Looking back in Greene County history

June 14, 2013

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: June 15-21, 2008

Hail pummels northeast corner of county

A strong storm raced through Greene County Monday evening, bringing with it torrential rain, strong winds and, in some communities, golf ball-sized hail.

The storm, which hit about 7:30 p.m., had most of its impact on communities in the northeast corner of the county, Jeff Marshall, county emergency management director, said.

The storm left flooded basements, road closures and downed trees, he said. Another storm cell that passed through the county a little earlier also affected an area south of Waynesburg, he said.

In the northeast corner of the county there were reports of branches downed, siding torn off houses and cars and trucks dented by large hailstones.

“It was horrible,” said Debbie Ellsworth of Crucible. “It just came down so fast and so hard,” she said.

The golf ball-sized hail left dents on her car as well as on her husband’s and her daughter’s vehicles. “You can see them, like little divots, all over them,” she said.

•Seminar: More education needed to prevent underage sex crimes

WAYNESBURG – High school assemblies designed to discourage underage drinking and drug use are relatively commonplace, but schools rarely address sex with a minor, an activity that can lead to much stiffer criminal penalties.

It’s the difference between a ticket and 10 years in prison, Timothy Maher, Greene County assistant district attorney, told educators gathered at Margaret Bell Miller Middle School Thursday. Police officers and sex assault counselors also discussed the problem, which they say could be alleviated through more education.

Maher said he has encountered far too many cases where an 18-year-old has sex with a 14-year-old and then is shocked when he is arrested on a felony sexual assault charge.

“The child doesn’t think she is doing anything wrong and the older person doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong,” Maher said.

However, the law in Pennsylvania is clear. It is a second-degree felony to have sex with a minor under the age of 16 when the adult is more than four years older. The offense can occur if a sexual relationship starts between a high school senior and a freshman.

The penalty is a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, “in the sex offenders’ unit, because you need to be protected from the killers and the drug dealers because they think you’re scum,” said state police Trooper Barton Lemansky.

10 years ago: June 15-21, 2003

Grand plans on the horizon for technology park

WAYNESBURG – A company that has played a significant role in developing properties at Southpointe in Washington County will now be involved in plans to create EverGreene Technology Park in Franklin Township.

Greene County Industrial Development Authority and Greene County Industrial Developments Inc. announced Wednesday that they have entered into an agreement with Horizon Properties under which Horizon will serve as master planner and developer of the park. The park will be built on a 248-acre site adjacent to Greene County Airport owned by GCID Inc., which has donated 20 acres at the site to EverGreene Technology Park Inc. to kick start the development.

Horizon, a real estate development and consulting company, has developed several buildings at Southpointe. Company president Rod Piatt is the son of Millcraft Industries founder Jack Piatt Sr., who provided the financing to start Southpointe in the late 1980s.

Prior to forming Horizon, Rod Piatt worked with his father to help attract companies to the 600-acre multi-use development along Interstate 79 near Canonsburg. Another principal of Horizon, Michael Swisher, also a former Millcraft employee, oversaw the master plan for Southpointe.

•Plan for ATV trail making strides in southeastern Greene

WAYNESBURG – While it was just the first of many steps needed to be climbed, Greene County officials should be pleased with the comments and presentation Thursday on creating an all-terrain vehicle trail and track, or as the consultants refer to it, “motorized recreation,” in southeastern Greene County.

During a public hearing at Greene County Fairgrounds, the first of three scheduled to determine public sentiment for the enterprise, Michael Barbusci of Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas, Pittsburgh, described to a sparse audience the progress so far for creating a site on the old Warwick Mine property, north of Greensboro.

“We are just beginning to investigate the feasibility of an ATV recreational facility,” he said.

The 15 parcels of land, all but two owned by Duquesne Light, encompass about 430 acres bordered to the east by the Monongahela River; Route 2014 (Stoney Hill) to the south; a buffered zone off of Route 88 to the west; and Alicia to the north.

No one who spoke at the meeting seemed to outright object to the plans, but rather express concern over supervision, age of drivers and liability issues.

Barbusci said those concerns would be addressed down the road as the process advanced, but he did offer a schedule that began in March with the identification of the area; a meeting with the landowners in May; the first public meeting in June; the second in August; the third in September and the final report delivered to the county in October.

25 years ago: June 16-22, 1988

Possible sale of Curry Home draws citizen, employee protests

WAYNESBURG – A protest over the possible sale of the Curry Memorial Home to a private corporation was voiced at the June 9 meeting of the Greene County Commissioners.

Diane Tedrow of New Freeport, an interested citizen, and two employees at the county nursing home – Patricia Swan of Holbrook and Barbara Fox of Waynesburg – attended the meeting to express concern over what such a sale would mean in terms of nursing home care available to county residents.

“Greene County has always had the nursing home and I don’t see why we can’t continue to have it,” Ms. Tedrow said.

“I feel it is much better use of county tax dollars that a lot of other things are money is spent for.”

45 years ago: June 16-22, 1968

New industry will locate in West Greene vicinity

A new company, the West Wayne Wire Works, will soon be in operation near Rogersville.

Transactions were completed Thursday afternoon between the West Greene Citizens for Progress and the Houser and Carafas Engineering Company of Pittsburgh, which will operate the new company as one of its divisions.

Ellwood Houser, president of the engineering company, signed the deed Thursday taking over the old shell building which formerly housed the Manufacturers Gas Company near Rogersville.

The building located on a four and one–half-acre tract of land, will be extensively renovated including a 40–foot cinder block expansion.

The company was brought to Greene County through the joint cooperation of WGCP and the J. K. Willison Real Estate Agency at Waynesburg.



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