March 7th, 2012
ERIE â€” One-hundred-and-forty-four wins. Four-time District IX champion. Sixth-most wins in D-IX history. Most wins in Punxsutawney history by more than 30.
During his wrestling career at PAHS, Kody Young put together a laundry list of achievements, and he recently added another at the next level: Qualifying for the NCAA Division II Wrestling National Championships as a freshman at Mercyhurst University.
The National Championships will take place Friday and Saturday at Colorado State University-Pueblo.
At 8:01 p.m. this Sunday evening, exactly one minute after the final bid is announced for this season's NCAA basketball tournament, March Madness officially begins.
But the madness I'm speaking of, while related to the tournament, isn't the actual tournament itself. That all begins with Tuesday's First Four, a round of play-in games.
The madness I'm referring to is the madness I experience while trying to fill out the ever-elusive perfect bracket for the 68-team tourney.
SHARON â€” Brookville senior Logan Stout has had one thing on his mind since the first day he stepped onto the mat this season â€” a regional championship.
Stout achieved that goal Saturday at the Northwest Regional Class AA Championships in Sharon by earning the 195-pound title over Alex Svetz, of North East, in a narrow 4-3 decision.
"It's awesome," Stout said. "Like I've said before, I didn't expect it earlier in my career. But my first goal for this year was to win a regional title, so it feels good to have my name up with my brother."
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” Libraries in Pennsylvania are facing yet another five-percent budget cut from Gov. Tom Corbettâ€™s new fiscal year budget proposal.
â€śI think the state does alright by us, considering that all of the libraries are caught in dire straits right now with the proposed budget cuts,â€ť library Director Coral Ellshoff said.
â€śIâ€™m not saying that I welcome a five-percent cut in state funding; I think itâ€™s understandable,â€ť she said. â€śWhere it creates an imbalance, the local governments need to pick up the slack.â€ť
BROOKVILLE â€” Next month, teen drivers in Jefferson and Clarion counties will put their driving skills to the test for the annual Clar-Jeff Regional Safe Driving Competition.
But Jefferson County Sheriff Carl Gotwald thinks this year is more important than ever before because of two new state laws that affect teen drivers.
â€śThere has been a lot of recent changes,â€ť he said. â€śThere have also been some very high-profile car accidents where kids have been killed. So I think itâ€™s a good program to educate teen drivers.â€ť
A new state law requiring Pennsylvania drivers to pull over and stop if they want to use text-based communications takes effect today, although it remains legal to use a hand-held cell phone behind the wheel. The statewide texting-while-driving ban carries a $50 fine and gives police authority to pull over suspected violators on sight.
MONACA â€” Entering Tuesday night's PIAA play-in game against the Central Valley Warriors, Punxsy boys' basketball coach Dirk Neal said anything after the District IX tournament was simply "icing on the cake."
After a successful season that saw Punxsy overcome the loss of a senior point guard to transfer and the Chucks earn their first trip to the D-IX title game since 2005, Punxsy's season came to an end Tuesday at the hands of the Warriors, 54-45.
Despite the loss, Punxsy Neal was pleased with the full-game effort from his squad.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” Punxsy's seventh- and eighth-grade girls' volleyball teams each took on DuBois Central Catholic Tuesday afternoon in Punxsutawney, and both teams earned sweeps over the Lady Cardinals.
In the eighth-grade contest, a three-game sweep for the Lady Chucks, Punxsy was dominant, picking up 25-16, 25-10 and 25-13 victories over DCC.
The first few points of the first game were fairly uneventful before Punxsy's Mallory Cameron stepped to the line and picked up two aces to give Punxsy a 4-3 lead.
BIG RUN â€” Itâ€™s almost time for the peepers of Big Run to let everyone know that spring will soon arrive.
â€śAny day now,â€ť says Big Run resident John London, who has been tracking the peepers since 1972.
London frequently walks near the swamps of Big Run to listen for the peepers, but as of yet, he has has not heard anything.
When the weather gets warm enough, the peepers will emerge from the mud and begin to peep, but London believes they have been affected by the strange winter this year.
â€śI have not seen a winter this mild,â€ť he said.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” The Punxsutawney Area Community Center informed Punxsutawney Borough Council at Tuesdayâ€™s Public Safety committee meeting that it intends to apply for a $150,000 grant to upgrade the electric at the facility.
Mick Mumau, of the Community Center, said he wanted to inform council that it will apply for a DCNR grant and needs the borough as a sponsor.
Mumau said the centerâ€™s board has the funding match for the grant, which is due April 4.