Story was published March 13, 2010.
Within five days of a devastating fire that destroyed the Wendell August Forge plant and showroom in Grove City, the company opened a new chapter in its history.
Employees, their families and friends had pulled together to salvage everything they could and moved it to temporary quarters in the former Cooper-Bessemer building on Lincoln Avenue, Grove City, with plans to reopen.
“Last Saturday we closed the book on a chapter in our history and today we are on page one of a new chapter,” said Will Knecht, owner and president of Wendell August Forge, at a press conference on Thursday.
“We were a team – now we are family.”
The company has 55 employees at the Grove City location, all of whom have been working this week. Instead of their regular duties, the employees have been recovering what they could from the site of the fire.
Knecht said that the company has heard from people in western Pennsylvania – from Erie to Pittsburgh, in eastern Ohio, across the country and around the world. They have called, sent e-mails and posted messages on Wendell August’s Facebook page.
In a short ceremony that Knecht started with prayer, the first of a 20,000-piece order was hammered by Jeff Brown, director of operations. The design is a replica of the ticket for the Pittsburgh Penquins’ final regular season game to take place in the Mellon Arena.
Master engraver, Dave Bruck, worked around the clock in his friend’s basement finishing the die of the ticket so that production could begin. The rectangular aluminum piece has the Penquins logo and the image of Mellon Arena.
Knecht said that the craftsmen have been divided into two teams. One team is beginning production of the Penguins order, which is to be completed by April 6. The other team is focused on restoring the 2,800 dies recovered from their former building.
Only one die lost in March 6 fire
Story was published March 13, 2010.
- Local News
The Grove City Area United Way is kicking off a summer campaign that features locals who are examples of how to "Live United." The first, Greg Merkle, above, has been a volunteer firefighter with the Grove City Volunteer Fire Department for 14 years. "It all started when I was 16 years old living in Harrisville, and was a volunteer with their department for eight and a half years. After moving to Grove City, I missed being with a volunteer fire department, so I decided to join Grove City's Department. What I like the most of being part of the GCVFD is that I've been able to help the community. If you are looking for ways to help, serving here would be a great way to do it." Later this summer, readers will have a chance to submit stories and win prizes.
Local live United
The Grove City Area United Way is kicking off a summer campaign that features locals who are examples of how to "Live United."
Police: 'Cool customer' arrested in girl's murder
An Ohio man charged in the murder of Gina Marie Burger, 16 - whose body was found at Tri-County Industries waste transfer station in Pine Township June 25 - stuffed her body in a playpen bag and carried it past her mother before disposing of the remains in the trash, police said.
Public questions Rock band director's position
Slippery Rock school board members on Monday heard from several people who were concerned about the marching band director's position, which has been opened up for anyone to apply.
Budget includes tax hike for new teachers
Property taxes in the Slippery Rock Area School District are going up by 3.62 mills for the 2014-15 school year to cover the cost of hiring four new teachers.
Twp. running out of capacity
Springfield Township is running out of wastewater capacity.
- Local live United
Former Grove City High athletic great Tom Wise will be inducted into the Slippery Rock University Athletic Hall of Fame in September.
Wise set for SRU Hall
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Former Grove City High athletic great Tom Wise has been selected as a 2014 inductee to the Slippery Rock University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Wise was former three-time All-American and three-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference champion track and field student-athlete at Slippery Rock.
As a Rock student-athlete, Wise claimed a fourth-place finish and two sixth-place honors in decathlon competitions at NCAA Division II national championships.
THE CHECKERED FLAG: Western Pa.'s Zeigler scores big
LAST FRIDAY, I headed west to Attica Raceway Park for the FAST “410” Sprint Cars and UMP Late Model “Summer Nationals Hell Tour” along with the first appearance by the UMP (E) Mods. A great field of 37 Late Models, 28 Sprints, and 23 E-Mods were on hand along with a packed house. Overcast conditions made for a fast 1/3-mile track that provided great racing all night long.
Craig Mintz picked up the win the last time I was at Attica on June 6, but shortly thereafter suffered a back injury that kept him out of action for a month. On Friday night, Mintz returned and led every lap of the 30-lap Sprint Car feature for his season’s third win. The Gibsonburg, Ohio driver’s victory was worth $3,000 and had to hold off a last lap slide job by Christopher Bell.
THE CHECKERED FLAG: Up and down week for Sodeman
LAST FRIDAY I headed south to add I-77 Raceway Park to my track attended list, which made for 162nd track all-time. I-77 is located south of Ripley, West Virginia just off Interstate 77. This season, I-77 moved from the crowded Saturday night line-up to Friday night racing and teamed up with Ohio Valley Speedway. I-77 normally runs Super Late Models, Semi-Late Models, E-Mods, Mod Lites, and 4-Cylinder Mini Stocks. With the Sprint Cars on the schedule, I decided to make the trip and they were joined by the Super Late Models, Semi-Late Models, and E-Mods.
NCAA Football: Rock 6-1 after 17-3 win over Cal U
Slippery Rock University rode a length-of-the-field scoring drive by its offense and a goal-line stand by its No. 1-ranked defense late in the first half of action Saturday to a 17-3 win over 14th-ranked visiting California (Pa.).
NFL: Steelers top Jags as Mendenhall makes return
Mike Tomlin isn’t ready to say the Pittsburgh Steelers are back. Not after watching his team sleepwalk through the second half against Jacksonville on Sunday.
- Wise set for SRU Hall
- Death Listings