The following is a list of top stories published in Allied News in 2020. The date indicates the day of publication, followed by the headline and a brief summary.
Jan. 1 – Coming attraction: The team behind the Guthrie Theatre announced plans to open a restaurant and movie house in Olde Town Grove City.
Jan. 8 – Hospital merger to fund foundation: The Grove City Health Care Foundation is being revived and it will fund local health and wellness initiatives.
Jan. 8 – Pine Twp. approves sewer rate hike: The increase to the flat fee was related to Grove City’s wastewater treatment plant improvement project.
Jan. 11 – ‘AHN Grove City:’ Grove City Medical Center’s affiliation agreement with Allegheny Health Networl was finalized, and the hospital is now known as “AHN Grove City.”
Jan. 18 – Award recipient humbled, surprised: John Gilliland was named the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award honoree at the organization’s annual dinner.
Jan. 18 – Bonner vows full dedication to office: Grove City attorney Timothy Bonner was selected by Republican party leaders to represent the party in a March 17 special election for the 8th District in the state House.
Jan. 25 – Council renews airport lease: Grove City council approved a 10-year lease with Grove City Airport.
Jan. 25 – Heasley to be Dems’ nominee: Phil Heasley, a Butler County business owner, was named the Democrats’ nominee for the 8th District state House seat up for grabs in the March 17 special election.
Jan. 29 – A musical first: A group of Grove City College students wrote their own musical, “Antigone and the King.”
Feb. 1 – GC man charged with homicide by vehicle: Randall Lee Smith’s truck hit a motorcycle in a 2015 Pine Township crash, killing the motorcycle passenger, Darlene L. Wilson, 52, of Medina, Ohio.
Feb. 5 – Possible school closure discussed: Grove City Area School District officials hosted a public hearing to review the possible closure of Highland Primary Center.
Feb. 8 – Wendell August building for sale: Wendell August Forge leaders confirmed the Springfield Township facility is for sale, but said the business would remain in operation.
Feb. 12 – A magical night: Grove City Community Library hosted its annual Harry Potter event, “A Night at Hogwart’s.” Forty “students” enjoyed activities, food and fun.
Feb. 19 – School is in session: Grove City Christian Academy started having classes for grades five through 12 at its new location on Mill Street in a building that used to house Save-A-Lot.
Feb. 19 – Movie gets OK to film in GC: Grove City council members agreed to close part of South Broad Street at the end of the month while “Happiest Season” filmed a scene. The holiday movie stars Kristen Stewart.
Feb. 22 – ‘Have guts:’ Journalist Soledad O’Brien visited Slippery Rock University to meet with students and give a lecture about her career.
Feb. 26 – Court withdraws charges against ex-SR teacher: Charges including institutional sexual assault and corruption of minors filed against Robert Preston Willison were dismissed by the Butler County District Attorney’s Office. Willison, a former Slippery Rock Middle School teacher, had been accused of inappropriately touching several students.
Feb. 29 – Action in Grove City: Part of Olde Town Grove City was closed as “Happiest Season” filmed a scene at Nonni’s Corner Trattoria and the Guthrie Theatre. Frigid temperatures meant few onlookers.
March 4 – GCHS looking at esports program: Grove City school board members discussed the idea, which focuses on organized video and computer gaming.
March 7 – GC man in China talks coronavirus: As COVID-19 starts to make local headlines, Caleb Aldstadt talked about dealing with the virus while living in China. The Grove City native was teaching English in China.
March 7 – B&B closes its doors: Ryan and Molly Mercer, owners of Grove City’s Terra Nova House Bed and Breakfast, said it was time to move on after running the bed and breakfast for eight years. The property was sold to a family as a private residence.
March 7 – Hot off the press: Lakview High School prepares to present the musical “Newsies.”
March 14 – As virus spreads, state colleges, school district shutter doors: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that all school districts in the state would close March 16 in response to COVID-19. Slippery Rock University extended its spring break.
March 18 – GC bank robbed: Someone robbed Citizens Bank in downtown Grove City March 14.
March 21 – Bonner claims victory in special election: Tim Bonner won the special election for the 8th District House seat, which was vacated when Tedd Nesbit was elected to the Mercer County Court of Common Pleas.
March 21 – Virus precautions close businesses, cancel events: Grove City Premium Outlets closed while other businesses adjusted hours and services, Multiple events were canceled.
March 25 – Joden is golden: Joden World Resources in Grove City celebrated its 50th anniversary.
March 25 – County has first virus case: Mercer County’s first COVID-19 case was confirmed by health officials.
March 28 – School prep for distance learning: Districts distributed computers and other supplies to students.
March 28 – Pharmacy, distiller donate homemade sanitizer: Rx Xpress and MLH Distillery teamed up to make hand sanitizer, donating some to first responders.
March 28 – Volunteers stitch together a community of protection: Members of the Coronavirus Surgical Mask Group Project: NW PA started sewing hundreds of face masks.
April 1 – Wolf extends shutdown order: Schools and non-essential businesses were ordered to remain closed indefinitely.
April 4 – GC United Way drive tops goal: The Grove City Area United Way reached its $200,000 annual campaign goal.
April 8 – Mike Kelly recovering from COVID-19: The congressman announced that he tested positive for the virus.
April 11 – Easter renewal: Local churches prepared for virtual Easter services.
April 11 – New-age house calls: Several area doctors talked about how more health care professionals are using telemedicine to see patients.
April 15 – Team effort drives grocery operations: County Market leaders discussed grocery store operations during the pandemic.
April 18 – And the beat goes on: Grove City school board held its first remote meeting.
April 18 – Mercer Memorial Day 500 canceled: The event was canceled in response to the virus.
April 22 – Residents step out to oppose restrictions: Demonstrators gathered at the Mercer County Courthouse to protest stay-at-home orders.
April 25 – State opens ZIP code-based database: Pennsylvania started tracking COVID-19 cases by ZIP code.
May 6 – 24 counties to begin limited reopening: Counties including Mercer prepare to reopen certain businesses and services.
May 6 – Grove City’s Strawberry Days is canceled: The borough’s largest event was canceled because of the virus.
May 6 – Bells call themselves ‘blessed’: Jeff and Diane Bell of Grove City share their COVID-19 recovery story.
May 11 – The power of prayer and care: Pine Township resident Dave Jervis talked about his recovery from COVID-19.
May 20 – The show must go on: The spring production of “Mary Poppins” at Grove City High School was canceled, but students recorded some virtual performances to share with the public.
May 20 – Ciao: Nonni’s ending decade run in GC: The Italian restaurant closed with the owners citing plans to retire.
May 27 – Bonner, Jaillet vie for 8th Dist. GOP nod: Tim Bonner and Scott Jaillet discussed their bid for the Republican spot on the ballot.
June 3 – Lifesaver on four legs: Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs paired dogs with area veterans.
June 10 – Unity in the community: A protest march held in Grove City was organized to highlight issues like racism and police brutality.
June 10 – Smooth scanning: Mail-in results from the June 2 primary election sealed a victory for state Rep. Tim Bonner for the Republican ticket on the fall ballot.
June 17 – Cinema Grille will not reopen: Cinema Grille announced that it would not be reopening following the pandemic shutdown.
June 17 – Dinner for 900, to go: The Knights of Columbus Grove City Council 3658 and BeLoved Mercy Ministries handed out chicken dinners, free of charge.
June 24 – A taste of normal: Grove City High School students enjoyed a modified prom and commencement.
June 24 – Circle of friends: Grove City residents beautified the Hillcrest Circle green space in their neighborhood.
July 1 – Church set to honor pastor’s memory: The Rev. Michael P. Allison, pastor of the Church of the Beloved Disciple in Pine Township, passed away.
July 15 – Election director to step down: Jeff Greenburg, Mercer County’s director of elections and voter registration, announced that he’d be taking a new job as regional director of the National Vote at Home Institute’s northeast area.
July 15 – Shake it up: Jones’ Burgers ‘N Shakes in Jefferson Township continues to serve up unique milkshakes, burgers and more.
July 22 – Man charged in 2019 overdose death: Brandon Bowers has been accused of delivering a lethal dose of fentanyl to Michael Herndon, 33, of Grove City.
July 29 – Nursing home residents, staff test positive for COVID-19: Twenty-six residents and 14 employees at Quality Life Services in East Lackawannock Township tested positive.
July 29 – Recovery ‘hardest thing’ for local couple: Adam Nowland of Findley Township described his experience recovering from COVID-19.
Aug. 5 – GC’s Riddle named ‘Mayor of the Year’: Randy Riddle received the honor from the Association of the Mayors of the Boroughs of Pennsylvania.
Aug. 5 – Campus and COVID: Grove City College prepares for a return to campus while Slippery Rock University continues with remote instruction.
Aug. 19 – County hire election director: Thad Hall takes over for Jeff Greenburg.
Aug. 19 – Park manager looks forward to serving Goddard: Mark Scarpitti is the new manager of Maurice K. Goddard State Park.
Aug. 26 – Aldon’s Army soldiers on: Lisa Blom of Pine Township makes special goodie bags in memory of her grandson, Aldon Blom, who died in April from a rare form of brain cancer. He was 3.
Sept. 2 – Landmark Guthrie up for grabs: The Guthrie Theatre is looking for a new owner.
Sept. 2 – GC OKs fall sports: Grove City school board members agreed to host fall sports sanctioned by PIAA.
Sept. 2 – Together again, yet so apart: Grove City schools resumed classes with social distancing measures and other precautions in place.
Sept. 9 – Virus case at GCHS puts 3 in isolation: Three people associated with the district were quarantined after a student tested positive for COVID-19.
Sept. 9 – Medical milestone: Betty Greggs marks 65 years working at AHN Grove City. She currently works in the medical records department.
Sept. 23 – Board OKs GJR request for adult program: The Pine Township Zoning Hearing Board approved George Junior’s proposal to use an existing building to house adults. A public hearing was held with residents voicing concerns.
Sept. 23 – Pokrant resigns after 2 decades on council: George Pokrant submitted his resignation with plans to move to Liberty Township and get married.
Sept. 30 – Grove Manor reports 10 COVID-related deaths: The residents had been living in the skilled care area.
Oct. 7 – Alumnus giving GCC $4 million: The donation from Richard Staley is the largest unrestricted gift in the school’s history.
Oct. 14 – Drawing a crows: Local school leaders and community members react to crowd-size restrictions at sporting events.
Oct. 14 – Warm reception for Lara: Lara Trump, daughter-in-law of President Donald Trump, made a stop in Mercer.
Oct. 21 – New council member, president named: Vince DiStasi was appointed to council, and Mary Kay Mattocks was named president, making her council’s first female leader.
Oct. 21 – Cafe offers ‘sense of community’: The owners of Pampered Palate Cafe and Bistro in Springfield Township talk about their new restaurant.
Oct. 28 – Grove Manor confirms 3 more COVID deaths: Three more residents have died from the virus.
Nov. 4 – Aviation company is taking off: Grove City Airport is operating under new management.
Nov. 11 – Outbreak spreads; Mercer going online: Mercer Middle/High School moved to online instruction following multiple cases of the virus.
Nov. 18 – Grove City schools shift to virtual: All schools are under remote instruction through at least Dec. 4.
Nov. 18 – Bakery contest a blast: Quinn Peterson created the winning cupcake for a contest that Hillview Elementary School hosted for County Market.
Nov. 25 – In homes for the holidays: Hulu announced that “Happiest Season,” which filmed a scene in Grove City, would be available through the streaming service.
Nov. 25 – Play is socially distant, yet artistically intimate: Grove City High School students wrote their own monologues for the fall play.
Dec. 2 – From the Northeast to the Netherlands: Grove City natives Elena and Tyler Perrine recently appeared on an episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters International,” where they selected an apartment in Amsterdam.
Dec. 9 – Community ramps up support for food pantry: It’s been a tough year for the Grove City Community Food Pantry, but donations are still coming in.
Dec. 9 – They knew he would come back some day: An 18-foot inflatable snowman was returned after being stolen from a Mercer yard. Word spread quickly on Facebook, leading to its location.
Dec. 9 – School board names Gerwick president: There was some disagreement in naming Doug Gerwick president of Grove City School Board.
Dec. 16 – A shining example: Girl Scout Troop 36642 beautified Meadows Park in Grove City as part of a Silver Award project.
Dec. 16 – A sweet gesture: Nine-year-old Eden Husband baked and sold 23 pies, donating the proceeds to the Grove City Community Food Pantry.
Dec. 23 – School board to fill vacancy: Grove City School Board members approved the resignation of Ray Abplanalp.
Dec. 23 – GC raising water, sewer rates: The two utilities are going up to help cover debt service for water and sewer projects.
Dec. 23 – Pine holds taxes, but sewer rates going up: Property taxes will remain at 1 mill while sewer rates for the average resident will go up by $3.82 a month.
Dec. 23 – Lots of love in memory of Lucas: The Hindman family donated thousands of dollars and items to the Grove City Community Food Pantry in memory of their so and brother, Lucas, who passed away at 19 months old in February following complications from an asthma attack.