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PUNXSUTAWNEY â For Dan Prutznal, it can be tough being a Green Bay Packers fan in Steelers Country.
âLast week, someone brought in a copy of Sports Illustrated, and in the cafeteria, where I eat lunch with the kids, I held it up,â showing a piece about the Packers, he said. âThe kids were just hollering: âBoo, Packers,â âI donât like the Packers.â Every time they see me ... itâs all in good fun.â
PUNXSUTAWNEY â In times of tragedy, Drinda and Brian Smith believe it is good for people to get together and interact with others to begin the healing process.
A little over a month has gone by since the tragic passings of Joel Riggleman â Drinda and Brian's son â Dylan "Shorty" Behrendt and Sean McConnaughey in a single-vehicle accident Nov. 12 in Armstrong County.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â So far, SS.C.D. School has raised more than $1,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundationâs annual âLight Up a Childâs Lifeâ campaign, but according to Principal Jessica Newcome, today will âmake a big difference.â
The studentsâ challenge: Convince SS.C.D. employee â and Punxsyâs biggest Green Bay Packers fan â Dan Prutznal to at least appear to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers today.
As Prutznal will surely tell you, his beloved Packers defeated the Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XIV. But today, he will will wear one piece of Steelers attire for every $25 the students raise.
PUNXSUTAWNEY âThe Toys for Tots distribution was held Wednesday at Gobblers Knob by Community Action Inc., so children will receive gifts for Christmas.
Community Action has been the primary sponsor, along with the U.S. Marine Corps, for more than 10 years in Jefferson County, said Janeen Love, Senior Corps RSVP director.
Love said there were a total of 160 families from Jefferson County who were helped by Toys for Tots, with a total of 330 children who will receive gifts.
SS.C.D. Choir Director Arlene Stewart directs the students while they sing Christmas carols at Mulberry Square Wednesday afternoon. Both Mulberry Square and SS.C.D. have raised more than $1,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (Photo by Natalie Bruzda)
BROOKVILLE â Tuesday, the Jefferson County Commissioners adopted the county's final operating budget for 2012, which calls for no tax increase.
It was amended only slightly from the proposed budget, which was advertised three weeks ago.
According to Director of Finance & Human Resources Debby Hackett, she anticipated a deficit of $53,752 at the end of 2012 in the proposed budget; however, some changes were made in both "increased revenues, and some reduction in expenditures," slashing the deficit by about $13,000, she said.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â Pennsylvania recently became the 31st state to enact a ban on the use of any kind of hand-held texting device by drivers.
Gov. Tom Corbett signed the bill into law, which will take effect March 8.
Calling and texting devices are the worst of a growing set of attractive distractions facing drivers. Corbett said he was pleased to help outlaw a practice that he sees regularly just from the window of his car as he travels the state.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â Two days after a devastating fire destroyed a borough landmark, officials are still investigating the cause of the blaze that nearly leveled the Punxsy Hotel along North Findley Street.
Cpl. Chuck Gross, Punxsutawney-based Pennsylvania State Police Fire marshal, said he was âlooking for clues as to how the fire beganâ Monday in the kitchen area of the Smugglerâs Inn, which is attached to the Hotel.
Council: No tax increase in 2012
PUNXSUTAWNEY â Punxsutawney Borough Police Chief Tom Fedigan was granted a new four-year contract at Monday's meeting, but it was not unanimous.
The vote was four council members in favor of the motion â Susan Glessner, Donna Lellock, William Spencer and Roger Steele â with Larry Chenoga and Mike Porada voting no.
Council member Robert Reesman did not vote, as he had left the meeting early due to illness.
Also at Monday's meeting, council:
âą Approved the 2012 budget with no tax increase.
BROOKVILLE â With only a smile and very few words, nine-year-old Michael Goddard can light up a room and make anyone feel special.
"He says hi to everybody," Paula Goddard said of her son, Michael. "No matter what they look like, or how old they are, or what color they are, it doesn't matter."
Michael has Down syndrome, and because of this, he has difficulty speaking.
But he doesn't let that get in the way of showing others love and compassion.
"He's really special," Paula said. "He's taught us a lot, on how to love unconditionally â just to accept people for who they are."