Westover Council

Westover bear killed, confirmed by police chief; Holland Wall project soon to be underway

WESTOVER –The Westover bear, which was seen running through the city’s streets, was shot Tuesday, according to Westover Police Chief Richard Panico.

He confirmed Tuesday afternoon the bear was shot and killed by a Westover Police officer. Panico said the bear was found in a resident’s yard, where he was reportedly being aggressive.

According to a message the police department’s Facebook page, at about 6:30 a.m. officers responded to a call near West Jefferson Street, where citizens reported seeing the bear. There, they found the bear looking for food.

An attempt to scare away the bear failed. Given the bear was loose in the area for several days, police received authorization from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to put the bear down.

Panico said the DNR also gave the go-ahead to dispose of the remains.
The caper of the bear began Sunday, when Westover citizens posted to social media about seeing the bear. Lynn Martin, who lives on Columbus Street in Westover, brought a picture on her iPad of the bear strolling down the street to show Westover City Council on Monday.

“I was going down the street to get a picture and he stopped and turned around and looked at me. Well, then I turned around and ran,” she said, “Anyway, he just took off running really fast. He was more scared of me than I was of him.”

Panico reported to Westover City Council Monday that the bear — about 200 pounds and missing a leg — was roaming the streets in Westover. He said he was moving pretty fast through neighborhoods, from Columbus Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, down to DuPont Road and West Park.

He also said the bear was afraid. When approached, it would run away. It had been seen in people’s backyards and getting into birdfeeders.

In other Westover news, Jason Stinespring, the city’s building inspector reported that he received plans for a Dunkin Donut shop that will be built at West Ridge. Sandie Weis, city clerk, advised there was a request for proposal for a bid to do street work. Bids should be in by the Aug. 5 council meeting.

Major Dave Johnson also reported the first phase of the Holland Wall project will begin this week. He said hopefully everyone will try to avoid the area, but he knows it will be difficult due to traffic that goes through there.

The city also made a revision to its budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.