Indiana, PA - Indiana County

BILL HASTINGS' 'INSIDE INDIANA:' Zach, Leonard, holidays, raffles, etc.

by BILL HASTINGS on December 20, 2013 10:50 AM

To whom it may concern —

After a long run in California on “The X Factor,” it’s time for Zach Beeken to return to his hometown of Indiana.

The 17-year-old who graduated from Indiana Area High School in June is expected back in town Sunday, after being voted off Fox’s singing competition on Dec. 12. His final performance on the show was Thursday, after everyone who had been eliminated was brought back. In honor of his return, a welcome home party will be held Monday from 7 to 10 p.m. at The Coney in Indiana.

The event, planned in part by Janet Buggy of Buggy’s Dry Cleaners, where Beeken works, is something that she thinks “will be nice for the community” to attend.

Beeken previously said he could not wait to get home and see everyone who supported him throughout his time on the show.


Leonard Abrams, who exhibited a deep sense of pride in his community and served approximately 40 years on the Indiana Borough Council, passed away Sunday at age 86.

He came to Indiana as a youngster, worked in his father’s store, Ash Shoes, on Philadelphia Street, and graduated from Indiana High School and Penn State University.

Then he became deeply involved in the borough, serving on, or chairing, several committees at various times during his tenure on council.

o o o

Ian J. “Sway” Szewczak, a native of Lebanon who was the assistant golf pro at the Indiana Country Club, died Saturday at age 25. During the offseason, he was employed in the kitchen at Benjamin’s restaurant in Indiana. He graduated with a degree in sports management from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.


Members of the Indiana Players will present “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge” at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Philadelphia Street Playhouse.

The play is a musical parody of “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens.


A lucky winner and three friends could meet members of the music group Fresh Beat Band in a Rockstar Sweepstakes offer through the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.

Participants age 13 and older can register for a chance to win at

The winner will be chosen at random on Jan. 2 and will receive “an evening they will never forget,” according to a news release.

The prize includes four VIP passes with opportunities to meet the band, enjoy healthy snacks and activities backstage, and have photos taken with the band.

The show is Jan. 19.


If you forgot a friend and are looking for a quick gift, the Jimmy Stewart Museum has several new items in the Little Shop Around the Corner.

Tote bags and a new Christmas ornament are for sale in the gift shop, along with the usual shirts, mugs, movies, etc.

And while you are there, a new Christmas tree display has been added throughout the museum this year, and is very attractive and worth seeing.


The Heritage Holiday Committee has announced the winners of the raffle prizes for Saltsburg’s Light Up Night.

Laura McGinnis and Josh Renna won Grinch shirts; Max Hilty, Grinch cups; Caitlyn Porter and Gianna Cornman, sleds; Anna Coleman, Alyson Bonnoni, Colby DeSimone and Katrina Long, blankets; Mia Cornman, “Like Mike” DVD; Chad Spaugy, Hot Wheels shirt; Natalia Renna, Ripley book; Ronald Appleby, “Spiderman” DVD; and Holly Long, craft kit.

Congratulations to all the winners!


Add the following to your list of good neighbors, the folks who plow out neighborhoods and shovel sidewalks following snowstorms: Kasey and Rory Froggatt, Locust Street, Indiana; and John Walker, Virginia Avenue, Indiana.


Gas prices are at about $3.45. … Please read but don’t bet: Steelers 41, Packers 28; Pitt 13, Bowling Green 10 (Little Caesars Bowl) … Willie, our ex-shoeshine boy, says, “There is nothing as permanent as change.”

Good evening … and have a meaningful and enjoyable holiday!

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