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December 11th

Landmark building burns down in Saturday blaze

December 12, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Sunday, Ken and Toie Neal began the rest of their lives without the Hotel Punxsutawney, which has been a part of their lives since 1973.

“Today was the first day (Ken) didn't get up, get a shower and say, 'I'm going to the Hotel;' that was his life,” Toie said Sunday night. “We wonder where the guys will go for lunch. His brother (Gubby) said, 'I told my wife (Candy), she'll have to start packing my lunch.'

Punxsy teen takes Wish trip to Florida, swims with dolphins

December 12, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY – 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.

Way Back When

December 12, 2011

(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
(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.

***

December 10th

Punxsy Hotel destroyed by fire

December 10, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY – 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 – housed at the rear of the same structure – 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.

December 9th

Make-A-Wish kicks off campaign Monday

December 10, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY — 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 child’s life.

Punxsy firefighters collecting for food pantries this weekend

December 10, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY — 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.

Time to get all dressed up: First-ever Groundhog Ball is Jan. 28

December 10, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY — This Groundhog Day, the Inner Circle members won’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 — just days before Groundhog Day — at the Punxsutawney Country Club (See the accompanying box for more).

The evening will include hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, music by Rudy & The Professionals and, of course, an appearance by Punxsutawney Phil.

December 8th

PennDOT ready for Mother Nature’s worst

December 9, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Just as the weather is beginning to turn frightful comes the news that PennDOT District 10 Jefferson County Maintenance is ready for Mother Nature’s worst, with salt and anti-skid and snow plows.

The annual PennDOT plow inspection in last month went very well, said Paul Koza Jr., P.E., county maintenance manager.

Everything is ready to go, except for a few trucks that are receiving routine maintenance, Koza said.

All trucks are stationed at the county stockpile locations in Punxsutawney, Brookville, Emerickville, Brockway and Ringgold.

Tulip project to tell about spring’s worldwide onset

December 9, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY —
It’s the battle of titans the world has awaited for more than 100 years, beginning this winter and ending this coming spring.

In this corner, Punxsutawney Phil; in the opposite corner, science.
But Punxsutawney Area Middle School students taking part in a program to track the growth of tulips in various parts of the world — and taking into consideration the onset of spring — believe their hometown hero will emerge victorious.

“They think they will be right along with Phil” and his Feb. 2 prognostication, whatever it may be, said PAMS fifth-grade teacher Jeff Kuntz.

December 7th

Holly Tour hosts display Christmas tastes, traditions

December 8, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY — It’s a chance to take a breather from shopping, to find some new ideas for holiday decorating, or a way to see how other local residents embrace and perpetuate their own Christmas traditions.

That’s what the annual Holly Tour is all about, and it runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at six different locations in the Punxsy area (see the accompanying box on Page 3).

The tour, which is at least 20 years old, was first established by the former Young Women’s Club, of which Katie Laska, who owns Laska’s Pizza and Caterina’s Dolce Cucina, was a member.

The winners for the Punxsy Pizza and Prevention logo contest were announced at Punxsy Pizza on Wednesday. Pictured (...
The Corn Cob Club held its annual retreat, this year at a new location at Bill Deeley's farm. In recent years, the...
(Editor’s note: This piece is one in a series of “Familiar Faces Friday” features to be written by Spirit reporter...
Thursday was a busy one on the links, as Punxsy's boys' and girls' golf teams were both in action,...
Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples and Brian Hamilton analyze the Big Ten entering the 2014 season.
Pitt Wide Receiver Tyler Boyd among ACC's Top 25 Players To Watch

 

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