inside indiana TOP STORY

To whom it may concern —

AT THE MALL

Recent developments at the Indiana Mall include Thursday’s announcement that an independent Hallmark store will return to the same location a Hallmark store vacated in February.

JC Gifts & Cards Hallmark will be owned locally by Julie McAdams, an employee of more than a decade of the former Matthew’s Hallmark, which opened as one of the original shops at the mall on Oct. 1, 1979, under the name House of Cards.

Her business will carry Hallmark cards, novelty gifts and chocolates. Customers will also be able to find their favorite Hallmark Christmas Ornaments as well.

Construction has started, and a grand opening and ribbon-cutting is being planned for late August to early September.

And opening Thursday was Three Square Self-Pay Market and Wifi Cafe near the center of the mall, which offers customers the opportunity to purchase a variety of food and drinks.

To purchase a product, visit the self-checkout kiosk, scan, pay and go.

The market features deli sandwiches, salads, Hershey’s milkshakes and novelties, desserts, soda, energy drinks, coffee, snacks and more.

There are special summer promotions and combo deals available as well.

A ribbon-cutting and grand opening will be held Thursday, with special prizes and giveaways for customers who visit the market.

CONDOLENCES

Funeral arrangements have been announced for Brian Henry Swatt, 21, an aide to new state Sen. Joe Pittman, R-Indiana, and student appointee to the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education who was killed in a car crash last week near Kittanning.

“Never would I have imagined my first official act as senator would be to introduce a condolence resolution and make remarks about the passing of an employee,” Pittman said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “He was my right arm, my shadow, my confidant and my friend.”

Sen. John Blake, D-Lackawanna County, co-sponsored the resolution that was adopted Wednesday.

A funeral Mass is scheduled Monday at 9:30 a.m. at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church, 624 Madison Ave., Jermyn, Lackawanna County. Friends will be received Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m. at Charles A. Battenburg Funeral Home, 363 Washington Ave., Jermyn.

A GoFundMe account has been collecting pledges to help the Swatt family cover funeral expenses. As of Friday morning, pledges reached $17,900 with a goal set of $25,000. More than 350 have made pledges, including $1,000 from retired state Sen. Don White, who was succeeded this week by Pittman.

DECATHLON

Some 488 people participated in all 16 events at the third annual Indiana County Decathlon, between January and May.

Events are organized to encourage outdoor and indoor activities and to introduce participants to fun locations in Indiana County. WalkWorks of Indiana County, Indiana County Parks & Trails, and the YMCA of Indiana County along with a group of dedicated volunteers organize the Indiana County Decathlon events.

All events are free.

A planning meeting for next year’s decathlon will be held July 25 at 4:30 p.m. at the Indiana County Office of Planning and Development.

And, at the Family Nature Palooza event at Blue Spruce Park last month, five people earned hand-carved walking sticks (carved by Ed Cochran and Frank Peters) and those who earned 10 stamps on their cards by participating in the events received a Wildflower Guide Book.

Anyone who has earned 10 stamps and hasn’t picked up their prize may do so until Monday.

CHURCH TOUR

The Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County will offer a Historic Church and Cemetery Tour on June 22.

Delve into the fascinating history and architecture of several of Indiana County’s landmark churches.

The tour will visit Church of the Good Shepherd, Jacksonville Presbyterian Church and Crete Presbyterian Church.

Participants will meet at the historical society at noon, receive an itinerary and depart by car at 12:15 p.m.

The tour is expected to conclude at approximately 3:30 p.m.

Admission is free and refreshments will be provided.

To reserve a spot on the trip, call (724) 463-9600.

YOUR WEEKEND CALENDAR

Christ Our Savior Orthodox Church will hold a Father’s Day roast beef and holupki dinner from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the church, 6768 Tanoma Road.

Cost is $11 for adults, $3 for children age 5 to 12 and free for those age 4 and younger.

The public is welcome, and takeout is available.

The next dinner will be July 21.

SHOP TALK AT SIX

Firehouse Brewing Co. on Philadelphia Street in Indiana is now closed, according to a Facebook post from the bar/restaurant. … Gas prices in the Indiana area today were hovering at $2.89 per gallon, compared with $2.75 statewide and $2.65 nationwide (www.pennsylvaniagasprices.com). … Willie, our ex-shoeshine boy, recalls the words of U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., on this Flag Day: “I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty and freedom. It is the history of our nation, and it’s marked by the blood of those who died defending it.”

Good evening!

This column is compiled by Gazette staff writer Margaret Weaver. Email items for submission to mweaver@indianagazette.net.