New year sparks memories of past
By Ron Paglia
Published: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
The beginning of a new year always gives causes for reflections.
So it is with today's backward glances as we look at the start of new years in a break from the traditional chronological format.
65 YEARS AGO
Monday, Jan. 3, 1949
(Jan. 2 was a Sunday.)
State Police at the North Belle Vernon sub-station had a substantial record to post for the history of Troop B. No highway accident of any kind within their jurisdiction occurred during the long New Year's holiday weekend. “Very slow. Not a thing to report,” was the laconic statement from the desk officer this morning when responding to routine morning calls.
Charleroi burgess J.W. McGuire has pocketed the new two–hour parking ordinance and may not sign it. The measure, which codifies all downtown traffic and parking regulations in one bill, was passed unanimously at the Dec. 14 meeting of borough council. McGuire told council at that time that the cost of policing, purchasing new equipment and posting streets would be heavy.
The Belle Vernon Doughboys defeated previously unbeaten Charleroi Pfile Brothers 59-54 in a highly anticipated exhibition basketball game at the Monessen Armory. Pfile, a top area independent team, competes in the Charleroi City League, and the Doughboys are in first place in the Belle Vernon Community League. Bill Picchiarini and Frank Bello, former Vernon High standouts, led the Doughboys with 17 and 14 points, respectively, and had help from Perry Swartz (12) and Lou Fiorino (11). Big George Brown, former Monessen High star, had 15 for Pfile and teammates Freddy Uhlman and Bob Stark added 12 each.
55 YEARS AGO
Friday, Jan. 2, 1959
Discarded Christmas trees will be collected by Roscoe Borough forces and burned in a massive bonfire at the old Little League field Monday night at 6 o'clock. The borough truck will be around tomorrow to collect the trees and the cooperation of Roscoe residents in placing the trees outside is requested by the firemen.
S&Y Supermarket, Route 51 and Route 71, Belle Vernon begins a two-day sale today with these items among the bargains: Fort Pitt canned picnic hams, 5 pound can, $2.99; pre-cooked Minute Rice, 23–ounce bag, 49 cents; Breakfast Maid instant coffee, 6–ounce jar, 79 cents.
The long awaited switch to dial telephones in Elizabeth will become a reality in 1960. That was confirmed by Leslie E. Brookhart, manager in Elizabeth for Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania, who said the changeover will result in expenditures of over $1 million.
45 YEARS AGO
Thursday, Jan. 2, 1969
Area supermarkets are kicking off the new year with bargains galore. They include but are not limited to the following:
Foodland – Blue Goose Maine Potatoes, 20–pound bag, 69 cents; chuck roast, 45 cents a pound; frozen Swanson Dinners, three 10–ounce packages, $1; Danish Crown Sliced Bacon, 59 cents a pound; Dairy Lane Butter, 69 cents a pound.
Thorofare – Chipped chopped ham, 79 cents a pound; iceberg lettuce, 39 cents a head; Puffs facial tissues, 19 cents a box; Maxwell House coffee, 3–pound can, $1.89.
A&P – Apple sauce, six one pound cans, $1; Giant Tide detergent, 3 pound box, 57 cents; Swiss cheese, 85 cents a pound; Appian Way pizza, 10 pie package, 99 cents.
Dolfi's, North Belle Vernon – Breakfast Cheer coffee, 3–pound can, 59 cents; Mrs. Filbert's oleo, 4 pounds, 98 cents; Campbell's pork and beans, six cans, $1.
Del Farm – Sliced quarter pork loin, 69 cents a pound; beef short ribs, 59 cents a pound; Natco Vac-Pac coffee, three pound can, $1.65;
Monessen Louis Dodge stayed ahead of the pack in the Mon Valley Women's Duckpin Bowling League despite a 2-1 loss to Charleroi Beneficial. The Dodgers are now 41-10, three games ahead of Uniontown Central and 4½ in front of Beneficial. Donna Hamilton led Beneficial with a 224-530 series and was backed by Stella Kroskie, 210-511; Ida Picchiarini, 219, and Lola Dzygos, 202. Marie Columbus (191-455) and Jean Sandis (185-446) looked best for the Dodgers.
35 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, Jan. 2, 1979
Mid-Mon Valley residents today braced for Winter's first severe cold wave instead of possible flooding after ushering in the new year on a dry note weather-wise. A winter storm watch is in effect through tonight as temperatures began plummeting after an unseasonably high in the mid-1950s yesterday. The thermometer will dip into the teens tonight and rain is expected to change to snow.
Monongahela street employees walked the picket line – as promised – today in front of City Hall.
The seven workers, members of Local 1409 of the United Steelworkers of America, and the city apparently did not reach agreement on a new contract before the current pact expired at midnight December 31.
Ringgold High's basketballers remained undefeated after winning the Chartiers Valley Colt Classic Saturday night. The Rams nipped the host Colts 52-50 in the championship game as Brian Lyons scored the winning basket with only four seconds remaining in the contest. Lyons and Darnell Brown had 12 points apiece. Brown pulled down 12 rebounds and Skip Koskoski grabbed 10.
The annual dinner-dance of Mon Valley Chapter of Credit Unions was held at Meadowlands Hilton and was highlighted by the selection of Kathi Weldon as Youth Ambassador of the local unit.
The daughter of Mrs. Owen Weldon, Miss Weldon is a member of Belle Vernon School Federal Credit Union and will now compete in state competition for further honors. Roberta Harris of Charland Employees FCU was chosen as an alternate.
25 YEARS AGO
Monday, Jan. 2, 1989
Ernest Lee of Monongahela has been re-elected president of Monongahela Valley Branch of NAACP. Mr. Lee previously served six years as president before stepping down. He succeeds James E. Dews of Belle Vernon in returning to the top leadership post. Lee said increasing NAACP will be his top goal and added that he would like to create a youth organization within the Chapter.
William Greco has been elected president of the Board of Trustees of Monessen Public Library and District Center. He succeeds Jacqueline Wilkinson. Other officers for the coming year are Kathleen Swade Mappas, vice president; Jean Snider, secretary, and Angelo Loulis, treasurer.
Volunteers at Kenric Manor personal care home in Donora were honored for their services at a luncheon at the facility. Among those lauded were the families of the Rev. Todd Jaussen, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church of Donora, and the Rev. James Hobby, pastor St. John Episcopal Church, Donora, and St. Paul Episcopal Chruch, Monongahela. They regularly visit Kenric Manor to hold services and meet with the residents.
15 YEARS AGO
Saturday, Jan. 2, 1999
New Eagle's five borough employees started the new year with a new three-year contract approved earlier this week when borough council adopted its $535,000 operating budget for 2000. The new pact includes wage increases. Council also held the line on taxes with its new budget.
Former Belle Vernon Area High School soccer standout Michelle Sillence finished her first season of semi-professional competition with the Miami Gliders in the First Division of the W-League in Florida. Sillence was named Most Valuable Player as a senior at Barry College in Miami before becoming a professional player. The Gliders won the regular season league championship but were eliminated in the playoffs.
The Valley Independent's Soundoff feature remained as popular as ever. Among today's calls was this request: “Please, women, if you want to kiss people on the holidays, make sure you don't have killer breath.”
Ron Paglia is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
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