The Pony League World Series has long served as a shining example of the good that can come from Washington County’s residents coming together to show the world a glimpse of what life is like within its borders.

Like the Pony League World Series, the Observer-Reporter and its niche publications have undergone plenty of changes over the years – but still share the same goal of welcoming the world to witness all that is exciting and new in Washington County.

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 Living in Washington County.

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 9-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 Living in Washington County.

Two stories in this edition focus on the Pony League World Series. This issue’s cover story focuses on the people who facilitate, attend and have made the Pony League World Series a part of their families’ lives for generations. Another story in this issue highlights host Washington County’s Pony League World Series team and the ways players and coaches alike have been changed by taking part in the tournament.

This issue also spotlights the Washington County Agricultural Fair’s School Bus Demolition Derby. Much like the Pony League World Series, the school bus derby provides people from across the county with a fun way to come together and blow off a little steam.

Spoiler alert: the school bus derby is much more of a contact sport than Pony League baseball, which is undoubtedly part of its charm.

In addition to these stories, many of Living in Washington County’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.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.