Page 1

On the cover: Honoring Our Local Firefighters — Tommy Elder, Matt Powell, Austin Pate, Rod Doughty, and Tami McFarland — See page 7 and 14

Photo by Courtney Katherine Photography

‘Punxsutawney Hometown’ magazine © copyright 2012 — All rights reserved.

Schedule Your Advertising In Our Next Edition! We reach 100% of the local and area homes and businesses! - Concentrated Circulation -

8,200+ copies of Punxsutawney Hometown magazine are direct-mailed to homes in Punxsutawney and surrounding towns and areas, giving our advertisers nearly 100% coverage . . . we deliver to every home and business! (As always — our circulation is verified — mailing and printing statements available.)

We are the only Punxsutawney-owned media! Punx’y Proud — Boosting our Hometown! Publishers William c. Anderson, mary L. roberts Advertising mary L. roberts tracey young Contributing Writers Bill Anderson s. thomas curry Allie shields shirley sharp Art Director melissa salsgiver Graphic Artists melissa salsgiver carol smouse nicole mcGee Joanna mcconnell All material submitted becomes the property of Punxsutawney Hometown magazine.

mary roberts ................................(814) 938-0312 Bill Anderson ................................(814) 472-4110 tracey young ................................(814) 938-9084 our office......................................(814) 938-9141 our fax..........................................(814) 938-9507 Our business mailing address: P.o. Box 197, Punxsutawney, PA 15767 With our office located in: railroad Building, suite 100 north Penn st., Punxsutawney, PA 15767 Yearly Subscriptions: $36 — First Class Mail

Betty Philliber was born in the Hoffman family house (left) on East Mahoning St. Her dearest friend, Florence Parry Heide from Pittsburgh, spent childhood summers in Punxsutawney at her grandparents, at the Jacob Fisher house (far right) on West Mahoning St. (circa 1920 photo, center).

A Hometown Friendship

The Story of Betty Philliber and Florence Heide


By S. Thomas Curry of Hometown magazine

here is a story to be told about two young girls who grew up in Punxsutawney in the early 1900s. One was born in 1919, the other in 1915. They maintained their friendship until their deaths. One of the girls became recognized as a writer, receiving many honors nationally for her more than one hundred children’s stories. The other is better known to area residents and readers as a teacher, and by her lifelong activities and support of community life in Punxsutawney. It earned her recognition as the 2001 Punxsutawney Woman of the Year. It can be said of each of them “they grew up in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.” Born in Punxsutawney in 1915 and growing up on East Mahoning Street was Betty Hoffman Philliber. Born in Pittsburgh in 1919, and spending most of her childhood in Punxsutawney, was Florence Parry Heide (rhymes with tidy). Mrs. Heide died on October 23, 2011 at age 92, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Mrs. Philliber passed away recently on August 27, 2012 in Punxsutawney, at the age of 97. The families of each of the women left outstanding contributions to Punxsutawney’s history. Betty Hoffman Philliber was born to Orvis C. and Nancy Hoffman in the family home at 910 East Mahoning Street. The house was built in 1907 by attorney

W. B. Adams of stones from the Elk Run quarry of his father. The Hoffmans moved into the structure about 1913 after attorney Adams moved into a new house he

Betty Philliber (left) and Florence Parry Heide.

constructed opposite the Country Club. In 1914, the Hoffmans remodeled and redecorated their new residence. A year later, Betty would be born there. Within a couple of years, David F. Brown would build his showplace home of many stones “from around the world” on a lot next door at the corner of Dinsmore Avenue. Florence Parry Heide was the daughter of Florence Fisher Parry and spent her childhood summers at her grandparents, Jacob L. and Carrie Fisher, in their home on West Mahoning Street. The house, remembered by many as the Old Library building, was dismantled in 1997. The marriage of the Fishers was considered the first marriage in Jefferson County under the new marriage license law of September 1885. They deferred their mar- Auto • Home • Business • Life

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2 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144

- Continued on page 4

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riage three weeks in order to be the first couple in the county to receive that “first” status. A young lawyer, Mr. Fisher had an interest in electricity. In 1889, he organized a company to bring electricity to Punxsutawney. The electric “street railway,” electric light poles, and electric wires to homes would follow. The Fisher’s daughter, Florence (Mrs. Heide’s mother), was an accomplished stage actress as a young lady and toured the states of the South and West. She abandoned the stage in 1913 when she married a young banker, David Parry. When Florence Fisher Heide was two years old (1921), her father died and her widowed mother supported the family through a photograph studio in Pittsburgh. In 1925 she became a feature writer and theatre critic in two Pittsburgh newspapers, continuing that career for 25 years. During those difficult years of early childhood, the young Florence Parry spent time in Punxsutawney and gained the friendship of Betty Hoffman. The Fisher and Hoffman families were close friends through their social activities and business interests. Betty Hoffman’s father, Orvis, with his brother Leon, began the Hoffman Brothers Drilling Company in 1907. In the early 20th century, the young men followed their father’s interest in drilling water wells and then moved on to coal testing and gas wells. Orvis did the field

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a Sense of Community Spirit - The Two Lick Valley Social Center, 450 Franklin Street, Clymer, is always a busy and active place to be. In the last 9 months, the ladies from the center have been creative as elves, working on a group of special hand-crafted afghans created in honor of area high school football teams. Once made, they will be presented to the schools’ booster clubs, as an avenue for them to make money by selling chances.The two projects, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Penns Manor District Champs afghans, will generate funds for the center itself. $1 chances are being sold at the upcoming Clymer Days festivities on Sept. 22 to Sept. 23. Presenting the afghans are volunteer stitchers and corcheters are (l. to r.) Marie Stumpf, Laurene Vodopivec, Barb Bowser, Hope Sarnovsky, Barb Hayduk and Linda Watterson. Missing from the photo Marsha Bunyak of the Two Lick Valley Social Center.

Around Town Happenings

By the staff of Hometown magazine and the Chamber of Commerce rom the Chamber of Commerce, Community Calendar at, and Hometown magazine, here is a list of events and happenings coming up in our area. • the Well — The Well, a gathering place for folks to enjoy live music, will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, September 28 at the First United Methodist Church, 301 West Mahoning Street. No cover charge. A coffee bar and food will be available. Call 814-938-7500 for more information. • Benefit Dinner for colin Wineberg — A benefit dinner for Colin Wineberg, a Punxsutawney Middle School student waiting a kidney transplant, will be held from 4 to 7 p.m.Saturday, September 29 at Grace United Methodist Church. Adults $7; Children $3, under 5 Free. Take out or eat in. • oKtoBerfest - Thursday, October 4. Tickets $3 (Must be purchased by Sept.


28) Mahoning Hills Social Center (beside Longview Elementary School on Rt. 119), 19298 Rt. 119 Highway North, near Punxsutawney. Contact: Mary Beth Wilson (724) 286-3099 • Daddy’s girl —A comedy in two acts by Gary Ray Stapp, will be presented by Punxsutawney Theatre Arts Guild at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6, 11, 12 and 13 in the Punxsutawney Area Middle School Auditorium. A Matinee Performance will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 7. Tickets available at the door. • salvation army’s annual Harvest auction —Saturday, Oct. 6 live on WPXZ 104.1 FM. Items from local businesses, handmade items, as well as produce and baked goods will be available. For more information, contact Captain Jache at 814938-5530. • stained glass show — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, October 6 at the Jefferson County Housing Authority Social Building

Punxsutawney & Community Center

present “LORDy LORDy MaRty’S FORty” Presented by Pittsburgh’s Creators of Dinner with the Godfather

OCtObeR 13, 2012

Marty anderson is celebrating his 40th birthday. Friend, brother and sister in law rent a time machine to take him back to 1987 to his high school’s senior spring Advance tickets only, contact: fling talent show Come Have a Fun Night to win the love of the girl Abbie Pride 952-1409 • rob mccoy 952-1403 With One of the Funniest that broke his heart. Groups Around and Support Punxsutawney community center 938-1008 our Local Community Center Punxsutawney country club 938-8243

Show begins at 6pm Come early and have a few drinks tickets $40/person • includes appetizers, show & DJ to follow

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- Continued on page 5

Speed and Sport Cycle Center Rt. 436 • 430 S. Main St., Punx’y • 938-8780 or 938-6952 SaleS • PaRtS • SeRviCe Cylinder Boring • Pa State inspection

*finance offer subject to credit approval, applies to purchases of new yamaha Motorcycles, atvs, sxss & scooters made on a yamaha installment financing loan account from 10/1/12-12/26/12. Min. contract length 24 mos, max. 36 mos. Min. amount financed $5,000. fixed apr of 3.99% or up to 12.99% assigned based on credit approval criteria. Monthly payments per $1,000 financed based on 36-mo. term are $29.52 at 3.99% and $33.69 at 12.99%. offer good only in the u.s., excluding the state of Hawaii. rhino shown with optional accessories. always wear your seat belt, helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. atv models shown are recommended for use only by riders 16 years and older. raptor 700r and yfZ450r recommended for experienced riders only. yamaha recommends that all atv riders take an approved training course. for safety and training information, see your dealer or call the atv safety institute at 1-800-8872887. atvs can be hazardous to operate. for your safety: always avoid paved surfaces. Never ride on public roads. always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing; never carry passengers; never engage in stunt riding; riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix; avoid excessive speed; and be particularly careful on difficult terrain. professional riders depicted on closed courses. ©2012 yamaha Motor corporation, u.s.a. all rights reserved. • 10/12

printed 09-12

Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144 – 3

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Four year old Betty (Hoffman) Philliber (center) is seen in a family portrait with her parents and brother. Her father Orvis Hoffman, Sr., with his brother headed the Hoffman Brothers Drilling Company in the early 20th century (circa 1910 photo).

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Hometown Friendship

forty years the firm expanded to a complex of a dozen buildings on the 35 acres of ground there. From deliveries by two Continued from page 2 horse-led wagons, transportation grew to duties, and Leon the office work for a a fleet of trucks to serve a 14 county rebusiness that reached into the Middle At- gion around Punxsutawney. When the older John Philliber died in lantic states and also deep into the south1913, Bob Philliber’s father, Harry, took eastern U. S. region. over the business. And Bob succeeded as On one trip to Virginia, in 1930, it was general manager upon the death of his fareported the firm had drilled for a coal test ther in 1939. on land that had been owned by Patrick The Hoffman Brothers Drilling ComHenry. In 1938, the company made pany and the Punx’y Beef Company were drilling history by completing “the a part of much of world’s first horiPunxsutawney’s zontal oil well� in wealth in the first Ohio. Rather than half of the 20th doing it the tradicentury. tional vertical way After 16 years they drilled 1,007 rearing her three feet into a hillside children at home, horizontally. (April Betty returned to 4, 1938, Punxteaching in the sutawney Spirit) Punx’y elementary Betty Hoffman schools. When the began a teaching caPunx’y Beef Comreer in 1937. Her fapany closed in the ther died in the late 1950s, Bob resummer of 1939. In turned to school, 1941, the young got a teaching deteacher would gree and taught at marry Robert the high school Philliber in the famuntil his sudden ily home on East death in 1973. Mahoning Street. Betty retired from For many years of teaching in 1979. her young life she Through those had known Philliber many years, from through church and growing up as a school activities. After her children were reared, Florence Parry Heide Bob was employed (left) was a nationally-known writer of children’s child in Punxin the family meat books for which she received many awards. Punx- sutawney, through packing business, sutawney’s Betty Hoffman Philliber (right) became a motherhood, adultPunxsutawney elementary teacher after her children the Punxsutawney had grown up. Both women will be remembered for hood and careers, Hoffman Beef and Provision their influences on children from different careers. Betty Philliber and FloCompany, well known for its Groundhog Brand products. rence Parry Heide kept in touch with each It was founded in 1904 by Bob’s grandfa- other by phone calls and “friendship ther, John A. Philliber who started with notes.� Many times Mrs. Heide visited one two-story building on land on the Punxsutawney to spend time with Mrs. south side of the Mahoning Creek. In Philliber. As Betty’s grandson Jay could - Continued on page 10

Casteel Chiropractic DR. Ian Casteel • X-Rays • 410 east Mahoning st.


now accepting Highmark, upMc, Medicare, access & More Mon., Wed., & fri. 9-1 & 3-8 closed tuesday & thursday

4 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144


Around Town Continued from page 3 201 N. Jefferson Street, Punxsutawney. Free to public. Stop by and see all the beautiful handmade pieces. Prizes awarded for beginner, intermediate and advanced entries. Food and beverage available. Hosted by Corbin’s Stained Glass & Gilson Stained Glass & more. For more information phone Debbie Gilson at 814-938-8570. • thistle & pine’s open House — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. Enjoy store specials, a bagpiper, a Celtic fiddler and refreshments throughout the day. 7570 Rt. 119 near Marion Center. • Big run flu shot clinic — Meet us at the Big Run War Memorial on October 13 at 8 a.m. to get your flu shot and talk with a Punxsy Hometown Pharmacy pharmacist about your prescriptions. • "lordy lordy Marty's forty" Saturday, October 13 at the Punxsutawney Country Club. Presented by Pittsburgh's Creators of “Dinner with the Godfather.” Tickets $40 per person in advance from Abbie Pride 952-1409, Rob McCoy 9521403, Punxsutawney Community Center 938-1008 or Punxsutawney Country Club 938-8243. Proceeds benefit Punxsutawney Area Community Center. • Mahoning shadow shuffle Half Marathon-10K-5K-one Mile Youth race —Saturday, October 13 at the Punxsutawney Little League Field on Route 119 in Punxsutawney. Registration is at 8 a.m., the race begins at 9 a.m. To download the race application visit • “chuckles and chocolate” — Saturday, Oct. 13: The 2012 Punxsutawney Christian Women’s C o n f e r e n c e ’s “Chuckles & Chocolate: LOL with Sue Duffield,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Punxsutawney First Church of God. A speaker and singer, Sue shares her faith, fun, and inspirational words to women’s groups across the country with her humor, music, and God-inspired messages.

• oak ridge Boys christmas concert — Presented by Krise Transportation, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 17 in the Jackson Theater, Punxsutawney Community Center. Ticket pricing and information is available by calling the Community Center at 814-938-1008 or by calling 814938-9632. A shuttle bus service from parking lots around Punxsutawney is also available for $3 per person round trip and can be paid when purchasing concert tickets. • apple Butter Making Day – 7 a.m. to ? Monday, October 22. It’s a great big deal and a lot of fun! Volunteers are needed to help stir, jar and just help with the whole process. Mahoning Hills Social Center (Beside Longview Elementary School on Rt. 119), 19298 Rt. 119 Highway North, near Punxsutawney. Contact Center Manager Mary Beth Wilson (724) 286-3099 • Halloween party and fun! — Tuesday, October 30. Spooky Skit with Janis! Costumes are NOT Optional! Come dressed to scare! Mahoning Hills Social Center, (Beside Longview Elementary School on Rt. 119), 19298 Rt. 119 Highway North, near Punxsutawney. Contact Center Manager Mary Beth Wilson (724) 286-3099 • Home for the Holidays parade & circle of trees light up night — Beginning 6 p.m. Saturday, November 24 with the magical nighttime parade this year sponsored by F.O. Eagles #1231 of Punxsutawney. After the parade, visit Rotary Club’s Circle of Trees in Barclay Square and watch as they, along with the community Christmas tree, are lit up for the holidays. is maintained by the Chamber of Commerce for the community. Any area business or organization is invited to become a member of the Chamber of Commerce for as little as $75 for the year. For more information, visit or call 938-7700. To submit an event for the calendar, visit and fill out the form. • • •

First Phil Phest a Hit


he first Phil Phest was a huge success Phest goers. Over 300 people attended Saturday, September 8 at Gobbler’s throughout the day to listen to the great Knob, where a century of tradition and music of Pure Cane Sugar Band, Jukehouse contemporary festivities were molded Bombers, and Joe Pascuzzo. But, of course, the most into one. important event of the While the day began day was Punxsutawney with storms rolling Phil receiving his annual through Gobbler’s dose of Groundhog Knob, it ended with a Punch. With an energetic perfect evening for a trek, the members of the celebration of Phil. Inner Circle made their Throughout the day, way to the stage at Gobover 60 teams particibler’s Knob. The Inner pated in a bean-bagCircle members were intoss yard game contest. troduced and the cereThe winners received mony was explained. their very own set of With Handlers Ron Phil Phest bean bag toss boards, and every- John Griffiths, Groundhog Club handler, and Ploucha and John Grifone in the finals re- Phil. (Photo courtesy of the Groundhog Club.) fiths, President Bill Deeley administered the Punch, giving Phil ceived a stylish Phil Phest 2012 tee shirt. The Punxsutawney Elks, Kountry Kitchen seven more years of life Now it’s time to prepare Groundhog Day! Kettle Korn, and Villella’s Meats provided ••• many delicious food options for the Phil

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Rt. 436 • 430 S. Main St., Punx’y • 938-8780 or 938-6952 Cylinder Boring • Pa State inspection *the above financing program is offered by sheffield financial, a division of BB&t financial, fsB, between 9/1/2012 and 11/30/2012. Minimum amount financed $1,500; Maximum amount financed $50,000. subject to credit approval. approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. other financing offers are available. financing promotions void where prohibited. offer available on new unused suzuki 2013 and prior KingQuad 400asi, KingQuad 400fsi, KingQuad 500axi/power steering/30th anniversary, and KingQuad 750axi/power steering/30th anniversary purchased from an authorized suzuki dealer. offer subject to change without notice. an example of monthly payment required on a purchase where the amount financed is $7,500, your down payment is $0 with 60 monthly payments of $125.00 each. aNNual perceNtage rate 0%. at suzuki, we want every ride to be safe and enjoyable. so always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. avoid excessive speeds. Never engage in stunt riding. study your owner's manual and always inspect your suzuki before riding. take a riding skills course. for the course nearest you call the Motorcycle safety foundation at 1-800-446-9227. suzuki, the "s" logo, and suzuki model and product names are suzuki trademarks or ®. © american suzuki Motor corporation 2012.

printed 09-12

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The mine buildings at Eriton Mine, between Sykesville and DuBois, were constructed during the early years of operation before much of the housing was built. (Photo courtesy of the Henderson Township History Committee.)

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The Story of the Eriton Mine Elevator Fire Injures Ten Miners By PriDE for Hometown magazine


n the early years of the 20th century, coal mining was becoming a mature industry in the Punxsutawney area. The established companies were seeking ways to develop new coalfields that were economically feasible. They were creating new business arrangements and making maximum use of existing resources. This was the business climate when Eriton, a mining community of the Northwestern Mining and Exchange Company was in the planning phase of development. In the spring of 1907, the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg Railroad Company, entered into an agreement with the Erie Railroad Company to permit a short connecting railroad to be built at Brockwayville, now known as Brockway. This three-quarter of a mile-long railroad would enable trains carrying coal from the Toby Valley mines of the Northwestern Mining and Exchange Company to travel over the tracks of the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway to their markets in the north. The Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg Railroad Company, often referred to as the Iselin Line, would benefit from the increased freight traffic. This agreement was an outgrowth of contract talks between the two companies regarding the coalfields, which the North-

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6 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144

76 Harvest Lane Punx’y Fax: 939-7070

To set up an appointment call Connie at:

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western Mining and Exchange Company was developing in the area between DuBois and Big Run. Prior to the implementation of the agreement, the company had been contracting with the Pennsylvania Railroad to transport coal over their road from Brockwayville to Johnsonburg. The coal would now travel over the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg Railway to Bradford. Until the Erie Railroad Company acquired engines to power the trains, the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg Railroad Company provided engines also. At Eriton, the Northwestern Mining and Exchange Company had opened a shaft and hurriedly put up some housing for miners. The Erie Railway Company was constructing tracks and facilities for transporting the coal. The Erie Company sent men to DuBois to inspect the line before it began operating over the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg line. It was predicted that the Erie traffic originating south of DuBois would continue for some years and would stimulate railroad activity in the area. In late September 1907, Eriton was growing. Ivan Sibley and Company, of Brockwayville, a contractor, was at work building fifty additional houses. By October 17, he had 35 under roof and expected that he would have them completed by December 1, with the remainder to be finished by January 1. These new houses stood on brick foundations. Their walls - Continued on page 8

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Churches, Scouts, Schools, Community Events...


ne of Punxsutawney’s most popular events take place again in early Ocotber. The eleventh annual “Pizza and Prevention” will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 6 at Fox’s Pizza Den in Punxsutawney. “Big Daddy Pizza”s will be on sale for $9.11 with Fox’s donating the full price to the Punxsutawney Fire Department. One of Punxsutawney’s firemen will deliver the pizza and check your smoke detector

while at your home. Pizzas may also be picked up at Fox’s on North Findley Street, and, in addition, Coupon Cards will be available to use at a later date for pizzas as desired. Free smoke detectors and batteries (limit one per household for those in need) will be provided by Nationwide, the Kengersky Agency. Please join Fox’s and the Punx’y firemen in promoting disaster prevention. •••

Punx’y’s Oktoberfest Event Features Pumpkin Pie Contest, Story Walk, Pick a Pumpkin, More


he final Second Saturday event of Genealogical Society at 400 West Mahonthe year will take place in Down- ing Street. The Story Walk includes readtown Punxsutawney from 10 a.m. to ing a book and completing activities 3 p.m., Saturday, October 13 and related to the story. Children completing will feature a Pumpkin Pie Baking Con- the walk will select a paperback book of test for those 12 years of age and over. It their choice to keep. will take place at 1 A special fall acp.m. at the tivity will be inGazebo, and in cluded for visitors case of rain, at to the PunxMiller Brothers sutawney Weather Furniture Store. Discovery Center. Prizes will be “Pick a Pumpkin” awarded for the discounts will be best pumpkin pie available at paras determined by a ticipating stores. panel of “impar- Ready, Set, Taste — The panel of judges for the Apple Sidewalk sales tial, highly-quali- Pie Baking Contest held during the September 8, Sec- will feature fall ond Saturday event in Punxsutawney included Michael items fied judges.” including A Pumpkin Story Struss, Manager of Miller Brothers Furniture; Martha Jo pumpkins, honey, Rupert, chef and instructor of IUP Academy of Culinary Walk for children Arts, and Josh Widdowson of Renda Broadcasting. baked goods and through age 12 more. Plan to be will be conducted on the South Findley on hand for the Oktoberfest activities and street sidewalk from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and be a winner in many ways. For more inin case of rain will move to the Latimer formation call 814-590-6868. House of the Punxsutawney Historical and •••

Your News can reach every home in the Punx'y area. Email news & photos to:

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Have your private party, seminar or wedding in our Vine Room Banquet Facility october 5th, 6th & 7th: fall festival october 20th & 21st: potters tour november 2nd, 3rd & 4th: old fashioned country christmas open House

Fox's Pizza, Nationwide Insurance - The Kengersky Agency and local firemen will team up for Pizza and Prevention Saturday, October 6.

11th Annual Fox’s Pizza Sale Benefits Punx’y Firemen


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Hometown magazine 814-938-0312 P.O. Box 197 Punx’y, PA 15767


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Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144 – 7


Eriton Mine

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were plastered and double boarded. The outside was covered with lap siding. Half of the houses were of the six-room design; the other half was five-room houses. These houses were finished on time, as this early1908 notice from the Sykesville Post Dispatch reveals:“The company houses at Eriton are being treated to a coat or two of paint which is greatly improving their appearance.” Postal service became available to Eriton on July 1, 1909 when John Cunningham, of Jefferson Line, became the postmaster for Eriton and West Liberty. He built a small building to house the new post office between Eriton and Jefferson Line, which made it more available to the citizens of Eriton. His daughter Miss Grace Cunningham had charge of the office. The Northwester Mining Exchange in order to increase the capacity at Eriton mine added a night shift in November of 1908. Their plan was to have two-thirds of the miners work days, and one-third work the night shift. This doubled their production. The coal produced at Eriton was used primarily to power the engines of the Erie Railroad Company. With a steady market for their coal, the wages of the miners at Eriton was not subject to the volatile market conditions of the time. The demand, however, provided an incentive for having the shaft work at its full capacity. The Eriton operation was booming. All the houses were filled and it was anticipated that additional houses would be built in the spring of 1909. This need was tempered by the fact that there was a streetcar line which connected Eriton with DuBois and Sykesville. The streetcar made it possible for a miner and his family to live in the surrounding area and still be able to get to work for the price of carfare. Eriton, like most mining communities, experienced disaster. On February 21, 1910 tragedy visited Eriton. Headlines in the February 22 issue of the Punxsutawney Spirit read: “POWDER EXPLOSION IN ERITON MINE INJURES 10. Cooped up in Cage Miners become Human Torches When Powder Lets Go. FIRE FROM CIGARETTE BELIEVED CAUSE” Ten morning shift miners, the first trip of the day, were traveling down the shaft in the elevator cage when the explosion

occurred. One of the miners had been smoking a cigarette. Three of the miners had sealed cans of powder with them. Before they entered the cage, they had asked the smoker to put out his cigarette. He persisted in smoking and when the cage had gone down about 50 feet of the 250foot shaft a blinding flash occurred, quickly followed by another. The clothing of the ten men was instantly on fire. Caught in the narrow cage, they were unable to fight the fire. The few minutes it took the cage to finish the descent seemed like an eternity to the miners. Two of the men jumped from the cage when it was still about ten feet from the bottom. Fortunately they were not injured by the jump. When the cage reached the bottom of the shaft, the men ran into the heading where there was a lesser draught. They tore off each others burning clothes and managed to strip off the fire before anyone was fatally burned. Frank Divan the cage operator, who was burned about his hands and face, rushed the cage back to the surface and brought down a rescue party. The burned men were taken to the top and the most seriously burned were taken to hospitals in Punxsutawney. Joe Borisiski was taken to the Adrian Hospital with burns, however his injuries were not considered serious. His face was badly burned and arms were scorched. Frank Oddaro was taken to the Punxsutawney Hospital in serious condition. The others who were injured included: Dominick Kuniz and Frank Zomisky, who were burned about their face, arms and body; Frank Faleski, who was burned about his face and arms, and Pete Ponsul, whose arms and body were burned; Tom Kuntz had slight burns about his face and arms. David Hind’s face was burned, as was his mustache. James Armstrong was only slightly burned because he had covered his head and face with his coat and was able to prevent his face from being seriously burned. The men who were in the cage thought the explosion was caused by an ash from the cigarette, however, mine officials could not see how an ash could have come in contact with the powder, when all three cans were sealed. Punxsutawney hospitals continued to serve the seriously injured miners from Eriton, which was primarily due to the availability of Dr. Frances Lorenzo, surgeon at the Adrian Hospital. On May 18, 1910, Wollex Shomakin was brought to - Continued on page 10

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10 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144

Eriton Mine

Continued from page 4

Continued from page 8

fondly relate, “Nanny really enjoyed her visits.” Florence Parry met her husband, Donald Heide, in Pittsburgh during World War II. After the war they moved to Wisconsin where she raised their children. She began writing her lighthearted children’s stories in the 1960s after all five of her children had entered school. Her most popular works included books for girls about the unsettling emotions of adjusting to adolescence. Receiving many awards, it was said that her success in writing was from an ability to express what it was like to be a child — the curiosity, the simple life of a child against the complex life of adults. Heide was well known in Kenosha for the Fourth of July parade she organized each year. Hundreds of children with their decorated bikes would gather outside her home and ride twice around her block to the beat of a drum. While her friend was recognized for her influential children’s writing, Betty Hoffman Philliber endeared children to her by her teaching. With the children in her care, seeing the best in them, her influence led many elementary school children to achieve beyond their expectations. Two young friends, reared by prominent and loving Punxsutawney families in years long, long ago, have passed through this community’s varied moments of history, leaving behind their own history of friendship, good works, education, loyalty and dedication to family and community. They will be missed. •••

the Adrian Hospital from Eriton mines with a compound fracture of the leg, and in February 1914, Dominic Sharkey, of Eriton mine, was brought to the Adrian hospital also suffering with a badly fractured leg. Eriton, like other mines, had its share of labor disputes. In September 1911, John Sullivan, a representative of the Punxsutawney Mine Workers, mediated a conference with miners employed at Eriton. There was some trouble with the motormen who went on strike because of a transfer of one of their members. While the motormen were out, the company had used foremen, spraggers and other miners as motormen to keep the mine operating until there was a resolution to the problem. After extensive discussion, it was determined the motormen would return to work until there was a conference with the general manager to resolve the situation. Although new ways of more efficiently getting coal to market were developed, and new partnerships were tried by coal and railroad companies, many of the same day-to-day activities of mining communities continued as Eriton developed into a steady resource for fuel for the Erie Railroad Company. What remains of Eriton may be found by turning off of State Route 119, on to the Beagle Club Road located south of the intersection of Route 119 and State Route 322. The road circles to the east, behind the houses located on Route 119, and connects with the Stanley Road or beyond that the Liberty Road. (Editor’s Note: The resources used in the preparation of this article are available the Punxsutawney Memorial Library, The Punxsutawney Spirit at, the Reynoldsville Public Library and the Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society. Photograph is courtesy of the Henderson Township History Committee. This article has been prepared by PRIDE – Punxsutawney Revitalization: Investing, Developing, Enhancing. PRIDE is a nonprofit organization, which brings together residents, business people, community leaders, and civic organizations, to improve the business districts in Punxsutawney. Contributions to support the develop a Coal Memorial and Welcome Center for the Punxsutawney Area may be made to PRIDE, P.O. Box 298, Punxsutawney, PA 15767) •••

‘Here we go, SteelerS’ football conteSt winner Winning last month’s Hometown magazine’s “Here we go, Steelers” football contest was Daniel Fisher of Punxsutawney. Daniel correctly picked the Broncos to defeat the Steelers, penning in 53 points for the total points scored in the game. He was randomly picked from the correct entries to win his $25 gift certificate, which he will redeem at West End Comet Market. You,too, can be a winner. Just clip, complete and return the coupon in this edition. Here we go, Steelers! •••


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Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144 – 11

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Singer To Help Overcome Grief, Loss with Inspiration By Allie Shields long as THEY lived.” of Hometown magazine “Healing comes slow,” he added. “But it does come easier if we reach out to others lan Pedersen, an award-winning who share the same journey we have been singer and songwriter, brings his talthrough. It’s a process, but when we all come ent to the Pantall Hotel in Punxtogether through sutawney. grief, we can accomAlan is a nationally recplish something so ognized inspirational worth living with: speaker on grief and loss, acceptance and hapwho speaks from experipiness. ence. Pedersen lost his With a slight mix of only daughter, Ashley, humor and straightwhen she was killed in from-the-heart talk an automobile accident combined with in Colorado. His pain songs of love and and journey toward findloss, an evening with ing joy once again have Alan Pedersen will led him in a direction he inspire you, and procould never of imagined. vide a healing and Pedersen began to find memorable concert comfort through song experience. and creating his own Everyone is invited music, and it became to share this evening popular with bereaved Join Alan Pedersen for an evening of together, and find people around the world. He has become a inspiration and healing and memorable music peace and comfort in at the Pantall Hotel, October 2. your own experikeynote speaker to variences which life has thrown at you. ous organizations around the world and inThe program is scheduled for 7 p.m., Octospires others to find their own joy again. ber 2 at the Pantall Hotel, downtown Punx’y. Alan’s message is simple, he wants everyFor more information, contact Chris Gigliotti one to know: “We were put on this earth to at 814-952-2100 love them for as long as WE live… not for as •••


‘Chuckles and Chocolates’ Coming Saturday, October 13


he 2012 Punxsutawney Christian Women’s Conference’s “Chuckles & Chocolate: LOL with Sue Duffield” will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the P u n x sutawney First Church of God. A speaker and singer, Sue shares Sue Duffield her faith, fun, and inspirational words to women’s groups across the country with her humor, music, and God-in-

spired messages. Local singers Linda Clark, Kelly Rupp, and Lisa Triponey, all members of the gospel singing group 2 B True, will provide worship music. Register by sending a check for $25 per person, made payable to “PCS Fundraiser”, to Conference Director, Punxsutawney Christian School, 216 N. Jefferson St., Punxsutawney, PA 15767. Include your name, address, phone, and email. For more information, visit, email, or phone 814845-7683. Registrations are being accepted on a firstcome, first-served basis. Since lunch will be provided, please register by Oct. 1. Proceeds from the conference benefit the Punxsutawney Christian School. •••

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12 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144

John Biggie, Jr.

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Guild Show Filled with Laughs and Surprises


all rolls in with gales of laughter as the Punxsutawney Theatre Arts Guild wraps up its 37th season with the premiere of “Daddy's Girl,” a two-act comedy by Gary Ray Stapp. The show will be staged at 7:30 p.m. on October 6, 11, 12, and 13 at the auditorium of the Punxsutawney Area Middle School. A Sunday matinee is set for 2:00 p.m., October 7. Guild veteran performer/director Tracey Young is at the helm of the latest presentation, which features a cast of 13 local actors. The contemporary production has rapidly established its place in the Top 10 comedies licensed through Heuer Publishing LLC of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A critic for the Baltimore Sun commented that the show is "filled with masterful one-liners." Likewise, a review in the Fort Madison Daily stated there are "more laughs than one can count." “Daddy's Girl” centers around Benard Muloovy, a widower and proprietor of Maudie's Diner, who is served a full plate of comic chaos when a certain person takes up residence in his restaurant and enlists the

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assistance of an angel to reunite Benard with a special someone. The play comes fully seasoned with a colorful cast of characters including a snobbish restaurant critic, a young girl with a split personality, a forgetful waitress, a PhD student with communication problems, a geriatric duo, a motorcycle mama, and a woman anxious to become Benard's next wife. There is a lot of laughter and some tears when battle lines are drawn, sides are taken, and rules are broken as one young lady reveals a secret, but not without a twist … or two. Commenting on the fastmoving production, director Young said, “This show has a full cast of zany characters, to say the least. With plenty of sharp-witted humor, biting sarcasm, and slapstick well mixed with a tender side, the play offers actors an opportunity to portray individuals who are all important to the story. Since the characters are wonderful and outrageous, there is ever a dull moment throughout ‘Daddy’s Girl.’ ” Bringing the colorful characters to life are a baker's dozen of seasoned performers and relative newcomers. The cast includes Doug Fye (Benard); Timothy Cooper (Bob); Seth Evans (Walter); Ilona Ball (Maudie); Elissa Hill (Betsy); Kimberly Robinson (Michela); Morgan Barrett (Darlynn); Jessica Schidlmeier (E. L.); Alex (Josh Widdowson); Lynn Duncan (Daisy); Sandra Hill-Gearhart (Violet); Laura Chelgren (Lizzy); and Krystol Elkin (Big Earl Ella). Matthew Dinsmore will be in charge of the technical elements, including lights and sound. Terry Studebaker is assisting. Kathy S. Dinsmore has designed the unusual stage setting and is working with costumes. Debra Dinsmore is coordinating behindthe-scenes activities. Anyone desiring more information about the play should phone the director at 9389084. •••

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October 6 & 7, 2012 On Front Street in Cresson Food, Crafts, and Free Entertainment for all ages For a complete schedule of events, wisit our website:


"DADDY'S giRL" (a comedy in two acts) By gARY RAY STAPP

7:30 p.m. Oct. 6, 11, 12, and 13 2:00 p.m. Oct. 7 Sunday matinee Punxsutawney Area Middle School Auditorium Tickets at door Adults $9.00 Seniors $8.00 Students $5.00 "Filled with masterful one-liners…" Baltimore Sun Presented by special arrangements with Heuer Publishing LLC, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144 – 13

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Are YOU Protected? “We salute our firefighters during Fire Prevention Awareness Month and all year long! Thank you for helping us protect the families of the Punxsutawney area!

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938-5291 14 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144

On behalf of Acme Machine and Welding Co., We would like to salute our employees that volunteer their time keeping our community safe, along with all of the other local fire departments.

Acme Machine 46 Anchor Inn Road Punx’y • 938-6702

Wind farm towers rise to new heights, with more power

By David Shaffer Minneapolis Star Tribune t’s not an optical illusion. The newest wind turbines gracing the nation’s countryside actually are turning more slowly than their older cousins. The languid pace is the most visible consequence of new-generation wind turbines that are taller, have longer blades, capture more wind and produce more power. Across the nation, the wind power industry is reaching higher into the atmosphere and adding bigger rotor blades to boost electrical output. Last year, nearly 5 percent of new U.S. wind turbines were 100 meters tall, and the push upward is expected to continue, according to the American Wind Energy Association. “That trend has been underway for 30 years, and really there is no reason to expect it to stop,” said Fort Felker, director of the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Boulder, Colo. “Generally you get stronger winds at higher elevations above the ground.” Most wind towers built in the last few years reached 80 meters, or 262 feet, at the blade hub. Older units can be half that height, with correspondingly smaller blades that capture less wind area even as they spin at a faster pace.


Mortenson Construction, based in Golden Valley, Minn., is a pioneer in this industry trend, building 100-meter towers at five wind farms in Texas, New York, Illinois and Iowa. Juwi Wind, a German renewable energy company whose U.S. headquarters is in Boulder, is installing 15 turbines on 100meter towers at a 3,000-acre wind farm in southwestern Minnesota, near Worthing-

ters, Peterson said. Because wind energy increases at a logarithmic rate to wind speed, the energy gain from the extra height should be about 14 percent. A key incentive for the wind power industry is the production tax credit, set to expire Dec. 31. The industry has lobbied Congress to reauthorize it; current projects need to be finished this year or lose out.

ton. The project is expected to be completed this fall. “We are farming more wind,” said Aaron Peterson, manager of community relations and regulatory affairs for Juwi, pronounced “you-vee.” Data from the Iowa Energy Center indicate that wind at a height of 100 meters flows 4 1/2 percent faster than at 80 me-

The paradox of bigger wind machines rotating more slowly than older models illustrates the complex science of wind speed and efficiency. The big, newer turbines’ blade tips move at nearly the same speed as the older, faster-rotating models — about 160 miles per hour, experts said. If the long blades rotated much faster, the tips would be too

loud. The bigger blades cover a greater area, collecting more wind flow. “They are much more efficient because of the amount of energy they are capturing,” said Mark Ahlstrom, CEO of WindLogics Inc., a St. Paul firm that assesses wind conditions for wind energy projects. Taller towers allow turbines to have longer blades. But they also offer a related benefit — wind tends to be stronger and steadier higher above the ground. “If you go up high enough,” said Ahlstrom, “the winds are not influenced by the interaction with the Earth.” Ahlstrom said the extra height can boost average wind speed and the percentage of time that a turbine produces power. For wind farm developers, he added, the costs of building taller units, which require more concrete and steel, must be weighed against the long-term gain in output. Wind power, like other forms of power generation, also faces increased competition from natural gas, whose price recently hit a 10-year low thanks to expanded U.S. drilling using innovative extraction techniques. (Contact David Shaffer at (Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, •••

Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144 – 15

thank you Punxsutawney. we appreciate your support and business. SHIELDS 938.5291 INSURANCE 221 W. Mahoning St. AGENCY PUNXSUTAWNEY

Saturday, September 29

We welcome and appreciate your business.

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Dog & Cat Boarding & Grooming Owner Michelle Wachob  holding Scooter and  Assistant Cindy with Chloe. 

“Committed to Caring for Your Pets As Though They Are Our Own”

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Welcomes Melanie Starr Melanie has 31 years of full service experience

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NOw SeRVICING aLL brink's Plumbing and Heating Former Customers. 24 Hour Service 845-7633 856-3211 849-0849 16 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144

Proud to support Punx’y appreciation days

to promote disaster prevention & introduce you to your Volunteer Firefighters

PIZZa & PReventIOn 11th Annual

Thank you Punxsutawney , for shopping locally. We appreciate your business each and every day! Fezell’s

County Market


punx’y 938-2820 Open 24 HOurs 7 DAys A week

Appreciation Day Sat., September 29 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. only

5% off


at fox’s pizza den in punxsutawney KengersKy insuranCe agenCy

Saturday, October 6 • 11aM to 8PM BIG daddy for $ only PIZZa


with Fox’s donating 100% to the Punxsutawney Fire Department A volunteer firefighter can deliver your pizza and check your smoke detector.* Pizzas may also be picked up. COupON CardS available to purchase for a later date. Coupon cards never expire!

*liMit one sMoke DeteCtor Per hoUseholD. sMoke DeteCtors ProviDeD BY the kenGerskY AGenCY For All those in neeD.

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children 11 years and under First come first serve. Following the talent show at 1pm at SSCD auditorium. Pumpkins Donated by Pine Valley

excluding tobacco and milk

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Mon. - fri. 8 to 5; sat. 8 to Noon; closed sundays

326 E. Main St.


touCh the truCK while waiting for your order, see Punx’y’s fire-fighting equipment on south Findley street.

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PunxSutawney ClyMeR Run, P A 15715 Marion514 Cente P A 15759 St., Punxsutawney PA Center, PA W.r,Mahoning 750 Big Franklin St., Clymer P. P . 724.397.5582 P. P . 814.427.2051 814.938.0271 724.254.4315 willow SPRinGS Dayton Punxs162 utawRt. ne119 y Hwy. N., Indiana Clymer C lym er Dayton Punxsutawney 106 W. Main St., 814.257.8213 St. 514 W W.. Mahoning724.465.7921 750 Franklin St.

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“For all your Building Supplies” 1785 Cloe-Rossiter Rd. Punx’y 938-5220

Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144 – 17

Jefferson County Housing Authority

Family Health Insurance Averages $15,745 per year

201 N. Jefferson St., Punxsutawney

(814) 938-7140 • 1-800-585-5303 TTY/TDD #711 Income Based Rental Apartments Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program


r.D. Brown Memorials 314 N. Findley Street • Punxsutawney • 938-2100

We have a full line of monuments, decorative stones, benches and more!


he area’s

Cataract Center of Excellence

Common Cataract Symptoms Include: • Decreased Vision • Difficulty Seeing Your Television • Vision as if you were looking through a dirty window • Increased Difficulty Driving at night due to glare around headlights

Louis Nichamin, MD

Call today for a screening! 800.494.2020 18 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144

By Lee Bowman Scripps Howard News Service

amily health insurance premiums went up an average of four percent this year, according to a new survey of more than 2,000 businesses released this week. That seems like good news when you consider that health-coverage costs were increasing by double digits. But the news is a bit less thrilling when you consider that wages increased by just 1.7 percent this year, and that premium hikes were still twice the rate of inflation. The average tab to insure a family of four this year was $15,745, of which workers paid an average of $4,316. Premiums paid by employees have gone up 103 percent over the past decade. Health-care inflation has run far ahead of the economy for decades, slowing only slightly when the economy slips. Since 1999, premiums have gone up 172 percent, while worker earnings have increased 47 percent, according to surveys done by the nonprofit, non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research Educational Trust. Drew Altman, Kaiser’s president, said he thinks the economy is mostly responsible for keeping premiums down. People avoid using the health system as much as possible when times are tough. A new Census Bureau report estimates that more than 48 million Americans were uninsured last year, almost 4 million fewer than went without coverage in 2010. Most of those newly insured were covered through Medicare and Medicaid, the report said — the share of people with government-sponsored coverage rose to 32.2 percent, up by1 percent over the previous year. The percentage of people covered by private insurance remained virtually the same as 2010, at 63.9 percent, as did the percentage covered through work - 55.1 percent. It was, however, the first time in a decade that the rate of private coverage had not gone down. But other things are happening. Employers continue to impose new limits and copayments for health services, and bigger shares of premiums. Nearly 20 percent of health plans offered by companies have a high deductible. Covered workers face primary care co-pays averaging $23, and $33 for specialists. The average co-pay for an emergency room visit is $113. Not surprisingly, lower-wage families

(making less than $25,000 a year) are more than three times as likely to be uninsured as households with incomes over $75,000. The Kaiser survey found workers at lowerwage firms pay about $1,000 more each year out of their paychecks than do employees at companies paying higher wages. Less tangible is whether the 2010 healthcare reform law is making much difference to costs. Elements like including 2.9 million young adults on their parents’ policies — up from 1.3 million before the law changed — could drive up spending, but probably not by much. One recent study projected the law would add about one tenth of one percent to health spending each year from now through 2021, while adding some 30 million people to insurance rolls. Other insurance reforms, such as guaranteed preventive care and ending lifetime caps, now apply to about half of all employer-sponsored coverage, although provisions such as requiring 80 percent of premiums to go toward medical services don’t apply to health plans that companies self-insure. About 60 percent of workers are covered through some type of self-insured plan. Most of the employers surveyed said they would continue shifting coverage around to save money. They expect their costs will go up 7 percent or so next year, but that’s an early read for most companies and could go down or up depending on employment trends and other factors. Of course, with total health spending expected to pass $3 trillion by 2014 and make up 20 percent of domestic product by 2021, the industry’s place in the economy short and long term can’t be overlooked. Nor can anyone with a stake in health services ignore the report issued by the Institute of Medicine earlier in September that concluded the U.S. medical system wastes $750 billion a year on unnecessary care, useless paperwork, fraud and other mistakes - and could recoup much of it with better management practices. So even though the Kaiser survey and other employer-based studies suggest health-insurance inflation won’t return to double digits for at least several years, getting and paying for coverage is still going to pinch family budgets. (Contact Scripps health and science writer Lee Bowman at (Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, •••

Take a look inside... all Rooms on One Floor • Handicapped accessible Caring & loving staff • activities • private & semi-private Rooms

• 2 large Kitchens • Handicapped Bathrooms • large Dining & sitting areas • Outdoor sitting areas Peggy Monoskey & Connie (AM/PM manager) discussing her room decor.

Call Connie to tour available rooms!


Louise Vasbinder tending to her garden.

Have your room designed & furnished by Miller Brothers Furniture! ask Connie for details!


Personal Care Home, Inc. long term & temporary Care

Anthony Villella greeting visitors at the door.

located 3 miles north of Punxsutawney, off rt. 310 in adrian Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144 – 19

aging aging seRViCes seRViCes,, inC. inC.

Wii - open acoustic Jam sessions - nutrition education - games Bowling at groundhog Lanes (Call the center for details) Computer Class with internet access - Health & Wellness speakers

PaRties - tRiPs - Fun

Fitness CLass

aPPLe ButteR MaKing

Monday, october 22nd - 7 a.m. - ?

is held FRee every wednesday at 1 pm with instructor Carole Zicha. Join us as Carole leads us through ‘easy on the joints’ chair work outs.

volunteeRS neeDeD! Call toDay!

FRee MontHLy BLood PRessuRe sCReenings

tuesday, oct., 16th at 11 a.m. Jen from Mulberry Square will visit & amuse us with games once again.

wed., oct. 3

by Home nursing, 9:30 - 11 am

tues., oct. 9

by Home Health, 10 a.m.

wed., oct. 10 by indiana Regional Medical Center, 10 am - 12 noon


Mondays from 9:30 - 11 a.m. (no breakfast Oct. 22nd)

“HyMn sing” wednesday, oct. 3rd at 11 a.m.


thursday, oct. 4th - tickets $3 in advance

Fun & gaMes

thursday, oct., 25th at 11 a.m. Kim From Hillsdale Nursing & Rehab will visit & lead us in Bingo

CRaFts Friday, oct. 5th & 19th at 11 a.m. Card Making with JoAnn week of oct. 15th-19th Join us as we make Button Tree Ornaments for the Harrisburg Christmas Tree

HaLLoWeen PaRty & Fun

tuesday, oct. 30th - wear Costumes Party & Spooky Skit with Janis

P. Timothy Smatlak

Amy Peace Gigliotti


DMD New Patients Welcome!

Family Dentistry "Serving the community we live in."

noW unDer neW oWnersHip

938-8554 203 CLEARFIELD AVE., PUNX’Y


Owner Funeral Director Supervisor

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Offering Pre-Arrangements & Funeral Planning We also honor pre-exsisting pre-arrangements

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William C. Deeley Funeral Director Douglas A. Deeley Funeral Director Sue Bauer Pre-Need Specialist

33 Hillcrest Dr., Punxsutawney

(814) 938-5400

Mahoning Physical Therapy Medical Center, Marion Center, PA

(724) 397-9100

405 Franklin St., Clymer, PA

(724) 254-1010

20 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144

Contemporary reading glasses come in all shapes and sizes, like these Candies and Skechers styles. (SHNS photo courtesy Kelly Merritt)

Over-the-counter reading glasses not for everyone

By Kelly Merritt Scripps Howard News Service resbyopia. Almost of us will experience it. The onset of what’s called presbyopia is what dictates the need for reading glasses — something most men and women approaching middle age dread. The U.S. National Library of Medicine defines presbyopia as a condition in which the lens of the eye loses its ability to focus: The elasticity of the lens slowly diminishes with age. This causes us to have difficulty focusing on nearby objects. Age 45 seems to be the magic number — that’s when most of us realize we need reading glasses. It happens to both people with normal vision and those who have had Lasik corrective surgery. It often begins with the realization that reading small print in a phone directory, the ingredients on a can label or some print in an e-reader has become difficult, if not impossible. Most of the time, this loss of near-


sightedness is due to aging. But there can be other causes. “Eye health is often overlooked because diseases that affect the eyes occur gradually and without pain and the effects may also be monocular, only in one eye, so that unless you cover the bad eye you may not notice the impairment,” says Dr. Jeffrey Willig, a board-certified ophthalmologist with Florida Eye Health in Naples. “Just as a mother may not notice the growth of a child because it is very gradual, until Grandma comes and is amazed at how tall the child has become, we may not notice the loss of vision or the change in colors over long periods of time.” Over-the-counter reading glasses are available, but they’re not for everyone. An eye examination is recommended to ensure the correct strength. “Although some people do not need a prescription to get reading glasses, which we refer to as ‘over-the-counter readers’ or just ‘readers,’ these are usually only for people - Continued on page 22

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CAREFREE Edward Woodward gets his laptop and books ready for his first day of classes. He hopes to become a doctor to work with brain-injured patients. (SHNS photo by Carolina Hidalgo / Tampa Bay Times)

A stroke, then hope

By irene Maher another tiny cerebral blood vessel. They told Tampa Bay Times him several factors had probably contributed ack in 2006, Ed Woodward was living to the stroke. his dream, training to be an Air Force They diagnosed a blood-clotting disorder fighter pilot. that Woodward had never known about. Plus, A half-dozen years later, he’s living the g-forces he endured in a high-speed trainanother dream: aspiring doctor with plans of ing flight were powerful enough to disturb serving veterans like himself who have sufnormal blood flow in the brain, doctors said. fered a traumatic brain injury. Woodward wanted to return to flying. But Last month, the University of South Florida even a year later, he just wasn’t as quick menin Tampa dedicated its new Veterans tally. He couldn’t summon up words that once Achievement Center, a 3,000-square-foot had come easily to him. Migraine headaches space where students with unique perspecwere severe and frequent. tives and challenges can Woodward relucmeet and study. tantly retired from Woodward hopes his the military in 2008 Know the signs of a stroke story will inspire other and returned to his Tampa Bay Times veterans making the trannative St. Peterssition from the military burg, Fla., hoping to Stroke is rare in young adults, to the classroom. find a job. but, as Ed Woodward’s case “I’d also tell them, Woodward spoke shows, not unheard of. The reaching out for help to a relative, who sooner you get help for a stroke, doesn’t mean you’re advised him to “go the better your chances of a full weak,” he said. In colfinish what your recovery. If you or someone lege, he’s found, seeking younger brother nearby has any of the following guidance is not only enstarted.” symptoms, call 911: couraged, it’s expected. Woodward and his “It can set you off in a ditwin brother, Gene, — Sudden severe headache with no rection you can be just as younger by 40 minknown cause. proud of. utes, were out cele— Sudden numbness or weakness of “Now my education is a brating the face, arm or leg, especially on one beacon of hope in my conclusion of side of the body. life, helping me go in a Gene’s first year of positive direction.” medical school at — Sudden confusion, trouble speakWoodward was training the University of ing or understanding. in Oregon in 2006, just South Florida in five flights away from early June 2000. — Sudden trouble seeing in one or being able to pilot an FTheir car was hit by both eyes. 15 on military missions. a drunk driver, — Sudden trouble walking, dizziness Then one day, the 31killing Gene. or loss of balance or coordination. year-old developed a terWoodward liked rible headache, the worst the idea of medical Source: National Stroke Association pain he had ever experischool, but knew (Distributed by Scripps Howard News Servenced. Yet he ignored it. he’d need preparaice “I knew I would be tion. He won a Tillgrounded,’’ he said. man Foundation “They take you out of the Scholarship and plane the minute they know anything is started a master’s-degree program in medical wrong.” sciences in January. He plans to apply to UniA couple of days later, he was riding in a car versity of South Florida Health’s Morsani when he had a seizure and lost consciousness. College of Medicine next year. Doctors discovered that Woodward had a Woodward, now 37, is married and has a 5blood clot in his brain and was bleeding from


- Continued on next page

Dr. Nathan C.

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Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144 – 21


reading glasses


Continued from page 20

Sunday, September 16 at the DuBois City Park. For more information about our Walk please go to our website,

Clearfield/Jefferson Suicide Prevention & Awareness team



Help is only a phone call away


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Quality Personal Care


18 Private rooms on the first floor for the elderly well

18 Private rooms on the second floor secured unit for those with early memory loss

who have never worn glasses or contact lenses,” says Willig. “While using readers is not dangerous, the wrong readers may cause symptoms of eye strain we call asthenopia,” he says. Asthenopia can include headaches, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, neck pain from straining to see and pain adjacent to the eye area. Amy Spence of the Naples area, who recently celebrated her 48th birthday, concedes she had procrastinated getting reading glasses for years. For Spence, it was about the hassle of having to keep up with glasses. “I don’t carry a purse and would see my friends having to dig around for their glasses at restaurants and having to wait to be able to read the menu, so to have to constantly keep up with them seemed like a hassle to me,” she said. Spence changed her mind when she realized that her inability to read things close up was affecting her love of reading. “It definitely pushed me to go get glasses, because it got to the point that I had to stretch my arms to be able to read my iPad at night,” says Spence, who had to obtain prescription lenses. “I had laser surgery years and years ago, so I knew this day would come eventually.” Spence says now she doesn’t even notice her glasses and wearing them has become like second nature to her. According to a survey published in 20/20 Magazine, nearly half of eyewear retailers who participated reported that reading glasses sales have skyrocketed. Those sales are largely due to the increase in procedures like Lasik. As Willig says, people who have had Lasik to correct distance vision will eventually need reading glasses by age 45. “Some Lasik patients may purposely be undercorrected for distance to allow them to read without glasses,” he says. “They may opt for monovision, which is one eye corrected for reading and one for distance.” The attitude toward reading glasses has shifted astronomically. Retro reading glasses such as those worn generations ago have become fashionable. Custom reading glasses have become all the rage, a new way for people to express themselves. Pro-

vided you know the correct strength, you can now obtain glasses that reflect personal style online. Companies like Reading Glasses, Etc. ( are capitalizing on the hype and offering everything from rhinestone to sculpted frames. Even if you suspect it’s time for reading glasses, Willig says self-diagnosis is never a good idea. “Since vision loss is gradual and painless, everyone should see an eye doctor for a routine exam once a year and, of course, if you do have any symptoms, such as loss of vision, pain or a red eye, you should seek attention immediately.” (Kelly Merritt writes for the Naples Daily News in Florida.) •••

A stroke, then hope Continued from previous page

year-old son. He still works to overcome the lingering effects of the stroke, including occasional severe headaches. Woodward sees the new center as “a place where we can network and support each other and maybe help each other with our classes.’’ Larry Braue, director of the Office of Veterans Services at USF, said that a returning veteran starting college often has a tough time relating to students fresh out of high school. Veterans “really needed a place to go and just talk, hang out and share experiences, struggles and strategies for dealing with campus life and classes,” he said. Charitable donations helped outfit the center with new furniture, a wide-screen TV, a computer lab, a conference room, a quiet study room and a dining area. The walls feature murals depicting historic uniforms from all branches of the military. USF’s 1,700 veteran scholars range in age from 23 to almost 60. At the new center, “you’ll be able to see how guys with injuries have overcome their deficits,’’ Woodward said. “I will be able to let them know how I overcame difficulties from a traumatic brain injury. “I may be able to help other guys find direction.’’ (Contact Irene Maher at (Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service •••

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22 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144

Embracing Excellence in Healthcare

punxsutawney Community Health Center Drs. Elder, Kernich &Witherite-Rieg Medical arts Building, Punxsutawney

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Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144 – 23

Treasures Abound at Punx’y Historical, Genealogical Society

By PriDE for Hometown magazine ne of the best kept secrets in the area is the array of treasures to be found at the Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society. These priceless treasures are held in trust for the community by the Society. They tell us about ourselves, our ancestors, and the history of our community.

at the John G. Schmick Heritage Center, as a medium of exchange are found in old and a collection from the Jefferson County store ledgers and receipts. Tools from the Heritage Center depicting the path of peocoal boom era are included in the mining ple of color through the region before, durexhibit, as is a set of antique mail boxes ing and after the Civil War. These exhibits filled with brief histories of former minwill be enhanced with artifacts from the ing towns. Visitors enjoy discovering the Society’s Collection. Volunteers are setting original names of many of our communithese exhibits which will open to the pubties. On display in the Faith Room on the lic this fall. second floor of the Bennis House is a Another treasure is the Snyder Hill treasure of particular importance to PunxSchoolhouse, an actual school building sutawney. It is the Barclay from the early 20th Century, equipped with Bible, originally owned by educational resources from that time David Barclay, one of the through the school’s closing in 1959. Open first settlers, the man who by appointment, the schoolhouse takes one drew the first plot map for back to an earlier time in the history of edthe town, also on display, ucation. and for whom Barclay Education, a primary mission of the SoSquare is named. This Bible ciety, takes many forms. The Summer Hiscame to the Society with a tory Camp provides youngsters an letter stating its provenance. opportunity to learn about the commuAll of these items are comnity’s past, as does the Kid’s Discovery Semunity treasures, mainries which takes place each fall and spring. tained and exhibited by Workshops and programs are given for volunteers who give their time and talVisitors will find the Winslow Genealogical Suite, the Tibby Library, the ents to preGroundhog Day History Museum, the Highlands’ Galleries and the serve the past Reschini Event Center at the Lattimer House, built in 1868, a classic for future mid-19th Century home. generations At the Lattimer House are Items in the Society’s collections range the Winslow Genealogy from the paleo-Lancelote point used about Suite, the Tibby Library, and 12,000 years ago to the latest plush the Photography and Film groundhog. Archive where seekers find Each item in the collection opens a wininformation about ancestors dow on a moment in history. Although who lived in the Punxmost visitors enjoy seeing the exhibits in sutawney area. They create the Bennis House Museum, these exhibits family histories to share also tell stories about our past. Artifacts with their grandchildren. from Native Americans were everyday Some visitors come seeking tools used by the first residents and span information about former The Bennis Museum, a classic Arts and Crafts Home built in 1903, time from about 10,000 B.C. to about owners of their house. The houses the Society’s standing exhibits, which include artifacts from 1650 A.D. The early settlers also left tools information and resources in the Native Americans, early settlers, the coal era, as well as exhibits which help us understand how they lived. these archives are collected, of artifacts from various other periods throughout the history of the A butter bowl representing the woodcraft c a t a - Punxsutawney area. adults. The Society maintains a roster of loged, maintained and speakers who are available to make premade available by a sentations at community meetings. These dedicated corps of programs and activities are made possible volunteers. by volunteers who have an interest in a The Lattimer House specific topic and generously share their also houses the time as leaders or speakers. Groundhog Day HisWhether you are a seeker or you are looktory Museum, which ing for a rewarding volunteer experience, tells the story of the Punxsutawney Area Historical and GePunxsutawney’s most nealogical Society is a wonderful place to famous citizen, the explore. The Bennis and Lattimer Houses Highlands’ Invitaare open from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday tional Galleries, and through Sunday. Additional genealogy Snyder Hill Schoolhouse, built in the early 20th Century, served to educate other spaces such as area youngsters until 1959 when the Punxsutawney Area School consoli- the Jenks Room and hours are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.Thursdays dation took place. The Schoolhouse houses artifacts and educational ma- the Reschini Event and Saturdays. Visitors are always welterials representative of those used during the years it was in operation. come. There is no charge for visiting the Center where special Museum. There are fees for genealogy reexhibits are displayed. of their day was also a valuable tool. Butsearch and guided tours. For more inforComing exhibits include “Please have a ter, in excess of the family’s need, was a mation call the Society at 814-938-2555. Seat,” chairs from the collection of Tim commodity traded for other goods includ••• and Laurie Glover Spence, recently shown ing needles and tobacco. Records of butter


(Editor’s Note: ‘From Our Past,’ researched by S. Thomas Curry, features items of interest from past editions of Punxsutawney and area newspapers.) september 2, 1903 — The Mahoning Creek was bank full last Saturday as a result of the recent rains. An old inhabitant, who takes account of such things, says he does not remember ever before having seen an August flood in Mahoning Creek. He predicts, however, that it will prove a wholesome thing, as the stream needs flushing during this season more than at any other time. (Punxsutawney Spirit) september 10, 1890 — Work is going on the extension of the Pennsylvania & Northwestern railroad from Horatio to Whitesville. The coal has been opened up near that place and will be mined as soon as the road is completed to that point. It will not require many more extensions until this road will connect with the (Allegheny) Valley road and that will give a nearer route to Pittsburg and the West. (Punxsutawney News) [Note: Whitesville is present day Valier. This portion of the railroad is now the lower end of Mahoning/Shadow Railsto-Trails that ends a Fordham.] september 14, 1887 — We hear numerous complaints of skulking individuals peeping in at the windows of residences at night and scaring the women and children, and in many instances said individuals trying to get in at the doors. If our women could be taught the use of a shot-gun in such cases, some of these specimens of illbred humanity that lurk around the homes of defenceless women and children, might have a month’s steady employment picking shot out of their legs. (Punxsutawney News) september 22, 1886 — As this is fair week, care will have to be taken else accidents may occur on our street crossings. Remember that the pedestrian has the right of way at all the street crossings and is not obligated to watch for teams (of horses). It is the person driving the team who must be on the watch. (Valley News) september 23, 1885 — The Italians who keep bachelor’s hall on Union street, put some shirts on to boil yesterday and went to the mines to work. The gas was left burning in the stove. The shirts boiled dry, took fire, burned up, and came pretty near burning the house down. (Punxsutawney Spirit) •••

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24 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144

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Tractor BIG DINNEr BOx collector sees history $ 99 19 of U.S. farms By ronald W. Erdrich Scripps Howard News Service hat’s the first thing you need when building a collection? A place to put it. Luckily for Ken Luig, he has 20 acres. “It’s like anything else, a man gets interested in something and it goes over the top, sometimes,” he said, chuckling. He’s not quite sure, but Ken estimates he has between 350 and 400 tractors. Most of them can be


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206 Elk Run Ave., Punx’y A McCormick-Deering tractor catches the light as the sun sets in front of Ken Luig's home. (SHNS photo by Ronald W. Erdrich / Abilene Reporter-News)

seen in his front yard from Highway 281. Big tractors, small tractors, old tractors and ancient tractors. A few are colored pink or tan, but most are colored by Mother Nature, a deep rust that turns even redder in the warm light of the evening sun. Ken’s love of tractors revved up 19 years ago. Originally from the area, he and his wife, Jane, moved back there from Wichita Falls after a number of years. “It all started when I bought a dang John Deere 520 to mow this place,” he said. “‘Course I always liked tractors, but once I bought it, oh, that was a bad thing to do.” Standing in a barn filled with tractors — one of three — he laughed once more. “I got the bug then and just started buying them,” he said. Certainly there are smaller things to collect. Buttons, maybe, or shot glasses. But those don’t stand for something the same way tractors do. “It just represents history to me, the history of agriculture,” he said, looking around his collection. “A lot of this stuff, they don’t make anymore.” His oldest tractor is probably the most unusual, a 50 horsepower 1910 Case steam tractor he keeps in another barn, surrounded by - Continued on next page

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smaller, if not older, cousins. Sitting about 10 feet high and perhaps 15 or more feet long, the steam tractor resembles a small locomotive. A painted relief molded into the steel at the forward end of the boiler beneath the stack depicting a bald eagle stands out against the flat black machine. “This is a baby one, they made some that are 150 horsepower, three times as big as this. I mean they are huge,” he said, adding this one weighed about 30,000 pounds. Strolling through the pasture and into the barns with Ken is an education in early 20th century manufacturing. “Back in the teens, ‘20s and ‘30s, everybody made tractors because that was when the big farming boom started. Actually earlier than that, in the 1900s,” he said. “But once they figured out how to put gas engines in things, I mean just everybody and their dog made tractors.” In many ways, those days mirrored the early automotive industry. A large number of independent car manufacturers created a kaleidoscope of automobiles with most of those companies either failing or swallowed up by larger firms. Ken said the same thing happened with tractors, especially when Ford started making them. On the pasture, the tractors line up in rows to face the highway. Strolling through them, one sounded like it had a fan operating inside. Upon closer examination, however, it proved to be a beehive. While they do make an interesting display, the main reason for keeping those outdoor tractors is for parts. But Ken said they also evoke a particular romance for passers-by of a certain age. “I have a ton of people (who) stop by to take pictures of them, wanting to talk about them,” he said. “Especially older men who were raised on a farm.” The same thing happens whenever he takes a restored machine to a tractor show. Former farm boys come to Ken with a glow on their face and he sits back to watch the memories wash across their faces. “They’ll pick out one tractor and be able to tell you everything about it because they were born and raised on it, and drove it until they wore it completely out,” he said. While his passion for tractors hasn’t cooled over the years, his taste in them has become more discerning. “I can’t stand to see a tractor go to the junkyard, get melted down or tore all up,” Ken said. “But now? Well, if it’s not some kind of specialty tractor, why, a man can’t save them all. (Contact Ronald W. Erdrich of The Abilene Reporter-News in Texas at •••

Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144 – 27

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Mon., Tues., Thur. 9 to 5 • Wed. 9 to 4 • Fri. 9 to 8 • Sat 9 to 1 • Saturdays Hours Starting October 1 - 9 to 4 28 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2012 - Issue #144

#144 October 2012  

Betty Philliber and Florence Heide Honoring our Local Firemen Punxsutawney Appreciation Days A Look at Punxsutawney Museums Here we go, Stee...

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