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Connellsville officials accentuate the positive in events

| Thursday, March 21, 2013, 6:45 p.m.

Mayor Charles Matthews took a few minutes on Wednesday at the Connellsville City Council meeting to commend the organizations and individuals who spoke during public comment.

With all of the reports given, the glass is more than half full in the city, Matthews said. “We have a rough road, but I think we'll make it through.”

From Linda Shearer, who represents the Connellsville Area High School Patriots organization and Gary Barker of the Connellsville Community Center to Lucy King with Downtown Connellsville and Leigh Ann Lincoln of the city's Parks and Recreation Committee, information on positive events throughout the city was provided.

Shearer reminded council that the Patriots organization will hold its annual celebrity auction May 2. A preview begins at 5 p.m., with the auction getting under way at 6.

At this point, the group has received items from more than 60 celebrities, including a heavyweight champion TNA wrestling belt.

Shearer encouraged local businesses, crafters and artists to donate something to the auction, adding that the Patriots are a federally recognized charity and those who donate can use that donation as a tax write-off.

Barker updated council on businesses at the community center.

With only one room rented in December, rentals are up significantly with nine out of 38 possible units rented right now, he said. Also, gymnasium usage is up as well as the number of rentals from the public for parties and wedding or baby showers.

A national beauty pageant will be held April 6 at the Porter Theater in the community center, which will be televised on a national channel.

Barker also thanked Connellsville Area Career and Technology Center students for their help with different renovations and repairs in the community center.

Lincoln told council a wine-tasting event with be held at the Porter Theater on May 25; a corn hole tournament on June 1 at East Park; a concert by local recording artist Kait Cuneo on June 8 at the Porter Theater; and the annual triathlon is scheduled for July 13.

King reported there will be a mixer in the Carnegie Free Library from 5:30 to 8 p.m. March 25 for anyone wishing to attend.

She also gave a plug for the Connellsville Crossroads magazine and talked about a recent trip to the Mid-Atlantic Innkeepers Trade Show and Conference where she hopes contacts were made to entice aspiring innkeepers to invest in Connellsville.

The Rev. Don Smith with World Christian Outreach Ministries spoke to council about the outlook of others in regards to the city.

“When I see something negative about the city, it gets me the wrong way,” Smith said. “We've got to see a positive future. We can walk through and condemn things, such as the buildings, or speak negatively of the city, but I believe our city is a city of the future. I think good things are happening.”

Smith added that the city ministerium unites leaders of various denominations to pray for the city, and he believes they are seeing a tremendous change.

“If you don't like what you see, then get out there and help make a change,” he said.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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