Story of the year: Mesoraco receives his dream call
PUNXSUTAWNEY â 2011 was a whirlwind year for former PAHS â and current Cincinnati Reds' â catcher Devin Mesoraco and his loyal, local fans and one during which his dream of playing in the Majors became a reality.
When Mesoraco hit an eighth-inning home run during the first week of spring training with the Cincinnati Reds March 2, manager Dusty Baker said that the slugger hit the ball a mile, maybe even a mile-and-a-half.
â˘ After nearly seven years of planning, the Area Transportation Authority broke ground and started its 140-day construction schedule. A ceremony was held to kick off construction of ATAâs Punxsutawney Transit Center.
â˘ Foxâs Pizza Denâs âPizza & Preventionâ fund-raiser beat its previous yearâs record with more than $31,000 raised for the Punxsutawney Fire Department.
With help from members of the fire department, Foxâs Pizza Den sold 3,444 Big Daddy Pizzas, a 12-percent increase from 3,072 pizzas in 2010.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â Did you miss Groundhog Brew this year? Well, in the waning days of 2011 and the early days of 2012, itâs back.
This week, the Straub Brewing Company of St. Marys introduced its 2011 batch of Groundhog Brew, the breweryâs amber lager, as opposed to the light beer.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â Phil Mennitti never thought heâd write a book, but all it took was a bit of inspiration.
Motivated by the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, Mennitti, who works for the Punxsutawney Area School District, wrote âA Commonerâs Guide to Defeating the Aristocracy,â a book about Wall Streetâs influence on the government and how its influence has destroyed the highest standard of living in the world.
âI was kind of inspired (by the OWS Movement) because I saw that everybody else felt the way I did,â he said. âAnd it didnât die off. It kept growing â day after day.â
Geraldine Sara Porter died Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011.
She was the daughter of the late Gerald and Sara Braund.
She was the beloved wife of the late Robert Porter; mother of Michael, Kathleen and Daniel Porter, Susan (James) Mullins and Sean Porter; and sister of the late Patricia Johnston.Â
She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.Â
Relatives and friends are invited to Gerri's Life Celebration from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, at the George P. Kalas Funeral Home, P.A., 6160 Oxon Hill Rd., Oxon Hill, Md.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â Carl A. Truance, for whom the Punxsutawney Holiday Classic has been named since 1995, was an avid fan of Punxsutawney sports.
He would have been pleased with the performance the Chucks gave Thursday night to be crowned tournament champions.
Punxsy's Cory Geer, playing off the bench, hit a shot with 38 seconds on the clock to give the Chucks a 53-52 lead, and the Chucks held on to win by that same score.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â The Lady Chucks fell behind early for the second day in a row and were unable to overcome the deficit to lose 39-33 in the consolation game against the Lady Cougars of Hazleton at the 17th-annual Carl A. Truance Holiday Classic Thursday afternoon in Punxsutawney.
The Lady Cougars' intense full-court pressure defense was a key factor in shutting down the Lady Chucks in the first quarter, and Hazleton converted early to jump out to a 13-5 lead in the first quarter.
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 OâDonnell, both of Pittsburgh, in front of The Spiritâs âPhantastic Phil!â 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.