February 16th, 2015
A fire broke out early Monday morning in sub-zero temperatures at a West Creek Road farmhouse, leaving two elderly St. Marys brothers homeless.
Crystal Fire Department Chief Bill Kraus said there are no suspicious circumstances regarding the fire's origins at 361 West Creek Road as three fire departments responded to the blaze with a fourth on standby in St. Marys.
St. Marys City Council unanimously voted to table discussion about the sale of St. Marys Airport Industrial Park property until their March workshop.
GM Equipment submitted an offer to purchase a 36.6 acre parcel for $160,000 which the city had appraised at $162,000 by Anderson and Kime Appraisal Services.
Council must decide whether to negotiate the price or to accept or reject the offer on the property.
The land in question is designated as open space and was not originally part of the airport industrial park property.
With the Lenten season about to begin, one old-time St. Marys tradition remains alive and wellâ€“and as tasty as ever.
Keuchels have been a Shrove Tuesday treat in St. Marys dating back to the late 1800s, and for at least the past two decades Sacred Heart parish has continued to sell the doughnut-like treats at the beginning of the week leading up to Ash Wednesday.
St. Marys native Wayne Squires was recently appointed to the Port Commission in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Squires, a founding member and CEO of Orion Drilling, LLC, was appointed last Tuesday in a 5-4 vote by Corpus Christi City Council.
"We're the fifth largest port in the United States right now," Squires said. "There are seven commissioners. Three are appointed by the city and the other four by the surrounding counties."
Port commissioners serve staggered three-year terms, and they are unpaid positions. The commission advises port staff and approves contracts and the port budget.
Richard C. "Rick" Wildfire, 59, of 114 Cherry Rd., Kersey, died Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015 at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh after a brief illness.
He was born Aug. 16, 1955 in Warren, son of the late Carl W. and Elizabeth "Betty" Woodley Wildfire. He was a lifelong resident of the area and was a graduate of St. Marys High School, Class of 1973. He was an employee of the Keystone Powdered Metal Company where he worked for 28 years.
James V. (Speedy) Verbeck, 85, of 101 North Mill St., Ridgway, died unexpectedly Sunday evening, Feb 15, 2015 at his residence.
He was born Nov. 2, 1929 in Ridgway, son of the late Adiel and Mary (Lynch) Verbeck.
He had resided in Ridgway all his life and was a member of the St. Leo Catholic Church, and the Blue Army. He was a graduate of St. Leo High School. He had been employed by H. & L. Johnson Painters and Oliver Tramack.
James is survived by one brother, John Verbeck of Perrysville, Md., and numerous nieces and nephews.
Helen "Phyllis" Leasgang, 81, of 1450 Million Dollar Hwy., Kersey, died Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015 at the home of her daughter following a lengthy illness.
She was born May 20, 1933, a daughter of the late Anthony and Helen Sass Polites.
On Oct. 25, 1952, she married Howard Leasgang, who preceded her in death Nov. 9, 1987.
Phyllis was a lifelong resident of the area and a member of St. Boniface Church. She retired from Powdered Metals in St. Marys after many years of service. She enjoyed sewing, crocheting and gardening.
Kenneth J. Fredrickson, 63, of Scotland Street, Dagus Mines, died Monday, Feb. 16, 2015 at Penn Highlands DuBois after a brief illness.
He was born April 10, 1951 in Ridgway, son of the late Harry A. and Gertrude Louise Olewnik Fredrickson. He was a lifelong resident of the area and was a graduate of St. Marys High School, Class of 1969. He was an employee of the Keystone Powdered Metal Company for 35 years.
On Sept. 5, 1995, in Las Vegas, he married Sarah Kay Hutchins, who preceded him in death Feb. 20, 2005.
Christopher Carlson, 41, died unexpectedly at his home Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 in St. Marys.
He was born June 1, 1973 at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, N.Y. He was the youngest son of Thomas Carlson from Alabama.
He graduated from Central High School in Coosa County, Alabama. He held a Bachelor of Science degree in audio and music from the State University of New York at Fredonia. He was an accomplished musician, avid reader and loved to travel. He taught English in South Korea.
Barbara M. Dietz, 66, of DuBois, died Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 at the DuBois Nursing Home.
Ms. Dietz was born Feb. 10, 1949 in Ridgway, daughter of the late Anthony and Frances (Polaski) Olewinski.
She was a member of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Johnsonburg. She enjoyed playing cards, bingo and crocheting.
Ms. Dietz is survived by two brothers, Joe Olewinski and his wife Dorothy of Virginia, and Robert Olewinski of Pennsylvania; and a cousin, â€śLittle Sisâ€ť Cynthia Fink of Ridgway.