Looking back

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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. 10-16, 2008

State’s Route 218 project enters final stage of design


The state Department of Transportation continues to develop plans for construction of a bridge over the railroad tracks and Ten Mile Creek on Route 218 in Waynesburg.


The long-awaited project is now in the final design stage, PennDOT project manager Jerry Bendo said Friday.


A consultant working with the department is expected to hire an appraiser within the next month or two to begin appraising properties that will be impacted by the project, he said.


PennDOT expects to bid the project in the spring or summer of 2009, Bendo said.


The bridge project has long been considered a priority. It was developed to prevent possible delays for emergency vehicles on Route 218 caused by passing coal trains blocking the highway.


Planning has continued for more than 15 years. “It’s been a complicated


Carmichaels votes to give former school bell new home


CARMICHAELS – The bell from the former Carmichaels Borough school may soon have a new home at Greene Academy of Art.


Carmichaels Borough Council voted Tuesday to turn over the bell from the former elementary school to the academy if the academy and the school’s reunion committee both agree to the action.


A group from the school reunion committee in August had asked council if it could display the bell on property at the new borough building. A committee member said then that the bell has “a lot of sentimental value” to area residents and should be on display.


Council agreed to consider the request but also expressed concern about whether there would be enough space on the property and whether others also would request to display items there.


The old Carmichaels Borough school burned down in April 1978. The building, which was on Greene Street, had been an elementary school until 1967, when it was sold to the borough. At the time of the fire, it was being used as a municipal building.


Council voted unanimously to turn the bell over to the academy if the academy wants it and if the reunion committee agrees.


10 years ago: Feb. 9-15, 2003

Commissioners remember fallen rider


WAYNESBURG – County commissioners put aside routine business matters for at least a few moments Wednesday to remember an 18-year-old motocross competitor who sustained fatal injuries at a Greene County Fairgrounds event over the weekend.


While competing in an indoor dirt bike race, Mark Alan Stephens of New Freeport was apparently trying to maneuver around a fallen driver when he also fell off his bike. Unfortunately, riders following behind the accident were not able to avoid Stephens; a pileup ensued and Stephens ultimately died of a crushing injury, according to county Coroner Greg Rohanna.


Rohanna told commissioners at their agenda meeting that he could find no safety problems with the course or the drivers. He classified the Saturday afternoon incident as a “tragic accident,” and he saw no overriding safety concerns to prompt a cancellation of the subsequent races that weekend, nor the racing events scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 21.


“A common thread through all of these (investigators’) reports was that this was a tragic accident where no one is really to blame,” said Commissioner Farley Toothman. “Nevertheless, we do have a responsibility to (Stephens’) family and the public to ensure that anything and everything is safe as the races continue.


County woman with right answer heading to Colorado


RICES LANDING – When her phone rang at 8 a.m. Thursday, Jill McCracken was content to let her machine pick up the call.


Downstairs, though, her husband, Scott, who had not yet left for work, picked up the call.


“He yelled up the stairs that I had better answer it,” said McCracken, who lives in Rices Landing with her husband and two children, 3-year-old Brady and 2-year-old Megan.


On the other end was a staffer from “Live with Regis and Kelly,” who told McCracken she has been selected to try to answer the day’s Travel Trivia question.


“They called back at 8:55 a.m. and told me to stay on the line to about 9:15,” she said. “Then Regis came on the phone.”


After the usual chatter about what she did, if she were married and if she had any kids, McCracken was ready to play for a $4,500 trip to a luxurious resort and spa in Vail, Colo.


The question was, where did the music duo of Hall and Oates meet?


“It took me about 5 seconds,” McCracken said. “They met at Temple University.”


25 years ago: Feb. 10-16, 1988

Waynesburg council to replace 218 incandescent streetlights


WAYNESBURG – A proposal to replace 218 incandescent streetlights with 170 mercury vapor lights was approved Monday by Waynesburg Borough Council.


Dean Cochran, a representative of West Penn Power Co., told council the new lights will provide 33 percent more illumination than the existing lights, which should make it possible to reduce the number of units without reducing the effectiveness of streetlighting.


The borough has been paying $6.62 per month for each of the present lights and will pay $8.49 per month for the mercury vapor lights. Elimination of the 48 lights, however, will keep the total bill for streetlighting at its present level of $1,443 per month.


45 years ago: Feb. 10-16, 1968

Carl DePasqua named defensive assistant by Pittsburgh Steelers


WAYNESBURG – Carl DePasqua, head football coach at Waynesburg College for the past two years, has accepted a position with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League.


Steeler officials said DePasqua, who led the Yellow Jackets to an NAIA national championship his first year and an overall record of 19 wins and one loss, will be an assistant defensive coach.


The ex-Pitt University coach will assume his new duties March 1.


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