The 2023 "Shine a Light on Suicide Night Kayak" is an awareness event hosted by the Venango County Suicide Prevention Task Force.
Their mission is to work in collaboration with communities to develop strategies that through education, advocacy, and support will help to reduce the risk, stigma, and occurrence of suicide in Venango County, the organizers said.
Dr. Kathy Quick is the featured speaker. There'll be individual and group kayak decoration contests with prizes for best lighted kayak and best theme in both categories.
There are several prizes including a new kayak with paddle and life jacket.
The event is 6:30 to 10 p.m. on September 2 at Two Mile Run County Park.
The event, which includes, hot dogs, chips water and popcorn is free.
Also coming up: celebrating with folks who pulled themselves back together
PennDOT has reopened the Petroleum Center Bridge in Oil Creek State Park to pedestrians and bicyclists
The PennDOT press release stated "The 139-year-old bridge was closed in October 2022 due to advanced deterioration and structural concerns discovered during a routine inspection. In spring, 2023, further inspections were conducted, and plans were created that would allow the bridge to be reopened to non-motorized users."
Parking lots are available on both side of the span so it can be accessed from either side.
"... the reopening will reconnect visitors to all the amenities at the heart of the park without the need to drive the detour, including access to and from the Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad station, the park office, the bike trail, and the Egbert Farm Day Use Area," the release continued. "The bridge will remain closed to motorized vehicles until further repairs can be made. Preliminary design work for those repairs began in 2022 and continues in 2023. A construction contract for work needed to reopen the bridge to vehicles is tentatively scheduled to be awarded in 2026.
A motorized vehicle detour is posted using Route 8, Route 227, State Park Road, and Petroleum Center Road. "
The single-lane steel through truss bridge was built in 1884 and was rehabilitated in 1984. The bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places for its engineering significance, which includes its distinct design and its standing as an example of work done by the Morse Bridge Company of Youngstown, Ohio.
A scaled down replica of a historical panel marking the donation and sale of land that is now the Venango County Fairgrounds by the Runninger family was shown to the public at the fair this week. The final marker, which is expected to be permentantly placed outside Runninger Hall this fall, was made possible in part thanks to the first-round the Oil Region Alliance mini-grants awarded earlier this year.
Officials at PennDOT released this week that repairs to the Petroleum Center Bridge that was closed last year due to safety concerns, will begin next week. It has been closed to all traffic, but the repairs will allow it to be reopened to pedestrian and bicycle traffic only, but will remain closed to motor vehicles.
The bridge is located near the Oil Creek State Park near the Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad station, the park office, the bike trail parking lot, and the Egbert Farm Day Use Area.
“Safety is the first concern for all bridges, including historic structures. Our first steps were to ensure users would be safe, which meant initially closing the bridge,” said PennDOT District 1 executive Brian McNulty in a press release. “We also understand the significant connection the bridge serves in the Oil Creek State Park. Therefore, our team set out to develop a plan that would enable visitors to access different parts of the park more easily. We are working alongside industry experts to reinforce the structural integrity of the bridge so it can be reopened to light weight traffic, like hikers and cyclists.”
Work on the 139-year-old bridge will be done by PennDOT employees under the guidance of historic bridge consultant Gannett Fleming and the PennDOT engineering staff.
“Historical bridges come with unique challenges. Simply replacing this bridge with a new one is not an option. We are bound by state and federal regulations to coordinate the scopes and details of these projects with the State Historic Preservation Office, which takes more time than most simple bridge projects. Repairs and rehabilitation efforts must follow guidelines and preserve the historic nature of the structure,” McNulty said. “These factors require time to evaluate and design solutions that meet today’s structural and historical standards.”
PennDOT said once work is done a public notice will be issued, but until then it is an active work zone and pedestrians should not attempt to use the bridge. They said bollards or fixed posts to block larger motorized vehicles will be placed at each end.
Updates on the Petroleum Center Bridge will also be posted on the PennDOT website at www.penndot.pa.gov.
The single-lane steel through truss bridge was built in 1884 and was rehabilitated in 1984. Prior to being closed, it was posted with a weight limit of five tons and a height restriction of 11 feet. It is rated in poor condition. The bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places for its engineering significance, which includes its distinct design and its standing as an example of work done by the Morse Bridge Company of Youngstown, Ohio.
Due to its condition, the bridge is on a six-month inspection cycle. Prior to the latest inspection, funding had been allocated for design and construction costs related to the bridge. Preliminary design work began in 2022 and continues in 2023. A construction contract for work needed to reopen the bridge to vehicles is tentatively scheduled to be awarded in 2026.
The bridge was used by approximately 75 vehicles a day, on average.
A motorized vehicle detour is posted using Route 8, Route 227, State Park Road, and Petroleum Center Road. Parking lots are available on both sides of the bridge.
Voting is open for the third annual Oil Region Tourism Awards and the contest has more nominations than previous years.
“There are so many unique features of the Oil Region, and this is a great way for residents and guests to share the ones they’re most passionate about with others,” said Emily Altomare, communications and tourism manager for the Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry and Tourism in a press release. Altomare said 2023 has the largest number of nominees received since the program's inception.
Nominees, which were suggested by the public, are from throughout the Oil Region, which includes all of Venango County, plus Titusville, Oil Creek Township, and Hydetown in Crawford County. Categories are Best Dish, Best Drink, Best Room, Best Shop, Best Industry Advocate, Best Industry Partner, Must See/Do Activity/Attraction, and Best Landmark.
To see a complete list of nominees in each category and vote for your favorite, go online to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2023OilRegionTourismAwards. Voting is open through Aug. 18. Winners will be announced on Sept. 1.
The city of Franklin notified us today of a change in the paving schedule from what was released yesterday. They asked if we would help spread the word on the on-going pavement schedule.
FRIDAY, AUG. 4
Evergreen Drive, Alder Lane to Gurney Road
Brown Avenue, Grant to Atlantic
Monroe Street, Washington to end
Madison Street, Washington to Adams
Eagle Street, 15th to 13th
13th Street, Chestnut to Eagle
SATURDAY, AUG. 5
MONDAY, AUG. 7
15th Street, Elk to Otter
Buffalo Street, 12th to 14th
14th Street, Buffalo to Liberty
14th Street, Liberty to Elk
TUESDAY, AUG. 8
Otter Street, South Park to 12th Street
Elk Street, 13th Street to West Park Street
Elk Street, South Park to Washington Crossing
9th Street, Buffalo to Liberty
9th Street, Liberty to Elk
900 Block of Elk Street
200 Block of Elk Street
Three chances to sample locally produced foods in three markets in northwest Pennsylvania this weekend.
Core Goods in Oil City, the Meadville Market House, and the Edinboro Market are holding coordinated open houses to showcase their cooperation with each other and area food producers from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 6.
“Each store will have several farms and other food producers set up to talk to attendees about how local food is grown and made,” a press release for Core Goods owner Ashley Sheffer stated.
She said they all hope that people will come to at least one location, or make a day of it to visit two or all three locations to learn even more about what is available to support in the region.
There will live music, raffles and other activities for the family.
“Our local food system is vibrant and our goal with this event is to have a fun day, while
also connecting customers with some of the more than 50 local businesses we sell
products from,” said Sheffer. “It’s one thing to purchase an item from our store, it’s another to talk directly with the person who grew that item and learn about what goes into bringing food to our store, then to their table.”
At Core Goods,Mitch-Hill Dairy Farm & Creamery, Plot Twist Farm, Clarion River Organics, and Meant to Bee Flower Farm will be featured. Ashleigh Bennett will provide the entertainment music and there will be a chalk walk outside, coordinated by local artists, Sheffer said.
This Open House is part of the Find NWPA Food project, a collaboration between Core Goods, Edinboro Market, the Meadville Market House and several farm partners. It began in April 2022 after the group received a grant through a national and state Reinvestment Fund’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative to help them better distribute local food throughout the region. The three markets and farmers literally use a “bucket brigade” style delivery system to help get goods to new markets. Now food produced in Sligo can be distributed to Edinboro as well as something from Erie County can be sold in Oil City through cooperation and grass roots transportation efforts.
“Through the collaboration, each market has access to new products and can offer more options to customers, and farms and other suppliers have new places to sell their items and can focus their time on growing and making food,” Sheffer said.
Find more details about the event and project by visiting www.FindNWPAFood.com.