The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

October 2, 2013

Shenango River Lake rec areas casualty of shutdown

MERCER COUNTY — Outdoors enthusiasts didn’t have to wait long to find out if the federal government shutdown would hit them where it hurts.

Recreational activities under control of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were shut down at Shenango River Lake Tuesday morning as a result of the budget crisis. Those attempting to enter campgrounds and access areas were greeted with gated roads and closed signs. A couple people said they were shooed away by park rangers.

The Corps’ Pittsburgh District, which covers all of western Pennsylvania, part of eastern Ohio, northern Virginia and Maryland, began erecting closed signs over all of its recreation areas, said spokeswoman Carol Davis.

“Shenango Lake is like all other government sites which are basically shutting down,’’ she said. “All public access has been closed.’’

The closing means public launch areas for boats are also inaccessible – with one notable exception.  

RC’s Marina in Clark is open and operating through its lease arrangement with the Corps.

“The government shutdown will have no impact to our out-grantees or concessionaires,’’ Davis said.

An employee at the marina said RC’s would be open for probably a couple more weeks; it normally closes as colder weather arrives and water levels fall. RC’s had previously told owners to remove their boats by the end of Tuesday.

All campers currently in Army Corps campgrounds must depart no later than 8 p.m. today.Wednesday Campers will receive a refund for any unused portion of their reservations, by calling 888-448-1474. As long as the parks are closed, future reservations will be automatically canceled.

However, Davis emphasized that critical safety areas are still being maintained – including the Shenango Dam.

“We are still 100 percent protecting the public,’’ she said. “If there are any major flooding issues, we’re going to be out there and involved.’’

Those wanting to complain about the campground and park shutdowns will find it hard because the Corps began shutting down its Facebook page and other social media sites.  

Even the military will take its lumps locally during the shutdown, said Lt. Col. Larry Scheetz, Mercer County veterans affairs director. Some civilian employees for the Army Reserves have been furloughed, with full-time reservists being told to fill in the holes at reserves centers such Pendel-Caminiti in Farrell, he said.

Scheetz said he was told an upcoming weekend drill for the Farrell center has been canceled. Nobody answered the listed phone number for the center Tuesday evening.

If the government shutdown lingers, it will eventually affect the Pennsylvania National Guard, Scheetz said.

“Even though it’s state sponsored and financed, they get their money from the federal government,’’ he explained.

Critical veterans’ needs such as medical care, mental health services and nursing centers are not affected. All local veterans claims are being filed and processed as normal. And the shutdown will not affect monthly Veterans’ Administration checks, Scheetz said.

But things can change.

“Federal benefits may be impacted if the budget impasse lasts beyond a month,’’ Scheetz said. “What I tell you today may not be the same tomorrow.’’

And if you’re planning a vacation to Washington, D.C., or a national park, you might need to make new plans.

Masury resident Paul Saternow is vacationing the great American West and found he couldn’t get to the fabled Devils Tower because the park was closed. Instead, he went to a golf course. There were plenty of others in the same boat.

“There’s a bunch of people on the road now that aren’t very happy,’’ he said.

Now headed to Yellowstone, Saternow said he wasn’t optimistic that park would be open either.

“If that isn’t open I guess we go find another golf course,’’ he said. “We may end up getting home a lot sooner than we thought.’’

Text Only
Local News
  • To demolish or not Tear it down? Fix it up?

    In 2007, Richard D. Givens bought a home at 831 Knobwood Drive in Hermitage for $245,000.
    Today, the city of Hermitage is seeking the demolition of the now-vacant house, arguing the damage from water infiltration makes the structure not worth saving.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 19, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Man admits having child porn

    A Mercer man accused of soliciting and downloading photographs of nude teenage girls pleaded guilty April 8 to sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography.

    April 19, 2014

  • Police getting new tool to fight crime

    Sharon police working at crime scenes will be putting a powerful new investigative tool to work as soon as next month.

    April 19, 2014

  • Soap box derby finds new home

    The Greater Pennsylvania Super Kids soap box derby for special-needs kids is moving to Sharpsville.

    April 19, 2014

  • News briefs from April 18, 2014

    ‘Nonspecific threat’ prompts evacuation

    Supreme Court refuses to hear couple’s appeal

    Lung Association offering free radon test kits

    April 18, 2014

  • Man admits to choking; rape case is dropped

    A Greenville man on Thursday pleaded down a rape case to simple assault and continued to deny that he committed any sexual crimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge issues tabletop ads injunction against couple

    A judge recently handed down an injunction prohibiting a Sharon man, his wife and two companies associated with the wife from working in the tabletop advertising business within 100 miles of Sharon.

    April 18, 2014

  • Tech waste eyed for new contact

    The current Hermitage solid waste contract was designed to increase recycling while reducing the amount of garbage placed at the curb, and it has lived up to its promise.

    April 18, 2014

  • WaterFire Rekindled

    WaterFire Sharon has chosen themes for its festivals to be held on three Saturdays in downtown Sharon. “Elements” will be the theme July 19, “Origins” for Aug. 23 and “Motion” for the Sept. 27 celebration.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 17, 2014

    Man arrested for running from accident scene

    UPMC, Southwest eyeing security at hospital

    Crashes cause diversion of Interstate 80 traffic

    Court supports prison term in chase case

    Woman gets 5-10 years in crash that killed officer

    April 17, 2014

  • Officials pledge support to sewer project

    Publicly declaring their intention to donate county land to the Upper Neshannock Watershed Authority, Commissioners Matt McConnell and John Lechner said there’s no need for Commissioner Brian Beader to worry about the loss of the sewer project at the Interstate 80/Route 19 interchange.

    April 17, 2014

  • Griswold Avenue fire Neighbors tried to save victim

    As flames and thick smoke poured out of a Sharon house Tuesday evening, neighbors rallied to try and save the man who lived there alone.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman nabbed, sister sought in assault

    Southwest Mercer County Regional police have arrested a Hermitage woman for breaking into a home in Farrell and beating a woman and are seeking the alleged assailant’s sister.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite good deeds, man going back to prison

    Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.

    April 16, 2014