekend, responding to numerous traffic crashes, many of them weather related. Kenneth Perkins of Ulysses was hurt Saturday afternoon when his Chevy Silverado went off of the Fox Hill Road a mile south of Ulysses and struck a utility pole. Perkins was taken to the hospital by Tri Town Volunteer Ambulance for treatment of major injuries. He’s being cited for failing to drive at a safe speed. A 14 year old Kane boy received moderate injuries Sunday morning when he was thrown off of a lawnmower. State police said the youth drove the Craftsman mower onto the Coontown Road in front of Chevy truck driven by Dennis Morgan of Wilcox. Morgan was unable to avoid hitting the machine and the teen was ejected upon impact. A St. Marys driver is being charged for traffic violations for a collision taking place Friday evening on Route 120 near the Cameron County village of Howard Siding. State police said a Dodge Neon driven by Matthew Rupprecht slid across the snow-covered road and collided with a Jeep Cherokee driven by Joseph Margeson on Emporium. Two children in the Jeep were taken to Elk Regional Medical Center for treatment. Both drivers were unhurt.  Minor injuries were reported for Russell Peters of Bellefonte whose Chevy Blazer overturned Friday evening on the Cherry Springs Road near the intersection of State Route 44 and 144 in Carter Camp. Troopers said Peters was traveling at an unsafe speed when the SUV skidded across the road and struck an embankment before rolling over. He was taken to Charles  Cole Hospital by Galeton Ambulance.  Minor injuries were also reported for two Emporium drivers involved in a three-vehicle crash Friday afternoon Route 120 in the Cameron County village of Truman. Authorities said Jesse Becker was headed east when his Plymouth Voyager slid across the center line and struck a tractor trailer driven by Timothy Bryant of North Carolina. The van bounced off the rig and struck a Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Mark Goss. Eric Nuccio of Sabinsville is being cited for failing to drive at a safe speed after  his eastbound Suzuki Vitara skied off of Route 6 in Sweden Township Friday evening, hit some guardrails, went over embankment, rolled over twice and came to rest on the passenger side about 95 feet from the road. Nuccio escaped injury

 Kane-based state police are looking for the driver who walked off into the woods after his 2000 Subaru Outback slid into a ditch and hit some guardrails on Route 32l about 3 miles west of the Bliss Hill Road in Wetmore Township just before 9:00 p.m. Friday.

 A couple of criminal mischief incidents are being probed by state police here. Someone in a moving vehicle hurled an unknown object at a Ford Van operated by Scott Bruzzi of Coudersport, causing minor damage to the right side of the windshield Wednesday night while he was traveling east on Route 6 a half mile east of PJ’s Restaurant in Roulette Township.  And, vandals broke off an unknown substance in door  locks, a shed lock and truck door locks  at the Northern Comfort Camp on Straight Ridge Trail in West Branch Township sometime over the past week. They also drilled a small hole in the valve of a propane tank causing a loss of about 230 gallons of propane gas. The camp is owned by Randy Diehl of Ashville, PA

1/26/07

While the region did experience some of the coldest temperatures in recent history overnight, the gusty winds did not arrive as predicted so the wind chills were not as low  as anticipated and white-outs did not occur.  Overnight lows ranged from -5 to -10 degrees and another half inch of snow arrived overnight.   Several area schools chose to have a two-hour delay this morning.  Forecasters say that we can expect snow throughout the weekend with a “rather potent disturbance in the upper atmosphere” which will move into the area, bringing the possibility of several inches of lake effect snow during a 24 hour period Sunday morning into Monday morning.  Saturday’s temperatures will be more moderate but organizers of several winter activities are delighted with the return to more seasonable conditions. The annual Snodeo, sponsored by the Potter County Snowmobile Club which was postponed from earlier this month will take place tonight through Sunday with activities based at the Clubhouse on the North Hollow Road outside of Coudersport. The West End Trailblazers Snowmobile Club will hold its 5th Annual Winter Festival Saturday from 10:00 until 4:00 at the Kaple Farm on Main Street in Roulette. There will be refreshments and a variety of activities. A radar run will be held, weather permitting.  And, the Warren County Winterfest is being held Friday through Sunday at Chapman State Park. Activities include sled dog racing, sled riding, cross country skiing, snow sculpting, ice fishing, geocaching, sleigh rides and more. All events are free. For more information, call 1-800-624-7802.A Rixford man was sentenced nine to 23-1/2 months in the McKean County Jail for several burglaries taking place last summer in the Eldred Area.  Francis Yeaples, 21, admitted stealing a motorcycle, breaking into the Otto-Eldred School, JT’s Place, The Eldred Tasty Freez, the Otto Eldred High School, and Otto-Eldred Pool. Yeaples admitted stealing various items and causing damage at some of the locations. He was given credit for 198 days already spent in jail. The judge also ordered Yeaples to serve 4 years concurrently on probation and to perform 200 hours of community service.

 State police here are probing the theft of some firewood in Bingham Township and break-ins at four Abbott Township camps.  Sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday, thieves took a cord of wood from a camp on Musto Road owned by Geoffrey Pieninck of Fleetwood, PA. It’s valued at $60.  And, doors on four cabins on the Boone Run Road were broken between Sunday and Tuesday. The investigation continues as police contac the camp owners. It’s not known what may have been taken the camps.

1/25/07

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for the entire WFRM listening area from 2:00 a.m. Friday until 12:00 noon.  Arctic air will flow into the region late this afternoon and tonight in the wake of a strong cold front. Temperatures will plummet into the single digits to near zero and the gusty northwest wind will combine to create wind chills of around 15 degrees below zero late tonight and Friday morning. Frostbite and hypothermia can occur  if precautions are not taken.  As a result of the advisory, several area schools have decided on a two-hour delay for the start of classes Friday morning. They include Coudersport, Austin, Northern Potter, Oswayo Valley, Galeton, and Cameron County. As of news time there had been no decision made regarding Port Allegany.  School officials advise parents of walkers and bus riders to make sure their children are property attired for the weather.

 Meanwhile, PennDot is advising motorists that the front could bring snow squalls and or blowing snow, reducing visibility to near zero.  PennDot recommends that if you encounter poor visibility, turn on your headlights; stay in your lane; slow down; increase your following distance and do not stop in the flow of traffic as a chain reaction collision might occur. Come to a complete stop only when you can safely get as far off the road as possible.

State police at Kane say charges are pending against a Bradford driver following a one-vehicle crash Wednesday morning on Route 770 about two miles east of Route 59 in Lafayette Township.  Melissa Holt was headed east when her Honda Pilot went off the road and struck an embankment, two stone walls and a tree before coming to rest. She escaped injury.

 A couple of hit and run crashes taking place yesterday  are under state police investigation. At around 5:30 a.m. an unknown small dark colored west bound car went off of Route 6 near Hazel Hurst and struck three mailboxes. The car became stuck in the yard at the Richard Raught residence and the driver left the scene on foot after trying to get it out of the yard. He returned some time later in an SUV which pulled the car out of the yard. And, an unknown vehicle struck the wooden guard rail on a bridge, knocking it off its supports.

 

1/24/07

A report in today’s BRADFORD ERA may be slightly misleading according to Potter County Commissioner Chairman Ken Wingo.  As WFRM reported earlier this month, Potter County was asked by the Bradford Regional Airport Authority to give up its seat on the authority because the County never was a paying member of the authority. Today’s news story says the decision is a direct result of the “financial difficulties facing the county in light of  the Time-Warner Cable layoffs.”  The Commissioners had just completed preparing the 2007 county budget days before the announcement by the giant media company that it would be closing the Coudersport call center, laying off some 500 workers in early February. Chairman Wingo told WFRM that the commissioners believed there were other priorities for the county and that the board felt the $15,000 payment to stay on the authority was excessive for an 8th class county, especially when Cameron County which is also an 8th class county is required to pay only $3,000.Wingo told WFRM that if the situation changes, the county might be interested it going back on at some point and said that some recent changes with the airport are attractive to Time Warner in terms of the 75 or so employees who are expected to stay here, for awhile at least. Flights from Bradford are going to Dulles Airport in the Greater Washington. DC area and the location is convenient for Time Warner as it is close to their Virginia headquarters.  Originally, Cleveland was to be the hub with fewer flights.  Wingo added that the change in hubs, might even mean a few more Time Warner jobs being located in Coudersport in the future.

A Port Allegany man has been bound over to McKean County Court on various charges in connection to an incident allegedly taking place just before 3:00 a.m. on December 15. Glenn Gallup, 50 is charged with burglary, criminal trespass, carrying an unlicensed fire arm, terroristic threats, simple assault, reckless endangerment and harassment. State police allege Gallup entered the home of  Norma Ostrander on the Upper Portage Road, Port Allegany carrying a .22 caliber gun and that he pointed the loaded weapon at Ostrander and Steven Hardawy.  A child was in the house at the time, fortunately no one was hurt. Gallup was remanded to the County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail awaiting further court action.

 Four other McKean County residents waived their theft and burglary cases into county court.  Daniel Stevens, 25; Timothy Bickel, 19 and Steven Hall, 19 all of Bradford and 20 year old Daryl Grimes of Smethport are accused of stealing three rifles from the home of Robert Strait on Annin Creek Road near Port Allegany between last October 23 and 30th . The guns are valued at $750. The quartet is also accused of  breaking a window on October 29 in an unsuccessful effort to enter Dave’s Gun Shop on the Loop road in Eldred.  Hall, Stevens and Bickel  are free after posting bail while Grimes remains in the McKean County Jail in lieu of  $5,000 bail.

 

1/23/07

Two Emporium men have been fined by the Game Commission for poaching an elk. Douglas Petty, 19, was charged with unlawful taking or possession of game or  wildlife. Eric Reed, 20, was accused of aiding in the unlawful taking of game or wildlife.  Petty was fined $1500 and was ordered to pay $5,000 restitution.  Reed was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and make $1,000 restitution. Both defendants were also ordered to pay court costs and fees. The Game Commission said the pair killed a elk last November, decapitated it and left it to rot in a field near the Game Commission’s office in Shippen township, Cameron County.Another Emporium resident has been charged with simple assault. Jamie Reynolds, 19, is accused of hitting 20 year old Alicia Reickerd Saturday morning during an argument. He was arraigned before District Judge King and committed to the Elk County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

State police at Kane late yesterday released details about two weather-related crashes taking place last Friday in McKean County.  Troopers said 18 year old Matthew Souchik of Lewis Run received moderate injuries around noon time when his Toyota Corolla sedan slid across snow-covered Route 770 in Lafayette Township, struck an embankment and rolled onto its roof.  He was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center for treatment.  Earlier in the day, Frederick Bliss of Olean and his passenger Brian Schillinger escaped injury when Bliss’s Toyota Tacoma pickup slid across both lanes of Route 346 in Corydon Township , spun 180 degrees counterclockwise and slid off the south side of the road, coming to rest on the passenger side  in a ditch.

 Sweden Valley Manor is inviting community members to become pen pals with several of the home’s residents.  Mary Jones, Director of Customer Relations, says staff will help interested persons get started by providing a couple of stamps and stationery.  She says there is no requirement as to how often letters are sent, and even postcards will be welcome. Emails are also acceptable. Jones says Sweden Valley Manor will provide brief “bio” information of the resident to make corresponding easier. For more information, call her at 274-7610.

 

1/22/07

With six inches or more of new snow arriving over the weekend, state police across the region investigated a number of weather-related crashes.  A Ulysses man and his passenger received moderate injuries in a collision Saturday afternoon on Route 49 in Allegany Township. Troopers said Raymond Tombs was headed west when his Chevy Venture failed to negotiate a left turn onto the Barnett Road and crossed into the other lane were it struck a Dodge van driven by Lionel Cheatham of Elmira. Tombs and Hugh Empson of Elkland were taken to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment while Cheatham and the 11 children in his van escaped injury. Minor injuries were reported for two passenger is a crash taking place a few minutes earlier on Route 6 near the roadside rest stop in Hamlin Township, McKean County. Troopers at Kane said Floyd Barbee of Virginia Beach, VA was traveling west when his Lincoln Towncar crossed the center line and went off the road, came back onto the highway and collided with  Ford Taurus driven by Lawrence Ross of Mt. Jewett.  Both drives were unhurt but Ross’s wife, Marilyn and a second passenger, Michelle Mellander also of Mt. Jewett were taken to Kane Community Hospital for treatment. An Emporium driver also received minor injuries Friday afternoon on Route 120 in Shippen Township, Cameron County. Michelle Osti lost control of her Geo Tracker while headed east. The unit went off the road and struck an embankment before coming to rest.  A few hours after that, Wayne Miller of Driftwood escaped injury when his 2007 Chevrolet sedan slid on icy Route 120 in Gibson township, Cameron County and struck and embankment.DUI charges are being filed against 26 year old Andrew Green of Emporium following a “non-reportable” crash Saturday evening on the Plank Road in Shippen Township, Cameron County. State police allege when they stopped to check on Green’s Ford Ranger which had become stuck in a ditch, they found he had been driving under the influence of alcohol.

 A hit and run taking place at around 6:00 a.m. Friday in Ulysses is under investigation by state police here. An unknown vehicle traveled off of South Main Street and struck a porch railing and several lawn ornaments at the James Jeffers residence. The driver took off without providing information to Jeffers or police.

 A simple assault taking place Saturday evening on Route 155 near the Two Mile Restaurant near Port Allegany remains under investigation by Kane-based state police. Authorities claim a known suspect smashed two windows in a car owned by Keith Robinette of Sartwell Creek Road, Port Allegany and that the flying glass hit a 13 year old girl and caused an eye injury. She was taken to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment Police further alleged the suspect threatened Robinette and a 16 year old girl but neither of them was hurt.

 

1/19/07

A Coudersport woman has been charged with stalking and harassment for incidents allegedly taking place over the past couple of years. State police claim 39 year old Darlene Bess has hand delivered or mailed about 295 pages of correspondence to Dr. Bradley Giannotti since April 2004.  Authorities say Bess has been asked to “stop  her course of action on several occasions but she has continued her conduct.”  A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for next Tuesday before District Judge Annette Easton.

Troopers have also charged 40 year old William Fourness of Port Allegany  with harassment for a domestic violence incident allegedly taking place Monday evening.  Authorities allege Fourness shoved his wife Beatrice Earle-Fourness during an argument in their home on the Coleman Mills Road in Roulette Township.

 Authorities are looking for the person who lost some money along the Bailey Hill Road in Hector Township in mid-November. The money was found in a container about a mile and half east of the Loucks Mills Road and the owner may claim it at the local barracks by calling 274-8690 and providing accurate information.

 Several area residents will be sentenced later this winter after pleading  guilty to various charges yesterday in McKean County Court. Glenn Gallup, 50, of Port Allegany pleaded guilty to assault and criminal mischief for an incident taking place last April 1 in which he struck a woman, damaged doors and an outside phone line at her home.  Robert Drabert, 18, also of Port, pleaded guilty to corruption of minors for engaging in acts which tended to corrupt the morals of a female juvenile.  Kenneth McKee, 42 of Smethport pleaded guilty to theft for taking a Jeep from a Kane residence last August 1 and driving it to North Carolina, intending to keep it.  And, 21 year old jared Smith of Smethport pleaded guilty to assault and trespass for an incident taking place last September 29 on Kane School District property.  Smith admitted going onto the property even though he had been told repeatedly not to, and, while intoxicated assaulting an 18 year old male victim.  Gallup, Drabert and McKee will all be sentenced on March 1 while McKee’s sentencing is scheduled for March 15.

With the 2006-07 deer seasons coming to a close this month,  The Pennsylvania Game Commission reminds hunters that they must complete and submit their Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) report cards either by mail or through the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) by Feb. 7.  Under DMAP, all hunters are required to submit a report card, even if the hunter did not take a deer.  This is being done so the Game Commission can measure the effectiveness of the program. If registering the report through the website, just click on the "DMAP" icon in the center of the homepage and follow the instructions.  Hunters will need to provide: their application number, DMAP unit number, coupon number, and birth date; the date of the harvest; the Wildlife Management Unit, county and township of the harvest; and what type of sporting arm they used.  DMAP permits only may be used to take antlerless deer, however, hunters still will need to identify whether the deer was male or female.  Hunters also can report that they did not harvest a deer simply by checking a box at this website. The Commission says  that deer harvest numbers for the 2006-07 seasons won't be available until mid-March, as in the past. In addition to hunters still submitting harvest report cards, which must be sent out for data entry, the agency's Deer Management Section is compiling the data collected in the field by the deer aging teams.

1/18/07

A McKean County man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal weapons charge relating to the Ralph “Bucky” Phillips case. Todd Nelson, 31, of Ludlow pleaded guilty to one count of receiving, possessing and concealing 35 stolen guns believed to have been stolen by Phillips from a Chautauqua County gun dealer in August. Nelson also admitted giving Phillips a hand gun even though he knew Phillips was a fugitive. Nelson late last year pleaded guilty in McKean County court to hindering apprehension for  taking Phillips into his home between August 17 and 28 while he was eluding police. A car believed to have been stolen by Phillips was found near Nelson’s home and investigating police officers discovered the stolen weapons on the property.  Nelson has already been sentenced to a state prison term of nine to 23-1/2 months and will be sentenced on May 3 for the federal charges. Phillips escaped from a prison near Buffalo, NY last April and remained on the run until surrendering to Pennsylvania State Police near Warren on September 8.  He has since pleaded guilty to killing one New York State trooper and wounding two others and will spend the rest of his life in a state prison.  He’s also suspected of committing numerous thefts and burglaries in both Pennsylvania and New York while he zigzagged across the state border.

During the January 4 Potter County Commissioners’ meeting, the board approved a lateral transfer of Monica Fourness from Part-time Secretary/clerk in the Prothonotary’s office to full time Secretary/clerk in the Public Defender’s office. Since it is a lateral transfer, there is no change in the salary.  The board also agreed to hire Mary Lou Fourness on an emergency basis to fill the vacancy in the Prothonotary’s office until the vacancy can be formally advertised  and subsequently filled as required by the union.  The Commissioners also accepted the resignation of Brandi Goulding as 911 Data Entry Secretary effective February 9, 2007. She has been employed in the position since August 2003. The board also nominated Commissioner John Torok to the Potter County Conservation District board for a term of one year and accepted the resignation of Dale Hoffman as an Associate Director of the District. His term expires on December 31, 2008 and the District provided a list  of possible replacements for consideration by the board.  They also appointed Commissioner Catherine Bowers, George Hults Amy Jo McLain and Joe Pagano to the Overall Economic Development Program Committee of the North Central Regional Planning and Development Commission, all for  a two year term

 Even though Pennsylvania has had a mild winter so far, with little snow fall, Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences say there is a State Animal Response Team in place and ready to go if a disaster should strike but Penn State Extension Educator Norman Conrad says volunteers are needed to work with anything from household pets to livestock. He says volunteers don’t necessarily have to be a lion tamer or a dog handler. He says the system is looking for people that can do the very simple things such as answer the phone, run a computer, help feed and water animals etc.  You can find out more by visiting the website www.pasart.org. According to Potter County EMA project coordinator for the Citizen Corps, Linda Williams, Potter County does not yet have a county animal response team, but there is one in McKean County and one is being formed in Tioga County. She says the counties are planning to work together on responding to a disaster but suggests anyone interested in participating contact Jim Clark with Penn State Cooperative Extension in Smethport, 887-5613.

1/17/07

The fundraising campaign for Potter County’s Home Delivered Meals over the holidays was so successful, Aging Director Sherry Hoffman tells WFRM that there will be no waiting list in the foreseeable future. She says the amount raised is just over $15,000 and that will pay for almost 3400 meals.  Hoffman says efforts will now be directed toward a chicken and biscuit dinner on February 18 with proceeds going to the county’s four senior centers located in Coudersport, Galeton, Shinglehouse and Ulysses to help with their operating expenses. The dinner will be held from noon to 2:30 p.m. at The Hotel Crittenden in Coudersport.

Will there be an airport in Potter County’s future?  Potter County Commissioner Chairman Ken Wingo, responding to a question from WFRM during the January 4 meeting, said it may be an issue worth revisiting as a means of attracting employers to the area.  Wingo said several years ago there were matching funds available but a previous board of commissioners abandoned the idea.  The chairman who is experienced in aviation, says the county is the only one in the state which does not have a municipal airport but adds that the recent upgrading of the Bradford Regional Airport to Essential Air Service will help in the interim with a increase in the number of flights available and a decrease in the cost.

 Kane-based state police are investigating a criminal trespass apparently taking place at two locations  near Port Allegany earlier this week.  Timm Baxter told troopers he saw someone entering or exiting his garage on the North Brooklynside Road  Monday evening.  An unknown male fled through an open window at a garage owned by Baxter’s neighbor, Alvin Loveless when a vehicle entered the driveway.  Anyone with information about the incidents or who has experienced a similar incident is asked to call the Kane barracks at 778-5555.

 Several DUI defendants were recently admitted to the Potter County ARD program.  Matthew Mills, 44 of Renovo was arrested this past September 3 in Ulysses Township after being stopped for summary traffic violations. His alcohol level was found to be .13%. Michael Schock, 32, of Lancaster  was arrested over the 4th of July weekend in Galeton with an alcohol level of .12%.  And, 30 year old Jason George of Altoona was arrested on September 29 in Homer Township. His BAC was also .12%.  The legal limit in Pennsylvania is .08%.  All three were ordered to pay all court costs and fees and the fees for ARD; attend DUI Alcohol Safe Driving School and the DUI Victim Impact Panel and to perform 25 hours of community service. Mills must also surrender his driver’s license for 30 days.

1/16/07

Coudersport-based state police are investigating a couple of recent burglaries in the northern part of the county. Sometime Sunday night or Monday morning, thieves broke a window on the southern side of Connie’s Market on Route 49 in Harrison Township to gain entry. They exited the building through the broken window, taking along a cash register containing about $120 in currency and coins and  about 30 packs of cigarettes. Value of the stolen items is said to be nearly $600 and damage to the window is estimated to be about $100.  And, sometime over the past couple of weeks, thieves entered a camp on Route 49 East in Bingham township and removed several assorted brass and copper piping and plumbing pieces from the house and a variety of radiators, alternators, wires etc. from antique tractors and pick up trucks stored in a nearby shed.  The camp is owned by John and April Shimkanin of California, Pennsylania. Entry was made through a cellar window.  Any with information about either incident is asked to contact the local barracks at 274-8690.

In regional news, State Police at Mansfield are investigating a burglary of  the American Legion in Morris Run, Tioga County.  Thieves forced their way into the building last Wednesday night or Thursday morning and made off with more than $400 while causing about $350 in damage.  Burglaries took place this past fall at two similar facilities in McKean County.

 Potter County Public Defender Brent Petrosky discussed his office’s increasing work load during the January 4 commissioners’ meeting. Petrosky said that now the county has a full-time District Attorney, his caseload in increasing.  Chairman Ken Wingo asked Petrosky if he knew of any movement on the state level to provide additional funding to counties to increase staffing in Public Defenders’ offices as the legislature did when it created full-time DA positions. Petrosky said he was not aware of any formal activity but suggested in might be coming up in the future as he is not alone in the problem. In response to a question from Chairman Wingo, Petrosky said a new computer system will help his office’s efficiency because he and his secretary will be able to keep track of cases and arrests by “hooking” into the Prothonotary and Judge’s systems. He told the commissioners he appreciates their support with a recent authorization for a full time secretary.

 Coudersport Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors at this month's meeting. Directors who began their terms include Coudersport High School Principal Alanna Huck, Morgan AM&T Human Resources Director Mark Moore and retiree Gerald Montgomery. Those three join incumbent board members Mike Harris, Paul Heimel, Dolores Gartside, DougMorley, Jole'e Mack and Stan Swank. The annual election of officers was held. Results were: Gerald Montgomery, president; Mike Harris, first vice-president; Stan Swank, second vice-president; Doug Morley, treasurer; and Paul Heimel, secretary. Directors discussed steps the Chamber can take to help the Coudersport area cope with the job losses expected when Time Warner closes two customer centers and the Adelphia Estate wraps up its Chapter 11 bankruptcy activities. State Assemblyman Martin Causer and Gov. Ed Rendell have volunteered to attend upcoming Chamber meetingsto discuss ways the state can help and exchange ideas on Coudersport's current situation Stan Swank, the chamber's liaison with the Coudersport Area Merchants Assn., said that group is also anxious to step up its activities this year. Swank put out a call for other business operators to join the merchants' group..The Chamber is also looking into offering group health insurance options to boost membership and sponsoring new events, such as a three-on-three basketball tournament and a "lunch on the square" series, to stimulate downtown commerce.

1/15/07

A Mechanicsburg man is facing DUI charges following a one-vehicle crash last Wednesday on Route 872 four miles north of the Cameron County line in Wharton Township, State police said Michael Kinkopf was headed north when his Chevy Silverado overturned and skidded a short distance on its roof before coming to rest. Kinkopf was taken to Charles Cole Hospital for chemical testing and treatment of minor injuries and was committed to the Potter County jail in lieu of $2500 unsecured bail after being arraigned on DUI and various summary traffic offenses.

A hit and run taking place last Friday afternoon in the parking lot of Costas Supermarket in Eldred is under investigation by state police at Kane.  An unknown vehicle backed into a Chrysler Neon owned by April McVinney of Eldred between 3:45 and 4:00 p.m. She told police that a gold colored pickup was parked in front of her car when she went into the store and was gone when she returned.

A couple of area women are facing charges following domestic violence incidents.  Constance Hults, 49, of Ulysses was released on unsecured bail last Monday after being arraigned on charges of simple assault and harassment after she allegedly threw a metal canister at her husband, Michael, causing a gash above his left eye.  Mr. Hults was treated at Charles Cole Hospital.  Tammy Jedrosko, 41, of Cyclone is accused of hitting 40 year old Gerald Kohler during an argument Friday night at a residence on the Pit Hole Road.

 Potter County Judge John Leete has ordered a Coudersport man to spend time in jail for two DUI convictions.  David Clonan, 63, was arrested by Coudersport Borough Police this past June 2 and 17 for DUI.  He was ordered to spend three days to six months in jail for the first conviction and to pay a fine of $1,025 and spend seven days to six months, consecutive to the first sentence for the second DUI. The judge also ordered Clonan to pay all court costs and fees, attend the Victim Impact Panel and attend Alcohol Safe Driving School for both convictions and to perform a total of 50 hours community service.

 Jackie Bracey of Genesee will be sentenced on February 21, for DUI. He was arrested on January 7, 2006 by State Police and was found to have an alcohol level of .34%, more than four times the legal limit.

 In regional news, The Pennsylvania State Police, Troop C, Punxsutawney, continue their investigation of multiple thefts that occurred in southern Jefferson and northern Indiana Counties, Pennsylvania. Since May 2006 through January 2007, a combined total of eleven gasoline and natural gas engines have been removed from gas well sites within approximately 15 miles of Punxsutawney.  These engines are attached to a gas well and are used to power a pump that removes unwanted liquid materials from the well site which in turn allows the natural gas to flow into the pipeline system.   To date, the total value of these eleven engines is valued at over $21,000.00Specifically, between November 17, 2006 and November 22, 2006 three Kohler Natural Gas Motors from 3 different sites within Indiana County were removed. The motors are 18 hp twin cylinder motors with a total value of loss at approximately $5800.00 If you have information on the thefts call Pennsylvania Crimestoppers Toll free at 1-800-4PA-TIPS.  All callers remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

1/12/07

A Pittsburgh man charged with raping a Coudersport woman earlier this month has waived his case into Potter County court and remains free after posting $10,000 bail.  Mark Korabelnikov,22, is charged with rape, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, and indecent assault for the attack on an 18 year old victim in a house on North Main Street during the early morning hours of January 2.  He’s being represented by Attorney T. Brent McCune of Pittsburgh.A two-story  wooden frame  Port Allegany area home was extensively damaged by fire Thursday night. According to Star Hose Chief Kevin Ernst, the blaze at the Gary Seefeldt residence in Annin Township began as a chimney fire at about 7:20 p.m. About 55 volunteers from Roulette, Eldred Borough, Smethport and Port Allegany responded to the scene.  All units were back in service about two and a half hours later.  There were no injuries. 

An elderly Driftwood man was hurt in a one-vehicle crash Tuesday morning on Route 120 in Lumber Township, Cameron County. State Police said 76  year old Charles Simmons was heading west when his Ford Explorer went off the road and struck an embankment.

 The theft of an MP3 player from a gym locker at the Northern Potter High School earlier this week is under investigation by troopers here.  The SanDisk Sansa player belonged to a 12 year old girl and is valued at $200.

 In recent Potter County court action, 23 year old Jesse Williams of Troopersburg, NY was ordered to spend 10 months on probation and to pay all court and prosecution costs and restitution. According to DA Dawn Fink, in June 2002, Williams was found to be in possession of miscellaneous stolen property including fire extinguishers, mailboxes and road signs taken from various locations around the county.  Bryan Pierce, 21, of Galetonwas ordered to spend 23 months on probation for criminal mischief. He was found to have cut all four tires and scratched the  roof of Katie Swan’s vehicle with a sharp object. Pierce was also ordered to pay $1790 restitution and court costs and to perform 25 hours of community service.  Joseph Cumby, Jr. 19, of Coudersport was sentenced 15 days to 18 months for theft and ordered to pay a $100 fine plus perform 50 hours of community service.  According to DA Fink, Cumby stole various parking signs and other signs from businesses and churches throughout Coudersport last April.  He was also sentenced two days to six months, concurrent with his other sentence for DUI and ordered to pay a $675 fine. He was arrested last February 18 for DUI by Borough Police and was found to have an alcohol level above the legal limit for persons under the age of 21.

1/11/07

Slippery roads are blamed for two crashes with injuries occurring within minutes of each other Tuesday afternoon here in Potter County.  Corrina Burgess, 18 of Coudersport received minor injuries when her Ford Explorer slid off of the Kio Road in Eulalia Township, struck an embankment and rolled onto its roof. The SUV continued to slide about 10 feet upside down before coming to rest. Burgess and her 12 year old male passenger were both taken to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment.   About 10 minutes later, 17 year old Tiffany Moag  of Genesee received minor bumps and bruises when her Chevy Cavalier slid on a patch of black ice, skidded off the Peet Brook Road in Allegany Township and struck a row of trees. Moag declined treatment at the scene.

The theft of a rifle from a Roulette residence is being investigated by state police locally. Sometime between November 25 and 29th someone took a Ruger 77R Roberts .257 bolt-action rifle with scope from the home of Edwin Reese on Fourth Street.  The gun was taken in the long white box in which it had been purchased.  The rifle’s serial number is 78693940. Anyone with information is asked to call state police at 274-8690.

 A Roulette woman has been cited for scattering rubbish. State police claim 50 year old Shirley Snyder, earlier this week,  placed several bags of garbage on land owned by Harriet Winseck  located about a half mile north of the West Carley Hill Road in Clara Township without the owner’s permission.

 In Potter County Court action, 46 year old Timothy Butler of Austin was sentenced to two concurrent jail terms of 11-1/2 to 23-1/2 months for statutory sexual assault and indecent assault.  Butler was also ordered to spend two years on probation, pay a $1,000 fine, pay monthly  supervision and administrative fees, and perform 25 hours of community service. He committed the crimes in his home on July 24, 2005. The victims were two girls, aged 12 and 15 at the time.

 In other action, 28 year old Bryan Daniels of Coudersport was sentenced to a jail term of 24-60 months for stalking, corruption of minors and disorderly conduct.  This past July 8, while on work release for similar charges, Daniels drove past two 14 year old girls and made sexual gestures toward them.

 

1/10/07

Last night’s “surprise” snowfall of a couple of inches resulted in slippery roads for the morning commute. Emergency services personnel responded to a number of mishaps across the region. Mary Gummo of Smethport escaped injury around 9:00 a.m. when her Toyota Scion slid off snow-covered Route 46 near Herzog’s in Keating Township and struck a ditch and an embankment before coming to rest.

Several area residents will be sentenced on February 21 after pleading guilty  last week in Potter County Court to various charges. Manuel Senna, 44 of Coudersport pleaded guilty to terroristic threats for an incident taking place last August 21 in Coudersport.  According to DA Dawn Fink, Senna became agitated, verbally abusive and made threatening statements to Harold Randall during a conversation. He was represented by Public Defender Brent Petrosky.  Victor Vallejo, 26, of Austin pleaded guilty to seven counts of burglary and criminal conspiracy for incidents taking place between March 15 and May 17, 2006. Vallejo admitted participating in burglaries at several camps and the Austin Game Room. Stolen items included firearms, cash, toolbox with tools, alcohol television sets, stereo, deer mount, US currency, candy bars, video games, and a pool cue. He was represented by Attorney Robert Kuhl. Eric Lopez, 21 of Gaines pleaded guilty receiving stolen property. Lopez admitted receiving some $60 in cash and a quantity of alcohol which he knew was stolen from the Ox Yoke Inn last May. Lopez was represented by Attorney Donna Smith.

  Congressman John Peterson joined several of his rural House colleagues this week in sponsoring legislation to reauthorize the expired federal payment program for rural schools and communities located in or near national forests. The bill would reauthorize the “county payments” law for seven years.  It’s been used in the past by communities in McKean, Forest, Elk, and Warren Counties and the lawmaker says the payments can mean survival or extinction for some school districts across the country.

1/9/07

The Potter County Commissioners have their eye on the “Adelphia School Building” for a court house annex.  The board issued a news release yesterday saying they have determined that the building’s location, total office areas and workspaces and its state of the art mechanicals and equipment would “adequately fulfill the needs of the County for a Court House Annex.  The current board and the  some previous boards have discussed various possibilities over the past few years to alleviate the crowded conditions and need to locate various offices at different locations around the town.  Tentative plans have called for building an addition to the current historical structure or building on the vacant lot across from the jail which the county recently purchased.  However, Chairman Ken Wingo told WFRM earlier today the board it’s the right time to move ahead with an effort to acquire the building which is owned by Time Warner He said he’s confident the county will be able to negotiate a good price which will minimize dramatically or possibly even eliminate future tax increases to support a long-term debt which would be necessary if the county were to build a comparable facility.  Time Warner, which acquired Adelphia’s local assets announced late last year that it will be closing its Coudersport Call Center early next month, terminating some 500 jobs.  The commissioners said in their release, the acquisition of the former school at a reasonable price will “free up funds” to be used in improving the local job climate and economic stability. The commissioners have directed County Solicitor D. Bruce Cahilly to negotiate the possible purchase with Time Warner.

A Bradford man has been jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail after being arraigned on rape and related charges.  Robert Yount, 37, was picked up yesterday on a warrant for crimes allegedly taking place between 1997 and 1999 involving two children, ages 9 and 14.

DUI charges are pending against a Mt. Jewett driver following a crash taking place Monday afternoon on the West Eldred Road. State police at Kane said 51 year old Michael Smith was traveling south when his Toyota Tacoma went off the road and struck a legally parked 1993 Ford F-150. Smith was treated at the scene for minor injuries and is facing several additional charges as well.

State police here are continuing their investigation into a case of theft, fraud and forgery victimizing a Harrison Valley woman.  Lindsey Fitzwater recently learned that in mid-December someone used her debit card number without her permission to purchase items over the internet and to set up an AOL account.  Authorities say the amount of money charged to her account was credited to her account when she reported the unauthorized use of her card to the bank.

The Pennsylvania Route 6 Heritage Corporation, already known for encouraging green space preservation and community pride within the state, has signed a new agreement with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, Inc, (KPB) state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful.   Effective January 1, 2007, the agreement makes The Pennsylvania Route 6 Heritage Corporation the northern regional managing organization of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. The Heritage Corporation will be providing services, educational programs and other interactions in an approach to recruit individuals in preserving Route 6’s natural beauty as well as the rest of northern Pennsylvania. Established in 2003, the Heritage Corporation was formed “to develop the Pennsylvania counties through which U.S. Route 6 passes as a high quality experience for heritage, recreation, and cultural tourism with the purpose of enhancing the overall quality of the tourism experience”. KPB has been establishing regional offices as a means to deliver programs and services across Pennsylvania also since 2003. Their mission is to “promote and protect Pennsylvania's natural and community environments through education, networking, research, stewardship and influencing public policy, including but not limited to preventing litter, beautifying Pennsylvania, and minimizing the negative impacts of waste”.For more information, contact the Pennsylvania Route 6 Tourist Association at 1-87-PAROUTE 6 or at www.paroute6.com.

1/8/07

Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department Chief Andy Dubots tells WFRM that a new smoke detection system installed at Charles Cole Hospital within the last couple of months “paid off” Saturday night when a heating a/c unit malfunctioned, shorted out and filled the attic over the Womens Health Center with smoke. Some 50 volunteers from Coudersport, Roulette and Galeton responded to the 10:15 p.m. call.  There were no injuries and no evacuations were required. Damage was confined to the unit itself.

State police locally are investigating a rape reportedly taking  place last week in Coudersport.  An 18 year old woman told authorities that she was raped by a known male at a private residence located at 709 North Main Street during the early morning hours last Tuesday. The investigation continues.

Troopers have charged a 16 year old Shinglehouse resident with simple assault for an incident allegedly taking place last Tuesday evening at 109 E. Honeoye Street in that town.  Police say 46 year old David Crozier was hurt when the youth shoved him into a wall during an argument.

 An Oswayo driver who was severely injured in a one-vehicle crash last Thursday in that town is facing a variety of charges. State police said Raymond Freeman was driving at an unsafe speed when his GMC Jimmy went off of Main Street. When Freeman steered abruptly to bring the SUV back onto the road, it  zig zagged across the highway, spun around, hit an embankment and rolled onto its side. Freeman had to be extricated from the wreckage by Shinglehouse Emergency Services personnel. He was flown by helicopter to Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment. Authorities say he’ll be cited for failing to drive at a safe speed; driving with suspended license and failing to use a seatbelt.

 Minor injuries were reported for Rico Bizzak of Bradford following a one-vehicle crash Saturday morning on Route 219 near Burning Wells in Sergeant Township, McKean County.  State police said Bizzak’s Oldsmobile sedan crossed to the other side of the road and traveled down an embankment. He was taken to Kane Community Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

 State police here are investigating a couple of recent thefts. Sometime between December 12 and 14, someone took a 1987 Ford Taurus belonging to Kathleen Tilton while it was parked at her residence on Academy Street in Ulysses.  The car was not operable and is described as being maroon in color with a sun roof and damage to the rear end behind the bumper. A portable generator belonging to Jacques Lagrua of Coudersport was taken from an unlocked storage shed in Eulalia Township between December 28 and this past Saturday.

 State police at Kane are probing burglaries at a couple of camper trailers on a dirt road north of Birch Run Road in Liberty Township near Port Allegany.  Several items were taken from the trailers between December 20 and January 3. One of the trailers was unlocked but the thieves pried open a door on the other trailer to gain entry.

 

1/5/07

Several area residents will be sentenced within the next few weeks on a variety of crimes after pleading guilty this week in Potter County Court. Donald Setzer, 63, of Roulette will be sentenced as soon as a report is received from the Sexual Offender’s Assessment Board. He pleaded guilty to incest for having sexual intercourse with his adult niece in Sweden Township this past August 1. He was represented by Coudersport attorney Donna Smith.  Zachary Duncan, 22, of Whitesville, North Carolina pleaded guilty to statutory sexual assault for an incident taking place in June 2005 in Homer Township when he had consensual sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16.  Todd Caward, 27 of Coudersport pleaded guilty to theft by deception.  According to Potter County DA Dawn Fink, Sally Hershey of Coudersport gave Caward $1975 last May for supplies to fix her rental property. Caward pocketed the money and never made the repairs.  Edward Mulzet, 40, of Coudersport pleaded guilty to theft and firearms violations.  This past July 22, Mulzet broke into Erway’s Restaurant on Route 6 West Coudersport where he had been employed and made off with some $2600 in cash and a handgun. As a convicted felon, Mulzet is prohibited from owning, using, manufacturing, controlling, selling or transferring firearms. Sentencing for Duncan, Caward and Mulzet has been scheduled for February 14.

 Two Port Allegany residents pleaded guilty yesterday in McKean County Court to charges relating to a break-in at the Port Allegany Jubilee this past August 30th.  Shawn Griffith, 23, pleaded guilty to burglary and criminal trespass, admitting that he and Christopher Rethment conspired to burglarize the store. In a related matter, 23 year old Danielle Toupin pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property. She was found the next day in possession of some $2100 belonging to the store, knowing that the money had been stolen.

Potter County has a New Year’s Baby. Bailey Lynn Rupert arrived at 7:38 a.m. on  Thursday, January 4 to claim the title as New Year's Baby 2007 at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital. Bailey's mother, Rhonda Rupert of Port Allegany checked into the Hospital on January 3, hoping to deliver on that day to carry on a family tradition. (Her
brother, Ron Rupert Jr. was the New Year's Baby back in 1977.) But Bailey
apparently did not want to share her birthday with her uncle!Bailey weighed seven pounds, 3.4 ounces and entered the world with the assistance of Dr. Celso Backes. She joins a brother, Bryce O¹Brien, who is10.Grandparents are Linda Ricklefs and Ron Rupert Sr.,  both of Port Allegany.Virginia Stebick of Keating Summit is the baby's great-grandmother.As the New Year's Baby, little Bailey and her family will receive a shower of gifts from area merchants and businesses in addition to a $100 U.S.
Savings Bond from the Hospital.

1/4/07

PLEASE NOTE:  We will be moving this website to another server within the next few days, probably late in the week or on the weekend.  The website will be "offline" during the transition but will be back up by early next week. Your understanding is appreciated. We also hope to resume our audio news here then.

  The state labor department says the jobless rate in Potter County improved between October and November going from 6.1%  down to 5.0 %. The figure compared to 6.7% in Cameron County; 5.7% in Elk; 5.5% in McKean County and 5.1% in Tioga County. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate nationwide and in Pennsylvania during the same period were both 4.5%.

 Firefighters from Shinglehouse, Bolivar and Portville responded to a chimney fire  at the John Crook home on the Barbertown Road in Ceres Township, McKean County Wednesday evening at about 6:30.  There was no damage to the house as firefighters kept the fire confined to the chimney itself. Crook was home at the time and there were no injuries.  All units were back in service a couple of hours later.

 Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber yesterday approved Adelphia Communications’ plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  In a 267 page ruling, the judge said the plan has been approved by creditors who account for 84% of the claims owed by the company and that Adelphia had satisfied the requirements of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Adelphia sought bankruptcy protection in June 2002 following an accounting scandal which resulted in the conviction of founder John Rigas and his son, Timothy on criminal charges relating to accounting procedures.  Both men remain free while their appeals are pending.  The Coudersport-based company, was the fifth largest cable operator in the United States when the financial unraveling began.  New management agreed to sell Adelphia’s assets to Time Warner and Comcast and the deal was completed this past July. Time Warner which assumed Adelphia’s Coudersport assets announced in November that it’s closing the Coudersport call center early next month, terminating about 500 jobs.  Meanwhile, the Adelphia “estate”, the portion of the company which remains, is winding down business and one day soon, the corporation will no longer exist.

1/3/07

A Mt. Jewett man has been jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail after being arraigned on charges of  attempted murder, aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, and  reckless endangerment for an incident allegedly taking place in his home on December 20.  Bradley Mix, 31, was arrested Friday when he returned to McKean County after being treated at Altoona Hospital for a neck injury he reportedly suffered during the incident.  Mt..Jewett Borough police were called to the home by Mix’s brothers who told authorities he had stolen some guns and had threatened to kill family members and himself. A handgun was recovered by police during a scuffle and Mix was taken into custody when state police arrived on the scene to assist. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for January 22.An East Smethport teenager has been jailed in lieu of $2000 cash bail after allegedly assaulting his father during an altercation Tuesday morning at his home on Route 6 in Keating township. State police allege 18 year old Jeremiah Smith punched 54 year old Fred Smith in the face several times.

 PENNSYLVANIA CRIME STOPPERS IS ASKING YOU TO "TURN IN A TORCH" AND IS OFFERING A CASH REWARD OF UP TO $2,000 FOR INFORMATION THAT LEADS TO THE ARREST OF A YET UNKNOWN ARSON SUSPECT(S).  The Pennsylvania State Police, Troop F, Coudersport, are investigating several Arson fires that occurred in Harrison and Bingham Townships, Potter County, Pennsylvania. Between June 13 and November 20, 2006, three arson fires have occurred in Potter County, Pennsylvania. Sometime between Tuesday, June 13 and Saturday, June 24, 2006, a cabin fire occurred on Dodge Hollow Road, Harrison Township, Potter County.  An accelerant was used to burn the cabin to the ground. On Tuesday, June 20, 2006, a fire occurred at a seasonal home on Hurlburt Hill Road, Harrison Township, Potter County. An ATV was used to break into the cabin and garage.  Several items were stolen and an accelerant was used to burn the cabin to the ground.  The fire also caused large amounts of damage to a pole barn-garage building and its contents.  On Monday, November 20, 2006, a fire occurred at the Holbert Farm, on T-479, Bingham Township, Potter County.  The suspect went to an abandoned homestead on the Holbert Farm and used an accelerant in an attempt to burn the house, causing approx. $4,000 in damage.  Investigators believe all three fires are related.  If you have information on this "Crime" or any other serious Crime or Wanted Person, call Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers Toll Free at 1-800-4PA-TIPS.  All callers remain anonymous and you could be eligible for a Cash Reward up to $2,000.

For the first time in more than 40 years, the WFRM listening area has a lawmaker in a leadership role in the state legislature. Sen. Joe Scarnati was sworn into office yesterday as the President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate.  The late Senator James S. Berger of Coudersport held the position during the 1960’s. According to state law, Scarnati will preside over the senate when the lieutenant governor is unavailable to do so, as well as play a significant role in negotiating with the governor and House of Representatives. In an address delivered after the swearing in ceremony, Scarnati said legislative priorities this year include the transportation, job-creating and health care.

1/2/07

Coudersport-based state police are looking for the driver of a vehicle which wrecked early Monday morning on Academy Street in Ulysses near Center Street. Troopers say nearby residents heard several people near the scene at about 3:00 a.m. An unknown vehicle traveled off the south side of the street, struck five guardrail posts and traveled down an embankment before the driver fled the scene. Anyone with information is asked to call the local barracks at 274-8690.

The Potter CoDUI charges are pending against 21 year old Steven Vanetten of Ulysses following a once-vehicle crash on Christmas Eve.  State police say Vanetten’s vehicle failed to negotiate a left hand curve on the Whites Corners Road in Harrison Valley, crossed over to the other side of the highway and rolled over coming to rest in a nearby field. Vanetten refused treatment. One of his passengers, Robert Reigh of Westfield was taken to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment of minor lacerations and bruises  while a second passenger Justin Fuhrer of Harrison Valley is accused of fleeing the scene. Both he and Reigh, age 19, are facing under age consumption charges while Vanetten is accused of furnishing alcohol to minors.

 The cause of a fire which destroyed a barn north of Roulette early Monday morning is under investigation. According to Roulette Fire Chief Mike Ingalls, volunteers responding to the 1:43 a.m. call  on the West Branch of  Fishing Creek found the structure owned by Mike Greene, fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters were able to keep flames from spreading to nearby buildings. Some 60 volunteers from Roulette, Port Allegany, Coudersport, Shinglehouse and Smethport responded to the scene. There were no injuries and all units were returned to service about five hours later.  The barn was used for storage and contained some antiques. The alarm was phoned in by the property owner. 

 State police at Kane say an explosion in an unoccupied 12 x 49 ft. mobile home on Y Street early yesterday was intentionally set.  Arsonists ignited a common combustible material in a rear room just before 3:30 a.m. Firefighters were able to confine the fire to the room where the blaze originated and damage was minimal. 

 A burglary at  Hamilton’s Car Wash in Ulysses overnight Thursday is under investigation by state police here.  Thieves pried open a door to gain entry and then sawed off six 5/16 inch bolts holding a change machine to the wall, and removed the machine containing an undetermined amount of currency and change. The thieves also took keys to the Laundromat machines. Damage and stolen property total nearly $3000. Anyone with information is asked to call the local barracks at 274-8690.

 Someone apparently used the Genesee Volunteer Fire Hall for their private New Year’s Eve party, but took nothing and caused no damage. State police say intruders entered the building sometime between 5:00 p.m. Sunday and 10:00 a.m. Monday, played pool, drank beer, and locked the door when they left.

 

 

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