A look at some of the headlines gracing the pages of the Observer-Reporter and Waynesburg Republican this week in Greene County history:
First snowstorm forces delays, closings
WAYNESBURG – Greene County residents awoke to several inches of snow Wednesday morning, the first significant snowfall of the season.
The early snowfall made for slow and slippery driving for morning commuters. Several minor crashes were reported and two Greene County school districts, Southeastern Greene and Carmichaels Area, were forced to cancel classes for the day.
As the snow continued to fall throughout the afternoon, two other districts, Jefferson-Morgan and West Greene, elected to send their students home two hours early.
The weather service called for 3 to 5 inches of snow during the daylight hours. But the storm exceeded that amount.
Richhill residents divided on need for police
WIND RIDGE – Richhill Township supervisors heard plenty of opinions on why a municipal police department is needed, and why it is not, at their regular meeting Tuesday.
Supervisors still haven’t decided whether they should form a part-time police force, but they are investigating the issue. They are also thinking about holding a public forum so residents can voice their opinions on the issue.
“Some people want it. Some people don’t think we need it. Some people are concerned their taxes will go sky high,” Supervisor Thomas Chess III said.
In October, a group of residents presented to supervisors a petition with 62 signatures that asked for a township police force.
W. Greene reorganizes, retains leadership
ROGERSVILLE – West Greene school directors made some minor changes to the makeup of their leadership Thursday while retaining Dan Smith as the school board president.
At the annual reorganization meeting, five school board members – Anita Ross, John Hewitt, Randy King, Sheila Sims and Smith – voted to keep the board leadership at the status quo, while the other four directors supported the only other nominee, Debbie Crouse, who served as board president in 2001.
A change was made in the vice president position, however. Crouse served in that capacity this year but the board chose Hewitt for the spot Thursday. Like the president vote, it was a close one, with Hewitt and Crouse voting for one another and not themselves.
UMWA officials address crowd at Robena Memorial
CARMICHAELS – Motorists who sped by the Robena Memorial on Route 21 Friday morning might have wondered why more than 100 people chose to stand amid mounds of snow and sub-freezing temperatures.
“But, we coal miners know why we come here,” said Dan Kane, the United Mine Workers of America District 2 representative on the international executive board.
Many of those who huddled before the stone memorial Friday have been coming to the same spot every Dec. 6 to honor and remember the 37 men who were killed 40 years ago in an explosion at U.S. Steel Corp.’s Robena Mine.
Warwick mine owners challenges coal assessment
WAYNESBURG – Duquesne Light Co., owner of the Warwick Mine in Greensboro, has challenged action by the Greene County commissioners that increased the taxable market value of Sewickley seam coal that is actively being mined.
In an appeal filed in Greene County Court, the Pittsburgh-based utility contends the commissioners, acting as the county board of assessment and revision of taxes, were motivated “by a preconceived intent and desire to maintain prior tax revenues” in increasing the market value of the coal.
The market value of their inactive coal was raised from $375 per acre to $510 per acre, and the market value of their active coal from $3,750 to $5,100.
Burglars continue night class visitation
Waynesburg High School was the latest teaching institution in Greene County to be hit by burglars.
An attempt to get into the large walk-in safe at the high school was thwarted when the thieves could not open the door or get in through the walls.
Borough police said one of the high school burglars apparently was cut pretty severely as a sizable trail of blood was found.
Nothing was stolen and there was no vandalism, although several windows and inside doors were broken to get into locked classrooms and offices.