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The Independent-Observer takes a look back at 2012

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 9:19 p.m.

The following is a review of news from the months of January through April 2011 as presented on the pages of The Independent-Observer.


• Austin Williamson, 22, of Scottdale, is sentenced to serve a minimum of 18 months in prison after being accused of building a bomb and detonating it in the building where he lived.

• A new Med Express facility opens in Mt. Pleasant.

• Southmoreland girls basketball team comes close to folding after injuries and illness reduce an already shrunken squad to just four players. However, several girls join the team to save the program and they win their first game together, 50-44, over East Allegheny.

• Southmoreland School Board passes a resolution stating it will not raise taxes in the 2012-13 budget above 2.4 percent as set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

• In-line hockey squad snaps five-game losing streak with 10-2 win over Chartiers Valley.

• Tom Ermine bids farewell after 27 years on Scottdale council.

• Jacobs Creek Watershed continues to face challenges in proposed Rite Aid parking lot project.

• Old Independent-Observer newspapers are donated to Scottdale Historical Society.

• An increase in public attendance prompts Southmoreland School Board to move its meetings to the middle school.

• Karen Snyder leads Tottie Awards by winning best performance by an actress, best director and the prestigious Golden Doorknob award.

• Gilbert Seese, 91, a retired Southmoreland teacher, has his wheelchair stolen from his East Huntingdon home while he's at a hospital for tests.


• Scottdale Council temporarily retains Building Inspection Underwriters as code enforcement officer until various concerns about BIU are addressed.

• Southmoreland High School student Davis Simon sets a goal to read 16 books by the end of May to raise money for the American Red Cross,

• Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle and the concession stand at a basketball game between Southmoreland and Mt. Pleasant are donated to pancreatic cancer research in memory of former Mt. Pleasant coach Tom Traynor and Kathleen Muccino, each of whom died as a result of the disease.

• Southmoreland wrestler Jordan Kitta collects his 100th career victory.

• Fay-Penn Economic Council receives a low-interest loan to develop the Upper Tyrone Township Industrial Park on the former Kendi Property.

• Jesse Charles Macklin, 29, of Jeannette, is sentenced to seven to 20 years in prison for secretly recording videos of nude women at Sunkissed Tanning and Spa in Countryside Plaza.

• National Junior Honor Society students at the middle school collect 4,259 pairs of jeans to donate to homeless teens.

• Scottdale Council votes to shift the use of grant money from a face lift planned for the Rite Aid parking lot to the Gazebo Park.

• Braddock Trail District of Cub Scouts holds its final Cub Scout Show at Southmoreland High School. The Braddock Trail District consolidates with other districts.

• Southmoreland basketball team wins eight of its last nine games heading into the WPIAL playoffs. They are upended in a preliminary-round game, 56-48, by Highlands.

• The wheelchair of a six-year old Scottdale boy with cerebral palsy, as well as medical supplies, are damaged during a rash of break-ins in the borough. Offers from across the country pour in to help Ian Hixson.

• Four Southmoreland wrestlers — Jordan Kitta, Austin Griffiths, Joey Beltz and Dakota Datz advance to the WPIAL Tournament.

• Seth O'Donnell, 25, of Scottdale, is charged with assaulting his mother, Tammy Tabaj, and two other people.

• Christopher and Dylan Prolenski are charged with a number of counts involving a number of thefts and doing damage to Hixson's wheelchair. They eventually are held for court on the charges.

• Kitta wins the WPIAL wrestling championship at 195 pounds. Griffiths and Datz also advance to Southwest Regional Tournament. Kitta eventually captures Southwest Regional crown, He and Griffiths advance to PIAA championships.


• The Geyer Performing Arts Center unveils on-line ticket purchasing.

• Senior Tommy Szatkowski is selected to play in an all-star basketball weekend against players from Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.

• Parents speak on behalf of Southmoreland teachers in front of the school board as negotiations continue on a new contract for the teachers.

• Austin Griffiths finishes third in the PIAA tournament at 106 pounds.

• Representatives of Connellsville, Mt. Pleasant, Scottdale, Everson and South Connellsville gather for the G5 summit.

• Southmoreland's in-line hockey team captures the Pennsylvania In-Line Roller Hockey League Championship by beating Penn-Trafford, 3-2 and 7-2, in a best-of-three championship round.

• Southmoreland School Board gathers public input on a budget. At the time, the district faced a $1 million deficit.


• Aquion Energy Inc. accepts more than $13 million in incentives to locate its battery manufacturing operations in the former Sony television assembly plant.

• Former Scottdale resident Maj. Jonathan Bell receives the prestigious Octavius V. Catto medal. The Chaplain of the Pittsburgh-based 171st Air Refueling Wing was the first Pennsylvania Air National Guard recipient.

• Southmoreland teachers and the school board agree on a contract that extends until June 30, 2015.

• The girls volleyball team takes on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a charity volleyball game.

• Duraloy celebrates its 75th year in Scottdale.

• Council holds payment to Building Inspection Underwriters until bills submitted by the company are examined.

• Melissa Carey of Scottdale has her first book, “The Power Awakened,” published.It's the first in the series “Macie's Guide to the Odd, Strange, Bizarre, Unique, Unexplained and Twisted.”

• Southmoreland Baseball League celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Next week — May through August.

Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or