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June 20th, 2011

Wagon train rolls into Punxsutawney

June 21, 2011

TROUTVILLE — It will seem like the Old West this week when the Appalachian Wagon Train travels through the Punxsutawney area today and Wednesday.

The wagon train has been traveling throughout Pennsylvania since 1970 and travels anywhere from 12 to 20 miles per day.

Dick Stewart, president, said this is a family-oriented and church-oriented event, which is focused on a historical site or event that took place in the Appalachian regions of Pennsylvania.

June 19th

Big Run Carpet owner vows to keep business going after fire

June 20, 2011

BIG RUN – A massive fire may have devastated the business that has been in his family more than 30 years, but Big Run Carpet owner Jeff London said he'll sell carpet from his barn, his garage or a tent if he must.

“I have already been on the phone with three sales representatives,” he said Sunday afternoon, just hours after the major fire all but destroyed the business. “They'd better be bringing me samples tomorrow. I'll be selling out of a tent if I have to.

Fire destroys Oliveburg home

June 20, 2011

OLIVEBURG — A truck in the driveway of a burning house caused responders to fear the worst during a fire early Saturday in Oliveburg.

Luckily, their fears of someone trapped inside the home along Route 36 were unfounded.

"We knew the owner drove a car, and she wasn't in there, but (we initially thought) maybe someone else was in there, " Bruce Baughman, Oliver Township Fire chief, said.

But once firefighters were able to enter the home, he said, they were able to determine that no one was inside the residence at the time the fire broke out.

Way Back When

June 20, 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 newspaper. These reprinted stories include their original headlines and spelling.)

Local Intelligence
March 4, 1896

IN SEARCH OF GOLD
Two Prospectors from Punxsutawney Go to Alaska

June 17th

When Paul Hense isn’t battling fires here, he’s guiding efforts to tame extreme wildfires

June 17, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY — For anyone who thinks there’s no a difference between fighting wildfires and structure fires, just ask Punxsutawney Fire Department Chief Paul Hense, who will conclude his tenure as chief at the end of the year.

Hense, who works full-time for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the Bureau of Forestry, recently returned from battling wildfires in Texas.

He said he was never scared while battling the blazes, but he was concerned.

Borough earns grant for S. Main Street project

June 17, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Punxsutawney Borough Council has been approved to receive a $400,000 H2O grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for the South Main Street sewer project.

Monday, borough engineer Brian Sekula, of The the EADS Group, said the total cost for the project is $795,500.

Sekula said in discussions with DCED, the $400,000 could be switched to the West Mahoning Street project, and the borough could receive money for a reduced project for South Main Street.

June 16th

County eyes axing jury commissioner posts to save money

June 16, 2011

BROOKVILLE — This week, the Jefferson County Commissioners said eliminating the positions of jury commissioner would save the county $12,000.

“Twelve-thousand dollars — that is the savings. That, in and of itself, is enough for me,” commissioner Jim McIntyre said.

The elimination of this position is a statewide movement proposed a few years ago. It has passed in the state House of Representatives and is now in the state Senate.

County Commission Chairman Paul Corbin called the position a “duplication of services.”

Rain visits ‘Third Thursday,’ but there’s always next month

June 16, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The kickoff of the first-ever “Third Thursday” Festival sponsored by PRIDE began Thursday night, but the weather had something to say about it. But despite the downpour of rain throughout the day, it did not stop local community members and downtown Punxsy businesses from coming out and supporting the event.

Participating businesses offered free hors d’oeuvres, desserts and drinks. Most businesses even promoted a sale on merchandise.

The next “Third Thursday” Festival will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 21, with all festivities being held on Mahoning Street.

Punxsy Theatre Arts Guild presents ‘Skin of Our Teeth’

June 16, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY — For its summer show, the Punxsutawney Theatre Arts Guild Inc. offers a unique production that alternately arouses thought, laughter and a variety of emotions.

Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth” will be staged at 7:30 p.m. June 24, 25, 30, July 1 and 2 at the auditorium at Punxsutawney Area Middle School. A matinee has been set for 2 p.m. Sunday, June 26. The busy troupe will then move to the Verna Leith Sawmill Theater in Cook Forest where shows will be presented at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, July 6-9.

June 15th

Fla. man returns long-lost class ring to Punxsy grad

June 16, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Tom Poore was convinced that the 1944 Punxsutawney High School class ring that his father found near West Palm Beach, Fla., in the early 1970s belonged to Blair Richards.

The only person who wasn’t convinced that the ring was his, was Blair Richards.

“I thought it was a scam,” Richards said Wednesday evening, just a few hours after Poore drove all the way from Roseland, Fla., to return the ring to him. “He called me a year ago, and I didn’t believe him.”

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