Black Forest Express
“Contrasts” Photo by Gerri Miller
Tuesday’s high, 38; Overnight low, 29; trace of snow
WED-PARTLY CLOUDY, HIGH 30
WED NIGHT-SOME SNOW SHOWERS POSSIBLE, LOW 11
THU (THANKSGIVING) -MOSTLY SUNNY, HIGH 17
THU NIGHT-CLEAR, LOW 10
FRI-MOSTLY SUNNY, HIGH 27
FRI NIGHT-LOW 16
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Today is the last day of PA’s regular bear season and more than 1600 have been taken so far…..PennDot has some new tools for holiday drivers….Burglars steal nearly $850 from McKean County home…One driver hurt in a three-vehicle collision Tuesday in Liberty Township and another hurt an hour later also near Port Allegany…
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Obituary: David Mensch, Port Allegany
After two days, 1,622 black bears have been harvested as part of Pennsylvania’s statewide bear season, according to preliminary totals released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Bears have been harvested in 54 counties during the statewide season. In many counties, the harvest is up substantially from 2017, when wind and rain impacted opening day success.
Three bears exceeding 600 pounds were taken on the season’s second day, Nov. 19. The top 10 bears processed at check stations over the season’s first two days were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 600 pounds or more.
The largest of those bears – a male estimated at 704 pounds – was taken in Goshen Township, Clearfield County, by Mickey L. Moore, of Clearfield, Pa. He took it with a rifle on Nov. 17, the season’s opening day.
The second-largest bear was a 697-pound male taken with a rifle by Scott Yorty, of Bloomsburg, on the Nov. 19, the season’s second day, in Chapman Township, Clinton County.
One of the more intriguing bear harvests was a 679-pound male taken at 5 yards with a .357 handgun by Jordan M. Tutmaher, of Warren. Harvested Nov. 17 in Farmington Township, Warren County, the bear appeared in a drive of a Christmas tree patch.
Other large bears taken over the season’s first two days – all taken with a rifle – include: a 681-pounder taken Nov. 17 in Coal Township, Northumberland County, by Robert L. Britton III, of Coal Township; a 680-pounder taken Nov. 19 in Chest Township, Clearfield County, by Douglas D. Routch, of Curwensville; a 623-pound male taken Nov. 17 in Newport Township, Luzerne County, by Corrina M. Kishbaugh, of Nanticoke; a 614-pound male taken Nov. 17 in Toby Township, Clarion County, by Thomas C. Wilson, of Rimersburg; a 608-pound male taken Nov. 19 in Upper Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, by Larry E. Pletcher, of Rockwood; a 607-pound male taken in Hazle Township, Luzerne County, by Brian P. Bonner Jr., of McAdoo; a 604-pound male taken in Young Township, Jefferson County, by Matthew J. Smith, of Punxsutawney.
The 2018 two-day preliminary harvest of 1,622 is an increase over the 1,310 bears taken during the statewide season’s first two days in 2017. In 2016, hunters took 1,893 bears over the same period.
The preliminary two-day bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 16 (13 in 2017); WMU 1B, 91 (43); WMU 2A, 5 (1); WMU 2C, 105 (63); WMU 2D, 102 (76); WMU 2E, 53 (20); WMU 2F, 174 (151); WMU 2G, 298 (263); WMU 2H, 55 (64); WMU 3A, 86 (88); WMU 3B, 103 (131); WMU 3C, 39 (63); WMU 3D, 115 (156); WMU 4A, 112 (50); WMU 4B, 49 (23); WMU 4C, 69 (28); WMU 4D, 103 (56); WMU 4E, 44 (19); and WMU 5A, 3 (2).
Archery and other early bear season harvest data is not included in the preliminary statewide firearms bear harvest. Collection of that archery and early bear seasons data remains ongoing.
The top bear-hunting county in the state over the first two days of the season was Clinton County with 102 bears. It was followed by Lycoming County with 87 bears.
Two-day preliminary harvests by county and region are:
Northcentral (561): Clinton, 102 (83); Lycoming, 87 (74); Tioga, 71 (93); Clearfield, 69 (40); Cameron, 54 (34); Potter, 48 (84); Centre, 40 (17); Elk, 39 (53); McKean, 38 (44); and Union, 13 (10).
Northwest (331): Venango, 65 (37); Jefferson, 59 (41); Warren, 46 (61); Forest, 45 (23); Crawford, 43 (19); Clarion, 33 (25); Butler, 15 (6); Erie, 14 (5); and Mercer, 11 (6).
Southwest (152): Somerset, 51 (31); Fayette, 32 (18); Indiana, 28 (5); Armstrong, 21 (25); Cambria, 13 (5); and Westmoreland, 7 (6).
Southcentral (228): Huntingdon, 70 (33); Bedford, 50 (24); Fulton, 32 (11); Blair, 17 (4); Juniata, 15 (7); Franklin, 14 (7); Perry, 13 (7); Mifflin, 10 (7); Adams, 3 (2); Snyder, 3 (2); and Cumberland, 1 (2).
Northeast (300): Bradford, 43 (25); Luzerne, 40 (28); Pike, 38 (83); Monroe, 36 (31); Wayne, 26 (44); Sullivan, 24 (49); Wyoming, 24 (21); Carbon, 19 (15); Columbia, 16 (6); Northumberland, 15 (1); Lackawanna, 12 (19); Susquehanna, 7 (16); and Montour, 0 (1).
Southeast (50): Dauphin, 25 (9); Schuylkill, 13, (5); Lebanon, 5 (1); Lehigh, 3 (0); Northampton, 3 (1); and Berks, 1 (4).
PennDOT HAS outlined steps the department is taking and highlighted tools available to drivers to make travel as safe and efficient as possible for the upcoming Thanksgiving travel period which is one of the heaviest traveled times of the year because of the holiday itself; bear season ending and deer season about to begin and “Black Friday” bargain hunters.
Thanksgiving travelers are encouraged to visit the “Historic Holiday Traffic” page at www.511PA.com which allows users to see how traffic speeds on the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2016 and 2017 compared to traffic conditions during a typical, non-holiday week. Users can choose their region and view an hour-by-hour, color-coded visual of traffic speeds to help them decide the best times to travel during the holiday. 511PA also offers real-time, traffic speed information for roughly 2,900 highway miles throughout PA.
PennDOT traffic management staff have analyzed this holiday data and identified locations and timeframes where congestion typically increases dramatically during the holiday and will take steps to try to alleviate congestion and improve safety. The department will also partner with police for increased, strategic enforcement of speed and impaired driving laws.
In the Harrisburg region, PennDOT identified consistent, increased congestion on the Sunday after the holiday near I-81 southbound at the I-78 split in Lebanon County. To attempt to ease this congestion, the department will:
- On the Wednesday before and the Sunday after the holiday, proactively alert motorists on Interstate 81 and I-78 north and east of the I-81/I-78 interchange of potential or actual delays using travel-time messages on electronic message signs;
- Proactively alert motorists of potential or actual delays using travel-time messages on electronic message signs throughout the Harrisburg region;
- Use highway advisory radio messages and electronic message boards to encourage travelers to reroute onto U.S. 22 westbound, which typically has excess capacity;
- Partner with PSP on concentrated traffic enforcement near this area and to actively clear disabled vehicles from the roadway; and
- Increase the hours and extend the coverage area that PennDOT’s State Farm Safety Patrol will be on duty and patrolling this section of highway.
In the Philadelphia region, staff identified I-95 in Delaware County, I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway), U.S. 1 near the Neshaminy Mall, and U.S. 202 and 422 near the King of Prussia Mall and the Philadelphia Premium Outlets as areas of increased congestion. To attempt to ease this congestion, the department will use electronic message boards to provide travelers with travel times to major roadways of interest and provide alerts about regional events impacting traffic during the holiday.
In the central region, congestion was identified at the I-80 Eastbound Exit 161 (Bellefonte) in Centre County on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. PennDOT will:
- On Wednesday before and the Sunday after the holiday, station maintenance staff within the I-80/I-99/Route 26 interchange in Centre County to manage traffic with a flagging operation during peak congestion;
- Proactively alert motorists of potential or actual delays using travel-time messages on electronic message signs;
- Activate electronic message signs to reroute I-80 westbound traffic to Exit 173 (Lamar), use Route 64 south and return to I-99 southbound if necessary; and
- Alert motorists of traffic conditions with highway advisory radio, electronic message signs and the 511PA service.
In the southwest region, traffic approaching the I-376 corridor east and west of the City of Pittsburgh on U.S. 19/Route 51, Route 28, U.S. 22, I-279, and I-79 will be alerted to I-376 conditions using electronic message boards. In addition:
- Messages regarding aggressive driving, impaired driving, and buckling up will be posted during the holiday;
- Travel time messages will be posted leading into areas of identified historic congestion; and
- Roadwork will be restricted on all interstates throughout the region.
To further increase traffic-data availability for traffic management staff, PennDOT has partnered with Waze, a real-time crowdsourced navigation app through which drivers share road conditions, to create a real-time dashboard through which staff can receive prioritized reports. As a member of the Waze Connected Citizens Program, the department can receive incident or roadway concern alerts faster and respond more quickly if necessary.
PennDOT will also remove lane restrictions and suspend construction projects wherever possible through the holiday period. Motorists can see remaining construction projects at www.511PA.com before they travel.
Motorists can check conditions and snow-plow locations on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 860 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
Several area fire departments were dispatched last night just before 7:00 pm to a “kitchen fire” on Skinner Creek Road in Liberty Township. Some departments were recalled enroute while others remained on the scene for some 90 minutes.
A burglary at a Liberty Township home this past weekend is being investigated by state police at Kane. Burglars did not have to use force to enter the home of a 24 year old Port Allegany woman between 11:30 am Saturday and 4:00 pm Sunday. Nearly $850 worth of household goods were taken including a 42” Sony TV, a 30 inch Vizio TV, white Xbox One, Xbox controller, Xbox games , a carton of cigarettes and a quantity of Suboxone pills. Anyone with information is encouraged to call state police at 814.778.5555.
State police at Kane investigated two separate accidents Tuesday afternoon in Liberty Township. The first, a three-vehicle pile-up happened at around3:43 on Route 6 just east of the Grimes Road intersection. Police did not release names saying the investigation has not been completed and charges may be filed. Two units slowed down for the drivers to make a left turn onto Old Bush Hill Road when a third vehicle plowed into the back of the middle unit sending it into the back of the first. The driver of the last vehicle in the line, was taken to UPMC OLE for treatment of minor injuries. The other two drivers were not hurt. About an hour later, one driver was hurt in a rear-end collision on Route 155 a quarter of a mile south of the Two Mile intersection. Police impact happened when R. J. Hardgrove of Portville, NY was headed north and slowed down to make a left turn, Richard Putnam of Lewistown, PA who was behind Hardgrove, tried to turn right to avoid a collision but his Ford Freestyle ran into the back of Hardgrove’s Jeep Wrangler. Putnam was take by ambulance to UPMC Cole for treatment of minor injuries while Hardrgrove escaped injury.