Thursday November 1, 2018


Dreary Saturday  afternoon at Barnum Road Wetlands–Photo by Gerri Miller


Wednesday’s high, 66; Overnight low, 50; .39” rain

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Obituaries: Barbara Majane, Coudersport and Joseph Gormley, Sabinsville

Game Commission advises motorists that deer are on the move as we continue to report about car/deer and car/bear collisions…..McKean County Jury finds Grampian woman guilty of insurance fraud via arson…Gaines man accused of torching Galeton area camp…Weather-related accidents investigated…Westfield man accused of theft for failing to return hospital equipment….Vandals let horses escape pasture in Ulysses area…..

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As we’ve been reporting, car/deer collisions are increasing in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service Area. With deer becoming increasingly active, and daylight saving time soon to put more vehicles on the road during the hours when deer move most, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is advising motorists to slow down and stay alert.
Deer become more active in autumn with the lead-up to their fall breeding season, commonly referred to as the “rut.” Around this time, many yearling bucks disperse from the areas in which they were born and travel, sometimes several dozen miles, to find new ranges. Meanwhile, adult bucks more often are cruising their home ranges in search of does, and they sometimes chase the does they encounter.

Add to this the fact autumn sees a number of people taking part in outdoor activities that might flush deer from forested areas or briar thickets, and that deer are more actively feeding to store energy for winter months, and it quickly becomes evident why motorists might be more likely to encounter deer on roads.

When daylight saving time ends Nov. 4, there also will be increased vehicular traffic between dusk and dawn – the peak hours for deer activity.
“While the peak of the rut still is a couple weeks off, deer already have increased their activity and are crossing roads,” said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “While motorists – at any time of year – are well advised to stay alert and be on the lookout for whitetails while driving, it’s especially important now and in the coming weeks.”

Each year, insurance provider State Farm compiles a report on the likelihood drivers in each state will collide with a deer or other large animal, and Pennsylvania regularly is near the top of list. This year is no exception. In the 2018 report, released earlier this month, Pennsylvania remained third among states. According to the report, Pennsylvania drivers have a 1-in-63 chance of experiencing a collision with a deer or other large animal.

Drivers can reduce their chances of collisions with deer by staying alert and better understanding deer behavior. Just paying attention while driving on stretches marked with “Deer Crossing” signs can make a difference.
Deer often travel in family groups and walk single file. So even if one deer successfully crosses the road in front of a driver, it doesn’t mean the threat is over. Another could be right behind it.

A driver who hits a deer with vehicle is not required to report the accident to the Game Commission. If the deer dies, only Pennsylvania residents may claim the carcass. To do so, they must call the Game Commission region office representing the county where the accident occurred and an agency dispatcher will collect the information needed to provide a free permit number, which the caller should write down.

A resident must call within 24 hours of taking possession of the deer. A passing Pennsylvania motorist also may claim the deer, if the person whose vehicle hit it doesn’t want it.

Those taking possession road-killed deer also are advised of rules related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) that prohibit the removal of high-risk deer parts – essentially the head and backbone – from any established Disease Management Area (DMA). Those parts must be removed before the deer is transported outside a DMA. For DMA maps, the complete list of high-risk parts and other information on CWD, visit the Game Commission’s website at

Antlers from bucks killed in vehicle collisions either must be turned over to the Game Commission, or may be purchased for $10 per point by the person who claims the deer. Also, removing antlers from road-killed bucks is illegal.
If a deer is struck by a vehicle, but not killed, drivers are urged to maintain their distance because some deer might recover and move on. However, if a deer does not move on, or poses a public safety risk, drivers are encouraged to report the incident to a Game Commission regional office or other local law-enforcement agency. If the deer must be put down, the Game Commission will direct the proper person to do so.

To report a dead deer for removal from state roads, motorists can call the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation at 1-800-FIX-ROAD.

McKean County DA Stefanie Vettenberg-Shaffer tells Black Forest Broadcasting News, after three days of testimony at the McKean County Courthouse, Defendant Holly Gausman of Grampian, PA was convicted of all counts – 1 count of Arson Endangering Persons (endangering First Responders); one count of Arson Endangering Property (to gain insurance proceeds); two counts of Conspiracy to Commit Arson; Insurance Fraud and Theft by Deception. The District Attorney’s Office appreciates the verdict rendered by the jury. The jury listened to three days of difficult testimony. This case concludes a long saga that started when a neighbor reported a house fire on Tionesta Avenue in Kane on November 7, 2014. Arson presents a risk to innocent property owners and neighboring properties but the risk to first responders cannot be overstated. The firemen who responded to this fire were nearby at their station at the time the call came in preparing for their largest fundraiser. They responded to the fire and they risked their lives to ensure no one was trapped inside the house and to extinguish the fire while supporting the weight of their protective gear at approximately 70 lbs. The chief testified to the risk posed to the firefighters – risk of

Coudersport based state police have arrested 30 year old Joshua Blass of Gaines for arson. Troopers allege that on October 4, 2018, Blass set fire to a camp on the Robinson Road in Stewardson Township. The camp, owned by Robert Bosek of Galeton burned completely down. After being arraigned before District Judge Annette Easton on arson and related offenses, Blass was committed to the Potter County jail in lieu of $50,000 straight bail. Authorities are asking anyone who has information about the crime to contact the Crime Unit Member at the Coudersport barracks or the Fire Marshal Unit in Montoursville.

No details are available yet from Coudersport Borough police regarding a vehicle in the channel last night. Coudersport Emergency Services personnel responded to a location behind the car wash. Apparently at least one person was taken to the hospital. All units were back in service about two hours later.

An Oswayo man escaped injury in a weather-related mishap early Wednesday morning in Sharon Township. State police explained Jason Wind was going north on Route 44 when his Dodge Ram collided with a tree laying horizontally across the road. The truck was disabled and had to be towed from the accident scene.

No injuries were reported for a Schuykill Haven driver in another weather related accident. According to Kane-based state police, Jeffrey Lupkin was going east on Scaffold Lick Road in Liberty Township Tuesday evening when the undercarriage on his Ford 150 hit a boulder in a mud hole causing damage to the steering mechanism.

A 17 year old Eldred girl was not hurt when her Ford Mustang slid off of Route 44 in Sharon Township Sunday evening after she swerved to avoid a deer. The car stopped shortly after colliding with an embankment along the northbound lane.
A summary traffic offense has been filed against a Smethport driver following a one-vehicle crash Tuesday evening in Keating Township, McKean County. Troopers allege Mark Velenti was driving a Dodge 1500 and failed to make a left turn onto Reilly Hollow Road. The truck crossed the highway and came to rest in a ditch at the intersection.

Troopers at Kane claim a 28 year old Lewis Run woman left the scene without providing required information after her vehicle collided with the front of another vehicle owned by a 22 year old Bradford resident which was legally parked at her residence on Pine Run Road Wednesday afternoon. Police allege the driver left the scene but was later located. The parked unit had damage to the front bumper and headlight. Charges may be pending and if they are filed, the suspect’s name will be released at that time.

An elderly Johnsonburg driver and his wife escaped injury Tuesday night when their SUV hit a bear on Route 219 in Horton Township, Elk County. Dale Bliss, 73 was unable to avoid hitting the bruin which ran out onto Route 219 in front of his Hyundai Tucson. Bliss and his wife Catherine, 70, were using seatbelts. The bear succumbed to his injuries.

State police at Ridgway cited George Cheatle of Byrnedale for driving an uninsured vehicle which wrecked when he fell asleep at the wheel of his Chevrolet Blazer Wednesday morning. Cheatle was going east on the Fairview Road in Fox Township when he nodded off just before 9:00 am. He was not hurt.

A Westfield resident has been arrested for theft. State police at Mansfield assert 39 yerold Daniel White failed to return a Wrist Oximeter to Soldiers and Sailors UPMC in Wellsboro as of Octber 12. The equipment, valued at $1500 was due back on July 19, 2018.

Vandalism in Ulysses Township is being investigated by state police at Coudersport. Sometime Tuesday morning culprits unlatched the gate on a fence on the Emmel Road belonging to Aleixs Morse, allowing her nine horses to leave the field and walk onto the road. The crooks also cut Morse’s fence about 300 yards from the gate. Anyone with information is asked to call state police t 814.2714.8690. The section of fence is valued at $40.

Troopers say they are continuing to investigate a fisticuff at the Austin Area School at around 11:30 am October 18. A 17 year old Austin boy and a 16 year old Emporium boy became involved in a fight.

Barbara A. Majane, 90 of, Coudersport, PA, passed away Thursday (October 25, 2018) in the UPMC Cole, Coudersport.
She was born Oct. 31, 1927 in Mount Vernon, NY, a daughter of William L.and Anna T.Barnidge Lawrence. On August 9, 1958 in Mount Vernon she married Joseph A. Majane who died Nov. 28, 2000.
Mrs. Majane was a graduate Mount Vernon High School.Mrs. Majane was a bank teller, employed by Commonwealth Bank now Northwest Savings Bank.She was a member of St. Eulalia’s Catholic Church of Coudersport, AARP and volunteered at the Senior Center in Coudersport.
She is survived byOne Daughter; Linda Steadman of Matthews, NCTwo grandchildren; Clay (Valerie) Steadman of Wellsville, NY and Holly(Dan) Pulver of Dunedin, FL our great grandchildren; Isabella Gabriel, D’Aratgnan, and Zoey Steadman.Several nieces and nephews. .
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, two brothers and one sister.
There will be no visitation. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held On Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 at 11:00am in St. Eulalia’s Catholic Church, Coudersport, with the Rev. James Campbell, Pastor , as celebrant.
Memorials may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.Online condolences may be made at www.hartle-tarboxfuneralhomes,com
Arrangements are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Inc., Port Allegany.

Joseph A. GORMLEY, 64, of Sabinsville, PA, formerly of Philadelphia, died Monday, October 29, 2018 in his home. 
Born December 10, 1953, in , he was the son of Joseph Anthony and Joanne E. Sireci Gormley.
He was employed by MedPlast in Westfield as a mechanic.
Surviving are: his mother, Joanne Gormley of Hanceville, AL; a brother, James Gormley of Hanceville, AL; a sister, Kelly Ann (Shane) Goodno of Palm Springs, FL; nieces and nephews; and caregivers, Leigh Ann and John Leibig of Sabinsville. He was predeceased by his father in 1984. A memorial gathering will be announced on a later date.
Memorials may be made to the Patterson Cancer Center, c/o UPMC Cole, 1001 E. Second St., Coudersport, PA 16915.
Arrangements are entrusted to Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA. Online condolences may be expressed at