A look at some of the headlines gracing the pages of the Observer-Reporter and Waynesburg Republican this week in Greene County history:
5 years ago: Dec. 30, 2007-Jan. 5, 2008
Protesters of government pork ‘indict’ DeWeese for wasting taxpayers’ money
WAYNESBURG – The large pink bus parked across from state Rep. Bill DeWeese’s district office on Elm Drive Wednesday and its occupants had a message for the House Democratic leader.
Gene Stilp and Dennis Baylor of the Taxpayers and Ratepayers United PAC walked into DeWeese’s office and were met by Mark McCurdy, a staff member, who listened patiently while Stilp recited the contents of a symbolic citizen indictment.
The so-called indictment of DeWeese included the staff bonus scandal, political polling scandal, illegal pay raise, legislative perks, pension grab, misuse of state resources, no real reform, no real audits, maintaining hidden leadership accounts and excessive hiring.
•Wellington Development seeking resolution of power plant appeal
Wellington Development LLC has asked the state Supreme Court to expedite its review of a case challenging the issuance of the air quality permit for its proposed waste coal-fired power plant in Nemacolin.
Wellington has continued to develop the plant site, though work has slowed recently because of weather, said Stanley Sears, a principal of the company.
The project has been delayed by court challenges. Work was ready to begin shortly after the issuance of the air quality permit in June 2005, but then the first appeal was filed, Sears said.
10 years ago: Dec. 29, 2002-Jan. 4, 2003
Coyote hunt planned
WIND RIDGE – Eastern coyotes are very smart. They can hear prey and predators a mile away, and can approach almost undetected. That’s why sheep farmers in Greene and Washington counties fear them, and why hunters believe they’re great sport.
And that’s also why Wind Ridge Sportsmen’s Club is holding its fifth annual coyote hunt Jan. 16-19, when hundreds of hunters are expected to hit the fields and forests of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
“It’s becoming a really popular sport, because they’re so hard to hunt,” said Norman Lewis, president of Wind Ridge Sportsmen’s Club.
Many of the hunters aren’t just out for sport. They’re out to reduce the numbers of a fast-breeding predator that has played havoc with the sheep industry in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
•Yost and Sons, other companies to get $1.5 million for Quecreek rescue work
WAYNESBURG – Workers at Gene Yost and Sons Excavating and Drilling received plenty of pats on the back and accolades for the pivotal role they played in rescuing nine trapped miners in Somerset County more than five months ago.
Until now though, the Mt. Morris company was never offered any monetary compensation for its efforts during the successful 77-hour operation.
A move made by the Pennsylvania government changed that situation Friday. Gov. Mark Schweiker announced the state has made reimbursement payments totaling nearly $1.5 million to 56 vendors that participated in the successful Quecreek Mine rescue in July.
At the top of the compensation list is Gene Yost and Sons, which will receive $350,825 for drilling the rescue shaft, which the miners used to escape after being trapped 240 feet below ground for three days.
25 years ago: Dec. 30, 1987-Jan. 5, 1988
Greene County is top coal producer in state
WAYNESBURG – According to figures released by the Keystone Bituminous Coal Association, Greene County led the state in coal production in 1986 with 12,303,132 tons and Washington County was third with 8.2 million tons.
There were 2,376 underground miners, 124 surface miners and 307 preparation plant employees working in Greene County in 1986.
The production of one million tons of coal brings $32 million into the state economy.
45 years ago: Dec. 30, 1967-Jan, 5, 1968
Minus 14 degrees coldest night in four years
Noses were running better than car engines Wednesday morning after Greene County suffered through its coldest night in four years.
Richard Kamerer, who keeps the official weather bureau records at the Waynesburg treatment plant, said the low reading was 14 degrees below zero – the lowest since January 11, 1964, when the mercury plunged to -15.