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

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

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

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

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

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… on-air report after 10:06 am today on

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

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

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

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

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.
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

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,, 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.