Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

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Articles from March 23, 2005

$1 Million to Spur Beautification
New Brighton made the big news last week with a $1 million check from the governor, but it's only one of six Beaver County towns working on streetscaping plans this year. Lisa Signore, coordinator of community services and special projects for the county...
A Call to Enact Act 72 Relief
Montour school board has yet to enact Act 72, which is a tax reduction program to be funded with slot machine revenue. Many of my friends have had to move out of the Montour School District because of the high school taxes, and I am deeply concerned not...
Actress, at 10, Wins Contest as Juliet
It took the 10-year-old about three seconds to die and, as she did, she fainted onto a bench, her long blond hair flowing beside her as she slumped into a drug-induced death. And then she won the contest. Nadia Cook-Loshilov, of Bethel Park, and a fifth-grader...
Agency Asks County for Cutback in Business
Butler County commissioners are poised today to take away $200,000 in business from one of the county's biggest subcontractors, but county officials said it's not punishment for the agency's overbilling that was disclosed earlier this month. During...
Area Programs Boost Franklin Regional
When opponents face Franklin Regional in boys' tennis, they aren't just taking on a team, they are going up against more than a quarter-century of coaching experience and an entire community's program. The Panthers have been regular WPIAL Class AAA playoff participants...
Baldwin Junior Is Good as Gold
Ray Toomey figures he got hung up on the wall a little as he made the final turn in the PIAA Class AAA 100 butterfly championship race last Friday, but that hangup represented nothing more than a temporary glitch on his way to his goal. "I got into...
Beaver County Has Christian Champs
Beaver Falls could lay claim to the title of "Basketball capital of Pennsylvania" this season, and not just because the Beaver Falls High School boys' team won the PIAA Class AA title Saturday in Hershey. The town boasts two championship high school...
Bethel Plays Tonight for Penguin Cup
Tonight, the traditional gold standard of area high school hockey programs will try to win the Class AAA PIHL championship against a frisky young colt. The Bethel Park Black Hawks (25-2) have been the premier organization in the PIHL since its inception...
Candidate Lists Revised
Contests for public office in the eastern suburbs are starting to shake out for the May 17 primary election. Last week, the Post-Gazette published the unofficial list of candidates, for contested races only, based on petitions that were filed by the...
Chef Goes on Road, Teaching Organic Ways Rodale's Healthy Chef Gives a Lesson on How to Boil Up Some Spicy Shrimp
Prevention's Tom Ney travels to grocery stores across the United States and Canada on a mission to teach ordinary folks how to buy, cook and eat healthy foods. On Friday, Ney was at the Giant Eagle at Donaldson's Crossroads, using the store's announcement...
Cheney to Tout Social Security Plan Here
Hoping to drum up support for the administration's goal of transforming Social Security, Vice President Dick Cheney will appear tomorrow with Rep. Melissa Hart at a town hall meeting for an invited audience at La Roche College in McCandless. The Bradford...
Church Marks Opening
The Cranberry congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is holding a series of events and tours to mark the opening of its new church at Rochester and Powell roads. The open house sessions will be held April 12 through 17. "We...
Come Together
The Butler County spring legislative meeting, sponsored by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, will be held April 14 at Mars Area High School. All of Butler County's school board members and superintendents as well as, state and federal legislators...
Council to Study Speed Controls
Speeding cars that end up on his lawn could just as easily end up hitting children waiting for a school bus, William Luttner warned Franklin Park council last week. He asked for stop signs at the intersection of Interlaken Court and Matterhorn Drive,...
COUNCILWOMAN CENSURED; NO EXPLANATION GIVEN [Corrected 02/01/16]
Penn Hills council and Mayor Anthony DeLuca censured Councilwoman Yvonne Lamanna Monday after they said she "inappropriately directed employees" of the municipality. DeLuca, Councilwoman Sara Kuhn and Councilman J. LaVon Kincaid supported the resolution,...
COUNTY IN THE LOAN BUSINESS BUT DIDN'T KNOW IT [Corrected 02/01/16]
Doubtless some of you were so busy last week paying your bills, balancing your checkbooks and doing your taxes that you missed news of an innovative approach to cash-flow problems: interest-free loans from a government near you! Sure, ultra-low interest...
Development Is Not Welcome
When is representation not representation? That would be when it is in Castle Shannon. As a longtime resident, I am acutely aware of how little the leaders of this community paid heed to some very valid complaints we made recently. Our borough council...
District Judge Challenges Rival's Petition
One incumbent isn't taking prisoners on this one. Rankin District Judge Ross Cioppa, who cross-filed to appear on both the Democrat and Republican ballots, dispatched a score of supporters to collect 735 petition signatures for him. The rules say that...
Districts Wary of Act 72 Rendell's Urging to OK Act 72 Strikes Some as Bullying, Making Them Suspicious
Tom King, a lawyer who represents several Butler County school districts, said he didn't believe that if Gov. Ed Rendell were a school solicitor, he would follow his own advice on opting into Act 72, the legislation, which is expected to provide taxpayers...
Draft Budget to the Contrary, Tax Increase May Not Happen
Mt. Lebanon School District Finance Director Jan Klein said the administration and school board were trying to come up with a 2005- 06 budget that does not include a millage increase, even though the base budget draft of about $66.4 million, which...
Early Fumble Is Not Defeat Football Team Puts Theft Behind
It was a hard way to launch a dream. After years playing for teams in Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Wheeling and Columbus, the four men were starting their own. The Beaver County Warriors would be stocked with mostly home-grown talent, kids from the county's...
EAST/NORTH/SOUTH [Derived Headline]
EAST Indiana County Boy attacked at hoops tournament A 15-year-old Indiana County boy likely will be charged with simple assault following his alleged attack on another boy at a basketball tournament this month. The juvenile, from Cherry Tree, was attending...
Ems Firms Struggle as People Don't Pay
In Baldwin Borough, a worker fell from scaffolding and lay injured on a porch roof. In Bethel Park, a 3-week-old infant was having difficulty breathing. And in Pleasant Hills, a four-car accident injured several people, one badly enough to be hospitalized....
Folks Get Idea of What 'Stuff' Is Worth at Antique Appraisal
When Alice Campbell was poking around in the attic of her 1910 house in New Kensington years ago, she found a piece of tin covering a hole in the floor. She picked up the metal sheet and found a picture of a girl stamped on it along with the name of...
Formerly Married Singles Gather to Mingle
There are many support groups to help people who are going through a divorce. There are many groups that help the recently divorced or the recently widowed. But after dealing with the initial hurdles, after many months or several years, where do single...
General Fund Balance Is Off
I attended the Robinson commissioners meeting March 14 and, as a CPA, comments made by Jerry Brouker regarding the finances of the township caught my attention. Mr. Brouker questioned Frank Murgia, the township treasurer, about the general fund balance...
Greensburg Central Ends Another Exceptional Year
For Greensburg Central Catholic girls' basketball, one good playoff run deserved another. Unfortunately, the Centurions came up short again in the PIAA Class AA semifinals. For the second consecutive year, GCC lost in the state playoffs at IUP to a team...
Heart of Steel Retiring Ad Giran Is an Ironman in His Own Right
Jack Giran has 1,000 golden memories. Maroon and golden memories.Like the WPIAL championships. And the apprenticeship to George Novak -- the fabled George Novak. And the kinship of marvelous football staffs. And the nurturing of Bill Cherpak and Charlie Batch,...
IN BRIEF [Derived Headline]
Butler County The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission awarded a $10,000 general operating support grant to the Butler County Historical Society. The grant program supports the efforts of official county historical societies to preserve local...
Kennametal Names Woman Executive
Kennametal yesterday expanded Pittsburgh's ranks of female executives, naming Textron executive Cathy R. Smith executive vice president and chief financial officer. Smith, 41, succeeds F. Nicholas Grasberger III, who left the Latrobe toolmaker in December...
Mayor's Quest to Disqualify Rival Denied
Monroeville mayoral candidate Harold Katofsky failed to disclose several financial interests when he filed his nomination petition, and that, according to incumbent James Lomeo, should have disqualified him. But yesterday Judge Joseph James of Allegheny...
Member of Volunteer 'State Police' Unit Nabbed
A domestic blowup in a trailer park may help dissolve a controversial all-volunteer law enforcement agency that was formed in 1872. The case began early Monday with a man named David John Lettau. He is not a policeman, but he wore a uniform and badge...
Montour's Trip South a Working Vacation Spartans Baseball Team Warms to Wpial Play
Montour baseball coach Jack Burik has taken his team south to start the season. The Spartans return a strong nucleus from last season's WPIAL playoff team that shared section first-place honors with West Allegheny. Montour (13-6 overall last year) opens...
MON VALLEY BRIEFS [Derived Headline]
TOWNS Elizabeth Township * Elizabeth Township commissioners and police administrators are considering changing officers' shifts from eight hours a day, five days a week to 10 hours a day four days a week. A trial of the switch would begin in May. Deputy...
Moon Resident Swims to Silver Junior Wins Medals for Central Catholic
Joe DeBiase is climbing the competitive ladder. If things continue to progress, he might find himself on the top rung next spring. DeBiase, of Moon, is a junior at Central Catholic. He turned in a strong performance last weekend during the PIAA Class...
MUNICIPAL NEWS [Derived Headline]
Bridgeville Borough council approved by a 6-0 vote at its March 14 meeting a comprehensive plan for the borough prepared by Mackin Engineering Co. The plan will serve as a guide for development and planning in the borough. A final payment of $3,362 to...
Murder-for-Hire Nets 20-Year Prison Term White Oak Electrician Hired Chicago Hit Man
A gallery full of Larry Skiba's family and neighbors from White Oak spent most of yesterday describing him as a warm-hearted, hard- working electrician who doted on his son, helped his friends and loved children and old people. That was the good Larry....
New Section Fine for Seneca Valley
Seneca Valley has finished in third place in the section softball standings for the last four years. This has resulted in the Raiders just missing the WPIAL playoffs each time. The Seneca Valley fortunes may change this season because another classification...
Not-Done-Yet Fed Sends Long-Term Rates Up
The Federal Reserve is starting to strike a nerve in what has so far been an extraordinarily low-key campaign of interest rate increases. People are starting to notice. You can see it in long-term interest rates that are beginning to acknowledge the...
Not 'Everybunny' Finds a Good Home
When a bunny named Mr. Ed became homeless, a professional marketing and public relations person from Penn Hills came to his aid. Mary Cvetan, of Cvetan Communications, printed a full-color poster with a picture of the spotted bunny with this headline: "Lover...
Officer Tells Commissioners to Hire Three More Police
Ross should hire three police officers to prevent a reduction of police services, Ross Officer Robert Zegar told township commissioners Monday. Zegar, who represents the police bargaining unit, said the working police force has dropped from 43 officers...
One Billion Dollars? No Problem!
You might have noticed that a sizeable chunk of today's North is dedicated to gambling. Well, not gambling per se, but Act 72, which is designed to ease the burden of property taxes with revenue from the gaming machines that will soon be coming to...
ONE FUN SPOT ABOUT TO PAY OFF THE PALISADES READY TO TURN A PROFIT; QUEST FOR BLACK INK AT MARINA CONTINUES [Corrected 02/01/16]
This year, for the first time since The Palisades in McKeesport was renovated eight years ago, the building is slated to turn a profit. It will be a small profit, acknowledges Ray Dougherty, managing director of The Palisades and the marina for the city,...
PEOPLE NEWS [Derived Headline]
Lockheed Martin analyst David G. Walker, a 2003 Penn State Beaver graduate in information sciences and technology and former Monaca resident, is a member of the team that will oversee Lockheed Martin's computer laboratories setup and management for...
Peters Seeking 4th 'Cup' in a Row
When the Peters Township Indians take on the Pine-Richland Rams tonight for the PIHL Class AA championship, it will mark the end of an era. The question is: End of what era? The Rams (20-5) have long been one of the elite high school hockey programs...
Peters Township Very Young but Looks like Talented Team
Coming off the best season in the program's history, Peters Township is looking to take another step in its development as one of the elite programs in the Western Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association. Eight letter-winners have returned from...
Phase 4 Students Pepper a First Lady with Questions
The first lady of Pennsylvania, federal appellate Judge Marjorie Rendell, came to the Phase 4 Learning Center in Century III Mall to hear about the alternative school's civics curriculum, but she ended up becoming a living civics lesson for the students....
Pierogi Store Fulfilling for Couple Sales Up for Easter
The snow has barely melted in those shaded corners of local back yards, but the Christian holiday that has come to signify spring will be celebrated in a few days anyway. "Easter's early this year," Debbie Renock said as a team of pierogi makers just...
Pine-Richland Will Try Again to Win Evasive Penguin Cup
When the Peters Township Indians take on the Pine-Richland Rams tonight for the PIHL Class AA championship, it will mark the end of an era. The question is: End of what era? The Rams (20-5) have long been one of the elite high school hockey programs...
Planners Oppose Rezoning Utility Land
Duquesne Light Co. representatives wanted to discuss zoning last week, but the Monroeville Planning Commission was more interested in billboards. "Billboards are not before this committee," said Duquesne Light attorney James Chiafullo. "We're not asking...
Playoffs on Ice Are Twice as Nice Beating Bethel Park the Goal for Red-Hot North Allegheny
Tonight the traditional gold standard of area high school hockey programs will try to win the Class AAA PIHL championship against a frisky young colt. The Bethel Park Black Hawks (25-2) have been the premier organization in the PIHL since its inception...
Police News
Carnegie Brandon C. Green, 20, and Alan D. Brown, 18, both of the 3200 block of Motor Street, Corliss, and William D. Green Jr., 23, of the 5300 block of Dresden Way, Arsenal, were charged March 8 with possession of a controlled substance, possession...
Pysanky Class Eggs on Those Who Want to Learn Egg Decorating in Ukrainian Style Produces Intricate Results
No one would expect the Baldwin Community United Methodist Church in Whitehall to be a center for the study of pysanky, the intricately designed Ukrainian Easter eggs. But for nine years, three church members, Claudia Stefurak and Gloria Arkwright, both...
Rams Might Rule Courts Pine-Richland Optimistic with Strong Singles Play
Pine-Richland has been playing boys' tennis at the Class AAA level in the WPIAL since the turn of the 21st century. Played it quite well, too. The Rams have qualified for the WPIAL playoffs three of four seasons and advanced to the quarterfinals twice....
Rauch Resigns as Boys' Coach at Rochester
The decision was not made in haste. It was not a result of the team's 8-10 overall record this past season or the fact Rochester moved up from Class A to AA. Bob Rauch had been considering it since December. Rauch, who has guided the Rochester High School...
REFUSE FOR RECYCLING TAKEN IN APRIL, MAY [Corrected 02/01/16]
People in Mt. Lebanon can start spring cleaning and get rid of basement, attic and office junk at special recycling days in April and May for a low fee. On April 23, the municipality will collect cardboard, magazines, phone books, plain office paper...
Rendell Raises a Red Flag His Urging to OK Act 72 Strikes Some as Bullying, Making Them Suspicious
Tom King, a lawyer who represents several Butler County school districts, said he didn't believe that if Gov. Ed Rendell were a school solicitor, he would follow his own advice on opting into Act 72, the legislation that is expected to provide taxpayers...
ROUTE 19 BRIEFS [Derived Headline]
SCHOOLS Bethel Park * Bethel Park School District is seeking nominations for the year's Extra Mile awards program. The annual awards will be presented to school district employees who have shown exceptional care and dedication and have gone the extra...
ROUTE 51 BRIEFS [Derived Headline]
TOWNSBaldwin Borough * Baldwin Borough's nonprofit Community Day Association will move forward with the annual borough celebration June 11, but with a smaller contribution from the borough. Council voted 4-3 Monday to reduce its contribution, specifically by...
Run, but Be Back before Deadline
There are many things that can make a day at the office stand out. A birthday cake. A promotion. A new colleague's arrival. A fire. Actually, a fire not only makes the day stand out, it makes you stand out. In the cold, on the sidewalk, while you watch...
SCHOOL NEWS [Derived Headline]
Holy Child The Holy Child Catholic Parent Teacher Guild in Bridgeville has adapted the school's student Amigo program to welcome new families and help them become involved in activities and volunteer opportunities. The Amigo Families are getting ready...
Schools Raise Red Flag Governor's Act 72 Comments Stir Suspicions for Some School Officials
Tom King, a lawyer who represents several Butler County school districts, said he doubted that if Gov. Ed Rendell were a school solicitor, he would follow his own advice on opting into Act 72. The legislation, which is expected to provide taxpayers...
Seneca Relay Has Golden Moment Raiders Medley Relay Proves It's Best in State
Their team had not trailed in a race all season, but a situation that might have been daunting to some proved just the tonic the Seneca Valley girls' 200 medley relay team needed to achieve something they never had before. The team, comprising seniors...
Sewage Bill Burden Too Much
For which of the following will the average resident of Crafton Borough pay more: a) Crafton's wage tax; b) Crafton's property tax; c) Allegheny County's property tax; or, d) sewage? The answer to this question is d) sewage, and most Crafton residents...
Shaler Living the Life of Brian as Baseball Team Begins Season
On a team loaded with talent and seniors, selecting a captain could not have been an easy task. The Shaler baseball team -- charged with doing just that by coach Bob Hinds -- made its choice in naming seniors Brian Schwartzbauer and Brian Bernardo as...
Soldier Makes a Rare Surprise Visit Home from Iraqi Front
Dressed in full military uniform, Lt. Col. Bruce Hackett met his family at the airport gate for a tearful reunion that was much too short. After being stationed in Iraq since Christmas Eve, Hackett, 42, of Whitehall, surprised his children, Kristen,...
Some Want Promise to Pave Alley Kept, Others Disagree
As a rule, Baden does not pave alleys. Cinder patches? Yes. The occasional tar and chip? Sure. Now, though, officials are being called upon to honor a lone, 6- year-old alley paving promise that some people want council to break. Last month, council...
State Police Check Trucks for Safety
Steve Duguay didn't appear too annoyed that his tractor trailer was being undressed by a state trooper near the Fort Pitt Tunnel. Duguay waited there, propped against a guardrail while Pennsylvania state Trooper Walt Davis inspected the vehicle's lights,...
Steel Valley Liking New Neighborhood
Steel Valley softball returns to more natural rivalries as a new member of Section 4-AA. All but one starter returns from last season's 10-6 campaign. The only position to fill -- pitcher -- is crucial since it was manned by three-year starter Heather...
STUDENT NEWS [Derived Headline]
Sto-Rox High School juniors Natalie Vattimo and Brittany Moerhing collected more than $200 for the National Education Association for tsunami relief efforts. * South Fayette High School Future Business Leaders of America members won several awards...
Symphony in the Rocks
Tickets go on sale Monday for a fund-raising concert by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. April 29 in the Sto-Rox High School auditorium, Valley Street, Stowe. As a part of its outreach effort, Focus On Renewal, a nonprofit human service agency...
TALK OF THE TOWN [Derived Headline]
Diving medalists At the NCAA Division II women's swimming and diving championships held earlier this month in Orlando, Fla., South Park grad Jamie Wolf, a sophomore at Clarion University, finished first in 1-meter diving. At the NCAA Division II men's...
Teenagers Invited to 'Live out Loud'
Secret pain defines life for some teenagers. Parents, grades, high school politics and rising hormones combine to crush their lives. Drugs, sexual acting out and self-mutilation are stealing hope. Two students at East Allegheny High School watched...
The Slots Gamble School Districts Are Playing Their Hands Cautiously in the Slots Revenue Game of Chance. Many Have Hired Consultants, and Few Have Taken the Bet That Slots Money Will Let Them Reduce Property Taxes
Attorney Tom King said he doesn't believe that Gov. Ed Rendell would follow his own advice on opting into Act 72 if he were a school solicitor. Act 72 is the legislation that is expected to provide taxpayers with property tax reductions from slots revenue;...
Things Looking Up for Woodland Hills
Last year, Woodland Hills had zero expectations going into the softball season. The Wolverines are aiming much higher this spring. The Wolverines have six starters back from last season's third- place team that surprised most opponents after a 0-14 campaign...
VALLEY NOTES [Derived Headline]
Oakmont Council has accepted a proposal from Groff Tractor & Equipment Inc. in the amount of $32,685 for a 2005 front-end loader tractor for the street department. The new vehicle will replace the borough's current model, which is being traded in as...
We in the Black Community Must Stop Blaming Others
Regarding the March 18 Web article "Safety Concerns Aired at School Board Member's House": I have known for many years the majority of black people in the Pittsburgh area feel the problems that have faced the public schools have been rooted in Pittsburgh Board...
WESTMORELAND NEWS BUREAU BRIEFS [Derived Headline]
Greensburg "Coach Carter," also known as Ken Carter, of Richmond, Calif., will speak at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg on March 31. Carter made headlines when he locked his undefeated varsity basketball team out of the gym because the students...
What Made Terri Schiavo Sick in the First Place?
As I write these words, Terri Schiavo is being starved to death because she was once a chubby little girl. Almost everyone has heard about how, 15 years ago, Schiavo's heart stopped for several minutes, causing massive brain damage that left her severely...
Why No Tax Reduction?
Upon viewing this month's Robinson Township commissioners meeting and then reading about it in your newspaper, I felt compelled to respond. I have three fundamental comments in regard to the apparent discrepancies in Robinson's finances. 1. If Mr....
Woman Recognized for Work with Young Former Nurse Has Volunteered for 16 Years
Jeannie Pike isn't the type of person who let a disability define her life. A Peters native, she was a practical nurse at St. Clair Hospital in 1973 when an epileptic grand mal seizure took away her speech, her equilibrium and some use of her hands....
Work Contracts Awarded for Hoover, Washington
The Mt. Lebanon school board has awarded contracts for renovation projects at Hoover and Washington elementary schools, the last of the district's seven elementary schools to be renovated under a project that began in the summer of 2003 The total...
Wvu's Jones Wins Ncaas Again
Iowa State wrestling coach Bobby Douglas couldn't have summed it up any better after watching West Virginia senior Greg Jones win his third NCAA Division I title. "Greg Jones is a very deserving candidate for the Hodge Trophy. He is one of those special...
Yough's Grushecky Rocks the Crowd at Piaa Swim Finals
Kelsey Grushecky tried to play the French horn in the Yough Middle School band, but she never really was interested in following in the footsteps of her father's cousin, well-know rocker Joe Grushecky. Instead, Grushecky was destined to become a swimmer...
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