Rep. Lee James office today released and spread around on social media something for those who own chickens to be aware of happening in our backyard.
According to the release five Merganser ducks found around Kahle Lake died from the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI H5N1).
The birds were tested at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa and they confirmed the presence of the virus
Jame's warning urged backyard chicken owners to protect their flocks and sent out three informational flyers to help.
(Click on flyers to enlarge.)
“HPAI is a dangerous transmissible disease of poultry and has been identified in commercial poultry flocks in 10 states since early February, some of which border Pennsylvania,” said James in the release. “Migratory birds can carry the disease and spread it to both backyard poultry as well as the commercial poultry industry. Since there is no cure, depopulation is the only solution. We must remain vigilant to protect Pennsylvania’s multi-billion dollar commercial poultry industry.”
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), the symptoms of Avian Influenza include:
• Unexplained sudden death.
• Swelling of head.
• Purple discoloration of comb and wattles.
• Sudden drop of feed and water consumption.
• Lethargy and depression.
HPAI is transmitted through contact with fecal matter from wild birds, infected birds, contaminated equipment, and contaminated boots and clothing.
In order to protect flocks from the disease, backyard chicken owners should:
• Keep poultry inside their coop to avoid contact with wild birds.
• Remove birdhouses and feeders used by wild birds.
• Wear dedicated footwear and clothing to work with birds.
• Wash hands before and after working with birds.
• Clean and disinfect equipment in contact with birds.
• Limit visitors to the premises.
Anyone who witnesses unexplained illness or death within their flock should contact PDA at 717-772-2852. Pennsylvanians can assist with HPAI surveillance efforts by reporting any sick or dead wild birds to the Game Commission by calling 610-926-3136 or emailing email@example.com. Any sick or dead domestic birds should be reported to PDA at 717-772-2852.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is safe to eat poultry and eggs when they are properly handled and thoroughly cooked. The CDC mentions that the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit kills bacteria and viruses, including HPAI viruses. This means that over-easy and sunny side up eggs should be avoided.
Also, people should not consume meat or eggs from poultry that are sick.
Avian Influenza Identified in Wildlife in Venango County
NOTE: According to the CDC the commonly referred to Bird Flu poses low risk to humans, but is more of a risk to those who own poultry and are more exposed to sick birds. But the virus is very contagious to poultry and fowl.
A more than $70,000 surprise
United Way surpasses annual fundraising goal
The United Way of Venango County has a little extra dough to help area residents thanks to the efforts of volunteers, board members and the generosity of the community.
The not-for-profit community organization wrapped up its annual impact fundraising campaign on Monday night with a big announcement. The group raised $602,836, surpassing their $530,000 goal by more than $70,000.
“We are blessed with the generosity and concern of so many that allow us to continue to see growth year after year,” said Will Price, Venango County United Way executive director. "(With this money the) United Way is able to invest in programs and services to help children achieve their potential, improve community health, and assist individuals and families to become financially independent.”
The campaign received strong support in a combination of individual gifts, community fundraisers and corporate donations, according to Price.
Campaign co-chairs Ashley Nichols and Laura Ordez described the announcement as a "surprise," especially given the recent effects of the pandemic on the job market.
“(The money) means everything for our community,” said Erin Hanna, president of the United Way board. “Our campaign makes a difference in critical services. We’re extremely grateful for where we are and it means we get to continue the great work that we do.”
United Way helps more than 13,000 residents or more than a fourth of the county's population by distributing funding to 23 local programs hosted through local organizations. The United Way also has 11 internal programs focused on reducing the number of residents struggling to meet their health, education, and income needs.
Through the funding raised by previous Impact Campaigns, the Venango County United Way has been able to accomplish many things, including the following:
“This year’s campaign will continue to help the lives of a vast amount of Venango County residents.” Price said. “A huge thank you to everyone who made a donation or ran an internal campaign at their business or workplace. We are also thankful for our amazing volunteers and board members and their tireless efforts to support the campaign.”
For more information on how to become a United Way volunteer or to donate to the next year's campaign, go online to www.unitedwayofvenangocounty.org.
Valley Grove PreK Class
The Valley Grove School District is looking for families to complete a survey about possible interest in a free K4 (pre-kindergarten for four-year-olds) class for the 2022-2023 school year.
Students will receive free transportation to Valley Grove Elementary School, where they will receive early childhood education, breakfast, lunch and a snack. The class will operate on the same schedule as the rest of the elementary school.
The program offers children an "opportunity to be part of the VGE family a year early and ease the transition to kindergarten."
The class is open to students who live in the school district and will be 4 years old by August 1, 2022. Seats will be given to students based on need and then by registration date.
To be considered for the program, families should complete the interest form available through the school district's website or Facebook page.
Storied Franklin High School basketball coach Bill Hager will return to lead a group of senior student athletes as they take on a squad of faculty members under the leadership of star junior forward Luke Guth.
Guth will put up his 0-0 record as coach leading a rag-tag group of possibly in shape (possibly not) teachers against a legendary coach with a state title and a 672-273 record and young players on his side.
"This is a great way to fundraise and bring the community together," said Bridget Wood, advisor for the class of 2025 who is hosting this event.
The game will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 29.
There is expected to be a dunk contest at halftime and a raffle to win a TV. There is no admission fee, but donations will be accepted. The concession stand will be open.
"Please come support the class of 2025," Wood said.
Potential prom-goers and their guardians can peruse hundreds of gowns of different colors, styles and sizes from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 31 and 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 2. Fittings are open to students in Venango, Clarion, Crawford, Warren, Mercer, Butler, Lawrence, and Forest counties. The dresses and accessories, and minor alterations are provided for free.
The church is located at 350 Front Street, Franklin and can be contacted at 814-432-8664 or on Facebook.
By Jacob Kosker
I had originally decided to run at State Game Lands 253 and the adjoining dirt roads nearby. When my car topped out on the dirt road at the parking lot I was surrounded by a sea of white smoke. I saw the men dressed in yellow firefighting gear and knew that they were operating a controlled burn. The men were laying a permimeter burn line carefully setting a path of fire. Impromptu, I spent the next 20 minutes taking pictures, videos, and asked a few questions about why they were doing it while also trying to remain a respectable distance from the heat and smoke.
The crew was from the PA Game Commission Northwest Region office in Franklin. The crew supervisor told me the burn is an effort to keep the invasive plants multiflora rose and autumn olive shrubs at bay. The fire also serves to burn out some of the thick grass thatch that develops when the tall dead grasses matt down over the winter. This patch of open field is managed for use during hunting season when pheasants are released there yearly.
I returned to my car but heard an uptick in the sound of the fire and quickly returned, at a distance from the road, to capture some great fiery action. At the moment I thought the wind had picked up rapidly fueling the fire. I later learned I was wrong. The fire perimeter that had been burned merged from the outside to the middle of the field to create a superfire where the column of fire was acting like a chimney sucking the air from the sides below. It was hot and loud. The rushing of air from the sides created a few dust devils, miniature tornado appearing formations of air swirling with ash and dirt. The crew chief said that sometimes these little formations have in the past carried off burning embers dropping them outside of the designated burn area creating spot fires. Today none of that happened. It was not a windy day either.
I finally went on my run along the township dirt roads and descended into the State Game Lands for some off trail type of hiking and running. I made it to Pithole Creek and was able to snap a few shots of the creek and back to the field above again about 500 feet up from the valley bottom. I was hoping to see a shed deer antler on my run or on the return walk back across the newly scorched but completely cooled off earth but no such luck. Back at my car the fire crew was just doing one last look over to make sure everything was out.
Recipes to die for (or live for)
The producers of the upcoming Barrow-Civic Theatre production of "Nunsense" are trying to have a little fun with a fundraiser.
The main premise of the comedic musical is nuns holding a variety show to raise money for the funerals of their sisters who were accidentally poisoned by their cook.
So the producers thought... why not create a cookbook?
This tongue-in-cheek idea asks community members for their favorite recipes (please no poisonous ingredients) to produce a cookbook that can be sold at the Franklin theatre.
"Being that we are a community theater, I would love to have members of the community participate," said Brooke Lawrie, one of the show's producers and cast members.
Lawrie asks that folks who love to cook or love the theater to email recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 3, 2022.
"Your name in the cookbook would be first name, last initial, and town. Unless you prefer to remain anonymous," Lawrie said.
Questions about purchasing a cookbook can be directed to the email address. Tickets for the show, which is slated for late April and early May can be purchased at the theatre's website.
Show synopsis from the Barrow webste:
The Little Sisters of Hoboken need to raise money fast to bury their fellow sisters that were accidentally poisoned by cook Sister Julia, Child of God. These sisters will have you laughing through the night as they put on a hilarious variety show. Reverend Mother Regina, the former circus performer, will amaze you with her talents. Watch as Sister Mary Leo, a wanna-be ballerina dances across the stage and follow the crazy antics of Sister Mary Amnesia. This is a night full of comedy you don’t want to miss.
Dalton Wenner of Cranberry took the top spot in the junior high, 97-pound division of the Keystone State Championships wrestling tournament this weekend at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie.
Wenner defeated Brady Sliker of Hickory by a 4 - 2 decision in the finals.
He was joined by fellow placeholders Skyer Myers and Aiden Thompson.
Myers competed in the 11- and 12-year-old division. He earned a seventh-place finish in the 135-pound bracket with a 7-0 decision in his final match against Cooper Porter of Meyersdale.
Thompson, who competed as a junior high wrestler, took home a seventh-place medal at 82 pounds by pinning Rocco Zugai of Norwin in 1:58.
One hundred and sixty voices will fill the Franklin High School stage this week when the school hosts the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Region II Chorus Festival.
Students will come from over a dozen counties in northwest Pennsylvania. Beginning this Thursday, the high school students will have an intensive two days full of rehearsals to prepare for the Friday night performance in front of an audience.
The massive chorus will be under the direction of chorale director Caron Daley of the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne Univerity.
The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 25 in Franklin's auditorium and is open to the public. Tickets will be $5 at the door.
Questions can be emailed to Cranberry High School chorale director Preston Yoder at email@example.com.
Looking for more to do? Check out our calendar of events here!
The project to rehab sidewalks and replace the aged light poles in downtown Franklin is set to begin soon.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the City of Franklin announced the $639,312 project along Liberty Street between 12th and 14th streets expects to begin April 4 weather permitting.
Deemed the Liberty Street Streetscape Project, the project includes upgrades to the existing sidewalk and lighting to meet safety and ADA standards.
The plan calls for the removal of bricks between the curb and concrete walkways which are deteriorating in many places. They will be replaced with decorative stamped concrete with a brick-like pattern.
Improvements to pedestrian curb ramps that are showing signs of age and in places crumbling will also be done making them safer and bringing them into ADA compliance.
35 decorative light poles, many of which have shown signs of rusting will be replaced with near replicas.
This work is being funded by the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program, which is administered by PennDOT in coordination with Franklin. The project was awarded to M&B Services of Clarion.
During the project there will be some pedestrian detours but access to buisnesses will be maintained.
Motorists may encounter traffic controlled by flaggers as needed to complete work at intersections.