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Giving thanks to newsmakers of 'Yesteryear'

About Ron Paglia

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By Ron Paglia

Published: Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, 7:18 p.m.

A familiar journey down Memory Lane is made possible on this Thanksgiving Day by way of the archives of The Valley Independent and its predecessors, The Charleroi Mail and The Monessen Daily Independent.

To wit:


Monday, Nov. 29, 1943

(Nov. 28 was a Sunday)

• Honors for bringing down the first buck of the season apparently go to Thomas Barrow of Twilight. He was in the wilds above Ridgeway this morning all ready for the opening of deer season when a 200-pound, four-point buck obliged by coming into view. Barrow downed the buck while hunting with A.H. Fowler and D.A. Caruso, both of Charleroi.

• Earlier prospects for a drop in induction rates after the first of the year were blasted over the weekend with the revelation that the War and Navy departments have certified a January Draft call of 350,000 men. This is the largest monthly quota since last June and about twice as high as the War Manpower Commission had expected.

• The Belle Vernon Community Basketball League will operate with five teams this season – Speers, Lynnwood, Belle Vernon Musical Society, Wrens and East End. The 1943-44 season will open Dec. 4 at the North Belle Vernon High School gymnasium with these officers: Duke Ingram, president; Horace Brown, vice president; Ernest Como, secretary-treasurer; Bruno Pupilli, Dick Hamer and Edward Hollander, board of control.


Saturday, Nov. 28, 1953

• Josephine Cipriani has been named new chief operator at Bell Telephone Company's Central Office in Monessen, it was announced by J. Lawrence Buchanan, Bell's district manager. A Monessen High School graduate, Mrs. Cipriani will be in charge of a staff of 50 regular operators and five part-timers.

• Veterans Bob Beggs and Jim Bitonti lead the Vernon Junior High basketball team. Coach Ken Clark, who guided Vernon to a 20-3 record and a berth in the Junior WPIAL tournament semifinals last year, said other members of the squad are Bill Schmidt, Lou Nelson , Bill Sowden, Jim Campbell, Rudy Houseman, Donald Kissler, Bill Kubin, Ron Fallet, Ron Schmidt, Wayne Gough, Larry Rankin, Larry Petras, Carl Osborne and Tom Scanlon.

• Students of Karl Wapiennnek presented a piano and violin recital at the Rostraver High School auditorium. Displaying their talents were Melanie Dacko, Ruth Levin, Marie Balko, Carole Levin, Vita Massano, Virginia Massano, Eileen Roscoe, Mary Lou Roscoe, Stephen Krajnik, Peggy Ferrier, John Dacko and Rita Kidzinski.


Wednesday, Nov. 27, 1963

(Nov. 28 was a holiday)

• Santa Claus will have a busy schedule when he arrives in the Mon Valley to kick off the Holiday Season on Friday. His first stop will be at 11 a.m. when he lands on top of the Irondale Hotel in Donora. He will descend from the building via a Donora fire truck aerial ladder and then distribute treats as he leads a parade through town. Santa also will be part of a parade beginning at 1:30 p.m. in Monessen and will provide treats for children at the Christmas Tree area at Fifth Street and Donner Avenue. The final appearance on his itinerary will be at 2:30 p.m., when he lands atop the G.C. Murphy Company store in Charleroi. Again, he will climb down a fire truck ladder and headline a parade before taking up residence at the Santa House at the entrance to the Chamber of Commerce parking lot.

• Bellmar High School opened its exhibition basketball season with a 67-56 win over Perryoplis. Curt McCarthy (22), Vic Worry (15) and Chuck Sypula (14) paced the Hurricanes, while Dave Stolarik (24) and Rich Backos (15) looked best for the Commodores.

• Gemologist William Kalakewich of North Charleroi was guest speaker at a meeting of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority at California State College. He showed a film depicting tours of diamond mines in Africa and led a question-and-answer session.


Tuesday, Nov. 28, 1972

• A wire drawing section that has been operating on a temporary basis with approximately 40 employees will be shut down permanently Thursday at the Monessen Page Division of American Chain and Cable Company. The shutdown will leave only the Fence Plant with about 25 employees in operation.

• Rostraver Elementary School PTA honored recent retirees Mr. and Mrs. Harry Fleming, longtime educators at the school. Mr. Fleming's career spanned 39 years and he retired as principal at the school. His wife was a teacher for 30 years. PTA president Mrs. Robert Pollak presented the couple with a commemorative gift.

• The Sokols gymnasts finished second in national competition in Chicago. The local girls compiled a score of 89.25 behind champion Canton (Ohio) YMCA's 90.00 in the field of 15 teams. Bonnie Tressler led the Sokols with 30 points and finished first in the free floor exercise. Cindy Malinchak (28.55) and Bernadette Forgac (27.95) were the other top scorers.


Monday, Nov. 28, 1983

• Some 1,100 area residents lined up at Hills department store in Rostraver yesterday to buy only 300 available Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, the most popular toys of the 1983 holiday shopping season. The dolls cost about $20 each. Sgt. Gary Beck of the Rostraver Township Police Department said he had never seen this type of crowd “just for one little toy.” Beck said people began lining up at the store at 5 a.m. Police from Rostraver, Belle Vernon and Monessen were called in as a precautionary measure because of the large crowd.

• Monongahela Valley Catholic High School's girls looked back on a second-place finish in the Chartiers-Houston Thanksgiving Tournament after bowing to the host team, 57-47, in the title game Saturday night. Danielle Ghilani led all scorers with 19 points for the Spartanettes, who are now 1-1.

• Super Savings Week is being celebrated at the Braun's Wonder/Hostess Baker Thrift Shop in Dunlevy. Among the cost-cutter bargains are: Box of chocolate cupcakes, 99 cents; 16-ounce loaf of family wheat bread, 39 cents; brown and serve rolls, package of 12,two for 99 cents.


Saturday, Nov. 17, 1993

(Nov. 28 was a Sunday)

• The Belle Vernon Area High School National Honor Society was one of 10 chapters to receive a national award for outstanding community service at a conference in Pittsburgh. The BVA group was recognized for raising over $2,300 for Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. Katherine Barton, Spanish teacher and faculty sponsor of the NHS, represented BVA at the conference with these chapter officers: David Wilkins, president; Michael Kalich, vice president; Alex Victoria, secretary; David Samel, treasurer; and Keri Komolos, reporter.

• Bill Priatko has been hired as the new athletic director at Yough High School. Priatko, a resident of nearby North Huntingdon, is a former football standout at the University of Pittsburgh and also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

• North Charleroi Borough was honored with an AAA West Penn World Safety Award. Police Chief Tedd Jennings and Mayor Henry Michaloski accepted the award from Richard Hamilton, president of AAA Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia, at ceremonies at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.


Friday, Nov. 28, 2003

• Hundreds of shoppers used their extra day off from work today to reap the benefits of Black Friday blow-out sales at such stores as Walmart, Kmart and Lowe's Home Improvement Center in Rostraver Township. Many arrived as early as 3 a.m. to make a run for the bargains of up to 50 percent off regular prices.

• Dom Wytovich of Bentworth High School was selected as The Valley Independent's Football Player of the Year. The senior halfback accounted for 880 total years by rushing for 535 and adding 345 on 20 pass receptions. He scored nine of Bentworth's 11 touchdowns. As a standout linebacker on defense, he had 108 solo tackles and four interceptions for the Bearcats, who finished with a 1-8-0. “Dom carried more than his share of the load for us,” Bentworth coach Ron Skiles said.

Ron Paglia is a freelance writer for The Valley Independent.



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