DCNR promotes snowmobiling in Elk County. See Story below.

Cause of fire at Olga’s Café in Coudersport found….Jury finds 60 year old Cyclone man guilty of hitting pedestrian in hit and run…Last Thursday’s storm resulted in numerous traffic accidents…Hit and run in Ulysses Township Saturday investigated….DCNR secretary visits Elk County to promote snowmobiling…


Monday’s high, 41; Overnight low, 18








The state police fire marshal has discovered that the fire which caused $500,000 in damage to Olga’s Café in Coudersport Saturday was caused by an electrical short between the ceiling on the second floor and the roof. Coudersport Fire Chief Bryan Phelps reports owner John Snyder will rebuild the popular restaurant located at the corner of Main and East Second Streets.


McKean County District Attorney Stephanie L. Vettenburg-Shaffer reports that, following a jury trial Monday, Markel A. Stonebraker, 60 of Cyclone, was convicted of crimes related to a hit and run.  The defendant was convicted of hitting a pedestrian with his vehicle and not remaining at the scene. The charges stemmed from an investigation wherein a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle and the vehicle fled the scene in the City of Bradford. Stonebraker was also convicted of summary violations including violation of the Duty to Give Information and Render Aid; Failing to Yield Right of Way to a Pedestrian; and Careless Driving. District Attorney Stephanie L. Vettenburg-Shaffer prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth.  Sentencing is  scheduled for March 16.

Coudersport based state police are investigating a hit and run taking place at around 2:00 pm Saturday in Ulysses Township. A westbound Toyota Tacoma drifted into the eastbound lane and clipped a Ford F-150 driven by Morgan Mills of Ulysses, damaging the driver’s side mirror. The driver of the Tacoma failed to stop and provide information as required by state law.

Coudersport volunteer emergency services personnel responded to a one-vehicle accident Monday afternoon on Route 49 in Allegany Township. A passenger car hit some guardrails and traveled down a 60-70 foot embankment. The driver was taken by a passing motorist to UPMC Cole for treatment of unknown injuries.

Last Thursday’s storm resulted in several traffic accidents across the region.

Minor injuries were reported for an Emporium driver after a one-vehicle accident Thursday morning in Keating Township McKean County. According to state police at Lewis Run, Alexis Foust was going north when her 2006 Jeep Liberty crossed the road and hit a sign. Foust was taken by ambulance to Elk Regional Medical Center and has been cited for speeding.

A couple of hours later, Amy Ezzolo of Eldred escaped injury when her 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer slid across the Looker Mountain Trail and hit a ditch before rolling over onto the passenger side.

Both drivers escaped injury in a  minor car/tractor trailer collision Friday afternoon in Norwich Township, McKean County. While going south on Route 46, an International Harvester operated by Timothy Baker of Crosby sideswiped a Ford Focus driven by Darlene Sorton of Port Allegany causing minor damage.

An elderly Smethport motorist was cited for speeding after a one-vehicle crash Saturday afternoon on the West Eldred Road in Eldred Township. According to troopers at Lewis Run, 71 year old David Peer was headed south when his Dodge Ram 1500 veered off the road and hit a guard rail.

An  accidental  fire destroyed a house at 517 Hemlock Lane Extension in Fox Township Elk County early Monday morning. Authorities did not release any more details except to say the loss amounted to $65,000.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Friday joined members of the Saint Marys Snowmobile Club to highlight snowmobiling and to provide safety tips for outdoor recreation during winter months.

Dunn emphasized the importance of snowmobiling, noting that it adds $65 million to Pennsylvania’s economy annually. There are more than 40,000 registered snowmobiles in the commonwealth, with 59 local snowmobile clubs represented by 4,000 club members.

DCNR has supported snowmobiling in Elk County in the Pennsylvania Wilds, including $600,000 in grants directed to planning and development of the West Creek Recreational Trail, which Secretary Dunn traveled Friday via snowmobile.

In total, the agency has supported outdoor recreation in Elk County through nearly $1.6 million in grant funding for multiple projects during the Wolf administration.

The West Creek Recreational Trail extends into Cameron County.

Elk and Cameron counties are two of the 13 counties that make up the PA Wilds tourism region and conservation landscape.

The PA Wilds make up 2.1 million acres of the commonwealth’s public lands.

This winter season, DCNR has responded to a number of incidents on its lands, prompting Dunn to encourage riders to practice safety at all times. Dunn offered the following tips Friday:

Wear a helmet, eye protection and suitable clothing

Don’t use drugs or alcohol when you ride

Ride with others and let someone know where you are riding

Stay on trails designated for snowmobiles

Always ride at a safe and responsible speed

Know your abilities as a rider

Always obey the laws

State parks and forests offer an abundance of activities during winter months and DCNR encourages people to use engage in safe behaviors whether hiking, skiing, sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, shoveling, or any other outdoor activity.

More broadly, DCNR offered additional safety tips:

Dress appropriately

Wear a helmet when applicable

Only recreate in approved areas

Wear sunscreen on areas not covered by clothing

Be aware of others’ movements

Carry proper gear

Take breaks

Do not over work yourself during activities

Snow shoveling is can trigger heart attacks and while that isn’t recreation it is an outdoor winter activity

Visit DCNR’s website for more information on winter activities at state parks and forests.

The  state Health Department reports the number of deaths in Pennsylvania now totals 41,585. Deaths  in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service area  to date are mostly  holding steady.

Cameron 19

Elk 86

McKean 129                                                           

Potter 87

Tioga 186 (+1)