The old and the new

Cranberry Township utilities supervisor Mike Erwin (standing) informs supervisors Bob Betzold (left) and board chairman Matt McSparren about a current problem. Thursday marked Erwin’s last meeting as a township employee after 48 years of service to the municipality. Betzold was participating in his first meeting as a supervisor.

Cranberry Township supervisors on Thursday approved a Department of Environmental Protection planning module that will eventually lead to the construction of a Veterans Administration clinic in the township.

Interim township manager Eric Heil said the new building would “probably” be erected along Route 322 in front of the Home Depot store. Heil said additional details aren’t available at this time.

“I have been working with a number of entities who are in the process of finalizing the subdivision, including storm water. That has to be completed before the project can begin,” Heil said. “I do not have a date when it is going to take place. They will be working with the county on the subdivision. It sounds like they want to move fairly quickly on it,” Heil added.

The township is also moving to resolve flooding issues. Heil said the township had been in discussions with the Army Corps of Engineers to control flooding on Sage Run and Two Mile Run.

“The Corps of Engineers is going to come in and prepare a hydrological map for those areas. They will make recommendations on how they will address those issues,” Heil said.

“We had the project scheduled for last year but COVID slowed things down,” supervisor Matt McSparren said.

“They (Corps of Engineers) will make recommendations on what needs to be fixed,” said Heil. “There might be a road that needs to be fixed or a ditch or retention walls that need to be built. The repairs could be extensive.”

McSparren said the cost of the plan will be split between the township and the Corps of Engineers.

In other business Thursday, Heil and the supervisors discussed a meeting scheduled Wednesday in Oil City in which the Venango County emergency services situation will be discussed.

The meeting is being hosted by Oil City Mayor Bill Moon and Franklin Mayor Doug Baker.

“Oil City and Franklin have the only paid fire services in the county,” said supervisor Bob Betzold. “They are concerned about their response for mutual aid from outside agencies.”

The supervisors addressed the condition of Morrison Park. While there are no immediate plans for repairs, supervisor Fred Buckholtz said the park board was discussing remodeling the entire park.

“They are talking about tearing everything down and starting all over again,” he said.

Pickle ball players use the park, but cracks in the pavement have proven to be a problem.

“Morrison is Cranberry’s best kept secret,” said Buckholtz.

McSparren introduced a “simplified” street light ordinance. “There will be no change in the rates,” he said.

In another matter, Heil thanked Mike Erwin for his 48 years of service to the township.

Erwin started to work for the township at the age of 17, and he is retiring as the township’s utilities supervisor.

“We will miss you Mike,” Buckholtz said.

RANDY BARTLEY, reporter for The Derrick and The News-Herald, can be reached at 814-226-7000 or at


Area residents spent much of Monday digging out from a major storm that dumped about a foot of snow across the region from Sunday afternoon into Monday morning.

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh has issued a Winter Storm Warning from 1 p.m. Sunday to 1 p.m. Monday for most of western Pennsylvania including Venango, Clarion, Mercer, Forest, Jefferson, and Butler counties.

Girls Basketball: Franklin 49, Oil City 27; Allegheny-Clarion Valley 39, Cranberry 28; Karns City 36, Venango Catholic 33; Union 51, Keystone 31; Clarion-Limestone 46, North Clarion 43; Clarion 37, Moniteau 24

Cranberry Township supervisors on Thursday approved a Department of Environmental Protection planning module that will eventually lead to the construction of a Veterans Administration clinic in the township.

Boys Basketball: Franklin 64, Slippery Rock 45; Oil City 61, Fort LeBoeuf 47; Cranberry 63, Forest Area 18; Redbank Valley 64, Venango Catholic 21; Union 50, Moniteau 40; Clarion-Limestone 58, Allegheny-Clarion Valley 47; Karns City 43, Clarion 31; Cambridge Springs 64, Cochranton 59

Boys basketball: Union 52, North Clarion 50; Clarion 84, A-C Valley 35; Cochranton 46, Youngsville 31; Franklin 60, Grove City 30; Karns City 44, Moniteau 37; Venango Catholic 56, Forest Area 22

BOYS BASKETBALL: Franklin 81, Hickory 69; Oil City 60, Conneaut Area 32; Rocky Grove 63, Commodore Perry 20; Grove City 54, Sharon 33; Cochranton 47, Maplewood 20

History was made Monday as Marie Veon was sworn as the first female judge in Venango County history during ceremonies at the county courthouse.

Another Christmas season is winding down, but 8-year-old Will Cisek’s holiday spirit will continue through his 45-piece-and-counting inflatable Christmas display, which will be on display for a while beyond the start of the new year.

Girls Basketball: Franklin 51, Cranberry 28; Union 42, Rocky Grove 25; Karns City 52, Oil City 36; North Clarion 55, Clarion 23; Clarion-Limestone 49, Reynolds 41; A-C Valley 29, Meadville 26; Harbor Creek 50, Keystone 21; Lakeview 44, North East 35; Grove City 50, Eden Christian 48

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