Howard Happenings By Tammy Coakley

PHOTO PROVIDED Jimmy Coakley is seen with his mangy bear.


My son Jimmy was hunting with a friend on Monday in the Snow Shoe area and had returned to Shane’s house along Devil’s Elbow Road in the early afternoon.  They went back to hunting and had all but given up around 4:30 when Jimmy noticed a strange looking bear coming towards him.  Jimmy shot and killed the mangy bear with just one shot.  The bear was an awful looking sight with hardly any hair and I almost felt sorry for it for a minute until I remembered  the devastation that a bear can do to a farmer’s (our) corn field.  My in-laws and other farmers in the Yarnell area depend on their corn crops to feed their dairy and beef cows.

We took the bear to the check station at the Antes Fort Volunteer Fire Company in Jersey Shore and was told that its live weight was about 170 pounds.  The game commission officers and the lady who checked it told us that it probably would not have survived the winter in its condition and that Jimmy had probably done it a favor by not letting it suffer any more.  Mange is a contagious skin disease that is caused by mites burrowing into the skin.  Sometimes bears are spotted with mange and the game commission can trap them and treat them with antibiotics, but the bear Jimmy shot would have been too far gone and would have had to be put down.  One of the GC officers told me that so far they had four bears with mange brought to the check station this year during the bear season.  Mange can be spread to other wildlife and animals who rub up against the manged animal or trees and plants that the animal has been in contact with.

The Game Commission officer issued Jimmy a permit and a new tag to continue hunting for another bear since the meat was unusable.  That was a disappointment because bear bologna tastes pretty good if you take care of the bear right away and don’t let the meat get strong.  After the check station examination was done we followed a GC officer and dropped the mangy bear off behind a dumpster at the game commission office and they were going to dispose of it.

This was the second bear that Jimmy has killed since he first started hunting six years ago.  Not a bad record for an 18-year-old considering many people hunt a lifetime and aren’t able to see or kill a bear during bear season.


The Beech Creek/Blanchard Senior Cheer Club met on Nov. 4 at the Friendship Community Center in Beech Creek.  There were 20 members in attendance and special guests were Terry and Carmen Banfill.  President Gale Spangler gave the blessing for the noon luncheon.  Chaplain Nancy Young read devotions and led the group in The Lord’s Prayer.  All recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and  sang the National Anthem.

Terry and Carmen presented a program on Veteran’s Day and flag etiquette.  Terry presented an American flag, folded and in a frame to the group.  The flag had previously been signed by club members and will be kept to honor the memory of long-time Cheer Club member Vivian Kunes.

Fern Biesecker gave the treasurer’s report.  November birthdays were recognized for Judy Cain, Blair Confer, Nancy Young and Charolette Young.   The door prize was won by Gale Spangler.  Bingo games and the fellowship time together were enjoyed by all.

The Cheer Club’s next meeting date will be for their Christmas party in December.  For more info on how you can participate in Cheer Club activities call Jane Confer at 570-962-2406.


Santa Claus is coming to the Beech Creek Fire Company social hall on Dec. 3 and you’re invited to come to enjoy breakfast with him.  The event runs from 9-11 a.m. and features breakfast, kid’s crafts, photos with Santa and treats.  The event is free but Raine would like you to bring a donation of non-perishable food items that will be given to local families in need this Christmas season.   This is the 4th year for this event and this year it is the Senior Project for Raine Smith of Blanchard.


Plans are underway to have the Santa Jump Jamboree in Beech Creek on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 10-3.  Santa and two of his elves will be parachuting onto the ball field at 1 o’clock (weather permitting).  Once his feet are firmly on the ground, Santa will meet and greet the children and hand out treats.

Santa’s Workshop (crafts for kids) will be in the Friendship Community Center.  There will be bike give-a-ways for three age groups.  The Legion Ladies Auxiliary will be giving away turkeys and hams.

Vendors will be set up at the Friendship Community Center, at the fire company’s social hall and between the ball field and the borough building.  For a vendor application or for more info call Billie at 570-962-9944 or Wendy at 570-295-0421.

Parking is available at the Beech Creek Legion and the Beech Creek Wesleyan Church with shuttle buses running throughout the day.  The bus will stop for passengers to get on and off at the post office building.  Limited handicapped parking will be made available at the boro building and the fire station, but those able to use the shuttle buses should do so.


Bald Eagle Area High School in Wingate will have a Fall Craft Show on Saturday, Nov. 26, from 9-3.  Vendors will be set up in the school gym, lobby and cafeteria.  The craft show benefits the Spanish Club, the Junior Class and student government.


Howard Happenings is written and compiled by Tammy Coakley who can be reached by emailing to or by telephone at 814-625-2684.