PUNXSUTAWNEY â€“ Ever since Emily Keth, 16, of Punxsy, was a little girl, she has been obsessed with dolphins. She would decorate her with room with pictures of the creatures and dreamed of one day being able to swim with them.
Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, that dream came true.
In April 2011, doctors found three blood clots in Emily's brain, which caused her to lose 83 percent of her vision. Soon after, she was diagnosed with Factor V Leiden, a blood-clotting disorder that will affect her for the rest of her life.
(The Spirit is pleased to share with our readers vignettes of life in the 19th century as originally reported in past issues of the newspapers. These reproduced stories include their original headlines and spelling.)
(April 22, 1896)
A strange bicycle rider ran into Morris Weber, little son of J. A. Weber, yesterday, and hurt him considereably, though not dangerously. His head and face were badly cut and bruised, and the boy looked as though he had attended a Donnebrook fair.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€“ Firefighters from several local companies battled an intense blaze that destroyed the Punxsy Hotel Restaurant & Lounge, North Findley Street, early Saturday morning.
The fire was called in as smoke emanating from the Smuggler's Inn â€“ housed at the rear of the same structure â€“ around 3 a.m. Saturday.
Within minutes, police reported that flames were visible, and within an hour, the flames were emerging from the windows and front doors.
Shortly after 4 a.m., the north and south walls of the upper floors collapsed, damaging three vehicles parked near the building.
MARION CENTER â€” The Lady Chucks and Chucks basketball teams opened their seasons against the Lady Stingers and Stingers of Marion Center in the second-annual Cancer Awareness Tip-Off Tournament Friday in Marion Center.
Unfortunately for both Punxsy squads, the Lady Stingers and Stingers â€” known for perennially strong teams â€” were able to thwart them in their season openers.
In the girls' contest, Punxsy â€” a very young team with just two seniors and no juniors â€” fell victim to the Lady Stingers' swarming defense in a 38-32 loss.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” At some point in 2011, a child saved his or her birthday money.
A group of teachers pitched in a couple of bucks to wear jeans to school on a Friday.
Spare change from the grocery store wound up in a special savings place, where it would eventually find its way to a greater good.
A high school senior dedicated his or her senior project to the cause.
And this coming week is when those who saved money, pitched in a few bucks, stashed some change and performed fund-raisers realize that it was all worth it to light up a childâ€™s life.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” Members of the Punxsutawney Fire Department will have their boots in hand from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this weekend at major intersections throughout town, collecting donations for area food banks.
Boot drive locations are in front of the Lindsey Fire Hall, West Mahoning; Central Fire Hall, East Mahoning, Hampton Avenue and Front Street intersection; and Elk Run Fire Company; at the intersection of Elk Run and Graffius avenues.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” This Groundhog Day, the Inner Circle members wonâ€™t be the only ones dressed to the nines.
Years after a non-Groundhog Day related charity ball had run its course, the Inner Circle will host the first-ever Groundhog Ball, scheduled from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 â€” just days before Groundhog Day â€” at the Punxsutawney Country Club (See the accompanying box for more).
The evening will include hors dâ€™oeuvres, a cash bar, music by Rudy & The Professionals and, of course, an appearance by Punxsutawney Phil.
Thomas â€śTomâ€ť L. DeFazio Sr., 65, DuBois, died Friday, Dec. 9, 2011, at the DuBois Nursing Home, DuBois.
He was born April 19, 1946, in Punxsutawney, the only son of the late James and Rose DeFazio.
He was married for 31 years to the late Frances E. DeFazio, joined in union Nov. 20, 1965. She preceded him in death April 15, 1997.
Mr. DeFazio was retired. He was previously employed by Owens-Illinois Brockway and was the owner and manager of DeFazioâ€™s Tasty Freeze in Brookville for 13 years.
Billy M. Shaffer, 82, Worthville, passed away Friday, Dec. 9, 2011, at Mulberry Square Elder Care & Rehabilitation Center.
He was born Sept. 20, 1929, in Ringgold, a son of the late Arthur and Gussie (Shick) Shaffer.
He was married to Ethel W. (Goodheart) Shaffer, who preceded him in death May 14, 2001.
Church of God. The seniors â€” (from left) Tyler Presloid, Dane Roken, Tyler Young, Dan Triponey, Seth Gray and Quinten Weber â€” were recognized for their hard work and effort throughout the 2011 season. Seniors C.J. Langley and Justin Ray were not present at the banquet.