Mercer County ended the year considerably drier than normal.
Rainfall statistics collected by the Shenango Valley Division of Consumers Pennsylvania Water Co. showed total rainfall for 2001 was 34.71 inches, compared with the normal annual rainfall of 39.35 inches.
It's the second year in a row that rainfall levels were below normal in the county. Statistics for 2000 showed 38.18 inches of rain fell here.
Against an early start: Should Pennsylvania schools be allowed to start classes before Labor Day each fall?
Some Mercer County school districts have frequently done so, but state Rep. Robert Godshall of Montgomery County, R-53rd, thinks it's a bad idea.
Godshall is chairman of the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee and has proposed legislation banning the practice.
Delaying the start of school would help boost tourism and make sure amusement parks, restaurants and other businesses that employ young people will have the necessary summer help, according to Godshall.
XCONTRIBUTOR: Harold Gwin of The Vindicator Sharon Bureau.