Tuesday November 21, 2017

Frosty Morning on Fishing Creek-Gerri Miller

Monday’s high, 34; Overnight low, 24; No precipitation

To hear today’s forecast, click on arrow below.

First day bear harvest down…LIHEAP applications being accepted……Charges of DUI and Child endangerment pending against 43 year old driver…Galeton teen and Emporium man arrested for speeding after cars roll over…

Jeffrey C. “Jeff” Ness, (Coudersport)  & John C. Major, (Emporium)

To hear today’s podcast, click on arrow below.

The first day of Pennsylvania’s statewide bear season resulted in a harvest of 659 black bears, according to preliminary totals released Monday by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Archery-bear and other early-bear season harvest data are not included in this preliminary harvest for the statewide four-day bear season, which runs from Nov. 18 to Nov. 22.
Bears have been harvested in 49 counties during the statewide season so far.
The top 10 bears processed at check stations by Monday were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 535 pounds or more.
The largest of those bears – a male estimated at 700 pounds – was taken in Oil Creek Township, Venango County, by Chad A. Wagner, of Titusville, Pa. He took it with a rifle at about 8 a.m. on Nov. 18, the season’s opening day.
Other large bears taken in the season’s opening day – all taken with a rifle – include: a 648-pound male taken in Dreher Township, Wayne County, by Joseph D. Simon, of Newfoundland, Pa.; a 609-pound male taken in Abbott Township, Potter County, by Michael R. Neimeyer, of Spring City, Pa.; a 595-pound male taken in St. Marys Township, Elk County, by Stephanie A. Siford, of North East, Pa.; a 595-pound male taken in Charleston Township, Tioga County, by Zachery L. Martin, of Wellsboro, Pa.; a 586-pound male taken in Oil Creek Township, Crawford County, by Brian K. Baker, Titusville, Pa.; a 576-pound male taken in Homer Township, Potter County, by Kirby R. Kornhaus, of Jonestown, Pa.; a 561-pound male taken in Ross Township, Luzerne County, by Richard B. Kollar, of Shickshinny, Pa.; a 536-pound male taken in Dean Township, Cambria County, by Matthew J. Lidwell, of Dysart, Pa.; and a 535-pound male taken in Blooming Grove Township, Pike County, by Bradley S. Delikat, of Telford, Pa.
The 2017 first-day preliminary harvest is a decrease compared to 1,297 bears taken during the 2016 opener. Hunters in 2015 harvested 1,508 bears on the opening day.
The overall 2016 bear harvest was 3,529, the fifth largest is state history. In 2015, hunters took a total of 3,745 bears – the fifth-largest harvest all time. The largest harvest – 4,350 bears – happened in 2011, when preliminary first-day totals numbered 1,936.
Other previous first-day statewide bear harvest totals were 1,623 in 2014; 1,320 in 2013; 1,751 in 2010; 1,897 in 2009; 1,725 in 2008; 1,005 in 2007; 1,461 in 2007; and 1,461 in 2006.
The preliminary first-day bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 1 (9 in 2016); WMU 1B, 11 (24); WMU 2C, 18 (90); WMU 2D, 32 (37); WMU 2E, 5 (27); WMU 2F, 65 (145); WMU 2G, 129 (303); WMU 2H, 31 (45); WMU 3A, 43 (7); WMU 3B, 74 (95); WMU 3C, 44 (39); WMU 3D, 101 (105); WMU 4A, 29 (83); WMU 4B, 14 (51); WMU 4C, 20 (44); WMU 4D, 26 (102); WMU 4E, 14 (25); and WMU 5A, 2 (1). The top bear-hunting county in the state on the first day of the season was Tioga County, with 58. It was followed by Pike County with 55.
Opening-day harvests by county and region are:
Northwest (90): Warren, 22 (41); Clarion, 17 (19); Venango, 16 (35); Jefferson, 14 (29); Forest, 12 (38); Crawford, 7 (8); Butler, 2 (5);.
Southwest (23): Somerset, 8 (40); Fayette, 6 (21); Armstrong, 4 (6); Cambria, 4 (10); and Indiana, 1 (10).
Northcentral (263): Tioga, 58 (76); Lycoming, 47 (106); Clinton, 41 (97); Potter, 31 (65); Elk, 28 (43); Cameron, 20 (43); McKean, 16 (39); Clearfield, 12 (46); Centre, 5 (34); and Union, 5 (9).
Southcentral (57): Huntingdon, 16 (37); Bedford, 12 (42); Fulton, 9 (25); Mifflin, 5 (14); Franklin, 4 (10); Juniata, 3 (22); Perry, 3 (17); Adams, 2 (0); Cumberland, 2 (3); and Blair, 1 (15).
Northeast (211): Pike, 55 (34); Wayne, 32 (27); Sullivan, 24 (19); Monroe, 18 (27); Luzerne, 15 (37); Wyoming, 15 (8); Lackawanna, 14 (16); Susquehanna, 13 (20); Bradford, 10 (28); Carbon, 9 (12); Columbia, 4 (12); Montour, 1 (0); and Northumberland, 1 (1).
Southeast (15): Dauphin, 9 (16); Berks, 3 (1); Schuylkill, 2 (12); and Northampton, 1 (1).

The state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is now accepting applications for home heating assistance grants, according to Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint)
LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing their heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.
The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150 percent of the federal poverty level income. For example, the income limit for an individual is $18,090; for a couple, the limit is $24,360; and for a family of four, it is $36,900.
Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence as follows:
Cameron County, 411 Chestnut St., Emporium, 1-877-855-1824.
McKean County, 68 Chestnut St., Suite B, Bradford, 1-800-822-1108.
Potter County, 269 Route 6 West, Room 1, Coudersport, 1-800-446-9896.

For additional information or to apply online, visit www.RepCauser.com.

Charges of DUI and endangering the welfare of children are pending against a 43 year old driver stopped by Coudersport based state police Friday night in Abbott Township. .Troopers did not release the suspect’s name, but claim he was found to be impaired while driving at about 8:30 pm and had a 13 year old female passenger in his vehicle. Police promise details, including the suspect’s name will be released once the blood results are received.

A Galeton teenager has been cited for speeding following a one-vehicle crash Friday morning in West Branch Township. According to Coudersport based state police 18 year old Brittany Wallace was going too fast whenher Chevrolet Cavalier went off Germania Road on a left curve, slid across both lanes, hit an embankment and rolled over, coming to rest upside down. Wallace did not require treatment at a medical facility for her minor injuries.

A speeding charge has also been filed against an Emporium man whose sedan overturned Saturday afternoon in Portage Township, Cameron County. Troopers there relate Preston Housler was going north on Route 155 when his Chevrolet Impala hydroplaned in a rain storm on a left hand curve on the Sizerville road, spun across the road and collided with an embankment. Housler was not hurt.


Jeffrey C. “Jeff” Ness, 70, a longtime resident of Coudersport, passed away on Monday, November 20, 2017, in UPMC Hamot, Erie, after a short illness.
Born on June 21, 1947 in York, he was a son of Charles and Dorothy Gladfelter Ness. On April 11, 1972 in Newberry Township, he married Jacqueline E. “Jackie” Stoner, who survives.
Jeff was employed as a cook at his family’s business, the former Sam’s Motel, now the Laurelwood Inn, in Coudersport. He was also a cook at the former Northern Restaurant in Coudersport and the former Kay’s Restaurant, also in Coudersport. He retired from Twin Tier Linen in Coudersport.
He was an avid golfer, belonging to the Coudersport Golf Club and also enjoyed bowling.
Surviving besides his wife are two daughters, Wendy S. Stevens of Coudersport and Jennifer L. Ness of Bradford; four grandchildren, Karissa Ness, Bretton Harris, Hannah Larry and Derek Stevens; two sisters, Bonnie (Jervis) Lentz of Dover, Delaware and Peggy Slawson of Tampa, Florida; and several nieces and nephews.
Jeff was predeceased by his parents.
In keeping with Jeff’s wishes, there will be no public visitation. There are no other services planned at this time.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Jeff’s family has entrusted his care to Kevin J. Dusenbury, Funeral Director/Owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.
To express condolences or share a fond memory of Jeff, please visit www.virgillhowardfuneralhome.com


John C. Major, 45, a lifelong resident of Emporium, passed away with his loving family by his side on Friday, November 17, 2017, in Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, after a lengthy illness.
Born on August 26, 1972 in Coudersport, he was a son of James L. and Sandy M. Nelson Major. On May 15, 2010 on “Top of the World” in Driftwood, he married Juneann C. Butson, who survives.
John was a graduate of Cameron County High School in Emporium. He was employed as a machinist at the former Graftech of Emporium until retiring due to ill health.
John was very active in Boy Scouting. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout and was a proud member of the Order of the Arrow. He continued his love for scouting in his adult years as a scout leader and a volunteer at Camp Elk Lick. He was an avid hunter, hiker, and fisherman, having enjoyed tying his own flies. He enjoyed everything about the outdoors. He was an EMT serving with Cameron County Ambulance and was a volunteer with Mountaineer Search and Rescue in Emporium. John loved metal detecting, a hobby which helped him fight his battle with cancer, but his greatest love was his family.
Surviving besides his wife of Emporium, are his parents of Kersey; four children, Jaecey M. Major, Crissy J. Major, Lilli C. Major, and Brice L. Major, all of Emporium; a sister, Heather L. (Brenda) Major of Roseto; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
John was predeceased by his maternal grandparents, John and Arlene Nelson; and his paternal grandparents, LaVerne and Ruth Major.
A celebration of John’s life will be held at 11am on Saturday, November 25, 2017 at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, 1284 Sizerville Road, Emporium, with the Rev. Lionel Owen, pastor, officiating.
Flowers are gratefully declined. Memorials in John’s name may be made to Warren Semmel, Calumet Chairman, Boy Scouts of America, 307 South Mechanic Street, Smethport, PA 16749.
John’s family has entrusted his care to the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.
To express condolences or share a fond memory of John, please visit www.virgillhowardfuneralhome.com


Monday, November 20, 2017

Frosty Morning on Fishing Creek

Sunday’s high, 43; Overnight low, 28; 1.5” snow + 1.01 inches of rain over weekend

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BFB Headlines (Monday November 20, 2017)Bear hunters should be aided by snowfall…..”Click it or Ticket” campaign underway…PSP offering child safety seat checks..Potter County official reports opioid abuse increases…Items stolen from 17 storage units in Elk County..firewood also stolen….St. Marys woman arrested for shoplifting at Walmart…car vandalism investigated in Emporium…Bellefonte man arrested on drug charges in Cameron County….Next on-air report after 12:06pm today on www.blackforestbroadcasting.com

To hear today’s podcast, click on arrow below.

Pennsylvania’s four day bear season continues today and runs through Wednesday afternoon. Bear hunters in the region will no doubt be aided in tracking with a snowfall of an inch or more Sunday afternoon and evening. The Game Commission estimates Pennsylvania’s bear population at around 20,000, a high-water mark the population has held for the past two seasons, despite substantial harvests. In 2015, hunters took 3,748 bears, the third-best harvest ever. Pennsylvania’s all-time largest bear harvest occurred in 2011, when 4,350 bears were harvested. It was the first year the current four-day statewide firearms bear season format was used.

The national “Click It or Ticket” campaign occurs November 20- December 3, 2. If motorists are stopped for a traffic violation and are not wearing their seat belt, they can receive a second ticket and second fine. Pennsylvania State Police will be conducting high visibility enforcement and, as part of this Troopers certified as Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians will be conducting free car seat fitting stations. At these fitting stations, caregivers can have their car seats checked for suitability and can receive instruction in the proper installation of car seats and harnessing of children in those seats.

Check stations will be held this week at:
The Penn Dot building in Ridgway from 3p-7p Tuesday
Emporium fire hall from 3p-7p Tuesday
McKean County EMA building on Route 6, Smethport Wednesday from 3p-7p.

Motorists are reminded that Pennsylvania’s primary seat-belt law requires drivers and passengers under 18 years old to buckle up, and children under the age of four must be properly restrained in an approved child safety seat. Children ages 4 to 8 must be restrained in an appropriate booster seat. In addition, children ages 8 to 18 must be must be in a seat belt when riding anywhere in the vehicle.
Also, drivers and front-seat passengers 18 years-old or older are required to buckle up

During a presentation to Potter County Commissioners Doug Morley, Paul Heimel and Susan Kefover. Colleen Wilber, director of drug and alcohol services for the county, confirmed that abuse of opioids – including heroin – has eclipsed alcohol in referrals to her agency Wilber said while alcohol abuse remains a serious problem. There has been a significant increase in heroin overdoses in Potter County, some of them fatal.
Wilber pointed out that a larger proportion of clients than ever, some 89 percent, are being referred by the criminal justice system for addiction assessment and treatment. Others are through self-reporting or are being referred by Children and Youth Services. While opioid use and abuse is pervasive, she added, her office has noticed an increase in the diagnosis of methamphetamine as a primary drug of choice, as well as a consistent rate of chronic marijuana use. Wilber detailed a series of steps her agency and the legal system have been taking to address addiction issues, ranging from treatment courts and evidenced-based school programs, to prescription take-back boxes and making more effective use of data collection and analysis.

State police in Ridgway are investigating some recent thefts in Elk County .Burglars broke into 17 storage units on Shawmut Road in Horton Township on the weekend of November 4 and stole multiple items. And, several pieces of cut/split firewood were stolen from property on Montmorenci Road in Ridgway Township last Friday afternoon. The wood was owned by Joseph Lewis of Ridgway. Anyone with information about either crime is asked to call the Ridgway barracks at 814.776.6136.

Tricia Ann Joshnick, 28 of St. Marys was arrested for retail theft Saturday afternoon. According to troopers in Ridgway, Joshnick took $74.41 worth of merchandise from the Walmart Supercenter without paying for the items.

A criminal mischief taking place between 6:45pm Friday and 3:00 am Saturday remains under investigation by state police at Emporium. Vandals kicked a large dent into the left rear fender of a vehicle owned by Penny Carter while it was parked at her home on E. Second Street in that town.

Drug charges are pending against a 26 year old Bellefonte man who was riding in a speeding car on Sizerville Road in Portage Township on the evening of November 4. State police say the defendant was a passenger in a car which was pulled over for speeding. Authorities claim they smelled marijuana and alcohol in the vehicle and claim ¾ oz. of pot, marijuana wax, unidentified pills and paraphernalia were found after a consent search. They further allege the passenger admitted the items were his. The driver was arrested for speeding.

Friday November 17, 2017

Frosty Morning on Fishing Creek

Thursday’s high, 45; Overnight low, 31 ; .15” rain

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BFB Headlines (Friday, November 17, 2017) Potter County Commissioners adopt resolution regarding medical marijuana prescribed for jail employees…Scarnati is prodding House members to approve expansion of CHIP program….FAQ about medical marijuana….Bear weigh stations set up in Coudersport, Mt. Jewett and Wellsboro for season which starts Saturday….Annual Childrens’ gift program has begun in Cameron County…..next on-air report after 10:06 am today on www.blackforestbroadcasting.com

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As Pennsylvania moves closer to implementation of medical marijuana, (one of the dispensaries will be located in Bradford) the Potter County Commissioners last week approved a resolution regarding the possession and use of medical marijuana in the county jail by employees. The resolution calls for the medicine to be taken into the jail only if a dose of such medication is required to be taken during the employee’s scheduled shift; the employee must provide the sheriff written verification of the medical necessity and that no medications be taken into any area of the jail where inmates have access.
Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana bill was signed into law in April 2016 and Pennsylvania is now the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana. Federally, marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act and, technically, the federal government does not permit the legal use of medical marijuana at this time.
                                                                     Frequently Asked Questions:
Who is eligible for medical marijuana?
Certified patients with serious medical conditions who are under a doctor’s care may obtain medical marijuana from a state dispensary with their medical marijuana identification card.
What are the serious medical conditions?
The list of allowed medical conditions is as follows: cancer, epilepsy, intractable seizures, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective (i.e. severe neurological pain or severe pain that resists traditional pain management), damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indicated of intractable spasticity (i.e. this includes neurological damage which does not fit into typical chronic pain definitions, like chiari malformation), inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), neuropathies, sickle cell anemia and Huntington’s disease.
What is the process to receive medical marijuana?
Patients will receive a certification from a registered doctor who is able to prescribe medical marijuana that the patient is under their continuing care for a serious medical condition. Patients will then apply with the Department of Health (DOH) for a medical marijuana identification card and then with the identification card they may go to a state dispensary to receive their medication.

Do patients have to wait this long?
There is a safe harbor provision in the law that says during the first two years, parents can bring marijuana into Pennsylvania that was legally acquired in other states for the treatment of their children. It is important to remember that it is still deemed illegal by the federal government who could prosecute interstate shipments.
Will patients be able to smoke medical marijuana?
NO. Smoking medical marijuana is prohibited. Patients will be able to get their medicine in the form of pills, topical creams and oils, and they can vaporize. Commercial entities are also prohibited from selling edible forms; however, patients and caregivers are not prohibited from incorporating it into their own food.

Can children be prescribed medical marijuana?
Yes. A caregiver (parent, guardian or a person with approval from DOH) will be required to obtain an identification card in order to obtain medical marijuana for a child. Likewise, older patients can designate up to two caregivers when they apply for their identification card. All caregivers are required to have a medical marijuana identification card and may not be named as a caregiver for more than five patients.

Where can patients purchase medical marijuana?
Patients and caregivers with identification cards will be able to go to state dispensary locations (it will not be available at local pharmacies) to pick up their medicine. There may be up to 150 dispensaries across the Commonwealth. One of those will be located in Bradford, McKean County.

How much will it cost?
Because it is not covered by insurance (it is not considered an FDA-approved drug) the market will set the price. There are provisions in the law that would place a price cap if the price has grown “unreasonable or excessive.” There are also provisions in the law to provide assistance to those who demonstrate financial hardship.

Is there a sales tax on medical marijuana?
There is no sales tax. The application fees from growers and dispensaries, the renewal fees and the 5 percent excise tax paid by growers will fund the new medical marijuana system in Pennsylvania. After costs are paid for, remaining funds from the excise tax will be available for DOH operations related to medical cannabis, drug abuse and prevention programs, medical cannabis research, and local police departments.

Will all doctors be able to prescribe medical marijuana to anyone they want?
NO. All doctors wishing to prescribe medical marijuana must undergo a DOH-designed training course to understand which conditions and under what circumstances this medicine is appropriate. There are stiff penalties for doctors who over-prescribe or prescribe to ineligible patients.
(Source: Pennsylvania House of Representatives)

TheState  Senate approved legislation on last month that would extend the life of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), while prohibiting the use of funds for sex change procedures, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson). This legislation is currently awaiting action in the House of Representatives.
Scarnati explained that House Bill 1388 changes the expiration date of CHIP from December 31, 2017 to December 31, 2019 and makes a clarifying exemption to the program’s expiration if federal funding for the program extends beyond December 31, 2019.
The bill was passed by a bipartisan, veto-proof 37-13 vote by the Senate and was returned to the House of Representatives for concurrence on Senate amendments.
In addition to re-authorizing the program, the Senate adopted amendments that bar the use of CHIP money to pay for gender or sex reassignment surgery. These amendments are in line with current state regulations that prohibit the use of Medicaid funding for sex change procedures.
CHIP is supported by both state and federal funding and provides insurance coverage to uninsured children and teens (up to age 19) whose families earn too much to qualify for Medical Assistance, but cannot afford private insurance. There are about 175,000 Pennsylvania children enrolled in CHIP.
“I urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to protect both Pennsylvania children and taxpayers by passing House Bill 1388 with Senate amendments,” Scarnati stated.

Coudersport Vol Fire Dept will be the site for this years Bear Check Station for the following days and times….
*Saturday, Nov. 18th from 10a.m.-9p.m.
*Sunday, Nov. 19th from 10a.m.-12p.m.
*Monday, Nov. 20th from 10a.m.-8p.m.
*Tuesday, Nov. 21st from 10a.m.-8p.m.
*Wednesday, Nov. 22nd from 10a.m.-6p.m.
The Kitchen will be open Sat. Sun. Mon & Tue
Folks are invited to visit the fire hall ro check out the Bears harvested and enjoy a hot meal all proceeds from the kitchen go to the Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department.

Check stations will also be located at the Mt. Jewett Fire Hall on Route 6in McKean County and the Wellsboro Fire Company in the center of town, in Tioga County.

Trees filled with gingerbread cutouts appearing in Emporium this week. The annual Christmas Gift Program underway. The gingerbread cutouts include the age, and sex of a child plus suggestions on gifts for that boy or girl. You can pick the tags from the trees at the Emporium Post Office, Cameron County Chamber of Commerce, Citizens & Northern Bank or Northwest Bank.Unwrapped gifts are due back at those locations by Monday December 11. Questions can be text to 814-594-3737.

Meanwhile, the region’s traffic and accident scene has been reported quiet according to our checks earlier today with state police at Coudersport, Emporium, Kane, Mansfield and Ridgway. There were no other incidents to report.