A look back in Greene County history

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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: Jan. 20-26, 2008

University marks MLK Day


WAYNESBURG – “Don’t stop dreaming” was the message inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s historical speech and shared by the Rev. L. Bryant Parker with Waynesburg University students and others Monday.


Parker, pastor-elect at Witherspoon Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, spoke at the school’s annual Martin Luther King Day celebration. The service was replete with gospel music, prayer and speeches in honor of the slain civil rights leader.


Dr. King had a dream of racial equality that he famously described on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington. Parker told those gathered in Alumni Hall Monday to follow King’s example by forming and following their own dreams.


“I challenge you to dream. I’m not thinking of winning the lottery or getting a good grade on an exam,” he said. “I’m talking about dreaming of living in the purpose that God sees for you.


10 years ago: Jan. 19-25, 2003

Renovation of vo-tech


school could cost $8 million


Greene County school boards will be asked during the next few months to approve the renovation of Greene County Vocational-Technical School, as well as the plan to fund the project.


The school’s joint operating committee, formed by representatives from each of the five county school districts, has been developing plans to renovate the school, the first such renovation since the building was constructed in 1969.


The building is in dire need of renovations, said Richard Ohler, director of the school. “There’s no question it’s needed,” Ohler said. “The big question is ‘can we afford it?’”


The costs of the renovations have been estimated at $8 million. Those costs, however, are “very rough,” Ohler said, adding that they were determined based simply on a price per square foot calculation.



From farm to development,


county property soon could


be harvesting tax dollars


WAYNESBURG – A 114.94-acre parcel of county-owned land off Route 21 in Franklin Township that now produces nothing more than hay for a local farmer could soon be the site of a major retail development.


At a special meeting Thursday, the Greene County commissioners voted unanimously to accept an offer presented by McHolme/Waynesburg LP to purchase the land across Route 21 from Greene County Airport for $5,800 an acre, or $666,652.


McHolme, which is working in partnership with DeBartolo Property Group, announced last week it will exercise the option it received in July to purchase the property. A McHolme representative did not attend Thursday’s meeting.


However, Tara D. Nicotra of Delta Development Group Inc., which has been working with McHolme, said the developer is anxious to move ahead with the project.


25 years ago: Jan. 20-26, 1988

5,000 evacuated near


liquid gas plant


WAYNESBURG High winds Wednesday morning have been blamed for a problem at da gas extraction-fractionation plant near Waynesburg, which caused the evacuation of 5,000 people, including the closing of three schools and part of Interstate 79.


Gusting winds apparently caused the foundation at the base of a tower at the plant, located between Routes 21 and 188 just east of the Greene County Fairgrounds, to partially give way. The tower, which area officials feared would topple, contained about 2,000 gallons of liquefied gas.


45 years ago: Jan. 20-26, 1968

Robena cases settled


The families of 31 men killed in the explosion Dec. 6, 1962, at Greene County’s Robena No. 3 Mine will each receive $6,000 under a $246,000 settlement approved in Greene County Court.


The damage suits had been instituted in 1963 against U.S. Steel Corp. by executors of the estates of 31 miners on the grounds that negligence in operation of the mine triggered the blast which claimed the lives of 37 men.


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