Knox council welcomes two new members

Knox Borough Mayor Rich Cochran (left) administers the oath of office to Melissa Pierce who was appointed to a vacant council seat Jan. 3. Pierce was one of two new council members to take part in their first official meeting.

KNOX - Knox Borough Council kicked off the new year with two new members of the panel one by election and one by appointment.

Danielle Fye, a Democrat, won a four-year term on council in the November 2021 election, replacing Tom Goble who did not seek reelection.

Caleb Gilliand won a two-year term on council in the past election, but had to resign from his previous term in December and forego the two-year term due to employment obligations.

Council asked for letters of interest in the vacant seat and three people offered to serve the two-year term Melissa Pierce, Lon "Hoss" Bowers and Shane Zerbe.

All three attended the Jan. 3 session of council and presented a brief verbal presentation.

Council then opted to appoint Pierce, a Democrat, to the open seat.

Pierce said she is a life-long resident of the area and a 14-year resident of Knox Borough. She has been involved in numerous volunteer efforts at Keystone High School.

"I'd like to give back to the community," said Pierce. "Knox has been very good to me."

Council member Bill Henry, who won reelection to a four-year term last November, said it is very unusual to have three people show interest in a vacant council seat.

"We have three great people who are here tonight," said Henry. "We've never had this good of a response. Any of these three people would be good (on council)."

Prior to the regular business meeting, Knox Borough Council conducted its state-mandated bi-annual reorganization meeting.

During the reorganization session, council:

- Reelected Jack Bish Jr. as council president.

- Reelected Linda Runyan as vice-president.

- Reelected Henry as president pro tem. Henry would preside at council meetings in the absence of both Bish and Runyan.

- Reappointed Mike Leahy as vacancy board chairman.

- Reappointed John Marshall as borough legal counsel.

- Reappointed The EADS Group as borough engineer.

- Reappointed Bureau Veritas as building inspector.

- Reappointed Keystone Collections as earned income tax collector and local services tax collector.

- Reappointed Kristen Yeager as emergency management coordinator.

- Reappointed Sharon Heeter as open records officer.

- Reappointed Bish and Heeter as Clarion County Tax Committee delegates.

- Designated Farmers National Bank and Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust (PLIGIT) as depositories for borough funds.

- Monthly council meetings will continue to be held at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of the month at the borough offices.

FARMINGTON — A Jan. 12 investigation and search warrant execution at a Farmington Township camp turned up about $20,000 worth of fentanyl, methamphetamine and crack cocaine, according to the Clarion County District Attorney's Office.

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.

KNOX - The Knox Volunteer Fire Department can trace its roots back to the 1870s, according to information compiled by department chief Matthew Yeager.

CLARION - Clarion County officials are looking to Harrisburg for the "authority to create an authority." If legislation is adopted in Harrisburg, local municipalities could from an authority to deal with the crisis in emergency medical services.

CLARION - Over the years, there has been one item on the Clarion Area administration's proverbial backburner which needed addressed and at the Clarion Area School Board work session Jan. 4 and Clarion Superintendent Dr. Joseph Carrico took the matter head on.

CLARION - The Clarion County Board of Commissioners Dec. 28 took the first step toward a full, physical, assessment of all properties in the county. That step was the employment of International Association of Assessing Officers at a cost of $50,000.

FRILLS CORNERS - It has been a period of uncertainty for the Lake Lucy Municipal Authority in recent months but the Washington Township Board of Supervisors took steps Dec. 27 toward solving the problems.

LAMARTINE - Salem Township supervisors Dec. 27 gave their final approval to a $285,300 budget for 2022, balancing the spending plan without a tax increase.

HARRISBURG - For the second consecutive year, Clarion County townships and boroughs face another reduction in their state liquid fuels road funding, albeit this year's reduction is far less than last year's COVID-related cuts.

CLARION - The hallways at the Clarion County Community Action building in Clarion are lined with donated food items. That is because the small office building is also the Clarion Food Pantry.

ELK TWP. - "People really don't know how dire the situation is," Elk Township Supervisor Ray Rennard said this month, speaking of the struggles Clarion County ambulance services are facing.

CLARION - On Jan. 4, for the first time in almost 40 years, Rex Munsee will not be carrying a badge. When Sheriff-elect Shawn Zerfoss is sworn in, Munsee will be a civilian.

CLARION - The Clarion County bi-annual judicial tax sale last week more than met expectations. The sale generated a total of $254,908.

CLARION - Clarion Borough and Clarion Township might get a "do-over" on the 2020 census count that showed population drops taking both municipalities under important funding thresholds.

CLARION - As COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb in Clarion County, so too, do the number of cases of influenza reported to the state Department of Health.

KNOX - The Keystone School Board Dec. 20 approved the implementation of a revised health and safety plan and/or a potential communicable disease prevention and control plan.

CLARION - Christmas is a time for traditions but those traditions change over the years. One hundred years ago, Christmas 1921, was celebrated very differently than the way the holiday is observed in 2021.

CLARION - As the winter season sets in and the COVID-19 emergency continues to sweep through the area, the state Department of Health reports influenza cases are on the rise.

KNOX - The Keystone School Board Dec. 8 tentatively agreed to cap any real estate tax increase for the upcoming 2022-23 school year to no more than 4.9 percent, or 2.52 mills.

CLARION - The holidays are a busy time of the year and no one is busier than Santa Claus. The jolly old Elf took a few minutes off from his hectic schedule to give the Oil City Derrick an exclusive interview.

FOXBURG - When the Allegheny-Clarion Valley and Union School districts entered into a football co-op in 2016, it was just the football teams that combined but now one A-C Valley resident would like to see one of the mainstays of Friday night football games merge as well.

CLARION - Clarion Borough Council Dec. 7 gave its tentative approval to its 2022 general fund budget totaling $2,508,350. The budget does not call for any tax increases.

KNOX - Just one month after the general election filled a two-year term council seat for 2022, Knox Borough Council finds it will need a person to fill that seat after all.

CLARION - For this feature, the most recent week of reporting to the state Department of Health Nov. 23 through 29 the number of COVID-19 cases by local Zip Code included:

FOXBURG - Over the course of time, things are bound to need upgrades here and there and according to some community members, the football field on the A-C Valley campus is in dire need of an upgrade.

SHIPPENVILLE - It's been a while since the Shippenville Borough Council has been able to address the town's streets but that might be coming to an end -- for certain streets anyway.

CLARION - During a recent Rotary meeting in Clarion, Tina Gibbs, Community Relations Coordinator for PennDOT District 10, addressed several questions regarding the planned replacement project of the Canoe Creek Bridge on Interstate 80 in Clarion County.

CLARION - The residents of Clarion County have an additional reason to be thankful, a tax cut. The Clarion County Board of Commissioners No. 24 rolled out their proposed 2022 budget with a one-half mill tax decrease.

SHIPPENVILLE - A possible increase in the borough real estate tax was discussed briefly at the Shippenville Borough Council meeting Nov. 10 but ultimately council approved for advertisement the borough's 2022 tentative budget without a tax hike.

HARRISBURG -- The effort to establish a new entrance to the Clarion Industries plant in Paint Township received a big boost last week when the Department of Community and Economic Development's Commonwealth Financing Agency's Multimodal Transportation Fund approved an $863,431 grant for the …

CLARION - PennDOT continues to plan for the replacement of the Canoe Creek Bridge along Interstate 80, but the department is also planning on other projects in Clarion County.