Looking back on Greene County history

July 27, 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: July 27-Aug. 2, 2008

No precipitation in Waynesburg, but a perfect day for summer fun

WAYNESBURG – Tuesday was a perfect day for a summer festival, with plenty of sun and clear blue skies.

But that wasn’t enough to please many of those who attended Waynesburg’s annual Rain Day festival.

They wanted rain.

That’s because in Waynesburg, on Rain Day, rain must fall for the festival to be considered a success.

No rain had fallen as of late Tuesday. During the day, as the chance of rain diminished, the disappointment of festivalgoers was hardly evident, though it surely must have been felt.

“I’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t rain,” said Mayor Blair Zimmerman, who late Tuesday was still holding out hope.

“I’m two for four right now,” he said, citing the number of years it has rained under his tenure. “If it doesn’t rain this year, I’m under .500.”

Even though the weather forecast had called for clear skies, expectations were great from the beginning that rain would fall. After all, according to records, it had rained in Waynesburg 110 out of the last 133 years.

•Alert system offered for crime victims

WAYNESBURG – Crime victims in Greene County now have an automated way to ensure peace of mind.

County officials unveiled a victim notification system Thursday that automatically will alert crime victims when an offender leaves the county jail. The Pennsylvania Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification system will call or e-mail those registered for the free service in case of an inmate release, transfer or escape.

“If knowledge is power, I feel the SAVIN system is truly empowering for victims, their families and members of the community,” said Greene County District Attorney Marjorie Fox.

Greene is the 34th county in Pennsylvania to implement SAVIN. Washington County adopted it last year.

SAVIN is a notification network for county jails. The state Office of the Victim Advocate has its own automated system regarding state prison inmates.

A federal grant, administered through the state Commission on Crime and Delinquency, paid for the start up costs and the county will pay for annual maintenance and administrative costs.

“Victims deserve this type of advance notice so they can prepare,” said Andrea K. Warner of Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute, which manages the SAVIN program.

10 years ago: July 27-Aug. 2, 2003

Greene retail project clears another hurdle

WAYNESBURG – The developer of a proposed retail complex in Franklin Township, Greene Counyt, that will include a Wal-Mart supercenter is moving ahead.

Thursday, the firm made its second payment on an option to purchase land from the county.

The county received checks totaling $299,993 from the developer, McHolme/Waynesburg LP. The amount represents 45 percent of the price McHolme agreed to pay for the 115 acres of land located across Route 21 from Greene County Airport.

“I’m pleased everything is moving ahead on schedule,” said county Commissioner Dave Coder, who has spearheaded efforts to bring a major retail complex to the site. “I know everybody has been working very hard on this project.”

McHolme/Waynesburg LP agreed to purchase the land for $5,800 per acre, or $666,652. The developer earlier made a down payment of $66,652.

Under its option agreement, it was required to make the second payment upon execution of a tenant lease agreement or by July 31, whichever came first.

The third and final payment, also for $299,993, will be due upon approval of development plans by the county and Franklin Township or on Dec. 31, whichever comes first. If McHolme fails to make the final payment, the land and any money it has paid will remain the county’s.

•Greene County to get long-term care home for independent seniors

WAYNESBURG – Older Greene Countians, who are looking for long-term care, should soon have another option when a small assisted care facility opens on Glade Avenue in Franklin Township.

Township supervisors approved this week the site plan for a two-story, 24-room facility that promises to offer seniors more independence over a traditional nursing home. Evergreen Assisted Living Inc. of Washington will construct the 17,000-square-foot building near the state police barracks.

Supervisor T. Reed Kiger noticed that quite a few seniors had to look out of the county or even out of the state before they could find a residence like this one.

“It’s something we certainly need here,” said Kiger.

Evergreen operates two other homes in the area, one in Washington and another in Morgantown, W.Va. Chris Provance, a supervisor for the company, said the Waynesburg facility will be almost identical to the one in Washington.

When it opens, Evergreen will be able to house up to 48 seniors who are either relatively independent or need some general help with health, hygiene and other day-to-day activities.

The building will offer large lounge and dining areas, an in-house laundromat, kitchen and space for continuing education classes. Evergreen also will provide entertainment for residents and van transportation.

25 years ago: July 28-Aug. 3, 1988

No talks scheduled for striking GEMS workers

CARMICHAELS – A strike by employees of Greene Emergency Medical Services (GEMS) entered its second week with no new talks scheduled between employees and company owners.

The employees, represented by Local 23 of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, went on strike last Wednesday after rejecting the company final contract offer, according to Marlene Sertich, a GEMS employee who serves as union steward.

GEMS co-owner Dan Sherepita said, despite the work stoppage, the company continues to provide services. “We’re open for business and operating as usual,” he said.

Employees have been picketing the company’s offices in Carmichaels and Waynesburg, although, according to Ms. Sertich, some workers have crossed the picket lines and have reported for work.

“We want people to know that we’re out here saving people’s lives, while a person working at McDonald’s is making more money than us,” she said.

45 years ago: July 28-Aug. 3, 1968

WWI Veterans Honor 26 Men Killed In 1918

The 26 members of Company K, 110th Infantry, who were killed in action 50 years ago in the World War I assaults on Sergy Hill and Grimpets Woods, were honored by their surviving comrades in arms.

The memorial service was held in the National Guard Armory at Waynesburg, which was the home of Company K during the many years of his existence. It featured an address by Col. Charles I. Faddis, Rtd., and the placing of a wreath beneath the memorial plaque at the armory by Frank Orndoff, president of the Company K Veterans Assn.

The majority of the 26 who were killed died on July 29, 1918.

“To us these men are not mere figures of history, but the friends and playmates of boyhood days,” Col. Faddis said.



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