Article #192 – August 31, 2003

by Glenn Tunney 

Brownsville Time Capsule looks back over the years
through the archives of the Brownsville Telegraph


25 years Ago - August 1978

* Brownsville General Hospital is laying off 35 employees.
         “We are furloughing 25 non-professional employees and 10 nurses,” said Chief Administrator Casimer Wieczorek.  In addition, eight other full-time employees “are being reduced to part-time.”
         Wieczorek blamed “low occupancy” for the move.  He said occupancy is traditionally low in late summer and that things generally pick up again in October.  He added that the hospital furloughed some employees last year at about this time.
         “As the need arises, we call people back,” he explained.  Eventually, he said that the hospital called back every employee who was laid off last year, and he expects the same to be true this year.

* Brownsville Area School District has chosen a new superintendent of schools, and the present superintendent is hopping mad about it.
         John Caputa has been named superintendent to replace George Alberts next July 1 when Alberts’ retirement becomes effective.  Prior to the board’s vote, Alberts expressed his dismay at the proposed appointment.
        Alberts characterized Caputa as being unfit for the superintendent’s job.  To support his position, he read from the final report of the board of control that supervised the district’s financial affairs while it was in distressed status during the late 1960s.
        Alberts stated that according to the report, the district’s distressed condition “had been created not necessarily by mismanagement but by poor management prior to 1970.”  Caputa served as supervising principal of the district from Brownsville Area’s formation in 1966 to Alberts’ appointment in 1970.  Caputa also served as acting superintendent while Alberts was on a health restoration sabbatical during the first six months of this year.
         After listening to Alberts’ reasoning without comment, the board voted 8-0 to appoint Caputa on a motion made by Dr. Ralph Garofalo and seconded by Norman Davis.  Director Philip J. Savini was absent at the time of the vote.  Caputa will earn $30,000 a year as superintendent.
45 Years Ago – August 1958

* War has been declared on pinball machines in Brownsville by Justice of the Peace A. K. (Buddy) Hardwick.  The local J. P. is taking on the machines despite Fayette County District Attorney Joseph E. Kovach’s insistence that Hardwick is “exceeding his authority.”
         Hardwick estimates there are about forty pinball machines in Brownsville, and last month the former county detective issued a statement setting a 10-day deadline for removal of multi-coin pinball devices from Brownsville.  The deadline has now passed.
         “If they’re not out,” declared Hardwick upon returning from a business trip to Chambersburg, “we’ll take them out.  I’ll issue the papers.  I’m not backing down, and I’m confident I’ll receive sufficient backing.”
         The district attorney wants to hold off action until the state Superior Court can render a decision on the legality of the machines.  Hardwick refuses to look at the case that way, declaring, “I think they’re illegal until they’re made legal.”

* “Let’s Call It A Day” is the theme of the fall flower show of the Garden Club of Brownsville.  The show will be held next Wednesday from 2 to 9 p.m. in the parish house of the Christ Episcopal Church, Church Street, Brownsville, and is open to the public.
         Mrs. John S. Teggart is serving as general chairman.  Others assisting with the show include Mrs. Leslie D. Perry, Mrs. Virginia Campbell, Mrs. James F. Caulley, Mrs. Curtis Townsend, Mrs. W. E. Bowman, Mrs. Charles Seeman, Mrs. C. H. Turner, Mrs. Melvin Dearth, Mrs. Austin Thompson, Mrs. Armand Caputo, Mrs. C. P. Proctor, Mrs. M. A. Snyder and Mrs. Walter Bowser.

* John A. Brashear Joint High School has a new head football coach.  He is John N. Pringle, selected this week by the joint committee, which also elected Dave Simon as assistant football coach.
         Mr. Pringle, who has been assistant football coach at Brownsville High School for two years, came here from Mapletown High School, where he was head football mentor for one year.  He is a graduate of Redstone Township High School, where he was a center on the varsity, and of Slippery Rock State Teachers College, where he played linebacker and center for four years.  The 27-year-old Pringle, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Pringle of Tower Hill No. 2, is married and has one son.  He teaches social studies at John A. Brashear Joint High School.
         Dave Simon of Washington is a former Brownie football star and graduate of Penn State University, where he played end on the Nittany Lion football team.  Before his election as assistant coach this week, he was freshman football coach at Washington and Jefferson College.  He is married with two daughters and will teach history and social studies at the high school.
         Retained as assistant coaches were Charles Slick and Jack Henck who, along with Mr. Pringle, have been handling the local football candidates during practice sessions for the past week.

* Brownsville is in the World Series!  The Brownsville Advanced Pony League All-Stars are playing in the league’s World Series in Springfield, Illinois over this long Labor Day weekend.  The locals are the only “small town” team in the 8-team tournament and enter the tourney as the Region 5 (Pennsylvania-Maryland) champion.
         This is the first World Series for the Advanced Pony League, which was organized this year.  Players are 15 and 16 years old.  The Brownsville All-Stars team is composed of players from Vestaburg, St. Cecilia’s of Grindstone, Republic Construction Company, and Brownsville.  Managers are Joe Mazurek of Republic and Woodie Metris of Vestaburg.

Sixty Years Ago – August 1943

* Another runaway truck has crashed in Brownsville.  Three people were seriously hurt and two others injured at 10:15 a.m. when an empty coal truck went out of control coming down the National Pike (Broadway).  It struck a car stopped at the traffic light at Union Street and Broadway, then careened into the Shupe Building at the intersection of Market, Shafner and Union.
         Most seriously injured were the driver of the car, Alex Trush, 15, of Grindstone, who suffered lacerations of the head, leg and elbow, and his mother, Mrs. Eva Trush, 55, with injuries of the left ribs and a lacerated forehead.  John Trush, 55, Alex’s father, suffered chest injuries.  Escaping with minor bruises were Samuel McCartney, Jr., 11, of Brier Hill, grandson of Mrs. Trush, and James Brouce, 19, of Monongahela, driver of the truck.  The Trush sedan, a 1940 Dodge, was practically destroyed.

* A love of fresh fruit nearly proved fatal for a young Brownsville boy.  Norman Camino, 10, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Camino, Lewis Street, was admitted to Brownsville General Hospital at 10:15 last night after being shot in the right leg while picking peaches.  The youth, along with three other youngsters, entered the yard of Mrs. Vanie Coffman, Howard Street, at around 9 p.m. and proceeded to pick peaches from a tree.
         Mrs. Coffman emerged from the house and fired two shots from a Brownie .22 caliber revolver.  One of the pellets struck the Camino youth in the right thigh.  When questioned by authorities, Mrs. Coffman said that she had fired into the ground and one of the pellets may have bounced and struck the youth.  She said she had twice warned the boys earlier in the evening to stay out of the peach trees.

* Brownsville Hardware is the champion of the 1943 Adult Recreational Mushball League, tripping West Brownsville A. C. 7-4 in a playoff game at Brownie Stadium.  Hitting stars for the winners were Clyde Titler and Tony Rode, while “Hobby” Johns and “Herbie” Edwards each hit twice for West Brownsville.  A huge crowd of 500 fans witnessed the championship game at the Woodward Plan layout.

    These articles appear weekly in the Sunday Uniontown HERALD-STANDARD.  If you enjoy reading them, please let the editors know.  You may e-mail your comments to Pete Skirchak (Editor - Brownsville edition) at [email protected]

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