Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Daily newspaper focusing on local interest topics for Pittsburgh, PA.

Articles from December 20, 2007

All Aboard!
For toy train enthusiasts such as Dean Liberty of Port Vue, model railroading is more than a hobby. It's a mutual passion that he says he and his dad, Vince, have shared for many years -- and continue to share as members of McKeesport Model Railroad...
Ambulance Driver Held for Trial in Double Fatal
A split second before a Cranberry ambulance driver smashed into a car and killed two men, she screamed out and hit the brakes."Oh my God! Oh my God!" Shanea Climo was heard screaming on a recording from an on-board camera that was played Wednesday at...
A Musical Murderer May Create Box-Office Mayhem
The Johnny Depp film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" could become the latest entry in a rebirth of the Hollywood movie musical to earn a best- picture Oscar nomination.Last week, the movie was nominated...
Assembly's Special Market Brightens Holiday for Struggling Families in Penn Hills
The members of the Three Rivers Assembly of God are accustomed to putting in extra work to help their church thrive. So when someone suggested holding a toy drive, the members leaped, turning their small worship area into a holiday gift haven for less-fortunate...
Assisted-Living Developer's Appeal Denied in Moon
The township has said no to Sunrise.Moon supervisors voted 4-0 to deny assisted living home developer Sunrise Development Inc.'s challenge to Moon's zoning ordinance. Supervisor Michael Hopper was absent for the Dec. 12 meeting.Township officials said...
Athletics Merger in Baldwin, Whitehall a Long Time Coming
Parents in Baldwin and Whitehall boroughs have long wondered why the two towns needed three athletic associations to accommodate the nearly 1,300 youngsters who play softball and baseball.Now the question is moot as two of the groups -- North Baldwin...
Beaver-Based Company Hopes to Revitalize Business District
Brick shells of former businesses sit in an unlikely place.Sewickley has more than a half-dozen empty shops on Beaver and Broad streets, where once-busy mom-and-pop stores featured conventional items or unique products. Nearly 6 percent of the borough's...
Briefs: Le Pommier Plans Prix Fixe Dinner for New Year's Eve
Le Pommier Bistro Francais, 2104 E. Carson St., South Side, has announced a prix fixe dinner for New Year's Eve. Seatings are from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.The menu -- $75 per person, which doesn't include tax, gratuity, alcohol or other beverages -- can be...
Bullskin Fire Destroys Family's Dream of a Home
They thought living in tents was rock bottom.Todd Thompson, his girlfriend, Kattie Olson, and her sons moved from tents to a camper and, finally, to the home they were remodeling in Bullskin Township, Fayette County.They were looking forward to spending...
Chimaira Happy to Follow Its Own Path
Mark Hunter might be one of the unlikeliest rock musicians ever to emerge from Cleveland.Not only is he a respected singer with the metal band Chimaira, he's as honest a guy as you'd ever want to meet. Guaranteed, Pittsburghers will embrace him when...
Christmas Counters Wing It in Western Pa
Years ago, Al Werling traded in his rifle for binoculars and a National Audubon Society field guide."Birding is a lot more fun than hunting," he says. "When you see something unusual, like a blue heron eating a 6-foot black snake, now that's cool."Later...
Climbing Costs in Kilbuck Force Police Consolidation
The sign posted on the newly empty Kilbuck station door simply reads, "Police Department Closed. Emergencies dial 911."Fifteen miles away, the 30 full-time officers of the Northern Regional police patrol the four municipalities they serve.Allegheny County's...
Consultants Sought to Examine Best Uses for Renton Land in Plum
Officials for several years have tossed around development ideas for 110 acres of property the borough owns in the Renton neighborhood.Now officials want to hear what developers have to say about the best uses for the property, which the borough purchased...
Crime Watch More Than a Sign to West View Residents
Anyone can put up a Crime Watch sign in a community. Having a real watch takes work, a group of West View residents say. The West View Crime Watch has grown during the past six years from small neighborhood groups that met individually to a community...
Dual-Threat QB Adds Wrinkle to Pitt's Offense
After a season that forced Dave Wannstedt to rely upon a pair of freshmen quarterbacks, the Pitt coach professed to never be placed in such a predicament again.Wannstedt instructed his assistants to scour the junior-college ranks for a dual-threat quarterback...
Fan's Survival a Team Effort after He's Stricken at Steelers Game
Not many Steelers fans get worked up enough during games to go into cardiac arrest.And not many people recover after more than an hour without a normal heartbeat.Ted Lutz is one of the few.About two people each season have heart attacks while attending...
Florida State's Bowden Dealing with More Turmoil
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State coach Bobby Bowden called off an afternoon practice Wednesday to meet with his players, about two dozen of which are expected to be suspended for the Music City Bowl for involvement in an academic cheating scandal.The...
Former WVU Coach Rodriguez Might Fight Buyout
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Former West Virginia football coach Rich Rodriguez isn't walking into the Big House without baggage.As ugly as his departure for Michigan has been so far, it could get uglier.Rodriguez's attorneys are planning to argue their client...
Generosity Grows on Allard School Tree
A tree appears each December at Allard Elementary School.But unlike other trees decorated each holiday season, it has no ornaments, not a shred of tinsel, no sparkling lights or a flashy topper.Instead, the Moon Area school's Generosity Tree sparkles...
Gift Cards Made Easier to Use
WASHINGTON -- Gift cards are more popular this year and are easier to use, thanks to key rulings by the Federal Trade Commission and efforts by a number of states to regulate them, several retail experts said.The National Retail Federation is predicting...
GOP Bonuses Legit, Smith Says
HARRISBURG -- House Republican Leader Sam Smith on Wednesday publicly assured taxpayers that no bonuses paid to GOP caucus staffers were rewards for political work.He challenged Majority Leader Bill DeWeese's claim to have no knowledge of an alleged...
Groups Encourage United Fight against Crime
Law enforcement, public officials, Fayette County Crime Stoppers, a former Pittsburgh Steeler and members of the public took a stand Wednesday against crime in the county.Crime Stoppers and the Fayette County Drug Task Force presented "United We Stand"...
Hill & Huck: 'That '70S Show'
WASHINGTONIn a political season that has become a '70s Show, a Richard Nixon revival infects both parties' primaries. Even Spiro Agnew -- Nixon's Nixon -- is being reprised.Hillary Clinton attacks Barack Obama by recycling a slogan Nixon used in 1960...
Holiday Decorations Bring out the Best in Area Landmarks
You don't have to look far to see that it's Christmastime in the city -- and beyond.Local museums, historic mansions and galleries are decked out in their holiday finery. They've hauled out the holly and festive decorations, and many of them have become...
Home Loan Bank Helps 30 Projects with $8.9M
Three Pittsburgh-area housing developments are among 30 projects that will share $8.9 million in grants under the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh's Affordable Housing Program. The Centre Avenue YMCA Housing Program, which provides housing for 75...
Huckabee on Right Path with Plan for 'Fair Tax'
Thanks for bringing it up, Mike Huckabee. A presidential hopeful who'd get rid of the income tax? Welcome aboard.That makes two on the Republican side. Ron Paul, the Texas congressman raised in Pittsburgh, also would lift from our backs the heaviest...
Huckabee & the Baptists
WASHINGTONWhen Mike Huckabee went to Houston Tuesday to raise funds for his fast-rising, money-starved presidential candidacy, a luncheon for the ordained Baptist minister was arranged by evangelical Christians. On hand was Judge Paul Pressler, a hero...
Humble Hennon Reflects on Prolific Night
Fifty years ago Friday, Don Hennon scored 45 points to set a Pitt record that stands today.Hennon's opponent in the 87-84 double-overtime victory? Duke.The No. 11 Panthers will play the No. 6 Blue Devils again, at 7 tonight at Madison Square Garden,...
Intoxicated Man Hit by Train, Seriously Hurt in Sutersville
As Nancy Casoni of Sutersville hosted a Christmas party past midnight Wednesday at her business, Casoni Bowling Lanes, her brother-in-law George P. Casoni was struck and seriously injured by a CSX train on railroad tracks just 100 yards away.Casoni,...
Irwin Restaurateur Got Start as Frat House Waiter
Jack Perkins did not envision a career in the food service industry while waiting on tables at a Penn State fraternity house after World War II."He spent two years serving on a Navy hospital ship during World War II, before enrolling at Penn State in...
Jeannette Rolls to Win in Hoops Opener
Jeannette boys basketball coach Jim Nesser said he honestly didn't know what to expect Wednesday night in his team's season opener.With only one practice under their belts and many players still on a high from winning a state football title, Nesser was...
Kennywood Blamed in West Mifflin Tax Increase
West Mifflin officials Wednesday blamed a 16 percent tax increase on Kennywood's refusal to pay a disputed amusement tax.Council members voted 4-2 Tuesday night to increase property taxes by one mill from 6.27 to 7.27 mills, said Councilman Joseph Falce....
Kilbuck Police Records Missing
Hours before Kilbuck supervisors voted to increase their former police chief's pension, township officials discovered that police records were missing, officials said Wednesday.Acting Kilbuck Manager Harry Dilmore said he and outgoing treasurer Kenneth...
Knoxville Man Who Killed Trooper Is Sentenced to Life
The Knoxville man convicted of fatally shooting state police Cpl. Joseph Pokorny was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole.Leslie D. Mollett, 33, clad in a light brown shirt and beige pants, said nothing as Allegheny County Common Pleas...
Langhurst Leads RMU over Canisius
Robert Morris sophomore guard Jimmy Langhurst had one of the best games of his young career Wednesday night when he led the Colonials to a 91-73 victory against Canisius at Sewall Center.Langhurst tied his career high with 21 points when he shot 7 for...
Leaf Control Is Serious Business in Edgeworth
When an Allegheny County health inspector recently produced a 4- foot probe and stuck it inside a pile of leaves at Edgeworth's composting facility, borough public works supervisor Fred Gregorich stifled an urge to laugh. "It looked like a giant thermometer...
Lifelike Giants Make the Soul Quake
I'm staring at the big, brown face of a middle-aged woman, and it's making me uncomfortable.From her pudgy chin to her forehead, her face is about the size of a grown man. But it's not just the enormous scale of her visage that has shaken me. The sculpture,...
Ligonier YMCA, Bethlen Home Projects Get Funding
Projects to enhance the Ligonier Borough YMCA and the Bethlen Home in Ligonier Township recently received financial backing, but there's more work to be done.Westmoreland County commissioners have approved a $2.6 million loan, to be issued through the...
Living Doll: Plum Woman Gives Talent, Time to Turn Houses into Donations
Growing up on a farm in Idaho, Jane Fisk wasn't into the frilly, feminine things most little girls enjoy.She had a doll, but instead of playing with it, she chose to build a house for it with sticks and apples she found lying around the farm."I had one...
Many Basic Cable Viewers Won't Get Steelers-Rams
It doesn't have the catch or cachet of "Monday Night Football," but Thursday night football has become a part of the NFL -- and it could become bigger if the NFL Network gets the resolution it seeks with cable companies that don't include it on their...
Moon Meeting Room to Get Style
The township's main meeting room will take on a whole new look within months.Gone will be the red and black speckled carpet and the straight, towering board table. Township supervisors this month approved soliciting bids for at least $100,000 worth of...
Moon School Board Rift Remains as President Returns
Everything is changing and nothing is changing in the Moon Area School District.With a new school board majority led by a reinstated president, Mark Scappe, district officials are making and considering many changes, but are as divided and hostile as...
Moon Student Energetic about Winning Nuclear Scholarship
Growing up the youngest -- and only girl -- in a family of four older brothers, Maggie Tobin has had her share of competition.This month, Tobin, 19, of Moon bested her brothers by becoming the first recipient of a competitive college scholarship offered...
Mt. Pleasant Rescue Squad OK'd to Hire Paid Workers
Medic 10, an all-volunteer rescue squad since its inception 30 years ago in Mt. Pleasant, is now allowed to hire paid employees or bring in contract workers to serve alongside volunteers.Members of borough council approved an ordinance Monday that will...
Neighborhood Asks Hempfield Board to Help Stop Speeders
South Thompson Lane residents are asking Hempfield supervisors to intervene to help reduce speeding on a road near the North Huntingdon border they say has become a popular shortcut for motorists to access Route 30.Supervisors on Wednesday night accepted...
No. 11 Pitt Will Look to Slow Tempo against No. 6 Duke
Pitt is averaging 82 points a game this season thanks to its new up-tempo style of play.But tonight against No. 6 Duke at Madison Square Garden, Pitt will look to pause rather than push."They are going to try to speed us up," junior point guard Levance...
No. 24 WVU Men Pummel Radford
RADFORD, Va. - It was "Darris Nichols Day" in Radford on Wednesday. The West Virginia senior guard didn't have a bad night, either.Nichols was 7-for-10 from 3-point range and scored 23 points to lead the 24th-ranked Mountaineers to a 90-60 victory over...
Nonprofit Sues Ross Commissioners over Vote
Ross commissioners responded to a federal lawsuit over an affordable housing complex by approving the project this week.The local nonprofit group HEARTH had sued Ross last week, claiming the board's denial of approval to build the complex violated the...
North Hills Muralist Makes Lasting Impression
The most well-known artists find their legacy hanging in a museum.In the North Hills, one of the most-recognized painters finds his work will be gone after a matter of months -- or trampled upon for hours on a Friday night.Ted Penovich, a muralist known...
North Hills Teen Vies for Community Service Scholarship
Like any other high school senior, Leslie Grimm balances school and homework with a social life and college applications.But the North Hills High School student also throws in service with a smile.Grimm, 17, of West View is her school district's nominee...
Outsiders Fawn over 'Family-Owned' Businesses
The letters arrive a little more often now. Unsolicited, they're from agents representing potential buyers of Quality Life Services, a family-owned chain of nursing homes and other businesses. "We ignore them. None of us are thinking 'sell' at all,"...
Penn Hills Librarian Quits as Director Post Is Advertised
The head librarian of William E. Anderson Library in Penn Hills has retired because he believes the municipality tried to demote him.Penn Hills is advertising for a library executive director. Head Librarian Ed Mandell said he believes filling that position...
Pens Beat Bruins, 5-4, in Shootout
BOSTON - An awakening gave way to a comeback that nearly crushed the Penguins.But as coach Michel Therrien accurately pointed out, two points are two points no matter the manner in which they are earned.The Penguins followed Tuesday's lumbering shutout...
Pens' Prospect Esposito Making Progress in Juniors
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Angelo Esposito is not the first 18-year-old to experience a setback or two.He also is not the only sweet-skating French Canadian teenager whose hockey-crazed country has made way too much of his every disappointment.Those are the...
Personality Test: Kimberly Richards
Over the past three years, Kimberly Richards has spent enough time in Pittsburgh to qualify as an honorary resident. But few know the woman beneath the wimple. She's best known as Sister, the strict yet slyly subversive and very funny nun who has made...
Pitt's 'Overlooked' Blair Ready to Duke It Out
Ever-affable Saint Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus, as he is wont to do, went overboard in assessing Pitt freshman DeJuan Blair after a recent game.The 6-foot-7, 265-pound Blair had just burned the Billikens for 16 points and eight rebounds,...
Pitt Upsets No. 6 Duke, 65-64, in OT
NEW YORK - Levance Fields watched Mike Cook, his best friend, laying on the court with his face twisted in agony.There were four minutes to play in overtime in a tight game with Duke, and Cook, his left knee injured, was done -- perhaps for the season.Fields...
Police Blotter
Robinson* Frankie Ray Frost, 21, of Holbrook, Greene County, waived a hearing Dec. 11 on drug-related charges. Frost showed Robinson police 20 bags of heroin that he had stuffed in his sock after a Feb. 24 traffic stop, police said.* Lorie L. Shinger-Fields,...
Quartet Sings Praises of WWII Pilot
Former Army Air Corps 1st Lt. Bernard Sippel has been haunted for years by one of the missions he flew over New Guinea during World War II.Sippel and three fellow pilots who shared tent quarters took off that morning in four C-47 transport planes. Sippel...
Ravenstahl Must Show Voters He's Learned from Missteps
Luke Ravenstahl said he hopes his inauguration today as Pittsburgh's 59th mayor will be a "low-key" celebration of voters' faith in him that won't be darkened by his public battle this week with City Council over potential tax breaks for UPMC.Pittsburgh's...
Redzone's Move to Cement City's Role as Tech Hub
Redzone Robotics -- a leading robotics developer for underground sewer and water pipe inspections -- will relocate its headquarters from West Homestead to Lawrenceville early next year, with plans for expansion.The company, which has 35 employees, will...
Region Homes without Heat Up in '07, Poll Finds
The number of Western Pennsylvania homes this year without central heat and using potentially unsafe heating sources rose 6.1 percent, from 4,881 in 2006 to 5,180, a survey issued Wednesday found.The state Public Utility Commission's annual Cold Weather...
Regola Announces Re-Election Bid
State Sen. Robert Regola III on Wednesday announced he will run for a second term.The freshman Republican lawmaker from Hempfield is fighting felony perjury and firearms charges that could result in his expulsion from the Senate should he be convicted.Regola,...
Renovations at Allegheny County Airport Take Off
Elizabeth Holmgren is too young to remember when commercial planes shuttled passengers to and from the art deco terminal at Allegheny County Airport.For her, the West Mifflin airport is a hot spot for local pilots and corporate jets. The recent completion...
Review: Eastern Comfort
Indian comfort food abounds at Zaiaka in Plum.Whether you're ordering from the large and diverse dinner menu or choosing from among the many items on the daily lunch buffet, there's a good selection of dishes both meat-based and vegetarian.Open since...
Reviews: 'Super Mario Galaxy,' 'Call of Duty 4' Go above and Beyond
'Super Mario Galaxy'Nintendo excels at reinventing Mario, mixing it up a bit while staying true to the mustachioed plumber who stomps mushrooms and chases stars. The results rarely fail to earn a thumbs-up from fans."Super Mario Galaxy" exceeds sky-high...
Robert Morris to Spend $10M to Revamp Downtown Campus
Robert Morris University announced changes in its Downtown campus that will result in a $10 million overhaul of its signature property at 600 Fifth Avenue and an expansion of its MBA program.The university plans to sell a smaller property of 18,000 square...
Santa Claus Wears Many Hats at PPG's Wintergarden
Santa Claus -- being the magical, resourceful guy he is -- isn't limited to the red-and-white costume he wears in America, or even to his gender.Old St. Nick apparently morphs into many different outfits, images and personas as he travels around the...
Schedule No Easy Ride for RMU Women
Robert Morris women's basketball coach Sal Buscaglia knows his team could have a better record than the 3-6 mark it takes into tonight's game at Tulane.But he also believes that playing lower or even mid-Division I teams early in the 2007-08 campaign...
School Board OKs Tax Credits to UPMC
The city school board Wednesday night heaped praise and potential tax credits on the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for its $100 million pledge of scholarship aid for graduates of Pittsburgh Public Schools.By an 8-1 vote, the board approved...
Scrooge Can't Stop Penn Hills Festival of Lights
Officials have replaced the stolen wiring to start this year's Penn Hills Festival of Lights.Thanks to new aluminum wiring from Instant Electric, a Penn Hills business, the annual event at Penn Hills Park is on, according to Rob Hunter Jr., youth activities...
Sentence Delivered in Georges Crash Cover-Up
A Fayette County man's apology for loading a dying woman into a car and driving off instead of calling for help gave no consolation to the woman's father.Donald Wayne Miner Jr., 23, of 63 N. Main St., Fairchance, was sentenced Wednesday to 3 to 12 months...
Settlement Reached in Mt. Lebanon Golf Pro's Age Suit
Mt. Lebanon's insurers are paying $25,000 to the township's top golf pro as part of a legal settlement that would allow him to keep teaching at the municipal course.Matthew Kluck had filed a federal age discrimination lawsuit last year and reached a...
Sounding Off
Halfway between Halloween and Mardi Gras comes an exhibit of fantastic costumes that rivals any related to either holiday. At Society for Contemporary Craft in the Strip District, Chicago artist Nick Cave has on display a dozen of his famous "Soundsuits"...
Special Event: Trotting into the Holidays
The Harlem Globetrotters, known as the goodwill ambassadors of the basketball world and beyond, will return to Pittsburgh on Wednesday for their annual day-after-Christmas game at Mellon Arena in Uptown. The Globetrotters are famous for their acrobatic...
Stand-Up Comedian Has Found Ways to Stand Out
So far, Melanie Maloy's career highlights include being asked out by Weird Al Yankovic and being ridiculed by Howard Stern on the air after she made E!'s Top 50 Funniest People list.Such is life when you're the greatest white dreadlocked female comic...
Steelers Q&A: Scott Brown Answers Your Questions
Tribune-Review Steelers writer Scott Brown answers your questions about the Pittsburgh Steelers.Q: Assuming I have their contract statuses correct, Simmons, Starks, and Faneca will all be unrestricted free agents this offseason, and Marvel Smith will...
Teacher Leads Charge toward New Library in Millvale
The sight of a flooded, boarded up building gave Brian Wolovich the idea that Millvale needs a library.The Quaker Valley Middle School teacher is leading a small group that hopes to make the idea a reality. An honors society at the University of Pittsburgh...
Text of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's Inaugural Address
The following is the full text of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's Dec. 20 inaugural address, at the Carnegie Music Hall.A Great American City: Today and TomorrowI stand before you this evening as our great City approaches its 250th birthday. Just reflect for...
The Kids List
Barnes & Noble at The Waterfront: Story time, 11 a.m. Sat. Story time, 11 a.m. Tues. 100 W. Bridge St., Homestead. 412-462-5743."Beauty & the Beast Christmas": 1 and 3 p.m. Sat.-Sun., and Dec. 27. $9. Gemini Theater, The Factory, 7501 Penn Ave., Point...
Tourist's River Trail Attacker Gets Prison Time
A registered sex offender from Fayette County who attacked a German tourist on the Youghiogheny River Trail at Ohiopyle State Park has been sentenced to 8 1/2 to 17 years in prison.The victim escaped her attacker, James Walter Prinkey, only when two...
Trustee Opposes LeNature's Liquidation Option
The trustee overseeing the bankruptcy reorganization of LeNature's Inc. in Latrobe will ask a federal judge today to reject a request by Wachovia Bank to convert the bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 liquidation.Wachovia Bank and the accounting firm of BDO Seidman...
Wecht's Team Alleges Prosecutorial Misconduct
Lawyers for Dr. Cyril H. Wecht today asked a federal judge to punish the prosecutor heading the public corruption case against their client, claiming he accused Wecht of threatening witnesses knowing that is not true.Last week, Assistant U.S. Attorney...
West Virginia Debuts Table Games; Meadows Fears Impact
Jay Hutchison circled like a hawk, pacing back and forth, eyeing the first chair at a three-card poker table at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort here in Chester, W.Va.At 10 a.m. today, two casinos in the northern panhandle of West Virginia ushered...
Woman Held in Captivity for 10 Years Requests Camera Ban
Tanya Kach, who was held in captivity for a decade in the home of a school security guard, wants a federal judge to keep the McKeesport School District's lawyer from videotaping her deposition in a civil lawsuit.Her lawyer and therapist argue the camera...