Thursday November 16, 2017

Frosty Morning on Fishing Creek

Wednesday’s high, 45; Overnight low, 33; .09” rain

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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

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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.

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

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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…

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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.


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
ease bag them. Thank you.

Tuesday November 14, 2017

Fishing Creek Morning Frost–Gerri Miller

                                      Monday’s high, 45; Overnight low, 29; sprinkles


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BFB Headlines (Tuesday November14, 2017)Rep. Causer reports two bills help PA vets…..Job Fair for Veterans will be held Thursday night in Bradford….NY state man arrested for arson, burglary and other charges in Potter County….Mailbox vandalism investigated in Potter and Tioga Counties…PSP help Campus police arrest an alleged drunk driver….Next on-air report after 12:06 pm today on

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We have just observed Veterans Day and Rep. Martin Causer tells Black Forest Broadcasting that two bills have been designed to help Pennsylvania Veterans. The “Stolen Valor Act,” which punishes those who try to receive money, benefits or other opportunities by impersonating a member of the military or someone who received a service medal. The legislation prohibits the fraudulent representation of military service or military decorations to obtain money, property, or other benefits. The new law makes it a crime to impersonate a soldier, a veteran of the armed services, or a recipient of a service medal or decoration in order to gain access to benefits, resources, or job opportunities that we set aside specifically for those who have served our countryPennsylvania has the fourth most veterans in the country, totaling more than 900,000.Those who get convicted of this misdemeanor could face fines and up to a year in jail.

Causer also tells us a veteran resource & job fair will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.Thursday Nov. 16 in the McDowell Fieldhouse at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Veterans and their families are invited to the free one-stop shop to learn about VA services and community resources available.A briefing will take place at 6 p.m. to introduce several key programs and services that will be available on site.

The Erie VA Medical Center, McKean VA Clinic health experts, VA eligibility and enrollment representatives, VA Behavioral Health Clinic staff, VA Women Veterans Health staff, Veterans Benefits Administration representatives, the Vet Center and McKean County and community veteran service officers will be on hand. Veterans are invited to take their resumes, as local businesses and the PA Careerlink Office will be on site. Veterans who have never enrolled in VA healthcare can also take their DD-214 and speak with an eligibility representative to see if they are eligible for VA services. The event is sponsored by the McKean County Veterans Services Office, Pitt-Bradford, the Erie VA Medical Center and PA Careerlink. For more information, contact Zach Pearson at 814-887-3241 or Byron Sutton at 814-363-9100.

Coudersport based state police have arrested a 22 year old Rexville resident for arson and burglary. Troopers claim Aaron Whitsell entered an RV on Grover Hollow Road in Genesee Township at around 7:30 am November 6 and while inside caused a small explosion catching the RV on fire. Whitsell was allegedly found near the scene and was committed to the Potter County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail after being arraigned before District Judge Kari Stubbs on charges of burglary, arson, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. The RV is owned by David Kelly of Bingham Township.
Troopers at Coudersport also investigated vandalism occurring on the Eleven Mile Road in Oswayo Township during the early morning hours last Friday. Unknown criminals smashed mailboxes owned by Michelle Filer and Kimberley Dickekrson.

Mailbox vandalism in Farmington Township, Tioga County is also being probed by state police at Mansfield. An unknown culprit used a vehicle to damage a mailbox on the Learn Road owned by 72 year old Charles Johnson sometime last Thursday.

State police at Mansfield have arrested 22 year old Tioga County resident Warren Squire for criminal trespass. Authorities claim he went onto private property in Lawrence Townshp owned by Daniel Ferrero on the afternoon of October 29 without permission.

DUI charges have been filed against 42 year old Heather Minks, no address provided. Kane based state police relate they assisted University of Pittsburgh police on a report of a suspicious vehicle SAtruday night on Campus Drive near Dorthea Lane. Officers claim Minks was found to be driving under the influence and as arraigned before District Judge Dominic Cercone who set bail at $10,000 unsecured.
Christ Episcopal Church will serve a Potter County Community Thanksgiving Meal for the second year in a row, after providing dozens of dinners to folks who turned up last year to enjoy the offering.