March 7th, 2012
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” Libraries in Pennsylvania are facing yet another five-percent budget cut from Gov. Tom Corbettâ€™s new fiscal year budget proposal.
â€śI think the state does alright by us, considering that all of the libraries are caught in dire straits right now with the proposed budget cuts,â€ť library Director Coral Ellshoff said.
â€śIâ€™m not saying that I welcome a five-percent cut in state funding; I think itâ€™s understandable,â€ť she said. â€śWhere it creates an imbalance, the local governments need to pick up the slack.â€ť
BROOKVILLE â€” Next month, teen drivers in Jefferson and Clarion counties will put their driving skills to the test for the annual Clar-Jeff Regional Safe Driving Competition.
But Jefferson County Sheriff Carl Gotwald thinks this year is more important than ever before because of two new state laws that affect teen drivers.
â€śThere has been a lot of recent changes,â€ť he said. â€śThere have also been some very high-profile car accidents where kids have been killed. So I think itâ€™s a good program to educate teen drivers.â€ť
A new state law requiring Pennsylvania drivers to pull over and stop if they want to use text-based communications takes effect today, although it remains legal to use a hand-held cell phone behind the wheel. The statewide texting-while-driving ban carries a $50 fine and gives police authority to pull over suspected violators on sight.
MONACA â€” Entering Tuesday night's PIAA play-in game against the Central Valley Warriors, Punxsy boys' basketball coach Dirk Neal said anything after the District IX tournament was simply "icing on the cake."
After a successful season that saw Punxsy overcome the loss of a senior point guard to transfer and the Chucks earn their first trip to the D-IX title game since 2005, Punxsy's season came to an end Tuesday at the hands of the Warriors, 54-45.
Despite the loss, Punxsy Neal was pleased with the full-game effort from his squad.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” Punxsy's seventh- and eighth-grade girls' volleyball teams each took on DuBois Central Catholic Tuesday afternoon in Punxsutawney, and both teams earned sweeps over the Lady Cardinals.
In the eighth-grade contest, a three-game sweep for the Lady Chucks, Punxsy was dominant, picking up 25-16, 25-10 and 25-13 victories over DCC.
The first few points of the first game were fairly uneventful before Punxsy's Mallory Cameron stepped to the line and picked up two aces to give Punxsy a 4-3 lead.
BIG RUN â€” Itâ€™s almost time for the peepers of Big Run to let everyone know that spring will soon arrive.
â€śAny day now,â€ť says Big Run resident John London, who has been tracking the peepers since 1972.
London frequently walks near the swamps of Big Run to listen for the peepers, but as of yet, he has has not heard anything.
When the weather gets warm enough, the peepers will emerge from the mud and begin to peep, but London believes they have been affected by the strange winter this year.
â€śI have not seen a winter this mild,â€ť he said.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” The Punxsutawney Area Community Center informed Punxsutawney Borough Council at Tuesdayâ€™s Public Safety committee meeting that it intends to apply for a $150,000 grant to upgrade the electric at the facility.
Mick Mumau, of the Community Center, said he wanted to inform council that it will apply for a DCNR grant and needs the borough as a sponsor.
Mumau said the centerâ€™s board has the funding match for the grant, which is due April 4.
John Smilo, 87, Glen Campbell, died Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at Punxsutawney Area Hospital.
He was born Aug. 5, 1924, in Grant Township, Indiana County, a son of the late Joseph and Justina (Ivanko) Smilo.
June 15, 1957, Mr. Smilo married his wife of 54 years, Irene (Hook) Smilo, who survives.
He served as Seaman First Class in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Mr. Smilo was a member of Ss. Peter & Paul Orthodox Church in Urey, where he had actively served his church in many capacities through the years.
Catherine L. â€śCathyâ€ť (Gernat) Wesdock, 80, Punxsutawney, passed away unexpectedly Monday, March 5, 2012.
She was born Jan. 6, 1932, in DeLancey, a daughter of the late John and Anna (Gaydos) Gernat.
She graduated from Punxsutawney Area High in 1949.
Nov. 11, 1961, she married Thomas G. Wesdock, who preceded her in death Feb. 16, 2005.
ALTOONA â€” A Punxsy record 10 wrestlers advanced to Friday and Saturday's AAA Northwest Regional Tournament, and for one Chucks' grappler, sophomore Joel Bowers at 113 pounds, the weekend was a great success, as Bowers ended the tournament second in the region to earn a berth to the PIAA Class AAA State Championships Thursday through Saturday in Hershey.
Bowers' weekend started Friday with a pair of notches in the win column, but the first came in unusual fashion with a victory by forfeit over Obama's Malik Green.