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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Roulette Dispatched For Lift Assist

At 11:35 PM on Saturday, Roulette Fire Dept. was dispatched to Oak Lane for a lift assist.

State Police Investigating Hit & Run In Pike Township

Liberty Dispatched To Vehicle Over Embankment

At 8:40 PM on Saturday, Liberty Fire Department has been dispatched to the Roaring Branch Road for a vehicle over the embankment.

Austin Woman Suffers Major Injuries In Rollover Crash In Borough

Coudersport Residents Charged With Disorderly Conduct After Incident At Cole Hospital ER

State Police Investigating Criminal Mischief To Vehicle At Moon's Farm Yard

Emporium Man Jailed On Assault; Other Charges

Emporium Man Facing DUI Charge Pending Blood Results

PSP Coudersport Has A Pink Zombie Cinderella Bicycle, Is It Yours?

Blossburg Dispatched To MVA With Injury

At 7:42 PM on Saturday, Blossburg Fire & Ambulance with Wellsboro ALS dispatched to the area of 3548 River Road for a one vehicle accident with one person injured. The vehicle is reported to be on it's side. The injured 23 year old female is self-extricated from the vehicle.

Coudersport Ambulance To Deering Hollow Road

At 6:47 PM on Saturday, Coudersport Ambulance & Medic 6 have been dispatched to Deering Hollow Road for a medical emergency.

Kersey Dispatched To Vehicle Accident With Injuries

At 6:43 PM on Saturday, Kersey Fire Department and St. Marys Ambulance have been dispatched to the area of 283 Old Kersey Road for a motor vehicle accident with injuries. A 20 year old female is reported injured.

Richard D. Hults, 81, of N. Main St., Port Allegany, PA

Richard D. Hults
Richard D. Hults

PORT ALLEGANY- Richard D. Hults, 81, of N. Main St., passed away Friday (Jan. 1, 2016) in Sena Kean Manor, Smethport.

Born May 14, 1934, in Port Allegany, he was a son of Bert and Katherine Gregory Hults. On May 23, 1959, in Coudersport, he married Ruth J. Nelson, who died Sept., 20, 2007.

Korean war veteran
Mr. Hults was employed by Saint-Gobain Container Co. of Port Allegany, having worked as a machine operator in the hot end, retiring after 40 years of service.

He was a veteran of the Korean War, having served with the US Airforce. 

Richard was a lifetime resident of the area and a graduate of Port Allegany High School, Class of 1954.

He was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose, Lodge 460, Port Allegany.

Surviving are three sons, Richard “Rick” M. (Susan) Hults of Temple, TX, Michael D. (Sheila) Hults and Mark D. (Angela) Hults both of Port Allegany; three daughters, Kathy A. (Scott) Lowery and Dawn L. (Keith) Baker both of Port Allegany, Cheryl M. (Tim) Morey of Coudersport; 16 grandchildren, 2 great-grandsons, 3 great-granddaughters; a sister, Albert L. Treat of Port Allegany; a sister-in-law, Marjorie Hults of Port Allegany; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and two brothers, Bert Hults, Jr. and Robert Hults.

Friends will be received from 5-8 p.m. Monday in the Switzer Funeral Home, Port Allegany, where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday (Jan. 5, 2016) with the Rev. Randall Headley, pastor of the United Methodist Church of Port Allegany, officiating. Burial will be in Grimes Cemetery, Port Allegany.

Memorial can be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Condolences can be made to: 
Kathy A. Lowery
25 S. Ann St.
Port Allegany, PA 16743

Shinglehouse Ambulance To First Street

At 4:10 PM on Saturday, Shinglehouse Ambulance & Olean 10 have been dispatched to First Street for a patient with difficulty breathing.

New Website For Questions About Gas-Drilling Pollution Incident

New Website For Questions About Gas-Drilling Pollution Incident

December 23rd, 2015
NGRCPotter County Natural Gas Resource Center (NGRC) has established a new website to address citizens’ concerns about the release of chemicals into an aquifer an a JKLM Energy LLC gas-drilling site in Sweden Township during September. A number of issues were raised during an information-packed NGRC meeting on Dec. 17 in Coudersport. Some of the questions submitted in writing were not addressed as the meeting reached adjournment. Purpose of the website is to provide answers to those questions and others that citizens have in the coming weeks. NGRC will refer the questions to the appropriate information source and provide responses as quickly as possible. Several questions have already been submitted to both JKLM and the Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection. Those seeking to access the site should visit the Potter County website, A box titled “Q & A from Natural Gas Resource Center” appears on the home page. Instructions for submitting questions can be found on the website.

JKLM Energy Statement on December 18 Natural Gas Resource Center Meeting

JKLM Energy Statement on December 18 Natural Gas Resource Center Meeting

WEXFORD, Pa (Dec. 18) – JKLM Energy today released the following statement regarding a meeting hosted by the Potter County Natural Gas Resource Center in Coudersport on December 17:
“JKLM Energy would like to thank the Natural Gas Resource Center for giving us the opportunity to engage with the local community alongside the Department of Environmental Protection at the Gunzburger Building yesterday (Dec. 17). We are deeply disappointed that the opportunity for additional meaningful dialogue with interested residents of Potter County about the company’s response to its September release was lost when two individuals chose to repeatedly derail the discussion during the question-and-answer period. Our personnel and technical consultants were prepared to stay and answer questions for as long as people wished, provided the interaction was productive and respectful, but it was clear these two individuals, in order to further their own agenda, were not going to allow that to happen. We regret that we did not have the opportunity to participate in further discussion.

“The individuals intent on disrupting the meeting raised the issue of Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act. Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act did not apply to this meeting. 65 Pa. C.S. Sec. 702 states that the Sunshine Act applies only when a governmental body holds a meeting in which ‘deliberation’ or ‘official action’ by a quorum of members will take place.

“JKLM intends to continue to strengthen its relationship and cooperation with local residents and Potter County’s government officials. We are committed to responsible development of natural gas in Potter County, even in these difficult economic times. JKLM has invested in excess of $100 million dollars in Potter County over the last few years, much of it paid directly to landowners who, in turn, disperse that investment throughout the community. We ask the residents of Potter County to question the motives of those few whose agenda is to stifle development of any kind, and whose actions render constructive dialogue impossible.”
# # #
About JKLM Energy, LLC: JKLM is a privately held oil and gas producer headquartered in Wexford, Pa. The company is conducting operations at locations in Potter County.

DEP Contamination Investigation Updated & Ongoing

DEP Contamination Investigation Updated & Ongoing

December 22, 2015
By, Laurie Barr

Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) and JKLM Energy LLC updated the
public on their complex and costly investigation in Sweden Township, Potter
County during the Natural Gas Resource Center meeting held on Dec. 17
investigation surrounds the Reese Hollow 118 2HU gas well, aquifer, public and
private water wells and also surface water.

Incident Summary during JKLM presentation
This was only the fledgling company's second well, their target formation was the

Utica. Their dreams were suddenly dashed on Sept.18th when their mission
abruptly ended at 684'. The company switched their primary focus from trying to
retrieve wealth and riches from the depths below, to focusing on retrieving water
samples from the folks who opened their faucets and got "soap."

Photo Scott Blauvelt, Director of JKLM Regulatory Af airs and hydrogeologist explained what
happened. during a public meeting held in Coudersport on September 24th

The operator injected 21,540 gallons of water mixed with approximately 98 gallons
of a product known as F­485, a friction reducer and approximately 35 gallons of
Rock Oil, a petroleum based product used during an un­regulated technique JKLM
employed to retrieve a broken drill bit from an uncased well bore after a “major
Failure” at the Reese Hollow well.

The Results Were Disastrous

The costly and intensive hydro geologic investigation began in September and the
DEP and JKLM efforts continue. F­485, according to the Safety Data Sheets is
9.99­14.99 percent isopropanol, the majority of the ingredients are proprietary.
Meaning the complete composition (90%) of F­485 has not been made available to
the local water operators, private well owners the public or even JKLM.
​Read the entire article:

Wells don't heal themselves; they require plugging & re-plugging for the life of the planet.

Save Our Streams PA

Public Comment Denied After State Finds BTEX & Unidentified Compounds in Drinking Water Investigation

by Melissa Troutman, Executive Director, Public Herald

this story is part 4 of 6 in the INVISIBLE HAND series which covers open meetings and the execution of local and state laws

UPDATED: (01/02/2016) included quote from Melissa Melewsky, Media Law Counsel at Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, about options for citizens in the event of a believed violation to the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, and cited the section on objections under the act.

“After sitting through almost two hours of those presentations, there’s no way I’m using my water,” said a resident of the North Hollow JKLM Energy investigation who attended a meeting to be assured their water was safe to drink.
On a Thursday morning in Potter County, Pennsylvania from 10 a.m. to noon when most people were at work, a public meeting held by county commissioners failed to provide opportunity for public comment regarding contamination to drinking water supplies.
Potter County Public Meeting on JKLM Investigation

Potter County Commissioners, the Department of Environmental Protection, and JKLM Energy present to the public about the North Hollow water contamination investigation three months after the start of the pollution. Read the series of stories published by Public Herald at © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

“The meeting should have been divided up so there was equal time for presentation and public comment,” said the North Hollow resident, who’s drinking water had been investigated. In an interview with Public Herald, the resident, who wishes to remain anonymous at this time, looked back on their choice to live in the area, saying “Our biggest goal in life was to have a piece of land and our own water well.”
The December 17th meeting was the first opportunity the public had to comment on results of a three-month ongoing investigation by state regulators and JKLM representatives. In September 2015, the company illegally injected unapproved chemicals underground during drilling operations — chemicals that are typically used for fracking — that ended up contaminating groundwater and surface water in Sweden Township, near the borough of Coudersport, prompting two public water supplies to also be shut down.

Potter County Commissioner Doug Morley (left) watches the JKLM presentation while commissioner Paul Heimel (right) takes notes. © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

At the meeting county commissioners attempted to restrict discourse to notecards, having attendees submit their written questions to commissioners rather than providing time for public comment. Public Herald Editor-in-chief made an objection to the notecards, citing the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act requirement for public participation.
“Any person has the right to raise an objection at any time to a perceived violation of this chapter at any meeting of a board or council of a political subdivision or an authority created by a political subdivision.” Pennsylvania Sunshine Act 65 Pa.C.S.A. § 710.1. Public participation
The objection later caused the commissioners to open the floor for discussion, two minutes before the meeting’s scheduled end. But the opportunity was stymied by oil and gas attorneys — one stating it was not a public hearing — and the other who helped one commissioner find words to close the meeting, ending the public comment period.
Jessica Songster O&G Attorney

Oil and gas attorney Jessica Songster, pictured here (right) at a September JKLM emergency meeting, prompted Commissioner Doug Morley to “thank people for coming.” Morley then closed the meeting. DEP representatives, JKLM representatives, county officials and local water specialists all promptly left the room. © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

A failure to provide for public comment is a violation of the Sunshine Act, “The Sunshine Act requires the opportunity for public comment at every advertised regular and special meeting. So, there has to be an opportunity for public comment.”
That’s Melissa Melewsky, Media Law Counsel at Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.
Public Herald asked Melewsky if providing notecards and pencils for people to submit questions for county commissioners to read would be sufficient opportunity for public comment.
“No,” she said. “Public comment is not ‘public question’ – not the same thing. In order to give public comment, you don’t have to phrase it as a question. You can say, ‘I disagree with what you’re doing.’
“For public comment, you open it up to anyone in attendance, and they can limit to taxpayers and residents, to get up and say their piece, that may or may not be in the form of a question. You can’t limit public comment to questions only.”
Melewsky further pointed out that an open meeting happens when a quorum of officials are present with deliberation:
“It’s any deliberation of agency business. A deliberation of agency business is defined broadly: it’s the discussion of agency business held for the purpose of making a decision…issues that are ongoing in the county would be agency business.”
The Digital Media Law Project of Harvard University says an open meeting must have three characteristics: be prearranged, have a quorum, and discuss or deliberate agency business.
The meeting was hosted by the Potter County Natural Gas Resource Center, formerly the Natural Gas Task Force, which was formed and is still operated by county commissioners since 2009 with a purpose “to oversee water quality, job training, public safety/emergency services, and municipal issues.” The “county-sponsored task force” combined with Potter County Education Council to become the Natural Gas Resource Center.

Potter County residents watch and listen to a presentation from DEP on the JKLM North Hollow complaint investigation held in Coudersport, PA. © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

Trade Secrets: Regulating a Mystery

Back when groundwater was first contaminated in September, JKLM’s leadership declined to provide the full list of chemicals used by the company. At Thursday’s public meeting three months later, it became clear that JKLM had not known the chemical composition of the products it used. And no one can reveal a list that doesn’t exist.
“In order to begin the investigation quickly, we didn’t have time to analyze these products before we went out and starting sampling [water] sources. So we had to use some professional judgement looking at the information that was available to us on the SDS [Safety Data Sheet] and on the internet regarding these compounds,” explained JKLM’s hired environmental firm, Penn E&R.
“At this point I think it’s fair to say that we probably know as much about what’s in those products as the manufacturers do,” said Scott Blauvelt, Director of Regulatory Affairs for JKLM. [Emphasis added.]
However, even now that JKLM has a “very, very detailed chemical analysis,” the company is not revealing the full list of known chemical compounds or their amount. JKLM attorney John Sieminski went so far as to squash further questions regarding specific test results:
“We told you what we know about the chemical analysis,” Sieminski said. “It’s not concerning. End of story. Next question.”

“Unidentified Compounds,” BTEX and Plasticizers Detected in Water Samples

For the first time at the meeting since contamination began in September, DEP and JKLM revealed that BTEX compounds – otherwise known as Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene – have been discovered by both the department and the company during their investigations.
Penn E&R, the environmental company hired by JKLM to carry out an investigation, said that traces of ‘rock drill oil’ (also referrred to as ‘hammer bit oil’) were discovered in their water tests after a chemical makeup of the substance was determined:
“The hammer bit oil, again predominantly mineral-based, and it contained a number of compounds that you’d typically find in petroleum products. We did find some BTEX.”
DEP’s Bill Kosmer was uncertain about the actually amounts detected: “I don’t believe anything [was detected] over a standard, but they [BTEX] were there.” Neither DEP or JKLM revealed any specific test results despite “extensive, sophisticated” investigations.
DEP revealed it has investigated 14 complaints and confirmed that six private water supplies have been contaminated by JKLM Energy’s operations. Seven more water supplies are still under investigation.
“There were two additional complaints that did not want DEP involvement,” Kohl revealed in a December 21st email to Public Herald, bringing the complaint total to 16. Kohl also confirmed via email that DEP has “not received all of the information gathered by JKLM” about the chemical composition of the products that were used when contamination occurred.

GIF of Potter County complaint investigations from data publicly available at #fileroom. © Oz Gerard for Public Herald

“It is typically the product manufacturer’s decision to claim ingredients as trade secret or proprietary,” Kohl wrote.  “We did not reach out to the manufacturer directly to attempt to gain this information. We felt our efforts were better served by independently sampling the product and also sampling an extensive list of parameters in the potentially affected water supplies.”
“Tentatively Identified Compounds (TICs)” were detected in at least two water supplies, according to DEP letters to homeowner that were shared with Public Herald. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, TICs are a “tool used by EPA to characterize hazardous sites. TIC analysis is a useful tool that can aid in clean-up or treatment decisions by identifying compounds that might otherwise be missed at the site.”
DEP neglected to reveal the detection of TICs in private water supplies during its public presentation.
In a letter sent to one homeowner, who called in a complaint on October 6th, DEP wrote that an investigation to the resident’s water supply is “ongoing” after TICs were detected along with high iron and turbidity.
In a determination letter sent to a separate homeowner, who called DEP for help on October 7th, DEP found TICs again. In both letters, DEP states “the presence of TICs are not considered absolute or confirmed by the laboratory, but rather, indicates a spike of a compound for which the instrument is not calibrated.” In this home’s water sample, DEP also reports finding Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, which is an organic compound commonly used as a plasticizer or “water reducer.”

DEP revealed during its presentation that the department found “two plasticizers” in water monitoring wells installed at JKLM’s well pad in addition to “the same sort of contaminants found at other sampling points, the MBAS, the BTEX.” The department neglected to reveal the specific names of those two plasticizers.
DEP stated at the meeting that it will continue to examine the presence of unidentified compounds and plasticizers.
“We’ll continue to look at them and see and try to understand if [lab contamination] is where they’re from or if it’s from something that was used on the pad. We haven’t drawn a formal conclusion on that,” DEP added.

Regulating A Mystery: When Is Water Really Safe To Drink?

With so many unknowns remaining, some residents are nervous. When Public Herald asked a resident why they wouldn’t drink the water, they explained:
“I have a lot of experience with this sort of thing. JKLM didn’t know what they put down that hole, and DEP is finding BTEX? That’s not good. What they did tell us they used – those lubricants – they stick to well casings, which in this case JKLM didn’t even have, so my question is, how long are those chemicals going to stick around in the ground? How far are they going to travel and for how long? DEP doesn’t know.”

If you’re having trouble reading your water quality test results please contact Public Herald for assistance at or use our contact button at the bottom right of the page. Photo: A jar of foamy water collected near the North Hollow tributary by local residents. © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

Benzene is a BTEX compound and known carcinogen, which both DEP and JKLM discovered in water tests. According to a branch of the Center for Disease Control, “long-term benzene exposure causes effects on the bone marrow and can cause anemia and leukemia.” While acute exposure to children, i.e. anything short term, “can result in skin and eye irritation or burning, as well as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and suffocation,” according an EPA report.
The Center for Disease Control writes in “Facts About Benzene” that it can be poisonous when absorbed into the body by inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact.
In September we reported how residents had “not been told by JKLM to stop using their water for washing and cooking, even though some families have young children and isopropanol can be absorbed through the skin.”
Benzene, if present, would have added to this avoidable danger.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry (ATSDR), benzene contamination of groundwater “can result in volatilization into indoor air when the groundwater is used as household water. In addition, contamination of groundwater and subsurface soil can result in migration of these chemicals into basements as soil gas.” Although, soil gas effects would generally result from much higher concentrations of benzene either leaking from buried tanks or found on hazardous waste sites.
Not present at the meeting was the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH). No one mentioned the word “health” during the two hour meeting.
In an email to resident Laurie Barr, Barry Miller, who is the Epidemiology Research Associate in the Department of Health’s Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology, explained:
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) continues to closely monitor this situation, since first reported to our department on September 24, 2015.  A collaborative effort is ongoing with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which includes review of all available well water test reports from this incident, collected by the DEP. Our environmental health team, including the state toxicologist, carefully examine these reports. In addition to these actions, the DOH has remained available to investigate all health complaints from individuals affected by this incident. According to the DEP, data collection from this incident is ongoing and all such data will be shared with the DOH for review. Please be assured that the DOH will continue to monitor this incident and respond to all health related concerns.
Please call 717-787-3350 if you have further questions or concerns, or if you prefer, by email:
Miller’s information has not been delivered to the public via JKLM, DEP or county websites. Residents have told Public Herald that they were unaware that DOH was involved or that they could be contacted about suspected health problems.

Media Making Matters Worse

Matters about what’s in the groundwater system and when water is really safe to drink get murkier with inaccurate and untimely reporting. For example, Bradford Era’s misleading headline: “No detrimental effect on aquifer from JKLM contamination.” There are lingering effects and DEP’s investigation will be ongoing “for some time,” according to DEP.
JKLM Bradford Era Story

Bradford Era inaccurately printed the headline “No detrimental effect on aquifer from JKLM spill.” DEP reported “no detrimental effect” from the plugging of JKLM Energy’s botched gas well. The use of the word “spill” also misrepresents the event. © Melissa Troutman for Public Herald

What DEP actually said was that “no detrimental effect was discovered” during the plugging of JKLM’s gas well, revealed in a video recording (skip to 30:06) of the meeting. Several contaminants have been detected in monitoring wells before and after plugging, including “the same sort of contaminants, the MBAS, the BTEX” that the department found in other wells and two unnamed plasticizers.

Public Water Supplies Not Yet Cleared For Reactivation By DEP

DEP and JKLM also presented the latest information regarding two public water systems that are still offline as a result of the contamination of the local water supply area.
John Hamilton from DEP’s Bureau of Water Quality, in charge of regulating public water supplies, explained that prior to allowing the systems serve water to the public, “a 72-hour pumping and purging of the wells to stress the aquifer” must occur, after which DEP will collect split samples with both Coudersport Municipal Water Authority and Charles Cole Memorial Hospital.
“We would review sample results, and if it is determined that there is no impact to those water supplies, we would then concur and allow them to turn those supplies back on,” Hamilton said.
According to Hamilton, DEP sampled the public water supplies on September 29th and October 6th. “At this point, there has been no indication of any impacts to either water supplies. We did inform Coudersport and Cole that it’s their decision to request turning the wells back on.”
DEP did not reveal test results of the samples from public supplies.
It’s unclear whether public water purveyors plan to notify consumers about the pumping, purging, testing and potential reactivation of the two water supplies.

Investigation Will Be Ongoing “For Some Time” But Kefover Says “No More Public Meetings”

DEP and JKLM representatives both made it very clear that the results of this investigation, likely the most costly water investigation to hit Potter County since fracking development began, is only “the first phase” of a full investigation that will continue “for some time.”
Meanwhile, JKLM has been issued two permits to begin construction at other well sites and several new drilling permits are currently being considered by DEP, despite the ongoing investigation.
Public Herald asked JKLM to clarify if the company will be aware of chemicals it uses before injecting them underground, JKLM’s Director of Regulatory Affairs Scott Blauvelt failed to answer the question. Instead he replied:
“In the process of drilling that surface or top hole section of the well-bore, we encountered several fracture zones.
“Those fractures are typically encountered. That’s how groundwater moves in this part of the country, so they’re not unanticipated.”
“The hammer bit oil that should have been used was not employed,” Blauvelt said. “More appropriately we might have used a vegetable-based oil.”
JKLM North Hollow Illegal Injection

Scott Blauvelt, Director of JKLM Regulatory Affairs and hydrogeologist, explains the plume of pollution from a JKLM fracking well pad to an audience at a September special meeting in Coudersport, PA. © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

Blauvelt added near the end of the meeting, “We knew this would be a complex undertaking and our objective was to deploy, fully deploy, a very, very experienced team of scientists and engineers to make sure that we were not leaving any stone unturned and that there was something lurking in the groundwater flow system that could be an impact to people.”
Blauvelt’s reassurance of detection and leaving no stone unturned is in contrast to JKLM test results shared with Public Herald. The documents, found in a DEP complaint investigation, indicated that JKLM tested for far fewer substances than the state in their investigation.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection explain their water sampling parameters during the North Hollow JKLM complaint investigation. © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

The room, filled mostly with state, industry and county officials, fervently applauded at the meeting’s end. After the meeting, God’s Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited President Dr. Peter Ryan echoed Blauvelt from JKLM, “I think they did a wonderful job in this presentation, and they’ve, I think, left no stone unturned.”
While Public Herald was eating lunch down the street from where the meeting was held, we were approached by Commissioner Susan Kefover. After a brief discussion about the ongoing nature of the investigation and the lack of time for public comment regarding such an important matter of public health, Save Our Streams PA co-founder Laurie Barr asked the commissioner if there would be another public meeting.
Kefover replied, “There will be no more public meetings.”
However, Melewskly explained to Public Herald that “If a citizen believes there’s been a violation of the [Pennsylvania Sunshine] act they can pursue the civil penalties in the law or the criminal penalties or both.” A citizen would be expected to pursue penalties within 30 days of an alleged violation, and, if successful, could force elected officials to hold a public meeting where public comment can be recorded.
“A person who thinks there’s been a violation would file a private criminal complaint which would be against the individual county commissioners and that would be filed with the District Attorney’s office. On the civil side, they could file a civil lawsuit in the court of common pleas in the county where the agency sits and they could ask the court for appropriate relief.”
Melewsky emphasized a citizen can file the complaint to the District Attorney’s office without an attorney, but suggested contacting the local bar association to find out what attorneys handle civil cases for filing with the county.

Joshua B. Pribanic, Public Herald Editor-in-Chief, contributed to this report

To read all three parts of the JKLM investigation published by Public Herald please visit our INVISIBLE HAND series page. If you’d like to make an end of the year donation to our work for cool rewards, you can do so by visiting The Public Herald Team wishes all of our readers a happy and healthy coming year. Thanks for reading and sharing our stories in 2015!

Melissa Troutman
Melissa Troutman
Melissa Troutman is a journalist, writer and vocal artist. She began investigating shale gas extraction in 2010 as a newspaper reporter in her hometown of Coudersport, Pennsylvania before co-founding the investigative news nonprofit Public Herald, where she now serves as Executive Director. Melissa co-wrote, -directed and -edited the documentary Triple Divide (2013), which she also narrates with award-winning actor Mark Ruffalo. Follow her on twitter @melissat22.

Anna C. Smith Black, 88, of Guy & Mary Felt Manor, Emporium, PA formerly of 1090 Old West Creek Rd., Emporium

Anna C. Smith Black
Anna C. Smith Black

Anna C. Smith Black, 88, of Guy & Mary Felt Manor, Emporium, PA formerly of 1090 Old West Creek Rd., Emporium died at the Manor, Emporium, PA Thursday (December 31, 2015).

She was born April 20, 1927 in Driftwood, PA a daughter of the late Isaac LeRoy and Ethel Anderson Beck. She married the late Reynolds Black. Anna's first husband was James Leo Smith. 

Years ago she worked as a waitress. While living in Florida she was involved with her church choir. She enjoyed making ceramic crafts. Anna was a member of St. Mark Catholic Church.

Son: Donald Smyth, Los Angeles, CA
Son: Daniel Smith, Florida
1 Granddaughter: Christina
Brother: Richard Beck and his wife Dottie, Emporium
Brother: Elwood Beck and his wife Joy, Youngsville, PA

Preceded in Death By
Parents: Isaac LeRoy and Ethel Anderson Beck
Husband: Reynolds Black who died in 2009
First husband: James Leo Smith who died in 1991
Brother: Frederick Beck in 2012
2 Sisters: Kathryn Rees and Cynthia Bierly

Visitation will be at the Barnett Funeral Home, 207 E. 4th St., Emporium, PA on Monday from 10:00-11:45 AM. Mass of Christian Burial will be Celebrated at the St. Mark Catholic Church, 235 East Fourth Street, Emporium, PA on Monday (January 4, 2016) at 12:00 PM with Rev. Paul S. Siebert, Pastor, as Celebrant.

Burial will be in the Newton Cemetery, Emporium, PA

Memorial Contributions may be made to the Guy & Mary Felt Manor, 110 East 4th Street, Emporium, PA 15834

Online Condolences may be placed at

BARNETT FUNERAL HOME, Inc. entrusted with arrangements.

Gun control measures expected from Obama

Dog owners beware!

Dog owners beware! 

Since our dog in Cyclone, PA on December 21 was shot, now two others have also been shot!!!

We're offering a reward for information to who did these terrible acts of cruelty!! 

Contact Rib and Carol Dennis 814-598-4736..814-588-0705..

Thank you

PA Gas Drilling Permits Issued

PA Gas Drilling Permit Issued in Hepburn Twp Township

Gas permit issued on 2015-12-28 00:00:00 to SENECA RESOURCES CORP for site WALTERS GAMBLE 44H 51716 in Hepburn Twp township, Lycoming county
Tags: PADEP, frack, permit, drilling, Gas

PA Gas Drilling Permit Issued in Hepburn Twp Township

Gas permit issued on 2015-12-28 00:00:00 to SENECA RESOURCES CORP for site WALTERS GAMBLE 43H 51715 in Hepburn Twp township, Lycoming county
Tags: PADEP, frack, permit, drilling, Gas

PA Gas Drilling Permit Issued in Hepburn Twp Township

Gas permit issued on 2015-12-28 00:00:00 to SENECA RESOURCES CORP for site WALTERS GAMBLE 40H 51712 in Hepburn Twp township, Lycoming county
Tags: PADEP, frack, permit, drilling, Gas

Shinglehouse Ambulance To E. Honeoye Street

At 11:16 AM on Saturday, Shinglehouse Ambulance and Medic 6 have been dispatched to E. Honeoye Street for a medical emergency.

Start The New Year With A Warm and Toasty Car.


Lakeview Health Care & Rehabilitation Center Seeking Part Time LPN

Westfield Dispatched To Motor Vehicle Crash On Route 49

At 12:03 AM on Saturday, Westfield Fire Dept. has been dispatched to an accident at the intersection of Route 49 and 249 in Westfield Township.

Friday, January 1, 2016

State Police Investigating Disorderly Conduct On Champlin Hill Road

Coudersport Ambulance To Station

At 10:55 PM on Friday, Coudersport Ambulance to station. Call center.

Roulette Ambulance To Railroad Avenue

At 10:25 PM on Friday, Roulette Ambulance & Medic 6 have been dispatched to Railroad Avenue for a medical emergency.

Morris Ambulance Dispatched For Land Rescue In Brown Township

At 8:46 PM on Friday, Morris Fire Department has been requested to send one ambulance and atv's to the Golden Eagle Trail in Brown Township for a land rescue.

Rew Dispatched To Rollover Crash On South Kendall Avenue

At 8:26 PM on Friday, Rew Fire Dept. & Bradford Ambulance have been dispatched to South Kendall Avenue near Crosby Minimart for a rollover crash in the roadway. One person has suffered a head injury. 2 occupants. Vehicle is smoking.

Roulette Ambulance To Pine Lane

At 8:20 PM on Friday, Roulette Ambulance has been dispatched to Pine Lane for a medical emergency.

Congratulations On Your Marriage Today

Anne Davenport-Leete and Jeffery Seager

Austin Dispatched To Accident Near Gas Well Road On Rt. 607

At 7:44 PM on Friday, Austin Fire & Ambulance have been dispatched to Rt. 607 near the Gas Well Road for a vehicle crash.

5 Reported Injured In Vehicle Crash In Jackson Township

At 7:35 PM on Friday, Several Fire & Ambulance companies dispatched to a vehicle into a tree on the Warner Road near the Middle Road in Jackson Township. Five injuries are being reported. Lawrenceville & Tioga are responding with ambulances.

Page Liked · 3 hrs · Edited ·

Article by Lonny Frost

On New Year's Day, Millerton fire crews and ambulances from other departments, including Lawrenceville were dispatched just after 7:30PM to a single motor vehicle accident in Jackson Township.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Middle Road and Warner Road in Millerton, PA.

Early reports from the crash scene indicated that a vehicle slid off the roadway and struck a tree. A motorist stated that there were five people injured.

Fire personnel arrived on scene around 7:44PM and confirmed that a vehicle struck a tree and there were 4 individuals outside the vehicle and 1 unresponsive person entrapped inside the vehicle.

FNN would learn that all 5 individuals in the vehicle were injured. Of those hurt, 3 were said to be family members and the other 2 were friends.

A family member told FNN that Rebbecca Bock, her husband, Jasen Bock and Jasen's brother were injured, along with two of their friends.

A medical helicopter was requested at the time of accident to transport Rebbecca Bock who was seriously injured in the crash. However, due to weather conditions two separate helicopters had to decline the request.

FNN was told that Jasen Bock, his brother and two friends were treated at Arnot Ogden Hospital. Jasen received a broken nose, bruised rib and a head laceration which required stitches. The other 3 men were said to have been released and only suffered bruises and will be sore for several days.

As for Rebbecca Bock, family told FNN that she underwent surgery and was put in a induced coma to help her body heal. Family did insist that doctors stated Rebbecca will be alright, as she needs time to heal at this point. Jasen Bock was released and is at his wife's side as she recovers. Family say that Rebbecca is recovering at the Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.

Jasen and Rebbecca Bock recently returned back to Tioga County, PA after living in Kansas. Jasen was raised in Tioga, Pa and Rebbecca is originally from Westfield, PA.

Bock family members have expressed their deepest thanks to the volunteer fire and rescue crews that helped their loved ones at the crash scene. Also they extended their heart felt gratitude to doctors and nurses at Robert Packer, as well as, thanking the public for all the prayers as Rebecca Bock recovers.

Please continue to keep those injured and recovering in your prayers.

Elkland Search & Rescue Dispatched For Missing 19 Year Old Male

At 4:34 PM on Friday, Elkland Search & Rescue has been dispatched to Parker Dam for a search for a missing 19 year old male who participated in a First Day Hike at the park.

Township Fire Dept. also dispatched. 

The teen was located at Sheetz in DuBois about 8 pm. He had gotten a ride and didn't know anyone was looking for him.

WTAJ has the story:



Gerard Burke
WELLSBORO—To listen to Gerard Burke is to hear the blues played as it was in the rural South before the electric guitar. Using resonator and standard acoustic guitars, finger picks and a brass slide, Burke transports his audiences back to the early 1900s, when the blues was a way of life, a form of expression for solo bluesmen traveling across the Mississippi Delta region and a source of entertainment for listeners.
On Friday, Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m., Burke will perform Delta blues in the Gallery at the Warehouse Theatre at 3 Central Avenue in Wellsboro. The atmosphere will be relaxed with seating at tables. Audience members are invited to bring their favorite beverages and snacks and enjoy the music. Popcorn and bottled water will be available.

Burke lives in Elmira, N.Y. where he was born and raised. After taking clarinet and saxophone lessons in elementary and junior high school, he taught himself how to play guitar and performed through high school and college. "My guitars had all been electric until 15 years ago when I received an acoustic guitar as a gift," he said. "That’s when I focused on Delta blues because it is a style that can be played by a solo artist using an acoustic guitar, is a reflection of African-American history and is not commonly performed in this area.”

He learned to play the blues by listening to records from the 1920s and 30s and from instructional videos on the Internet. “I like the blues because of its simple chord progressions that leave ample room for improvising. My repertoire includes my version of tunes by Son House, Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and a host of others. I also throw in a few originals.” At the Warehouse, he will take requests. “If I know the song, I will play it,” he said.

Burke has performed the blues across New York’s Southern Tier and Central regions.

His professional motto, ‘One man, one guitar’ is a description of his performance. When people hear blues, they usually think of a group of like-minded performers who share a love for the genre and love playing it even more. He gives listeners a glimpse into history through his unique brand of finger blues, played in the style of the old masters.

Since retiring from his “day job” at the end of January this year (2015), he likes to tell people he plays to supplement his retirement income. “Prior to that, playing music was a side job; I’m a former journalist.”

Admission is $10. For reservations or more information, call the Deane Center at 570-724-6220.

Lucinda M. “Cindy” LANE, 54, of Harrison Valley PA, a native of Knoxville, PA

Lucinda M. “Cindy” LANE
Lucinda M. “Cindy” LANE, 54, of Harrison Valley PA, a native of Knoxville, PA died Thursday, December 31, 2015 in Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Philadelphia, PA. 

Born August 26, 1961, in Wellsboro, she was the daughter of Carroll and Marie Spencer Doan. On August 1, 1981, in Butler Hill Baptist Church, she married Rodney E. Lane, who survives. 

A 1979 graduate of Cowanesque Valley High School, she was employed as a mail carrier by the US Postal Service. She and her husband owned and operated Lane Farms. 

Cindy was a member of God’s New Beginnings Church in Harrison Valley, Order of the Eastern Star #95 in Ulysses, and the Farm Bureau. 

Surviving besides her husband, Rodney, are: four children, Kristie Lane, Kelli (James) Lamoureux, J. Wade Lane, and Jacob Lane, all of Harrison Valley; six grandchildren; her mother, Marie Doan Field of Knoxville; four sisters, Michelle Miles of Knoxville, Yvonne (Brian) Zerby of Elkland, Brenda (Chris) Kirchner of VA, and Charlotte (Michael) Hall of VA; nieces and nephews; her caregiver, Lois Neal of Wellsboro; and a host of friends. 

She was predeceased by her father. 

Friends may call Sunday, January 3, 2016 from 2:00 – 4:00 and 7:00 – 9:00 PM at the Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA, where Funeral Services will be held on Monday at 11:00 AM. The Rev. David Brelo will officiate. Burial will be in Whites Corners Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Company, 112 E. Tannery St., Harrison Valley, PA 16927 or God’s New Beginnings Church, 104 East Main St., Harrison Valley, PA 16927. 

 Online condolences may be expressed at

Lake Effect Snow Warning issued January 01 at 3:14PM EST until January 02 at 12:00PM EST by NWS Buffalo

...Lake Effect Snow Warning In Effect Until Noon EST Saturday...
The National Weather Service In Buffalo Has Issued A Lake Effect snow Warning...
Which Is In Effect Until Noon EST Saturday.  
Locations...Southern Erie...Wyoming...Chautauqua...And Cattaraugus Counties
Greatest Amounts Across The Higher terrain Of The Boston Hills And Chautauqua Ridge.* Timing...Through Late Saturday Morning.* Accumulations...1 To 3 Inches Through The Evening...5 To 10Inches Tonight...And An Inch Or Less Saturday...Resulting In storm Total Accumulations Of 8 To 15 Inches In The Most persistent Bands Of Snow.* 
Winds...West 25 To 35 Mph.
* Visibilities...As Low As A Half Mile At Times.
* Temperatures...In The Upper 20S This Afternoon. Lows In The lower 20S Tonight. Highs Around 30 Saturday.
* Impacts...Localized Bands Of Lake Effect Snow Will Produce snow Covered Roads And Poor Visibility At Times.

1-2/9 Goodwill Drive Hebron Center Christian School

Exercise Class Schedule For Cold Memorial Wellness Center

Eldred Dispatched To Crash On Indian Creek Road

At 1:37 PM on Friday, Eldred Fire Rescue & Ambulance with Medic 16 for a one vehicle  crash with injuries at 1976 Indian Creek Road in Eldred Township. Crash is near NY line and into a tree. Caller indicates injuries minor.

St. Marys Dispatched To Crash On North St. Marys Street

At 1:24 PM on Friday, St. Marys Fire & Ambulance have been dispatched to the area of 761 North St. Marys Street for a vehicle into a pole with injuries.

PA Permit Violation Issued

PA Permit Violation Issued to Ohio Kentucky Oil Corp in Otto Twp, McKean County

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2015-12-23 to Ohio Kentucky Oil Corp in Otto Twp, McKean county. 78.56(a)2 - PITS AND TANKS FOR TEMPORARY CONTAINMENT - Operator failed to design, construct, and maintain at least 2 feet of freeboard in a pit or open top tank.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Derrick City, Bradford Ambulance Respond To Early New Year's Day Crash On Rt. 219

Foster Township Police Department was dispatched to a one car (rollover) motor vehicle accident on SR 219 (southbound) around 2:30am. The driver was located on Seaward Avenue and was identified as 27 year old Zachariah Fink of Bradford. At this time, the accident is still under investigation for any charges. FTPD was assisted at the scene by the Bradford City Police, Derrick City Volunteer Fire Department and Tuna Valley Towing.
#01-1/1/2016 – 1st run for 2016. This morning at 0236 hrs Station 11 and Ambulance 1 (City of Bradford) were dispatched for a one car mva on the Rte. 219 Southbound onramp w/ vehicle on its side. 

Bradford City PD were first on scene and reported the driver had fled the scene. Chief 11 was next on scene, established Rte. 219 command and had Station 11 Fire Police divert all traffic off of route 219 as well as requested Limestone (NY) VFD to divert traffic at the State Line. 

Crews from Rescue 111 and Engine 113 arrived and began cleaning up debris and fluids from the damaged vehicle. 

One patient was found on Seward Avenue and was treated by Ambulance 1. 

Tuna Valley Towing arrived and towed vehicle from scene. Station 11 units were on scene for approx.. 1 hr and were assisted by City of Bradford Ambulance, Limestone (NY) VFD, Bradford City PD, Foster Township PD and Tuna Valley Towing.

Star Hose Company Responds To First House Fire Of 2016

AWESOME AUSTIN: Austin Volunteer Fire Department

In the closing hours of 2015, the volunteers of the Austin Volunteer Fire Company would like to thank each and every one of you for the outstanding community support that we receive on a daily basis
We are an inconvenience with our traffic control, loud sirens and sometimes ill-temper. But we appreciate the opportunity to represent this community and fight on its behalf at a moment’s notice.

Fire Fighting and Providing the Best EMS service is a noble calling and the passion conveyed by our volunteers is at times speechless. Countless late nights, missed meals, forgotten birthdays and cancelled plans are but a few of the passion’s consequence.

2015 was good to us.

So as we ring in 2016, please be safe and have a Happy New Year!


12/31/2015 05:00 PM EST
Lake Forest, IL PharMEDium Services, LLC is voluntarily recalling 29 lots of 4mg Norepinephrine Bitartrate (16mcg/mL) added to 0.9% Sodium Chloride in 250mL Viaflex Bag and 3 lots of 8mg Norepinephrine Bitartrate (32mcg/mL) added to 0.9% Sodium Chloride in 250mL Viaflex Bag distributed to hospital customers. We have received complaints from hospitals for products that have been found to exhibit a slight discoloration in the admixture.

Coudersport Ambulance To East Second Street

At 12:35 PM on Friday, Coudersport Ambulance has been dispatched to E. Second Street for a woman ill.

Start The New Year With A Warm and Toasty Car.


Online Auction--Gas Field Specialists, Gas & Oil Field Supplies & Equipment

Lakeview Health Care & Rehabilitation Center Seeking Part Time LPN

Think About It

What Is Christmas?
by Pastor B.J. Knefley

What are your thoughts about Chrstmas? Is it just a holiday or is there a greater significance? This is how Linus summed it up in the 1965 classic “Charlie Brown Christmas”. “Fear not, for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you this day is born in the City of Bethlehem, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men'". That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

I know that some will scoff and ridicule Linus summation of Christmas, and that is their prerogative. In some cultures celebrating Christ and Christmas is punishable by death. It’s nothing new, Christians have been martyred for 2000 years. Christ himself was crucified and by religious people who believed they were doing right by God.

We don’t get much persecution in this country. Oh it’s true we might get made fun of or ridiculed, but that’s nothing compared to those who suffer physical persecution. Persecution is nothing more than bullying and taken to the extreme, death can result. Maybe the reason we don’t get much persecution is because we’re just religious. We don’t do the one thing that Christ asked us to do, go make disciples. We’re good at going to church and giving to worthy causes, but when it comes to really living out our faith, we fail miserably. Don’t agree? The next time you leave the parking lot at a church listen to the comments made about the other drivers. It’s hard to believe that these same people were just “praising” God.

What is Christmas? For many it’s a time to get, but for God, it was a time to give. Jesus said that there was no greater love than to lay down one’s life for another. Now that’s a gift and that’s what Christmas is all about. Think about it.