â€˘ Close enough â€” Gov. Tom Corbett signed a new state budget, reaching his goal of enacting a 2011-12 spending plan before the new fiscal year began â€” by 15 minutes. It was the first time a state budget had been passed on time in eight years, those eight during the administration of former Gov. Ed Rendell.
â€˘ With the help of Punxsy Phil, his co-handler John Griffiths and a fake front page, Jeff White proposed to his girlfriend, Sarah Oâ€™Donnell, both of Pittsburgh, in front of The Spiritâ€™s â€śPhantastic Phil!â€ť And she said yes.
The Punxsy boysâ€™ basketball team overcame a late Clarion lead to win the 17th-annual Carl A. Truance Holiday Classic, 53-52, Thursday in Punxsutawney. Pictured here is the entire team with the championship trophy.
Doris Irene Dixon, 86, Sykesville, died Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, at her residence.
She was born Aug. 5, 1925,in Sykesville, a daughter of the late John B. and Annie (Hughes) Morgan.
April 17, 1941, she married Richard Franklin Dixon, who preceded her in death Nov. 23, 1978.
Mrs. Dixon was a homemaker and enjoyed fishing, cooking and baking.Â She taught her grandchildren how to cook and bake.Â She loved to spend time with her family, and was also a loyal Pirates fan.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” With the winter weather finally hitting Punxsutawney just after Christmas, the weather seemed fitting for the opening day of the 17th-annual Carl A. Truance Holiday Classic.
Truance was an original member of the Booster Club and was known for his support of Punxsutawney athletics.
The Punxsutawney Jaycees originally ran the Holiday Tournament for 26 years be- fore the Booster Club took over in 1995. In 1996, the tournament expanded to include the girls' bracket, as well.
Rosemary L. Bower, 70, Brookville, died Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, in Falls Creek.
She was born Jan. 5, 1941, in Williamsport, a daughter of the late Joseph W. and Josephine M. (Paternostro) Gramling.
She was married to Wayne Flack, who survives.
Mrs. Bower was a 1958 graduate of St. Marys Catholic High School in Williamsport and worked as a cashier at Wal-Mart in DuBois.
She was Catholic by faith.
â€˘ Director Christopher Nolan announced that parts of the next Batman film, â€śThe Dark Knight Rises,â€ť would be filmed in Pittsburgh.
â€˘ Participants and supporters raised more than $45,000 for Camp Friendship and the ARC of Jefferson County during the 32nd annual Run/Walk for Someone Special in Sykesville.
â€˘ Punxsutawney Borough Council approved hiring attorney Jay Lundy as the boroughâ€™s new solicitor to succeed Timothy Morris, who resigned and moved to California.
Morris had served as the boroughâ€™s solicitor since 1999.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” Wednesday, the Punxsutawney Rotary Club saluted the sponsors and winners in its fifth annual Circle of Trees event, following a year which will be hard to top, according to the event chairman.
The winners in this yearâ€™s Circle of Trees were the Punxsy Garden Club, named Best Overall, with a $600 prize; Friends of the Punxsutawney Memorial Library, Best Day Appearing; and the Punxsy Career Womenâ€™s Club, Best Nighttime Appearing, both with $400 prizes.
FALLS CREEK â€” A commuter aircraft that had taken off from the DuBois-Jefferson County Airport landed safely minutes after take-off due to a mechanical issue Wednesday.
The plane â€” carrying 10 passengers total, according to Falls Creek VFD Chief Mark Miller â€” had just taken off, but around 2:38 p.m., the crew radioed the tower in order to make an emergency landing.
â€śThey were showing some icing on the rear side of the wings,â€ť Miller said, adding that the flight return to DuBois was a precautionary measure.
In a state the size of Pennsylvania, reaching a state championship tournament is a rare occasion.
In Part II of The Spirit Sports Year in Review, readers will have the opportunity to look back on eight different 2011 Punxsutawney teams that reached that level â€” one team even won its state title.
There was no lack of newsworthy sports in Punxsutawney this year, and The Spirit will feature one final installment of Year in Review in Saturday's edition.
13- & 14-year- old VFW All- Stars win states
â€˘ Natasha Tinnette Adams, daughter of Joe and Rhonda Adams of Marion Center, was born at 9:55 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1.
Weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces, and 18 1/2-inches in length, Natasha was the first baby born for 2011 at Punxsutawney Area Hospital.
â€˘ By a unanimous vote, state Rep. Sam Smith of Punxsutawney was elected speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, while state Sen. Joe Scarnati of Brockway was sworn in as President Pro Tempore of the Senate for a third time.