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Independent-Observer 2013 Year in Review: Part 2

| Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Southmoreland Athletic Director Charlie Swink observes Russ Grimm Field, which was left unplayable after torrential August storms damaged the field.
Kelly Vernon | The Independent-Observer
Southmoreland Athletic Director Charlie Swink observes Russ Grimm Field, which was left unplayable after torrential August storms damaged the field.
Pictured from left: Joselyn Busato, 11, Carlie Collins, 11,  and Barry Collins serve cabbage and noodles  Aug. 13 at Lunch in the Park.
Kelly Vernon | The Independent-Observer
Pictured from left: Joselyn Busato, 11, Carlie Collins, 11, and Barry Collins serve cabbage and noodles Aug. 13 at Lunch in the Park.

This is a review of news stories that took place between May and August of 2013 as reported in The Independent-Observer.


•Excela Frick Hospital recognizes 43 volunteers for the time they dedicate to the hospital. Among those recognized are Rod and Jean Cavanaugh of Scottdale who completed 7,000 hours each as volunteers.

• Scottdale Firemen's Club hosts a benefit dinner for fire chief Jerry Younkin, who suffers from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which causes a thickening and scarring of the lungs.

• Southmoreland boys tennis team advances to playoffs after capturing Section 1-AA title with perfect record.

• Southmoreland School District approves a potential budget that does not include a tax increase, while vowing to continue looking at ways to cut a $249,284 deficit.

• Scottdale resident Joe Bierhals recalls his experience at the April 15 Boston Marathon, which was marred by bombings. Bierhals had finished running the traditional race before any of the explosions occurred and said he was never in any danger.

• James Marnell is named business manager of the Southmoreland School District.

• Davis Monuments celebrates its 100th anniversary.

• Volunteers spend time on a Saturday working on improvements to the Pittsburgh Street Park.

• Southmoreland girls track team places fourth in the Class AA championship meet after a season in which it amassed a 12-0 record. Also, a number of team members qualify for the WPIAL championships, as well as a handful of members of the boys team.

• Southmoreland Baseball Parents Organization schedules a golf outing to raise funds.

• Everson Council mulls hiring a full-time police officer in lieu of the number of part-time officers on the payroll.

• Elementary school students Madeline Grote, Sydney Bodenheimer and Nick Bodenhiemer notch top prizes at the Fun with Physics Fair at Trafford Elementary School.

• Old Time Hockey of Scottdale wins the “C” Division Dek Hockey crown at the Hot Shots Indoor Sports Arena.

• The initial vote on the primary ballot shows a tie between incumbent Catherine Fike and newcomer Lois Eberly. Incumbents Levi Miller and Gail Rhodes secure spots on the general election ballot as doe newcomers Robert Callaro and Cheryl Byers Shipley.

• Emily Lessman (high jump) and Paige Weaver, Hannah Porter, Riley Beistel and Vayda Farino (3,200 relay) participate in the PIAA track meet in Shippensburg. Lessman finishes tied for 10th, relay team places 21st.

• One of two winning Cash 5 tickets in the $1 million May 25 jackpot is sold at All Aboard Express, 221 S. Broadway.


• Scottdale Borough adopts a resolution to create tobacco-free zones on borough facilities.

• Everson Council begins working on a new garbage contract.

• National Envelope files for bankruptcy for the second time in three years.

• Southmoreland's Class of 2013 graduates.

• Rikki Brown receives $1,000 scholarship from the Westmoreland Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees.

• “The Wizard of Oz” comes to the stage at the Geyer Performing Arts Center.

• Danielle Falcon of Everson is arraigned on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment for allegedly hitting Katelin Hiltabidel with her car.

• Kenneth Wildey, 76, is killed in a four-vehicle crash near Green Ridge Memorial park on Route 119 in Everson. Two other motorists — Leslie Rechenberg, 28, and Rudolph Angell Jr., 73, are both injured in the crash.

• Southmoreland School Board approves a 2013-2014 budget that does not include a tax increase. The budget set expenditures at $26,378,342 and revenues at $25,424,588, The deficit of $953,784 was to be offset by the fund balance.


• Scottdale's annual gazebo concert series begins with a performance by the Scottdale Community Band.

• Victoria Baker is chosen as the National Outstanding Young Guernsey Farmer.

• Scottdale Rotary has its annual barbecue.

• Replenishment blood drive planned for Sydney Hawk, a four-year old battling leukemia.

• Scottdale Historical Society relives 1913 with a Verandah Visits porch tour.

• Keenan Frye, 19, of Mt. Pleasant is found not guilty of charges of attempted homicide, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault in the Oct. 17, 2012 shooting of Josh Grimm, 28, of Everson for an incident in Mt. Pleasant. Frye is found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm and three drug related charges. The firearm charge carries a mandatory five-year jail sentence.

• A traffic stop in Scottdale ends in drug and gun charges for four people. Police found two weapons, marijuana and suspected crack cocaine.


• Scottdale Council increases retainer to local animal trapper Caleb Moore to continue skunk removal efforts.

• St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Everson and St. John the Baptist Church in Scottdale are made partner parishes and the Rev. Andrew Kawecki is appointed pastor.

• Southmoreland School District receives an additional $16,697 in allocations from the state and reopens the 2013-2014 budget to reflect the change.

• Bookworm Triathlon attracts for than 100 participants for the library fundraiser. It's a 30 percent increase in participation from 2012.

• Annual Relay for Life at Regional Family YMCA raises $128,000.

• Westmoreland County Roller Derby marks one-year anniversary.

• Fire damages a home at 816 Mulberrry St. No one is injured.

• Levi, Gloria and Elizabeth Miller travel from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C., on bicycles.

• Scottdale Council approves a $111,706 contract with Tesco Paving of Pittsburgh for the 2013 paving program.

• Eight softball teams participate in a softball tournament and raise more than $5,000 for Sydney Hawk.

• Annual “The Dash Memorial” event is held to remember Chris Kiefer.

• Mt. Pleasant tennis coach Tony Splendore is named boys tennis coach of the year by the National High School Coaches Association.

• Lois Eberly garners final spot on the ballot for the Southmoreland School Board general election, breaking a tie with Catherine Fike with a casting of lots.

• Scottdale Beta-Y-Gradale celebrates its 75th anniversary.

• Torrential storms severely damage Russ Grimm Field, rendering it unplayable for the entire fall sports season.

• Southmoreland opens its Class AA Interstate Conference play against Jeannette at California University of Pennsylvania (which becomes the Scotties home base for the season). Jeannette wins, 49-21.

Next week: September through December.

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

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