January 2nd, 2012
PITTSBURGH â€” Punxsy Phil is known world-wide as the famous weather-forecasting groundhog; however, there is another Punxsutawney native who is almost as well known â€”Â at least in China.
When he was growing up in Punxsy, little did Dr. Bill Barone, president of ChinaLinks Educational Consultants LLC in Pittsburgh, realize he would be spending time on a regular basis overseas in China.
(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.)
(April 22, 1896)
Clayville School Commencement
The first annual commencement of the Clayville public school will be held in the Welsh Baptist Church, Friday evening April 24th at 8 o'clock.
Lauren R. "Brownie" Lydic Sr., 90, Lake City, died Friday Dec. 30, 2011, at UPMC Hamot.
He was born Oct. 28, 1921, in Prattsville, a son of the late Oscar and Mary (Gould) Lydic.
For more than 60 years, he was married to Sara Hollenbaugh Lydic, who preceded him in death April 3, 2008.
As America was at war, Mr. Lydic was inducted into the U.S. Army Air Corps and later deployed to the South Pacific, where he was stationed in Okinawa with the 92nd Air Depot Group of the 5th Air Force.
He worked at Bucyrus-Erie Corporation and in the coal mines in Volant.
Dr. Douglas P. MacMillan, 87, died Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Punxsutawney.
He was born June 22, 1924, in Erie, a son of the late Andy and Verdie (MacFarland) MacMillan.
He grew up in Meadville.
Aug, 25, 1945, he married his childhood sweetheart, the former Martha Waelde, who survives, of Meadville.
After graduating from Meadville High School, Dr. MacMillan was accepted as a cadet in the U.S. Army Air Force and received his pilot wings in 1943.
JoAnn Elizabeth Ondrejcak, 66, formerly of Punxsutawney, died Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, at Jefferson Manor in Brookville.
She was born July 27, 1945, in Johnstown, a daughter of the late Joseph and Christine (Marshall) Rhoades.
She was married to William Ondrejcak, who preceded her in death.
Surviving relatives include a brother, Marshall Ondrejcak of Nanty Glo; and five cousins, Betsy Bojalad of Punxsutawney, Barbara Shrecengost of Timblin, Louise DeVaughn of Smicksburg, Donna Eckman of Kittanning and William Shaffer of California.
Elizabeth S. Stewart, 81, Punxsutawney, died Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, in Brookville.
She was born July 7, 1930, in Brockway, a daughter of the late Everett and Lorena (Winters) Sibley.
Jan. 28, 1950, she married William W. Berfield, who preceded her in death in 1969.
March 4, 1972, she married Howard Earl Stewart, who preceded her in death June 23, 1984.
She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Punxsutawney and was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.
December 30th, 2011
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 ATAâ€™s Punxsutawney Transit Center.
â€˘ Foxâ€™s Pizza Denâ€™s â€śPizza & Preventionâ€ť fund-raiser beat its previous yearâ€™s record with more than $31,000 raised for the Punxsutawney Fire Department.
With help from members of the fire department, Foxâ€™s 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, itâ€™s back.
This week, the Straub Brewing Company of St. Marys introduced its 2011 batch of Groundhog Brew, the breweryâ€™s amber lager, as opposed to the light beer.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” Phil Mennitti never thought heâ€™d 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 â€śA Commonerâ€™s Guide to Defeating the Aristocracy,â€ť a book about Wall Streetâ€™s influence on the government and how its influence has destroyed the highest standard of living in the world.
â€śI was kind of inspired (by the OWS Movement) because I saw that everybody else felt the way I did,â€ť he said. â€śAnd it didnâ€™t die off. It kept growing â€” day after day.â€ť