BILL HASTINGS' INSIDE INDIANA: Linda, Lucy, T.D., Michelle, etc.
To whom it may concern -- THE WINNERS ARE … Two lucky area residents have received a complimentary 13-week subscription to the Gazette for their participation in voting for the top local stories of the year.
Linda Bertres, of Skyline Drive in Marion Center, won for selecting the top news story of the year. She selected the triple slayings at the hands of Lewis Beatty as the most important story of the year, which ended up being ranked first among our readers.
Meanwhile, Kevin Toothman, of Coolspring Road in White Township, chose Indiana High School tennis player Lucy Bujdos as top sports story of the year. Readers selected the District 6 Class A championship by the Northern Cambria boys' basketball team as their overall No. 1.
Hundreds of Gazette readers took part in the selection process this year, both with an in-paper ballot and online.
Add the following area residents to your list of good neighbors, the folks who plow out neighborhoods and shovel sidewalks following snowstorms: Charles Albright, Penn Run; Peggy Albright, Penn Run; Keith Peterson, Ivan and Justin Querry, and Jim Jefferies, all of Indiana; T.D. McCoy, Center Township; John Fergasse, Indiana; and Ray Greenawalt, Indiana.
TERRIBLE TOWEL IN COLOMBIA
Apparently, Steelers Nation has made its way to Bogota, Colombia. The Terrible Towel made an appearance in the Bogota Christmas festivities this year.
Bob Simms, the son of Glenn and Pauline Simms, of Indiana, is married to a native of Colombia, Clara, and they spend the Christmas holiday each year with Clara's family.
One of the gifts this year was a "Toalla Terrible," intended for Clara's cousin Manuel.
Manuel's 11-year-old nephew, Louis Phillippde, spied it and became an instant Steelers fan. He has been waving it out the car window all through the streets of Bogota as they travel to various holiday events.
"And Christmas is a big deal in Colombia," Pauline emphasized.
The recent obituary columns involved some well-known people with interesting legacies, including:
- James Strittmatter, 85, of Indiana and formerly of Pittsburgh. Mr. Strittmatter, a local insurance man, was dedicated to working with local sports groups, primarily with the Indiana Optimist Club and the local Little League program.
- Olive Reitz Hadley, of Indiana and formerly of Pittsburgh, who was a teacher, an extraordinary homemaker and who was described in her obituary as a contributor of her time to the local Democratic Party, the League of Women Voters and the American Red Cross, among others. She was the widow of the dean of students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Trevor Hadley.
BOY SCOUTS AND UNITED WAY
Michelle Brenneman of the Laurel Highlands Council of the Boy Scouts of America made a presentation on behalf of the Scouts at a recent meeting of the board of the United Way of Indiana County.
She noted that with the July 2011 merger of local Scouts, there are 28,000 youths in the Laurel Highlands Council, 800 of which are in Indiana County.
Brenneman said the annual Distinguished Citizen Award will be presented this year on Friday, May 3. Several of the past honorees for this award include Harry and Ann Wilmoth (2012), David Frick (2011), Bernie Lockard (2010), Steve Wolfe (2009), Roger Reschini (2008), Christine Toretti Olson (2007), Rodney Ruddock (2006) and state Sen. Don White (2005).
It was also reported that as of Dec. 20 the United Way was at 86 percent of its goal of $725,000, according to campaign Chairman Greg Sipos.
SHOP TALK AT SIX
Angel and Michael McCracken are the new owners of Aztec Travel Service in Indiana, having purchased the business from owners Eleanor and Ron Rose. The transition should be a smooth one, as Angel has been a travel agent with the firm for 19 years, and Ron Rose will stay with Aztec on a part-time basis. The 47-year-old travel service is believed to be the oldest in Indiana County. … Gasoline prices have climbed back to $3.59 a gallon at local pumps. … Read But Don't Bet Department: Pitt 27, Mississippi 17 (Compass Bowl). … Willie, our ex-shoeshine boy, says it is still true: "A minor operation is one performed on the other guy."