Black bear

Chris and Sandy Miller spotted this black bear Friday evening while they walked on the Allegheny River Valley Trail.

In mid-October, the wildlife one most often sees along the Allegheny River Valley Trail are industrious squirrels and chipmunks as they seek and gather acorns and seeds for the coming winter.

Chipmunks in particular dart back and forth across the trail, cheek pouches full, as they appear to be racing against the clock to fill their larders.

But on a recent walk on the trail, Chris and Sandy Miller saw a little bit bigger animal on the move as it foraged to store up for the coming winter — a good-sized black bear.

The Millers tell us they saw the bear at about 6:20 p.m. Friday between the quarter- and half-mile markers alongside the river. Chris said he planned to report the sighting of the bear to the DEC when the agency’s offices reopen today.

NEW YORK GASOLINE PRICES have fallen 3.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.69/g Monday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey. Gas prices in New York are 3.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago, yet stand 29.0 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

Gas prices have held in Olean at just under $2.86/g.

The national average price of gasoline has fallen 2.4 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.63/g Monday. The national average is up 6.5 cents per gallon from a month ago, yet stands 25.1 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

”As expected, the national average has reverted to declining in the midst of resolution to refinery issues in the West Coast, while lower demand also weighs on oil prices, leading to modest relief in some areas of the country,” says Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

He says that while a partial trade deal with China may temporarily interrupt continued falling of oil prices, he expects gas prices to continue to decline.

Jim Eckstrom is executive editor of the Olean Times Herald and Bradford Publishing Co. His email is