Public Meeting Scheduled for Route 8 Corridor Study in Venango County

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) invites the public to an open-house format meeting regarding the Route 8 Asset Management and Corridor Improvement Study in Venango County.

PennDOT is studying options to best manage and improve Route 8 (Richard Frame Memorial Highway) in Venango County between Georgetown Road in Irwin Township and DeBence Drive in Sandy Creek Township, a distance of about 10.5 miles.

The purpose of the study is to identify existing issues related to Route 8, including: existing and future traffic operations, safety, corridor deficiencies, roadway and bridge conditions, support of planning initiatives, and support of the regional economy.

Maintenance is becoming more costly and the existing concrete pavement and bridges are approaching the end of their design life. The study will ultimately examine options for improvements or changes to the roadway configuration and determine a long-range strategy for maintaining and improving the corridor. An economic analysis will also be done to determine the cost of maintaining the current four-lane roadway section for long-term asset management.

The purpose of the meeting is to introduce the study to the community and receive input on ideas for the corridor.

The public is welcome to attend at any time during the open house hours.

LOCATION:   Franklin Area Jr./Sr. High School Auditorium
                           246 Pone Lane
Franklin, PA  16323

DATE:           Thursday February 8, 2018

TIME:           6 PM to 8 PM
                     Presentation at 6:15 PM

Information on the study’s purpose status, schedule, existing and forecast roadway conditions and an initial range of ideas to consider will be available for review and comment. PennDOT representatives, along with our design consultants, will make a brief presentation and will be available to answer questions.

The meeting location is handicapped accessible.  The project documents will be made available in alternative languages or formats if requested.  If you need translation/interpretation services, we ask that you contact Mr. Tom McClelland, P.E.,  no later than February 1 at, or call 814-678-7081.

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PennDOT to Display Plans for Railroad Crossing on Route 322 in Venango County

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation invites the public to view a display of plans for a Railroad Crossing project on Route 322 in the City of Franklin, Venango County.

The railroad crossing is on Route 322 (13th Street), about 0.3 miles north of the intersection with Route 62 (Liberty Street).  On average, about 15,000 vehicles a day use the roadway.


The existing railroad tracks will be raised approximately 10-inches and the adjacent roadway profile will be adjusted to meet the new track elevation. Construction is expected to take place in the summer of 2018.

A detour will be required during construction and is expected to be in place for one week. The car detour route is 3.5 miles long and would use Route 417, Route 4002, and Route 62.  The truck detour is 28.2 miles long and would use Route 417, Route 8 and Route 62.

Plans for the project will be on display:

Dates:             February 6 to February 16, 2018
Time:              8 AM to 4:30 PM
Location:        Franklin City Hall
                           430 13th Street
                           Franklin, PA  16323

The purpose of the display is to introduce the project and to receive public input regarding any questions or concerns. Also it is to receive any public input regarding historic or archaeological sites in the area that could be affected by the project as required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (cultural resources).

The meeting place is handicapped accessible.  The project documents will be made available in alternative languages or formats if requested.  If you need translation/interpretation services, we ask you contact us no later than February 17, 2018. Matthew Hetrick, Project Manager, Email:, Phone: (814) 678-7386.


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A husband and wife were taken into custody on felony charges stemming from an investigation into an incident that occurred in November 2016 at the A Crivelli Ford dealership on Allegheny Blvd.

The couple, James Johnson, 62, and Karen Johnson, 61, both of Bedford, PA, purchased two vehicles for approx $31,000 in a fraudulent manner.

James Johnson was taken into custody on January 4, 2018 in Mifflin County on unrelated charges. His wife Karen Johnson later turned herself into officials on these charges.

Both face charges of Criminal Conspiracy (F), Theft by Unlawful Taking (F), Theft by Deception (F), Retail Theft (F), Bad Checks (M).

James was arraigned before Magistrate Lowrey and bail was set at $50,000. He remains in the Mifflin County Jail.

Karen was transported back to Venango County and arraigned before Magistrate Kirtland and remanded to the Venango County Jail on $20,000 bail.

Both are scheduled for preliminary hearing on January 10, 2018.

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Rocky Grove High School Threat

On December 22, 2017 Sugarcreek Police along with members of the Pennsylvania State Police searched the school for evidence related to a threat that was discovered at the school. Nothing was located.

All resources were used and no current threat was detected.

Officers were assisted at the scene by Rocky Grove Volunteer Fire Dept.


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Northwest Pennsylvania Police Departments to Participate in Holiday Seat-Belt Enforcement Mobilization

To increase safety on Pennsylvania’s roadways during the busy holiday season, law enforcement agencies in Erie, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties will join the Pennsylvania State Police and nearly 250 local departments statewide to participate in increased seat-belt enforcement from November 20 through December 3.

Northwest Pennsylvania police agencies participating in the initiative include:

  • Erie County – City of Erie Police Department and Millcreek Township Police Department;
  • Mercer County – Hermitage Police Department.
  • Venango County – Franklin Police Department, Oil City Police Department, and Sugarcreek Police Department; and
  • Warren County – Conewango Township Police.

The enforcement is coordinated through PennDOT’s Buckle Up PA program and involves conducting seat-belt enforcement on roadway which data shows have low seat-belt use and high unbelted-crash rates.

In 2016, people not wearing a seat belt accounted for only 6.9 percent of all those involved in a crash in Pennsylvania, but 52.2 percent of the fatalities from all crashes.

The combination of lap/shoulder seat belts, when used, reduces the risk of fatal injuries to front seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent, and light truck occupants by 60 percent.

For more information on seat belt safety, visit Click on the traffic safety and driver topics tab.

Below is a chart of the total number of people involved in crashes in Pennsylvania in 2016 based on seat belt usage.

Belt in Use Belt Not in Use Belt Use Unknown
Total People in Crashes 223,462 (79.5%) 19,500 (6.9%) 38,224 (13.6%)
Fatalities 261 (33.3%) 410 (52.2%) 114 (14.5%)


# # #


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Phone Scam

Sugarcreek Police reports another phone scam hit the Rocky Grove area on November 6, 2017. In this scam, a male contacted the victim stating that he was the victims grandson and that he had been involved in a crash after leaving a doctor appointment and was now in jail.

Another male then got on the phone claiming to be a public defender and demanded that the victim go to Sam’s Club and get $4,800 of gift cards to be transferred to the grandsons commissary and he would be released from jail.

Victim reports that the scammer knew information that was personal to the victims grandson such as past medical conditions, hospitals he was associated with, income as well as volunteer services.

The victim did not release any information to the scammers and immediately reported it to police.

Again, the public is reminded NOT to send any money to people you do not know. If the caller requests you say nothing to any other family and press for the money to be sent in hours it is most likely a scam. Report it to your local police department.


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Fraud/Phone Scam

Sugarcreek Police are currently investigating a phone scam that was reported on November 3, 2017. Victim reports that on October 31, 2017 a person reporting to be her grandson called and stated he was hurt in a car accident. Another male then got on the phone stating he was a police officer and requested money to be sent for bail.

The victim did transfer a large sum of money to the individual over a two day period.

On the third day the scammer called again stating the grandson was being extradited out of country unless a larger amount was sent to them.

Thankfully this larger amount was caught by the bank and not put through.

The victim was scammed out of a substantial amount of money.

Sugarcreek Police are attempting to work with the FTC as well as other federal agencies in an attempt to identify the individuals involved.

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School Threats

Sugarcreek Borough Police filed one charge of Terroristic Threats through the District Attorney’s Office against a 14 year old male juvenile stemming from an investigation of reported threats made against students on October 17, 2017.

The reported threats included bringing weapons to school and shooting the place up.

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Governor Wolf Announces New Winter Travel Tool for Public, Administration Outlines Winter Preparations

With the winter season approaching, Governor Tom Wolf today announced that a new online tool is available to inform the public of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) operations this winter. He made the announcement in conjunction with a news conference that PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards held today outlining the agency’s plans for winter services, and sharing job opportunities and driver preparation tips.

“Public safety is our principal mission, which drives our team’s preparation for the winter season,” Governor Wolf said. “Not only are PennDOT’s staff, equipment and materials ready to go, but we also have yet another tool for the public to make winter travel decisions.”

New this winter, the public can view a color-coded map of when each of the nearly 40,000 miles of state-maintained roadway was last plowed by visiting the plow trucks section. The information is the latest enhancement made possible by PennDOT’s Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) technology, which uses units in each of the more than 2,200 department-owned and rented plow trucks to send a cellular signal showing truck locations.

The AVL program, started in 2014, is part of Governor Tom Wolf’s GO-TIME initiative that leverages inter-agency coordination and collaboration to maximize efficiency, modernize state government operations, and provide the highest quality services.

During the news conference at the PennDOT maintenance facility in Norristown, Montgomery County, Richards noted that PennDOT is actively seeking approximately 480 temporary equipment operators statewide for the winter season to supplement the department’s full-time staff. Details on minimum requirements, such as possession of a CDL, as well as application information, are available at Through the same website, job seekers can apply for seven other types of non-operator, winter positions such as diesel and construction equipment mechanics, welders, clerks and more.

In discussing PennDOT’s readiness for the season ahead, Richards said that the department has compiled its information about winter services and winter-driving resources for motorists at The site also has a complete winter guide with detailed information about winter services in each of PennDOT’s 11 engineering districts.

The 40,000 miles for which PennDOT is responsible translates into 96,000 snow-lane miles — enough miles to circle the globe nearly four times. A snow-lane is calculated as the miles of road multiplied by the number of lanes, which means a one-mile section of four-lane roadway would equal four snow-lane miles.

The department maintains roughly the same number of miles maintained by the state in New York, New Jersey and all of the New England states combined.

With $220 million budgeted for this winter’s statewide operations, PennDOT deploys about 4,800 on-the-road workers, has more than 652,000 tons of salt on hand across the state and will take salt deliveries throughout the winter.

“Carrying out our winter mission is a massive undertaking for our team, and it’s critical that the public do their part to keep our roads as safe as possible,” Richards said. “Drivers should keep safety top of mind in their travel decisions, and give our operators and other motorists plenty of room during inclement weather.”

When winter weather hits, PennDOT’s primary focus is on interstates and expressways, and equipment may be redirected to those routes during significant winter events. The more traffic a roadway has, the more attention it will receive from plows, so motorists may find deeper accumulations on less-traveled routes and should adjust their driving for those conditions.

If motorists encounter snow or ice-covered roads, they should slow down, increase their following distance and avoid distractions. Last winter in Pennsylvania, preliminary data shows that there were 252 crashes resulting in 129 injuries on snowy, slushy or ice-covered roadways where aggressive-driving behaviors such as speeding or making careless lane changes were factors.

In addition to planning for traffic impacts, Richards noted that vehicle preparation is critical to safe winter travel. Tires should be checked often for the correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to perform on ice and snow. A quick way to check tread depth is to insert a penny in the tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see the entire head, the tires are worn and traction will suffer. If you live in an area prone to heavy snow, drivers may want to consider using dedicated snow tires or carrying a set of tire chains. At a minimum, all-season tires should be rated for use in mud and snow.

Once vehicles are travel-ready, drivers should be prepared for winter or vehicle emergencies especially if long-distance travel is planned. PennDOT urges motorists to carry an emergency kit. An emergency kit should include items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel. However, motorists should tailor their kits to any specific needs that they or their families may have. Consider adding such items as baby supplies, extra medication, pet supplies, or even children’s games.

In addition to viewing plow information, motorists can use to check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 850 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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Fill-A-Car Donation

Fill a Car

The Borough of Sugarcreek Police Department, in conjunction with Community Services of Venango County will be holding a Fill-A-Car donation event on October 28th from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.

The event will be held at the Cranberry Walmart, 10 Kimberly Ln, Cranberry Pa.

Come out and support residents of Venango County by making a donation of non-perishable food items or personal care and cleaning products.

Our goal is to fill an entire police vehicle with donations to be given to Community Services of Venango County to help celebrate their 50 years of service to the community.

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