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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Ronald Bellan Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.

Ronald Bellan Jr.

Ronald Bellan Jr., died peacefully in his Virginia Beach, Va. home on February 5, 2019 at the age of 49. 

A Decorated Navy SEAL Master Chief who served in both Iraqi and Afghanistan theaters. Ronald Bellan, aka Bummer and Reaper 01, was born on February 26, 1969 in Pittsburgh Pa. to Ronald and Mary (Brooks) Bellan. 
US Navy Veteran

He graduated from Cowanesque Valley High School in 1987 and went on to join the U. S. Navy in January 1989. Upon Completion of training Ron completed many successful tours of duty with various Naval Special Warfare Units in the defense of our county. 

Ron founded the TV show Reaper Outdoors, Survive the Hunt in 2010. Traveling all over showcasing tactical, hunting and survival skills. In 2014 Ronald retired with full military honors in Virginia Beach Va. Continuing his life of service Ron was involved with the SEAL Legacy Foundation, a champion Veterans benefits and a Founding Board Member of Special Operations Wounded Warrior and the Anteris Alliance. 

He is survived by his FiancĂ©e Charlotte; Mother, Mary of Westfield; Brother, Jon and Errin of New Orleans; Sister, Ronda of New Orleans; Son RJ of NC; Daughter Stephanie of FL; grandchildren, Jackson and MadiLyn and niece, Abby. 

Ron was preceded in death by his father, Ronald in 2011 and his brother, Joseph in 1996.

A military service was held at the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek Chapel, 1160 D. Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23459 on Wednesday, February 13th at 1:00 PM.

Family received friends at the Kenyon Funeral Home, 222 W. Main St., Westfield on February 16th from 1- 4 pm.

The family has requested memorial donations to be made to Ron's two favorite charities: SOWW - Special Operations Wounded Warriors, and Seal Legacy Foundation,

Donna J. Runner, 62, of Bradford, PA, formerly of Oil City

Donna J. Runner

Donna J. Runner, 62, of Bradford, PA, formerly of Oil City, died Thursday (February 14, 2019) in the Bradford Manor, Bradford.

She was born Jan. 5, 1957 in Bradford, a daughter of Collin and Jean E. Lehman Parris, Sr. In 1982, in West Virginia, she married Hugh Runner, Jr., who died on May 5, 2017.

Mrs. Runner was a home maker tending to the needs of her family.

Donna enjoyed spending time with her family, camping, or just having fun outdoors. She was a member of the Full Gospel Church of Pleasantville, PA.

She is survived by:

Three sons: Ricky (Venessa) James, Hugh Runner, III, both of Oil City, PA, and Steven (Kassandra) James of Eldred

14 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren

One brother: Collin H. Parris, Jr. of Seneca, PA

Four sisters: Betty Crusan of Rouseville, PA, Mary Traphagen of Bradford, Dorothy “Duff” (Mark VanGorder, Jr.) Walton of Smethport, and Carol (Arthur) Jackson of Moreauville, LA

And several nieces and nephews, and cousins.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by one sister, Sandra King, and nephew, Ricky King, Jr.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday from noon to 1PM at Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Inc., 2 Bank St., Smethport, PA, where funeral services will be held at 1 PM with the Rev. Benjamin McCauley, pastor of the Full Gospel Church of Pleasantville, officiating. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery, Smethport.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the Full Gospel Church of Pleasantville, PA. Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Inc., Smethport.

Sarah J "Sally" Moate, 69, of 372 Bark Shanty Road, Austin, PA

Sarah J "Sally" Moate

Sarah J. “Sally” Moate, 69, of 372 Bark Shanty Road, Austin, PA passed away on Friday (February 15th, 2019) at UPMC Cole, Coudersport, PA surrounded by her loving family. 

A lifelong resident of Austin, PA she was born on December 6th, 1949 in Port Allegany, PA, she was the daughter of Woodrow and Norma Lentz. Sally married Art Moate on March 14th, 1986 in the First Baptist Church of Emporium, who survives.

Sally graduated from Austin High School in 1968. She retired from Emporium Specialties where she worked for many years. After retirement, she continued her practice as a cosmetologist. She was a member of the Austin United Methodist Church. She enjoyed gardening, her dachshund dogs and spending time with her family and grandchildren.

In addition to her husband Art she is survived by her daughter, Carrie (Dave) Burgett of Emporium; son, Bryan (Amanda) Moate of Austin; daughter, Angela (Bob) Zawatski of Austin; son, Justin (Erica Simms) Moate of Austin; seven grandchildren: Sarah (Vince), Charlotte, Chloe, Miles, Elizabeth, McKenzey Jo and Carrie; two sisters, Patty (Jack) Payne of Port Allegany and Ruby (Al) Stahl of Austin; several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Visitation with Video Tribute will be at the Barnett Funeral Home, 207 E. 4th St., Emporium, PA on Wednesday (February 20, 2019) from 4-7 PM. Funeral Service will be held at the Austin United Methodist Church, 26 Turner Street, Austin, PA on Thursday (February 21, 2019) at 11:00 AM with Pastor Steven Small, officiating.

Burial will be at the Mix Run Cemetery, Driftwood, PA

In lieu of flowers, consider donations to assist the family with final expenses.

Online Condolences may be placed at

BARNETT FUNERAL HOME, Inc. entrusted with arrangements.

Male In Custody After Intense Search In St. Marys/Kersey Area

At 9:52 PM on Saturday, Police in St. Marys report they have a male in custody at the top of Walnut Street. They called for a tow truck to impound his vehicle.

There have been no official statements as to what the male is wanted for but residents have reported intense police presence and a helicopter in the St. Marys, Kersey area for several hours.

The male is being taken to St. Marys Police Department. No further details available.

Injured Male Flown To Trauma Center After ATV Crash Near Bradford Friday

Bradford, PA Women's March 2019

Betty J. Thorton, 94, of 1525 Wetmore Road near Kane, PA

Betty J. Thorton

Betty J. Thorton, 94, of 1525 Wetmore Road near Kane, PA, died Friday afternoon, February 15, 2019 at St. Vincent Hospital in Erie.

Born January 3, 1925 in Kane, she was the daughter of Wayne and Esther Silvis McClellan. On December 4, 1971 in Kane, she married Donald A. Thorton, who died in 1997.

Betty had owned and operated Quality Cleaners and the Sportsmen’s Restaurant, both in Sheffield; then the former Longview Inn restaurant and bar near Kane. She was an Avon representative for over thirty years.

She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Kane, where she taught Sunday school. She had belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star in Kane, and was an avid reader.

Surviving are a son, John W. Grandinetti of Warren; daughters Rose Ann (J. Bruce) Ellis of Mercer, Gay (Matthew) Blau of Crooksville, Ohio and Debra German of Sheffield; grandchildren Marc Grandinetti, Stacey Bailey, Jennifer Ament, Jesse Grandinetti, Krystal Mergner, Elizabeth Ellis, Susan Felege, Rebecca Green, Bryan Blau, Blake Blau and Isabella Blau. Eleven great grandchildren also survive.

She was preceded in death, besides her husband and parents, by siblings Sara Leonard and Wayne and Ted McClellan.

Friends may call at the Ronald McDonald II Funeral Home, Inc. on Tuesday from 12:30 until 2:00, at which time a service will be held there with the Revs. Gay E. and Matthew S. Blau officiating. Interment will follow in Gibbs Hill Cemetery in Ludlow.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 112 Greeves St., Kane, PA 16735.

Sandra K. “Sandy” Green, 72, of Eldred, PA

Sandra K. “Sandy” Green
Loving Wife, Mother and Grandmother

Sandra K. “Sandy” Green, 72, of Eldred, PA, passed away on February 14, 2019 at the Lakeview Senior Care Facility in Smethport.

Born on September 10, 1946 in Olean, N.Y. she was a daughter of Gerald and Mabel Ours Crandell. On November 13, 1964 in the church in Olean she married Lewis C. Green, who survives.

Sandy had attended Otto-Eldred High School and was a lifetime resident of the Eldred area. 

She had been employed as a caregiver for many families in the area and was also employed at Fox’s Pizza in Eldred and had been matron on school vans for the IU-9 Unit. 

Sandy was a lifetime member of the Eldred Borough Fire Department Auxiliary. She loved yardsailing, Bingo, gardening and spending loving time with her grandchildren.

Surviving in addition to her husband are two sons, Joe (Tammy Brueser) Green and Steven Green, both of Eldred and two daughters, Laura Crowe of Prentisvale and Carrie (Sam) Babcock of Port Allegany and six granddaughters, Crystal (Justin) McDivitt, Amanda (Kevin) Robbins, Shelby (Zach) Austin, Alexandra (Mike) Dietz and Samantha and Cheyenne Heffner, one step grandson, Colby Babcock and three great grandchildren, Remy, Owen and Alya, and five brothers, Howdy (Bonnie) VanScoter and Lonnie (Diane) Ours and Randy (Tina) Ours all of Eldred and Dick (Sue) Ours of Ceres and Rick (Dorothy) Ours of Olean and four sisters, Judy (Joe) Warnick and Deb (Nick) Baker, both of Eldred and Claudia (Ray) Anthony and Brenda Menard, both of North Carolina. 

Sandy was preceded in death by two brothers, Max and Dennis Crandell and two sisters, Linda Crandell and Patty Jane Ours.

Friends are invited to attend a memorial service on Sunday (February 17, 2019) at the Frame Funeral Home, Eldred, with visiting hours from 1:00 P.M. until 3:00P.M. at which time the Memorial service will be held with the Rev. Daniel Manning, Officiating.

Online condolences may be made at

Shannon Miller "Speaking of Health" Community Event February 28 in Belmont, Ny

"Cooking for Health" being held on February 26 in Wellsville, Ny

Jay Township Dispatched To Jeep Crash On Mt. Zion Road

At 4:42 PM on Saturday, Jay Township Fire Department has been dispatched to a report of a brown Jeep overturned on Mt, Zion Road. Caller reports no one is around the vehicle.
5:07 PM--Jay Township units returning. No vehicle found.

Florence N. “Flo” Shelander, 71, of the Loop Rd., Eldred, PA

Florence N. “Flo” Shelander

Florence N. “Flo” Shelander, 71, of the Loop Rd., Eldred, PA, passed away on Friday (February 15th, 2019) at home surrounded by her loving family.

Born October 16th, 1947 in Scranton, Pa she was a daughter of Harold and Helen Astrauskas Hoke. On March 16th, 1968 in St. Raphael’s Church, Eldred she married Ken J. Shelander, who survives.

Florence was a 1967 graduate of Otto-Eldred High School. Along with her husband Ken, she had resided in Coudersport, Pa from 1975 to 1983 due to a transfer at work, they then returned to Eldred where she resided up until the present.

Mrs. Shelander had been employed by Pure Carbon in Coudersport and American Olean Tile Co., up until her retirement in 2008.

Flo was a longtime member of St. Raphael’s Church in Eldred, as well as their Altar Rosary Society and a founding member of their annual Soups-On! Program. She loved cooking, flowers and gardening, knitting, and especially spending time with her granddaughters.

In addition to her husband of over fifty years, she is survived by two sons, Mark (Kathy) Shelander and Ken M. Shelander both of Eldred; two granddaughters, Chelsea Shelander of Farmington, Conneticut and Alyssa Shelander at home; brother, Harold (Susan) Hoke of Troy, Michigan; as well as two sisters, Susan (Richard) Collins of Rixford and Paulette (Roger) Orlandi of Sayer, Pa.

Friends may call on Monday at the Frame Funeral Home, Eldred from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday at 11:00 am at St. Raphael’s Church in Eldred with the Rev. Thomas E. Brown as celebrant. Burial will follow in St. Raphael’s Cemetery, Eldred.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions be made to St. Raphael’s Altar Rosary Society or the American Cancer Society.

Online condolences may be made at

Pennsylvania Farmers Union Hosts their Annual Convention

Delegates Pass Special Orders of Business on Cannabis and Agritourism

One hundred family farmers and ranchers attended Pennsylvania Farmers Union’s (PFU) 2019 Convention last week, celebrating the organization’s success on the federal farm bill and in-state policy priorities. PFU delegates also participated in the organization’s unique, grassroots policy-setting process, and ultimately adopted the organization’s policy book and special orders of business to help guide the organization over the next year.

“We’re encouraged by the strong turnout at our convention this year, as it demonstrates the importance of our work and the enthusiasm farmers in our state have for bettering the state and the country,” said PFU President Heidi Secord. “As a voice for Pennsylvania’s farm families, our policy adoption process is the heart of our work. It guides our work as an organization, and ultimately influences what National Farmers Union brings to the table in Washington, D.C. This year is going to be a pivotal one for family farmers, and we want to be sure our members are well represented.

The Convention took place on February 6 at the Lancaster County Convention Center in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) Winter Conference. The convention highlighted a presentation by a dairy panel made up of progressive Pennsylvania Dairy farmers. Sarah Lloyd, a dairy farmer and Director of Special Projects for the Wisconsin Farmers Union, moderated the session. The panel focused on resilient dairy farmers and diverse markets. "It is very powerful to be able to hear from farmers from other states," said Sarah Lloyd,. "Pennsylvania has great examples of farmers that are finding new ways to connect with consumers and get a better price for their products. We have lots to learn from each other on how we can build markets that actually work for family farmers."

The Convention also featured a farm-to-table meal, provided by PFU members. Convention attendees heard remarks from Heidi Secord, PA State President, Abby Ferris, Membership Director at NFU, Rob Larew, Sr. Vice President of Public Policy and Communications at NFU, and Colin O’Neil, Legislative Director for the Environmental Working Group.

“The Annual Convention provides us an opportunity to highlight our work and our collaborations with the national Local Food Safety Collaborative and the Pennsylvania State Department of Agriculture, who provided funding for educational outreach and trainings for Pennsylvania family farms.” said Secord. “Our speakers provided valuable insights, important discussion points and focused our membership on pertinent issues for policy debates.”

As a means of providing the organization a prescriptive set of priorities, the convention adopted the following Special Orders of Business:

Pennsylvania Farmers Union: 2019 Special Orders of Business


Recent developments around cannabis would suggest that at some point in the near future, its prohibition will end both state and nationwide. It has been observed that when medical cannabis was approved in our Commonwealth, the barriers to entry to become growers of cannabis were virtually insurmountable to small, family farmers. The purpose of PFU taking a position on legalizing adult-use recreational cannabis is to ensure that the same mistakes and inequities inherent in the current medical cannabis growing industry in PA are avoided if and when adult-use recreational cannabis becomes legal. And to allow small family farms equal opportunity to diversify their operations and potentially remain solvent and farming by adding this crop to their operation, should they choose to do so.

To that end, PFU supports:

Creation of a regulated and fair marketplace for medical and recreational cannabis. One which is accessible to the small family farms that comprise the majority of PA agriculture and does not favor out of state companies, monopolies, or large, well-funded conglomerates. PFU opposes a “pay to play” system, which disadvantages small family farms and farmers.

A permitting and operating system which is inclusive of a diverse number and size of suppliers so that small Pennsylvania farmers, businesses, and their employees can benefit from the market and be compensated fairly for their time and effort.

Reasonable fees and capital requirements to obtain the permits necessary to grow, process, store, transport or sell (retail or wholesale) cannabis-based products

Cannabis being federally declassified as a Schedule 1 Narcotic, and reclassified as an alternative agricultural crop.

Allowing access to the federally insured banking system for profits from legal medical and/or cannabis-based businesses.

Reasonable and scale appropriate security requirements so not to impede involvement of small operators

Limiting the number of licenses that one person or entity can obtain (including wholly owned subsidiaries), to prevent monopoly.

A “microbrewery model” which would allow growing, processing, and sale by the same operator, at the same location, so that growers who choose to could participate in the retail market.


1) Equitable access to medical and adult use recreational cannabis markets for small, family farms, the revenue from which could preserve their ability to stay in business.

2) Limiting the number of licenses that one person or entity can obtain (including wholly owned subsidiaries), to prevent monopoly.

3) Reasonable fees and capital requirements to obtain permits

4) Reasonable and scale appropriate security requirements so not to impede involvement of small operators

5) Removal of prohibitions against funds from cannabis-based businesses to the federally insured banking system

6) Bringing to light the idea that, done fairly & properly, adult-use recreational cannabis in PA has the potential to reverse the plight of struggling small farms throughout our Commonwealth AND provide much needed tax revenue.

PFU supports the passage of legislation, policies, regulations, and guidance at the state level that would protect farms engaging in agritourism activities as a diversified income stream related to their farming activities.


To provide a clear and representative Pennsylvania state definition of agritourism activities that are supportive to the primary use of agricultural production and incorporate such definition into the definition of “agricultural operation” as used in the Right to Farm Act, Agriculture, Communities, and Rural Environment Act, and other State statues, laws, and regulations that provide legal protections for such “agricultural operations;”

To provide guidelines as to what types of reasonable health, safety, and welfare zoning restrictions that can be imposed on permitted agritourism activities;

To pass a limited liability statute in Pennsylvania for state defined agritourism activities that will provide an exemption from liability for an agritourism operation with all appropriate licenses and permits for the death or injury of a participant in an agritourism activity if:

The injury or death is due to the inherent risk of the activity

The operation utilizes statutorily provided for signage language that warns participants of their assumption of risk.


Game Commission continues to capture and tag deer for research in Bedford and Blair counties.

Despite the cancellation of activities to reduce deer numbers in parts of Bedford and Blair counties, Game Commission deer research continues in the area. The public will continue to see large nets in fields and small traps in wooded areas. These nets and traps are used to capture, not kill, deer for an ongoing research project.

Since 2018, the Game Commission has been capturing, marking, releasing, and tracking deer in the Bedford and Blair counties area. To date, more than 100 deer have been captured. Many of these deer are equipped with GPS units that record detailed movements. In 2018, nearly 300,000 deer locations were recorded.

Initial findings from the first year indicate substantial movement of deer within this area. Two 12- to 18 month-old bucks dispersed about 12 miles. Both deer crossed over Evitts Mountain. One of the young bucks followed the northern edge of the mountain onto Dunning Mountain while the other crossed over to Tussey Mountain. This buck followed the bottom of Tussey Mountain before heading to State Game Lands 41. An adult doe on Dunning Mountain traveled back and forth along a 5-mile stretch of the mountain.

In addition to tracking deer movements and the potential for CWD spread, marked deer also provide information on survival rates, harvest rates, and population abundance. These marked deer will be used to intensively monitor the effects of hunter-related CWD management efforts.

The 2019 field season to capture, mark, and track deer has been underway for over a month. This research program will continue as the Game Commission maintains its commitment to learn about the effects of CWD and implements CWD management actions.

“Since 2000, the Game Commission has employed recent college graduates from across the country to capture and mark deer each winter,” said Bret Wallingford, Game Commission deer biologist. “These young wildlife professionals have been critical to the Game Commission’s success in capturing nearly 6,000 deer for our research program.”

This type of research requires trained personnel but also public cooperation.

“The Game Commission’s deer research program has received tremendous support from hunters and landowners in all areas of Pennsylvania over the last two decades,” said Christopher Rosenberry, supervisor of the Game Commission’s Deer and Elk section. “The willingness of landowners to allow our capture crews onto their lands is important to learning more about our deer populations and effects of CWD.”

More information on capture methods can be found on the Game Commission’s White-tailed Deer page (

With deer capture activities still underway, sightings of large nets in fields, metal framed traps, and small bait piles will continue within the CWD study area. Tampering or interfering with these traps or nets puts the safety of deer and crews at risk and is against the law.

“It is understandable that the public may have questions about seeing large nets, traps, and small bait piles in this area,” said Roy Bucher, acting Southcentral Region Director. “However, interfering with these activities and increasing risk of injury to captured deer and crew members handling the deer will not be tolerated.”

Any questions or concerns should be directed to Game Commission deer biologists at

CWD is an always-fatal, incurable disease affecting deer and elk. In recent years in Bedford and Blair counties, the disease has been detected with increasing regularity. For more information on CWD, visit

PennDOT Announces Motorcycle Training Available Soon

From now through October, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation offers an exciting line of Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP) clinics focusing on developing operator proficiency free-of-charge to prospective, experienced, and new Pennsylvania riders who have a motorcycle learner’s permit or motorcycle license. Registration for the 2019 training season will open on Friday, February 15.

“Riders of all skill levels can benefit from the valuable skills and safety lessons learned through Pennsylvania’s free motorcycle safety clinics,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “The short amount of time spent in training translates into many safe miles of riding by helping riders sharpen reflexes and hone the split-second decision making required to safely operate a motorcycle.”

Developed by PennDOT’s program coordinator, Total Control Training Incorporated, PAMSP will offer five training syllabuses tailored not just to hone a rider’s knowledge, but to test their ability to physically manipulate a motorcycle properly. All training clinics are conducted under the supervision of certified instructors and are held at numerous riding ranges throughout the commonwealth. Three of the clinics – the Beginning Rider Clinic (BRC), the Intermediate Riding Clinic (IRC), and the 3-Wheel Riding Clinic (3WRC) - offer a pathway to earning a motorcycle license.

The 16-hour BRC, consisting of six hours of in-class instruction and 10 hours of practical riding, provides valuable training for new riders and gives experienced riders the opportunity to polish their skills and correct any unsafe riding habits they may have developed. Basic riding skills, shifting, stopping, swerving, turning and mental skills for hazard avoidance highlight the training. Students taking the BRC are provided with a motorcycle and helmet; however, students are responsible for providing all other protective gear. Act 84 of 2012 put into place the requirement that all permit holders under the age of 18 successfully complete the BRC to receive their motorcycle license.

The eight-hour IRC allows skilled riders to refresh their safety knowledge and hone their on-road skills. The IRC is based on motorcycle crash research and focuses on cornering, braking and swerving skills. Students taking this clinic must provide their own motorcycle and protective gear and provide proof of insurance, current registration and inspection for their motorcycle.

During the 3WRC, riders learn skills and safety strategies like those taught in BRC, except on a 3-wheeled motorcycle. As with the IRC, students must provide their own motorcycle and protective gear and provide proof of insurance, current registration and inspection for their motorcycle. The clinic is comprised of four hours of classroom instruction and four hours of riding.

Motorcycle learner’s permit holders who successfully complete the BRC, IRC or the 3WC will be issued a motorcycle license. Those who successfully pass their skills test on a three-wheeled motorcycle will be issued a motorcycle license with a “9” restriction, meaning they are prohibited from operating a two-wheeled motorcycle.

For those would-be riders who are still not sure if they want to ride, PAMSP offers the four-hour Introduction to Riding Clinic (ITR). This non-licensing clinic teaches students with a valid motorcycle permit the fundamental skills for operating a two-or-three wheeled motorcycle and progresses from classroom to street skills and strategies. Students are provided with a motorcycle and helmet.

Rounding out the PAMSP offerings is the Advanced Rider Clinic (ARC), a one-day clinic for experienced riders who want to enhance their safety skills through attitude and awareness. The clinic is designed to enhance a rider’s ability to avoid a crash through honing their decision-making abilities, riding strategies, risk management and rider behavior and choices.

In addition to the benefit of improving riding skills, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, many insurers offer discounts for motorcyclists who have completed safety courses, have memberships in certain associations, or have a safe driving record. Anti-lock braking systems help maintain control during sudden stops, and some insurers offer discounts for motorcycles with factory installed anti-lock braking systems. Individuals should check with their insurance company for any applicable discounts.

Riders and prospective riders are encouraged to tune in to a Facebook Live Q&A session on February 14 from 1:00 – 1:30 PM, hosted by PAMSP and PennDOT, on the Live Free Ride Alive Facebook page,

For more information or to enroll in a clinic, visit or call 1-800-845-9533. Potential riders who want a convenient way to study for their knowledge test can download the PA Motorcycle Practice Test app by visiting and searching the mobile apps for the Pennsylvania Motorcycle License Practice Test by clicking on the Apps link at the bottom of the page.

DEP Unveils Plan to Increase Electric Vehicle Use in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania could gain almost $2.8 billion in benefits from lower greenhouse gas emissions, help reduce respiratory disease, increase consumer savings, and create jobs if just three in 10 vehicles were electric, according to a plan released by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

“Interest in electric vehicles is increasing, but until now there’s been no statewide plan to foster a cohesive approach,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We developed research-based strategies for government and private planning and policy decisions to help increase the opportunities and benefits of electric vehicles across the state.”

Led by DEP, a coalition of public and private partners called Drive Electric PA analyzed barriers to electric vehicle use. They developed Pennsylvania’s Electric Vehicle Roadmap, recommending 13 strategies to increase use of these zero-emission vehicles.

Partners include PennDOT; the Pennsylvania Departments of General Services and Conservation and Natural Resources; the Public Utility and Turnpike Commissions; and about 100 industry, business, community, and academic partners.

Transportation generates 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Pennsylvania, according to DEP’s draft 2018 Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Governor Wolf’s Executive Order on climate change requires that 25 percent of state government passenger cars be replaced with electric vehicles by 2025. A few cities, such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and organizations are working to expand electric vehicle use locally. Increasing numbers of residents, businesses, and organizations are applying to DEP rebate programs for electric vehicles or charging stations. For example, in the past two years, Pennsylvania residents have received more than $3.3 million in rebates for 2,135 electric vehicles.

Still, there are only about 15,000 electric vehicles in the state, a fraction of the approximately eight million passenger cars registered.

By 2023, an electric vehicle will emit 50 percent less greenhouse gas than a gasoline-powered car, according to Pennsylvania’s Electric Vehicle Roadmap. The plan projects that if three in 10 cars and light-duty trucks were electric by 2033, Pennsylvania could enjoy almost $2.8 billion in benefits. Asthma and other respiratory disease related to air pollution would be lower. Jobs in electric vehicle manufacturing and infrastructure would be created. Consumers would save money through fuel efficiency and less maintenance. Utility ratepayers would have lower costs from improved efficiency in the electric grid.

But public knowledge of the benefits of electric vehicles is low. People are uncertain about the availability of charging stations and mileage range. Up-front cost may be high. There’s currently no statewide policy to increase adoption.

The Electric Vehicle Roadmap identifies seven strategies to start to overcome these barriers in just two years:

• Develop policy or legislation to encourage utilities to invest in transportation electrification and leverage their expertise and consumer relationships to improve the electric market in a way that maximizes benefits to ratepayers and society.
• Establish statewide electric sales goals.
• Expand DEP’s Alternative Fuel Investment Grants program for municipalities, businesses, and organizations.
• Increase investment in charging stations and public awareness of them.
• Create an education program and a cooperative program to support fleet purchases.
• Develop a consumer education campaign.
• Develop an outreach program to raise awareness of electric vehicles among car dealerships.

The plan recommends six other strategies for five years and beyond. Coalition members are now collaborating on potential ways to put the strategies in place.

Pennsylvania’s Electric Vehicle Roadmap was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, under State Energy Program Award Number DE EE0006994 through contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

No injuries for driver when his car caught on fire while driving

Liberty woman reported staples and nails in her driveway

John E. Housler, Sr., 84, of 151 E. Sixth St., Ext., Emporium, PA

John E. Housler, Sr.

John E. Housler, Sr., 84, of 151 E. Sixth St., Ext., Emporium, PA, passed away while surrounded by his family at his residence in Emporium, PA on Friday morning (February 15, 2019)

He was born June 10, 1934 in Emporium, PA a son of the late Kenneth and Delilah Smith Housler. On October 8, 1955 in First United Methodist Church he married Joan Ritchey, who survives.

Korean War Veteran
John served with the US Army during the Korean War. He was a member and twice the Past Commander of the VFW Post 6221, Emporium serving from 1960-61 and again from 1985-88. He was a member of the American Legion Post 194 and currently served as the Chaplain of both the American Legion and the VFW Clubs. He had been a Past President of the Cameron County Veterans Club. He was an active member of the Cameron County Memorial Detail and was a founding member and Chairman of Big Flag Committee. 

John enjoyed the outdoors, gathering firewood, hunting and enjoyed his Sunday night “tea time” at the VFW club with his friends. He was one of the founding members of the May Hollow Sportsman Club, in 1989, and served as Treasurer for many years along with doing a lot of the maintenance and upkeep of the facility. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church. 

John, more commonly referred to by his grandchildren as "Poppy" enjoyed spending quality time with his grandkids and great grandkids.

He is survived by his loving wife Joan Housler and three daughters, Cindy (Robert) Saline, Emporium; Debra (Walter) Gribble, Jr., Emporium; Diane (Terry) Perkins, Coudersport and one son, John (Kathy) Housler, Jr., Emporium; eleven grandchildren; nineteen great grandchildren, one great great grandson and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a son-in-law, Terry Perkins, two sisters, Audrey Bailey and Jennie Connelly.

Visitation will be at the Barnett Funeral Home, 207 E. Fourth Street, Emporium, PA on Tuesday from 2-5 PM. A Funeral Service will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday (February 20, 2019) at 11:00 AM with Rev. Joseph Short, Pastor, officiating followed by a Military Service accorded by the Cameron County Memorial Detail.

Burial will be in the Rich Valley Cemetery, Emporium, PA

Memorial Contributions may be made to the May Hollow Sportsman Club, 189 May Hollow Road, Driftwood, PA 15832 or to the VFW Post 6221 or to the Cameron County Memorial Detail, c/o VFW, 427 E. 3rd St., Emporium, PA 15834

Online Condolences may be placed at
BARNETT FUNERAL HOME, Inc. entrusted with arrangements.

Roulette Township office will be closed Monday

Roulette Township

The Roulette Township office will be closed Monday, February 18, 2019 in observance of President's Day.

Coudersport Dispatched To Crash on Greenman Hill with Wires Down

At 11:41 AM on Saturday, Coudersport Fire & Ambulance have been dispatched to the top of Greenman Hill on Rt. 44 N for a vehicle that has struck a pole with wires down. One injury reported.

Headline Harrisburg by Rep. Matt Gabler

Facebook Website Bio Latest News State Forms Photo Gallery Contact

Headline Harrisburg
Saturday, February 16, 2019
The latest news from the State Capitol 

This email includes:
  • Plenty of Questions About the Governor’s Budget Proposal
  • Advancing the Budget Process
  • On the Road Again
  • Attention Hunters

Plenty of Questions About the Governor’s Budget Proposal

Click here to view video.
I was recently interviewed about my thoughts on Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address before the General Assembly.

Please click on the video to watch a recording of that discussion.

Advancing the Budget Process

I am honored to be a first-time appointee to the House Appropriations Committee, which began budget hearings this past week.

Here is a sampling of some of the questions I asked: Hearings resume the week of Monday, Feb. 25, and will feature the departments of Corrections, General Services, Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Military and Veterans Affairs, along with the Liquor Control Board and the Gaming Control Board.

All hearings may be viewed on my website,

On the Road Again

Bendigo Road in Jones Township is now closed from the Domtar Mill in Johnsonburg to the Glen Hazel Road intersection due to a slide issue along the roadway.

The detour (Route 219 and Rasselas Road) will be in effect until PennDOT can open the roadway under a lane restriction/alternating traffic pattern condition. Route 1004 will remain open to local traffic only.

Attention Hunters

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is hosting a hunter training course on Saturday, March 23, at the Ridgway Rifle Club on Grant Road.

This course is required by law for all first-time hunters and trappers before they can purchase a license.

Please click here if you are interested in registering for the class.

Robert L. “Bob” Wilson, 85, of Hinsdale, NY

Robert L. Wilson 
“avid outdoorsman”

Robert L. “Bob” Wilson, 85, of Hinsdale, NY, passed away at home on Friday, February 15, 2019.

Korean War Veteran
Born on September 27, 1933 in Salamanca, he was a son of Raymond J. and Catherine B. Dervil Wilson. On July 19, 1965 in the Town of Olean, he married Helyn E. McGovern, who survives.

Bob was a graduate of Shinglehouse High School, Class of 1951. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army having served during the Korean War, attaining the rank of sergeant. He was honorably discharged in 1962. 

After serving his country, Bob was employed as a crane operator at the former Clark Brothers in Olean. He was then employed in construction with Labor Union #621. In 1979 he was elected as highway superintendent for the Town of Hinsdale, retiring in 2000.

He was a life member of Norton Chambers American Legion Post 1434 in Hinsdale, a life member of the Hinsdale Fire Department where he was a past chief and a past president, and a member of both the New York State and the Cattaraugus County Highway Superintendent’s Associations. 

 He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hunting and fishing. Bob enjoyed playing cards, especially with Monday Card Club. He was known for his quick wit and jokes. In his younger years, he enjoyed snowmobiling and golfing.
Surviving in addition to his wife are a daughter, Kathleen E. Wilson of Lowell, Massachusetts; a son, Robert L. Wilson, Jr.; two brothers, Roger Wilson of Orrville, Ohio and Randy Wilson of Warren, Pa.; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Bob was predeceased by a sister-in-law, Rosanne Wilson; and a brother-in-law, Charles “Chuck” McGovern.

Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service at 1pm on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, at the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, 118 South Union Street, Shinglehouse, Pa., with Mr. Monroe Bishop, lay speaker of the Hinsdale United Methodist Church, officiating.

Members of the Potter County Honor Guard will accord military honors on Tuesday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hinsdale Fire Department, 3832 Main Street, Hinsdale, NY 14743 or to Norton Chambers American Legion Post 1434, NYS Rte 16, Hinsdale, NY 14743.

Bob’s family has entrusted his care and cremation arrangements to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse, Pa.

To express condolences or share a fond memory of Bob, please visit

PA Gas Drilling Permits Issued in Jones Township

PA Gas Drilling Permit Issued in Jones Twp Township
Description: Gas permit issued on 2019-02-11 00:00:00 to SENECA RESOURCES CO LLC for site COP WT 2624 218HU 52894 in Jones Twp township, Elk county
Incident Date/Time: 2019-02-11 00:00:00
Tags: PADEP, frack, permit, drilling, Gas
PA Gas Drilling Permit Issued in Jones Twp Township
Description: Gas permit issued on 2019-02-11 00:00:00 to SENECA RESOURCES CO LLC for site COP WT 2624 217HU 52893 in Jones Twp township, Elk county
Incident Date/Time: 2019-02-11 00:00:00
Tags: PADEP, frack, permit, drilling, Gas
PA Gas Drilling Permit Issued in Jones Twp Township
Description: Gas permit issued on 2019-02-11 00:00:00 to SENECA RESOURCES CO LLC for site COP WT 2624 216HU 52892 in Jones Twp township, Elk county
Incident Date/Time: 2019-02-11 00:00:00
Tags: PADEP, frack, permit, drilling, Gas

Coudersport Ambulance To Cherry Springs Road

At 10:20 AM on Saturday, Coudersport Ambulance has been dispatched to Cherry Springs Road for a woman fallen with a head injury.

Burkhouse Public Auction Sunday, February 17th in Bradford, PA

Eulalia Township in Potter County, PA Seeking Sealed Bids

Full Time Yard Jockey Work Available In Bradford, PA

Cast Away Charters Now Booking 2019 Fishing Trips on Lake Erie Starting May 3rd

"The Right Stuff" Annual Winter Sale Starts Friday, February 15th in Coudersport, PA

McKean County Adult Probation Has Two Open Positions Available

Barbershop Show Saturday, February 16th At Coudersport High School

2019 Show: Lights! Camera! Radio?

Join The Allegany Good Time Singers for an entertaining afternoon as Gracie Lou learns about her Grandpa’s good o’le days, from his wild young antics to swooning over his love (grandma) in a Tale as Old as Time. Guests of all ages will delight in the music of yesterday and today, with a touch of Disney to warm even the youngest of hearts!

Rev Hoopes Trucking Expanding In Pennsylvania, New York & New Jersey; Many Positions Available

Hamilton's Maple Products & Pancake House Open For Breakfast Sat. & Sun.


Coudersport Area School District Seeking Applicants For Head Softball Coach

CASA holding Open Registration

Friday, February 15, 2019

Sinnemahoning State Park Programs This Weekend

Saturday, Feb. 16, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Coffee with the Birds - Enjoy a cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa, INDOORS, as we learn about the birds visiting the feeders just outside the classroom window and participate in a Project Feeder Watch bird count. No pre-registration is required for this free program. Wildlife Center Classroom

Saturday, Feb. 16, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Snowshoeing Basics - Snowshoeing is a great way to explore your favorite trails in winter. New to the sport? No problem! Park staff will help you get started. Snowshoes and instruction are provided. Pre-registration is required by Wednesday, 2/13. Meet in Wildlife Center Classroom

Robert L. “Bob” Wilson, 85, of Hinsdale, NY

Robert L. Wilson

Robert L. “Bob” Wilson, 85, of Hinsdale, NY, passed away at home on Friday, February 15, 2019.

Funeral arrangements, entrusted to the care of Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse, Pa., are incomplete and will be announced with a full obituary.

Novice June Johnson, 70, of Bradford, PA

Novice J. Johnson

Novice June Johnson, 70, of Bradford, PA, passed away unexpectedly in her home on Wednesday, February 13, 2019.

Funeral arrangements, entrusted to the care of Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse, are incomplete and will be announced with a full obituary.

Rhett William Bickford, Smethport, PA Born January 31, 2019, Passed Away February 3, 2019


Smethport—Rhett William Bickford was born January 31, 2019 and passed away peacefully in the loving arms of his parents on February 3, 2019 at UPMC Magee Womans Hospital NICU in Pittsburgh, PA. Rhett was the son of Garrett Bickford and Katie Kolivoski of Smethport.

He was called to the role of Guardian Angel to watch over his brother Owen and sister Olivia.

In addition to his parents and siblings, he is survived by paternal grandparents William and Deana Bickford of East Smethport and maternal grandparents Tammy (Ernie) Johnson and Robert (Cindy) Kolivoski of Smethport.

Memorials can be made to UPMC Magee Womans Hospital NICU, Pittsburgh, PA.

Arrangements were handled by the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Inc., Smethport.

Charles J. "Chuck" Gould, 84, of 26 Elm Street, Eldred, PA

Charles J. "Chuck" Gould

Charles J. "Chuck" Gould, 84, of 26 Elm Street, Eldred, PA, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, February 15, 2019, surrounded by his loving family, at Bradford Regional Medical Center.

Born January 28, 1935 in Hinsdale, NY, he was a son of the late Fredrick and Ida (Payne) Gould, Jr. He attended Ten Broeck Academy in Franklinville, NY.

On April 16, 2016 in Evan Memorial United Methodist Church, he married Susan Gibson Gould who survives.

Chuck worked at Olean Tile Plant, then Fibercell Trucking in Portville, NY. He took his Act 120 training at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, and became Chief of Police of Eldred. 

He later started Chuck's Residential Plumbing and Heating, serving the Bradford area. He joined the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford as the Maintenance Director, and he retired after 17 years, during that time he also worked part time as a Police Officer for Foster Township Police Department. He was appointed a Pennsylvania Constable in 2003, and worked thru 2017. In recent years he operated C&J Woodshop in Eldred.

He was a member of Evans Memorial United Methodist Church where he was a trustee, the Eldred Conservative Club, and the Fraternal Order of the Police. He was a former member of the First Baptist Church and former Chairman of the Trustee’s.

Surviving in addition to his wife Susan, is one son, Jeff (Stacy) Gould of Eldred, two daughters, Darcy (Bill Burlingame) Dwaileebe, of Olean, NY, and Jerri Martin of New York, nine grandchildren, Dale J. Bell, Josh Dwaileebe, Jeremy Dwaileebe, Dustin Gould, Jeffrey Gould, JaLiesa Gould, Makayla Gould, Jesse Gould, and Thomas Gould, two great grandchildren, Oasis Dwaileebe, and Kiyah Gould, two sisters, Rose Tyler and June Gould, and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by one daughter Debra Bell Howard, his wife, Dorothy (Doughman) Gould, two brothers, Edward Gould and Richard Gould, and one sister, Elizabeth Wagner.

Family will receive friends on Monday February 18, 2019, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm & 6:00pm to 8:00 PM in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc. 372 East Main St., and again on Tuesday from 10:00am to 11:00am in the Evans Memorial United Methodist Church where funeral services will be held at 11:00am with Rev. Ken Duffee, Pastor officiating. Committal services and burial will follow in in McKean Memorial Park.

Memorial contributions if desired may be made to the 4H McKean County Rough Riders, 17129 Rt 6, Smethport, PA 16749, Evans Memorial UMC, PO Box 427, Lewis Run, PA 16738, or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Tod J. Forquer, 54, formerly of Bradford, PA

Tod J. Forquer

Tod J. Forquer, 53, formerly of Bradford, PA, passed away on Friday, February 8, 2019.

Born on September 6, 1965 in Kane, he is a son of Larry and Joni Forquer of Bradford. Tod was a 1984 graduate of Bradford Area High School.

Tod lived his life to the fullest and enjoyed every moment. He enjoyed nature, camping, fishing and hiking. He made everyone he met feel like they were his best friend. 

He had many friends all over the world and will be greatly missed. He left a void in our hearts too large to ever fill. His soul dwells with our Lord while his earthly remains will find eternal rest in the many areas that he loved in our great country.

He is survived by his parents, wife Jing Humphreys, a stepdaughter Jasmine, and a brother Troy of Hamburg, NY.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 1 PM at the Harvest Community Church (PVC ) at 118 N. Fairview Main St., Petrolia, PA, 16050.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his honor to the charity of your choice.

Obituary submitted by Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc.

Donna J. Runner, 62, of Bradford, formerly of Oil City

Donna J. Runner

Smethport - Donna J. Runner, 62, of Bradford, formerly of Oil City, died Thursday (February 14, 2019) in the Bradford Manor, Bradford.

Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced in a full obituary by the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Inc., Smethport.

Roulette Ambulance Dispatched To Coudersport

At 5:27 PM on Friday, Roulette ambulance has been dispatched to North West Street for a male patient unresponsive.


Delaney Houtz, an interdisciplinary arts major from Myerstown, Pa., plays the Sousaphone in the new Pitt-Bradford pep band.
Athletic events and the music program at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford both have an added dimension this year – pep band.

The student band is a cooperative effort between the music program and the athletics department. The band has been playing at select Panthers basketball games this season and giving students a chance to pursue an activity they enjoy.

The last chance to see the pep band perform for this season will be at the men’s and women’s home basketball games Saturday. The women’s game starts at 2 p.m., and the men’s game begins at 4 p.m. in the KOA Arena.

The impetus behind the new group was Bret Butler, athletic director, who approached Dr. Josh Groffman, assistant professor of music, to ask him about starting a pep band as a way to add to the atmosphere at athletic events.

“I may not be musically inclined, but I do appreciate those who are,” Butler said. “Competing with music, the crowd, and everything going on isn’t just an experience for the athletes, but an experience for all who attend.”

That was about a year ago, when Groffman recruited a group of students and premiered the band at a home basketball game last year.

During the summer, Butler and Groffman met with Dr. Brad Townsend, director of bands for the University of Pittsburgh, when his band was in residence during its annual band camp on the Bradford campus.

Townsend offered used instruments (an especially appreciated addition since large brass instruments like Sousaphones can cost thousands of dollars) and music for the Pitt pep band’s repertoire of Pitt fight songs and “Sweet Caroline,” Neil Diamond’s 1969 hit that has become a standard at Pitt events.

When Kathy Thumpston retired as director of the Marching Owls at Bradford Area High School, Groffman and Jeff Guterman, chair of the Division of Communication and the Arts at Pitt-Bradford, saw an opportunity to provide the pep band with a dedicated director.

While Groffman leads the vocal ensemble and the music program at Pitt-Bradford, Thumpston is dedicated solely to the pep band. She arranged for the high school to donate some unused instruments as well.

This academic year the pep band played Midnight Madness to kick off the basketball season and during several of the weekend basketball games.

The Pitt-Bradford’s Admissions office was happy when the pep band formed since many prospective students had asked about band opportunities on campus.

“There is a huge marching band and pep band * tradition in the area, and we wanted to give the students a chance to continue their experience of playing music,” Groffman said. “And I think more music is always better.”

Groffman and Thumpston also support having students in the band who have not played an instrument before and will find a place for them.

The pep band itself is student-run, for the most part, Thumpston said, allowing students to expand their leadership ability by working together and assist in organizing their activities.

Next year, the band could branch out from basketball into other sports.

Butler said, “We would love to have the Pep band anywhere we can if the coach wants it.” Except maybe the golf course, but you never know.

“I think we are on the right track, and Kathy Thumpston and Dr. Groffman are doing a great job organizing this program.”

Thumpston taught instrumental music and directed the marching band at BAHS, where she also played saxophone in the band when she was a student. She ultimately served as drum major of the band before attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania to study music.

Olean General Hospital earns stroke designation

Olean General Hospital, member hospital of Upper Allegheny Health System and a Kaleida Health affiliate, has earned recognition by the New York State Department of Health as a designated stroke center.

Stroke center designation means that care for stroke patients at OGH meets strict guidelines as prescribed by the Department of Health. In order to receive stroke center designation, the hospital was required to demonstrate adherence to precise treatment protocols, which begin with emergency medical service (EMS) providers, to emergency department treatment and continue through patients’ entire stay, including discharge.

“The initiative to become a designated stroke center is part of OGH’s overall effort to provide the safest and highest quality care possible,” said Timothy Finan, president and CEO, Upper Allegheny Health System. “It is imperative that our stroke patients receive evidence-based care and treatment in the most timely fashion,” he said. 

“The collaboration and support of our EMS partners, including Southern Tier Health Care System, were instrumental in the hospital’s receipt of this important designation,” Finan said.
“Time is the critical factor in successfully treating stroke patients, said Vaijayantee Belle, MD, neurologist and medical director of the Stroke Center, OGH. “The quicker patients are seen and treated for stroke, the better the chances for recovery. As clinicians say, ‘time is brain,’” Dr. Belle said. “In treating stroke, minutes, even seconds, count.”

“The Stroke Center at Olean General Hospital provides immediate stroke care by staff who have trained specifically to care for stroke patients,” said Denise O’Neil, RN, director of the Stroke Center. “The clinicians on the stroke care team at OGH have undergone specialized training, which includes identification of the appropriate level of stroke care directed by neurologists and neurosurgeons,” she said. 

In addition, the OGH Stroke Center is directly linked to the only comprehensive stroke care center in Western New York, Kaleida Health’s Gates Vascular Institute. Because time is a critical factor in the treatment and recovery of strokes, this relationship allows enhanced consultation and diagnosis for patients at OGH from the region’s leading neurologists and neurosurgeons. When necessary, an expeditious transfer to the Gates Vascular Institute can be implemented in a seamless manner. 

Upper Allegheny Health System is the parent company of Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital, members of Kaleida Health, Buffalo. An integration of two prominent community hospitals in Southwestern New York state and Northwestern Pennsylvania, Upper Allegheny Health System’s goal is the enhancement of each hospital’s mission of care and service to their respective communities with the common goal of improving care, enhancing clinical programs and providing best-in-class service for various health needs.