New Castle News


March 4, 2013

Photo Gallery, Story: ‘Cash mob’ keeps Butz hopping

NEW CASTLE — It was, well, a mob scene.

Nearly 100 people crammed into Butz Flowers on Saturday morning, creating foot traffic that the East Washington Street business — or any downtown merchant, for that matter — likely hasn’t seen in decades.

The shoppers were responding to a call from New Visions for Lawrence County to form a “cash mob.” Participants — some wearing sweatshirts, others carrying signs saying “Stand Up for New Castle” — met at Washington Center, then walked together to Butz, where they were asked to spend $20 each.

“I stopped counting at 90, and there were still more people left,” noted Jo Ann McBride, director of Lawrence County’s Tourism Promotion Agency.

The event is to be repeated on the first Saturday of each month, with a different merchant chosen each time.

Butz had been informed in advance that it would kick off the mob series. However, “I didn’t expect this,” said Ken Kauffman, who co-owns the store with his brother, Mark.

“We didn’t know how many would be coming. I told our people it could be 15, it could be 50. This is just wonderful; it’s a very nice downtown outcome.”

In addition, it quickly became obvious that people were not limiting themselves to the suggested $20. One man purchased multiple angel figures totaling over $200.

“They’re spending more than ($20),” Kauffman confirmed. “We get so much support from the community, that’s why we stay. Mark and I both believe in the downtown.

“We do a lot of business on the Internet and the phone, but we still have a lot people who come in. We love it here.”

John Nichols and his wife Alison McNeal live in the city and have been involved in various efforts to revitalize it.

“I love Butz,” McNeal said. “Mr Butz was such a friend of the community; I’m happy they decided to stay here.

“This is fabulous. It offers so much potential. I talked to one lady who was looking a purses, and she said she never knew Butz had purses.”

Pointing to his translucent plastic bag, Nichols showed what the couple had purchased.

“Two pillows for our third floor — and I don’t know what THAT is,” he shrugged, indicating what appeared to be a black, silver-beaded belt.

“I’m attracted to shiny things,” McNeal confessed.

Ann Antognoli also believes it’s important to support the city, and that’s why she joined the mob.

“In the city and the country, you have the haves and the have-nots,” she said. “It’s important for the haves to give back. We’ve been blessed, so I want to do what I can to try to keep the community going.

“The program, maybe it’s flawed, but it’s a program, and when people try to do something good, you should support it.”

Susan Linville, the New Visions committee member who came up with the cash mob suggestion, couldn’t have been more pleased with the initial turnout.

“There are a lot of people who support the community who don’t always voice that support,” she said. “This is a chance for them to do that. It’s a great first start.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Bobby_Ferrara.jpg Ferrara comes home after life in the ring

    Former New Castle resident Bob Ferrara has spent much of his 77 years inside a boxing ring. A Pittsburgh Golden Gloves champion in 1958, Ferrara — who was known then as Bobby Ferry — continued to find success long after leaving his hometown for the sunny skies of Tucson, Ariz.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • VerySpecial.jpg Jameson Hoyt Atrium display spotlights artwork of special needs kids and adults

    Artwork from dozens of area students will take center stage Thursday in the Hoyt Atrium of Jameson Hospital. The Very Special Arts exhibit will kick off with an opening reception at 5 p.m., and the works will remain on display in the glass-enclosed walkway through Oct. 4.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • DougDanko.jpg Census shows county population getting older

    Lawrence County’s population continues to get older. However, it is not alone, as Pennsylvania overall is aging.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • backpackproject.jpg Councilman picks up tab to help lunch program

    Participants of a local summer feeding program are eating this week courtesy of New Castle City Councilman Tim Fulkerson. On Friday morning, the truck dispatched from New Castle to pick up about 3,500 pounds of items from the Pittsburgh Food Bank broke down as it arrived at its destination.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CRESTVIEW.jpg Outreach: Churches plan to host picnic for residents of Crestview Gardens

    Volunteers from several area churches are banding together in hopes of bringing peace to a troubled neighborhood.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to authorize Speaker John Boehner to sue President Obama for allegedly overstepping his legal authority with the way he's handled Obamacare. Good call?

Yes. Obama's been overstepping his authority since day one in office. It's time he pay the piper.
No. The allegations are ridiculous and the law suit is a waste of time and tax payer money.
I don't know. I'm not a huge fan of Obama, but the suit seems a little extreme.
     View Results