Items filtered by date: Sunday, 02 April 2017

Crews Respond to "Active Drowning", Spring Twp, Sunday

Though apparently not reported by over the weekend, emergency radio transmissions indicate several first responder agencies on the scene of what authorities termed an "active drowning" in Spring Township.  Shortly after 2 pm Sunday emergency radio reported multiple first responder agencies on the scene at 11453 Thatcher Road.  First reported as a kayaking accident, it appears an 18 year old man was involved in the incident in pond.  We've had no further report.


Cooperstown Man Charged w/Sex Crimes Against Younger Teen

A 21 year old  Cooperstown man is wanted on an outstanding warrant for sex offences alleged to have been committed with a minor under the age of 16 is free on $100,000 unsecured bond following a following a preliminary arraignment Friday before Magisterial District Court Judge Andrew Fish.  The warrant was issued on February 24th. 


According to OCPD, Kyle Brian Heffern was represented by Attorney Edward McIntyre at the arraignment, standing in for Attorney Neil Rothschild.  A Preliminary Hearing is set for Wednesday April 5th in Venango County Central Court.  Heffern is charged with Felony 1 Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse with a Person  Less Than 16 Yrs Age on January 12th.  Felony 2 Statutory Sexual Assault: 4-8 Years Older ,  Felony 2 Aggravated Indecent Person Less Than 16 and Misdemeanor 2 Indecent Assault on a Person Less 16 Yrs Age .


Reed at Lincoln Day Dinner: Time to Re-Invent Govt, Cracker Plant a Great Opportunity

While  Pennsylvania is not putting all its eggs in one basket with regard to the economic opportunities presented by the expected construction of the Royal Dutch Shell Cracker Plant in Beaver County, Pennsylvania House of Representatives Majority Leader Dave Reed of Indiana County nevertheless says the plant offers the commonwealth a great opportunity of economic and energy development. 

Speaking Saturday night in Franklin at the Venango

County Republican Committee Lincoln Day Dinner at the

Franklin Club Reed said the real work in politics begins

after the election.  Beginning with a new legislative

term this year, said he takes that work personally

asking himself, what needs to be corrected from the last

term, where do we want to be in two years.  He asks

how do we achieve the most effective, efficient

government at the least cost?  How do we achieve

minimal government intrusion?  How do we provide

core government functions:  infrastructure, education,

safety net, protections and how do we do it in a way

that all these things happen without worry. 

Reid says most legislators want what Governor Wolf wants:  Jobs that pay, schools that teach and government that works.  But Reed says the discussion about these topics is the same as its been for fifty years, with the same results and we're surprised at the same results year after year.  Reed says it's time to re-invent government by stopping the use of talking points to find problems to fit the solution.  Stop listening to people who say it can't be done. 

In education Reed says the discussion should be focused on good models for bad school districts.  Jobs and workforce development should focus on individual persons, calling the current workforce development system convoluted.  In Economic development the state should stop apologizing for what makes the keystone state key:  nearness to major markets, best water, best workers, best energy, best training and education and Pennsylvania's hometown advantage. 

As to the Budget, Reed says the state has had the same discussions over the last  fifty years.  The budget process he says is unpredictable, unstable and unaffordable.  There must be a willingness to really take on Pension reform, debt service and stop the use of the Corrections Department as a tool of economic development. 

Human Services must be restructured or people will go broke and the services will go away.  Again he says the solution lies in looking at individual people one size does not fit all and the traditional model of government is not the answer.  Non profits are frequently more agile in this arena. 


In the end Reed says compromise is not a dirty word.  The founders of our country negotiated for a country.  The legislature can negotiate for government.  How can government keep families together.  


National Fuel Reminds the Public to Call Before You Dig

Erie, Pa., March 31, 2017 – Now that spring is here, many homeowners, business owners, schools and communities are planning outdoor landscaping projects. National Fuel reminds individuals and professionals to Call Before You Dig.

Pennsylvania state law requires residents to call 811 – a free service – prior to digging in order to prevent accidental damage to underground utility lines. Before starting any landscaping, gardening or outdoor improvement projects this year, call 811, a toll-free national phone number, or visit

The national 811 phone number connects callers with local One Call Centers. Operators record the excavation locations and notify National Fuel of callers’ plans. National Fuel then dispatches professional locators to mark the approximate positioning of lines for free. It’s a fast, easy way to be safe and protect those within the vicinity of the project.

Many of the pipeline leaks and emergencies we respond to each year occur when homeowners and businesses dig on their properties without knowing the location of underground utility lines. These types of accidents can be easily avoided by calling 811 before you dig – anywhere on your property,” Manino said.

The Common Ground Alliance (CGA), a national association representing the utility industry and committed to saving lives and preventing damage to underground infrastructure, states that:

 There are more than 20 million miles of underground utilities in the United States.

 Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.

 When you make the call to 811, damage occurs less than 1 percent of the time.

Pennsylvania homeowners and contractors should call 811 at least 3 and no more than 10 business days in advance of the start of their projects.

Along with Call Before You Dig, National Fuel cautions that if you SMELL GAS, you should LEAVE FAST and call 1-800-444-3130. Gas leaks can be serious. If you notice a smell like rotten eggs or suspect a gas leak, leave the premises immediately and then call National Fuel’s emergency line, 1-800-444-3130, from a different location. To learn more about natural gas safety, visit


National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation is the Utility segment of National Fuel Gas Company, a diversified energy company that is engaged in a number of natural gas-related activities. The Utility provides natural gas service to more than 740,000 customers in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania. For more information, visit 


PennDOT Announces Venango County Road Maintenance Schedule

Oil City, PA – Venango County Maintenance Manager Garrett Westover today announced the following schedule of maintenance for roads maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation during the week of April 3, 2017.

Venango County Maintenance Schedule:



State Route

Common Road Name

Bridge Washing




Sign Repairs




Sweeping and     Pot Hole Patching





All activities are weather permitting, and this list is subject to change.

For more information about this maintenance schedule please contact the Venango County Maintenance Office at (814) 432-3115.

PennDOT urges motorists to slow down when driving in work zones, and also to be alert to changing conditions, avoid distractions and pay attention to signs and flaggers. Drive responsibly in work zones for your safety and the safety of the workers. Look for the work area as soon as the first orange sign is spotted.


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Long-Term Lane Restrictions to Begin Monday on Interchange Road

Oil City, PA – Restrictions limiting traffic to one lane in each direction are expected to begin Monday on the bridge that carries Interchange Road over Interstate 79 in Millcreek Township, Erie County.

The restrictions are required for a project designed to make Interchange Road/Zimmerly Road in Millcreek a safer and more efficient road for motorists to travel.

Long-term lane restrictions on the bridge over Interstate 79 are expected to last into June.

The traffic restrictions on the bridge are required as work gets under way to remove the raised median barrier on the bridge and establish new turn lanes for traffic to access northbound and southbound on-ramps for Interstate 79.

The project will improve approximately 1.5 miles of Interchange Road/Zimmerly Road from a point just west of the intersection with Zuck Road to the intersection with Route 19 (Peach Street).

Ultimately, work will widen Zimmerly Road from three lanes to five lanes from Zuck Road to Interstate 79 and replace an existing 166-foot-long bridge over Walnut Creek.

Traffic signals will be upgraded and additional turn lanes will be added at the intersections with Route 99 (Edinboro Road) and Peach Street. Work on Interchange Road between Route 99 and Peach Street will improve drainage to alleviate flooding issues.

The contractor is Swank Construction Company of New Kensington PA. The contract cost is $20,997,745.61, which is to be paid entirely with state funds.

This project was made possible by Act 89, Pennsylvania’s transportation funding plan.

PennDOT urges motorists to slow down when driving in work zones, and to be alert to changing conditions, avoid distractions and to pay attention to signs and flaggers. Drive responsibly in work zones for your safety and the safety of the workers.

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting, 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.


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PennDOT Announces PPAC Meeting Schedule

Harrisburg, PA – PennDOT is out with the Pedestrian and Pedalcycle Advisory Committee (PPAC) meeting schedule for 2017.

The purpose of the PPAC is to advise and comment on all phases of cycling and pedestrian program activities being undertaken or financially assisted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and agencies of state government.

Pennsylvania’s PPAC was established in 1995 by Act 72 of the State Legislature, and consists of 15 members including the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Chairman and Minority Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, the Chairman and Minority Chairman of the House Transportation Committee and nine public members.

All meetings are open to the public and held at the Keystone Building, 400 North Street Harrisburg, 8th floor from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM.

The 2017 schedule of PPAC meetings are as follows:

  • April 5
  • June 1
  • September 7
  • December 5



For the list of PPAC members and other related information go to, About Us, Pedacycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.


PUC Offers Tips on Door-to-Door Sales by Energy Suppliers; Encourages Consumers to Be Aware of Rights & Shopping Options

HARRISBURG  – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today offered consumer tips on door-to-door sales and marketing activities by agents of competitive electric and natural gas suppliers, reminding consumers of their rights as well as their options when it comes to shopping for and selecting a competitive supplier for gas or electric service.            

“With spring upon us, warmer weather and more daylight, we traditionally see an uptick in door-to-door sales and marketing activity by competitive suppliers,” said PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown.  “PUC regulations provide consumers with layers of protection to help them recognize deceptive sales practices and avoid falling victim to unscrupulous sales agents.”

In Pennsylvania, from April 1 through Sept. 30, hours for door-to-door sales and marketing expand one hour, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. When a local ordinance has stricter limitations, a supplier must comply with the local ordinance.

Chairman Brown advised consumers to immediately seek proper identification before engaging a salesperson.  Brown noted that regulations require agents who conduct door-to-door activities, or appear at public events, to wear an identification badge.  The badge must: 

1.     Accurately identify the supplier, its trade name and logo;

2.     Display the agent’s photograph;

3.     Display the agent’s full name;

4.     Be prominently displayed; and

5.     Display a customer-service phone number for the supplier. 

Upon first contact with a customer, an agent must identify himself by name, the energy supplier he represents, and the reason for the visit.  Additionally, the agent must make clear that he is not working for - and is independent of - the customer’s local utility or any other supplier.  The agent may not wear apparel or accessories – or even carry equipment containing branding elements – that suggests a relationship with a utility, government agency, or other supplier. 

Chairman Brown urged consumers to avoid intimidating sales pitches pressuring them to act now, reminding them that they are not required to choose a competitive supplier for their electricity or natural gas supply.  However, should they elect to enter into a contract with a competitive supplier, residents should expect the following once the supplier’s sales agent completes a transaction: 

1.     Before the agent leaves the residence, the customer should receive a copy of each signed or initialed document relating to the transaction;

2.     The agent must explain the supplier’s verification process that is used to confirm the customer’s intent to switch suppliers;

3.     After customer verification, the agent must provide a copy of the full disclosure statement with all contractual terms and conditions; and

4.     Agents must remind customers that they may rescind the transaction within three business days after receiving the disclosure statement.

Agents must immediately leave a residence when requested to do so, and furthermore must honor a customer’s request to be exempted from future door-to-door sales and marketing activities.  Upon receipt of such a request, the agent notifies the supplier, which removes the customer from their databases within two business days.

Chairman Brown further urged customers facing an aggressive sales agent or suspecting a potential scam to contact the PUC’s Bureau of Consumer Services at 1-800-692-7380, as well as alert their local utility.  Consumers who feel threatened or are concerned about their safety should contact local authorities to report the incident.  The complete list of regulations governing marketing and sales practices for Pennsylvania’s retail residential energy market is found at 52 Pa. Code, Chapter 111.

In addition to door-to-door sales, Chairman Brown reminded consumers that they have other avenues to shop for their electric generation or natural gas supply.  She noted that for both industries, the PUC operates neutral, independent websites in (electric) and (natural gas) where 24 hours a day, seven days a week consumers can access current supplier offerings, consumer education fact sheets, and information on energy efficiency and conservation.

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