500 without power in Owego after Sunday storm

More than 500 people are still without power in the Village of Owego this morning after a severe thunderstorm brought down a large tree on Main Street around 8:45pm last night. The tree came down near St. Patrick’s Church, bringing with it wires, utility poles, and a transformer. No injuries were reported, but the street is still closed this morning from its intersection with John Street down to Church Street. The side streets of Paige and Ross are also closed. Trees and branches were reported down on other streets in the area. Streets without power include East Temple, Forsythe, Fox, Franklin, Green, John, Paige, Prospect, and Ross Street. Portions of Main, East Main, Front, and Church Street along with Spencer Avenue are also currently without power. NYSEG crews have been working since last night, and hope to have power restored to the village by 1pm.

OPD Chief Karen Vinti retires

Village of Owego Police Chief Karen Vinti is now officially retired after the conclusion of this year’s Strawberry Festival. Vinti announced her retirement in April after 27 years with the department. She was appointed chief after the Flood of 2011 and wanted to stay on until after the festival. Vinti was the Grand Marshal of this year’s parade. Thousands of people came to downtown Owego for the 37th-annual Strawberry Festival. Perfect weather on both Friday night and Saturday led to a near-record attendance for the annual festival, which featured 178 vendors, 17 bands across several stages, and plenty of other entertainment.

Strawberry Festival Saturday Preview, Kevin Millar and Katie Chandler on WEBO

The Strawberry Festival will take over downtown Owego all day Saturday with 178 vendors and plenty of music on North Avenue as well as Front, Main, Lake, Court, and Church Streets. Parking will be available at both Marvin Park and the Tops Plaza on Route 17C. Shuttles will be running continuously from both locations. The annual parade will begin at 10am with retiring Owego Police Chief Karen Vinti as the Grand Marshal. The WEBO Morning Show will announce this year’s parade from the gazebo on the north lawn of the Tioga County Courthouse. Music will be heard all day from the main stage on the south lawn of the courthouse and the Tioga State Bank parking lot on Lake Street. Families are invited to visit the Kids Zone in Draper Park, and tomorrow will also include a visit from Animal Adventure Park. Historic Owego Marketplace President Kevin Millar and Vendor Coordinator Katie Chandler were on WEBO today. Here the full interview below.

Strawberry Fest Block Party Preview, visit with Stone Senate

Downtown Owego will celebrate the 37th-annual Strawberry Festival this weekend. The two-day event begins with tonight’s annual Block Party on Front, Lake, and Church Streets. Tonight will include the Strawberry Shortcake One Mile Fun Run and the Strawberry Shake 5K Run/Walk from the Tioga County Office Building. You can still sign up for both events online at runsignup.com or in person starting at 2pm in the county office parking lot. Music will be heard from the main stage on Front Street starting at 5pm and from the parking lot of the Tioga State Bank Investment Offices on Lake Street. Dance and magic group Digital Circus will also perform tonight, and the night will wrap up with fireworks over the Court Street Bridge at 10pm. After the block party, stop at Bill’s Restaurant to hear Southern Rock Band Stone Senate from Nashville, TN. They stopped by the WEBO Morning Show, you can hear an interview with them below and find their music on all streaming services and wherever music is sold.

Street closures and parking reminders for Strawberry Festival

Owego will host the 37th-annual Strawberry Festival this weekend, and the Owego Police Department is warning residents that many village streets must be cleared of parked cars or they will be towed at the owner’s expense. Starting at 1pm tomorrow, all vehicles must be removed from Front Street between Church and Court. That portion of the street will be closed for Friday’s Block Party, along with Lake, Church, and a portion of Academy Street.

For the main festival on Saturday, all vehicles must be removed by 1am from Court Street – including the parking lot – as well as Spencer Avenue, Chestnut Street, Central Avenue, Park Street, John Street, Fulton Street, and Temple Street – including the parking lot behind the Owego Police Department. Portions of Fox, Front, and Main Streets will also need to be cleared, along with part of North Avenue. The OPD has placed flyers on vehicles that are currently parking in the areas that must be cleared by Saturday. Barriers and detours will be in place beginning at 5am Saturday. Free parking and shuttles will be provided from Marvin Park and the Tops Plaza. We will have a full preview of Strawberry Festival activities tomorrow on WEBO.

Lake Street fencing coming down

The fencing along the sidewalks of Lake Street in Owego will come down today just in time for this weekend’s Strawberry Festival. SUEZ has completed their portion of the project, meaning that the old water pipes have been replaced under the street. The holes have been filled in, but the street will remain closed to ALL vehicle traffic from Main Street to the Post Office until NYSEG begins their portion of the project in the next two weeks. Some of the company’s workers were on the street yesterday doing preliminary work. The full project is still expected to last into the fall, and we will continue to provide updates as it progresses on WEBO.

17 bands to perform at this year’s Strawberry Festival

This weekend’s 37th-annual Strawberry Festival in Owego will feature 17 different bands across several stages, beginning with Friday’s Block Party. Music will be heard from the main stage on Front Street from 5-10pm, headlined by Wreckless Marci from 8-10, and also in the parking lot of the Tioga State Bank Investment Offices on Lake Street. Also Friday, there will be a Digital Circus, featuring artistic dance and traditional magic. Music will continue all day Saturday during the main festival, with performances on the main stage of the Tioga County Courthouse Lawn, Ahwaga Park, the TSB lot on Lake Street, and North Avenue. Festival music organizer Wendy Post was a guest on today’s WEBO Morning Show. You can hear the full interview below.

SUEZ water quality report for 2016

SUEZ has announced that the company’s annual Water Quality Report has been mailed to customers in Owego and Nichols. The report details the quality of the tap water that the company provided to customers last year, and how it compares to state and federal regulations for safe drinking water. The reports are required by the state and the EPA. Click here to view a PDF version of the report. Printed copies can be mailed by request if you call 607-687-1491.