Items filtered by date: Thursday, 09 March 2017

NWS SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT Snow Squalls Possible This Afternoon

Special Weather Statement

Special Weather Statement
National Weather Service Pittsburgh PA
1139 AM EST FRI MAR 10 2017



Intense snow squalls will be possible into early afternoon. Near
zero visibility and rapid changes to road conditions will be
possible at times resulting in dangerous driving conditions.

Locations impacted include...
New Castle...                     Hermitage...
Sharon...                         Butler...
Oil City...                       Grove City...
Franklin...                       Punxsutawney...
Clarion...                        Sharpsville...
Kittanning...                     Brookville...

Use caution if you must travel this afternoon. Rapid changes in
visibility and road conditions are likely to lead to accidents.
Consider delaying travel until the squall passes.

Steel Workers Ratifiy Agreement with Channellock

According to multiple media sources, Channellock Inc., the company best known for its American-made tongue and groove pliers, announced  members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1917-3 have voted to ratify a two-year collective bargaining agreement. The union represents nearly 300 Channellock Inc. associates.

The new agreement runs from March 8th, 2017 through February 10, 2019,


Founded in 1886, Channellock, Inc. is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing of high-quality pliers and assorted hand tools. Channellock is Crawford County's 13th largest employer.  


Crawford, Venango Counties Among Those Where Sheetz Acquired Liquor Licenses

Ten western Pennsylvania Counties, including Crawford, Venango, Mercer and Warren  are among 48 in which expired restaurant liquor licenses were successfully bid upon recently.  Sheetz acquired liquor licenses for use in eight of those counties:  Armstrong, Clarion, Crawford, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Venango and Warren.  Giant Food Stores, LLC acquired a license in Clearfield County and Giant Eagle acquired a license in Elk County.  All of this according to a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board news release  issued Tuesday. 

Some of the licenses were acquired in municipalities where currently there is now Sheetz store is located.  That may or may not mean Sheetz will build a store in those locations because the licenses are transferable. 

 Following validation of 90 bids received by the March 3 deadline for the second restaurant license auction authorized by Act 39 of 2016, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) this week issued Notices of Selection to top bidders on 42 licenses.

Top bidders have 14 days from the date of each Notice of Selection to remit full bid payment to the PLCB. If bid payment is not received within two weeks of auction award, the second-highest bidder will have opportunity to remit their full bid payment.

Once bid payment is received, each auction winner has six months to file a license application with the PLCB. Bids will be held in escrow by the PLCB, pending approval of the license application.

Revenue from this auction cannot be totaled until license approvals are granted and bids come out of escrow.

The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates more than 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups, and licensees. Taxes and store profits – totaling $15.1 billion since the agency’s inception – are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania’s schools, health and human services programs, law enforcement, and public safety initiatives, among other important public services. The PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies, and local municipalities across the state. For more information about the PLCB, visit

Act 39 of 2016 requires the PLCB to auction expired restaurant licenses, including those that were not renewed, were revoked by an Administrative Law Judge or are no longer eligible for safekeeping.


On Jan. 3, 2017, the PLCB issued an invitation for bid to award 50 expired restaurant licenses across 48 counties in the second license auction since Act 39 became effective. Bids for the following licenses were due by noon on Friday, March 3, and top bidders were determined the week of March 6.


PennDOT Announces Revised Schedule for Route 8 Bridge Project in Titusville

Oil City, PA --  PennDOT  is pushing back the rehabilitation of the South Franklin Street Bridge in Titusville carrying State Route 8 over Oil Creek.   

The bridge rehabilitation work was initially proposed to be undertaken in the 2017 construction season and last approximately three months. That schedule has been revised, and the project is now expected to begin in April 2018.

Titusville City Manager Larry Manross, speaking on  The Morning Drill Monday morning  explained the delay is the result of a recent meeting with PennDOT Officials. 

Video Manross

The schedule revision was approved as part of an ongoing review of the project and other construction work planned in that area during 2017. Resurfacing work is scheduled on Route 27 from Lynn Street in Titusville to the Crawford/Venango County line – a section of road that would be part of the truck detour for the South Franklin Street Bridge project. PennDOT rescheduled the bridge project due to construction work in the detour route.

Also speaking on The Morning Drill Monday morning was Emily Altomare, Executive Director of the Titusville Chamber of Commerce.  The contraction work on the South Franklin Street Bridge and the associated detours and other PennDOT and municipal projects in Titusville this summer would have a direct impact on planning for the annual Oil Festival set for August.  But  Altomare said she took away a different message from Manross in recent communication between the two

Video Altomare

The South Franklin Street Bridge is located on Route 8 between the intersections with East Bloss Street and West Spring Street/ East Diamond Street (Route 27) in Titusville. Rehabilitation work planned includes replacing the concrete deck and sidewalk, along with cleaning and painting the bridge. 


The South Franklin Street Bridge is a 185-foot-long steel arch bridge that was built in 1940 and is currently classified as structurally deficient. The bridge is used by approximately 4,200 vehicles a day, on average.


Camp Cadet Applications Being Accepted

The Troop E State Police are looking for a few good 13,14 and 15 year olds.  Troop along with the Erie Kiwanis Club, is announcing application for the Camp Cadet program are being accepted.  Held at Allegheny College in Meadville, this year's dates are June 18th to June 23rd. 

Camp Cadet is a week-long camp for youth ages 13 to 15.  Staffed 24 hours a day by state troopers, it is open to all Erie, Crawford, Warren and Venango County students. 

Camp Cadet is designed to instill self-discipline, self respect, and self esteem while teaching paramilitary discipline and courtesy.  Cadets participate in a wide variety of instructional sessions including radar, finger printing, forensics, drug prevention, building searches and emergency response.  Activities include an obstacle course and platoon competitions. 

While there is no set fee for the camp, applicants are required to participate in a fundraiser to offset their costs.  Interested boys and girls must submit their applications by April 30th. 


Applications may be obtained by contacting Trooper Michelle McGee at 814-676-6596.  For more information, visit or look for Camp Cadet Troop E Erie on Facebook.  Trooper McGee and Trooper Cindy Owens will join Luke Ruot and myself Wednesday March 22 at 8:30 a.m. live talk about the Camp Cadet program.  


New Castle PSP Probes Fatal Police Involved Shooting

A police involved fatal shooting is under investigation in Lawrence County.  A 91 year old man is dead, the result of an incident in Union Township Wednesday night.


The New Castle state police report shortly after 6:35 pm, the Union Township Police Department responded to 9 Spring Street in Union Township, the residence of Frank W. Wratney.  Police say they had received a phone call by way of 911 from a known female who reported her uncle, Frank Wratny, , had shot at her.  The Union Township officers called for backup from the New Castle City Police Department.  The City's Special Response Team responded and shortly after 8 pm Wratny confronted the New Castle Police Officers with a firearm from the front door of his residence.  Wratny sustained a gunshot wound and died at the scene.  The New Castle state troopers say they are actively investigating the shooting as per protocol.  


Jeff Co Man Charged w Arson

As the result of a state police arson investigation, a Jefferson County businessman is lodged in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond accused of causing a fire that damaged his business last year.  The Ridgway State Police Fire Marshal, the Reynoldsville Borough Police Department, and Reynoldsville Volunteer Fire Department investigated the origin and the cause of the fire that damaged a commercial building housing Bowtie Tires, Brakes and Inspection LLC, owned by John Lechiara of DuBois. 

Authorities say the building was unoccupied at the time of the fire  at shortly before 9 pm on the evening of May 4, 2016.  There were no injuries reported.  The cause of the fire was determined to have been the result of arson.  Damage was estimated at $100,000.

The fire marshal reports criminal charges were filed by the state police and the local police in district court against LeChiara for arson and related offenses along with Insurance Fraud, Criminal Mischief, Reckless Endangerment and Disorderly Conduct.  A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday March 15th at 1 pm before Magisterial District Court Judge David B. Izana.  In all Lechiara is charged with 6 felonies and three misdemeanors (F1 Arson-Danger Of Death Or Bodily Injury, F2 Arson-Intent Destroy Unoccupied Bldg, F2 Arson-Intent Collect Insurance, Reckless Burning or Exploding - places property having value that exceeds $5000 or automobile, place ; F3 Criminal Mischief/Damage Prop Intent, Reckless, Or Negligence; F3 False/Fraudulent/lncomplete Insurance Claim; M1 Insurance/Intent To Defraud; M2 Recklessly Endangering Another Person, M3 Disorder Conduct Hazardous/Physical Off)LeChiara is not yet represented by an attorney.


Bowtie Tires, Brakes and Inspection was located at 5 North 5th Street in Reynoldsville.  


Venango Vision Youth Charged with Assault

A 25 year old Franklin is recovering from a broken nose suffered during an alleged incident of aggravated assault at Vision Quest in Venango County last month.   The Franklin State Police report an unidentified and undescribed juvenile assaulted Casey G. Burt at the facility located at 555 Penn Road, Sandy Creek Township the evening of Sunday, February 19th at 11:30.  Police say the juvenile struck Burt with a lunch box breaking his nose.  


Union City Teen Charged with Assault

A 16 year old Union City boy is charged with simple assault and harassment in Juvenile Court following a Tuesday afternoon incident at private residence along U.S. Route 6 in Union Township, Erie County.   The Corry state police say an unidentified 39 year old man from Union City and the youth became involved in a heated verbal argument.  Police say the boy allegedly punch the man in the back of the head.


PennDOT Urges Drivers to Use Caution During Winter Weather

PennDOT Urges Drivers to Use Caution

During Winter Weather

Oil City, PA – Winter weather and the potential for snow squalls are in the forecast for areas of northwestern Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) recommends motorists avoid traveling during winter storms if possible, but motorists who must be on the road are urged to use caution while driving.

Sudden and heavy snow squalls are one of the biggest challenges that motorists, including PennDOT plow truck drivers, face during the winter; and motorists need to be alert for sudden squalls that can quickly cause roads to become snow covered.

Heavy squalls can cause whiteout conditions that can greatly restrict or virtually eliminate a driver’s visibility.

If motorists do encounter snow squalls while traveling, PennDOT offers this advice:

  • Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits the conditions.
  • Turn on your headlights.
  • Stay in your lane.
  • Increase your following distance.
  • Stay alert, keep looking as far ahead as possible and be patient.
  • Reduce in-car distractions since your full attention is required.
  • Use defroster and wipers.
  • Keep windows and mirrors free of snow and ice.
  • During whiteouts, come to a complete stop only when you can safely get as far off the road as possible or when there is a safe area to do so.
  • Do not stop in the flow of traffic since this could create a chain-reaction collision.
  • Do not pass a vehicle moving slowly or speed up to get away from a vehicle that is following too closely.
  • Always buckle up and never drink and drive.


Meanwhile, PennDOT is prepared for the expected storm, with plow trucks and other equipment ready. Salt, anti-skid and other materials are in good supply. Crews will be working around the clock if necessary to keep the roads safe and passable.

Motorists are reminded that roadways will not be free of snow while precipitation is falling. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form without warning. Motorists should leave plenty of space – six car lengths --- when following a truck that is plowing or spreading winter materials.

While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 825 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

PennDOT reminds motorists to pack an emergency kit for their vehicles. A basic kit should include non-perishable food, water, blanket, small shovel and warm clothes. When preparing an emergency kit, motorists should take into account special needs of passengers such as baby food, pet supplies or medications and pack accordingly.

PennDOT also reminds citizens that downloadable materials, including home and car emergency kit checklists and emergency plan templates, are available at or by calling 1-888-9-READYPA. Citizens can find information about getting involved in local emergency response efforts and other volunteer opportunities through the Web site or the toll-free line.

For more information on winter driving and PennDOT operations, visit


Follow regional PennDOT information on Twitter at

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