Black Forest Express



Thursday’s high, 40; Overnight  low 22







Game Commission says rainy weather contributed to low bear harvest last fall….Rep. Owlett is advising area college students that PennDot will be hiring a number of summer workers…Roulette woman charged with speeding for a crash in Portage Township Tuesday afternoon….Emporium man arrested for having drugs now faces gun law violations…Tioga County authorities looking for person or persons who dumped several household items on private land…..Kane State Police moving to Lewis Run later this month.

One of these years, Pennsylvania is going to break the 4,000-bear barrier for a third time in annual black bear harvests.

There was hope it would in 2018 with a bear population estimated at 20,000 and a fine start to the November firearms season. But unfavorable weather conditions dashed those hopes.

The 2018 bear harvest came in at 3,153 bears, 11th-best all-time, but also the lowest bear harvest in the past 11 years.

“I thought Pennsylvania was capable of producing a 4,000-bear harvest the past two years,” explained Mark Ternent, Game Commission bear biologist. “But we’ve had some bad breaks with weather events during our bear seasons the past two years.

“With better hunting conditions, I do believe hunters would have taken another 1,000 bears in each of the past two seasons,” he said.

A season-by-season breakdown shows hunters took 2,017 bears (1,862 in 2017) in the general firearms season, 699 (1,083) in the extended season, 424 (493) in the archery season, and 12 in the early season.

A rainy bear firearms opener hamstrung the 2017 harvest by hundreds of bears. The same thing happened on the 2018 extended bear season opener, which also is the opening day of firearms deer season.

Opening-day harvests are typically responsible for 50 to 60 percent of the bear harvest during that particular season segment. When weather interferes, the season’s take suffers.

Seventy bears weighing 500 pounds or more, including 20 weighing 600 pounds or more, were part of the 2018 harvest.

Bears were taken in 60 counties and 22 of Pennsylvania’s 23 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs).

Even with new bear-hunting opportunities – including an earlier bear archery season that overlapped with a week of the archery deer season and expanded extended bear seasons – the bear harvest failed to reach management objectives.

That unfulfilled harvest potential has generated interest to further increase bear-hunting opportunities. Proposals to expand the mid-October muzzleloader and special firearms deer seasons to include bears statewide; increase to two weeks the length of the statewide archery bear season and shifting it to the two weeks following the muzzleloader and special firearms bear seasons; and expanding four-day extended bear seasons to six days in most WMUs in the 2019-20 bears seasons could be adopted at the April Board of Game Commissioners meeting.

Pennsylvania’s all-time bear harvest high was recorded in 2011, when 4,350 bears were harvested. Hunters harvested 4,164 in 2005. All other bear harvests have been under 4,000.

While the 2018 harvest was down compared to 2017’s harvest of 3,438, harvest totals increased within the Game Commission’s Northcentral and Northeast regions.

The largest bear harvested in 2018 weighed an estimated 780 pounds. It was taken with a rifle in Howe Township, Forest County, on the second day of the general bear season in WMU 2F by Michael J. Rubeo, of Mercer.

A day later, a 708-pound male was taken by Timothy J. Weaver, of Dallas, Pa., with a rifle in Harvey’s Lake Borough, Luzerne County.

Other large bears taken during the state’s slate of bear seasons – all but one taken with a rifle – include: a 704-pound male taken Nov. 17 in Goshen Township, Clearfield County, by Mickey L. Moore, of Clearfield; a 697-pound male taken Nov. 19 in Chapman Township, Clinton County, by Scott Yorty, of Bloomsburg; a 688-pound male taken in the extended season in Stroud Township, Monroe County, by Phillip R. Counterman, of East Stroudsburg; 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 679-pound male taken with a handgun Nov. 17 in Farmington Township, Warren County, by Jordan Tutmaher, of Warren; a 666-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Snyder Township, Jefferson County, by Earl F. Timothy, of Brockway; and a 627-pound male taken Nov. 19 in Snyder Township, Jefferson County, by Wayne C. Kline, of Reynoldsville.

Tioga County finished with 166 bears to take the top county bear harvest. It was followed by Lycoming County with 159. Other top counties for bear harvests in 2018 were: Clinton, 158; Huntingdon, 142; Potter, 109; Luzerne, 105; Pike, 104; and Monroe, 103.

Final county harvests by region (with 2017 figures in parentheses) are:

Northwest – 517 (388): Venango, 96 (61); Crawford, 79 (40); Jefferson, 79 (55); Warren, 72 (109); Forest, 70 (35); Clarion, 52 (51); Erie, 29 (13); Butler, 26 (18); Mercer, 13 (6); and Lawrence, 1 (0).

Southwest – 261 (237): Somerset, 85 (75); Fayette, 58 (66); Indiana, 34 (11); Armstrong, 33 (36); Westmoreland, 26 (26); Cambria, 21 (21); Allegheny, 2 (1); Beaver, 1 (0); and Greene, 1 (1).

Northcentral – 989 (1,187): Tioga, 166 (214); Lycoming, 159 (252); Clinton, 158 (153); Potter 109 (161); Centre, 87 (93); Clearfield, 87 (66); Cameron, 67 (52); McKean, 67 (86); Elk, 54 (72); and Union, 35 (38).

SOuthcentral – 474 (383): Huntingdon, 142 (91); Bedford, 80 (57); Fulton, 58 (29); Blair, 44 (27); Juniata, 34 (41); Perry, 31 (44); Mifflin, 29 (43); Franklin, 26 (24); Cumberland, 12 (8); Adams, 7 (6); Snyder, 7 (13); and York, 4 (0).

Northeast – 775 (1,112): Pike, 104 (193); Luzerne, 105 (108); Monroe, 103 (82); Bradford, 96 (112); Wayne, 70 (156); Carbon, 60 (57); Sullivan, 53 (156); Susquehanna, 46 (66); Wyoming, 40 (70); Lackawanna, 34 (65); Columbia, 38 (29); Northumberland, 24 (16); and Montour, 2 (2).

Southeast – 137 (131): Schuylkill, 50 (47); Dauphin, 48 (49); Northampton, 17 (19); Lebanon, 10 (8); Berks, 8 (7); and Lehigh, 4 (1).

The final bear harvests by Wildlife Management Unit (with final 2016 figures in parentheses) were: WMU 1A, 23 (17); WMU 1B, 161 (103); WMU 2A, 7 (3) WMU 2B, 4 (4); WMU 2C, 193 (207); WMU 2D, 155 (131); WMU 2E, 75 (39); WMU 2F, 259 (232); WMU 2G, 422 (474); WMU 2H, 73 (87); WMU 3A, 222 (213); WMU 3B, 223 (457); WMU 3C, 134 (262); WMU 3D, 323 (417); WMU 4A, 218 (96); WMU 4B, 114 (130); WMU 4C, 168 (157); WMU 4D, 252 (296); WMU 4E, 105 (94); WMU 5A, 8 (7); WMU 5B, 4 (1); and WMU 5C, 10 (11).

While the overall harvest was down in 2017 and 2018, primarily because of weather events, those light harvests could lead to excellent bear hunting this fall, Ternent said. Prior to the start of the 2017 and 2018 hunting seasons, the statewide bear population was estimated at 20,000. It’s still appears to be holding strong.

Lower-than-expected bear harvests the past two years still produced a combined bear harvest of more than 6,500 bears, including more than a hundred 500-pounders, said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. Just 40 years ago, the agency had closed bear season to protect the resource.

State Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) reminds area college students that PennDOT is sponsoring an extensive Summer Maintenance Program that runs May through August 2019 to supplement the permanent workforce.

Students who are hired assist in completing summer maintenance work and sign upgrade services, provide maintenance and custodial services at roadside rest facilities, and perform laboring and flagging duties in maintenance organizations and highway worksites.

To be eligible for consideration, candidates must be at least 18 years of age, enrolled as a full-time college student for the fall 2019 semester and have a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license. The hourly rate is $13.56.

State police at Emporium have arrested 31 year old Jonathan Aikens for illegally possessing a firearm Authorities claim four guns were found behind a wall of paneling in a house on South Mountain Road in Shippen Township on February 4 “occupied by a convicted felon” Police did not say if Aikens is the convicted felon but he and 20 Kristi Jo Murray were arrested recently after police found illegal narcotics and related paraphernalia in their  home on South Mountain Road.

Coudersport based state police have charged Carrin Green of Roulette for speeding in connection to a one-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon in Portage Township. Green’s Toyota Scion slid off of Route 607 after encountering a patch of icy slush and hit a guardrail head-on. She was taken to UPMC Cole by Austin Volunteer ambulance   for treatment of minor injuries.

DUI charges are pending against a 38 year old Mainesburg driver after a one-vehiccle crash in Richmond Township, Tioga County on the afternoon of January 18. Police did not release the suspect’s name but said when they investigated, they determined to man had been driving his 2015 Dodge Dakota under the influence.

Unknown litterbugs dumped two televisions, a mattress, box springs, a tire and six bags of household trash on land in Jackson Township owned by Kevin Car of Millerton sometime since the first of the year. The property is located on the Switchback Road.

Kane based state police announce that the barracks will be relocating on February 26 to 130 Airport Road, Lewis Run Pa 16738. The new location is next to the Bradford Regional Airport and the station will be known as State Police—Lewis Run. The move will be completed by 6:00 pm that day and which time the new phone number will be in effect—814.368.9230 and the new fax number will be 814.368.9236. The old number 814.778.5555 will ring to the new barracks for about six monoths to allow the public time to adjust to the new phone number.

Thursday February 14, 2019

Black Forest Express


Wednesday’s high, 35; Overnight low, 21; ,50” of new snow

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A proposed state senate bill would require all motorist to clear snow and ice from the top of their vehicles….Penn State will present a webinar next week on a strategy for inspecting natural gas wells….The Potter County Water Quality group heard a report from JKLM this week….State police at Emporium say they found drugs in a home on South Mountain Road in early December…several vehicle crashes investigated by state police at Kane and Mansfield….

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

Senator Lisa Boscola has introduced Senate Bill 114, legislation that would require all motorists driving in Pennsylvania to clear snow and ice from the top of their vehicles before driving on our roadways. The legislation would apply to drivers of all motor vehicles, and it allows law enforcement officers to fine motorists who fail to do so. A similar bill introduced by Senator Boscola last session passed unanimously in the Senate but failed to pass in the House.

The bill is named “Christine’s Law,” after Christine Lambert, who was tragically killed on Christmas Day 2005 when a slab of ice from a truck traveling in the opposite direction flew off its roof and crashed through her windshield.

Senator Boscola says New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, along with many other states in the Northeastern U.S., have already taken the initiative of allowing law enforcement officers to stop and fine individuals for not removing snow and ice from the top of their vehicle. In a Senate Transportation hearing during the 2015-16 session, the PA State Police indicated their suport for the concept of this legislation.

Using a risk-based approach to prioritize natural gas well inspections will be the subject of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21.
The presentation stems from a partnership between Penn State, Colorado School of Mines and the University of Texas at Austin, which have formed an educational consortium called TOP Energy Training.
The webinar will focus on Colorado adopting a statute for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to transition to a risk-based strategy for oil and gas inspections in 2014. This strategy, implemented in March 2016, established relative risks in six parameters regarding population density, environment, site inspection history, years in service, historic spills and corrective action.

During the presentation, Mike Leonard, community relations manager with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, will discuss its risk-based approach to well inspections, covering the background, approach, implementation and outcomes thus far.

“This program has enabled the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to develop a more uniform inspection process by utilizing defined parameters to determine inspection priority,” he said. “By using a manageable, GIS-based model, we can obtain daily relative risk factor scores for all wells in the state.”

Leonard, who had 26 years of experience working in the oil and gas industry in well-completion and oilfield construction prior to joining the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in 2006, has worked as field inspector, field inspection supervisor, quality assurance professional and currently the community relations manager for the commission.

Online registration for the webinar is available at For more information about the webinar, contact Carol Loveland at 570-320-4429 or by email at

To learn more about TOP Energy Training and the educational consortium composed of Penn State, Colorado School of Mines and the University of Texas at Austin, visit

Members of the Potter County Water Quality Work Group invited two representatives of JKLM Energy to attend their Feb. 11 meeting for discussion of recent Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) citations of JKLM for violation of regulations related to waste water handling at shale gas wells. Scott Blauvelt, the company’s director of regulatory affairs, and environmental compliance consultant Terra Tokarz from WhipperHill Compliance LLC, presented an overview of Pennsylvania’s regulatory framework. They explained the circumstances that resulted in fines for spills of small volumes of water with heavy salt concentrations at well pads, and the subsequent clean-up. Blauvelt shared with members that JKLM Energy, which operates solely in Potter County, is projected to be the state’s leading producer of Utica Shale natural gas by late 2019.

Emporium based state police allege they found illegal narcotics and related paraphernalia at a home on South h Mountain Road near the Cameron County SPCA on December 1. 2018. As a result of the discovery, 31 year old Jonathan Aikens and 20 year old Kristi Jo Murray, both of Emporium have been arrested for violating state drug laws.
A Virginia driver has been cited for speeding in a crash Tuesday afternoon in Lafayette Township, McKean County. Kane based state police say Young Ly was going south on Route 219 just past the Wesline Road when his Toyota Camry veered across the highway and hit guardrail, then slid back into its own lane before stopping along the should, Ly was not hurt.

A couple of hours later, a Bradford man was slightly hurt when his Pontiac G6 slide sideways off of Route 6 in Wetmore Township, went over an embankment, rolled over onto its roof in the snow before coming to rest. The 19 year old driver was also cited for speeding. He was taken to UPMC Kane by ambulance. Both crashes occurred during a winter storm which brought sleet, freezing rain and snow to the area.

Mansfield based state police report a New Mexico motorist was unhurt when his pick up truck hit a concrete barrier on Route 15 in Richmond Township Tuesday morning. David Brigham of Albuquerque was going north when his Ford F-250 traveled off the side of the road and collided with the barrier. The truck continued for about 100 feet before stopping.

A S.Williamsport man was hurt in an ATV accident in Liberty Township Tioga County early Sunday morning. Joshua Dincher, 26, was operating a Honda TRX45OR on Mountain Top Road when the four wheeler went onto the east berm and rolled over. Dincher was first taken to Soldiers and Sailors Hospital and then was flown to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for treatment of head injuries. Police noted he was not using a helmet at the time.

State police at Mansfield claim a Wellsboro driver left the scene of a one-vehicle crash which happened early last Thursday morning in Middlebury Township. Their investigation revealed that Travis Dunham fled on foot after his Ford F-150 went off the east side of the Hills Creek Road and rolled over onto the passenger side.

Wednesday February 13, 2019

Black Forest Express




Tuesday’s high, 33; Overnight low, 27; 2” of rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow

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Obituary: Mark Richert, Pittsford, NY

Bendingo Road in Elk County has been closed due to a slide….UPMC Medical Staff donates $2500 toward this year’s pool fundraiser….Causer begins series of Property Tax/Rent Rebate Clinics…Roulette man accused of attacking victim during quarrel….Troopers investigate two weather-related accidents…..Port Allegany woman facing DUI charges…..

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

PennDOT is alerting motorists that Route 1004 (Bendigo Road) in Jones Township, Elk County was closed Tuesday. The closure runs from the Domtar Mill in Johnsonburg to the intersection with Route 1001 (Glen Hazel Road). The closure was made necessary due to a slide issue along the roadway.
A detour using Route 219 and Route 1006 (Rasselas Road) will be in effect. Route 1004 will remain open to local traffic only.
The closure will remain in place until PennDOT can open the roadway under a lane restriction/alternating traffic pattern condition. An update on the roadway’s status will be issued as changes occur.
PennDOT also encourages travelers to subscribe to PennDOT news in Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Juniata, McKean, Mifflin, and Potter counties at
For regional updates on Twitter, follow

The Coudersport Pool Committee says it  is extremely grateful to the UPMC Cole Medical Staff, for their generous donation of $2,500.00 for this year’s fundraiser. Over the past 2 years the Medical Staff has donated $5,000.00 to ensure the only pool in Potter County can open and teach the life skill of swimming. With UPMC Cole’s Medical Staff donations, donations from the community, donations from surrounding townships, corporate donations and state grants, the Borough of Coudersport was able to secure enough funds to rebuild the pool. Premier Pool Renovations Inc and the Borough crew have started building and May 24, 2019 is the anticipated completion date that has been set to open the new facility. Without your support this would not be possible.

This years pool Gala/ Fundraiser will be March 30th2019 at the Coudersport Volunteer Fire Hall at 6pm. Tickets for the event with be $20. The event will include Bones n’ Banter BBQ, Live Auction, Chinese Auction and much more.
All donations will go to the Pool Fund to ensure we can give free swim lessons to the children of PotterCounty and maintain the pool for generations to come.

Anyone wishing to donate auction items or contribute financially can do so with a tax deductable donation to the committee.

Rep. Martin Causer is hosting a series of PropertyTax/ Rent Rebate Clinics and the first one is being held today at the Kane Senior Center from 1-3p.

“People are always welcome to visit any of our three district offices in Bradford, Coudersport or Kane for assistance, but the clinics are designed to make it even more convenient,” Causer said. “There is no charge for the help we provide at the clinics or the office. I hope everyone will take advantage of this service.”
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. Eligibility income limits are set at $15,000 for renters and $35,000 for homeowners, excluding 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits. Also, applicants with veterans disability benefits and/or pensions do not need to declare that income.
Additional clinics are scheduled as follows. Residents are reminded to bring all necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately.
Wednesday, Feb. 20
Eldred Senior Center, 169 Main St., Eldred – 9:30-11 a.m.
Smethport Senior Center, 119 W. Main St., Smethport – 1-2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 27
Harrison Valley Community Building, 205 E. Main St., Harrison Valley – 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Emporium Senior Center, 213 ½ S. Maple St., Emporium – 9:30-11:30 a.m. (Appointments preferred. Call 814-486-3707.)
Port Allegany Senior Center, 216 N. Main St., Port Allegany – 1-2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 5
Bradford Senior Center, 60 Campus Drive, Bradford – 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, March 6
Oswayo Valley Senior Center, 106 S. Oswayo St., Shinglehouse – 9:30-11 a.m.
Coudersport Senior Center, 171 Route 6 West, Coudersport – 1-2:30 p.m.

For more information, visit or contact Causer’s district offices in Bradford (78 Main St., first floor, phone 814-362-4400); Coudersport (107 S. Main St., Room 1, phone 814-274-9769) or Kane (55 Fraley St., phone 814-837-0880).

A Roulette man has been arrested for simple assault and harassment for a domestic violence incident Sunday night on Oak Lane in the village. State police say when they responded to the call at around 10:30 pm they found 27 year old Joshua Oakley and the victim had been arguing when Oakley allegedly made threatening statements and broke some of the victim’s property.

Following a one day jury trial in  McKean County Cour, Julie Tipton of Rixford was convicted of Conspiring with her husband William Tipton to allow him to possess a firearm when he was prohibited by statute from possessing a weapon. The charge stemmed from an investigation by Otto Eldred Regional Police in September of 2016. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jerry Grill. Sentencing will be held on March 14, 2019. William Tipton pleaded guilty last May to related charges

A Shinglehouse driver was not hurt Tuesday morning in a weather-related accident in Hebron Township. Adam Fisher was going south on Route 44 and over-corrected when his 2006 Dodge Ram began sliding into the opposite lane. The truck hit an embankment and the rotated about 120 degrees before striking a ditch. The pick-up landed in a small unnamed creek and sustained disabling damage.

No injuries were reported for a Mansfield driver in another weather-related accident Tuesday morning. State police there report Isaac Vanloon was traveling north on a ramp attempting to enter the north bound lanes of Route 15. His Jeep Grand Cherokee slid off the east side of the snow-covered road and hit a traffic sign with the front end.

Troopers at Mansfield are still looking for a vehicle which collided with a privately owned light pole on the Thornbottom Road in Farmington Township between 6:30 and 10:00 pm last Thursday. The unknown vehicle went off the west side of the road while going north and continued on northward without stopping.

DUI charges are pending against a 70 year old Port Allegany woman who was stopped by state police early Monday morning on Route 155 in Liberty Township. Troopers say they pulled the driver over for a summary traffic violation and found she had been driving her 2012 Chevrolet under the influence of alcohol. Police are awaiting lab results before actually filing charges against the woman whose name they did not release.


Mark E. RICKERT, 73, of Pittsford, NY, died Saturday, February 9, 2019 in Wilmot Cancer Center, Rochester, NY.Born May 22, 1945, in Buffalo, he was the son of Ernest and Marjorie Roess Rickert. He received an AAS degree from Erie County Technical Institute and served honorably with the US Navy. He was employed as an electronics technician and computer technician in Rochester for many years.Mark enjoyed canoeing, camping, and traveling with Lynne in the RV. He enjoyed model engines and was a member of the Western New York Gas & Steam Engine Association.Surviving are: his companion of 27 years, Lynne Morley; two children, Lori Rickert of Cheektowaga and Eric (Jamie Popp) Rickert of Glendale, AZ; two brothers, Michael and Brian; and three nephews. He was predeceased by his parents.Friends may call at Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA on Friday, February 15, 2019 from 10:30 – 11:00 AM, with Funeral Services following at 11:00 AM. Military Rites will be accorded by members of the Potter County Honor Guard. Burial will be in Ulysses Cemetery.Memorials may be made to Leukemia Research at Wilmot Cancer Center or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be expressed at