February 1st, 2012
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to quickly stop by Punxsutawney Area High School to snap some pictures at a pair of youth wrestling tournaments: The Groundhog Classic Saturday and the Novice Tournament Sunday.
Thinking back on the events, two things stood out to me.
First, I discovered that you can pack a lot of people into the gymnasium at PAHS.
Much to the events' credit, a total of nearly 600 wrestlers ages six-to-15 turned out for the annual tournaments, and the parking lot wasn't the only area that was nearly full.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” When presented with the 2011 Woman of the Year Award, Katie Laska said she felt very undeserving.
But with her long list of contributions to Punxsy, the place she calls her home, the community would be hard-pressed to find anyone more deserving than she.
Wednesday night at the annual Groundhog Banquet, the 2010 Woman of the Year, Charlotte S. Fye, read over Laskaâ€™s many accomplishments and the qualities for which she is known.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” Despite being born in the Philadelphia area, Gov. Tom Corbett insists he is a western Pennsylvania man by heart who has observed Groundhog Day since he was a child.
â€śWhen I was young, we had only three TV stations, and one of them we couldnâ€™t get â€” not in North Hills,â€ť said Corbett, the second sitting Pennsylvania governor to attend Groundhog Day. â€śWe always hoped for more winter and snow so we could play outside.â€ť
During the annual Groundhog Day assembly at Punxsutawney Area High School Wednesday, Kelsey Young (seated, left) was crowned the Groundhog Queen, and Alex Fedigan was crowned the Groundhog King. Assisting with their coronation were (back) Punxsy Phil and his co-handlers, John Griffiths (left) and Ron Ploucha.
During halftime at Tuesday's girls' basketball game, the winners and runners-up of the Elks Hoop Shoot held Jan. 5 at PAHS were honored. Participants in three different age groups â€” eight- and nine-year-olds, 10- and 11-year-olds and 12- and 13-year-olds â€” participated in the annual event.
EDINBORO â€” Last Saturday, the Punxsutawney Indoor Track and Field team opened its season by traveling to Edinboro University to compete along with more than 40 other Western Pennsylvania schools at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association's (TSTCA) Meet No. 2.
The TSTCA's Edinboro meet No. 1, scheduled for two weeks ago, had been cancelled due to extreme snow and weather conditions in Edinboro, and Punxsy coach John Smith said, "The kids were ready to go and were just glad to get a chance to run, jump or throw in an actual meet."
Donald Jacob Brocious, 85, Brookville, died Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, at Jefferson Manor in Brookville.
He was born March 22, 1926, in Mayport, Redbank Township, Armstrong County, a son of Oren C. and Mary (Milliron) Brocious.
He attended the Salem school and worked in the coal mines and construction.
He served his country during World War II with the U.S. Army.
Carole M. Hipps, 71, Punxsutawney, died Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, at home.
She was born May 6, 1940, in Clearfield, a daughter of the late Presley J. and Carolyn (DeHaas) Strunk.
June 2, 1962, she married William G. Hipps, who preceded her in death Dec. 23, 2002.
Mrs. Hipps was a graduate of Curwensville High School.
Gale L. Shields, 64, Rossiter, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, in San Tan Valley, Ariz.
He was born April 1, 1947, in Indiana, a son of the late Lynn Shields and Velma (Gowin) of Glen Campbell.
June 4, 1966, he married Donna (Filler) Shields, who survives.
Mr. Shields attended the Canoe Ridge Church of God and was a member of the John W. Jenks Lodge No. 534.Â He earned his B.S. in education from Slippery Rock University, where he also played baseball for four years.
He still holds a record there for catching his senior year with no errors.
GREENSBURG â€” Warm clothes and protection against the elements are necessary for attending Groundhog Day, but with former Rusted Root drummer Jim Donovan attending this year, guests may also want to bring a drum.
â€śWeâ€™re going to have a big-good time,â€ť said Donovan, who will appear at Gobblerâ€™s Knob early Thursday morning and with his band, Sun King Warriors, from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. tonight in the Celebration Tent in Barclay Square. The bandâ€™s performance is sponsored by S&T Bank.