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WESTERN Pennsylvania is a place of long memories, and one we recalled last week was the Thanksgiving weekend storm of 1950 that left 31 inches of snow and paralyzed the region for five days. Another big storm seemed likely to clobber Pittsburgh only days ago, just in time to disrupt holiday traffic. As it turned out, a few degrees of change in the temperature spared us from the worst. The airport recorded 3.4 inches of snow by early Wednesday, but conditions elsewhere left a taste of what might have been — 12 inches in Venango County, 11.5 inches in Mercer County and 10 inches in Lawrence County. Some commenters on the PG’s website blamed media hype for getting people alarmed. But it’s best to be prepared. Ask the people who remember 1950 or even the “snowmageddon” of February 2010.

MANY EMOTIONAL homecomings took place this past holiday week, but few could outdo the scene on Tuesday at Chartiers Valley Primary School, where first-graders heard a mystery man in a box read from the book “Celebrating Thanksgiving.” Autumn Schwiederowski, age 7, was sitting in the front row. When asked whom she thought the reader might be, she guessed one of the school’s teachers. But it was more exciting than that. On cue, the man came out of the box and the stage curtain behind him opened to reveal the Chartiers Valley High School Band appropriately playing patriotic marches. To Autumn’s delight, the mystery man was her father, Air Force Staff Sgt. Adam Schwiederowski, home from a nearly eight-month deployment to Afghanistan. For one little girl, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving.

A FAREWELL is in the future of Courtney Wittekind, 23, a 2013 Carnegie Mellon University graduate from Mason, Ohio. She is headed for Oxford University in England as one of the 32 Americans named as 2014 Rhodes scholars. She is the fourth from Carnegie Mellon to win the prestigious scholarship. Her interest is Burmese studies, which she developed in Thailand as a high school graduate volunteering at a school that had immigrants from Burma, now called Myanmar. She should do fine. Not much snow in England, none in Myanmar.

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