Thursday, March 28, 2013

Herald-Standard Reporter Accidentally Becomes Subject of Police Chase

This is actually a pretty entertaining and ultimately harmless story.

The super short version: a reporter was heading to interview Cyril Wecht, saw some cops behind him, didn't think they were pulling him over because he was obeying traffic laws, and they actually were because someone saw a tie that holds the reporter's bike in place, thought it was hair and he had a body in the trunk, and called the cops.

Fortunately, the reporter did not have a body in the trunk, the cops just got a little relieved chuckle, and all is right with the world. And even though it turned out to be literally nothing, it is good that someone called the cops when they thought something was awry.

Now, if that were me, I'd have been crying. In fact, I bet if I would've cried when I got my speeding ticket last fall, I wouldn't have gotten fined, even though the cop let me off really easy considering how fast I was going and what the speed limit was. But it was 40. Everyone drives maniacally fast. And I think he knew that.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Not All Ridiculous News Is Our News

Every so often, I toy with the idea of doing a new post series in which I highlight ridiculous news stories that sound like they could've happened in the Nam, reveal at the end whether they did or not, and embed Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me" if they did. I usually abandon the idea because as much negativity as there already is on this blog, I don't want to completely trash us, and I feel such a series might only feed into our bad reputation and stereotypes. Except it probably doesn't really matter because everyone just assumes the weird things happen here anyway.

On second thought, let's just make a Fayette County news drinking game: if you think it happened in the Nam and you're right, one drink. If you think it happened in the Nam and you're wrong, two drinks. Also, the drink must be moonshine.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Nam in the Movies: Riddle

Riddle does sound like an interesting movie--spooky, missing kids, psychiatric hospitals. Unfortunately, those things also have become horror cliches, but at least that makes Brownsville perfect because it is desolate. Brownsville ain't acting in this movie. Apparently, it's also dirty, but that's a new, unrelated problem.

Here's to hoping we'll one day get a movie filming here that has happy things going on in the Nam.

And yes, I know I promised tales of my brother's sex class at Penn State, but I was afraid if I didn't take advantage of Tumblr posts involving Brownsville, I'd totally forget about Tumblr posts involving Brownsville.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fayette County Among the Unhealthiest Counties in the State

Please, hide your surprise. But yes, we are one of the state's unhealthiest counties.
The report released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute evaluated Pennsylvania's 67 counties on more than two dozen factors the researchers believe influence a person's health. They include individual healthy behavior markers such as obesity and smoking, as well as social and economic factors like education, violent crime, health care access, family support, education and unemployment.
So I think we all know what's coming.
The report ranks the five unhealthiest counties as Philadelphia, Fayette, Greene, Sullivan and Forest, which fare worse than state averages in child poverty, single-parent households, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
32% of our kids live in poverty, compared to the 19% statewide average. 72% have graduated high school.

For the millionth time, Fayette County has loads of problems. Many are related and impact each other, so some get solved but most don't. Are our elected officials actually trying, or are they focusing on other things, like masking the problem with pretty trucks? Will those making a run for office, like this promising Connellsville mayoral hopeful, do what they say they're going to do?

New businesses and the arts and farmer's markets are all good things that are pushing us toward progress, but we still need to work on the bigger issues--poverty, drugs, teen pregnancy, violent crime, domestic abuse.

The good news? We don't top the STD list. The teen-pregnancy rate is pretty high, though, and tomorrow we'll talk about that using some anecdotes from my brother's college class in human sexuality, in which his Fayettenamese peers know little to nothing. Stand tall, stand proud.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


  • Farmer's markets are coming! Click here for information if you'd like to be a vendor.
  • Dress for Success is holding a workshop on mock interviews this Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m. until noon at their office in the First Niagara Bldg. at 2 West Main St. in Suite 202. Any women who are job searching can sign up to reserve a spot for this workshop. Call 724-437-1341 to reserve your space.
  • Uniontown's friary is closing. I know, I know--I had no idea we had a friary, either.
  • The Easter Bunny will be at Colebrook Chocolate this Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 2 p.m.
  • My beloved Sports Collectors Universe in the Uniontown Mall--which has the best prices on sports merchandise and random trading cards--is branching out. Nerds of the Nam, rejoice! The store is moving to a bigger store next-door on Wednesday, April 3 at 10 a.m. The new location will feature an expanded showroom and a 1,400 square foot gaming area that will be known as the "Gaming Universe" with weekly tournaments and open gaming. Word on the street is dude has the cheapest packs of Magic the Gathering cards you can find.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Brownsville's Garbage Problem

Unfortunately, not that Garbage.

I know what you're thinking--is Brownsville's problem with garbage just Brownsville itself? I kid. In all seriousness, people have noticed that Brownsville has a bit of a problem with litter everywhere. 

But Brownsville, like most of the county and especially the most recent focus, Connellsville, has bigger problems than just trash in the streets. It's a mess. I once got a little lost in the middle of Brownsville, and let me tell you, that place looks like the most run-down and abandoned of ghost towns.

As usual, the fixes--both in trash and in larger-scale problems--aren't simple. But we can start by taking personal responsibility and at least cleaning up after ourselves and not dumping tires everywhere, which is apparently a rampant problem. Let's try it, dudes.

You can also report people dumping tires to the police, but you'll need a vehicle license-plate number, and there will be a community cleanup on April 27.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


  • Geibel keeps kicking ass. It was recently named among the top 50 Catholic schools and was just featured in the Trib, or as I like to call it, A Chronicle of Things I Wish Geibel Had/Did Before I Graduated. Mostly that nice media center, Fr. Bob, and a principal that's not Mr. Masica. Turning the heat on would've been nice, too. Meanwhile, the auction is approaching, and the cast of Les Miserables did a nice, not-disappointing job.
  • Writer/cool person Rob Hensley will be coming back to visit in April, so he'll be doing a reading in the Connellsville library on April 29 starting at 6:30 p.m., including a discussion on bullying and a book signing. I will most likely be there.
  • My dad was in the Post-Gazette. Now, Dad, before you get an ego boost when you read this or when one of your coworkers says, "Hey! You're on your daughter's blog!" I'm gonna tell everyone a story to keep you grounded and keep my credibility. And that is that once when I was little, I asked my dad for a bowl of Count Chocula, which he gave me with all of the marshmallows taken out of it, making that bowl of Count Chocula worthless.
  • Connellsville's Lynn's is in the running in the Coors Light Bar Bracket Challenge. I was at Lynn's briefly for St. Patrick's day and do have fun there. I got a little green hat to wear. Vote for them. Also in the running is Uniontown's J. Paul's, Potter's, and Blue Moon, plus beloved Bud Murphy's.

Monday, March 18, 2013


  • Vinny's is open! Spring is upon us! Pretty soon, the drive-ins will be open. We have two, Fayette County, and most places have none. Stand tall, stand proud.
  • Pizza Louie apparently doesn't answer their phone. That's not how food delivery works, dudes.
  • The Fayette PA CareerLink is having a resume workshop on Wednesday, March 20, from 1 to 3 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. Additional info at 724-434-5627.
  • It's still icy out there. Drive safe and make smart decisions.
  • The Laurel Mall is having a grand reopening on the 23 starting at 9 a.m. I'm not sure if this means that the flea market has been dead for a while and is making a glorious comeback or if this means they're opening legit stores. I'm not counting on legit stores.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tweets from the Nam: St. Patrick's Day

The FACT bus most likely isn't officially having a drunk bus today, but I'm willing to bet that's what it's gonna turn into. Have fun and make smart decisions today, kids!

Friday, March 15, 2013


  • I keep forgetting to mention this, but one of my relatives told a good story recently about being the last one on the bus in school and sharing a cigarette with the driver every day.
  • Tee Minus 24 is gonna have some nice, new products in soon. They'll also be at Lexington Comic & Toy Con this weekend. I hope they'll also be at Steel City Con next month because finally the convention coincides with my payday and between bill/rent cycles, so I'm gonna hit it hard and finally buy myself all those Lost shirts. Every single one. I also recently bought another of their Zombieland shirts for my mom.
  • Cross Worlds Nexus' Shane Ronzio should also be there, as usual.
  • Fallingwater will reach their 5,000,000th guest this weekend, and they have a special present for that guest. If I were able to go, I'd be praying for the deed to Fallingwater, but I'll settle for those Andy Warhol puppets in the gift shop.
  • 30 East Main is having tons of St. Patty's fun--Irish breakfast Sunday morning from 11-3 and then a dinner buffet from 4-9. DJ starting at 4. Drink specials on Guinness, plus $5 Irish car bombs.
  • Scrapbooking at the Connellsville library is canceled this Saturday and will be held next Saturday.
  • We have a new real-estate company!
  • Neubauer's is now selling Spartina purses.
  • I hope all you Geibel alumni had a happy Pi day yesterday, complete with fond memories of Mr. O. Now, go read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

(Grist) Rumor Mill: Kohl's

If everyone in the county had $1 for every time someone said, "Well, we're supposed to be getting an Olive Garden!" or, "We're supposed to be getting a Kohl's!" we wouldn't have a poverty problem.

Olive Garden was a myth for years, so much so that I chose not to believe it was real until I was there. Call it guarded optimism. But it did happen. Olive Garden is there--my brother insists it's one of the best ones he's been to, but I'm pretty sure he's only ever been to the one in Greensburg--and very popular.

We've also seen a TJ Maxx spring up, although by most accounts, it's a bit of a disappointment. It's like a more expensive and less risky Gabe's (in the word's of my boyfriend's dad, "I don't brag, I flaunt that snag!"). So Gabe's purists probably stay away, plus it lacks the variety of the approximately 1,000 clothing racks strewn across the middle of Bon-Ton in the mall a few weeks ago.

Rumor has it TJ Maxx was a test-run to see if the Nam was ready for a Kohl's. I'm not sure where this is coming from and I'm not sure I believe it, especially since Kohl's and TJ Maxx are very different stores. But rumor also has it that the TJ Maxx test failed and our dreams of a Kohl's have been shattered.

Meanwhile, a sign advertising a forthcoming Michael's is still standing tall and proud, because crafting is just what Fayette County needs. However, Ponderosa went out of business at some point in the past few weeks. Or was it months? No one knows because no one noticed because no one ate at Ponderosa...which is why it went out of business. Oh, what a vicious cycle.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rare Gems and Nice Places: Duck Hollow

Okay, so my Duck Hollow experience was limited to what I believe was the clubhouse. I'm actually not sure. But I know it was pretty!

Actually, everything at Duck Hollow over the weekend was pretty, despite it still looking all cold and dead from the winter. It's all tucked back in the depths of the county--you get there by following Duck Hollow Road (duh) off of New Salem Road, and anyone who's been on New Salem Road any farther than Target knows you quickly hit No Man's Land.

Anyway! Whatever building I was in had a nice sort of log-cabin feel. I was there for a Boy Scout banquet, and they had everything set up and looking fancy but not too fancy--you know, the kind of fancy that makes Fayettenamese uncomfortable and longing for a dive bar and a beer. It was pretty.

The food was great, too--pretty standard fare, but delicious and well-made.

Duck Hollow also features a full golf course and presumably ducks. I didn't see any, but their shit was everywhere (this is the same problem one has at Lafayette Cemetery).

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


  • Houses for sale!
  • Check out the county's emergency management agency on Facebook to stay updated with road closings, car accidents, etc. They have a Twitter account, too, but it's nothing but crickets over there. 
  • Ohiopyle's Buckwheat Supper is April 12-14.
  • The Community Action Agency also has jobs posted and need volunteers. They're also offering computer classes. I hope anyone who takes them is a better learner than my dad. 
  • Mr. O is still going strong and has listed a pop-up 3D origami card on Etsy.
  • In other Geibel news, the musical is this weekend at the State Theater, and the spring auction is also approaching.
  • The Connellsville library is holding an afternoon of networking on March 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. to help businesses learn how to be green and trail-friendly when the Great Allegheny Passage is done this summer. Subjects will include trail-friendly signs, bike racks, storefront plants, chef gardens, etc.
  • Maybe I'll accomplish my goal of getting a bike and hitting that trail this summer.
  • Atlantic Broadband recruiting job fair Wednesday from 9 to 1 at 135 Wayland Smith Dr., Uniontown. Take a resume and dress nice!
  • Winter weather advisory 5 a.m. Wednesday to 8 a.m. Thursday.
Sorry, guys. No one's doing anything ridiculous, it seems.

By the way, if you have news or craziness or opinions to share, contact me.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rare Gems and Nice Places: Hopwood Social Hall

I've noticed that some of the prettiest places in the county are hidden. Granted, I'm not in Hopwood often, but the social hall is kind of inconspicuous-looking and tucked right off the main road--as I call it, "the road that goes up the mountain that's not the much more exciting Jumonville Road."

It's a nice little place, though. When I attended a wedding there a few weeks ago (guard-free), it was beautifully decorated and made for a nice setting, both aesthetically and practically. It was pretty with sufficient space for guests and their dancing.

It was also home to Mardi Gras.

And if you're planning a wedding and want to use Hopwood Social Hall, Myers Catering will take care of everything for you. They have very delicious food--my family even uses it for functions that are relatively small but not necessarily conducive to cooking that much food--and they're also running a discount of $6 off per person for weddings between March and May of this year.

(Note: Myers isn't paying me for this post, much to my dismay.)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: As Seen on 51

I stole this from my cousin's Facebook. It's wonderful.

All your needs in one place, Fayette County. Get there and enjoy.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Woman Poses as Rodeo Star to Get Free Things

You know how they say to write what you know (and that's how I'm stuck in this literal and cyber hell hole)? Maybe you should scam what you know, too. Fayette County may not be a rodeo capital, but they happen. Also, if you're in the market for dudes or cellphones, they're like a magnet.

A local woman posed as a rodeo star to meet men and scam Sprint out of 700 cellphones.

She stole a woman's identity, by the way--the identity of a legit rodeo star--rather than just pretending she was one herself. Because few targets are better than rodeo stars.

Between July 2008 and February 2010, Rowan placed bulk orders for cellphones and had hundreds shipped to various addresses. She picked up most of the shipments herself and handed out phones to relatives claiming that they were free to use on a trial basis. 
Rowan returned 170 phones to Sprint. 
“She burned the rest in a field next to her parents' house,” Kitchen said.
Rowan used the same email account to conduct online relationships with three men who flew into Western Pennsylvania thinking they were going to meet Cervi, he said.

Read more: 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

I'm torn on this. Lies to lure in a significant other I get, but if you're gonna be scamming people, couldn't you think of something more valuable than cellphones? That's what you think to scam? But then again, she did get 700 before anyone realized something was awry, so joke's on me. I mean, I can't even get this blog to get me money (I'd also accept free food). And I'm sure burning them is really gonna make a judge sympathetic.

As for those men? Look, I know the way the internet works is changing and revealing your name won't automatically get you kidnapped and people find very wonderful relationships through online dating, but consider this a cautionary tale. Especially if you come to the Nam for an in-person meeting, but kudos to whoever sticks around after they cross the county line.

She also got two handmade saddles. Livin' the dream.

The total in damages was about $440,000, which she disputes. She's also out on bond, so watch out, fellas, saddle makers, and cellphone companies!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: Storm Necessities

We all know we don't need those things. We need these things.

How's everyone doing in the aftermath? Good? I expect we'll see you kids up the mountain again come summer.

In all seriousness, though, guys--we do this every year! Most of us were raised this way. Some of us remember storms far worse. In fact, far worse storms were happening not that long ago, so think before you clean out the Pechins meat AND beer distributor.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Random (Or So Many Activities!)

Well, Fayette County has suddenly decided to do all the things--if you're an adult. Sorry, teenagers looking for things to do. You're stuck in the mall another weekend.

  • Christian Clay Winery on March 9th from 1-4pm is holding Celtic Fest with entertainment by Mike Gallagher, wine tasting, Irish Beef Stew, Bread & Cupcakes. $20.00 per person. Reservations required--call 724-439-3424
  • May 18th brings the National Road 5K Run/Walk in the City of Uniontown. Race starts at 6:30pm. Pre-Registration fee is $20.00; registration after May 3, is $25.00. For more info, email
  • The high-school musicals are hard to keep up with, but Laurel Highlands' is this weekend. They're doing The Wizard of Oz, and I'm gonna try to be there at some point. Geibel is doing Les Miserables next weekend, and I definitely will be there Saturday. Heads up: many male leads have been switched to female parts because dudes just because Geibel doesn't have male interest. My junior musical was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, most of the brothers were girls, and it was awesome.
  • The Fayette County Community Action Agency has all kinds of walks and things coming up next weekend. Check them out.
  • Fayette Friends of Animals is asking for donations of PetSmart gift cards, regular collars, and Martingale training collars. Help them out!
  • Geibel favorite Mr. O has a daughter who will be the pianist for a concerto written for her and an ensemble on April 5 in D.C.
  • Here's a new musical act to check out--Sammy Brooks Band. You may have heard them at 30 East Main.
And finally, in keeping with the discussion of small businesses and the county's economic troubles, you can get a Buy Local card that'll get you discounts at local business, including the Boston Beanery, Meloni's, Pechins, Bud Murphy's, Colebrook Chocolate, the aforementioned winery, Geyer Theater, State Theater, Jackson Farms, John Rutter, Joyce's Jewelry, J. Paul's, Neubauer's, Nemacolin, and the Titlow. Some discounts are only good on certain items or certain days, but as they say, a penny saved is a penny earned.

Meanwhile, we're still looking at an impending 5-8 inches of snow tonight. Brace yourselves.
I leave you with this gem about "deer crossing" signs. This doesn't involve the Nam, but we're very familiar with deer. Best of all, though, the level of stupidity here is astounding.

Monday, March 4, 2013


  • Large estate auction at the fairgrounds March 16 at 9:00 a.m. When I first typed this, I had "of" instead of "at." I WISH the fairgrounds were up at auction. That, the drive-in, or the restaurant formerly known as Luigi's.
  • Make Fr. Bob your Facebook friend (and Pope) and thank me later. Also, he's looking for "A PART TIME MAINTENANCE PERSON TO ASSIST THE SPREAD-TOO-THIN CONNELLSVILLE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY FACILITIES MANAGER!!!" Interested parties should contact him.
  • Fayette Friends of Animals has lots of adorable creatures up for adoption.
  • Geibel's own Mr. O is now selling his calligraphy pieces on Etsy and ArtFire. They're gorgeous. I have one, which I won at Geibel's auction last spring, framed in my living room. It's probably one of my favorite things I own.
  • Winter storm's a-comin'. Stock up on beer.
  • My former ballet teacher does zumba classes. Next one is Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at Anytime Fitness. First class is free.
  • Check out Olivia's for prom and wedding needs.
  • Meanwhile, Colebrook is going all out for Easter.
  • There's a Craigslist ad up looking for a Mason family that lived in Uniontown in the '40s. Someone found a book in a house belonging to them and wants it back with its original owners.
  • Comic fans, remember Cross Worlds Nexus!
  • The Connellsville library is celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday Wednesday at 11 a.m.