Itâ€™s the battle of titans the world has awaited for more than 100 years, beginning this winter and ending this coming spring.
In this corner, Punxsutawney Phil; in the opposite corner, science.
But Punxsutawney Area Middle School students taking part in a program to track the growth of tulips in various parts of the world â€” and taking into consideration the onset of spring â€” believe their hometown hero will emerge victorious.
â€śThey think they will be right along with Philâ€ť and his Feb. 2 prognostication, whatever it may be, said PAMS fifth-grade teacher Jeff Kuntz.
Betty M. Geer, 31, formerly of Punxsutawney, died Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011, in Shreveport, La.
She was born June 23, 1980, in Punxsutawney, a daughter of Leona M. Courson Geer, who survives, of Mayport, and the late David D. Geer.
Miss Geer attended Punxsutawney Area High School and Jeff Tech.
She was employed as a cleaning personnel staff and enjoyed fishing, spending time outdoors, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
She was a member of Latter Day Saints in Tropic, Utah.
Jamey Eugene Stormer, 41, Somerset, died Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, in Somerset.
He was born Aug. 16, 1970, in Brookville, a son of the late Robert E. Stormer and Margaret (Shirey) Stormer, who survives.
He was a carpenter and member of the Pine Valley United Methodist Church and the Worthville United Methodist Church.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” Joseph (Joe) V. Harrick (1895-1958), Punxsutawney native and former Punxsy coach, was recently inducted into the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame.
The WVU Sports Hall of Fame honors former athletes and others connected to Mountaineer athletics.
Harrick attended WVU from 1917-1921 and is the only known 16-time letterman in WVU history.
His greatest feat was earning four varsity letters each in football, baseball, wrestling and track and field â€” an accomplishment unheard of in the modern sports era.
Sometimes, I wish I were around in the "Good Ol' Days."
Directly to this column's left, on Page 6, is an article that was submitted to me this week about a man, Joseph Harrick, who was recently inducted into the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame for being the only known individual in school history to earn 16 letters â€” a feat that is simply unheard of today.
First of all, athletes today have three sports seasons, and except for the occasional kicker-who-is-a-soccer-player, the idea of an athlete playing two sports in one season is practically extinct.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” Itâ€™s a chance to take a breather from shopping, to find some new ideas for holiday decorating, or a way to see how other local residents embrace and perpetuate their own Christmas traditions.
Thatâ€™s what the annual Holly Tour is all about, and it runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at six different locations in the Punxsy area (see the accompanying box on Page 3).
The tour, which is at least 20 years old, was first established by the former Young Womenâ€™s Club, of which Katie Laska, who owns Laskaâ€™s Pizza and Caterinaâ€™s Dolce Cucina, was a member.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” The Punxsutawney Area School Board welcomed its newly elected members at Wednesdayâ€™s reorganization meeting and re-elected its sitting president.
District Judge Douglas Chambers swore in new board members Melissa Snyder and Jim Baun, as well as incumbents Jack White and Penny Muth Pifer.
During the boardâ€™s annual reorganizational meeting, Lesa Conner nominated and then made a motion to re-elect current school board president Gary Conrad. Pifer seconded her motion.
Shortly after the junior high wrestlers kick off their season, the ninth-grade basketball team opens its season Friday afternoon. The ninth-grade basketball team, coached by Brandon Krug (not pictured), is (front, from left) Dakota Byers, Dakota Thomas, Ruben Taylor; (middle) Ethan Ambler, Ryan Sloniger, Brandon Blose; (back) Andy Fedigan, Adam Ferko, Jared Burkett and Logan Reed. The boys' and girls' varsity teams will also open their seasons Friday night at the Marion Center Tip-Off Tournament.
Local youngster Caleb Bodenhorn, of Punxsutawney, nabbed this high-and-wide spike, his first buck, Saturday while hunting in Bell Township. The buck weighed in at 160 pounds.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” Margiotti Bridge â€” and those who travel it â€” will again see maintenance by PennDOT crews this coming summer.
PennDOT District 10 has scheduled rehabilitation for the bridge during the upcoming summer driving season, said Borough Manager Ben White, during Tuesdayâ€™s Public Works Committee meeting.
White said PennDOT has scheduled the bridge construction for next summer with a detour for northbound traffic to travel down Indiana Hill; southbound traffic reduced to one lane of the bridge; and pedestrian traffic being maintained.