Smethport man accused of possessing hundreds of child porn images….Coudersport driver seriously hurt in one-vehicle accident Friday night….Weather conditions cause several accidents…Area fire departments encouraged to apply for Wildfire protection grants….

 McKean County

McKean County District Attorney Stephanie Vettenburg-Shaffer reports that charges have been filed against a Smethport man accusing him of viewing and/or possessing hundreds of images of child pornography. Daniel MERRICK (age 64) was charged by the Computer Crimes Unit of the Pennsylvania State Police with more than 800 images or videos of child pornography. Additionally, MERRICK was charged with Criminal Use of a Communication Facility (using an electronic device to commit the crimes). The complaint alleges the crimes occurred between July 6, 2022 and February 10, 2023. MERRICK was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge William Todd who set bail at $20,000 straight and was scheduled to appear for central court at the McKean County Courthouse on March 9. He was remanded to the McKean County Jail.

Potter County

A Coudersport driver was seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash late Friday night in Sharon Township. Troopers said Dakota Henry was going southwest on Canada Hollow Road when the rear end of his Dodge Ram 1500 slid counterclockwise. When Henry over corrected, the truck went off the road and collided with a tree. He was taken to Olean General Hospital. His passenger, a 16 year old boy was taken to UPMC Cole for treatment of his injuries. Henry was cited for speeding.

Icy road conditions are blamed for a one-vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon in Ulysses Township. State police report Nathan Jones of Coudersport  was going west on Route 49 when his Ford F-150 XLT slid off the road and went into a ditch and turned around.

No injuries were reported for a Ulysses driver whose SUV went off of Route 6 during a snowstorm Saturday morning in Pike Township. Hanna Kocher’s Chevrolet Uplander spun around after she overcorrected, and rolled onto its side before stopping.

Coudersport state police have just released details about a one-vehicle crash last Saturday February 18 in Allegany Township. A Laurel Maryland truck driver escaped injury when his international MV 607 went out of control on right turn on Long Road and rolled onto its left side. Cargo inside the box was blown out of the left side.

Elk County

A 17 year old Ridgway girl received minor injuries in a one-car crash Saturday morning on the Water Street Extension in that town. The teen’s Chevrolet Equinox went out of control due to wintry conditions, left the pavement and rolled over onto its roof after hitting a ditch.

Both drivers escaped injury in a rear-end collision last Thursday in Fox Township. Troopers at Ridgway explained the collision occurred when  Jennifer Divers of Falls Creek failed to notice  Joshua Longhi of Kersey abruptly stopped on Skyline Drive and her Ford Taurus ran into the back of Longhi’s Chevrolet Malibu. Divers was arrested for following too closely.


The Shapiro Administration announces that the application window is now open for grants to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities increase protection from wildfires. Grant applications must be electronically submitted through DCNR’s grant website by 4:00 P.M., Thursday, May 11, 2023. To expedite applications and decision-making processes, DCNR is accepting only online applications. Visit DCNR’s website for more information about the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grants.Local firefighting forces in rural areas or communities with fewer than 10,000 residents qualify for the aid, which is used for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires.  Grant recipients are selected based on vulnerability and adequacy of existing fire protection. The key objective is to better equip and train volunteers to save lives and protect property in unprotected or inadequately protected rural areas. Priority will be placed on projects that include the purchase of wildfire suppression equipment and protective clothing. Grants also may be used for purchasing mobile or portable radios, installing dry hydrants, wildfire prevention and mitigation work, training wildfire fighters, or converting and maintaining federal excess vehicles provided to them by the department. Local firefighting forces may receive grants up to $12,500. Aid is granted on a cost-share basis. Grants for any project during a fiscal year cannot exceed 50 percent of the actual expenditures of local, public, and private nonprofit organizations in the agreement. In 2022, nearly $763,000 was awarded to 122 volunteer fire companies serving rural areas and communities where forest and brush fires are common. The grant program, offered through DCNR and paid through federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, has awarded more than $13 million since it began in 1982.

COUDERSPORT, Pa.—Ruth Katherine Thompson, 100, of Coudersport, passed away on Thursday, February 23, 2023, at Cole Manor in Coudersport.Born on Tuesday, February 20, 1923 in Colesburg, Pa., she was the daughter of Edgar Harvey and Katherine Anna Mosch Tucker. On June 11, 1944, she married Robert A. Thompson, who predeceased her in 2001.Ruth had been employed at Eastman Kodak as a film inspector in Rochester, N.Y. for over 40 years before she retired to Colesburg, PA. She was a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church.Ruth is survived by many nieces and nephews.In addition to her parents and husband, Ruth was predeceased by two brothers, Franklin “Bub” Tucker and Edgar “Sonny” Tucker, of Coudersport; and two sisters, Marjory “Marge” Butz and Beatrice “Tootie” Clark, both of Coudersport.A memorial service and interment will be held at a later date determined by the family and will be held at the Woodland Cemetery in Hebron.In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Ruth’s name may be made to UPMC Cole Home Health and Hospice, 102-108 S. Main Street, Coudersport, PA 16915.Final arrangements are being conducted by Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, ShinglehouseTo express condolences, light a candle or share a fond memory of Ruth, please visit or the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home Facebook page.To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Katherine Thompson, please visit our flower store.

SHINGLEHOUSE, Pa.—Margaret J. “Peg” Salada, 88, of Shinglehouse, passed away on Friday, February 24, 2023, in Sena Kean Manor, Smethport, after a long illness.Born on Sunday, January 27, 1935 in Helvetia, she was a daughter of Andrew and Florence Reagle Sulin. On July 21, 1951 in Harborceeek, she married James L. Salada, who passed away on October 15, 2006.Peg attended the Helvetia Company School in Helvetia. She was first employed on the John Gresh farm in Girard. In June of 1971, Peg along with her husband and family, moved to Shinglehouse, owning and operating a dairy farm, Salada Farms. They also ran a trucking company, Salada Farms Express in Shinglehouse.Peg was a member of Grace Bible Independent Church in Shinglehouse. She was a member of the former Perry Highway Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary. She enjoyed being around animals, taking care of the farm calves, bottle feeding and medicating them. She also enjoyed riding her tractor. Her greatest love was her family.Left to cherish her memory are two sons, Bradley W. “Brad” Salada and Allen A. (Amber) Salada, both of Shinglehouse; three daughters, Gloria Jean (Robert) Boozer of Cochranton, Patricia Ann Salada of Bowman, SC, and Terri Lynn (Dave) Sliwinski of Stoneboro; seventeen grandchildren; forty-two great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; a brother, Edward (Bobby Ann) Sulin of DuBois; and several nieces and nephews.Peg was predeceased by her parents; her husband of 55 years; a son, James K. Salada; three grandchildren, Tyler Boozer, Mason Boozer, and Carrie Boozer; and a brother, Al Joe Sulin.Family and friends may call from 10am to 12 noon on Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at Grace Bible Independent Baptist Church, 392 Coon Crossing Road, Shinglehouse, where funeral services will follow at 12 noon with Roger N. Hain, pastor emeritus of Black Creek Baptist Church, and Pastor Phil Seely of Grace Bible Independent Baptist Church, Shinglehouse, officiating. Burial will be next to her husband in the East Sharon Cemetery, Shinglehouse.In lieu of flowers, memorials in Peg’s name may be made to the Shinglehouse Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 475, Shinglehouse, PA 16748; to the Shinglehouse Volunteer Ambulance Association, PO Box 98, Shinglehouse, PA 16748; to Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, PO Box 631, Buffalo, NY 14203; or to Grace Bible Independent Baptist Church, 392 Coon Crossing Road, Shinglehouse, PA 16478.

Peg’s final arrangements have been entrusted to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.

To express condolences, light a candle, or share a fond memory of Peg, please visit or the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home Facebook page.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margaret J. Salada, please visit our flower store.

Sunday’s high, 42; Overnight low 21