The Year’s Top News Stories – 2013 Year in Review

2013-to-2014-year-in-review-185x114It’s time to reflect on 2013 and Parkesburg news and newsmakers. The Parkesburg Gazette Year in Review brings you the top stories of 2013.

Topping 2013’s list is the Candidate Questionnaire of former Parkesburg Mayoral Candidate, Joseph Rzonca. Parkesburg Gazette readers were also most interested in the Parkesburg and Octorara Area Elections, Parkesburg Police Department contracts, and the Octorara Area Open Records drama. With just weeks left in the year, the Parkesburg 2014 Budget jumped up into the top five stories the year.

By far, Parkesburg Gazette’s top newsmaker was Joseph Rzonca. His Candidate Questionnaire has consistently been in the top five visited posts, since being published in early September. This makes Joseph Rzonca, Parkesburg Gazette’s Person of the Year. No matter what one personally feels about Rzanca, his candidacy, for better or for worse, has had the most to influence this year.


  1. Parkesburg Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire – Joseph Rzonca, Republican
  2. Parkesburg’s Primary Election Results 2013
  3. Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records Orders Octorara to Produce Records
  4. Parkesburg 2014 Draft Budget
  5. Christiana Borough Police Department set to begin Atglen patrols by April 15
  6. Parkesburg man charged with sexually assaulting 9-year-old girl at a Leola home
  7. Press Release: Octorara Announces Dr Newcome to Resign Effective June 30th
  8. Letter to the Editor: Curious, Mysterious, and Troubling
  9. Christiana police start issuing citations in Atglen
  10. Growing Gap: 6% Living In Poverty In PA’s Wealthiest County

Our annual round-up of interesting and informative headlines includes Parkesburg Gazette’s most read and/or commented articles.


10 responses to “The Year’s Top News Stories – 2013 Year in Review

  1. First, let me say that I do appreciate reading your blog and following your unique take on happenings about our town and region. I do find that you pick and choose the stories to present and the perspective to take on those stories and that is certainly your prerogative. As I looked at the top four stories that generated the most comments I found that out of 264 comments, they were all made by just 16 different individuals. By far and away, Joey I think makes the most comments on all of these issues, followed closely by you Tim and I would venture to say that I have weighed in more than the average reader as well. Joey has certainly generated a lot of interest and reaction from a very small number of your readers, but is that really a solid criteria to make him person of the year?

    It’s your piece and your decision but I would like to say that there are far more important stories that occurred in our town this year. The loss of Longenecker’s Pharmacy after so many years serving our community comes quickly to mind. The merger of the Parkesburg Fire Company into a new entity is right up there in my mind as a very important story for 2013. Whomever led this initiative to secure our safety for years to come for fire and ambulance services would be a strong candidate for person of the year.

    The passing of Jim Wilde, an icon in our community for over 60 years and whose family is arguably the most influential business family of the past 50 years at least. I would make a STRONG case for Jim being the person of the year in Parkesburg, but than I look at positive contributions as being at least as important as attention seeking toward no end.

    What I mean is Joey got a lot of attention, (based on the comment sections of your blog, most of it is he himself commenting), but at the end of the year what did he accomplish besides attracting attention to himself?

    How about all of the new businesses that opened in 2013? Nomadic Pies, the hair salon on first avenue, the new CVS, the Spa and 2 consignment shops on Main Street, as well as the new restaurant on first Avenue. Each and every one of these initiatives is having a positive impact on our town.

    What The Point has been able to do in terms of generating funds and interest from a broad spectrum of churches around our community and what they are trying to do for the youth of our town is impressive even if one doesn’t agree with their religion and overall approach.

    I don’t negate the fact that people are attracted to controversy and Joey most certainly initiated more controversy than any other one person in town in 2013 and it looks like he’ll continue that into 2014 with his recall initiative, but is this what we want to see as the spotlight of Parkesburg? Can we possibly hope to see a better town emerge through these methods? Parkesburg needs good stories to bolster a positive image of the town and there have been numerous positive stories throughout the year that don’t get near the “coverage” they deserve. We have enough yelling, finger pointing and false accusations going around, we don’t need to encourage more of that in 2014. Just my view.

    • I certainly understand your point of view, David. However, I was not using this post to provide my personal opinion about what I feel was important. The list and the Person of the Year were based on Parkesburg Gazette’s most read and/or commented articles. These were the posts that received the most interest, and motivated conversations.

      There is an alternative source which believes its role is to spin the “news” and primarily promote the area. The Parkesburg Gazette was never intended to be the Parkesburg Pravda, and the motivation for creating it was to be an alternative to that style.

      Mr Rzonca received Parkesburg Gazette’s Person of the Year because, for better or for worse, he was the most influential. Influence has nothing to do with good or bad, positive or negative. Rzonca motivated conversation, and caused the spotlight to shine on a number of issues facing the Borough.

      • Tim, I understand why you chose him as your person of the year, I’m saying your method is faulty (in my opinion) although it is your piece and your prerogative. When you base it on the number of comments you receive and 27% of those comments are from Joey, it appears as though it’s mostly “self-interest” and “self-promotion.” Look back and you will see that adding up your comments and mine, you now have more than 50% of all the comments on the most important issues you identified for 2013. Is that really so influential?

        I am anxious to see something come of the latest “talk” of corruption. The first I heard Joey make this type of allegation was in April 2011 about the police and nothing ever came of that. I’m saying it is easy to be provocative but that is not influence of a kind that has significance. That is the kind of “influence” that detracts from what is “really” happening in the town, like 7 new businesses opening. Influence is not just how much controversy one person can cause. Do false and empty allegations cause people real emotional harm? Of course they do. Although I am distressed about the council stifling public speech in meetings, I can also understand why people feel a need to not have official meetings degenerate to the level often seen on line in various places.

        The really influential people in Parkesburg in 2013 did much more than comment in your pages Tim. They created or did something that changed the lives of people in town, in some instances for a long time to come. Your top 5 stories of the year had 16 “different” people comment. How many people attended the grand opening of the new Point? How many people’s lives have been influenced by the merger of the Fire Company? How many of us now have new places to shop and eat in Parkesburg? How many people may consider opening another business as a result of seeing so much positive business expansion in 2013?

        I guess it comes down to what you are trying to promote Tim. Are you trying to promote more provocation and comments on the Gazette or are you trying to promote a more positive future for Parkesburg?

  2. “Can we possibly hope to see a better town emerge through these methods?” ~David Jones

    David when you have a council that thinks they can do whatever they want, however they want without question we need to use these methods because if we don’t you will see things get worse. There are investigations happening right now, and yes it will be made public knowledge for both the news media, and the public real soon, and without these methods of finger pointing nothing would get fixed. If Ken would have posted the truth years ago instead of polluting the minds of the public with his terrible editing, false reports, and unrealistic ideas of how well the town is doing we would never have come to this brutal bickering ceremony.

    The borough council has pushed the tax payers around long enough and the methods of exposing them and the truth will continue until they are all out of office. We gave them enough rope, and they hung themselves. Every council member deserves a wake up call and this year they will see one.

    I’m sure the District Attorney will be pleased to see what I have uncovered!

    Happy New Year!

  3. I knew my name was going to come up somewhere. Though I did most of my fighting in 2012. A lot of that fighting brought positive results but was it worth it to me ?? No! It was a pain you know where. And I care about Parkesburg, my heart and soul are in the burg. I want to be like it used to be too but realistically I don’t think that’s going to happen. I do still have a few things brewing that I’m working on so we’ll see what happens. I wish we could all get along, it’s been proven to me at the boro that we can’t. I have questions for Mayor Hagen, Chief Sheller, and a few others. Will I get a correct answer? Or an I even allowed to ASK a question at a meeting? Well ask I will. And I shouldn’t have to ask a question 25 different ways just to get an answer. Why do you think nobody goes to those meetings anymore? Because it’s useless. Unless you really dig in your heels and keep after them. And that’s not right in my opinion. How can we make change for the better when we are told nothing or lied to or attacked? Sorry I kind of got off the subject a little there. But I am very passionate about Parkesburg and that’s not going away. Nor am I.

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