n WFRM NEWS ARCHIVE |July - August - September 2006

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09/29/06

A Smethport woman was injured in a three-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon at the intersection of Route 770 and 646 in the McKean County Village of Aiken.  State police said the collision occurred when Linda Ness was traveling west on Route 770 and Richard Brown, also of Smethport who was traveling east, turned left in front of Ness’s Saturn Sedan. After impact, Brown’s Ford Ranger pick up truck slid into a Plymouth sedan operated by Holly Carpenter, also of Smethport which was stopped at the intersection.  Ness was taken to Bradford Regional Center for treatment of unknown injuries.  Brown and Carpenter escaped injury as did a passenger in Carpenter’s car, Joyce Dodge of East Smethport.

Injuries were reported for both drivers following a collision  occurring at almost the same time in Cameron County. Troopers said Pamela Irwin’s southbound Chevy Trailblazer crossed into the opposite lane where it struck a Freightliner Tractor Trailer operated by Kevin Kemp of Eden, NY. After impact, the Irwin SUV traveled about 165 feet more before coming to rest, Irwin was taken to Elk Regional Medical Center for treatment while Kemp was taken to Charles Cole Hospital. Police did not indicate whether or not a 4 year old male passenger in the SUV was injured.

 Both drivers escaped injury in a minor collision involving a road grader and passenger car Thursday morning on the Peet Brook Road three and a half miles north of Route 49 in Allegany Township. Sate police said the passenger side mirror on a Mercury Sable driven by Clair Moore Jr. of Genesee sideswiped the caution flag on a PennDot Road Grader operated by Terry Clark of Roulette which was stopped on the west side of the road.

 The theft of some  hubcaps from a vehicle parked along Route 120 in Shippen Township Cameron County is under investigation by state police at Emporium.  Thieves  stole four gray/silver plastic hubcaps from a Yukon owned by Gary Heckman while it was parked  in front of his business, Heckman Trucking.

 Thousands of archers are expected to shoot a deer tomorrow, the opening day of Pennsylvania’s archery season which continues through November 11.  Game Commission Field Officers report that whitetails are available in fair to good numbers throughout the state.

 During their regular meeting Thursday, the Potter County Commissioners hired Edward G. Davis as a part-time Security Guard at an hourly rate of $8.20 to fill an existing vacancy since the original hire failed to report for work.   The board also hired Sally Drake as a County Social Services Aide 1 effective October 1 at an annual salary of $15,968 to fill an open vacancy.  Drake is currently employed by Potter County Human Services in another position. The commissioners also accepted the resignation of Jessica Moon as the School Based Caseworker  at the Galeton School.  When asked about the turnover in the program, Commissioner Cathy Bowers explained that young social workers use Potter County as a training ground in the move upward and the younger employees relate well to the students. She said that in spite of the turnover, school officials across the county are enthusiastic about the program.

 

09/28/06

A Cyclone woman is being charged with DUI following a one-vehicle crash at about 4:40 this morning on Route 59 just east of Route 646. Troopers said Gadget Stone lost control of her Ford Taurus causing it to go off the road and strike a tree.  When police investigated, they determined she had been driving under the influence. Stone received minor injuries in the crash.

An elderly Galeton driver apparently was unhurt when his 2005 Jeep Liberty overturned Wednesday afternoon on Route 44 in Hebron Township.  State police said 82 year old Henry Stann was headed south when the SUV traveled off the road sideways and rolled onto its roof. He was taken to Charles Cole Hospital by Coudersport Volunteer Ambulance for evaluation.

 The Potter County Commissioners during their September 14th meeting, approved a rent increase for the Coudersport Senior Center which is located at the Seventh Day Adventist Church.  The monthly rental goes up from $290 a month to $400 a month effective November 1 through next October 31.  The commissioners explained that the county does not pay utilities at that location which is used 12-14 days a month.

 

09/27/06

A severe August drought followed by cool
temperatures in early September resulted in many pockets of early fall
color in central and northeastern Pennsylvania and southeastern New
York, according to a forest expert in Penn State's College of
Agricultural Sciences.   Peak colors normally occur in mid-October, but by the middle of
September this year a significant number of trees were already turning
red, orange and yellow. These include red maple, sugar maple, ash, black
gum and sumac, thanks to the unusual weather conditions over the last
six weeks.  "Luckily, this has occurred in a relatively small, but noticeable,
number of trees in the region. Therefore, we should still be set up for
awesome foliage this fall -- but it is not a sure bet yet," says Marc
Abrams, professor of forest ecology and physiology. "Trees enjoyed
extremely favorable growing conditions this year and seem to be very
healthy in general. But the most important thing for foliage colors is
what's going to happen in the next few weeks."

     According to Abrams, rainfall for the first three weeks in August
was nearly 2 inches, or 23 percent, below normal and temperatures during
the first half of September were 5.8 degrees below normal. Those are
significant variants, he pointed out, that had a major influence on some
trees.
     Although many wish for Indian summer this time of year -- with hot
autumn days and mild nights -- Abrams warns if you want to see really
brilliant foliage in October, you should hope for cooler weather. "Fall
weather is very important," he explains. "We need to have cool
temperatures falling into the high 30s or 40s at night, as well as
bright sunny days with little rain."

      If temperatures cool in coming weeks with little rain falling,
fall foliage watchers in Pennsylvania should be treated to a superior
display of color this year, Abrams predicts. "If we cross our fingers
and Mother Nature cooperates, we should have great color by the middle
of October," he says.

 You can visit www.fallinpa.com for weekly updates of foliage around the state.

 

On Saturday, Sept. 23, Pennsylvania Outdoor Elk Expo visitors helped the Pennsylvania Game Commission award elk licenses to 50 hunters in a public drawing.  There were 18,829 individuals eligible for the drawing.  For the November 2006 elk hunt, the agency awarded 40 licenses (15 antlered and 25 antlerless) and, for the September 2007 elk hunt, 10 licenses (2 either sex and 8 antlerless) were awarded.Those selected to receive licenses will be mailed a confirmation letter within a week. For the November hunt, which will be held Nov. 6-11, all 15 antlered elk licenses were awarded to Pennsylvanians.  Pennsylvania hunters selected represent the following counties: Armstrong; Clinton; Cumberland; Dauphin; Elk; Erie; Indiana; Lackawanna; Lancaster; Lycoming; Northumberland; Snyder; Union; Venango; and Washington.

Of the 25 antlerless elk licenses awarded, 24 were awarded to Pennsylvanians and one was awarded to a hunter from New York.  Pennsylvania hunters selected represented the following counties: Berks; Bucks; Butler; Cameron; Cumberland; Elk; Lackawanna; Lancaster (3); Lawrence; Luzerne; McKean; Mercer; Mifflin; Monroe; Northumberland; Perry (2); Warren; Westmoreland (2); and York (2).

For the September 2007 hunt, which will be held September 17-22, 2007, nine licenses were awarded to Pennsylvania hunters and one to a hunter from South Carolina, who received an antlerless elk license.  The two either-sex license recipients were from Allegheny County and Northumberland County.  Seven antlerless elk licenses were awarded to Pennsylvania hunters living in the following counties: Allegheny; Berks; Butler; Elk; Northumberland; Tioga; and Warren.

 

09/26/06

The State Labor department reports that Potter County’s jobless rate increased between July and August from 5.8% to 7.0%  which apparently reflects lay-offs which occurred when Time Warner and Comcast acquired Adelphia at the end of July.  The jobless rate was 5.9% in McKean, Cameron, and Tioga Counties and 5.2% in Elk County for the period. The national unemployment rate was 4.7% during the period, and the Pennsylvania jobless rate was 4.9%.

DUI charges are pending against a Duke Center driver following a collision there Monday afternoon. Kane based state police said Laurie Lingaton’s Oldsmobile sedan swerved into the path of a Ford Explorer driven by Melody Harms of Wellsville, NY as Harms was passing.  Neither driver was hurt but authorities say when they investigated, they found Lingaton had been driving under the influence.

 A Portville, NY driver is also facing charges following a one-vehicle crash early Sunday morning on Route 44 about two miles north of Jander Run Road in Ceres Township, McKean County.  Troopers claim Brett Spenar’s Oldsmobile Intrigue went off the road and traveled 200 feet through a field before striking a ditch and that Spenar left the scene and waited for several hours before notifying police.  Spenar apparently escaped injury. 

An Emporium woman received moderate injuries Saturday night in a one-vehicle crash on Wyckoff Run Road in Cameron County. Troopers said Connie Andrews was headed north when her Mitsubishi Montero traveled onto the berm and rolled over an embankment and slid on the passenger side into a tree.  Police say charges are pending.

 No one was hurt Sunday evening when a Chevy Coupe struck and killed a male Elk on Route 120 just West of Sinnemahoning.  State police said David Sommers of DuBois  and his three passengers were all using seatbelts at the time.

 A criminal mischief taking place over the weekend in Cyclone is under investigation by Kane-based state police. Vandals drove over several street signs along Boylan, Glenwood and Pithole Roads and Woodard Drive. Anyone who has information is asked to call the Kane barracks at 778-5555.

09/23/06

The state Department of Environmental Protection has ordered Norfolk Southern Railroad to clean up the mess caused by a train derailment this summer near the McKean/Cameron County line and to prepare for fines.  DEP Secretary Kathleen McGinty made the announcement during a news conference Friday at the Cameron County courthouse. The railroad is now formally ordered to clean up the ground contamination and to fully restore the Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek.  The secretary also urged residents affected by the spill to attend a public meeting this Wednesday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Cameron County Courthouse, Emporium.  Some 41,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide, lye, spilled when 28 Norfolk Southern railcars derailed June 30th. Fish and aquatic life were wiped out for 7-1/2 miles downstream.  Water wells in the affected area are being monitored for possible contamination as the clean-up continues. Investigators found the train was speeding excessively when the accident occurred.

A Coudersport woman escaped injury in a one-vehicle mishap Friday afternoon on the Coleman Mills Road just east of Boyer’s Crossing near Port Allegany. Kane-based state police said Lisa McDonnell’s  eastbound Buick sedan drifted onto the south berm, hit a bridge rail and came to rest along the south berm. She’s facing a careless driving charge.

 Kane-based state police have charged 27 year old David McClelland of Bradford with harassment for an incident allegedly taking place Friday at around 4:30 a.m. at a location along East Main Street in Mt. Jewett Authorities claim that McClelland “became upset after indulging a sufficient amount of alcohol” and  when Jennifer Oknefski of Mt. Jewett and Judy Swain of Bradford refused to let him consume anymore McClelland shoved both women and grabbed Swain by the hair when she tried to help Oknefski. Charges are being filed in District Court.

 A criminal mischief taking place last between 7:00 a.m. 7:30 p.m. last Thursday on Route 49, a half mile east of Mills, is being investigated by state police here.  Someone threw a rock at a vehicle belonging to Jade Vannatter of Mills, causing a hub cap to break.

09/22/06

Severe injuries were reported for a driver involved in a one-vehicle crash early this morning on route 155 near the cemetery in Eldred. Kane-based state police said it took Eldred volunteer emergency services personnel, using the jaws of life,  an hour to extricate 24 year old John Harvey III (no address given) from the wreckage. He was first taken to Olean General Hospital and then was transferred to Buffalo General Hospital for treatment of severe leg injuries.

A Port Allegany motorcyclist was hurt in a mishap taking place late last night on Route 155 just south of Route 446 in Eldred Township Troopers said George Lee was headed north at about 11:00 p.m. when his Harley Davidson failed to negotiate a curve and struck a road sign, before sliding to a stop along the western berm. Lee was taken to Olean General Hospital by Eldred volunteer ambulance. 

State police here say they have suspects in a burglary taking place Wednesday evening just east of School Street in Oswayo. Authorities say a neighbor noticed the suspects entering a garage owned by David Gibble and confronted them, telling them to leave.

 A Port Allegany teen will be sentenced on November 30 after pleading guilty this week to terroristic threats for an incident taking place this past May 15 at the Port Allegany High School. Authorities say 18 year old Chad Hadden used a marker to write on a restroom wall making a reference to “Columbine” and indicating there would be violence at the school.

  

09/21/06

A Coudersport man has been re-committed to the Potter County Jail after being arraigned Wednesday before District Judge Annette Easton  on sexual assault charges.  James Mitchell, 24, is accused of  committing the crimes involving a 15 year old girl at a Sweden Township residence last October.  He is currently lodged in the jail on a probation violation.  Bail for the current case was set at $2500.

A Port Allegany woman was arraigned Wednesday before District Judge Bill Todd of Smethport on charges of theft by failing to make required disposition of funds. Dawn Harris, 33, is accused of picking up 14 cases of citrus fruit from the Port Allegany Wrestling Boosters Junior Olympic Wrestling last December 15 but did not pay for them. State police claim Harris sold the fruit and collected $229 but did not turn the money over to the organization.  She was committed to the McKean County Jail in lieu of $2000 bail pending a preliminary hearing before Judge Todd on October 2.                           

No injuries were reported for a Lock Haven driver whose Chevy Blazer hit an elk on Route 120 in Lumber Township, Cameron County at around 11:00 p.m. Monday. State police said Paul Goodman Jr. was headed east when the animal came from the south side of the road into the path of the SUV. Goodman was wearing a seatbelt.  The elk died in the collision which disabled the vehicle.

 With archery season set to open on Sept. 30, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will review how the agency's Deer Management Section estimates deer harvests at an open house from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28.  The open house will be held in the auditorium and lobby at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81. As part of the open house, every 90 minutes, the agency will conduct in the auditorium a 20- to 30-minute powerpoint presentation on the deer harvest estimating process.   Following the six presentations, members of the agency's Deer Management Section will answer questions. Visitors also will have an opportunity to search computer records to find their deer harvest report among the more than 136,000 report cards received by the agency for last season.  All report cards will be on display on the stage in the auditorium.Other displays will focus on the scientific support for the Game Commission's deer harvest estimating process; how to properly determine the age of a deer based on the examination of the deer jaw and teeth; why the agency uses deer harvest estimates instead of check stations; and a map showing the field data collection process the agency uses to support its deer harvest estimates.

 

09/20/06

A Shinglehouse man has been charged with simple assault and harassment for an incident allegedly taking place early Tuesday morning at his apartment on Oswayo Street. State police claim an argument between John Cooley, 35, and Debra Williams, 41, of Columbus, Ohio accelerated and Cooley hit Williams twice in her face. Charges are being filed before District Judge Barbara Easton.

Troopers are also investigating a couple of recent burglaries. Sometime over the past two weeks, thieves entered a garage on State Road in Harrison Valley owned by Richard Teller and stole a 12 foot section of copper lead wire from a Millermatic 200 welder. The wire is valued at $300.  And, sometime since last Thursday, thieves forced their way through the front door on a camp located on Grover Hollow Road in Bingham Township owned by Christopher Steigleman of Edgartown, Massachusetts. Once inside, they damaged the ceiling and broke several windows. Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call the local barracks at 274-8690. 

 The former head of the McKean County Tax Claim office was arraigned Tuesday before District Judge Bill Todd  on charges of embezzlement and tampering with records.  Colleen Jo Nobles, 44, of Smethport was released on her own recognizance pending a preliminary hearing before Judge Todd on October 2.  The alleged crimes were uncovered during a routine audit this past May.

 PennDot will host a bridge dedication in Coudersport on Saturday October 7i at 10:00 a.m. The bridge on Route 6 near the Consistory will be dedicated in memory of Army Specialist Mike Franklin, a Potter County Soldier who was killed in Iraq, March 2005.  The public, including veterans from all branches of the military, is encouraged to attend the ceremony which will be held on the Coudersport Consistory grounds. At the conclusion, members of the Franklin’s family will unveil the new bridge signs.

09/19/06

A tossed cigarette may have caused the first wildfire of the season Monday afternoon near the intersection of the A-Frame Road and Irish Farm road.  About a quarter acre of land owned by Ferd Irish was blackened.  Coudersport Volunteer firefighters responded to the 3:00 p.m. call with one engine.  The fire was extinguished in about ten minutes and the equipment was back in service by 3:45 p.m. The department was called out at around 7:00 a.m. Tuesday to the American Legion Building at the Ladona intersection.  But the call was apparently due to a malfunctioning alarm system and all units were back in service about five minutes later.

A Colorado man  has waived his preliminary hearing before District Judge Bill Todd on sexual assault charges.  Matthew Miller, 20, is accused of having intercourse with a 15 year old female at a Smethport home this past June 16 and July 13.  Following arraignment Monday, Miller was released on $10,000 unsecured bail.

The McKean-Potter Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross is looking for volunteers for its Armed Forces Emergency Services program.  Staff and volunteers are available 24 hours a day to verify emergency messages and forward them to servicemen and women stationed around the country and around the world.  Messages relating to a family member’s illness or death; the birth of a child and other family emergencies are verified and then relayed to the servicemember’s commanding officer who then notifies the serviceperson of the situation.  The Red Cross will be conducting a training early next month depending on the volunteer’s schedule. There is no charge, but interested persons are asked to call the Chapter House in Bradford for more information, 368-6197.

09/18/06

A Pittsburgh woman was arrested Friday night in Potter County for the murder of her husband at their home a few hours earlier. State police here say they were called to a location on Lanniger Creek Road in Roulette Township just before 8:00 p.m. because of a distraught person.  When officers arrived, 40 year old Barbara Peck allegedly told police that she had shot her husband in their Pittsburgh home. Police said Mrs. Peck had overdosed on prescription medication and was taken to Charles Cole Hospital by Roulette Volunteer Ambulance.  Police in Allegheny County were contacted and the body of 42 year old Russell Peck was found in the couple’s home. Authorities say he had been shot in the head four times.  Search warrants were executed here in Potter County and Mrs. Peck was arrested while at Charles Cole Hospital, being prepared for transfer to Pittsburgh to face charges there.

Troopers at Kane are looking for the driver of a 1998 Plymouth Breeze which wrecked on Route 6 in Smethport at about 3:00 a.m. Sunday. State police said the eastbound compact failed to negotiate a right hand curve, crossed to the other side of the road, went up over a curb and up a hill for a short distance, damaging the undercarriage. The car then went back onto Route 6, turned north on Route 46 and continued for about 50 yards before stopping.  The driver fled the scene and failed to report the crash to police.

 A Kane woman is charged with failing to notify police of a crash taking place early Sunday morning on Route 4009 near the Elk County line. State police said Jill Cleer was driving a 1999 BMW which traveled off the road while making a left hand curve, and went onto an embankment before re-crossing the highway and striking a tree with the rear-end.  Cleer is also being charged with speeding.

 A fraud and forgery incident late last month which victimized an Emporium resident, is under investigation by state police there.  Someone obtained Jon Serianni’s checking account information and used it to write two separate checks totaling $3301.00.

State police locally are investigating a theft of three tree stands from a Genesee Township camp sometime over the past couple of weeks.  The stands belonged to Michael Parente Sr. of Telford and were taken from his property located along the Smoker road. They are described as being Cabela’s Trophy Lite Magnum Ladders and are camouflage in color.

 Vandalism at the Moore Hill Cemetery in Shippen Township, Cameron County is under investigation by state police at Emporium. Sometime between 4:00 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday, culpirts damaged four American flags in the cemetery.

 

09/15/06

A Wellsboro driver is facing DUI charges following a one-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon on Route 46 about a half mile south of Route 646 in Otto Township, McKean County. State police said 21 year old Colby Pierce was headed north when his 2005 Dodge Dakota truck slid counterclockwise  off the road, down an embankment, rolled over and came to rest on its roof against a tree.  Authorities determined Pierce was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time. His passenger, 21 year old Bryan Pierce of Galeton was also intoxicated, according to police and was disorderly at the scene so he’s being charged with disorderly conduct. Both received minor injuries. Authorities said Rep. Martin Causer of Turtlepoint, and Bert Ianson, a Coudersport Volunteer Ambulance Association member rendered aid at the scene. Both are licensed EMTs.

 Minor injuries were also reported for a 17 year old driver following a crash Thursday morning just before 8:00 o’clock. State police said the youth was driving a red 1993 Honda Civic eastbound when it crossed to the other side, struck an embankment and rolled over onto its roof. The teen was taken to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

 Troopers are also probing the theft of some scrap metal from a residence located along the Howard Road, a quarter mile from the intersection of the Harrington Road in Harrison Township. The items, owned by Brian Shaffer, were taken from a shed and barn next the road and apparently were loaded onto a truck and taken from the property sometime between Tuesday and Thursday of this week.

 A criminal mischief  taking place overnight Wednesday in Genesee is also being investigated by state police here. Someone slashed all four tires on a 1988 Chevy 1500 pick up truck owned by Jeffrey Easton of Wellsville, while it was parked on Main Street.

 

09/14/06

Accused cop killer Ralph "Bucky" Phillips was arraigned Wednesday on even more charges. Phillips was arraigned in state supreme court in Buffalo, on a sealed indictment on charges of escape and criminal mischief. The arraignment took place via video conference, due to the fact that Phillips is currently in the Chemung County jail, being held on aggravated attempted murder charges, for allegedly shooting a New York State Trooper on  June 10th in the town of Veteran. A plea of not guilty was entered on Phillips' behalf at Wednesday’s arraignment. Phillips was arraigned in Chemung County court on Saturday, following his capture on Friday. Phillips is also  accused of killing another state trooper and wounding a second. He was captured Friday evening near the Warren County, PA village of Ackley. He’d been on the run since escaping from a New York State Prison in Alden on April 2 and has been linked to numerous vehicle and firearms thefts.  A Ludlow, PA man, 30 year old Todd Nelson has been indicted in federal court for aiding Phillips. A majority of guns Phillips is believed to have stolen late last month from a Chautauqua County dealer were recovered in Nelson’s home.

State police at Kane say DUI charges are being filed against Bruce Covert of Bradford following a one-vehicle crash late last night on Route 46 north of the Dugout Road in Keating Township. Troopers said Covert’s Ford Thunderbird was going too fast for conditions when it crossed over into the opposite lane, went into a ditch, came back across the road and traveled down an embankment. Covert escaped injury but the car had to be towed from the scene.

Coudersport volunteer emergency services responded to an odor investigation at about 4:15 Thursday morning at an apartment located at 119 E. Seventh Street.  According to a fire department spokesman, a control box in a refrigerator malfunctioned and caught fire. The refrigerator was removed from the apartment by members of the ambulance association and Medic 6 before firefighters arrived. There was no other damage and all units were back in service about 45 minutes later.

 

09/13/06

A McKean County man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on  federal firearms charges relating to former fugitive Ralph “Bucky” Phillips.  Todd Nelson, 30 is accused of giving or selling a hand gun to Phillips while he was on the run in late August. Police recovered 35 weapons in Nelson’s home which they believe Phillips stole from a Chautauqua County gun dealer. Nelson, who remains lodged in the McKean County Jail is suspected of giving Phillips shelter for almost two weeks.  Phillips was apprehended last Friday night Near the Warren County village of Akley.  He’s accused of killing one New York State trooper and wounding two others. He escaped from a New York State prison on April 2 and is suspected in a number of vehicle and firearms thefts across the Twin Tiers  while on the lam.

State police here are looking for the driver of a 1996 green Chevy Blazer which wrecked Saturday in Abbott Township. Authorities say the SUV went off the eastern edge of the highway and continued on for 100 feet in a ditch, before crossing back over and hitting an embankment on the other side where it became disabled. Apparently the drive left the scene without notifying authorities. The unit had to be towed from the scene. 

Kane-based state police have charged two Smethport residents with harassment for separate incidents taking place last night.  Police claim Francis Kramer struck Alexandra Wilbur and “head-butted” her during an argument at her home on Route 46. Theodore Hayes, 58, grabbed James Mericle of Smethport by the back of the neck and attempted to start a fight at the Golden Eagle Bar in Eldred. He’s also been charged with disorderly conduct.

 A theft of some $300 worth of  copper pipes and fittings from a Bingham Township camp is being probed by troopers here.  Thieves forced their way into the building located at the intersection of Cemetery Road and Jones Road sometime over the past week. The  camp is owned by Jeffrey Gertzen of Harrison Valley.

 

09/12/06

State Police here say they are continuing their investigation into an alleged aggravated indecent assault of a 14 year old girl over the summer months at a residence on the Iva Jen Road in Harrison Township.  No further information was released by authorities.

A McKean County woman has been released on $5,000 bail after being arraigned on theft charges. Foster Township Police claim 40 year old Bonnie Welgan  of Rew stole money from the Lighthouse Family Restaurant while employed there. Security cameras in the restaurant reportedly captured Welgan placing money in her apron pocket rather than the cash register and investigators apparently found she is wanted in  the state of  Delaware.

 A Roulette resident, cited for underage drinking Saturday was arrested that evening for DUI. State police said they were called to the home of  20 year old Charles Marsh at about 5:30 p.m. and claim Marsh admitted that he had been consuming alcohol. About four hours later, his vehicle was stopped at the intersection of Third and Center Street in the village for multiple traffic violations and was subsequently charged with DUI.

 Rep. Martin Causer has asked the Department of Environmental Protection to set up a special account to finance the restoration of the area affected by a chemical spill this past June. Some 44,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide, or lye, spilled into the Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek causing long-term damage for several miles downstream in both McKean and Cameron Counties.  Causer is asking DEP to establish a special account to deposit all fines collected from the Norfolk Southern Railroad as a result of the derailment. An investigation revealed that the train was speeding excessively when 28 cars derailed.

09/11/06

State Police locally have charged a Shinglehouse resident with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and numerous other offenses following an incident allegedly taking place Saturday night on Railroad Avenue in the village of Roulette.  Troopers claim 24 year old Aaron Mahon unlawfully entered the home of Michael Smoker where he physically assaulted 18 year old Amber Harrier of Third Street, Roulette by pushing her down a hallway. During the course of the action, Mahon is accused of damaging a door and frame and harassing Smoker by shoving him.  When Smoker tried to restrain Mahon, Mahon left the scene in Smoker’s vehicle without his permission, went to a nearby residence, then returned, leaving the vehicle, then took off again, returning again when he saw a State Police patrol car coming to the residence.  Mahon is also being charged with DUI, criminal trespass, harassment and numerous summary traffic violations.

A Port Allegany woman is facing theft charges after allegedly failing to pay for items she ordered from the Junior Olympic wrestling sports boosters club. State police allege 32 year old dawn Harris ordered several items on December 15 of last year and agreed to pay for them when she picked them up at Greenman Excavating on Route 155 in Turtlepoint. Police, however, say Harris did not pay for the items, valued at $229.00 when she picked them up, and failed to do so when given the opportunity several times since then. Charges are being filed in District Court.

 The theft of a chain saw belonging to a Ulysses resident is being investigated by state police here.  Sometime between August 31 and September 8, thieves entered an unlocked shed at the residence of Kenneth Perkins on the Fox Hill road and helped themselves to a Stihl Model 046 chain saw with a 20 inch bar and shroud. The saw’s serial number is 14456073 and it’s valued at about $725.

 In case you were on another planet or away from area media, we’ll briefly tell you that suspected cop killer Ralph “Bucky” Phillips was taken into custody without further incident Friday night at about 8:00 p.m. near the Warren County village of Akley by Pennsylvania State Police. He was committed to a jail in Buffalo and began being arraigned on numerous charges all across the Twin Tiers on Saturday. His most serious charge will be for the murder of a New York State Trooper and the wounding of two others.

 

 

09/08/06

As of news time, suspected cop killer Ralph “Bucky” Phillips was still on the run but police believe they have him well-contained in a wooded area near the Pennsylvania/New York State border. Today’s events began at around 2:30 a.m. when Warren County, Pennsylvania Sheriff’s deputies began following a car which had been stolen near Warren. The driver crashed the car into a tree near Frewsburg, New York  and took off on foot and apparently stole another car, jumping out while it was moving near the town of Carroll, New York and ran into a wooded area. The search moved south at around 9:00 a.m. to the Cable Hollow Golf Course near Russell, PA, a short distance away through the woods, when the daughter of the Golf Course owner made a positive ID of a man on foot who fit the general description of Phillips. Heather Bortz and 9 or 10 employees were told by police to stay inside the clubhouse. Bortz told reporters she heard shots fired and saw a police helicopter land on the fairway.   In a news conference this afternoon, New York State Police Superintendent Wayne Bennett said that the suspect was being followed by a state police canine in thick fog when he turned, pointing a gun toward the state trooper who returned fire. The officer and dog were not injured. The suspect then took off into the woods. Police have not said if there is evidence he was hit but say the search is  now confined to a small area at the state  border. Bennett also said that items taken from one of the wrecked cars did in fact belong to Phillips. It was not the first time the fugitive has been in that immediate area. A vehicle he stole late last month in Sheffield, PA, not far from Warren was recovered in front of the maintenance building at the golf course. He’s been on the run since April 2 when he escaped from a state prison in Alden, NY just days before he was to be released. He’s accused of killing one state trooper and wounding two others. He’s been linked to numerous vehicle and firearms thefts, including one at a Chautauqua County gun dealership in which 41 guns were stolen.  Seven people have been arrested for helping Phillips. One of those is Todd Nelson, 31, of Ludlow. Police found 33 of the stolen guns at his home and a car stolen by Phillips nearby. Nelson remains lodged in the McKean County jail.

In other news, two area residents pleaded guilty this week in McKean County court. Adam Rotino, 24 of Coudersport will be sentenced on October 26 for theft and criminal trespass. He  and a  co-defendant were arrested this past February for stealing items from a Bradford apartment, while the occupant was away.  Michael Songer, 37 of Port Allegany will be sentenced on November 9 for stealing money belonging to the Port Allegany American Legion while employed there. Songer failed to deposit $1394 into the Legion’s account and kept the money for himself. He failed to deposit $1,116 in raffle proceeds.

 The National Center for Missing Adults is asking the public’s help in locating 27 year old Christopher Houghtailing formerly of Coudersport who has not been seen since this past February 12 at a Coudersport intersection.He’s described as being a light complected white male; is 5’2” tall, weighs 110 pounds, has green eyes and had long black hair at the time of his disappearance. For more information, visit the website at www.missingadults.org.  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Coudersport State Police barracks at 274-8690.

09/07/06

As of news time, there were no new developments in the massive manhunt underway for suspected cop killer Ralph “Bucky” Phillips.  Authorities were hopeful last night when troopers chased a motorcyclist into the woods near Springville, NY but it turned out to be another wanted felon.  He was taken into custody without incident.  Law enforcement agencies across the Twin Tiers are urging residents to avoid giving aid to Phillips noting that such actions put police and civilians in danger. Anyone who sees suspicious activity or a suspicious person is urged to contact 9-1-1 or the nearest police agency.  Phillips escaped from a New York State Prison in Alden on April 2 and has been on the run ever since. He’s accused of wounding a state police trooper near Elmira in June and of ambushing two others in Chautauqua County a week ago. One of the officers succumbed to his injuries on Sunday and the other remains in critical condition in Hamot Medical Center, Erie, PA.  McKean County District Attorney John Pavlock confirms the arrest of  31 year old Todd Nelson of Ludlow for helping Phillips to avoid apprehension. But Pavlock says he cannot release any more information because the investigation is on-going. However, 33 of 41 guns Phillips stole from a Chautauqua County dealer late last month were found at Nelson’s home and a car Phillips had stolen in Gerry, NY was located nearby.  Buffalo TV stations are claiming that Nelson gave refuge to Phillips for 11 days last month and a Pennsylvania State Police spokesman said authorities know the two men are “friends.”

A Coudersport man has been charged with violating provisions of Megan’s Law. State police allege 44 year old Henry Calvin Watson of 1460 East Second Street Coudersport failed to provide them  information about change of employment.  Under state law, registered sex offenders must provide state police with changes in employment, residence or schools within 10 days. Police claim that when Watson updated Megan’s Law information on May 16, 2005, he listed his employer as Butch’s Auto Repair in Galeton.  Authorities found he left the business and began working at Watson’s Auto Body in Sweden Township this past June. 

 A 12 x 12 foot storage shed located on Buffalo Street, Coudersport was destroyed by an accidental fire Wednesday afternoon.  Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department First Assistant Chief Bruce Setzer told WFRM that the first firefighters arriving on the scene found the shed  owned by Bruce and Linda Mowday fully involved and “on the ground.”

A garden tractor, various gardening tools and some rough cut lumber were also destroyed. The shed and its contents were fully insured according to Setzer who said a dozen firefighters responded to the scene with an engine and a tanker. Roulette volunteers were “recalled” enroute. There were no injuries.

 

09/06/06

Residents across the Twin Tiers are spooked as the search for suspected cop killer Ralph “Bucky”  Phillips continues with roadblocks being set up in various communities as police follow tips and leads. There were roadblocks set up on just about every road in Portville, NY yesterday and near the Pennsylvania community of Shinglehouse after an attempted break-in was discovered at the Portville Pharmacy. It has not been confirmed that Phillips was responsible.  An automatic alarm at an Eldred business Tuesday morning caused concern in that community but Kane-based state police told WFRM that there was no indication that it was anything other than an alarm malfunction.  A tip that Phillips was in Hamburg, NY didn’t materialize and the search continues. Phillips has been on the run since escaping from a New York State Prison on April 2, days before he was due to be released.  He’s accused of ambushing two New York State troopers last Thursday night. One of them succumbed to his injuries on Sunday  but the other officer is reportedly improving at Hamot Medical Center. A third trooper who was shot by Phillips in June near Elmira has recovered from his wound.  McKean County District Attorney John Pavlock has confirmed that Kane-based state police have charged 31 year old Todd Nelson of Ludlow with hindering apprehension for events which took place last Wednesday in McKean County. Police recovered 33 of 41 weapons  taken from a Chautauqua County gunshop at Nelson’s home. Phillips is accused of that burglary and a car he apparently stole from Gerry, NY was recovered nearby. Nelson, meanwhile has been jailed as a “material witness.”  DA Pavlock is asking residents to cooperate with law enforcement and to be patient during traffic stops. In a statement this afternoon, Pavlock said” this is a very dangerous situation and anyone who assists Phillips, directly or indirectly runs the risk of facing their own criminal charges. He added that Phillips is a very dangerous person and anyone who helps him is putting others at risk.

In other news, two Lewis Run brothers have waived their separate cases into McKean County Court. Michael Young, 27, is charged with corruption of minors, identity theft, false identification and driving with a suspended license. Police claim that in January of 2005, he had sexual relations with a 16 year old girl and that when he was stopped by state police this past July on another matter, he told police he was his brother, Shawn. Meanwhile, his brother, Shawn Young, 25 is accused with indecent exposure, open lewdness and disorderly conduct. Authorities contend he exposed himself to two girls, ages 15 and 16  this summer at a swimming hole near Turtlepoint earlier this summer.

 

 

09/05/06

The hunt for suspected cop killer, Ralph “Bucky” Phillips moved into the Buffalo area Sunday night after a railroad worker spotted a suspicious person near the tracks in Hamburg, NY.. Authorities say those very tracks lead to an area about 5 miles from where two New York State troopers were ambushed Thursday night.  One of the officers, 32 year old Joseph Longobardo succumbed to his injuries Sunday, and the condition of  38 year old Donald Baker, Jr., was downgraded from “serious” to “critical” over the weekend following an earlier improvement.  A third state trooper was wounded by Phillips in June in Chemung County. He reportedly has returned to work.  The manhunt continues all across the Twin Tiers and authorities say Phillips may be even more dangerous now that he faces homicide charges.  Six people have been charged with giving him shelter in the last few weeks. Those include his former girlfriend and their daughter. The ambush Thursday night took place near the girlfriend’s home where a stake-out was being conducted. 

Three Port Allegany residents, all 23 years of age,  have been arrested in connection to a break-in taking place early last Wednesday morning at the Port Allegany Jubilee.  Christopher Rethmel and Shawn Griffith were remanded to the McKean County Jail after being arraigned before District Judge Todd on charges of criminal conspiracy, burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property. Rethmel is also charged with “exercising control” over a portion of the stolen money.  Danielle Toupin is charged with receiving stolen property and theft by unlawful taking. She was jailed in lieu of $20,000 bail.  Preliminary hearings for all three have been scheduled for September 18. Borough police allege Rethmel and Griffith cut or tore away a section of a tin wall after climbing on the roof during the early morning hours. Rehmel is accused of entering the building and stealing more than $5,000 from the store safe while Griffith acted as a lookout.

Tioga County Authorities don't know whether a man drowned or died from the impact of a car crash this weekend in the Northern Tier. The Tioga County coroner says the body of Casey Krause, 31, of Schuylkill Haven was found Sunday morning in the extreme southwestern part of Tioga County, PA, near the Potter-Lycoming County lines. The body was found in creek waters a few feet away from an overturned Jeep which had missed a curve and rolled down an embankment.

The theft of some tools from a Bingham township garage last week is under investigation by state police here. Thieves went into a shed on property owned by Darold McCoy and walked off with two four inch grinders, a blue Makita and a Black Master Mechanic model, a Milmeratic Auto-shade welding helmet with a large eagle logo on it and a ½ inch Snap-On impact wrench . Value of the stolen items is said to be $900. Anyone with information is asked to contact the local barracks at 274-8690.

 

09/01/06

There are two major stories we’re following today, fugitive Ralph “Bucky” Phillips and Tropical Storm Ernesto. First, Bucky Phillips.  State Police Headquarters in Harrisburg this afternoon issued a news release advising area residents that Phillips may be in Pennsylvania.  Authorities say he should be considered armed and dangerous.  He is accused of wounding a state police trooper on June 10 in Chemung County and is suspected of shooting two New York State troopers early this morning as the officers were staking out the hometown of his girlfriend, Kasey Crowe, Fredonia, NY. One officer was flown Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo. The other was taken to Hamot Medical Center in Erie.  Phillips was spotted in Warren, PA last weekend and is believed to have stolen a pick-up truck in nearby Sheffield after abandoning a car on a forestry road near Ludlow which he likely stole from a Gerry, NY residence late last week. He has been linked to numerous vehicle and firearms thefts and there is a suspicion that he may be responsible for the theft of 41 guns from a Chautauqua County dealer, also last weekend.  He’s six feet tall, weighs 180 to 200 pounds, has brown eyes and black hair and is described as being a Native American. Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller is advising anyone with a hunting cabin, especially, to exercise extreme caution in dealing with strangers.  Shortly after escaping from the Alden, NY State Prison on April 2, Phillips had a peaceful encounter with a camp owner near Great Valley but as the charges against him mount, authorities caution he might be desperate, and therefore more dangerous. Anyone who spots Phillips is asked to contact the nearest police department or call 9-1-1.See
Today's News Continued" for the latest on Ernesto.

Tropical Storm Ernesto will likely be downgraded to a tropical depression before reaching the WFRM listening area this evening. Forecasters believe rain from Ernesto will begin falling here during the early evening, intensify after midnight and continue throughout the day Saturday.  At this time, it appears our rainfall amount will be two three inches, but more can be expected to our south, especially. Potter County EMA Coordinator John Hetrick is asking area residents who may be heading to southern parts of the state this weekend, to be especially cautious about the potential for flooding.

 There are reports this afternoon of arrests being made in connection to recent robberies at the Jubilee and First National Bank in Port Allegany. However, the Port Allegany Borough Police department has referred all calls to District Attorney John Pavlock who was in a meeting a news time and was unavailable for comment.

 

 

08/31/06

As Tropical Storm Ernesto moves northward, Potter County EMA Coordinator John Hetrick is advising area residents planning to travel southward this Labor Day weekend that they may want to change their plans. Hetrick says the latest information from the National Weather Service in State College indicates significant flooding may occur in the central and southern part of the state, starting Friday afternoon and continuing until at least mid-day Saturday.  Hetrick says forecasters believe we will see only a couple of inches of rain in the immediate WFRM listening area but “double digit” amounts are possible south of us.  Of course, the amount of rainfall will depend on the track of the storm and how fast it moves.  We are not out of the woods here yet, and conditions could change quickly. Hetrick advises that Friday will be a poor travel day all across the Keystone State. An Austin man escaped injury Wednesday morning when his 1994 Plymouth Voyager van caught fire on the North Hollow Road. Sweden Township Police Chief Bryan Phelps reports Walter Goodwin was headed south when the engine compartment caught fire. Goodwin was able to pull the van to the side of the road and got out safely. The Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Services responded to the call.

 Basil Schultz, 71, of Westfield died in a one vehicle crash Wednesday just before 5:00 p.m. on Route 349 in Westfield Township, Tioga County. State police said Schultz ‘s car went off the road and slammed into a tree. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene.

 The Potter County Department of Aging has announced that due to lack of information contained in a recent news release, there has been some confusion regarding the additional quantity of Farmers Market Nutrition checks.  The new checks are only available to those Senior Citizens who did not already receive some this summer and eligible seniors may only get a total of four in one season. For more information call Potter County Human Services Department of Aging at 544-7315.

 In regional news, five people were arrested yesterday in what authorities say was the first methamphetamine lab bust ever in Tioga County. The bust came just before 7:00 a.m. at the Jackson Township home of Steven and Eileen Myers.  Also arrested were Sharon Terry of Watkins Glen and Richard Franklin of Cayuta.  Ashley Adams who is originally from New York State but who has been living at the house recently was arrested later in the day. Police destroyed the lab that afternoon and say environmental charges may be filed against the suspects as well. 

The New York Field Division of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobaacco, Firearms and explosives and Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace have announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for the theft of 41 firearms from a licensed dealer, Tom’s Gun Shop over the past weekend. There is speculation that escaped convict Ralph “Bucky” Phillips may be responsible

 

 

08/30/06

The search for escaped convict, Ralph “Bucky” Phillips has moved back into Pennsylvania with the confirmation by Kane-based state police that the 1996 gold Dodge Intrepid found on a forestry road near Ludlow Monday was stolen in Gerry, NY on Sunday and likely was used by Phillips. Authorities are also looking into the possibility he stole a number of weapons  from Tom’s Gun Shop in Ellington over the past weekend and may have stolen a pick up truck in Sheffield, PA as well. Phillips has been on the run since escaping from the Alden, NY state prison on April 2.  He’s been linked to several vehicle and firearms thefts and is accused of wounding a New York State Trooper in Chemung County on June 10.  Six people, including his daughter and her mother, have been charged in connection to taking him in and concealing his whereabouts. He reportedly was spotted riding a motorcycle in Cassadaga, NY on August 19 and in the City of Warren this past weekend. Shortly after escaping from prison, Phillips was confronted by a camp owner near Great Valley, NY and was seen in Bradford. Most of the search over the summer months has been concentrated in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his capture. Police continue to warn the public that Phillips should be considered “armed and dangerous.”

A burglary taking place sometime over the past 10 months in Eldred Township is being probed by state police at Kane. Thieves took a Stihl MS250 Chainsaw and a K-Bar knife collection from the West Eldred home of Marc Gross.  Value of the stolen items is said to be $1320.00.

 Potter County’s jobless rate increase a half a percent from 5.3% to 5.8% between June and July. However, the rate was still better than the rate a year ago of 6.9%.  Unemployment rates for neighboring counties was 7.1% in Cameron County; 5.6% in McKean; 5.1% in Tioga and 3.9% in Elk County. The jobless rate nationwide and in the state was 4.8% during the period.

 

 

 

08/29/06

There’s no word yet as to whether a stolen car recovered in McKean County Monday morning is linked to fugitive Ralph “Bucky” Phillips. Kane-based state police say a 1996 gold colored Dodge Intrepid belonging to a New York State resident was found at about 11:30 a.m. Monday on Forestry Route 480 in Hamilton Township. Police say they know to whom the car belongs and that the investigation is continuing .Authorities believe he may be responsible for the theft of several guns Saturday night or Sunday morning in Mayville, NY.  Meanwhile, Phillips is still on the run after escaping on April 2 from a state prison in Alden, NY.  He was spotted in Warren this past weekend and is believed to have stolen a vehicle from Sheffield, PA recently. It was found near a golf course not far from Warren.  He was last seen by law enforcement riding a motorcycle on Route 60 near Cassada on August 19 but was able to get away from the officers.  Six people, including his daughter and her mother,  have been charged with giving him shelter and help while he’s been on the run.  Phillips has been linked to several vehicle and gun thefts over the past few months across the Twin Tiers and is accused of wounding a state police trooper in Chemung County, New York in early June. A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his capture and police say he should be considered armed and dangerous.

 A Galeton man has been cited for disorderly conduct following a fight with his father last night in Homer Township. State police say the charge against 24 year old James Poklar stemmed from a dispute which caused a “public inconvenience” at the home of Michael Poklar on Cherry Tree Lane, Coudersport. The two have had several such incidents in recent weeks.

 The Potter County Department of Aging announces that it has received an additional 250 sets Farmers market Nutrition Program checks through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.  Eligible senior citizens may use the checks at approved farmers markets to purchase qualifying fresh fruits and vegetables through this coming November 30.  The fruits and vegetables bus either be grown in Pennsylvania or be growable here.  Potter County Seniors, age 60 and older, whose income is $18,130 or less for a single person or $24,420 or less for a couple are eligible for the program. The income is based on income for the year 2005.  Proof of income is not required, however the senior must sign a register verifying that their income meets the income guidelines and that they meet age and residency requirements. They, they will be issued four $5.00 checks, as long as the supply lasts.  The checks may be used at Jones Produce Market, Route 49, Coudersport, Howardson Farm, Sartwell Creek Road, Port Allegany (Burtville) and at the Potter County Farmers Market open on the Court House Square Friday afternoons and Saturdays. For more information, visit a local senior center or call the department of aging at 544-7315.

08/28/06

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for the Pennsylvania counties in the WFRM listening area from midnight tonight through Tuesday morning.  Rainfall amounts from 1 to 3 inches are possible, in addition to the two to three inches which fell this past weekend. Saturated ground increases the possibility of flooding in some areas. State tuned to WFRM for further updates.

 Despite some scary moments Friday evening, apparently there was no damage from a tornado touchdown reported at about 11:10 p.m. near the Kanesholm area of McKean County, close to where a tornado on May 31, 1985 claimed three lives.  The National Weather Service late Friday night issued severe thunderstorm warnings for Allegany County in nearby New York state and for McKean County. Shortly afterwards, when Doppler radar spotted tornadic activity over Kane and Mt. Jewett, a tornado warning was issued.  Area fire departments were alerted and the residents of Sena-Kean Manor in Smethport were evacuated as a precaution. The warning expired at 11:30 as the storm system weakened.

An elderly Austin driver was hurt in a one vehicle crash Sunday afternoon on Route 872 just north of the Stevenson Dam in Cameron County. State police said 76 year old Levering Wolfe was headed north when his Ford Ranger ran off the road, went into a ditch and hit a rock. Police said he was not wearing a seatbelt at the time.

 A Shinglehouse resident has been charged with DUI after state police found him passed out at the wheel of his vehicle early Sunday morning on the Sartwell Creek Road about four miles north of Route 6 at Burtville. When the patrol car arrived at the scene, troopers allegedly found Ryan Dexter,23, asleep with the car parked in the middle of the road and the engine running. Police say he was under the influence of alcohol and/or a controlled substance and charges are pending the outcome of chemical testing.

 The theft of a handgun from a vehicle parked near the Warren/McKean County line late last week is being probed by state police at Kane. Troopers said the black compact 9mm Highpoint hand gun was equipped with a magazine containing seven live rounds. It is valued at $500 and belonged to Todd Nelson of Ludlow. The gun bears a serial number of P030440.

 A camp burglary occurring over the past several weeks in Southern Potter County is being probed by state police here.  Thieves forced their way into a camp on the Bull Run Road about four miles from the intersection with Crippen Run Road. A riding lawnmower was taken from a shed behind the camp owned by Gary Haas of Quarryville, PA.

 The search for escaped convict Ralph “Bucky” Phillips moved back into Pennsylvania over the weekend, when he was spotted in the City of Warren. Authorities have been concentrating their search in and around Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties in New York State. He’s believed to have stolen a pick up truck in Sheffield Township, near Warren last week.  Phillips who escaped from the Alden NY state prison in early April has been linked to numerous vehicle and weapons thefts and is accused of wounding a state police trooper in Chemung County in early June. Six people, including his daughter, have been charged for taking him in over the past couple of weeks.  A $50,000 reward is offered for information leading to his capture. Police say he should be considered armed and dangerous.

 

 

 

08/25/06

An Austin teenager is being cited for speeding following a crash Thursday afternoon on Route 607 just east of the Watkins Road in Austin. State police said the 17 year old male was headed east at a speed which was unsafe for the wet roadway condition. His 1995 Volkswagen Passat went out control while negotiating a left hand curve, struck an embankment with the front bumper then spun around and hit the embankment again, that time  with the driver side rear quarter panel. The driver was not hurt.Both Ulysses drivers are being cited following a collision Tuesday night on Route 49 in that town.  Troopers said the collision occurred when Christina Lauoie who was traveling west pulled into the car wash near Graham Street, and went back onto the highway in front of a westbound car driven by Tyler Kalasnik.  Lauoie has been cited for improper entering or crossing a roadway and Kalasnik for speeding. Kalasnik was taken to Charles Cole Hospital fro treatment of minor injuries while Lauoie escaped injury.

 No injuries were reported for an Austin woman following a one-vehicle crash taking place Thursday at around 9:00 a.m. on Route 872 about a mile and half south of that town. Troopers said a 1998 Jeep Cherokee driven by Denise Glover went off the road and rolled onto its roof after hitting a deer. Police said the whitetail had just been hit by an oncoming vehicle and landed in front of Glover’s SUV. A juvenile passenger also escaped injury.

 Kane-based state police are investigating  yet another theft of copper wire from along a railroad grade. Sometime between this past Monday and Wednesday, thieves made off with 5,000 feet of copper wire from the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad Company track adjacent to the Campbelltown Road in Hamlin Township. No value of the wire was provided.

 Three trespassers are being sought by Coudersport-based state police. Nyman David of Ulysses told police he scared them off Wednesday night when he went  out to check on some noises coming from a shed on his property. The suspects had opened the door and were inside when David approached and took off on foot.

 Unknown persons apparently entered a Harrison Township house between Sunday and Wednesday of this past week.  Police say it doesn’t appear there was any damage or that anything was taken from  the home on Route 49 owned by Wanda Olzewski of Jersey City, NJ. 

 It’s been almost four months since Ralph “Bucky” Phillips escaped from a state prison in Alden, NY and he’s still eluding police.  However, his daughter and two others have now been charged with hindering prosecution.  Patrina Wright of Fredonia is also charged with endangering the welfare of children as police claim two of her three children were in the house while Phillips stayed there this past weekend.  Three other people have been charged with harboring a fugitive after apparently letting Phillips stay in their Cassadaga home earlier.  Phillips has been linked to several vehicle and firearm thefts, and the wounding of a New York State trooper. He’s considered armed and dangerous and a $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his capture.

 

 

 

08/23/06

Coudersport-based state police are continuing their investigation into yet another vandalism to a Potter County greeting sign.  Sometime after early Sunday afternoon, vandals using black spray paint, wrote the words “Home of Natzi’s (sp), and made a swatstika on the face of a “Welcome to Potter County God’s Country Sign” located along Route 6 near the Potter/McKean County line in Burtville. The newly re-furbished sign is the property of the Potter County Visitors Association. Earlier we reported that vandals had spray painted the word “Nazi” on a “Welcome to Coudersport”  sign located in the yard  next to Charles Cole Hospital, Route 6 east of Coudersport. That incident took place sometime over the past weekend and red paint was used at that location. Anyone with information about either incident is asked to contact the local barracks at 274-8690. Vandalism at a Harrison Valley home is also being investigated by state police here.  Sometime over the past weekend, culprits smashed out several windows at the home of Marilyn Peffer.

  A Pittsburgh man has been jailed in lieu of $2500 bail after being arraigned on several charges for an incident allegedly taking place Wednesday morning on the Keeler Road in Hamilton Township, McKean County. Authorities claim Joseph Laughlin walked onto property owned by Greg Meeker of Kane and threatened Meeker after being advised to not enter any of Meeker’s property.  After threatening Meeker, Laughlin left the scene on foot and was taken into custoday a short time later at his camp located nearby.  Laughlin is charged with terroristic threats, criminal trespass, harassment and disorderly conduct for the incident.

 A Driftwood woman escaped injury in a one-vehicle crash Monday afternoon on Sterling Run Road in Lumber Township.  Troopers said Laura Androlia was headed west when her Chevy Cavalier slid out of control on the gravel roadway, crossed to the other side and struck an embankment.  A 16 year old male passenger also escaped injury.

 Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers is seeking information about a couple of regional incidents. The Pennsylvania State Police, Troop F, Mansfield continue their search for this unknown suspect. Just before closing on Thursday, August 10, 2006 between 3:45 p.m. and 3:55 p.m., the suspect walked into the Northwest Savings Bank, S.R. 15 at S.R. 49, Lawrenceville Boro., Tioga County, Pennsylvania. The robber handed the teller a note stating "This is a Holdup" 20's 50's & 100's.  The teller handed over $1,600.00 dollars in cash.  The suspect said "More", when the teller advised that was all the money in the drawer, the suspect moved to the next teller.  After being unable to obtain any money from the second teller, the suspect left the bank and fled in an unknown direction. The bandit was wearing a khaki colored soft fishing cap or "boonie hat", appeared to have a grey colored wig under the hat, dark colored hair extended from under the wig.  He wore a light colored striped button down shirt, long sleeve-rolled to elbow, and what appeared to be khaki colored cargo type pants. He’s said the be white, possibly Hispanic, weighs 150-160 pounds, is 5’4” to 5’5” and had a full mustache, possibly a fake.

 The Pennsylvania State Police, Troop C, Ridgway continue their search for Patti Louise Ross who left her Benezette Township, Elk County, Pennsylvania home on May 4, 2006 and traveled to Clarksville, Greene County, Pa. Ms. Ross was last seen on Sunday, May 7, 2006 in the company of her boyfriend, Andrew Williams, from Clarksville, Pa.She was driving a  1994 Burgundy Chevrolet Blazer, with a Pa Registration of EJG4216, registered to her mother.  

Investigators have reason to believe there may be suspicious circumstances surrounding her disappearance. Ross is 39 years old, has long red hair and brown eyes. She is 5’5” tall and weights 200 lbs. Anyone with information about either person is asked to call Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers Toll Free at 1-800-4PA-TIPS. All callers remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.00.

 

 

08/22/06

The causes of a couple of area fires on Tuesday remain under investigation. A camp located on Route 872 in Wharton Township was destroyed by a blaze which broke out at about 4:20 p.m. According to Austin Volunteer Fire Chief Don Clinton, the camp was occupied at the time. Volunteers from Coudersport assisted Austin Fire Fighters at the scene. Volunteers from Sinnemahoning, Port Allegany and Emporium were summoned under the mutual aid system One firefighter was injured and  was taken to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment. An Eldred area home, undergoing renovation, was heavily damaged in a fire discovered at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.  The two-story house was located on Route 446 in Eldred Township and was owned by Edward and Tamara Reitler. Investigators say the blaze originated in the southeastern quadrant near or within a breakfast room and spread throughout the building.  Firefighters from Eldred Township, Eldred Borough, Star Hose in Port Allegany, Smethport, Portville, Olean and Otto Township responded to the call. Some departments remained on the scene for more than 12  hours.  Police said the loss is estimated to be about $180,000 and the house was insured. A Smethport driver is facing speeding charges following a one-vehicle crash early this morning which sent him to Bradford Regional Medical Center for treatment of undetermined injuries. State police said Gary Howes was headed west on Route 59 about four miles east of Route 646 in Keating Township when his 2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo hit a deer, traveled across the road and went into a grassy field where it struck a tree and flipped over onto its roof at about 5:20 a.m.

A 13 year old resident of Adelphoi Village in Harrison Valley is being charged with harassment following a scuffle with staff members Tuesday morning. State police contend the youth slammed a door injuring the finger of Jessica Plank, a staff therapist.

 Simple assault charges are being filed against 31 year old David Calhoun following a fight early Sunday morning on West Water Street in Smethport. State police say Calhoun punched 22 year old Sergio Herrera in the face during an argument. Both men reside in Smethport.

 The apparent theft of a piece of jewelry from a Sharon Township home over the past several months is being investigated by state police here. A three diamond pendant with gold chain is reported missing from the home of 73 year old  Nancy Babcock.

 Troopers at Emporium are probing the theft of some automobile floor mats from the car wash on Sizerville Road in Shippen Township early Tuesday afternoon. Four floor mats, belonging to Tammy Coronel of Clark Summit, PA were taken from the far left stall were they were hanging while she was outside while cleaning her car.

 A Maryland hiker was rescued Monday night after tumbling some 50-100 yards down a hill on the Turkey Path in Colton State Park, Tioga County.  Park Manager Chip Harrison said the 36 year old man was rescued  an hour or so later when some other hikers heard his call. As a precaution he was flown by helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center.

 That state Game Commission reminds hunters that it will begin accepting resident and non-resident hunter’s applications for the first round of unsold anterless deer licenses this coming Monday.  Two Wildlife Management Units in the WFRM listening area, 2F and 2G have exhausted their supplies, but there are approximately 9,000 left in WMU 3A, the area north of Route 6 in Potter, McKean, Tioga and Bradford Counties.

08/21/06

A Lewis Run man is facing various charges following a hit and run taking place between 9:15  and 9:45 Saturday evening at the Crosby Mini Mart.  State police at Kane say a witness allegedly saw a Ford Ranger driven by  47 year old John Ginkle Jr. of Lewis Run hit a light colored Ford Taurus and continue on without Ginkle stopping to provide information.  He was apprehended a short time later by a patrol officer who pulled him over after allegedly committing several traffic violations on Route 59 near the Lantz Corners intersection.  Authorities claim Ginkle was found to be  driving under the influence and was allegedly found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.  Police believe that the driver of the Ford Taurus did not realize there had been any damage and they are asking anyone with information about the driver to contact the Kane barracks at 778-5555. The car should have minor damage on the left rear.A DuBois man escaped injury early Sunday morning when his Ford truck wrecked on Wykoff Run in Gibson Township, Cameron County. Emporium-based state police said David Connor fell asleep at the wheel while headed south, causing his truck to go off the road, down a small embankment and strike a fallen tree before coming to rest against a second tree just after 3:00 a.m.

Coudersport-based state police have charged two Ulysses juveniles with open lewdness following an incident early Sunday morning on South Main Street in that town. Troopers say they were called to the area by Brian Beck and his neighbor Zelma Lehman because of the disturbance four youths were causing just past midnight. Beck tried to make contact with the suspects and they took off on foot. Lehman told police two of them were parading down the street naked. Charges will be filed in juvenile court.

 Charges are pending in connection to a couple of incidents taking place over the past couple of weeks on Elk Street in Wetmore Township, McKean County. State police at Kane say that sometime between 5:00 p.m. on August 11 And 4:00 o’clock the next morning, 23 year old John Morrison broke and burned an acoustic guitar belonging to Jacob Anderson of Jamestown, NY.  Anderson is now accused of punching William Davis in the face at that same location last Tuesday evening, August 15. Charges against both suspects are being filed in district court.

 State police at Emporium are continuing their investigation into a burglary and theft taking place over the past month at the A Frame Camp located along Route 120 a couple of miles west of Driftwood. Thieves broke a gun safe in the camp owned by Latem Inc. of Philadelphia and removed a stainless steel 9mm Beretta handgun 92 FS with a Crimson Trace site.  The thieves also broke into a storage shed and stole a dark green Honda Four Trax Rancher ATV.

 

08/18/06

Two area teens are being cited following separate crashes Thursday. State police say a 17 year old Galeton girl was injured at about 4:20 p.m. when her  2000 Ford Explorer, while eastbound on the Short Run Road, began to fishtail and slid through the intersection with Route 44, rolled over twice and traveled down an embankment before coming to rest. The teen was taken by Galeton ambulance to the Cherry Springs Airport and then was flown by helicopter to Arnot  Ogden Hospital in Elmira.  Police say she will be cited for failing to drive at a safe speed.  About 90 minutes later 18 year old Ian Brown of Coudersport escaped injury when his northbound car crossed both lanes of the Dutch Hill Road in Eulalia Township and struck an embankment. Brown will be cited for speeding and other traffic violations.

A criminal mischief taking place this past Tuesday night or Wednesday morning on East Tannery Street in Harrison Valleyis being investigated by state police here. Someone scraped the side of a 1999 Ford Ranger truck belonging to Amy Keim while the pick up truck was parked at her residence. Damage is estimated to be $1200.

 A couple of McKean County residents have been cited for harassment following recent incidents. State police at Kane claim 23 year old Dustin Petteys of Port Allegany threatened to harm 47 year old Francis Ludwig Jr., 47, of St. Marys during an incident last Friday evening in Liberty Township.  And, 18 year old Jeremiah Smith of East Smethport has been cited for harassment and disorderly conduct for an incident taking place Wednesday night at the McKean County Fairgrounds in East Smethport. Authorities claim he struck Eric Dosch, 40,of Jackson Center, PA in the back of the head several times.

The state Department of Environmental Protection reports that Norfolk Southern Railroad consultants began work last week to install monitoring wells for groundwater sampling and borings for soil sampling as part of the site assessment plan to determine the depth and breadth of contamination. More equipment will be brought to the site next week to continue the work. Some 44,000  gallons of lye spilled on June 30 when 28 railroad cars derailed near the McKean/Cameron County line, contaminating the Sinnehamoning-Portage Creek. The train crew has been cited for speeding at the time of the derailment.  Fish and aquatic life was wiped out from the accident site near the McKean County Village of Gardeau to a point 7.5 miles downstream.  Norfolk Southern is applying a citric acid solution at the spill site to neutralize the pH of the lye still leaching from the soil into the stream. DEP says it will soon advise the railroad company of an enforceable schedule for implementing the actions described in the assessment plan and ultimate final restoration plan.  The public files relating to the derailment and spill are being held in the Cameron County Conservation District Office, in the court house in Emporium for the convenience of area residents.

08/17/06

A Roulette man has been jailed in lieu of $15,000 bail on sexual assault charges for crimes allegedly committed earlier this year when he lived on the North Hollow Road in Sweden Township. Shawn Scharlau, 22, is facing 18-20 counts including rape, indecent assault, indecent exposure, corruption of minors and indecent sexual assault involving two children, a boy and a girl, under the age of 13.  The arrest culminated an investigation conducted by Sweden Township Police Chief Bryan Phelps and Potter County Children and Youth Services.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 22 before District Judge Annette Easton.

Mansfield state police say that no charges are pending against an 18 year old Osceola Townshp driver whose car struck and killed a 9 year old boy Tuesday evening on Route 49.  Arron Button was pronounced dead at the scene by Tioga County Coroner Dr. James Wilson. Death was attributed to a head injury. Police said the boy road his bicycle onto the road into the path of a car driven by 18 year old Travis Howe.

 Troopers locally have cited a Hebron Township resident for failing to control his automatic burglar alarm. State police said that after they responded to the Joseph DeRenzis home on Route 44 north on August 12, they found it was the third such automatic alarm there going off at the house  within a 12 month period, in violation of state law.

 A criminal mischief at the Cameron County Fair sometime last week is being investigate by state police at Emporium Someone intentionally scratched the driver side rear quarter panel on a 1997 Dodge Caravan owned by Virginia Travis of Emporium while it was parked at the fairgrounds.

 The Potter County Visitors Association (PCVA) is announcing a scholarship that is available to Potter County college students that are currently pursing a degree in the Travel and Tourism Industry.  The selected student will receive free registration to the 1st Annual East Coast Travel and Tourism Student Conference, it will be held September, 29-30, 2006 in Philadelphia, PA. 

The primary purpose of the conference is to allow current students to learn more about the many businesses and organizations that work together to serve the public.  Although tourism is the largest worldwide industry, many people cannot grasp its immense dimensions.  The conference is designed to bring together students, faculty, and industry professionals to discuss the tremendous variety of opportunities in the tourism field.  PCVA is sponsoring a Potter County college student to attend the conference free of charge.  The scholarship is available to any current college student pursuing a travel and tourism degree, whose home address is in Potter County.  Those interested are asked to submit their name, home address, and phone number.  Along with the university they are attending, the major they are pursuing, and number of years they have completed.  Applicants can submit the information to PCVA, P.O. Box 245, Coudersport, PA 16915; Phone: 814-274-3365; Email: potter@penn.com.  The deadline to submit applications is Friday, September 1, 2006.The Potter County Visitors Association, the official tourist promotion agency for Potter County, is dedicated to enhancing the local economic development and quality of life by promoting tourism and recreational opportunities in Potter County. 

 

 

08/16/06

A Port Allegany couple was arraigned Tuesday on charges of corrupting the morals of a minor.  Authorities claim 20 year old Raymond Austin and 18 year old Meranda Payne smoked marijuana in front of a minor on two occasions in Port Allegany. Payne is also accused of having sexual intercourse with the minor. Both defendants are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on September 5 before District Judge Bill Todd.  A Duke Center woman is also scheduled for a preliminary hearing  that day before Judge Todd.  Kelly Sherwood, 35, is charged with assault and receiving stolen property.  Police claim that on July 26,  Sherwood was found to be in possession of a $200 digital camera which had been stolen from a vehicle owned by Troy Fitzsimmons while it was parked in the lot of the Gold Eagle Hotel in Eldred. She is also accused of fighting with Jaime Angell at the Hotel and injuring the owner during the fight.

Persons who have an opinion about a proposed rate increase for PPL Industries will be testifying tonight at a public hearing scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Potter County Court House. The hearing is being hosted by the Office of Consumer Advocate. The Public Utility Commission, after hearing testimony and reviewing documents will rule on the request. Meanwhile, National Fuel Gas customers will have to travel further to make their opinions known. Public hearings are scheduled for August 28 in Erie; August 29 in Meadville and Farrell and on August 30 in Franklin.  Testimony will be received concerning National Fuel’s proposed rate increase and the utility’s proposed surcharge for customers who conserve on the amount of natural gas they use.  For more information about the times and specific locations of those hearings, call the Consumer Advocate’s Office at 800-684-6560 or visit the website, www.oca.state.pa.us.

 The Pennsylvania Game Commission says it  will mail its annual in-lieu-of-tax payments for State Game Lands it owns in 65 of the state's 67 counties prior to September 1.. The Game Commission's checks, totaling $1,719,056.59 for the 2006 tax year, will be sent to county treasurers, school districts and municipalities, according to Carl G. Roe, agency executive director. In 1929, the General Assembly set the Game Commission's in-lieu-of-tax payments at five cents per acre.  In 1963, the rate was increased to 20 cents per acre; in 1980, 39 cents per acre; in 1984, 60 cents per acre; and in 1995, the rate was set at the present $1.20 per acre. This $1.20 per acre is evenly divided between the county, school district and municipal governments, based on the acres of State Game Lands that are within each political subdivision.  The Game Commission currently pays on a total of 1,436,850.59 acres statewide. On July 7, Governor Edward G. Rendell signed into law Senate Bill 868, which increased the payment in lieu of taxes paid on State Game Lands by an additional $2.40 per acre.  However, the new law (Act 102 of 2006) states that this increased payment will be made by the State Treasurer when funds are available in the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's State Gaming Fund, not the Game Commission's Game Fund. The Potter County Commissioners recently said they hope that the next PILT includes a percentage of timber sales from state game lands.  Following is a list of counties in the WFRM listening area  with the acreage of State Game Lands in each, as well as the tax payments that are divided equally between the county, school districts and municipalities based on the acres of State Game Lands in each political subdivision: Cameron, 12,963.1 acres, $15,555.72; Elk, 74,397.02 acres, $89,276.43; McKean, 25,052.97 acres, $30,063.57; Potter, 18,696.32 acres, $22,435.59; and Tioga, 25,422.12 acres, $30,506.55;

 

08/15/06

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has issued a formal notification to Norfolk Southern Railroad that its actions have violated numerous state environmental regulations due to the train derailment in McKean County on June 30. The citation carries penalties of up to $35,000 per day, starting with the date of the original spill and continuing until the violations cease. The document is more or less standard procedure and since the clean-up has not yet been completed the matter is considered on-going. Some 44,000 gallons of lye spilled into the Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek when 28 cars derailed near the McKean/Cameron County line.  Norfolk has cited its employees saying they were speeding, at 70 mph, when the cars derailed. The spill killed fish and other aquatic life as far as seven and a half miles downstream. DEP has said the railroad company’s plan is on target and the clean-up continues. Water wells in the immediate area are being sampled on a regular basis.Two motorcyclists were hurt in separate accidents Sunday afternoon, within a short span of time. Charles Peacock of Oregon was headed south on Route 44 in Summit Township at about 4:00 p.m. when he swerved to avoid a vehicle he thought was in his lane. His Suzuki laid down on its left side, and skidded for a short distance on the gravel berm. Peacock was able to drive the cycle to Charles Cole Hospital where he received treatment for minor injuries.  About 90 minutes later, Helen Traynor of Mills was hurt when her Harley Davidson went out of control on loose gravel along the berm of the Loucks Mills Road in Hector Township and slid into a ditch. Traynor was taken to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment of moderate injuries. Police said both were wearing helmets at the time.

 A theft of some items from a campsite early Saturday morning in Eldred Township is being probed by State Police at Kane.  Thieves arriving in a blue and gray Chevy truck took a Coleman cooler containing food and beverages and a black tote bag containing camping equipment form Russell Falk’s campsite under the Larabee bridge.

 State police at Emporium are investigating a case of access device fraud taking place on August 4 at the Uni-Mart in that town.  Linda Cobb lost her Visa debit card while in the store and someone used it to purchase $58.92 worth of items.

 Rep. Martin Causer announces that Galeton Borough will be receiving a $15,000 grant to be used toward the revitalization of the John J. Collins Memorial Park. According to the lawmaker. the master site development plan calls for landscaping that will improve park entrances, connect walking paths to larger walkways, design new parking areas and implement new ways for area residents to enjoy the park

08/14/06

Three passengers were hurt in a collision Sunday afternoon at the Lantz Corners intersection in Lafayette Township, McKean County. State police said the mishap occurred when 25 year old Roy Morrow, Jr. of Westfield, PA, after stopping  pulled his eastbound 2006 Ford Van into the path of a Chevrolet truck, headed north on Route 219 driven by George Elmer of Springville, NY. The pick up hit the Econoline on the passenger side rear. Two of the 7 passengers in the van received minor injuries as did a passenger in the truck. Both drivers were unhurt. Police said charges are being filed against Morrow.Minor injuries were reported for a Coudersport man following a collision Friday afternoon on Route 155 in Portage Township, Cameron County. State police said Donald Higley’s Pontiac Vibe, while headed south, crossed into the opposite lane and struck the drivers side mirror on a Suzuki Grand Vatari driven by Christopher Greiner of Patton, PA and a pop-up camper being pulled by the Greiner unit. Higley was taken to Elk Regional Medical Center by Emporium ambulance while Greiner, his wife Mellisa and a young child escaped injury.

 Charges are being filed against both drivers following a collision Friday morning on Route 6 about a half mile west of Stickles Hollow Road near Smethport.  State police said the collision occurred when Ronn Thompson Jr. of Shinglehouse was passing a Pontiac Sunfire driven by Lance Davis of Crosby just as Davis was beginning a left turn.  Davis was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries. Thompson was unhurt. Police said while they were investigating, they determined Davis was driving under the influence of alcohol. He’s being cited for DUI and summary traffic violations while Thompson is being charged with a summary traffic violation.

 State police here are investigating a couple more thefts at the Maple View Office building. Sometime over the past couple of months, someone took some money from the Penn State Cooperative Extension office and from County Planner Amy Jo McClain. As we reported last week, some $200 in currency was recently stolen from the Potter County EMA office also located in that building.

 Emporium-based state police are investigating a burglary at a Driftwood residence late last week. Thieves forced their way into the home of Susan Taylor Thursday night or Friday morning and stole about 150 DVD movies, 50 Play Station games and a pink piggy bank containing about $200 in change. 

Troopers locally are looking for a red GMC truck with a white stripe and NY plates after the driver took off without paying for gasoline Saturday morning  just before 11:00 a.m. at Connie’s Market in Bingham Township.

  The state Game Commission reports that Wildlife Management Unit 2F which includes part of McKean County has exhausted its allocation of 28,000 anterless deer licenses.  WMU 2G, which includes the area south of Route 6 in Potter, Tioga and McKean Counties ran out during the second day of processing, last Tuesday.  However, as of earlier today, some 13,000 licenses were still available in WMU 3A which is the area north of Route 6 in Potter, Tioga and McKean Counties.

 

 

08/11/06

A Galeton man died in a one-vehicle crash Wednesday morning on Route 249 in Tioga County. Mansfield-based state police said 30 year old Bobby Ray Googe was trying to pass a log truck while towing another vehicle when the truck went out of control, rotated counter clockwise and rolled over several times before coming to rest.  Googe was pronounced dead at the scene by a deputy Tioga County Coroner. A 16 year old passenger escaped injury.  Neither was wearing a seatbelt, according to police.

Route 44 between Sweden Valley and Cherry Springs was closed to traffic for about three hours Thursday afternoon as volunteer emergency services personnel worked to clear the area following a dump truck accident earlier in the day. Coudersport-based state police said 24 year old Ryan Harvey of State College was driving a 1978 Autocar Dump Truck northbound when the engine shut off for unknown reasons, causing the vehicle to lose steering and brakes.  The truck traveled across both lanes of the road and struck an embankment before becoming disabled. Harvey was taken to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The call to 9-1-1 was made by an OnStar subscriber who came upon the wreck at about 11:45 a.m.

Moderate injuries were reported for Lori Thomas of Emporium follwing a crash Thrusday afternoon on Route 120 in Lumber Township, Cameron County. State police said Thomas lost control of her 1995 Geo Tracker when she attempted to bring it back onto the highway after the right tires dropped onto the berm.  The car went down an embankment, flipped over and rolled over before coming to rest.  The highway was closed for about an hour. Police said Thomas avoided more serious injuries by wearing a properly adjusted seatbelt.

An Emporium man has been arrested on a warrant  in connection to a breakin at the Pit Stop Garage on Route 155 on June 29.  George Singer was committed to the Cameron County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail after being arraigned on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, theft, receiving stolen property, attempted burglary and criminal mischief.  Police did not indicate if Singer is accused of trying to burglarize Cool’s Garage that same night. The two businesses are located in the same building and someone tried unsuccessfully to enter Cool’s.

State police at Emporium are continuing their investigation into a burglary and attempted burglary on Route 155 Thursday night or Friday morning. Thieves broke a 20” x 12” window to  gain entry into the Pit Stop and removed various denominations of US currency while causing $40 in damage. They were unsuccessful in entering Cool’s Garage in the same building, but caused $15 in damage to the door jamb.

 

08/10/06

A Port Allegany and his passenger both escaped injury Tuesday night when their car landed in a pond along Atkins Road on Fishing Creek, north of Roulette. State police said 20 year old Raymond Austin was headed east when his car skidded out of control on the dirt road, traveled some 222 feet before colliding with a cement spring house located on the west side of a pond on the Dennis Leach property.  The ’94 Saturn, owned by Wayne Barnett of Port Allegany came to rest on the edge of the pond. Austin’s passenger was identified as Tracy Liloer also of Port. State police at Kane have charged Timothy Comilla with simple assault and harassment for a domestic violence incident allegedly taking place Wednesday night at the home of Jessica Steffenhagen on King Street in Eldred. Comilla was also cited for disorderly conduct for his obscene language and disorderly actions on the street while police were trying to place him under arrest. After being arraigned before District Judge Michael Kennedy, Comilla was remanded to the McKean County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

 The theft of some money from the Potter County EMA office between July 24 and August 4 is being investigated by state police here.  During that period of time, someone stole about $200 in US currency from a locked cash box.

 Troopers at Kane are probing the theft of some aluminum cans from the Mount Jewett Veterans Memorial Club on East Main Street between 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Thieves took 15 bags of crushed aluminum cans belonging to the club. The cans were valued at about $300.

 An apparent indecent assault taking place over several years in Ulysses Township is being investigated by state police locally. Authorities say the crimes involved an 8 year old girl and the suspect is a 25 year old male from California.

 

 

 

08/09/06

A case of identity theft victimizing a Genesee woman is being investigated by state police locally. Sometime in late July, someone used credit card information belonging to Kimberly Eckenrode to purchase $2000 worth of merchandise over the internet. Police say they do not know how the thief gained the information.

State police are also probing a criminal trespass and theft taking place late last week at a residence on the West Bingham Road.  Someone let the air out of tires  and loosened the lug nuts on a vehicle owned by Lisa Hanes of Genesee while it was parked at her home. A stealth cam (scouting and security camera) motion detector was also taken from the back porch and her dog was let in and out of the house. Anyone with information about either incident is asked to contact the local barracks at 274-8690.

 

Troopers at Kane are investigating a burglary taking place over the past weekend at D & D Stone located on Route 6, about three miles east of Route 155 in Liberty Township.  Thieves entered a building at that location and took a 20 lb. fire extinguisher, voltmeter/tester and propane torch valued at a total of $140.  The culprits also burned smoke bombs in a piece of heavy equipment.

 A Smethport man has been jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail after being arraigned on numerous morals charges. James Faulkner, 32 is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, rape, sexual assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors, simple assault, and harassment. Authorities claim that he sexually assaulted a 16 year old Foster Township girl on the night of August 2 behind the Bradford Mall.

 Coudersport-based state police have charged 22 year old Benjamin Post of Harrison Valley with simple assault, harassment and violations of the state’s drug laws following a domestic violence in his home at around 11:00 a.m. Monday. The victim is listed as his wife, Angel. 

During their August 3 meeting, the Potter County Commissioners approved a purchase by the, Conservation Fund has offered to purchase a 972 acre tract of land located in West Branch Township from David and Linda Acker, and Daniel Millard with the understanding that the property will be transferred to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an addition to the Susquehannock State Forest. The commissioners reported the West Branch Township supervisors have expressed their support of this purchase and believe that the acquisition will compliment the Lyman Lake project currently in progress. Chairman Ken Wingo reported that the sale would go through one way or the other, with the board’s approval or without but with their endorsement, the sellers agreed to pay the property taxes for the next five years, up front to cushion the blow of removing the tract from the tax rolls.

The Game Commission reports that the anterless deer permits for Wildlife Management Unit 2G have been exhausted. 19,000 permits had been allocated for the area located south of US Route 6 in much of the WFRM listening area. As of Tuesday afternoon, a few thousand permits remained for WMU 3A, the area north of Route 6 and 2F which includes part of McKean County.

 08/08/06

A Port Allegany man, charged with theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, has waived his case into court. Michael Songer, 37, is accused of stealing a total of  $2510 from the Port Allegany American Legion/VFW while employed there as a bartender and manager. He remains free on $3,000 unsecured bail. Another McKean County resident has also waived his case into county court. Jess Schneider, 18 of Rixford is charged with three counts of burglary, criminal trespass, theft and institutional vandalism. Authorities claim Schneider and co-defendant, his roommate,  Francis Yeaples, 20, broke into the Otto-Eldred Elementary School, the Eldred Tasty-Snax and JT’s Tavern.  Both defendants are lodged in the McKean County Jail, awaiting further court action on charges that they also broke into the Otto-Eldred Junior-Senior High School, Otto Township Recreation Park and pool.Bad brakes are blamed for a one-vehicle crash taking place late Saturday night at the Lantz Corners intersection in Lafayette Township, McKean County. Kane-based state police said a 1998 Pontiac GrandAm driven by  Nathanial Westlake of Bradford failed to stop, when he applied the brakes, swerved to the right, went off the road and struck two rocks.  Authorities claim he failed to notify police of the crash.  Both he and his passenger, Steven Martin of Lewis Run escaped injury. 

DUI charges are being filed against 21 year old Jarrett Levavasseur of Coudersport after his vehicle was observed by a state police patrol officer of zig zagging across Route 872 early Sunday morning. State police claim that when they questioned the driver they found him to be under the influence of alcohol.

 A burglary and theft apparently taking place at a Shinglehouse apartment during a one-hour span Sunday morning is under investigation by state police locally. A purse belonging to 83 year old Alice Klos was taken from her home in the Oswayo Apartments between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. It contained a credit card, small amount of currency and a checkbook containing several personal checks.

 

08/07/06

DUI and Hit and Run charges are being filed against 20 year old Travis Bernhard of Westline following a one-vehicle crash Saturday at about 2:00 a.m. on Route 2l9 near Lewis Run. State police at Kane said Bernhard apparently fell asleep at the wheel of his southbound Ford F-350causing it to go off the road and into a ditch. The truck continued on for about 75 yards before striking an abutment with an intersecting dirt road. Police claim Bernhard left the scene without reporting the crash but was later located in Lewis Run and was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center where he was admitted for treatment of moderate injuries.

Two Smethport women are facing charges in connection to separate domestic violence incidents taking place over the weekend.  Heather Campbell, 27, of Wolf Run Road is accused of stabbing 32 year old William Campbell in the chest  during an argument in their home early Saturday morning.  She was apprehended at a Mt. Jewett residence and was committed to the McKean County in lieu of $10,000 bail after being arraigned on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment. The victim was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center for treatment of the stab wound. Sandra Kimble, 34, was released after being arraigned on charges of simple assault and harassment for an incident taking place late Friday night on the Valley Crossroad.  State police claim she kicked 44 year old David Kimble in the back several times while he was lying in bed, and caused him to fall out of the bed and hit his head on a nearby dresser resulting in a minor head laceration.

 The theft of some guns from a Hebron Township residence last week is under investigation by state police locally. Sometime between July 29 and August 1, thieves entered the Peet residence on Lent Hollow Road and removed an estimated 12 firearms including four handguns belonging to Robert Peet of Los Angeles and Marion Peet of Coudersport. Anyone with information is asked to call Trooper Kline at the Coudersport barracks, 274-8690.

 Kane-based state police are looking for thieves who took a Miller High Life sign and guitar from the Buck Tail Bar on Buck Tail Road in Smethport Saturday night. Authorities said the items were taken by three patrons who drove off in a Chevy Silverado Extended Cab pick up with a diamond plate tool box in the bed.

 

 

08/04/06

.The oppressive heat and humidity were pushed out of the WFRM listening area yesterday….but not without a price. In early afternoon, the National Weather Service began issuing severe thunderstorm warnings  and watches for various Pennsylvania and New York Counties and the first sign of trouble was a downed tree on Maple Street in Roulette at about 1:42 p.m. as a strong thunderstorm moved eastward.  Some 10 minutes later, the borough of Coudersport was thrown into darkness. Business and government work came to a screeching halt as many shop owners and customers took to the street in search of cooler temperatures.  Potter County  Court House employees and Human Services employees were dismissed at 3:30.  WFRM’s live broadcast for the Potter County fair was cancelled due to loss of power at the transmitter on Dutch Hill and at studio on South Main Street. Bush Hill and was not audible.  Owner Dave Lent told WFRM the station is awaiting Verizon line repairs. Potter County EMA Coordinator John Hetrick reports some 10,000 electric customers, both Allegheny Power and Tri-County, were without power from just before 2:00 p.m. to about 9:00 p.m. although some communities were without electricity for a longer period. According to Hetrick, most of the outages were  caused by trees and limbs falling across power lines. There were no serious problems and no injuries reported.

A Warren man is being charged with DUI following a one vehicle crash late last night on James City Hill, Wetmore Township in McKean County. State police said Carl Bair’s Chevy truck went off the road and struck a tree while northbound. The truck went off the road and struck a tree before coming to rest. Bair and his two passengers, Douglass Harkins and Michael Marshall, also of Warren were all taken to Kane Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

An Eldred man will be sentenced on November 9, following a Megan’s law assessment after pleading guilty this past week in McKean County Court to indecent assault and corruption of minors. Robert Cooper, 31 of Sartwell Road admitted to having sex with a 15 year old girl on April 1 who had been taken there by her mother, Cooper’s friend.  Earlier this year, Cooper pleaded guilty to having Internet discussions with a 14 year old girl and tracking her down in the spring of  2005 to have sex with her while her parents were not at home.

 Troopers at Emporium say they know who took off without paying for gasoline Monday morning at the Lake View Hotel Store in Grove Township, Cameron County.  The suspect filled his vehicle’s tank at about 9:30 and left the scene.  The Pennsylvania Game Commission will be accepting regular antlerless deer license applications for resident hunters beginning Aug. 7, and non-residents on Aug. 21. Antlerless deer licenses applications must be sent to the Game Commission via 22 different Post Office boxes and the agency, in turn, will forward them to county treasurers for processing. All applications for antlerless deer licenses must be submitted through first-class U.S. Mail only. Express and priority mail will not be accepted. County treasurers will continue to issue antlerless deer licenses. With the exception of “over-the-counter sales,” treasurers will receive a pre-determined number of applications from the Game Commission based on the county’s geographic representation in the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU). The Game Commission will begin accepting resident and non-resident hunter applications through the mail for the first round of “unsold licenses,” those which were not sold during the regular license application period, on Monday, Aug. 28. The second round will be accepted through the mail beginning Monday, Sept. 11.

 

08/03/06

Ed. Note:  Coudersport Borough suffered a power outage Thursday afternoon and evening and thus, we were unable to update our website.

A Roulette man has been charged with raping a juvenile female victim at his home on Pale Face Lane over the past six weeks. Donald Setzer, 62, is currently lodged in the Potter County jail in lieu of $25,000 bail on similar charges filed by Sweden Township involving the same victim. The previous rapes are said to have occurred earlier this year. Setzer was arraigned before District Judge Barbara Easton on charges of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, incest and indecent assault for the crimes allegedly taking place in Roulette Township.  The other case, for the crimes allegedly taking place in Sweden Township  will be heard by District Judge Annette Easton.  Preliminary hearings in both cases are pending.

 A Coudersport driver is being charged for speeding following a one-vehicle crash Monday morning on the Potter Game Club Road in Eulalia Township. State police said a pick-up truck driven by Norman Hicks slid sideways off the road and when Hicks tried to regain control, the truck continued traveling straight and went off the road into a marsh where it became stuck. Hicks escaped injury.

 Rep. Martin Causer honored Anna Marie Werner with a Century Farm Award during a ceremony Tuesday at the Potter County Fair. The award was accepted by her four grandchildren, Brandon, Tyler, Kaylene and McKenzy Werener. The Werner farm is located in Sabinsville with land in both Potter and Tioga Counties. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recognizes Pennsylvania farm families that have been farming the same land for 100 consecutive years or more. In order to receive an award a family member must live on the farm on a permanent basis. The farm must also consist of at least 10 acres of the original holding or gross more than $1,000 annually from the sale of farm products.

 

08/02/06

As the heat wave continues across the country and in the WFRM listening area, the Potte County Department of Aging is advising older residents to stay indoors and out of the dangerous heat and humidity, whenever possible. Older adults should drink plenty of fluids and try to stay cooled by an air conditioner or fan. If an older adult feels they are in danger because of the excessive heat and humidity they are reminded to call 911 for all heat related emergencies requiring medical treatment. They should call the Aging office if they are in jeopardy due to the excess heat and humidity and assistance will be provided to temporarily relocate the older adult to a cooler location. The office  can be reached at 1-800-800-2560 or 814-544-7315and  after hours for emergencies by calling 911 and asking for the Aging Protective Services on-call worker.

 No one was hurt when a pre-fab home fell off a tractor-trailer transporter Tuesday morning on Route 219 about a quarter of a mile north of the Westline Road. State police explained that Jason Schultz of Hinsdale, NY was headed north when he swerved to avoid two deer which came from the berm into his path,  The trailer flipped onto its side and the wreckage blocked both lanes of the highway for a time.  Police said no charges will be filed.

 Charges, however,  are being filed against Smethport driver following a crash Tuesday morning on Route 59 near the Ranger Station in Corydon Township. Troopers said 19 year old Stephanie Tsepelis nodded off while traveling east and allowed her Geo Metro to go off the road and strike a ditch and a tree. She escaped injury but is facing charges of  careless driving.

 A Port Allegany man has been jailed in lieu of $25,000 bail after being arraigned on four counts each of burglary and criminal trespass, three counts of theft and one of criminal mischief. State police accuse 26 year old Kevin Barber of committing four daytime burglaries at Port Allegany Area homes over the past couple of weeks—the most recent allegedly taking place Monday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. at the home of Scott and Shari Dudley on Strang Hollow Road. Entry was gained by ripping a screen out of a window but nothing was taken. Damage was said to be about $50.  Police say Barber’s arrest came about through the help of victims and community members who provided information. 

 A 15 year old Lafayette Township boy is being prosecuted for fleeing and eluding police for an incident allegedly taking place on the afternoon of July 25. State police claim the teen was operating a four wheeler on Route 59 and near his home on the Big Shanty Road and failed to stop when the officer activated emergency lights and a siren.  Through investigation, police were able to determine the suspect’s identity.

 

08/01/06

Potter County Commissioner Chairman Ken Wingo, who is a volunteer firefighter for two departments, has asked WFRM to pass the word to check on neighbors over the next couple of days as the heat wave continues. Forecasters say there may be some relief by the end of the week but today and tomorrow can be extremely dangerous for young children, the elderly and those fighting illness.  Wingo says if you have not seen or heard from a neighbor in the past couple of days, “check on them.”  If you have elderly relatives, living out of the immediate area, call them and/or have someone close by check on their welfare. He suggests that anyone who is at all concerned about the health of a neighbor, friend or relative to contact local or state police or 9-1-1 as heat exhaustion can be deadly.  Wingo says one person, suffering from heat-related illness, was taken by ambulance earlier today from a Coudersport apartment.  Sweden Valley Manor has postponed plans to take some residents to the Potter County Fair tomorrow. There is a possibility that the trip may be re-scheduled for Friday, if conditions improve. 

In other news, an 15 year old Wellsville, NY youth is facing numerous charges following the crash of a stolen vehicle early Sunday morning on Dutton Hollow road about a mile and half north of Butter Creek Road in Oswayo o Township.  Troopers here say the teen was driving a 1994 Ford Escort belonging to Alice Geer of Wellsville when it was totaled. The driver and his passenger, 18 year old Nathan McMurrary of Wellsville got out of the wreckage and fled the scene on foot but there were apprehended by NY state police and were taken to Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville for treatment. Both teenagers reportedly had been drinking at the time of the crash.

The Associated Press is reporting that the conductor and engineer on the train which derailed June 30 in McKean County have been cited for “improper train handling” and “excessive speeding.”  Some 44,000 gallons of lye spilled into the Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek near the village of Gardeau when 28 cars derailed. The Department of Environmental Protection says fish and other aquatic life were devastated as far as 7-l/2 miles downstream. Clean-up continues in the stream and surrounding area and DEP says Norfolk Southern’s plan is “on target.” Residential water wells in the immediate area will be monitored for some time. No one was hurt in the train wreck.

 The sale of Adelphia’s assets to Time-Warner and Comcast apparently went off without a hitch late last night.  Most of Adelphia’s local employees have been picked up by Time Warner but some 110 have been let go and will be given severance packages. Another 200 or so are considered “transitional” and will remain working in the Operations Center until  the bankruptcy and related issues are completed.  There is growing concern however, that Time Warner is looking to other areas of the country, or possibly outside the US, to move some of the operations even though the conglomerate early on assured public officials that it would maintain a sizeable work force here.

07/31/06

 No one was hurt when a pre-fab home fell off a tractor-trailer transporter Tuesday morning on Route 219 about a quarter of a mile north of the Westline Road. State police explained that Jason Schultz of Hinsdale, NY was headed north when he swerved to avoid two deer which came from the berm into his path,  The trailer flipped onto its side and the wreckage blocked both lanes of the highway for a time.  Police said no charges will be filed.

 Charges, however,  are being filed against Smethport driver following a crash Tuesday morning on Route 59 near the Ranger Station in Corydon Township. Troopers said 19 year old Stephanie Tsepelis nodded off while traveling east and allowed her Geo Metro to go off the road and strike a ditch and a tree. She escaped injury but is facing charges of  careless driving.

 A Port Allegany man has been jailed in lieu of $25,000 bail after being arraigned on four counts each of burglary and criminal trespass, three counts of theft and one of criminal mischief. State police accuse 26 year old Kevin Barber of committing four daytime burglaries at Port Allegany Area homes over the past couple of weeks—the most recent allegedly taking place Monday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. at the home of Scott and Shari Dudley on Strang Hollow Road. Entry was gained by ripping a screen out of a window but nothing was taken. Damage was said to be about $50.  Police say Barber’s arrest came about through the help of victims and community members who provided information. 

 A 15 year old Lafayette Township boy is being prosecuted for fleeing and eluding police for an incident allegedly taking place on the afternoon of July 25. State police claim the teen was operating a four wheeler on Route 59 and near his home on the Big Shanty Road and failed to stop when the officer activated emergency lights and a siren.  Through investigation, police were able to determine the suspect’s identity.

 

 

07/28/06

Fair Season is in full swing across Pennsylvania. The Potter County Fair will be held next week and the Tioga County Fair will be held the following with the McKean County Fair to follow that. Each of those county fairs will benefit from grants recently awarded through the state Capital Improvement Matching Grant Program. Fairs receive funding for maintenance and improvement projects. The grants are part of the larger $4.4 million Pennsylvania Fair Fund. Locally the Potter County Fair will receive $1,125 to replace the septic system for the dining hall building. The McKean County Fair will receive $1192 to cement the  livestock complex  and the Tioga County Fair will receive $6,189.38 to increase accessibility to the track area within the grandstands and to create a 60' x 80' camper parking lot.

Some area projects are being partially funded through the state’s Growing Greener II initiative announced this week by Governor Ed Rendell. Here in Potter County Lyman Run State Park  will receive $183,000 to build piles for a future spillway bridge and the North Fork Dam, a flood control facility in the northern part of the county will receive $200,000 toward the non-federal share of the rehabilitation project. Sizerville State Park in Cameron County will receive $350,000 to rehabilitate a spring fed water system. Growing Greener II is a voter-approved bond initiative that invests $625 million over six years to clean up rivers and streams; protect natural areas, open spaces and working farms; and shore up key programs to improve quality of life and revitalize communities across the Commonwealth. Part of the law creating Growing Greener II, called for an annual update of all the projects funded as part of the project.Projects are funded through the Departments of Environmental Protection, Conservation and Natural Resources, Agriculture and Community and Economic Development and the Fish and Boat and Game Commissions.

Joe Becker, Director of Veterans Affairs for Potter County advises WFRM of a new scam victimizing veterans. Becker says vets are contacted by phone and are urged to call an 800 number regarding the recent compromise of identity information, and then vets are directed to call a 1-900 number where they incur a $9.99 per minute phone charge. Becker says the VA is not making any such calls and vets should not respond if they are contacted. For more information, call Becker at the Potter County Courthouse, 274-8290 ext. 210.

07/27/06

The hot humid weather may be ushering in some intense thunderstorms over the next few hours. Penn State Campus Weather reports that a couple of bands of thunderstorms will be moving across the central part of the state this afternoon and evening and it could be “a rather rocky evening.” A tornado warning and severe thunderstorm warning posted by the National Weather Service for Clinton County to our south expired at 3:00 p.m. but forecasters say other watches and warnings may be forthcoming.

 No details were available at news time from the Coudersport volunteer fire department regarding a call to Sweden Valley Manor at around 8:30 this morning.  Several units responded and remained on the scene for a little over an hour. According to 9-1-1 dispatch, the residents of the nursing home were safely evacuated as a precaution.

  The Department of Environmental Protection reports that Norfolk Southern Railroad has submitted an assessment plan outlining methods the company intends to use to identify precisely the areas of contamination at the site of the train derailment last month and sodium hydroxide spill in McKean County. DEP says the company’s plan, which calls for using borings and probes to gather information about the soil below the surface and installing numerous monitoring wells to collect information about groundwater to determine the depth and breadth of contamination, is “generally on target.”  The railroad will also conduct follow-up water well sampling at homes in the area as part on long-term monitoring.  An estimated 44,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide, or lye, spilled near the McKean County village of Gardeau on June 30 when 28 railroad cars dereailed. The spill devastated aquatic life and fish to a point about 7.5 miles downstream into Cameron County. The railroad has removed nearly all of the spilled cargo and other debris from the accident site and is this week moving in equipment to cut up and remove damaged rail cars.  DEP continues to urge the public to avoid the Sinnemahoning –Portage Creek starting at the spill site north of Gardeau for about two miles downstream.

 Two Cameron County residents have been charged with criminal trespass, retail theft, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness for an incident allegedly taking place at about 4:30 last Friday morning at the Emporium Uni-Mart. State police claim 18 year old Eric Rhinebolt of Driftwood and 24 year old Garry Pashong of Emporium entered the store under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance and refused to leave when asked to do so several times by the clerk.  When the eventually left the store, they allegedly broke several items and took others with them without paying. They were later arrested on a warrant. Following arraignment,  Rhinebolt was released pending a preliminary hearing while Pashon was jailed in lieu of $6000 bail. 

 State police at Kane are looking for the vandals who cut a high voltage copper wire behind International Waxes on the Cross Valley Road near Smethport Wednesday morning.  Damage was said to be $1,000 while the lost production amounted to $10,000,

 

07/26/06

Coudersport-based state police have charged a Ceres, New York resident with making false reports to law enforcement. Authorities accuse 18 year old Charity Jo Safford of telling them she was raped in the Shinglehouse Park on the night of  July 19. But the investigation revealed she was lying about the incident.

Both men involved in an altercation Monday at the stone quarry located behind the Star Lite Bar on Reed Run Road in Keating Township have been charged.  State police say the incident began at around 9:00 a.m. when 37 year old Joseph Brodun of Roulette, from his vehicle,  began to photograph 34 year old Russell Main of Cyclone working at the quarry which is owned by Michael Onufry of Austin. Troopers said Main approached Brodhun and obscenities were exchanged. Brodhun then reportedly brandished a BB gun and while attempting to leave the scene, Main allegedly struck the passenger door window on Brodhun’s truck with a rock.  He is charged with criminal mischief while Brodhun is accused of disorderly conduct.

 Another stone quarry incident is under investigation by Kane-based state police. Sometime over the past weekend, thieves took $1400 worth of construction equipment and tools  belonging to Duffy Inc. of Smethport from  a quarry located along Route 6 about three miles east of Port Allegany.

 A theft taking place sometime over the past week on Route 219 near Lantz corners in Hamlin Township, McKean County is also being investigated by state police. Thieves stole two 10’ x 20’ tents, six folding tables and a small masterlock from a storage building, causing $50 damage in the process. The stolen property, belonging to Clair Kilmer of Kane and the Kinzua Bridge Foundation is valued at $700.

 Two suspects were arraigned Monday on charges of theft, receiving stolen property, and possessing an instrument of crime.  Norman McKinney, 42 of Cascade, Maryland and 19 year old  Chad Smith of Bolivar, NY are accused of  removing 600 feet of #6 copper wire from the west side of the Norfolk-Southern Railroad tracks at the Larabee Junction in Eldred Township between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. that day.  Both were released on $2,500 unsecured bail pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for August 7 in Smethport.

 

07/25/06

Rep. Martin Causer announces that he has petitions available in his offices regarding National Fuel Gas Company’s proposed “conservation surcharge. Part of the utility’s rate increase would include charging customers more who significantly use less natural gas. The company claims the additional funds would be used to raise awareness about energy conservation.  Causer says “charging customers more who use less, just doesn’t make any sense.”  He says the petitions urge the PUC to reject the proposal. Those who want to file a formal complaint to the PUC can do so at his offices. Residents who wish to file a non-formal complaint can send their letters to The Public Utility Commission, Secretary’s Bureau, P.O. Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265.  For more information, call Causer’s Coudersport office at 274-9769 or Bradford Office at 362-4400. Last week, the PUC announced it will call for public hearings and a longer review period to determine whether or not the agency should grant the conservation surcharge to National Fuel, rejecting the company’s request to have the hike take effect immediately as the company had proposed.

Adelphia says that most of its major bondholders and trade creditors have agreed on the company’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy before the end of this year.  However, bank lenders and bondholders have not yet signed off on the deal and any reorganization plan must be approved by the bankruptcy court. Meanwhile, Adelphia and it’s buyers, Time Warner and Comcast have indicated they believe the sale will be completed by July 31.  Earlier this year, the bankruptcy court said the deal could go through without a reorganization plan in place.  Some 90% of Adelphia’s Coudersport workforce will be absorbed by Time Warner and will not be moving from the area.

 38 year old Joseph Dynda, Jr. of Austin has been charged with harassment for an incident allegedly taking place Sunday morning on Summit Street in that town. Troopers say the defendant and Lori Dynda became involved in a argument at her home and it escalated to a physical confrontation.  Both people involved in an argument Friday evening on School Street in Austin. State police say both 47 year old Ronda Youndt of Galeton and 30 year old Joseph Scott of Austin engaged in a verbal dispute that caused a public annoyance.

  The Pennsylvania Game Commission reminds hunters that the agency will begin accepting regular antlerless deer license applications from resident hunters beginning Aug. 7, and non-residents on Aug. 21.  Antlerless deer license applications must be sent to the Game Commission via 22 different Post Office boxes and the agency, in turn, will forward them to county treasurers for processing.  All applications for antlerless deer licenses - regular, as well as unsold - must be submitted through the U.S. Mail (first-class only).  Express and priority mail will not be accepted.With the implementation of Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in 2003, hunters began applying for antlerless deer licenses based on WMUs, not specific counties.  Pre-printed mailing labels for each WMU are provided to affix to the yellow application envelope.  They are bar-coded to speed the application process.  Hunters should ensure the label is securely affixed to the envelope before mailing it.  If it appears that the label is not attached properly, the U.S. Postal Service allows applicants to place transparent tape over the label to secure it.

Just in case the label does fall off, hunters also should write the WMU they are applying for in the lower left-hand corner box on the envelope.  This step enables the agency to continue processing the envelope without having to open and check the application's WMU designation and then re-sealing the envelope for shipment to a county treasurer.

 

 

07/24/06

A Coudersport man has been arrested in connection to Friday night’s burglary at Erway’s Market on Route 6 West.  Edward Mulzet, 40, was committed to the Potter County Jail on probation violations awaiting arraignment before District Judge Annette Easton. Authorities say the majority of stolen money and the handgun taken in the burglary have been recovered. State police were assisted in the investigation by Coudersport Borough Police. Mulzet is accused of smashing a glass door to gain entry. He reportedly was previously employed by the business.

 Coudersport-based state police say they are investigating a rape taking place last Wednesday night at around 10:30 p.m. in the Shinglehouse Park on Oswayo Street involving a female victim and unknown male suspect. No further details are available at this time.

 Meanwhile state police at Kane have charged 44 year old Percy Doner of East Main Street Bradford with failing to comply with Megan’s Law. Authorities claim Doner failed to notify state police of a change of address within 10 days, as required by law. Charges are being filed in District Judge Todd’s office. Doner was placed in the McKean County Jail pending a revocation of  probation hearing for the charge and other probation violations.

 Troopers here have charged 34 year old Brian Karr of Oak Road Coudersport with making false reports to law enforcement authorities. Karr is accused of telling police that 49 year old Tony Callahan, formerly of Coudersport now of Oxford, Ohio threatened him during an argument in Karr’s home on July 10th. State police say during the course of their investigation, they determined that Karr was lying about the threats.

 State police are investigating a cruelty to animals incident taking place over the past couple of weeks in Sharon Township. Wanda Lyautey told police she found bird shot in the fur of two of her cats. Anyone residing on or near Post Hollow Road who has experienced similar crimes is asked to contact the local barracks at 274-8690.

 The Department of Environmental Protection says that a neutralization system near the site of a train derailment last month near the McKean/Cameron County line appears to be successful in returning the pH in Sinnemahoning -Portage Creek back to normal. Employees of Nortfolk Southern have been applying a citric acid solution at the spill site to reduce the alkalinity of sodium hydroxide which saturated the soil and leached into the stream. As of late last week, the railroad had removed some 1150 tons of spilled cargo from the spill site. Almost 44,000 gallons of lye spilled on Friday June 30 when 28 Norfolk-Southern cars derailed raising pH levels in the Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek.  All aquatic life was killed off and a fish kill was reported as far as 35 miles downstream.

 

07/21/06

Two Bradford area men died Thursday afternoon in an apparent work-related accident. Authorities said 49 year old Homer Jolly of Derrick Road, Bradford and 37 year old Michael Coder of Lewis Run were unloading scrap from a dump truck at Goodman Brothers Services when the dump bucket suddenly came down and hit them both in the head. The men were taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center were they were pronounced dead a few minutes after the 4:15 p.m. accident. McKean County Coroner Mike Cahill says while the exact cause of death has not yet been determined, it appears the deaths were accidental.

Pennsylvania Crimestoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest of a man suspected of assaulting a young Clinton County girl a couple of months ago. State Police at Lamar say the 9 year old girl was riding her bicycle near her home on 8th Street in Renovo at around 8:30 p.m. on May 17 and was approached by a man. As she tried to ride around him, the man struck her on the back of the head with a pipe or club. The victim ran home to her mother who took her for medical treatment of her wound. The suspect is believed to be a white male, about 5’ll” tall, has short brown hair, medium build and is 25-35 years old. He was wearing turquoise colored sweatpants and a green/blue flannel shirt when last seen. Anyone having information is asked to call Pennsylvania Crimestoppers Toll Free at 1-800-4-PA TIPS. All callers remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

The hunt continues in nearby New York State for 43 year old Ralph “Bucky” Phillips who escaped in early April from a state prison in Alden.  An extensive search is being conducted in both Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties.  State police at Batavia on Thursday said at a press conference that they have recovered several weapons linked to the fugitive. He is also believed to be responsible for several vehicle thefts and the wounding of a state trooper last month in Chemung County.  He is described as being a 6’4” tall Native American with short dark hair and brown eyes. A reward for information leading to his arrest has been increased to $50,000. Police say that Phillips should be considered “armed and dangerous” and anyone who spots him is asked to contact New York State Police or 9-1-1.  Pictures of the escapee have been plastered all across the southern tier.

 As you go out and about over the next few days you may encounter 13 antique cars, some of them nearly a century old, making a two-week tour of Pennsylvania. Among the vehicles in the The Horseless Carriage Club of America caravan are  Model T Fords, a rare 1910 Buick Roadster and a 1910 Pierce Arrow. Club members must own a vehicle from 1915 or earlier. Member Members tour different states so people can see the cars outside museums or car shows. 26 drivers and passengers from as far away as Massachusetts, North Carolina and California are on the tour. They started in Allentown and stayed in Jim Thorpe before heading toward the Bloomsburg area The group plans to travel to Wellsboro, Du Bois, Gettysburg and other towns before returning to Allentown, all at 30 to 35 miles per hour -- and slower on hills.

 

 

07/20/06

Kane-based state police are investigating two arson fires taking place Sunday afternoon along the west side of Route 321 a mile north of Route 59 in Corydon Township. Authorities say that an investigation by the Corydon Township Fire Department found that fires involving a one story wood famed structure and camper trailer were intentionally set.  The owner is unknown.  Anyone with information about the 5:00 p.m. fires is asked to call the Kane barracks at 778-5555.

Several area residents have been cited for harassment in connection to various incidents.  Dustin Skelton, 18, of Harrison Valley is accused of making several lewd gestures toward 25 year old Cassandra Gertzen Tuesday evening on East Main Street in that town. Harassment charges are also being filed against three people apparently involved in related incidents.  Jennifer Benjamin, 24, and James Poklar, also 24, both of Route 6 West Galeton became involved in an argument Tuesday evening at a residence on Cherry Tree Lane in Coudersport. Police said both subjected the other to unwanted physical contact and during the course of the argument, Poklar allegedly hit Benjamin’s car with his hand, causing a small dent.  He’s also being charged with criminal mischief.  At roughly the same time, 55 year old Randall Benjamin of Eourw 6 West Galeton  is accused of subjecting 46 year old Theresa Poklar of Coudersport to unwanted physical contact during an argument at a residence on Route 6 West in Galeton. The investigating officer was on vacation and not available to provide additional information but it is believed that the incidents are related as are some of the parties.

 State police are investigating a theft and burglary taking place sometime over the past year on Lent Hollow Road in Hebron Township. Sometime since July 10, 2005 thieves entered a camp owned by Ernest Cunfer of Slatington, PA through an unlocked basement door and removed a socket set and a 5000 watt Coleman Generator.  The thieves then went northward to another camp owned by Cunfer and stole an anvil from an open shed. Anyone with information is asked to call the local barracks at 274-8690.

 

07/19/06

A Coudersport man apparently suffered a fatal heart attack Tuesday morning causing his car to off Route 872 into a pond near Coudersport Well Drilling on Route 872.  Borough police who investigated, said 58 year old Tom Hamilton was pronounced dead at Charles Cole Hospital after being taken there by Coudersport Volunteer Ambulance.  The 9-1-1 call originally indicated two vehicles were involved, but authorities said Hamilton’s car veered off the road and went into the water.

 State police at Kane are probing a couple of thefts in McKean County.  Sometime between 5:00 p.m. Monday and 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, someone stole a 2000 Honda Recon 250 cc 4-wheeler from the front yard at the Floyd Sturdevant residence on the Valley Cross Road in Keating Township.  The machine was hunter green in color and has a VIN of 478TE210144009621. And a wallet belonging to Nathan Booth was taken from his home on the Windfall Road in Eldred Township sometime Friday evening or Saturday morning. Anyone with information about either theft is asked to call the Kane Barracks at 778-5555.

 Today’s slightly coole temperatures and lower humidity have brought some relief to the WFRM listening area and possibly a slight decrease in electricity consumption.PPL reports a new usage record yesterday as residents across the state tried to keep cool from the heat. PPL customers used an estimated, 7,290 megawatt hours, smashing the summer usage record by 265 megawatt hours which was set last July. PPL has some tips for residents looking to save on electricity. They include turning off televisions, computers and other appliances when not in use, postponing activities which require hot water until late evening or early morning hours and closing curtains, blinds or shutters to keep out the daytime sun.
 
07/18/06

An elderly Cameron County man died in a logging accident Monday afternoon. State police said 78 year old Robert Housler of Waldy Run Emporium was using a bullsozer to remove trees from his property and one fell on him. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Cameron County Coroner Ted Walters. A McKean County jail inmate is facing charges of simple assault following a fight at the lock up on Saturday. State police say 19 year old James Bunce of Bradford punched fellow inmate Douglas Thomas Jr., 23, also of Bradford when a disagreement escalated. 

State police here have charged 32 year old Clifford Bowser of Roulette with possession of a prohibitive weapon.  Authorities say while investigating a theft, they found Bowser in possession of an illegal sawed off shotgun. The charges are being filed with District Judge Barbara Easton.

 Troopers are also investigating  a scattering of rubbish incident taking place over the past couple of weeks in Sharon Township.  Unknown persons dumped two bags of trash on property owned by Edna Olmstead located at the intersection of Honeoye Street and Scott Hollow Road without the Shinglehouse woman’s permission.

 A criminal mischief taking place last Friday or Saturday in Gibson Township Cameron County is being probed by state police at Emporium Vandals damaged a metal gate on Mix Run Road owned by Darryl Cassel of Driftwood.

07/17/06

A Smethport couple was injured Saturday night when a deer, hit by another car, landed on theirs smashing the windshield and roof.  Kane-based state police said the accident happened just before 10:00 p.m. on Route 46 just north of the Norwich/Keating Township line when a southbound Chevy Camaro driven by Wayne Foltz of Smethport struck a whitetail which had stepped onto the highway from along the west berm. After impact, the deer became airborne and landed on a northbound Subaru  driven by Jonathan Watson, also of Smethport.  Foltz turned his car around and returned to the accident scene to render aid. Watson and his wife, Katie, were taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center for treatment of their injuries.  Foltz and his passenger, Lisa Tronetti also of  Smethport both escaped injury.

An Emporium woman is facing DUI charges following a one-vehicle crash early Sunday morning on the Gardeau Road about a half mile south of the McKean/Cameron County line. State Police said 33 year old Gail Herbstritt suffered unknown injuries when her southbound Pontiac Coupe went off the road, struck an embankment and rolled onto its roof before coming to rest on the highway.  Herbstritt is facing various summary traffic offenses as well as DUI.

 A teenage driver received minor injuries in a collision taking place Sunday afternoon at the intersection of Route 872 and the Dutch Hill Road. State police locally said the 17 year old girl drove through the intersection into the path of a car driven by Paul Burgett of Emporium which was headed south on Route 872. Authorities said Burgett tried unsuccessfully to avoid hitting the 1992 Red Geo Storm as it crossed in front of him.  He and an 11 year old male passenger escaped injury as did a 15 year old boy and a 14 year old girl who were passengers in the Geo.

 No injuries were reported for a Coatsville, PA driver whose car landed in Sinnemahoning Creek Friday afternoon. Troopers said David Vasko swerved his northbound Mazda Protégé to avoid a deer and struggled for about 60 feet to keep the car from plunging into the creek. The car hit a tree and traveled about 20 feet into the creek, coming to rest on the driver’s side. Vasko was able to get out of the car through the sunroof and made his way to safety.

 The theft of some medicine from a home on North Street in Roulette on Saturday is being investigated by troopers here. Someone took an undetermined quantity of pain medication from a prescription bottle belonging to Karen Haldaman of North Street. 

State police are also looking into a criminal mischief taking place last Thursday or Friday on Route 44 just north of the Tennessee Road in Hebron Township. Vandals caused $500 in damage by smashing a window in a 2004 Caterpillar Excavator owned by Tennessee Gas Pipe Line Company. The object bounced off the windshield and broke a side view mirror in the process.

 Emporium based state police have charged 39year old Barry Bates Jr. with disorderly conduct and open lewdness for an incident allegedly taking place late Saturday night near his home on the Rich Valley Road. Authorities claim Bates created a disturbance by hollering and swearing at his neighbors while naked.

 

 

07/14/06

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday , by a vote of 4-1, approved the sale of Adelphia to Comcast and Time Warner with conditions related to the carriage of regional sports.  The FCC’s approval was the last regulatory hurdle to be cleared before the $17 billion deal can be consummated.  Earlier this week, a bankruptcy court extended the deadline until September 12 for the re-organization plan to be completed. And, previously, the court ruled that the sale could go forward without a re-organization plan in place.  All of the parties involved have been optimistic that the sale can be completed by the end of this month.  Meanwhile, some 90% of the local workforce is being retained here by Time Warner.  Interviews are continuing and community leaders are hoping there may be some additional job offers before the deal is effective.

Coudersport Borough Police were kept busy Friday morning investigating a couple of accidents within the space of about two hours.  At about 9:40 a.m. Romaine Myers of Coudersport struck 75 year old Carl Sprouse’s large tricycle while she was backing out of a parking space at the Dollar General on Route 6 West. Sprouse was taken by ambulance to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment of a head injury. Authorities said no charges will be filed.  Then, just before noon, a car driven by Amy Brabham of Eldred was struck in the rear when James Churchill, of Cross Fork  failed to stop while she waited for traffic turning into McDonalds.  Neither driver was hurt.

 In McKean County court news, a former Bradford woman pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing thousands of dollars from her employers. Stephanie Cramer, 42, now of Plant City, Florida is currently lodged in the McKean County Jail. She admitted in court, to taking at “least $50,000 to $100,000” from Orchard Apartments Inc. in Bradford while employed for the company. Cramer’s attorney, Donna Smith of Coudersport, asked the court to hold restitution hearing at a later date to determine the amount of money her client will have to repay her victims. 

 District Forester John Wallace announces that Pennsylvania General Energy will be drilling natural gas wells and constructing drilling sites and roads near McConnell Road between Crossfork and Wharton in Southern Potter County. He says the drilling activity will increase the amount of traffic on the road, especially truck and equipment traffic and that could result in rough road conditions. Drivers should use extra caution when traveling over the road which borders which borders the Hammersly Wild Area.  For more information, call the District Office at 274-3600.

 Paving began Friday morning on Route 44/49 in downtown Coudersport.  PennDot anticipates the paving on the Court House block should be completed by Monday.

 

07/13/06

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says its scientists have found the pH levels in Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek are almost back to normal and that finding has prompted them and local emergency management officials to update the waterway advisory. Previously, DEP had warned people to avoid contact with the full length of the creek following a 48,000 gallon spill of sodium hydroxide when a Norfolk Southern train derailed on June 30 near Gardeau.  Now, DEP is advising the public to avoid the creek starting at the spill area north of Gardeau village in McKean County extending south two miles downstream to the Cameron County border. In that two mile section, people are advised to keep children, pets and other animals away from the waterway. Tests of  residential wells have tested negative for the chemical which is commonly known lye.  Early tests show no living aquatic insects downstream for about 7.5 miles and the stream’s condition is being monitored by the Fish and Boat Commission as well as DEP.

Dow Jones/Associated Press is reporting that a bankruptcy court has once again extended the voting deadline for Adelphia’s reorganization plan.  The court extended the deadline from July 26 to September 12.  The   proposed sale of Adelphia’s assets to TimeWarner andComcast has one more regulatory hurdle to clear—approval by the Federal Communications Commission.  All three entities have expressed optimism that the deal can be finalized by the end of this month.

 Several area residents have been charged with harassment in connection to a variety of recent incidents.  Andrew Matteson, 35 of Genesee, is accused of the offense following an altercation with  18 year old Chuck Favinger of Ulysses which escalated Tuesday afternoon on the White Knoll Road in Harrison Township.  Tony Callahan, 49,  of South Main Street Coudersport, is accused of making threatening comments to Brian Karr during an argument at Karr’s home on Oak Road in Coudersport Monday afternoon. Carl Lydic, 48, of Roselake Road Coudersport is accused of subjecting  Deborah Barchet to unwanted physical contact during an argument Tuesday evening at her home on the Haskell Road, Coudersport.

 A juvenile is being prosecuted in juvenile court for a criminal mischief incident allegedly taking place between July 4 and 11 on Main Street in Ulysses. State police claim the youth kicked the bottom panel on a storm door at the William Haskins residence and then fled the scene.

 

07/12/06

The Department of Environmental Protection reports that samples collected from water wells in the Gardeau area  where a train derailment on June 30 caused 48,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide to spill into the Portage-Sinnemahoning Creek, do not have pH levels in excess of acceptable levels.  Norfolk Southern has tested more than 100 samples to date from residential wells between the Gardeau and Driftwood. The spill of lye, raised stream pH levels almost immediately killing most of the stream’s organisms. Fish kill was reported as f ar as 35 miles downstream a day later and the concentrated chemical leached into and dissolved most of the organic material in the soil and stream bottom.  While the stream’s pH has level has improved, DEP is warning residents to keep children and pets away from the stream. Officials say it may take years for the waterway to completely recover.

State police at Kane have charged 32 year old Kenneth Brassard of Ellensburg Depot, NY with criminal mischief for an incident allegedly taking place at about 11:30 a.m. on June 30, 2006 near the intersection of Routes 219 and 770 in Lafayette Township, McKean County. Authorities claim Brassard kicked in a rear tail light on a vehicle owned by United Steel Workers while it was at that location.

 A couple of other criminal mischief incidents are under investigation. State police here are looking for the vandals who ran a vehicle through a yard in Eulalia Township creating ruts and destroying  the grass at the home of Vickie Matteson on Town Line Road.  The incident took place between 5:30 p.m. Monday and 8:00 a.m. Tuesday. Troopers at Kane are probing a criminal mischief occurring over the last month on the Openbrook Road in  Liberty Township. A known suspect is believed to have damaged a gas tank on a 1994 Dodge Grand Caravan owned by Jeffrey Evans.

 

07/11/06

Some 60 volunteer responded to a fire Monday night which destroyed a huge dairy barn on Route 49 just west of the Cowanesque Valley High School.  The 250 x 74 foot barn owned by Steve and Stan Brubaker was valued at $250,000. The Brubakers were able to remove about 50 cows before flames reached them, but one perished in the fire which originated in an empty hayloft.  Stan Brubaker suffered a foot injury but did not require medical treatment.  No fire fighters were hurt.  Some firefighters remained on the scene ten hours after the 6:00 p.m.

An Eldred teenager is being charged with simple assault in connection to an incident allegedly taking place Sunday evening at an Indian Creek Road home.  State police say the 17 year old girl kicked 35 year old Gerald Fowler in the chest twice and pushed a 16 year old girl against a wall.  Fowler was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries while the female victim did not require treatment for a bruised arm. 

In McKean County court news, a Bradford woman on Monday  waived her case into county court.  Frances Paul, 42 is charged with 16 counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds and 16 counts of misapplication of entrusted property and property of government or financial institutions. State police contend that Paul, while employed in the Foster Township District Judge’s office between January of 2003 and August of 2005, obtained bank deposits for the office but failed to immediately deposit the funds into the court account.  Authorities also claim that while she  served as chairperson of the Foster Township Parks Department, Paul withdrew $1500 from the parks’ account and used to money for herself. However, according to court documents, she apparently made restitution.

 Francis Yeaples, 20, of Eldred was sentenced Monday in Cattaraugus County Court for an attempted burglary at Angee’s Restaurant  in Olean this past February 12. Yeaples was ordered to spend five years on probation and perform 200 hours of community service.

 

07/10/06

It was a deadly weekend across the Northern Tier.  A 40 year old Kane man died Sunday evening when he was run over by his 1947 Farmall tractor after being thrown off.  State police said 40 year Martin Niklas was traveling west on Forestry Road 133 off of the JoJo Road in Wetmore Township when the tractor went off the road and into a wooded area for unknown reasons. The investigation is continuing. And, a 26 year old Wellsboro man died Friday night when his motorcycle crossed the center line and struck a car head-on. Jeremy Raymond had been westbound on Route 6 about three miles northeast of Wellsboro when his bike went out of control on a curve and collided with a Ford Taurus driven by Tina Barnett of Wellsville, NY. Raymond was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Tioga County Coroner James Daugherty.  Barnett declined treatment at the scene.An elderly Emporium woman was taken to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment following a rear-end collision Sunday morning. Troopers said the collision occurred when 77 year old Regina Streich slowed down her Ford Contour for a car ahead which was making a left turn off the road. Her car was struck in the rear by a northbound Ford Escape driven by Robert Avilez of Austin. He escaped injury but is facing charges of careless driving.

 Charges of simple assault and harassment have been filed in district court against 24 year old Walter Gutshall, Jr. of Shinglehouse following an alleged domestic violence incident taking place in his home early Sunday morning. State police claim Gushall grabbed 46 year old Verna Sauers by the throat and stomped on the back of his wife, 25 year old Angela, during an argument.

 All parties involved in a family dispute have been charged with harassment by state police locally. Authorities say the charges stem from an “on-going dispute between multiple family members” taking place over several days last week in and around Harrison Valley. Charges have been field with District Judge Delores Bristol agains 25 year old Cassandra Gertzen; 45 year old Jeffrey Gertzen; 18 year old Dustin Skelton and 45 year old Willliam Skelton, all of Harrison Valley.

 Jared Clark, 24 of Shinglehouse has been charged with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness in connection to an incident allegedly taking place between 3:00 and 3:30 a.m. Saturday at the Uni-Mart in that  town. Authorities claim Clark began acting belligerent and used obsecene language towards the store clerk and a customer while being very intoxicated.

 

07/07/06

The Department of Environmental Protection  is reminding the public to continue to stay clear of Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek in McKean and Cameron Counties as officials carry on biological assessments of the waterway. Approximately 48,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide flowed into the creek last Friday, June 30 when 28 Norfolk Southern railroad cars derailed on the eastern boundary of McKean County near the village of Gardeau, rasing pH levels in the water. DEP and local emergency management officials are cautioning people to stay away from the creek and to keep children, pets and animals away from the waterway due to isolated pockets of concentrated sodium hydroxide.  Officials say most of the stream has close to normal pH levels, there are some small pools of the concentrated chemical which is commonly known as “lye”. Other potential hazards that have been identified are possible elevated bacterial levels in the creek due to the extensive fish kill and the imminent removal of an emergency dam that was constructed shortly after the accident to neutralize the spilled material.State police locally are continuing their investigation into a one-vehicle crash on Route 872 in Portage Township Wednesday evening.  Authorities say 22 year old Jason Bosworth was headed south when his Pontiac Sunfire traveled off the road, struck an embankment and overturned coming to rest on the highway. Bosworth received minor injuries but his two passengers, a 16 year old girl from Austin and a 17 year old boy from Emporium escaped injury. All were wearing seatbelts.

Galeton Borough police are also continuing their investigation into a bicycle/car collision taking place Wednesday evening in that town. Chief Brackman told WFRM that a young male rode his bicycle down Fairview Avenue into a car which was traveling south on Fifth Street. The youth was flown by helicopter to an out of the area hospital for treatment of undetermined injuries.

State police at Emporium have charged 68 year old William Zofrea of that town with disorderly conduct following an incident taking place Wednesday afternoon at the Post Office. Authorities claim Zofrea “engaged in threatening behavior” in the public building.

A couple of recent thefts are under investigation by area state police. Sometime between noontime on July 4 and 2:00 p.m. on the 6th, someone stole a 24 foot hay bale elevator from a wagon parked in a field on the south side of Prospect Hill Road near Smethport. The elevator was made of orange tubular steel and had an electric motor attached. No value  was given for the equipment owned by Paul Vossler of Smethport. And, between 1:30 and 7:30 a.m. on July 4th, someone took a cooler containing alcoholic beverages from the front porch of the Ryan Magaro residence on Rich Valley Road in Shippen Township, Cameron County.

A number of area projects will receive funding from a state program administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to revitalize communities and protect natural resources. Galeton Borough has been awarded a $75,000 grant under the program to further develop Center Town Park. Improvements include a fishing dock, bocce court, concrete plaza, access drive, parking, extension of the stone dust trail and stream bank stabilization.  The Sinnemahoning Valley Recreation Complex in Grove Township, Cameron County will receive $20,000 for renovations including reconstruction of a pavilion and concession stand, installation of a parking area, fencing, play equipment, safety surfacing, landscaping and related site improvements.

 07/06/06

The Associated Press is reporting today that the deal among Comcast, Time-Warner and Adelphia may have hit a snag.  All three companies have indicated they believe the $17 billion deal to acquire Adelphia’s assets could be completed by the end of this month. In late June, Adelphia obtained permission from the bankruptcy court to move forward with the sale, even without a re-organization plan. The only hurdle left was approval by the Federal Communications Commission. But, according to the report, three Washington-DC congressmen have asked the FCC to make the sale contingent upon Comcast entering binding arbitration to settle a dispute with  Mid-Atlantic Sports Network over telecasts of Washington Nationals baseball games.  Comcast has refused to carry MASN because of a disagreement with Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos over TV rights to the Orioles and control of capitol’s sports programming market.  No details are available yet from state police locally regarding a one-vehicle roll-over last night on the Costello Road in Portage Township. According to 9-1-1 dispatch, at least one person was hurt.  And, Galeton Borough Police have not yet returned WFRM’s phone calls seeking information about a car/pedestrian accident Wednesday evening.

 A Warren driver  is being charged with driving at an unsafe speed following a crash Wednesday evening on Route 6 near Ludlow. Kane-based state police say 24 year old Nicole Watson was headed east at a high rate of speed when her Hyundai crossed the highway while  rounding a curve.  When Watson swerved back into her own lane, the compact began rotating and spun off the road, struck a curb, and rolled over before coming to rest against a building on property owned by Margaret Fox. Watson suffered minor injuries.

 State police here have charged 47 year old Philip Williams of Shinglehouse with Indirect Criminal Contempt for an incident allegedly taking place Sunday evening along the Wild Cat Road near Sharon Center. Authorities claim Williams pulled his car up alongside a field where Kathleen Williams was riding a horse and tried to engage her in a conversation which is in violation of a Protection From Abuse Order she had previously  filed against him.

 

07/05/06

A Coudersport bridge will soon be officially named for a Potter County native who died almost a year ago while serving in Iraq. Rep. Martin Causer reports that Gov. Ed Rendell has signed a bill designating the “Chestnut Street” bridge which carries U.S. Route 6 over the Allegheny River as the “Army Specialist Mike Franklin Memorial Bridge.”  The 22 year old servicemember died when a bomb detonated at a checkpoint at an entrance to Ramadi, Iraq. The stop Franklin was patrolling was established to trap guerrilla fighters through a dusk-to-dawn curfew.  He was the son of Bill and Tina Franklin of Coudersport.A 19 year old Port Allegany passenger was hurt in a one-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon on Route 155 just north of the Potter/Cameron County line. State police said a 17 year old girl swerved her 2000 Ford Windstar to avoid an animal in the road, causing the van to go off the road, travel 200 feet in a ditch, strike a culvert and continue on for 90 more feet before coming to rest.  Leola Sheerer was taken to Charles Cole Hospital for treatment while the driver, and three passengers, a 17 year old boy, 15 year old boy and a one-year old girl all escaped injury.  The driver is being cited for failing to drive at a safe speed and failing to have the youngster secured in a child safety seat.

 Moderate injuries were reported for 24 year old Timothy Geiger of Bradford following a one-vehicle crash early Tuesday morning on Canada Hollow Road near the intersection with Sunnyside Road in Sharon Township. State police said Geiger was headed east when his vehicle went out of control but no further details were provided.

The Potter County Commissioners during their June 22 meeting, voted to extend the contract of Mobile Family Center Coordinator Leon Kaple on a month to month basis until alternative funding can be obtained as the grant for the traveling office has expired.

 Some area fairs are being honored  this year under a new state program which recognizes Bicentennial and Century  Fairs. The Cameron County Fair was founded in 190l; the Clearfield County Fair began in 1852 and the McKean County Fair started in 1905.A brochure about all fairs taking place in Pennsylvania is available by calling 717-787-5342 or going onto the website, www.agriculture.state.pa.us. Click on Pennsylvania Fairs. The brochure provides infroamtion on fairs by region, including their location and dates.

07/03/06

A Galeton driver was seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash Sunday night on Route 144 about four miles south of that town. State police said 21 year old Randall Pierce Jr. was headed north when his Dodge Avenger went out of control, slid to the other side of the road, hit an embankment, rolled over several times, crossed back to the other side and came to rest partially on the guardrails. Pierce had to be extricated from the wreckage by volunteer EMS personnel and was flown by helicopter to Arnot Ogden Medical Center. Authorities say he will be cited for careless driving and other traffic violations.

An 18 year old Emporium driver is facing DUI charges following a crash taking place last Thursday morning on Route 120 a mile west of Hunts Run Road in Lumber Township  in Cameron County.  Authorities said Schaeger’s  westbound car rolled onto its roof and skidded about 200 feet after hitting an embankment. Schaeger is also facing numerous other summary traffic charges.

 Christopher Richar, 20, of Gaines is facing charges of failing to give immediate notice of a crash to police. Troopers say his 1973 jeep went off of the Butternut Road in West Branch Township, rolled over and sheared off a tree early Thursday morning.

 A 17 year old Cameron County driver is also facing charges in connection to a hit and run. Troopers said the 17 year old’s 1995 Chevy Geo Tracker traveled off of May Hollow Road and damaged a utility support cable last Tuesday evening and that he left the scene without calling police.

 The theft of about 3,000 feet  of #6 plastic coated copper wire belonging to the Buffalo Pittsburgh Railroad is being probed by state police at Kane.  The wire was taken from poles adjacent to the Lindholm Road from Mt. Jewett north through Hamlin Township in McKean County sometime between last Thursday and Saturday. The wire is valued at $15,000 and anyone with information is asked to call the Kane Barracks at 778-5555.

 State police at Emporium are continuing their investigation into a burglary and attempted burglary on Route 155 Thursday night or Friday morning. Thieves broke a 20” x 12” window to  gain entry into the Pit Stop and removed various denominations of US currency while causing $40 in damage. They were unsuccessful in entering Cool’s Garage in the same building, but caused $15 in damage to the door jamb.

 

 

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