Looking 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: Feb. 3-9, 2008

Improvements sought


for airport


WAYNESBURG – Greene County commissioners on Thursday asked the federal government for help with starting a major improvement project at the county airport.


The county will apply for $198,000 through Economic Development Initiative, Special Projects Funding. The money will help pay for preliminary design and engineering work for the project, which features a change of layout at the airport.


The plans are outlined in the airport master plan, which was unveiled in July. Commissioners want to demolish several older hangars that are now located south of the runway. New ones then will be erected in an area north of the runway.


The move will free some space along Route 21 for the possible development of various retail and aviation-related businesses.


The county rents out 32 hangars in five buildings. Some of the buildings were constructed in the 1940s.



Money pledged


for streetscape project


WAYNESBURG – The project to revamp the streets of the borough’s business district will benefit from $605,000 in federal and state money.


The money comes from the federal Transportation Enhancement Program, which is administered through the state Department of Transportation. The county regularly receives funding through this source; in fact, the county already had earmarked the $605,000 for the Greene River Trail expansion. However, the money has been redirected to Waynesburg Prosperous and Beautiful’s streetscape project.


For several years, Waynesburg P&B has been planning a streetscape project, complete with new sidewalks, lighting and trees. The project has recently expanded to include utility improvements, including the relocation of electrical lines, and the extra money will help deal with those issues, said Connie Burd, Main Street manager for Waynesburg P&B.


“I view it as a very positive thing that everyone is working together,” she said.


Phase one of the project will include a four-block section of High Street, from Cumberland to Washington streets and a few blocks on Washington, leading to the Waynesburg University campus.


10 years ago: Feb. 2-8, 2003

County gets grant for


park feasibility study


WAYNESBURG – Greene County has been awarded a $10,000 state grant to conduct a feasibility study on converting property near Rices Landing, now covered by a large pile of coal waste, into a riverfront park.


The grant was one of several awarded under the Pennsylvania Heritage Parks Program to promote tourism and economic development in the seven-county Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.


J. Allen Blaker, director of the county’s recreation department, said the grant will be used to conduct a feasibility study on developing a park at the site of the coal refuse pile created by the former Crucible Mine.


The property is now considered a “brownfield,” Blaker said. Once the refuse has been removed from the site the property will be used as part of Greene River Trail and as a small park, he said.



Revamping Sunshine


Act violations


WAYNESBURG – The process of holding government officials accountable for Sunshine Act violations could get a little easier for private citizens, if H. William DeWeese has his way.


The Democratic state representative from Waynesburg began circulating a bill that would, in part, change jurisdiction for municipal and county Sunshine Act violations. Currently, complaints must be filed before the Court of Common Pleas, but DeWeese wants to add local district justice offices to that short list.


Those filing complaints would also be exempt from paying the normal filing charges imposed by the court under DeWeese’s proposed law.


The end result will be a much simpler process for residents who want to file a complaint about an illegal, closed-door meeting or other infraction, according to Barbara Fajt-Grill, DeWeese’s press secretary.


“(DeWeese) wants citizens to have more direct access,” she said. “With this bill, it will be easier for people to have their cases heard and the whole process will be expedited because the matter will be going to the district justice and not the Court of Common Pleas.”


DeWeese’s bill would not change the procedure associated with filing a Sunshine Act complaint.


25 years ago: Feb. 3-9, 1988

Information sought


in shooting of saddle horse


The Pennsylvania Game Commission is seeking information on a huntger who shot and killed a horse in Greene County Jan. 9, the last day of the muzzle loader deer season.


The saddle horse was hot on the Foy farm on Hargus Creek. A blue car was reported to have been parked in the area in that day. Paul Stewart, who took care of feeding the animal, did not discover that the horse had been killed until Jan. 16, a week after it was shot.


Rodney S. Ansell, state game commission for western Greene County, said, “When he fouind hat two bales of hay he had left in the field for the animal had not been touched, he went to look for it and found it on top of a hill, shot through the right shoulder.”


45 years ago: Feb. 3-9, 1968

Interest builds for lights


and Paisley intersection


CARMICHAELS – Interest is mounting in Carmichaels and the surrounding area to have traffic lights installed at the intersection of Routes 21 and 88 at Whiteley.


The Carmichaels Area School Board started the ball rolling by appointing the transportation committee of the board to investigate the possibilities of a light.


The school board was concerned because two of the district’s school buses cross the intersection and the record of traffic mishaps at this dangerous intersection has been mounting.


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