Black Forest Express

                 Photo by Gerri Miller

Wednesday’s high, 65; Overnight low, 40: ,88 inches of rain







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Obituaries: Julia Ireland, Eldred, Bradford (Westfield) Michael Lamont, Sr. Eldred, andMargot E. ABBOTT, 67,

Westfield driver killed in weather related crash….Minor injuries reported for Bradford motorist whose SUV hit a deer….Two Emporium residents arrested for stealing expensive cat…Efforts are being made to save Pennsylvania’s state tree…..State house has approved bill to prohibit use of food stamps to buy tobacco products….

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Mansfield based state police say weather conditions contributed to a fatal crash Wednesday afternoon in Middlebury Center.  Charles Umble of Westfield was going south on Route 287 when his Dodge Ram pick up truck spun out of control on a slight right hand curve and slid into a swampy area of grass where it rolled over coming to rest upside down.  Umble was not using a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene of the 3:10 pm accident. Police said heavy rain, wet road conditions and speed were contributing factors.

Minor injuries were reported for a Bradford man whose SUV collided with a deer on Route 219 in Hamlin Township Tuesday evening. Eric Travis was going north when a deer entered the highway from the western side and Travis could not avoid impact. Travis was taken by ambulance to UPMC kane for treatment of minor injuries.

Two Emporium residents have been arrested for catnapping. State police there allege 20 year old Clay Boucher and 18 year old Mara Miller stole a Russian Blue Feline valued at $600 belonging to a 62 year old Emporium man. The Cameron County SPCA was also listed as a victim but police did not indicate how the agency was involved.


Efforts are being g made to help protect Pennsylvania’s Hemlock trees.Hemlock was at the forefront of the industrialization of America. Hewn beams of its wood made cabin walls; and hemlock bark provided raw material for tanneries throughout the state. After widespread deforestation around the turn of the 20th Century, the scarcity of eastern hemlock (and all commercially valuable trees) was becoming apparent.The official naming as the state tree was, at least in part, an effort to bring attention to the need to conserve this forest keystone species.Not only does the hemlock help define Penn’s Woods and our state’s history, it provides critical shelter and food for forest songbirds and wildlife, and cold-water habitat for native brook trout.The importance of conserving the eastern hemlock cannot be understated.And yet, less than a century later, we find these beautiful evergreens threatened — not from the ax cuts from thousands of men, but from the piercing mouthparts of invasive insects.

Hemlocks Seriously Threatened by Invasive Insect, Hemlock woolly adelgidwhich  are tiny insects that originate in Asia. They arrived in the United States more than 50 years ago after being accidentally introduced to Virginia.Their northwestward migration into Pennsylvania has been recognized in 64 of 67 counties so far, essentially occupying the entire state.Their presence is identified by outward symptoms of a weakened tree (yellowing of needles, loss of vigor) and distinctive, cottony egg masses on the undersides of hemlock needles.Hemlock woolly adelgid feed by sucking nutrient-rich fluids from the needles, and infested trees often die.This invasive insect has caused significant hemlock defoliation and mortality in Pennsylvania forests.Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Threaten Another State Designee


Eastern hemlocks thrive in shaded, cool stream valleys and hollows, of which Pennsylvania possesses thousands. Their tendency for taking root and dominating the overstory in these areas is well noted among foresters and fishermen, alike. With the decline of eastern hemlock, the fear (and reality) of impacts to our state fish, the brook trout, is becoming well-known.Brook trout are notably cold-water fish and rising stream temperatures, even a few degrees, could mean the demise of many of their populations.The immense shade and colder water temperatures provided by hemlock forests around our brook trout havens is now less common because of the hemlock woolly adelgid.

DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry works to ensure the long-term health of the commonwealth’s forests. When the state tree is under threat, serious attention is given to protect it — and that means attacking hemlock woolly adelgid head on.To combat this invasive insect, DCNR developed a Hemlock Conservation Plan (PDF) that provides a strategy to conserve this irreplaceable state treasure.High-priority areas were identified throughout the state (called hemlock focus areas), mostly consisting of old-growth hemlock forests.The plan also outlines specific measures that are routinely carried out by staff, like surveying, monitoring, and mapping to:

Identify ecologically significant hemlock stands

Detect new infestations

Focus control efforts

Predict areas most vulnerable to hemlock woolly adelgid

Efforts to control the hemlock woolly adelgid infestation include integrated pest management principles; and the choice of method depends on the site of infestation and other circumstances.

Large, high-priority (ecological, historical, or aesthetic) hemlock stands are treated with systemic chemicals that kill hemlock woolly adelgid.

Many of the insecticidal formulations last multiple years, maximizing the cost efficiency of treatment. Treatments typically involve injections using specialized equipment.

Biocontrol of hemlock woolly adelgid is being used in forest situations, on vigorous trees with accessible lower branches that are infested with hemlock woolly adelgid.

DCNR has released predatory beetles at several hemlock sites that feed solely on hemlock woolly adelgid.Follow-up surveys and studies are still in early stages, but the potential for meaningful control of this invasive insect using this method is promising.

DCNR has partnered with the University of Rhode Island to study and identify hemlock woolly adelgid-resistant hemlock specimens.

A strong possibility exists to find, cultivate, and selectively breed hemlocks that have inherent characteristics that defend against these invasive insects. If superior cultivars are found, they can then be used in reforestation efforts.

In areas where hemlocks dominate but are now dying (i.e. cool stream valleys), substitute species with similar characteristics are suitable for replanting.

Evergreens with thick canopies, (e.g. white pines and rhododendrons) could theoretically fill the void, helping us avoid the collateral damage to these special habitats.


The wave of hemlock woolly adelgid that has swept through Pennsylvania’s hemlocks will leave a legacy of destruction. In the short to mid-term, hemlocks have been (and will continue to be) lost, but there is a strong likelihood we can stave off their extinction.

DCNR is working hard to preserve the species, but measures need to be undertaken to mitigate the damage in the short term.

Additional information about hemlock woolly adelgid, DCNR’s conservation plan, and tips for homeowners are available at the DCNR website.

The state House recently approved legislation would prohibit welfare recipients from using their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to purchase tobacco products. House Bill 847 would forbid the use of EBT cards, issued by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to administer public assistance benefits, to purchase tobacco or tobacco-related products. Personal funds on EBT cards, such as child support that is in arrears, would be exempt. The Human Services Code already prohibits the purchase of liquor and alcohol with EBT cards. The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

Michael A. Lamont Sr., 70, of West Eldred Rd., passed away unexpectedly of natural causes in his home on Monday (October 14th, 2019) .Born February 26th, 1949 in Port Allegany, Pa he was a son of Thomas Henry and Mary Alice Kaziska Lamont.Mr. Lamont was a 1968 graduate of Port Allegany High School.  He was a veteran of the Vietnam War, having served with the US Navy aboard the USS Wasp in ship maintenance.  He was a Disabled American Veteran. Previously he had been involved with the Port Allegany VFW.  Mike enjoyed hunting and fishing, doing woodworking and building things.  He also enjoyed bird watching and watching western movies, especially John Wayne movies.Surviving are one son, Michael A. (Josie) Lamont of Eldred; one daughter, Denise S. Proctor of Olean; five grandchildren, Kylie, Timothy, Kathleen, Kristina and Danielle; and three great-grandchildren, Veronica, Lexi, and Karson; three brothers, Tom (Dorothy) Lamont of Port Allegany, Clayton (Vivian) Lamont of Port Allegany and Rod Lamont; and two sisters, Donna (Barry) Shaw of Portville and Ella Lamont of Emporium.Friends may call on Friday at the Frame Funeral Home, Eldred from 4:00 to 7:00 pm, at which time a memorial service will be held with Rev. Rick Price officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Disabled American Veterans or to the SPCA.

Online condolences may be made at


Julia M. Ireland, 96, passed away on October 12, 2019 at the Sena Kean Manor in Smethport, PA.Born on January 1, 1923 in Bradford she was a daughter of Lloyd T. and June Helenbrook  Johnson.  On May 1, 1946 in Bradford she married George A. Ireland, who passed away on April 7th, 1996.  Julia was a 1940 graduate of Bradford High School and had been employed for many years at the Citizens National Bank in Bradford retiring as a branch manager.  She was a member of the Country Chapel Baptist Church in Eldred and a member of the Smethport Senior Center.

Surviving are a son, Pastor Bruce (Tammy) Ireland of Eldred, a daughter, Jackie Ireland of Bradford and six grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren, a sister in law, Marguerite Johnson of Kittanning, Pa. and special friends, Bill and Carol Woodring of Bradford.  Julia was preceded in death by a daughter, Jill Swanson in 2006 and a brother, William Johnson in 1996.

Friends may call next Monday (October 21, 2019) at the Country Chapel Baptist Church, 109 Indian Creek Road, Eldred, from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM, at which time the funeral service will be held with the Pastor Bruce Ireland and the Pastor Sean Ireland, co-officiating.   Burial will follow in the McKean Memorial Park, Lafayette, PA. Memorials may be made to the Country Chapel Victory Fund.Online condolences may be made at

Margot E. ABBOTT, 67, of Bradford, PA, formerly of Potter Brook Road, Westfield, died Friday, October 11, 2019 in the Bradford Regional Medical Center. Born March 17, 1952, in Wellsboro, she was the daughter of Lewis B. and Helen M. Witter Abbott. Surviving are:  a sister, Kathryn Ann Abbott of Rochester, NY;  three aunts, Joann Clark of Knoxville, Jane Bianchi of San Jose, CA, and Kay Witter of Osceola; and many cousins. She was predeceased by her parents. A Memorial Service will be held 11:00 AM, Friday, October 18, 2019 in the Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA. The Rev. Marty Zdrojewski will officiate.  Burial will be in Riverview Cemetery, Potter Brook, PA. Memorials may be made to Riverview Cemetery Association, c/o Garry Abbott, 134 Potter Brook Road, Westfield, PA 16950. Online condolences may be expressed at