Friday November 17, 2017

Frosty Morning on Fishing Creek

Thursday’s high, 45; Overnight low, 31 ; .15” rain
FRI-DECREASING CLOUDS, HIGH 45
FRI NIGHT-CLOUDY, LOW 31
SAT-SHOWERS ALL DAY, INCREASING, HIGH 42
SAT NIGHT-HEAVIER SHOWERS, LOW 34
SUN-SNOW POSSIBLE, HIGH 39
SUN NIGHT-CLOUDY,LOW 26

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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.

Thursday November 16, 2017

Frosty Morning on Fishing Creek

Wednesday’s high, 45; Overnight low, 33; .09” rain
THU-CLOUDY, RAIN & FLURRIES, HIGH 43
THU NIGHT-CLOUDY, LOW 29
FRI-PARTLY CLOUDY, HIGH 42
FRI NIGHT-CLOUDY, LOW 35
SAT-RAIN THROUGHOUT THE DAY, HIGH 52
SAT NIGHT-RAIN, LOW 33

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BFB Headlines (Thursday November 16, 2017) PA’s bear season opens Saturday with good prospects….Tioga County woman hit in the foot while leaving a driveway….Two Genesee men suspected of making drugs….Ithaca motorist unhurt in car/deer collision in Tioga County….Wellsboro man arrested in Potter County for driving under the influence of drugs…Next on-air report after 10:06 am today on www.blackforestbroadcastng.com

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

An abundance of fall foods will have a huge black-bear population on the move as hunters head out Nov. 18 for the opening day of Pennsylvania’s four-day statewide firearms bear season.
Penn’s Woods has been smothered by hard and soft mast this past summer and fall. Leaf-drop also was delayed by uncommonly warm weather into early November. Combined, these conditions have given bears reasons to stay out of dens, and plenty of cover to sneak about the Commonwealth.
With cooperative weather, particularly on the opening day, Pennsylvania is poised to take a run at topping the 2016 bear harvest of 3,529, which ranks as the state’s fifth best. Or maybe the harvest will be even higher.
Significant ice, fog, or rain, or a good dumping of snow during the season can hold the bear harvest down. Hunters have a harder time getting to or from their favorite hunting spots, the bears are harder to see, and overall participation generally drops.
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 number of hunters buying bear licenses is on pace to reach 170,000 to 175,000, which is where license sales have topped out the past two years. The record for bear license sales occurred in 2015, when 175,314 were sold.
More bear hunters is always good for bear hunting, because hunters afield will keep bears stirring about.
Sixty bears topped 500 pounds in the 2016 harvest. The largest was taken by Dusty Learn, of Home. He harvested his 740-pound bear at seven yards with bow-and-arrow.
But Mark Ternent, Game Commission bear biologist, believes Penn’s Woods hold bigger bears, at least 800-pounders.
However, it’s no small feat for a bear to reach that size when you consider it takes about nine years for a bear to reach 500 pounds.”
But it’s not all about the weight. Pennsylvania is No. 2 among all states and Canadian provinces in number of black bear entries in Boone & Crockett Club records, which are based on skull size. Ten percent of those book bears were taken in Pennsylvania.
The Commonwealth’s international standing as a premier bear hunting destination annually draws hunters from throughout North America and beyond. A population of 20,000 bears will do that.
But make no mistake, bears are a hard species to hunt. Their densities rarely exceed one bear per-square-mile, and bear hunter success rates typically fall between 2 and 3 percent, Ternent noted.
The key to taking a bear is tied to scouting just before season for areas with abundant fall foods and fresh sign of bear activity. Conducting hunting party drives through thickets also is effective.

Bears were taken in 58 of the state’s 67 counties in 2016. The counties with the largest bear harvests were: Lycoming County, 243 bears; Clinton County, 220; Tioga, 169; Potter, 149; Warren, 131; and Somerset, 116.
Requirements
Hunters who harvest a bear during the four-day general season must take it to one of the Game Commission’s check stations within 24 hours.

A complete list of requirements, check stations and their dates and hours of operation can be found on pages 43 and 44 of the 2017-18 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, which can be viewed online at www.pgc.pa.gov.

What you need
To bear hunt in Pennsylvania, a hunter needs a general hunting license, as well as a bear license.
Hunting licenses can be purchased online from The Outdoor Shop at the Game Commission’s website, but buyers should be advised that because bear licenses contain harvest ear tags, they are sent by mail rather than printed at home.

Buyers waiting until the last minute to purchase a bear license might be better off making a trip to an authorized licensing agent and picking up a license there.
Licensing agents can be searched by county at the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.pa.gov, under the Hunt/Trap tab.

Bear hunters must wear a minimum of 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material on the head, chest and back combined at all times during the four-day season. The orange must be visible from 360 degrees.
Don’t Forget
Hunters are required to carry photo identification while hunting.
Plan your hunt and hunt your plan; it ensures someone knows where you are.
Carry a cellphone in case of emergencies.(hopefully there will be a signal).
Make sure you’ve thought about how you’d remove a bear from the woods if you take one.
Use of baits and lures is illegal. If you find bait while scouting or hunting, report it to the Game Commission.
Always carry a compass and map in the big woods.

Mansfield based state police are investigating an accidental shooting occurring at around 3:00 o’clock Monday in Nelson Township. Robin Burch, 51, was going out a driveway on Barney Hill Road when she was shot in her foot. Anyone who can shed light on the shooting is asked to call state police at 570.662.2151.

Two 29 year old Genesee men are suspected of manufacturing drugs. Troopers at the Coudersport barracks allege when they responded to a house on Corcoran Road in Genesee Township Saturday afternoon for an unrelated incident, they obtained a search warrant which resulted in the discovery of drugs and paraphernalia. State police were assisted at the scene by the Clandestine Lab and the investigation is continuing.

The theft of a vehicle from a Keating Township residence is being investigated by state police at Coudersport. Erica Simms told authorities someone had taken a vehicle she owned between 12:30 and 7:30 am last Friday and was not authorized to use it.

Troopers are also probing the theft of two Moultrie trail cameras from a wooded area located along Camp Road in Clara Township between November 1 and 7. The equipment was owned by Stephen Trupe of Shinglehouse.

An Ithaca, NY motorist escaped injury Sunday evening when his car hit a deer in Lawrence Township, Tioga County. State police report Gao Xiang was unable to avoid colliding with the whitetail which was standing in his lane on Route 15. The deer died upon impact. Xiang was able to drive his Toyota Corolla to a controlled stop along the east berm.

DUI charges have been filed against a Wellsboro driver who was stopped by state police on the North Bingham Road just after 2:00 am October 31. Troopers claim Steven Meacham was found to be driving under the influence of a controlled substance which was not prescribed for him.

Wednesday November 15, 2017

See our editorial about lieutenant governor selection process on “Opinion” page.

Frosty Morning on Fishing Creek

Tuesday’s high, 38; Overnight low, 23; no precipitation
WED-MOSTLY CLOUDY, HIGH IN THE MID 40s
WED NIGHT-RAIN, LOW IN THE MID 30s
THU-CLOUDY, COOLER, HIGH IN THE LOW 40s

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Area municipalities awarded state grants for transportation, flood protection, recreation and water projects…Volunteers needed for Potter County drug advisory board…….Car/deer colllisions continue to plague motorists across the region…

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

Christmas is coming early for some area municipalities. State Senator Joe Scarnati and Rep. Martin Causer announce Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) has approved a total of $2,679,678 in state funding for nine local transportation, flood protection, trail, recreation and water projects in the 25th Senatorial District.Rep. Causer reports grants were approved Tuesday by the Commonwealth Financing Authority and were awarded as follows: Coudersport Borough, $300,000; Eldred Borough, $129,412; and Emporium Borough, $220,000.Each of the three communities is going through a levee certification process to ensure they meet standards set out by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.In the fifth phase of its certification process, Coudersport will use its grant to repair and upgrade a sewer line located at the toe of the Mill Creek Levee. The line must be encased in concrete because of its location.In Eldred, funds will be used to conduct a study, including subsurface borings to analyze the existing levee and subgrade conditions, as part of its levee system certification process.Emporium will use its funds to conduct an engineering study of the Sinnemahoning Creek Levee to ensure it meets or exceeds requirements for certification.
Projects authorized by a flood protection authority, the Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, or identified by a local government for flood mitigation are eligible for Flood Mitigation Program grants.According to Sen. Scarnati, Benezette Township in Elk County will receive an $18,000 grant (Sewage Facilities Program) This grant will provide assistance for an Act 537 special study to evaluate modifications and upgrades to the existing Benezette Township wastewater treatment plant. An engineering evaluation will include a description and justification of the improvements, operational changes and/or design modifications that are necessary to ensure permit compliance. The total project cost is $37,908.The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy – $40,000 grant (Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program).This grant will assist with development of a multi-use trail system on the Bennett Branch Forest property located in Jay Township, Elk County and Huston Township, Clearfield County. The trail system will incorporate forest management roads improved to accommodate hunting, hiking, biking and wildlife watching. Trail improvements also include improved surface and drainage of forest management road. In addition, there will be construction of a gathering area and installation of park signage. The total project cost is $49,802.
According to Scarnati, the more than $2.6 million in local funding is being distributed as state grants. The financing was approved at the November 14th CFA meeting in Harrisburg. Funding for the projects comes from money generated by the Marcellus Shale Impact Fee (Act 13 of 2012) and the Transportation Funding Plan (Act 89 of 2013).

Scarnati explained that in the 25th Senatorial District the following projects were approved across seven counties. Clinton County is also receiving a $285,266 grant for UPMC Susquehanna – (Multimodal Transportation Fund Program)This funding will assist UPMC Susquehanna with a streetscape improvement project in the City of Lock Haven. The project will include pedestrian safety enhancements to improve safety, mobility and accessibility to Lock Haven Hospital. These improvements are critical due to the hospital’s remote location in one of Lock Haven’s residential communities. Currently, residents walk on Cree Drive and other streets in the city due to the lack of sidewalks, which creates potentially serious conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians. Streetscape improvements along Cree Drive and Irwin Street include sidewalk installation, lighting and landscaping. The total project cost is $407,524.Brockway Bolrough in Jefferson County will receive a $1,000,000 grant (Multimodal Transportation Fund Program) . The project includes the realignment of an existing intersection at SR 219 and SR 28 as well as building a new 700 foot access road near this intersection that will help traffic flow to a nearby residential neighborhood. The area is experiencing increased growth due to two major manufacturing plants, Phoenix Sintered Metals and Owens Brockway Glass, retail establishments including Sheetz, and two recently established secondary training centers, Brockway Center for Arts and Technology and Butler Community College branch campus. High traffic volume is converging through the current intersection creating safety and traffic congestion issues. The borough proposes to improve access in and out of the area to improve safety measures for vehicles, bikes and pedestrian mobility. The total project cost is $3,304,370.

Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) has also announced a $450,000 state grant to support the ongoing development of a downtown transit center in Bradford.The grant will be used to help conduct final engineering for the project, prepare bid documents and fund construction of the transit center. Causer says the ultimate goal is to construct a regional transfer center for local and intercity public transit passengers and tour buses in Bradford’s central business district. The center would provide a location for buses to meet and transfer individuals; an indoor waiting area with eating, restrooms, ticket booths and bus system information; and a parking lot for buses and commuter cars.
The center is also part of a larger mission by the Area Transportation Authority of North Central Pennsylvania to better meet the needs of consumers in its 5,000-square-mile service area. Similar multimodal centers have already been constructed in St. Marys and Punxsutawney.
The grant was awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority through its Multimodal Transportation Fund.

If you would like to help stem the opiod epidemic sweeping across the region, here’s your chance.
The Potter County Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Advisory board will hold a meeting noon on Friday, Nov. 17, at Kaytee’s Restaurant in Coudersport. Board meetings are open to the public. To volunteer or learn more, contact Potter County Human Services at (814) 544-7315.
The board serves in a consulting role to Potter County Human Services in the delivery of prevention and treatment programs. Additional members are needed to give the board a broader cross-section of experience, viewpoints and expertise. The field has been changing dramatically in recent times with the growing abuse of prescription drugs, including rising incidents of heroin use. At the same time, misinformation that diminishes the potential negative effects of marijuana use has rapidly spread as part of policy debates over issues such as legalization and medical applications.

Coudersport Borough Manager Bev Morris tells Black Forest Broadcasting leaf pick up will end Thursday, November 16th.Residents having leaves after that, are asked to bag them.
The cause of a fire at a Smethport home Tuesday morning is being investigated by the state police fire marshal. Firefighters were dispatched at 8:04 am to a house on Rosehill Avenue. First responders witnessed flames shooting out of the side of the house. Family members were able to evacuate safely and there were no injuries. Volunteers were able to contain the blaze to an upstairs bedroom and attic. Members of the Norwich and Hamlin Township and Star Hose Company from Port Allegany assisted under the mutual aid system. The fire was declared under control at 8:43 am. The house was reportedly insured.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 14 for a Port Allegany woman charged with illegally entering a Roulette home this past summer. Authorities allege 20 year old Kayla Causer forced her way into the home of Mia Snyder on Pine Lane on the afternoon of July 15 to look for clothing .while her boyfriend Walker Smithmeyer held Snyder down. Snyder was able to free herself and ran to a neighbor’s house. Causer was released on $10,000 unsecured bail after being arraigned on charges of robbery, simple assault, defiant trespassing and harassment. Authorities did not indicate if Smithmeyer will be charged in connection to the incident.

                                                                  Obituary

Kenneth E. “Kenny” Easton, 67, a longtime resident of Coudersport and formerly of Shinglehouse, passed away on Friday, November 10, 2017, in Sweden Valley Manor, Coudersport, after a lengthy illness.
Born on June 6, 1950 in Coudersport, he was a son of Alfred E. and Catherine Hawkes Easton. On February 14, 1972 in Coudersport, he married Sarah L. “Sally” Moshier, who passed away on February 18, 2016.
Kenny was a graduate of Eldred High School and was a U.S. Army veteran having served during the Vietnam War, attaining the rank of sergeant. He was employed as a truck driver and logger for many years.
Kenny was a member of the Coudersport American Legion Post 192 and a member of the Sons of the American Legion Post 192 in Coudersport. He loved to travel, having traveled to every state except Alaska and Hawaii. He also enjoyed hunting. His greatest love was his family.
Surviving are three sons, Stanley R. (Stephanie) Easton of Coudersport, Steven R. (Maria) Easton of Brattleboro, VT, and Scott R. (Jennifer) Easton of Coudersport; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; two brothers, Elton “Deo” Easton of Florida and Al (Janet) Easton of Olean, N.Y.; four sisters, Charla (Richard) Dill, Ciela Garrison, and Georgiana Peavy, all of Colorado, and Gail (Clifford) Babb of Arkansas; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and his wife, Kenny was predeceased by an infant brother, Leonard.
Family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of life at 3pm on Saturday, November 25, 2017 at the Coudersport American Legion with Pastor Jim Eastman of the Deeper Waters Ministries, Emporium, officiating. Members of the Potter County Honor Guard will accord military honors following the celebration. A time of fellowship with a luncheon provided by the Legion Auxiliary will follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Kenny’s name may be made to Coudersport American Legion Post 192, 2 Buffalo Street, Coudersport, PA 16915.
Kenny’s family has entrusted his care to the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.
To express condolences or share a fond memory of Kenny, please visit www.virgillhowardfuneralhome.com
ease bag them. Thank you.