High school seniors enrolled in Venango County's eAcademy program are learning skills they would need to run a business, and they are also hearing from current business owners.

Noah Rodgers said that through the eAcademy, "You get more applicable information, what you need to know to go into that world (of business)."

Rodgers and Justice Baker, both seniors at Rocky Grove High School who are enrolled in the eAcademy, say they are planning to major in business in college.

"It makes it (owning a business) seem more doable," Logan Dykins, also a senior at Rocky Grove, said of the program.

Alexis Clark, another Rocky Grove senior, said she enrolled in the program for the experience in case she ever chooses to own a business.

"We do so much that gets them prepared for life outside the classroom," Taylor Mosher said of the eAcademy.

Mosher, who is a teacher with the eAcademy, is the entrepreneurship program manager with the Venango County Economic Development Authority.

The eAcademy is open to high school seniors in Oil City, Franklin, Valley Grove, Cranberry, Forest, Titusville and Penncrest school districts, Mosher said.

During the year, students learn about the different businesses in the area and how businesses function. The students also develop their own fully written business plan, a five-minute pitch about their company and a prototype.

Mosher added that students also learn about writing resumes and cover letters and hone their public speaking skills with frequent class presentations on topics related to the businesses they are learning about and other topics.

Mosher said that before the coronavirus pandemic, the students in the eAcademy would take one field trip day a month to tour local businesses and industries in the area.

Since the pandemic, it hasn't been feasible to go on field trips in person, Mosher said, but several local business owners have talked to the class, which is operating using a hybrid model.

In the spring, Mosher said she hopes to resume some outdoor field trips to businesses.

The eAcademy, which is housed at Clarion University's Venango Campus, is a dual enrollment program for high school seniors that runs Mondays through Thursdays.

Mosher said the students meet in person on Tuesdays, meet via Zoom on Thursdays and have assignments to work on Mondays and Wednesdays.

The program has six students this year - five from Rocky Grove and one from Titusville. There were three students in the program last year.

Students enrolled in the eAcademy are eligible to take a college course through Clarion University, Mosher said.

She explained the eAcademy has reached a deal with Clarion that eAcademy students who are enrolled in a college course at Clarion will also get college credit for the eAcademy.

Mosher said that due to how far some of the students would have to travel from outlying school districts, such as Penncrest and Forest, there was interest in having a virtual option for students to participate in the eAcademy.

Mosher is planning a virtual option in the coming school year for students to participate in the class from their school and come in person for field trips.


Local restaurants and bars welcome relaxed COVID-19 mitigation guidelines.

Amid political polarization, U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson vows he will maintain a bipartisan approach.

KNOX — Knox police are seeking information on the whereabouts of Trenton Alan Hogue, 24, of Knox.

About a dozen people braved the cold temperatures Friday to participate in the Good Friday cross walk in Oil City.

Federal law could open the way for the state's plan to toll Interstate 80 bridges.

A men's homeless shelter in Oil City that has been in the works for more than two years will open Monday.

HARRISBURG (AP) — Every adult in Pennsylvania will qualify for COVID-19 vaccines starting April 19, and emergency responders, grocery workers and others will be able to set up shots immediately, Gov. Tom Wolf's administration announced Wednesday.

HARRISBURG — The state Department of Health on Wednesday announced 23 new cases of COVID-19 were reported from the tri-county area.

Sugar Valley Lodge will be reopening its facilities Thursday after more than a year of COVID-19 preventative restrictions.

The sudden shutdown of public and private schools last March due to COVID sent teachers, administrators and families back to the drawing board to figure out how to continue their children's education in the face of great uncertainty.

HARRISBURG — The state Department of Health on Thursday announced a combined 13 new cases of COVID-19 were reported from Clarion and Forest counties, as well as one new virus-related death from Clarion County. In addition, the state surpassed 1 million total cases.

HARRISBURG — The state Department of Health on Wednesday announced nine cases of COVID-19 were reported from the tri-county area, as well as one new virus-related death from Venango County.

KNOX - People normally avoid crashing their cars, but Knox residents and demolition derby drivers Ken Kiskaden and Jay Nugent spend their summer intentionally wrecking theirs.

HARRISBURG - The state Department of Health on Tuesday announced seven new cases of COVID-19 were reported from the tri-county area.

After being severely damaged in a fire last month, a longtime Seneca landmark, the Log Cabin restaurant, was torn down on Monday.

Editor's note: The writer is a Clarion University senior who is majoring in both history and communications. He also worked as an intern for the newspaper.

Our "Adjusting Our Lives" series continues as Clarion University students share how COVID-19 mitigation efforts changed college life. Pick up a copy of tomorrow's newspaper or visit TheDerrick.com to read the story.

"Adjusting Our Lives": The periodic series that looks at how our lives have changed since COVID-19 mitigation efforts went into effect next looks at Clarion University, where students say their online classes have been a difficult learning experience.

First responders early Friday evening spent about an hour rescuing a man who had been trapped in a storm sewage pipe in Franklin for several days.

Rescuers said they pulled a man from a sewer at the corner of Elk and 15th streets who had been stuck there since Tuesday. There was no immediate word as to his condition. For more information, see tomorrow's newspaper and TheDerrick.com.

The new Venango County multimodal hub in downtown Oil City is nearing its substantial completion date of March 31.

McNerney's, a popular St. Patrick's Day tavern in Oil City, was down to takeout meals only on Wednesday, but not down on its luck.

A group of Franklin High School art students have the chance to bring thousands of dollars home to their school district by participating in the "Vans Custom Culture" contest.