Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Nam in the News and on Facebook and Basically Everywhere Else: The Standoff

Working 3 1/2 hours of overtime on a Friday night isn't much different from being under a rock for the whole day. Imagine getting home, taking your pants off, starting to drink and cook dinner, and checking your Twitter feed to find tons of new organizations live-tweeting a standoff in a house in the Nam.
The coverage was all pretty good, by the way, but at this point, you can just read the news articles. And some of the photos are insane. But the short version: cops got suspicious when they saw two people camping in Dunbar (camping in the Nam is equal parts normal and suspicious), which led to suspicions they were trying to make meth in a trailer. Then they took off in a pickup truck, and a chase ensued that went through Connellsville then around Uniontown, when the truck wrecked and they went into a house, where said standoff started.

Now, I didn't see any of this until it had already been going on for several hours, so by the time I got to it, they were mostly tweeting updates on the situation but not discussing the actual location. And then I saw where the chase ended up.

This is a post from my friend Bianca. Obviously, my first reaction was, "Oh, shit, scary that this is happening so close to B and her family!" My second reaction was, "Wait a second. My parents' house is pretty close to that, too." Not nearly as close as Bianca's and therefore not as much cause for concern, but still alarming. Unless you're my mom.
My parents had actually been out of town, didn't know anything was happening, and tried to take the Gallatin Avenue exit off of 119 to get home, which basically leads you straight into the cop cars and SWAT team.

A few schools were closed, including Laurel Highlands high school, which is basically right up the road. In fact, Laurel Highlands High School traffic in the afternoon is a major reason why this intersection totally blows. The other reason is hills and bad drivers. Why is this not a three-way stop!?

In the end, two people were taken into custody and the man who barricaded himself in the house was found dead inside.
And I don't think it's a coincidence that this all happened on the same day Michael's opened in town.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Nam on Tumblr: The Connellsville Arsonist

So, Pennsylvania, what is our shame? Arson, of course! But perhaps some events several years ago tipped those numbers in our favor...

Want to follow me on Tumblr? Be warned, it's an accurate depiction of being inside my brain. How much more of the Nam will we see on social media, anyway? Anyone have a Fayettenam board or pictures of barns for their wedding or moonshine recipes?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Have a History Lesson in Fayette County Violent Crime

Now, I'm not a fan of twisting a tragedy that made national news, like the Naval Yard shooting, to make it about people and places it's not, but hey, at least we've got an interesting story now that we don't have to pay for (full disclosure: I mostly support some sort of payment for news sites to see content. Mostly.)

It's actually a pretty interesting story that my fellow youngins might know nothing about--a shooting at Anchor Glass, AKA that big abandoned thing in the middle of South Connellsville right down the road from my creepy old house.
The former police chief, now mayor of South Connellsville, vividly recalls what he says was the worst day of his professional career — a quiet Saturday morning that was suddenly marred by violence when a man opened fire, killing four and injuring one, at Anchor Glass Container Corp. in South Connellsville. 
Mansel “Sonny” Hammett was considered a quiet, private, hardworking man prior the day he walked into the glassware production plant, where he worked as an hourly employee.
Casini’s crime scene photos bear out the widely reported accounts of the event, that Hammett stalked and killed his supervisors, Donald Abbot, 48, Paul Gabelt, 52, John Coligan, 31, and Ralph Tomaro, 52, before fatally shooting himself.
The article goes on to say that the shooter had been sent home the day before for breaking a company rule and told people in line at the Pechins cafeteria that he was going to the plant "to kill bosses." I know most of the time people are exaggerating and cranky, but we really all need to listen when people's talk turns violent.

The full piece is a very interesting glimpse into the county's past, when its heyday was closer than it is now.

This makes me wish even more that I would've taped my grandma telling her infamous story about the shooting at her school in third grade, and these two shootings do have a common thread--no counseling was provided for victims and witnesses, they just picked up and went on the next day.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Prison Planned...For Right Next to the Fair

I've been busy and out of town and I'm just catching up on county shenanigans, so thanks to Marybeth for pointing this gem out!
A group exploring options for a possible new jail in Fayette County has narrowed its recommended location down to a 77-acre Dunbar Township parcel, according to two of its members.
Yes, good. I mean, I'm not exactly sure that we need a possible new jail--in fact, I think we'd be better off trying to prevent some of these problems like oh, you know, drugs before the prison sentence actually happens, but hey.

But wait, what's this?
The county-owned site is behind the Fayette County Fairgrounds, said Jim Killinger, leader of the prison working group's architectural team.
Just what everyone wants--hanging out at the fair with children and our finest right next to a prison, even though they say you won't be able to see it from there. But I guess the plus side is when someone inevitably gets arrested at the fair, they can just throw them right in there. And it would be a great way to get us on the Freak Show some more. I mean, the fair and a prison in close proximity to each other just begs for Fayettenamese comedic gold. Talk about county stereotypes, right?

Thursday, September 19, 2013


  • Sweet Frog basically has some sort of special going nearly every day. This weekend, they're also doing a food drive, so take a canned good in when you go to get your froyo! I will be tomorrow!
  • Pechins has added a whole new store for all your pet needs--but, like, cats and dogs and such, not you crazies with wild animals and shit in your basements.
  • The Firehouse also has a new special where you get a free appetizer with the purchase of two entrees. Try the gnocchi...and their strawberry shortcake cocktail.
  • Check out the arts festival at the fairgrounds this weekend! Sunday features familiar names Girls in Black Hats, Sammy Brooks Band, and Abacus Jones.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

People of Uniontown Walmart

Who doesn't love lengthy texts from their brother on a Saturday night about a horrible Walmart experience?! He pretty much sums up my thoughts, too, in the following guest post, possibly because I made some of these points in my texts--and remember, he's a former Pechin's cashier, which he is still very cranky about. Enjoy. And important life lesson: the shortest line is occasionally the worst line.

If we can take away anything from the always enjoyable, it’s that the best way to understand Americans is to visit your local Walmart. In the case of the Uniontown Walmart, not only is it a great way to study Americans, but it truly allows you to assess the people of the Nam, as well.

A friend of mine and his girlfriend needed a ride to Walmart. My girlfriend and I took them, and they shopped and got what they needed. We made our way to the registers, and the ones open each had a long line (as per the norm, since they only have like five registers open at a time). We found the shortest line, only to discover shortly afterward we had made a bad decision. Walmart’s policy about matching any other stores’ prices was in full effect here, folks. This lady had advertisements from Shop ‘N' Save and Giant Eagle and made damn sure the cashier matched the prices of every single item she had. The cashier needed a price check, and so the waiting game started as someone had to run back and check the price on whatever needed checked.

After some time, a line was forming--a long, annoyed, pissed-off line. I was standing next to my girlfriend, and she whispered to me about an elderly couple behind us complaining. I hadn’t heard anything, but as soon as I started listening, there came the F-bombs. Side note: they were with their grandson who was maybe four years old at most. “I am paying to stand in line!” said the grandmother; “We only have 5 items!” said the grandfather. Those were pretty much the only lines said that did not include an F-bomb. Classy, right? At some point, the grandmother stormed off to the nearest bench, still dropping F-bombs along the way. I couldn’t tell what else was said, but I heard a lot of snickering and bickering coming from behind us. Luckily enough, the price was finally discovered and we were out the door. I just hope that cashier didn’t receive hell from anyone in the rest of that line.

 I have a couple of observations/comments to make here:

1) If you can get your groceries somewhere cheaper, why bother making a trip to Walmart? You just wasted your time and everyone else’s. If you don’t like the prices, go somewhere else.

2) No one pays to stand in a line, so shut up. The cashier was simply doing her job and things happen. It isn’t her fault whatsoever.

3) If you only have five items, why the hell did you not go to a damn express lane?! If you would use the time and energy you put into complaining to instead find an express lane, you would have been home in minutes.

 You stay classy, Fayette County.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Random, Or Cool Stuff to Buy

I recommend reading this post while listening to this nice song from Geibel grads now playing music and calling themselves The Lowliners.
  • Geibel '07 Caroline makes custom jewelry. Check it out!
  • Cincinnati expats! Tee Minus 24 is at the Cincy Comic Expo this weekend. Check them out, buy the Princess Bride shirt, and beg them to reprint every single Lost shirt. All of them. Then send me one of each, size small.
  • Fat Angelo's now serves breakfast. Also, their vegetarian pizza is amazing.
  • All dogs over one year old at the SPCA this weekend can be adopted for just $25.
  • Busy expat Rob Hensley now has a radio show!
  • Bonfire and drum circle today from 6-9 p.m. at Yough River park. Say hi to everyone for me!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Getting Out Alive

So close to making it out of Fayettenam alive.
9/9/13 9:33 PM

Aren't we all? I know Washington isn't a large step up, but I managed to not enter the Nam once for a whole month. Ruined it on the weekend with trips to Toyota and Sweet Frog, but at least I got Duda's produce and cheap Pechins groceries out of the deal, too. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Tales from Toyota

So, I'm sitting in Toyota getting my car inspected and shit is getting interesting.

10:15: I'm not at Toyota anymore, but I don't come home for a month and we have a Michael's and Five Below and the Starbucks in Target serves sandwiches? What is happening?
9:48: I missed half the story, but there's something about a flood and fish everywhere in Grindstone, so people went by filling wheelbarrows up with fish. "It looked like Pechin's on a busy day."
9:46: Allegedly, the longest underground beltway in the world runs in the Nam from I think Smock to Brownsville.
9:45: Dude used to deliver beer in Republic and was told to lock his doors and take his clipboard with him or that beer would be gone.
9:36: Crime in Upper Middletown is bad, which apparently is because no one wants to work.
9:34: Dude's uncles wrote a book about coal mines in Smock and Grindstone.

-Allegedly, WMBS was on the air recently discussing a county credit card that was lost and had $30,000 worth of charges on it but was still paid on time by the commissioners. A cop allegedly confirmed the story.
-Someone used to work at the Summit and told county politicians that when they're dead, he's gonna write a book about them but won't do it before then so he doesn't get sued. Similar sentiment was shared from someone who used to work at the State Theater and dealt with country artists coming through. I pointed out that they can't be sued if it's true.
-Man used to work night shift at Walmart. Some kids once played baseball in the store.
-Woman says county judges don't like her after some custody hearings with her ex-husband years ago when they were siding with him. He was ordered to pay about $7.50 a month.

The mantra "only in Fayette County" keeps being repeated.

Stay tuned for more...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: The Perils of Working at Bud's

I mean, I know it's only six bucks, but as my great-grandma used to say, a penny saved is a penny earned. Right?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

So, Uh, Mark Madden Destroyed Geibel Football Today

So, remember how Geibel lost 81-0 over the weekend? Mark Madden took that and ran with it. As you might imagine, he didn't have much good to say.
That’s embarrassing to everyone involved. Zero fun for Geibel. Zero fun for Frazier.  
That’s not a football game. That’s a clown act.
The full link also includes a recap of sorts for those more interested in the game itself. Reaction from Geibel alumni is mostly along the lines of, "Well, dude's got a point." Like I said, I graduated six years ago already (how is that real?!) and we never had a winning team, and as far as I know, neither have the other graduating classes since. Now, I'm not football expert, but something's off somewhere if a team keeps on being this bad. And look, I get it--it sucks to have your alma mater on the radio because of something bad, but you can't look at an 81-0 loss and think all is right with the world. I feel bad for the kids on the team, though. Can't feel good to have that loss discussed on the radio like this.

Heard @MarkMaddenX ripped Geibel football to shreds. I went there, played football for one year. Huge mistake, everything he said dead on
9/3/13 3:53 PM

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Water Main Break

Well then.