One of the greatest treats of my childhood was making a trip to Sarris Candies.

If my brother and I had a good week at school or if my saint-of-a-single mother needed any reason to bribe us for our good behavior, a trip down Interstate 79 to Canonsburg would likely soon be underway.

As a result, the Canonsburg of my childhood always seemed like a wonderful place filled with candy and the best mint chocolate ice cream around and it was pretty close to my home in Bethel Park.

And now, I’m looking forward to forging a new understanding of the borough.

My name is John Santa, and along with my colleague Trista Thurston, we are pleased to be harbingers of some refreshing changes as it relates to our work as co-editors of this – and hopefully many future issues – of Canonsburg Magazine.

For the past six years, I have worked at the Observer-Reporter, as a copy editor/page designer before becoming assistant night editor, where I have had the opportunity to become fully immersed in the stories of Washington and Greene counties’ diverse citizenry. I am also editor of The Almanac, which, over the past several months, has kept me in step with the South Hills’ various communities.

I now live in Scott Township with my wife, Jill, and our 10-month-old son, Jack.

Trista Thurston is an exceptional journalist. She began working at the Observer-Reporter as a digital intern in 2014 and returned as a reporter in the Greene County Bureau in 2017. She has since become the O-R’s Digital Operations Director and has masterfully led the newspaper’s efforts online.

There’s also another exciting aspect of Trista’s professional history, which she would likely be too modest to mention.

Too bad she’s not writing this column.

Trista Thurston is a Pulitzer Prize winner, having been part of a Cincinnati Enquirer team of journalists who documented the effects of the opioid epidemic in Ohio.

Trista lives in North Strabane Township with her fiancé, Eric, and their astonishingly adorable puppy, Theia.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the disservice we do to you, our readers, by not including Theia’s picture, but that’s sadly the way it must be.

Along with Trista, I can assure you that we will work our hardest to maintain the high quality of the publication left to us by our predecessor, Katie Green.

Katie left big shoes to fill in her tenure as the O-R’s Editorial Director of Niche Publications. Trista and I will work diligently to maintain her legacy at the helm of this publication.

And that begins with this edition of Canonsburg Magazine.

This edition will highlight the happenings surrounding the 21st annual Greater Pennsylvania Bavarian Oktoberfest, which will be held in the borough Sept. 20-22.

I can’t imagine that a trip to Oktoberfest will produce anything but the same level of fun I had at Sarris as a kid – although the target audience for this event will be for a little bit older of a crowd.

This edition, like many in the past will also highlight the achievements of some of Canonsburg’s most dedicated, resilient and hardworking residents. Their stories are astounding and I can’t wait to learn about more of the borough’s people.

In addition to these stories, many of Canonsburg Magazine’s previous features remain intact, so the magazine should remain faithful to the quality journalism readers have become accustomed to enjoying.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Trista and I welcome any story ideas or comments about the magazine readers may have. We can be reached at 724-222-2200 or and

Thank you very much for reading.

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