This Christmas is a very special one for me, as it is my first as "Uncle Zak."
My gorgeous niece came into the world in January of this year, so this is her first Christmas, and although she lives more than 2,000 miles away in Canada, she's spending her first Christmas in the States with us.
Emma Jean has brought joy into the lives of us all, and we're all incredibly excited that she is visiting us.
And personally, she has given me a renewed sense of the giving aspect of the Christmas holiday.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â After 12 years as a member of Punxsutawney Borough Council, President Susan Glessner resigned Friday as president and as a member of council, effective immediately.
Glessner, who had two years left on her term, said the reason she decided to resign at this time is because with the new council coming in, it would be a good time for her to move on so the incoming council will have the chance to start fresh.
Glessner said she was originally approached to join council by current Councilman William Spencer, and she was appointed in 2000 when Jim Infantino resigned his seat.
BROOKVILLE â Sasha Young grew up listening to a police scanner.
So it seemed only natural when she followed in the footsteps of her family members and became a fifth-generation firefighter.
But that's not the only hat she wears.
Three to four times a week, she puts on a headset a little different from her firefighting helmet and assumes the role of a 911 dispatcher.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â Despite fighting its way to a virtual tie on the mat with Clearfield, Punxsy's junior high wrestling team fell victim to a number of forfeits over a much-larger Bison squad and lost Wednesday's match 66-30.
ALTOONA â The Punxsy seventh- and eighth-grade basketball teams have worked hard to earn their Christmas break, which will run until Jan. 4, 2012. But before the break came a pair of tough games against Brookville and Altoona-White.
In the eighth-grade game at Altoona Wednesday, Punxsy hung with Altoona in the first half to trail by just five points at halftime, but Al- toona broke the game open against the Chucks to outscore them 25-12 in the second half and earn a 43-25 win.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â Had Steven Whiteâs mail route not taken him to Sutton Street, he may not have discovered a spiritual path that led to his recent ordination as a deacon in the Byzantine Catholic Church.
âI was a mailman, and I parked out front (of the church),â White, of Juneau, said. âHe saw me and said, âDo you want to see our restoration?ââÂ
PUNXSUTAWNEY â Several area police officers recently spent a day qualifying on handguns, shotguns and assault rifles (ARs) at the Punxsutawney Borough Police firing range in Young Township.
Sheriff and range master Carl Gotwald Sr. said his job as range master individually gives instructions to the shooters.
âWe try to limit it to five to six individuals shooting at one time per instructor during daylight hours,â he said. For night shoots at the firing range, they try to have one instructor for every three shooters for more control.
Dale Houser Brink, 79, Brookville, died Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011, at Jefferson Manor, Brookville.
He was born May 16, 1932, in Thompsontown, a son of the late Lawrence and Bernice (Houser) Brink.
July 15, 1954, in Berwinsdale, he married Beverly L. Lewis, who survives.
He was a member of the First Church of God in Brookville.
Mr. Brink spent 28 years in Jamestown, N.Y., working at Crescent Tool Co. until 1976, when the company moved its operation to Sumter, S.C.
Ruth Marie Digges, 82, Brookville, died Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011, at McKinley Health Center, Brookville.
She was born Jan. 11, 1929, in DuBois, a daughter of Lester J. Haney and Mabel M. Heberling.
She married David (Dick) McManigle, who preceded her in death.
May 12, 1962, she married G. Edwin Digges, who also preceded her in death.
Mrs. Digges was a member of the Brookville Hospital Auxiliary and the Jefferson Manor Auxilary.
She was an avid golfer and bowler who enjoyed entertaining friends and family.
Josh Neal celebrates his victory via pin in the 220-pound class during Punxsyâs 43-32 win over Clearfield Wednesday, the Chucksâ first wrestling victory over the Bison since 1977. For more, see Spirit Sports. (Photo by Zak Lantz)