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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Wintry Mix, Snow, Sleet & Freezing Rain

Statement as of 3:00 PM EST on December 08, 2007

... Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 5 am Sunday to 7 am EST

The National Weather Service in State College has issued a Winter
Weather Advisory... which is in effect from 5 am Sunday to 7 am
EST Monday.

A nearly stationary frontal system just to the south of
Pennsylvania Sunday afternoon... will provide the focus for a series
of weak low pressure areas to form and move over the state during the
next several days. With surface temperatures expected to fall
below freezing overnight... and temperatures aloft expected to warm
to above freezing... the stage will be set for a wintry mix of
snow... sleet and freezing rain.

Temperatures Sunday are expected to recover to only near or just
above freezing before dropping back into the upper 20s to lower
30s Sunday night... which means a prolonged period of mainly light
freezing rain and sleet will be possible.

While overall snow and ice accumulations are expected to remain
on the light side... it takes very little glazing to cause very
slippery travel to occur.

A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow... sleet... or
freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for
slippery roads and limited visibilities. Motorists should be
especially cautious on bridges and overpasses... where slippery
spots develop first.

Athens Man Gets 15 Years For Child Porn

Jodie Krapf
Jodie Krapf
December 7, 2007
An Athens man will spend 15 years in federal prison on child pornography charges.
A judge sentenced 41 year old Jodie Krapf Friday in U.S. District Court. In August, Krapf pleaded guilty to producing child pornography. Krapf admits he made sexually explicit videos of a minor several times.
Krapf also pleaded guilty in Bradford County court in July to charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, for sexually molesting a boy at his home from the time he was 13 until he was 16 years old.
He faces 20 years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender when he's sentenced on those charges.


Area Obituaries

PORT ALLEGANY — Homer D. Vogan, 60, of Port Allegany, formerly of Seneca, died Thursday (Dec. 6, 2007) in Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, Coudersport. Arrangements are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Port Allegany.

ELDRED--James Eugene “Sully” Sullivan, 79, of 8078 Bramble Court, Jacksonville, Fla., passed away Wednesday (Dec. 5, 2007) in Jacksonville. He was also a former resident of Ischua, N.Y., and Eldred.

WELLSBORO — Mary Margaret Miller, 87, of Wellsboro, formerly of Bradford, died Thursday (Dec. 6, 2007) at Broad Acres Nursing Home. Arrangements are under the direction of the Tussey-Mosher Funeral Home.

SHINGLEHOUSE — June C. Buckman, 88, of Dedham, Mass., formerly of Ceres, died Wednesday (Dec. 5, 2007) at Highgate Manor in Dedham. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home.

Correction Officer Charged With Sex With Inmate

A Lycoming County Prison corrections officer was arrested Friday on charges of allegedly having sexual relations in September with a female prison inmate while she was under electronic monitoring at her city home, according to court records.

Warren C. Potts, 35, of 822 Grampian Blvd. was charged by Chief County Detective Floyd L. Reed III with institutional sexual assault, a felony, and obstructing the administration of law, a misdemeanor.

Potts is alleged to have had consensual sex with a female inmate at her home in the 1400 block of West Fourth Street overnight Sept. 22, shortly after she had been released from the jail and placed in the prison’s electronic monitoring-surveillance program, Reed said in an affidavit.

From Sun Gazette

Friday, December 7, 2007

Activity Calendar Via WFRM Website

December 7

The Austin Volunteer Fire Company will have a spaghetti dinner beginning at 4:0 p.m. at the firehall. Cost is $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children ages 10 and under. Dinner includes spaghetti and meatballs, tossed salad, dinner rolls, beverage and dessert. Proceeds will benefit fighter fighter Dana Stevens to help cover medical expenses.

December 8

There will be a community supper at the Fishing Creek United Methodist Church beginning at 5:30 p.m. Take a dish to pass and your own table service. A Chrstimas Hymn Sing will follow in the sanctuary

December 9

The North Country Voices, an SATB choral organization, will be presenting a Christmas Concert “Rhapsody of Christmas” at 3:00 p.m. at the First United Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Main and Fourth Streets, in Coudersport. The program will offer a diversity of choral literature, sacred and secular pieces performed a cappella and with accompaniment with piano, flute and more. As an added highlight, some members of the group will be featured as soloists. The concert will include music of noted composers such as “Carol of the Bells” by Wilhousky, “Christmas Day: A Choral Fantasy on Old Carols” by Holst, “God Rest You Merry” from Nine Carols for male voices arranged by Vaughn Williams, and many more. There will also be a Christmas sing-a-long during the program This is a free concert but a free will offering will be graciously accepted. The proceeds will be used to benefit the Coudersport Area Ministerium of Churches and the North Country Voices.

December 10

The Potter County Regional Action Team will hold its regular monthly meeting at 9:00 a.m. in the Potter County Assistance Office, Route 6 West, Coudersport

Grants Awarded For Area Facilities

The Potter County Solid Waste Authority has received a $3 million recycling grant from the Department of Environmental protection. The grant reflects recycling collections for the year 2005. Grants are awarded to communities based on the amount of recyclable materials collected such as cans, bottles, newspapers, plastics and cardboard.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has awarded $39.4 . million for land protection, conservation and recreation projects across the state.Computer Theft

The grants are funded through Growing Greener II, a voter-approved bond issue and part of the realty transfer tax, More than $3 million for projects in the 12 counties in the north central region that make up the Pennsylvania Wilds will go toward enhancing recreation opportunities for area residents and make communities in the region attractive places for economic investments by the private sector.

The Lumber Heritage Region and Pennsylvania Route 6 Initiative will be among those receiving funding through the latest round of grants. From WFRM News.

Senator Joe Scarnati Speaks Thursday

WESB News: 12/07/07 - Scarnati to Speak at Pitt-Bradford

Joe Scarnati State Sen. Joe Scarnati is the scheduled speaker for the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Entrepreneurship luncheon Thursday.

Scarnati will share his story as a third-generation small business owner and discuss how Pennsylvania is promoting small business.

The luncheon is at 11:30 Thursday in the University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons, and is free and open to the public.

To make a reservation, contact Jody Randolph at Pitt-Bradford.

Emporium Cleans Up After Fire

WESB News: 12/07/07 - Cleanup Continues After Emporium Fire

The cleanup is continuing after a major fire in downtown Emporium last night.

The fire started at the NAPA Auto Parts store on East Fourth Street, and the flames quickly spread to the Midtown Bar and Grill. The auto parts store and several apartments in both buildings were destroyed, leaving seven people homeless.

Investigators haven't determined a cause of the fire yet, and don't have a damage estimate.

Area Obituaries

DEDHAM, Mass. - June C. Buckman, 88, of Dedham, formerly of Ceres, Pa., died Wednesday (Dec. 5, 2007) in Dedham.

Fugitive Back In Jail

The Western New York man mistakenly released from the Erie County Holding Center was back behind bars today after turning himself in.

27 year-old Kevin Allen was mistakenly released from the Erie County Holding Center back on November 29th, and just recently police realized that he was no longer behind bars.

Hub Change At Bradford Airport

WESB News: 12/07/07 - Bradford Airport to Change Carriers Jan 7

Bradford Regional Airport will change carriers on January 7.

Colgan Air has announced their much anticipated move to Washington DC will occur on January 7th. In addition to the change in hub cities Colgan will begin flying under a new banner of United Airlines.

Bradford Regional Airport Officials say there will be no change in the flight schedule.

Businesses Destroyed In Downtown Emporium Fire

Firemen from several area fire companies joined Emporium firemen to battle a major fire in downtown Emporium around 8:00 pm Thursday night.

The fire reportedly started on the roof of the NAPA Auto Parts building and spread throughout that building and the Midtown Sports Bar next door, destroying those buildings. The rubber roof on the NAPA building complicated the firefight as well as frigid temperatures.

The upstairs apartments in those buildings on East 4th Street were gutted, leaving 7 people homeless.

Antiques Lost In Coudy Fire

WESB News: 12/07/07 - Fire in Coudy Destroys Antiques
Coudersport Volunteer firefighters fought a fire on Eulalia Street in Coudersport early Thursday morning.

The fire in the two story home owned by Roseanne Wiedmann of Deleware caused $85,000 dollars damage. Firefighters say there was a lot of antiques in the house at the time of the blaze.

The fire is believed to have started in a heating unit on the first level.

Structure Fire In Town Of Willing

BREAKING NEWS--Firemen from Genesee have responded mutual aid to the scene of a structure fire at 551 Woodcock Road, in the Town of Willing in New York. Ulysses is on standby at Genesee.

Wellsville sent an ambulance to the scene at about the same time this morning.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Offensive Language In Comments

We appreciate your comments to any of our articles, however, we do moderate comments for offensive language, spammers and other abuses. If your comment is appropriate to the article and in a form that is not offensive to others, we will post it here. Others will be rejected.

Structure Fire In Emporium

BREAKING NEWS---Austin Firemen were dispatched for Mutual Aid shortly after 9:00 pm to to assist at a structure fire in Emporium at the NAPA building on East 4th Street. No further information is available at this time.

What Will You Do If 911 Doesn't Work?

Anonymous has provided a direct number to the Tioga Dispatch Center--570-724-7911

Thursday, December 6, 2007 8:13:00 AM EST

never2far2ride said...

Reading this article does worry me. We had a terrible car accident that ended up on our property. The driver was killed and two small children hurt.

Myself and my two grandchildren were the only ones home at the time. Shinglehouse ambulance was great and dispatch time also. But, had we not been able to get through it would have been unthinkable what we would have had to indure.

My suggestion, learn the members of your local fire and ambulance crew, write their numbers down and keep by the phone. If all else fails, one of them will surely be available to alert other members or sound their firehouse siren.

Thursday, December 6, 2007 9:06:00 AM EST

Handguns Stolen In Kane Area Burglary

A burglary taking place at the home of Robert and Sharon Rhodes on Laurel Avenue in Wetmore Township, McKean County Tuesday evening is being probed by state police at Kane.

Thieves caused about $600 in damage when they forced their way into the home on Laurel Avenue between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Several items were taken including numerous pieces of jewelry including diamond rings, watches and earrings along with a Jennings J-22 semi-automatic pistol and an Astra Constable 380 semi-automatic pistol with holster.

Anyone with information about that crime is asked to call the Kane barracks as well.

From WFRM News

Faulty Floor Furnace Blamed For Eulalia St. Blaze

A floor furnace malfunction is believed to be the cause of a fire this morning which heavily damaged a house on Eulalia Street here in Coudersport Borough.

Coudersport Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Phelps told WFRM that when the first firefighters arrived on the scene of the 7:01 call a second alarm was sounded due to the presence of flames and the extremely cold temperatures.

Volunteers from Roulette, Austin and Galeton responded to the scene while Shinglehouse firefighters stood by at the Coudersport station under the mutual aid system.

The blaze was declared under control at 8:20 a.m. and all units were back in service by 10:00 a.m.

Phelps said the 50 or so volunteers did a great job in keeping flames from spreading to houses on each side of the structure.

Firefighters were assisted by members of the Coudersport Volunteer Ambulance Association, Medic 6, Borough Police and Public Works department. No injuries were reported.

From WFRM News

Police Search For Man Released By Mistake

WESB News: 12/06/07 - WNY Police Looking for Violent Criminal

Western New York police agencies are looking for a man who was freed from the Erie County Holding Center after a mistake.

27 year-old Kevin Allen was mistakenly released from the Erie County Holding Center back on November 29th, and just yesterday police realized that he was no longer behind bars.

Erie County Undersheriff Brian Doyle says Allen is considered a violent offender.

Watson Charged With DUI

WESB News: 12/06/07 - Smethport man Unhurt in DUI Accident

A Smethport man has been charged with DUI after an accident Wednesday afternoon on Route 46 in Norwich township.

State Police say a truck driven by 45 year-old Daniel Watson went out of control at the intersection of Route 46 and Brewer Run Road. Watsons’ truck struck a rockpile, then a road sign and then came to rest against a tree.

McKean Landfill To Expand--Add Rail Siding

WESB News: 12/06/07 - McKean County Landfill to Expand
The McKean County Landfill will expand the landfill by 336 acres. Department of Environmental Protection Community Relations Coordinator Freda Tarbell says the expansion will add around 19 million tons of capacity to the site over the life of the landfill.

Tarbell also says the landfill will add a rail siding which will help the facility bring in additional waste by railcar from locations outside McKean County.

Probation For Amish Man In April Abduction

MEADVILLE, Pa. - An Amish man who killed his wife in a schizophrenic frenzy in 1993 was sentenced to six months' probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine after pleading no contest to interfering with the custody of their daughter.

Edward Gingerich, 42, pleaded no contest in October to a charge of custodial interference in the departure of their 17-year-old daughter from an Amish community in April. He faced up to two years in prison.

But Crawford County Judge John Spataro limited the jail time Wednesday to the six days Gingerich served in the Crawford County Correctional Facility after his arrest in April.

Gingerich's brothers, Atlee Gingerich, 44, of Union City, and Joseph Gingerich, 43, of Cambridge Springs, had pleaded no contest to conspiracy. They were also sentenced to six months' probation and a $500 fine.

Authorities alleged that the girl was locked in a barn by her two brothers in April and then persuaded by her two uncles and her father to leave. State police found the girl four days later in McKean County. The girl's brothers were not charged.

Area Obituaries

NINOMIYA, Dolores V. ,Age 70, of Lincoln Drive, Williamsport, PA, died December 4, 2007 at Valley View Nursing Center.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Arthur Ninomiya in 1977. Dolores was born May 7, 1937 in Elkland, PA, the daughter of the late William and Dorothy Johnson Buckingham.
She was a medical records librarian for Dr. Francis Powers, Divine Providence Hospital in Williamsport. Dolores was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Williamsport, and was very active in her church where she served as secretary and sang in the choir.
Surviving are brother, James (Alva) Buckingham, Coudersport, PA; several cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews; two stepchildren, Arthur and Meesa. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and brother, William Buckingham.
Friends and family are invited to Dolores's Life Celebration on Friday, December 7, 2007, from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Tussey-Mosher Funeral Home, 139 Main Street, Wellsboro, PA. Funeral to follow at 1:00 p.m. with Pastor Rick Waters of the First United Methodist Church in Williamsport officiating. Burial in Tioga County Memorial Gardens.
If desired, memorials may be sent in her memory to the First United Methodist Church, 2 Ross Street, Williamsport, PA 17701.

Police Seeking White Truck

WESB News: 12/06/07 - State Police Looking for White Truck

State Police are looking for a white pickup truck with dual rear wheels and orange running lights.

The truck was seen between midnight and 1am November 29th at the Pine Creek Inn in Pike Township.

Police say burglars broke the back door and entered the Inn and took $100 dollars from the register.

House Fire In Coudersport

Firemen from Coudersport, Roulette, Galeton, and Austin are battling a house fire on Eulalia Street in Coudersport. The alarm was dispatched at 7:00 am as a working structure fire. The temperature at the dispatch was only 5 degrees.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What Will You Do If 911 Doesn't Work?


Ever since this article about Potter County 911 not working was published here, I have anticipated a reply in the newspapers and here informing citizens of Potter County how to contact emergency services if and when 911 doesn't work.

That was 10 months ago and no effort has been made to inform the population with instructions as what to do.

The article published today in the Du Bois Courier Express shows that these systems are not infallible!! What will it take to get Potter County Officials to address this situation!! Maybe a lawsuit over someone who dies because they can't contact emergency services!!

I welcome your suggestions in comments here or respond to my e-mail address. What would you do?

James Jones can be contacted at

Friday, February 16, 2007
by James Jones

I woke up Wednesday morning to a lot of snow, and the state police scanner explaining to their car, on the scene of an accident, that they would have to transport an injured driver to the hospital, because the 911 center in Wellsboro could not dispatch an ambulance, due to malfunctions.

From what I was able to piece together, both the incoming 911 calls and the ability of the 911 center to dispatch fire, police and ambulance service in Potter County were down. I don't know how long this situation existed but it certainly reminded me that residents of Potter County are vulnerable, with the complex microwave system that connects us to the Tioga County 911 center in Wellsboro.

As you know, when 911 was initiated in Potter County, all of the local emergency numbers were disconnected.

What does one do if you call 911 and it doesn't work? Are there local numbers to reach firemen, or ambulance personnel? Are there alternate numbers to reach the 911 center by landline or cell phone?

I know the county has a back up center at one of the radio towers, that can be manned when its found that the system is down, but what happens to a fire, ambulance, or police call if nobody has yet discovered the system is down?

It is obvious that we cannot expect the 911 system to be 100 percent infallable, but, residents should be supplied with alternate numbers to call the Tioga center, local police, fire, and ambulance, and procedure to follow if the 911 system is down.

Lets not wait until someone dies, to plug this gap in our homeland security!!

Accident Reported On SR49

Coudersport Fire and Ambulance personnel responded to an accident near Rigas Pond on Route 49 late this afternoon where a woman was reported to be injured.

Car Hits Cow At Port Allegany

Port Allegany emergency services were dispatched last night to Rt. 155 North where an automobile had hit a cow. The roadway was reported blocked. No information as to injuries to people or the cow.

Emergency 911 Out In 2 Counties Tuesday

BROOKVILLE - Telephone service in parts of two counties was disrupted Tuesday afternoon when a problem developed with a fiber optic cable.

"A fiber optic cable disrupted 911 services in parts of Jefferson County around 12:44 p.m. Tuesday," Tracy Zents, Jefferson County director of emergency services, said. "Two fibers in a fiber optic cable owned by Windstream Communications broke near the central office in Brockway which affected 911 services in both Elk County and Jefferson County with the 265 and 268 exchanges.

Verizon cellular customers were also affected countywide attempting to call 911 as that service was interrupted as well when the cable broke."

Zents said emergency responders were alerted to stand by at their stations during the incident so callers had a place to go to report an emergency.

The Emergency Alert System, or EAS Broadcast, was activated and alerted residents through radio and television that 911 service was interrupted and gave instructions on how to report an emergency.

According to Zents, EAS can be activated from the county EMA, which locks down radio and television transmitters that broadcast in the county of certain emergency messages that would affect the safety and welfare of county residents. Areas affected included Brockway Borough, Snyder Township as well as Horton Township in Elk County.

"We were in constant contact with Elk County, Windstream and Verizon staying on top of this to get it corrected as soon as possible," Zents said.

"We were first alerted of the problem when Elk County reported that they had experienced a fiber optic break somewhere in their area. It was soon learned that the problem affected residents between Brookville and Ridgway.

"We did testing in all other areas of the county and found that only the Brockway area served by Windstream was affected, as well as cellular and long distance callers serviced by Verizon," Zents said. "To the best of our knowledge, no emergency calls were lost."

Internet service was also down.

Service was restored shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday Courier Express

Identity Theft Tips

WESB News: 12/05/07 - State Offers Tips on Preventing ID Theft

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency is encouraging consumers to learn about identity theft and take action to prevent from becoming a victim of this crime.

PCCD Chairman Walter M. Phillips Jr. says people should remember that criminals are actively looking for identity theft opportunities this time of the year. Phillips says people should create an identity theft action plan.

For tips on how to protect yourself against identity theft you can visit Identity Theft Action Plan

Rep. Causer Cancels Outreach Hours Thursday

Dec. 6 Outreach Hours Canceled
Due to a scheduling conflict, I regret to say that I have to cancel my outreach office hours scheduled to take place in Emporium, Port Allegany and Eldred on Thursday, Dec. 6.
I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please feel free to contact my Bradford office toll-free at 1-866-437-8181, or stop by either of the offices in Bradford, at 78 Main Street, first floor, or in Coudersport, at 2 Allegany Avenue.
Thank you.

Area Obituaries

SHINGLEHOUSE--Wilbur O. “Bill” Ingram, 76, of RD2 Box 51, Horse Run Road, passed away Monday (Dec. 3, 2007) in the Bradford Manor Nursing Home. Arrangements are under the direction of the Frame Funeral Home, Eldred.

SMETHPORT — Stella Billitier, 86, of Smethport, died Monday (Dec. 3, 2007) in the Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, Coudersport. Arrangements are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes.

Missing Mom Found Dead

Police said the body of a Bucks County mother who went missing last week was found dead in her parked minivan on Wednesday morning.

Police confirmed that they found 32-year-old Gina Marie Bobbing-Mormando's body inside her minivan, and said they found no signs of foul play.

Based on evidence found inside the vehicle, detectives said they are not ruling out suicide.

Bobbing-Mormando vanished last week following a fender-bender in Fairless Hills.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Names Released In Lynn Hall Hill Crash

A Nevada driver and his passenger were hurt Sunday afternoon when their 2008 Pontiac vibe collided with a van on Route 6 just west of Port Allegany.

State police said Ried Bridges lost control of the compact when it crested a hill. The unit crossed over the center line into the path of a Ford van driven by Thomas Ford of Smethport.

Troopers said Ford tried unsuccessfully to avoid the collision.

Bridges and Carol Flanagan also of Carson City were taken to Charles Cole Hospital.

There were ten passengers from McKean County in the van; four suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

Bridges is being cited for speeding.Computer Theft

Troopers Investigate Burglaries

Troopers at Kane are probing a couple of recent burglaries. Sometime overnight Sunday, thieves entered a warehouse at Ram Forest Products on Route 44 near Shinglehouse and then broke a window to gain entry to an office. $50 in cash and a blue flashlight were taken and a desk was damaged in the process.

And, thieves took a pair of Bushnell Binoculars from a camp on Route 346 in Eldred Township owned by Gary Buck of Eldred during the daylight hours Sunday. The binoculars are valued at $100. From WFRM

Bristol Township Mom Missing Without A Trace

This mother of three disappeared without a trace Wednesday in Bristol Township, Bucks County, PA.

Gina Marie Bobbing-Mormando is a Bensalem native and a 1993 graduate of Bishop Conwell, the all-girls Catholic high school that was in Tullytown that later merged with the all-boys Bishop Egan.

Bobbing-Mormando is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 100 pounds and was last seen driving her green 2006 Chrysler Town and Country minivan. She was wearing a white fleece sweatshirt, jeans, sneakers, eyeglasses and was carrying a Winnie the Pooh bag. She has a Winnie the Pooh tattoo on her lower back, Mormando said.

Anyone with information on Bobbing-Mormando's whereabouts is asked to call Bristol Township Detective Tim Perkins at 215-785-6107.

Where Is He? Police Identify Burglar At IGA Market

From Star Gazette

Pennsylvania State Police have released the identity of an at-large burglary suspect alleged to have stolen $1,500 worth of cigarettes and $50 in rolled and loose change from IGA Market in Shinglehouse, Pa.

Police say that Nicholas John Matasich, 19, of Shinglehouse, was indentified after a photo from video surveillance was published in a local newspaper.

A criminal complaint has been filed at district court charging Matasich with burglary and theft by unlawful taking. A warrant has been issued for Matasich's arrest.

Anyone with information on Matasich's whereabouts is asked to contact Pennsylvania State Police in Coudersport at (814) 274-8690.

Lake Effect Snow Today

Statement as of 11:58 AM EST on December 04, 2007

.A significant lake effect snow event will continue across the
northwest mountains and Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania this afternoon
into early this Evening.

... Lake effect snow warning remains in effect until 7 PM EST this

A lake effect snow warning remains in effect until 7 PM EST this

Northwest winds and cold air will continue to tap moisture off the
relatively warm waters of Lake Erie... resulting in frequent snow
showers and locally heavy lake effect squalls.

Additional snowfall between noon and 7 PM today is expected to
range from 2 to 5 inches... with the heaviest amounts over
northwest Warren County. This will bring storm total snowfall to
between 6 and 12 inches across much of McKean County and southeastern
Warren County... with between 16 and 24 inches across the snowbelt
of northwest Warren County.

In addition... frequent wind gusts between 30 and 35 mph will
cause considerable blowing and drifting of snow... along with
visibilities reduced to near zero in localized white-out
conditions... making unplowed or drifted over roads nearly impassable.
Although the winds are expected to subside this evening... snow
showers and localized squalls could continue until after midnight.

Area Obituaries

ULYSSES — Betty Jane Williamson, 89, a longtime resident of Canastota, N.Y., and Madison, N.Y., died Saturday (Dec. 1, 2007) in Oneida Healthcare, Oneida, N.Y. Arrangements are entrusted to the Olney Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Ulysses.

SMETHPORT — Stella Billatier, 86, died Monday (Dec. 3, 2007) at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, Coudersport. Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced with a full obituary by the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Smethport.

EAST SMETHPORT — Charleen M. Creed Rowand, 45, of U.S. Route 6, died unexpectedly Sunday (Dec. 2, 2007) in the Bradford Regional Medical Center from an apparent heart attack. The Casey, Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home, 3128 W. State St., Olean, is in charge of arrangements.

COUDERSPORT — Ann F. Furman, 85, of Emporium, died Sunday (Dec. 2, 2007) at in the Long Term Care Unit of Charles Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport. The Fickinger Funeral Home, Coudersport, is in charge of arrangements.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Weather Seems Like Winter

Statement as of 3:21 PM EST on December 03, 2007

... Strong winds will affect central Pennsylvania late today

through tonight...

... Wind Advisory now in effect until 4 am EST Tuesday...Computer Theft

The Wind Advisory is now in effect until 4 am EST Tuesday.

Strong west to northwest winds will occur through much of tonight
as an area of low pressure intensifies off the New England coast.

Sustained winds will be between 25 and 30 mph with gusts between
40 and 50 mph.

Statement as of 2:26 PM EST on December 03, 2007... Lake effect Snow Advisory in effect until 4 PM EST Tuesday...

The National Weather Service in State College has issued a lake
effect Snow Advisory... which is in effect until 4 PM EST Tuesday.

Strong west to northwest winds will tap moisture off the
relatively warm waters of Lake Erie late this afternoon through
Tuesday afternoon... resulting in frequent snow showers and
occasional heavier snow squalls.

Snow accumulations are expected to average between 2 and 5 inches
by late Tuesday... with locally higher amounts of 6 or 7 inches
possible on some of the ridge tops.

Malfunction Blamed For Gas Leak

Volunteer firefighters from Harrison Township, Tri-Town in Ulysses and Westfield responded Saturday evening to a gas line link along the Pleasant Valley Road.

Bob Fulton, a spokesperson for Dominion Compressor told WFRM that a malfunction at the Harrison Valley station caused a rupture in a 20 inch transmission line at around 6:10 p.m.

Residents of the area heard a loud noise and called 9-1-1.

Fulton said the situation was brought quickly under control and adds that safety is the company’s number one concern.

Dominion is a natural gas company based in Virginia. From WFRM News

Police Reports From WFRM News

Charges are pending against a Ulysses driver following a one vehicle crash Sunday morning on Route 44 just north of Hungry Hollow Road in Abbott Township. State police said Chad Everett’s northbound Ford Ranger came to rest on the passenger side after striking an embankment. He escaped injury.

DUI charges are pending against 42 year old Stacey Joe Bogenschutz of Douglassville, PA following an incident taking place early Sunday morning here in Coudersport borough.
State police were summoned to the local Sheetz store when Bogenschutz’s pick up truck was observed moving erratically in the parking lot.
The unit got hung up at the gas pump and sidewalk but the driver was able to free it and took off, being located later at the intersection of Route 6 and Park Avenue where he was placed under arrest.

New Electric Plant Will Use Waste Coal

Courier Express

KARTHAUS - The $550 million electric plant proposed in northeastern Clearfield County
has won state backing of tax-exempt bonds of up to $600 million, according to state Rep. Camille "Bud" George, D-Houtzdale.

"The bond-allocation approval means Pennsylvania means business and is investing in the waste-coal-fire generating plant that will provide power and jobs for years to come," George said. "Site preparations are almost complete, and the state's financial support for the River Hill Power Company plant clears the way for the needed private financing."

Stephen Poje, vice president of River Hill Power, said an official groundbreaking will be scheduled once the project financing is completed, possibly by the end of the year.

Once the financing is in place, construction of the 290-megawatt plant in Karthaus Township is expected to take about four years. Construction permits were issued in July 2005.

Poje said one of two access roads is completed and paved. Earth moving and bridge work is proceeding on the second road. He noted private equity has paid for all the work to date.
George said the state Economic Development Financing Authority notified him of the bond approval. The authority approved a $300 million bond issue for the project in Nov. 2005.

"When construction does commence, it will culminate six years of hard work advancing this project," said George, who is the majority chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. "However, the rewards are moving ever closer."

The plant will produce electricity for the mid-Atlantic power grid, while ridding the region of a 30-year supply of waste coal that is now fouling water resources in the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. The project also could connect to the New York state power grid.
Benefits of the congeneration plant include:

* Elimination and beneficial use of up to two million tons of waste coal a year.
* Creation of up to 1,000 construction jobs.
* Creation of 300 permanent mining and transportation jobs.
* Creation of 60 permanent power plant jobs and many more spin-off jobs.
* Generation of more than two million megawatt hours of electricity.
* Generation of high-quality steam, which would spur more investments in the region.

River Hill Power Co., LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sithe Global Power Company, LLC, a New York-based independent power-project development firm. Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, is the bond counsel.

The plant will use state-of-the-art technology to use the region's deposits of high-sulfur waste coal to create low-cost electricity while reducing emissions by as much as 95 percent compared to an older coal-fire plant. Plans call for using powdered limestone to capture sulfuric dioxide that otherwise would be emitted. The alkaline-rich ash would be used to remediate the waste-coal sites.

Weather Nasty Today

It will stay windy and cold with snow of varying intensity through this afternoon. West to northwest winds will gust between 35 and 45 mph.

Additional snow accumulation between 10 am and 5 PM will range from 1 to 2 inches across the region to the east of Route 2 a general 2 to 3 inches further to the west.

Heavier lake effect snow will accumulate 4 or 5 inches by this evening across the northwest portion of Warren County.

The locally heavy snow and blowing snow will create snow and ice covered roads and poor travel conditions.

Visibility will be reduced to less than one quarter of a mile in the heavier snow bands.

Computer Theft

Area Obituaries

ULYSSES — Betty Jane Williamson, 89, a longtime resident of Canastota and Madison, NY, died Saturday, December 1, 2007. Born March 20, 1918 in Emporium, PA, she was the daughter of Olan and Eva Chaffee. In 1936, in Whitesville, NY, she married Stuart Lamont Williamson, who predeceased her in 1980. She loved reading, crossword puzzles, long drives with her son, Don, and shopping with granddaughter, Melody, with whom she resided for several years. Surviving are: five children, Beverly Jane (Milford) Lovett of Canastota, Richard (Lena) Williamson of Mansfield, OH, Donald (Geraldine) Williamson of Oneida, Eldon Williamson of Germantown, WI, and Sharon E. Jayson of Chittenango; 25 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great-grandchildren; sisters, Ruth, Patricia, and Catherine; and brother, David. Friends may call at the Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA, on Tuesday, December 4th, from 3–5 p.m., with Funeral Services at 5:00 p.m. Burial will be in Mills Cemetery.

TUMAS, Stella, 95, of Coudersport, Potter County, died Nov. 29. Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home, Pleasant Hills. (CO)

New Rates For State Park Facilities

Sun Gazette

Rates for overnight accommodations, boating and picnic pavilions will be increased to help maintain the quality of Pennsylvania state parks and support their operation and maintenance. This rate hike comes for the first time since 2001.

The new price schedule will be effective on Jan. 1.

“An overnight stay in a state park cabin or a family reunion picnic at one of our pavilions is still a great bargain,” DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis said. “This new pricing schedule makes Pennsylvania state parks comparable to neighboring states, and is well below the inflation rate for the period since 2001.

“Pennsylvania remains one of only a few states that do not charge an entrance fee to visit our state parks,” he said.

For 2008, prices will represent about a 10 percent increase over the current rates, with the exception of camping, where the base price will increase by $3 per night.

In 2009, prices will increase about 10 percent over the 2008 prices with a camping base increase of $2 per night.

Elsewhere, a rustic camp site with no electricity on a weeknight now costs $10. It will increase to $13 next year. Fees that are added for weekends, sites with electricity, modern campsites and other additional amenities also will be modestly increased.

A modern cabin that sleeps eight for a week at the current weekly rate without sales tax is $371. The 2008 rate will be $408.

“Since 2002, we have invested more than $175 million in state park facilities by upgrading bathhouses and restrooms; improving marinas; repairing and replacing dams that create lakes; improving environmental education centers; adding trails and other recreational opportunities; and working to eliminate a backlog of maintenance,” DiBerardinis said. “All of the money collected through state park fees is used for their operation and maintenance, and we will use this price increase to continue that work.”

The current price schedule and the 2008-09 prices can be found at

Reservations made prior to Jan. 1 for the use of facilities in 2008 will not be affected by the new price schedule, unless the reservations are changed after Jan. 1.

Pennsylvania has one of the largest park systems in the country with 117 state parks and it accommodates about 36 million visits a year. Usage rates for state park facilities, for the most part, are at capacity during peak seasons.

4 Assaulted At Adelphoi Village

Sun Gazette-star gazette

COUDERSPORT — Four people allegedly were assaulted during a Friday incident at Adelphoi Village.

The suspect, John Mark Sheaffer, 18, of Harrison Valley, is accused by state police in Coudersport of physically attacking the four victims at Adelphoi Village in Harrison Township, police said.

Police allege Sheaffer choked and struck Jamie Renee Paulhamus, 24, of Elkland, Amanda Lynn Vinluan, 30, of Westfield, Mark Anthony Zedonek, 43, of Galeton, and a 17-year-old boy from Adelphoi Village.

Paulhamus and Vinluan were transported to Charles Cole Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Charged with two counts of aggravated assault, three counts each of simple assault and recklessly endangering and one count of harassment, Sheaffer was arraigned before District Judge Delores G. Bristol. Bail was denied, and Sheaffer is incarcerated at the Potter County Jail.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Lynn Hall Accident Sends One To Hospital

A two car head-on accident on slippery roads on Lynn Hall hill west of Port Allegany sent one person to Charles Cole Hospital shortly after 10:00 pm tonight.

The other occupants were apparently not injured and refused treatment.

Medics reported the roads were extremely icy in Potter County. Temperatures hovered around 32 in the valleys with the higher elevations being slightly cooler.

Ice Storm Warning Issued For Tonight

Statement as of 9:15 PM EST on December 02, 2007

... Ice Storm Warning in effect until 1 am EST Monday...
... Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 1 am EST

The National Weather Service in State College has issued an Ice
Storm Warning... which is in effect until 1 am EST Monday. A
Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 1 am EST Monday.

A new area of rain is moving into the region from the Ohio
Valley. With surface temperatures hovering near or just below
freezing... the threat for significant icing will continue into
the early morning hours in some locations... especially over high

Temperatures later tonight are expected to recover to above
freezing... finally bringing an end to the icing threat.

A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow... sleet... or
freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for
slippery roads and limited visibilities. Motorists should be
especially cautious on bridges and overpasses... where slippery
spots develop first.

Ice accumulations will likely lead to falling tree branches and
snapped power lines. People are urged to be prepared for
prolonged power outages. The freezing rain will also make travel
on untreated roads dangerous or impossible. If you must travel...
allow extra time to reach your destination... let someone know
your travel plans and carry a cellular phone.

Rick Barkley's Journal--Kayaking The Allegheny--Final Installment

Morning came without fog, and having packed everything possible the day before, it only took a few minutes to tear the tent down and get everything ready to go. Between the dry conditions and the protection from the trees, the tent was bone dry. I had one lock to go through, and wished I could keep the rope dry, just to make it easier for us to handle everything at the end. It wasn’t a big deal, but a hundred feet of rope, wet, dropped down on you from up on top of the lock, makes for a little bit of a slimy mess, as the walls of the lock are covered with a gray-green muck.

Excited about reaching the finish line, I was on the move at 7:30, and it would turn out to be a good decision, as it took until noon to get to the Point, and that was when I had hoped to arrive. Along the way, I watched a woman in a small motorboat coaching scullers. She bid me good morning through her bullhorn, and I returned the greeting with my big mouth. I passed mammoth homes on the water, places you certainly couldn’t call camps. One was just being built, and they were working on the boat launch. They were using one of those small front end loaders, and I made sure it was in the picture I took of the house, so I could truthfully prove I had seen a Bobcat.

As I passed the Fox Chapel Yacht Club, I was impressed at the extent people go to for comfort, when money’s no object. I saw a double-decker party boat with a canvas top on the upper deck, and two ceiling fans under it, in case the guests broke a sweat. That was not far from the satellite dish, and the curved sliding board from the top deck into the water.

I was pleasantly surprised when I paddled into the lock at #2, when the lockmaster told me since I was in the lock all alone, if I didn’t want to, I could dispense with the holding rope. It was like a gift, meaning it would be dry to the end, or so I thought. The gates opened, and I prepared for the last stretch of river. Jeremy Jackson had told me the river would be choppy at the very end, but it sounded like he meant the last couple hundred yards, as the two rivers converged to create the third. I wasn’t ready to face a two foot chop for six miles, but that’s what I got, along with about a 10 MPH headwind. I tend to watch the water a lot in this case, as it’s the only way you know you’re moving. It feels like you’re paddling in fudge upstream, but amazingly, you move along every bit as fast as in calmer water. I never claimed to know anything about this stuff, I just keep putting….well, you know.

I was so happy and proud and got a lump in my throat when I got my first glimpse of the US Steel building, because I had felt all along, when I saw that, I knew I was going to achieve my goal, and it wasn’t far away. I took a photo, but later, when I saw the picture, I was a little sad, because the tossing of the waves had bumped the Steel building out of the frame just as I snapped the shutter.

I was going under the increasing number of bridges that cross the river in Pittsburgh, but I’d given up trying to keep track of them, and snap them singly. I saw a group of kayakers coming my way, and at first was tickled to see them. I got a lot less tickled when I found out they were a bunch of kids in rental boats, and they’d never been in one before. There were some 50 of them I’d estimate, and they had no clue how to paddle, steer, stop, or get out of the way. I hit the brakes once, managing to avoid a girl who apologized, but right after that, two girls side by side rammed me, both with looks of horror on their faces. I couldn’t help wondering if they were having fun. Out on the water in a chop like that, I guessed it was a good idea to someone weeks ago when they signed everybody up to rent the kayaks, but the guides were probably saying prayers that the kayaks made it through.

I pulled in at a marina to get out of the water and wind, to put on the lucky hat and a Steeler T-shirt. With the temperature in the 80s, I couldn’t wear the hat too long. People had signed the inside of the headband, and I’d end up with a forehead tattoo. More bridges, more bridges, and a cascading waterfall dotted with folks reading, relaxing, and in general enjoying the beautiful morning. It was about that time I spied Kim pushing her Mom in a wheelchair, along the river walkway. She saw me, waved, and pointed toward the Point. A feeling of great relief came over me, and I got misty-eyed once again. I really hoped I’d keep it together at the end. I moved out into the middle of the river, to get a little closer to the Point as I paddled through the end, and be able to better see when I’d made it to the Ohio, so I could turn around and get out of the water.

Soon after seeing Kim, I saw Bev and Mark & Kelly Nord, the angels who brought Bev downtown, making their way along the walkway to the kayak launch. They had a large Welcome sign, and their new puppy, Ellie Mae. They were doing chauffeur duty for Michael and Brianne Braunstein, who had volunteered for the job, but were called away for Bree’s cousin Shannon’s 30th surprise birthday party, which in my mind, was every bit as important as a beat up kayak with an old guy in it.

I climbed out of the Murlene at 12:30, with hugs and kisses all around. I met Kim’s Mom, called my brothers to let them know it was over and I made it, and then the celebration was cut short by the security fellows up over the hill. It seemed we were parked next to Heinz Field, and they needed to tow cars illegally parked for that night’s Pitt-Uconn football game. We got everything in the car, and the kayak on top, just as the towing began, and I never got a chance to meet Pat Vilsack, Kim’s buddy, who had tried to meet me at Washington’s Landing to paddle the last four miles with me but missed me somehow, and came down the river behind me. My support folks had the foresight to have packed a picnic lunch, which I helped them get rid of as we headed toward New Wilmington and the Nord home. My head spun as I tried to get it straight that the trip was over, and I answered questions as best I could. I took the longest shower in recent memory, trimmed nails, and shaved some of the beard. One last time, I laid out some of the gear, and washed the drybags, in preparation to return them to their rightful owners the following day. As I had paddled toward the end, I thought of the folks who had donated to Roswell, and how much it meant to help such a good cause. A thought came into my mind regarding the trip, when it occurred to me someone would no doubt ask me about my next adventure into the unknown. My answer was ready: a golf course I’d never played before.

When people ask me what I learned on the trip, I answer I learned how very much Bev loves me, and how much she believes in me, and I am more than ready to spend the rest of my life trying to pay her back for what she went through. She swallowed so much fear, for months, during not only the trip, but even in the planning stages, when her imagination conjured up some disconcerting images, as I’d talk about what was to be. She did more than I could have hoped for as a support leader, as well as taking care of everything at home, and traveling long lonely hours back and forth to and from places she’d never been before, wondering sometimes what she would find, and sometimes wondering if I’d even be where she was driving to. Days without hearing from me, having to rescue me, living in such a foreign environment for so long as I spent hundreds of hours thinking and talking about and planning and traveling back and forth to get this thing figured out as best I could. I am truly a fortunate, fortunate, man. Folks also ask me if I enjoyed the journey. To those people, I say it was a priceless experience, and in general, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Do I wish some of it could have been different? I have mixed emotions. I put on an extra bracelet for the trip: “W.W.J.D.” What would Jesus do? When it became necessary, I think I made the right one. I will always believe that.

Although I was the only body in the kayak, I was never, ever, alone. I had the thoughts and prayers of many people with me, I had St. Christopher the second half of the journey, and they all made the difference in whether I finished or not. The memories are priceless, the work was worth it. It was the adventure of my lifetime, and the feeling is amazing.


There are some folks I may or may not have mentioned in the story, that I owe special recognition. In addition to hosting the Website and blog, my brother Dave was responsible for relaying information to the blog during the trip, and in what may be the worst part, getting the journal and photos all coordinated. I am indebted to him, and I am afraid to go to our next Barkley brothers reunion, thinking what he may demand in return. Seriously, the site was a major help in the success of the fund-raiser.

In Blasdell, at First Lutheran Church, Pastor Ray Fitch and Nanci Genesse did a ton of work, not only to keep the congregation apprised of where I was, but they also boosted donations, and I can’t thank them enough.

The Westgate Inn, The Onoville Marina, Indianwaters, Eagle Rock, Bob & Becky Simpson, and Dick Orr, opened businesses and homes to me, and made the trip much easier and comfortable.

My medical team, Drs. Michael Galang, Daniel Kaczor, and Nicholas Dragonette, and Physician’s assistant, Laura DiGiulio, made me and kept me healthy and able to stand the rigors of the trip.

Mountain House treated me better than I expected, from a company 3,000 miles away. I suggest using their products for your own camping food source.

Steven Hannon and Theresa Ford, of Roswell Cancer Institute, were outstanding contacts during the whole process, and I enjoyed working with them to bring in as much money as possible.

Final Installment: Rick Barkley kayaked the Allegheny River from it's beginning near Gold, PA to it's end at Pittsburgh this summer. Solomon's words chronicled that trip from Rick's brief reports from the river. This is Rick's in depth journal of this adventure of a lifetime, presented in installments, as it is quite lengthy. I think you will find it very interesting. Editor.