Melissa Schilz, Postmedia Network

Melissa Schilz is a graduate of the Journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa and has been with Postmedia since 2016.


Current Petrolia and Enniskillen Fall Fair Ambassador Jennifer Ainsworth is encouraging young people to run for the position, calling it a rewarding and life changing experience. Melissa Schilz/Postmedia Network

So you want to be a fall fair ambassador

This year’s competition for Petrolia and Enniskillen’s Fall Fair Ambassador is fast approaching, and the president of Lambton Fairs, Judy Krall, said the organization is looking for a passionate candidate who is willing to learn and grow.

OPINION: We need to talk openly about drugs

We like to think that as a society we have changed, that we are more accepting, more open-minded about certain things, which in some cases we are. But when it comes to discussion of drug use, sometimes I think we aren’t always fair in the way we talk about users, because the term is broad and doesn’t fall on any certain type of person.

Kids at the riding camp practise their grooming skills on Blue, one of the older horses who has been retired for a few years now. Melissa Schilz/Postmedia Network

How a horse can speak to your soul

Four dogs, two goats, three pigs, two bunnies and over a dozen horses; these are just some of the animals that roam the grounds of Rokeby Stables, sniffing the legs of visitors and sharing sloppy kisses on outstretched hands.

Missy Whaley and Elaine Dobbin demonstrate spinning yarn from alpaca wool at Alvinston’s Music and Arts Festival last year. File photo/The Topic.

Alvinston Arts and Music Fest returns

Alvinston’s Arts and Music Fest will be back for its third year on Saturday, Aug. 19. Organizer Liana Russworm said what began as an off the cuff event has turned into an annual celebration of local art.

Erin Huston will be coming to Alvinston this month to share her story of recovery and finding the true meaning of self-love. She’ll be speaking at the Arts and Music Fest at 12 noon on Aug. 19. Handout/Postmedia Network

‘You are allowed to like your body’

Erin Huston is just 21 years old, but she’s already using her experiences to help others heal and find their way onto the road of loving themselves.

A photo of Coun. Liz Welsh and her brother Roy, taken at the Old Town Picnic during Petrolia’s Centennial. Handout/Petrolia Topic

Petrolia Day will be a blast from the past

The Town of Petrolia officially declared Aug. 12 ‘Petrolia Day’ earlier this year, and in recent days staff members have been slowly releasing a list of events for residents to look forward to. Some of those events are new, while others are a throwback to Petrolia’s Victorian roots.

Water restrictions in place for Petrolia

The Town of Petrolia have announced water restrictions due to some maintenance work that is taking place at the Bright’s Grove Water Treatment Plant.

Junior Firefighters used spreaders and the jaws of life last week to tear apart a car at the Petrolia and North Enniskillen Fire Department. Melissa Schilz/The Topic

Jr. firefighters learn what it takes

It’s not every day you get to tear apart a car. But if you’re attending the Junior Firefighter program, you get to do just that.

Canadian Blood Services are holding their next Petrolia clinic on Monday. File photo.

Canadian Blood Services seeking new donors

After an urgent call-out for donors in June, the Canadian Blood Services has replenished its resources significantly, but the organization isn’t sitting on its laurels. Territory manager Stephanie Wilkinson said summer is often a difficult time of year in gathering resources.

Sarah Smith will be among four other musicians performing on the Victoria Playhouse stage during the presentation of Folks Like Us, Aug. 1 to 12. (Photo courtesy Cheryl Mazak)

Folks Like Us: A raw and touching show

Sarah Smith is used to being on stage – she said it feels like home for her. She’ll be joining four other musicians on the Petrolia Playhouse stage next month in her first-ever theatre production Folks Like Us.

Regina Gudelis has been painting for 50 years; her home studio in Bright’s Grove holds dozens of works that she has created over the years. Melissa Schilz/Postmedia Network

Regina Gudelis to share joy of painting

When Regina Gudelis sits down to paint, she doesn’t always know where the brushstrokes are going to take her, but just being in front of a canvas always manages to pull something out of her. She describes her artwork as expressive and abstract, it is emotional and created from in the inside out.

The Alvinston Optimists presented The Family Health Team and the Inwood Kids Program with a cheque for $1000, enough money to keep the summer camp running for five weeks. Melissa Schilz/Postmedia Network

Inwood Kids Program expands with Optimist funding

This summer marks the fifth year of the Inwood Kids Program, a rural summer camp run through the Central Lambton Family Health Team and other partners like the Oil Heritage District Community Centre. The program has something for all ages, and children as young as one and up to the age of 15 can attend.

From left: Manny Baron, Mike Thompson, Tom Montgomery, Todd Hodgins, Kathryn McGarry, John McCharles, Bob Bailey and Dale LeBritton make a toast at the grand opening of the new Mandaumin Reservoir. Melissa Schilz/The Topic

Revamped Mandaumin Reservoir celebrates grand re-opening

Government officials and residents celebrated the grand opening of the Mandaumin Reservoir Friday, a multi-million dollar project which saw a complete overhaul of the reservoir and pump station that supplies water to residents of Petrolia, Enniskillen, Dawn-Euphemia and Oil Springs.

Mayor John McCharles and Judith Morris, President and CEO of Lambton College, at Fairbank Park, where the college planted ten birch trees in April in celebration of their 50th anniversary. Melissa Schilz/The Topic

Memorial Tree program launched in new Petrolia park

The Town of Petrolia and Lambton College celebrated the recent planting of ten birch trees in a brand new green space on Englehart Drive, which has been officially named ‘Fairbank Park’. The new park will be the site of a memorial tree park that is expected to expand and enhance greenery in the new subdivision.