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July 29th, 2012

Water Street fire

July 29, 2012

Punxsutawney firefighters were called to a basement fire at 7:07 p.m. Saturday at 102 Water St.

The fire was quickly extinguished by firefighters and caused mostly smoke damage in the basement.

Joe Defelice, Punxsutawney Fire Department assistant chief, said the fire was due to a sump pump that had overheated.

There were no injuries and the family was able to return to their home once the basement was ventilated.

Above,firefighters Austin Pate (from left) and Mark Powell, of the Central Fire Dept., and Steven Kostok, of the Lindsey Fire Company, assist at the scene.

Crowd gathers for Church in the Park

July 29, 2012

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The weather was stormy throughout the week in Punxsutawney, so much so that the canopy that covers the bandstand in Barclay Square was nearly destroyed in 60 mph winds.

Apparently, someone had other plans, as the canopy was put back in place thanks to the help of many community volunteers — including the Groundhog Festival Committee; Punxsy Lions Club; Smith Hauling, which brought in a crane; and volunteers from Church in the Park — so the program could continue.

Way Back When

July 29, 2012

(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.)

Local Intelligence
(August 12, 1896)

AN IMPUDENT HAWK
Yesterday morning, Prof. E. H. McHenry, of East End, heard a commotion on the front porch, and went out to see what was the matter.

July 27th

Punxsy Spirit turns the page, names new editor

July 27, 2012

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Sports reporter Zak Lantz is vacating his spot in the bleachers to fill another seat — editor-in-chief of The Punxsutawney Spirit.

"As a Punxsy native, I grew up reading The Spirit, especially the sports pages, and I really do consider it quite an honor to be named editor," Lantz said. "It's still a little bit surreal, actually. I've told my family members who have asked me if I'm excited that I really am, but I still feel a bit shocked it's happened and fallen together as it has. Now that we're getting things rolling, though, I'm confident it'll be a smooth transition."

Cleanup continues after Thursday’s heavy wind storm

July 27, 2012

BROOKVILLE — The huge band of thunderstorms that moved through Jefferson County caused a large number of trees to be knocked down, taking power and other utility lines with it Thursday and Friday.

As of Friday evening, there were still 1,300 residents without power in Jefferson County, said Chris Clark, deputy director of Jefferson County Emergency Services.

Clark said that despite the warnings, once again there were no tornado touchdowns that he is aware of.

Phil has handlers; so now does the Groundhog Club

July 27, 2012

PUNXSUTAWNEY – Punxsutawney Phil has his co-handlers, John Griffiths and Ron Ploucha, but who handles the Groundhog Club itself?

In the club's case, it's Katie Donald, who has served as events’ coordinator since April 2011, but earlier this month, was named the Groundhog Club's executive director — a pretty important title, considering that as the 127th anniversary of Groundhog Day approaches, the Inner Circle itself remains an all-male group.

July 26th

Whipping winds trouble town, surrounding areas

July 26, 2012

PUNXSUTAWNEY — A huge storm that came roaring through Jefferson County Thursday afternoon caused tremendous amounts of damage throughout the area and rumors that a tornado may have touched down in Brookville.

A tornado warning was issued for northern portions of the county at 2:24 p.m. and expired at 3:15 p.m.

According to scanner transmissions: There were reports that a twister had touched down in the Brookville area and that high winds had caused major damage knocking power lines and trees onto area roadways throughout the county.

YOU CAN’T RAIN ON OUR POLKA PARADE

July 26, 2012

A scary storm brought the Barclay Square canopy tumbling down, but that didn’t stop Music in the Park from taking place — at the emergency location of the Punxsutawney Community Center. McKeesport’s The Mikey Dee Band — a polka band — wasn’t bothered by the weather, though, as it performed its show before the waiting audience.

Waste hauling company possibly to be purchased by other company

July 26, 2012

BROOKVILLE — Veolia, the French-owned waste hauling company contracted by the Jefferson County Solid Waste Authority, will be sold to Atlantic Waste Holdings pending an antitrust approval, the authority’s board announced at a meeting Wednesday.

If the purchase goes through, it will continue operations under a new name — Advanced Disposal Services. Board Chairman Russel Whelpley raised some concerns about the transition, namely whether or not the authority’s current contracts will be honored and if the new owners might change operation costs for better or worse in the future.

July 25th

Board discusses closing schools

July 25, 2012

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney Area School Board talked about closing schools, specifically Jenks Hill Elementary, during Wednesday’s meeting.

Dr. Keith Wolfe, superintendent for Punxsutawney Area Schools, said if Jenks was closed, its students would be transferred to Longview, Parkview and West End Elementary Schools.

"It wouldn't add any more bus runs and would actually decrease one bus run," Wolfe said, adding that the closure would save $10,000 to $12,000 alone for just that one bus run.

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