Career Change For Ex-Blairsville-Saltsburg Supervisor
BLAIRSVILLE--A chance encounter with Tom Meloy at a Super Bowl party revealed that the former Blairsville-Saltsburg School superintendent is now employed as director of special projects at the IUP Department of Education. Currently his focus is on developing distance learning classes for the Department of Defense, which takes him regularly to Washington, D.C. for consultation sessions. Meloy, who lives with his wife Roxanne in Saltsburg, is also a former United High School teacher and after BSSD the superintendent of the Nazareth schools in eastern Pennsylvania. While in Blairsville he initiated the building project that constructed the new Blairsville High School and Elementary School--and, alas, left Blairsville with a growing eyesore in the old junior high school on N. Walnut Street.
Super Bowl commericials not so super
Speaking of the Super Bowl, was it just me or were the ads worse that they've been in memory• When your best shot features Ozzy Osborne and Donny and Marie Osmond, you're not getting much bang for your buck ($2.1 million per 30 seconds.)
Blairsville Little League
Blairsville Little League is busy raising funds for the upcoming season, one in which the league hopes to make major improvements to its field, such as a new scoreboard and P.A. system. A $150 donation will sponsor a girls softball, minor league or t-ball team (the major league teams are already sponsored), while $100 buys a vinyl banner to be displayed on the outfield fence all season. Corporate sponsorships are also available. More information is available by calling league president Joni Dixon.
Raiders without an excuse
News item: Oakland Raiders' starting center goes AWOL from team, reportedly in Tiajuana, Mexico, kicked off squad prior to Super Bowl. Okay, so what was the rest of the Raiders' excuse for playing like they'd just spent 72 hours on a bender in Mexico?
Indiana County Municipal Services Authority
A special ceremony was held for Burrell Township's Bob Kunkle at a recent meeting of the Indiana County Municipal Services Authority. In recognition of Kunkle's 30 years as chairman of the authority, a photo plaque was presented to the long-time Indiana County Republican party chairman. It was noted that more than 300 miles of water and sewer line have been laid in those 30 years--which is good, except that rural Indiana County probably needs another 3,000 miles of water and sewer lines.
Indiana County Head Start
From the Indiana County Head Start newsletter comes word that Susan McConnell, a Homer City Head Start parent from 2000 to 2002, was selected to be the parent representative and guest speaker at the Pennsylvania Summer Reading Conference in Mars next Wednesday. McConnell attended the Family Literacy classes at the Homer City Head Start Center. She continued her involvement in the literacy program by enrolling her children in the summer reading program at the Burrell Township Library. In another Head Start success story, Michelle Jesko, another Homer City Head Start parent, was selected to represent all Region III Head Start parents on a panel in Philadelphia for a week. The panel's job was to select a new Head Start program for eastern Pennsylvania. Jesko also serves on the Policy Council for the Indiana County Head Start program...Head Start also celebrated Christmas by moving into its 4,200 square foot addition to its Homer City building the first week of December. The extra space is equipped for infants and toddlers and is being used by Indiana County Early Head Start. Another space in the builing is being taken up by ARIN Intermediate Unit to teach children with disabilities. It's getting hard to remember when the building housed Dick Drennen Chevrolet.
Bigfoot is Back, Baby!
After years of unexplained absence from Chestbut Ridge and environs, Bigfoot, that hairy hunk of ambulatory apeman often reported prowling this stretch of God's Country, was once again reported by our UFO (unexplained Furry Object) correspondent, Stan Gordon of Greensburg.
This week one of my favorite annual letters, like a Christmas card that got lost in the mail, crossed my desk--the annual roundup of the weird, wild and unexplained from Gordon, a Greensburg resident who has been tracking same since the days of the original "Twilight Zone."
Included was a report that Bigfoot had been spotted twice in a heavily wooded area of Derry Township. The better sighting came on the afternoon of Sept. 27 as a driver was maneuvering on a back road. Hearing a noise in the woods, the driver stopped, thinking some deer were approaching.
At a distance of about 145 feet, the man saw a tall-human-like creature covered with long brown hair and arms that hung down to his knees. The creature was estimated to be eight feet tall and took long steps as it crossed a field.
The driver watched as the creature crossed over a barbed wire fence with no hesitation or break in stride. Gordon later measured the fence as 44 inches off the ground.
A Bigfoot sighting, or rather tracking, was also reported in Adams County, where a series of odd prints was reported. The prints were about 16 inches long and eight inches wide and were reported around a reservoir about 1,000 feet in diameter.
Strange creatures were reported regularly in 2002 to Gordon, but none stranger than the report from Wyoming County in late June.
A witness said he observed two large birds land at the top of a tree, threatening to snap off the tree limbs. Their wingspan was estimated at 12 feet.
Gordon said that area of the state has had numerous sightings of gigantic birds which have been nicknamed Thunderbirds. He said such sightings have been on the increase in recent years.
And of course, what would the year be without UFO sightings• One came April 15 (Tax Day?) in Clarksburg, Indiana County, when two people driving on Rt. 286 said they saw a long object the size of a bus hovering at treetop level. The object seemed to be very wide, and it had a bright light in the front.
In July, three people standing in a shopping center parking lot in North Huntingdon Township saw a round, shiny solid object about the size of a tennis ball floating past them at a distance of about 10 feet, going in a straight line.
The odd sphere, only about six feet off the ground, kept going until it was out of sight.
Gordon, who has been at this since 1959, said he got calls from 45 of the state's counties this past year.
He never tires of investigating the calls, most of which are easily explained. He is still trying to gain access to government investigation papers on what he says was the crash of a UFO near Kecksburg in December 1965. Despite numerous eyewitnesses of a fiery object falling, the government said nothing crashed and nothing was removed. Anyone who has an interesting sighting to tell, or information about that Kecksburg crash, can call Gordon at 724-838-7768 or e-mail at email@example.com.