Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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

Articles from December 13, 2007

$10M in Tax Incentives OK'd for Ex-Nabisco Site
Pittsburgh City Council on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a $10 million tax-incentive package for the Bakery Square project in East Liberty.A unanimous vote on two bills authorizing tax increment financing to support the $113 million development...
Australian Company Adds the Meadows to Casino Crown
An Australian company plans to pay about $1.75 billion for the parent company of The Meadows racetrack and casino in Washington County.The deal announced Wednesday marks the second time The Meadows has been sold in two years. The announcement occurred...
Banks Reborn as Nightclubs, Restaurants and a Spa
Back in the day, banks were built with a grandeur and strength in both material and design.These magnificent shrines to commerce were built with tall granite columns, marble counters and brass cashier cages. The structures spoke of trust, reliability...
Big Ten Seeks Yearly Bye Week
A quirk of the calendar will provide Penn State's football team with an off-week in 2008. The Big Ten is looking to make sure all of its teams keep a bye in 2009 and beyond.The lack of a Big Ten bye week, which has been the case the past two seasons,...
Boulevard of the Allies Work Concerns Many in Oakland
A gateway to Oakland won't be so inviting next year, when PennDOT shuts down lanes and detours traffic for a Boulevard of the Allies bridge project. Residents raised concerns Wednesday about how the $29 million replacement of the bridge over Forbes Avenue...
Briefs: Conte, Pound Discuss Doping
In a meeting hardly anyone could have imagined a few years back, BALCO founder Victor Conte and World Anti-Doping Agency chairman Dick Pound sat down Wednesday for their first face-to-face discussion about doping in sports.During the two-hour meeting...
Briefs: Dwayne Dolphin Trio Set to Perform
Westmoreland Jazz Society will play host to the Dwayne Dolphin Trio at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 221 N. Main St., Greensburg.Dolphin appeared on the Pittsburgh jazz scene at age 15, after picking up the drums and bass...
Budget Hearings to Address Penn Hills Sewer Rate Increases
Penn Hills officials think they can chisel enough out of next year's budget to avoid a proposed 24-percent hike in property taxes.Eliminating or even trimming back the planned 52 percent increase in sewerage rates appears unlikely, though.The cost of...
Butler County Native Ascends to National Defense Post
As the new overseer of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, some aspects of Robert L. Smolen's life are secret. The Butler County native's allegiance to the Steelers is not among them."Folks here will tell you that I'm looking across the room at a...
Buzz on 'Jeopardy!' Isn't All Good
Bill Haas was a self-proclaimed trivia nut as a child.Growing up near Allentown in Lehigh County, Haas watched daytime game shows like "Jeopardy!" and amazed his mother with his quick- reference knowledge skills."It was back when Art Linkletter hosted...
Career Counselors Gain in Popularity
Lauren Smith isn't sure if she's right- or left-brained. The Pine- Richland Senior High School junior knows one thing -- she's analytical and artistic, and doesn't want to get into a career that forces her to forsake one or the other.But Smith, 16, of...
Comcast to Upgrade Area Networks
Comcast Corp. said Wednesday it is enhancing its fiber-optic network in the North Hills and South Hills so the cable company can expand its high-definition offerings. Comcast also said it is improving its fiber-rich broadband network in the Beaver Valley...
Comedian Jay Black Went from Teaching to Stand-Up
Jay Black started his stand-up comedy career in the classroom. That's where he taught the sonnets of John Donne, the 16th-century metaphysical poet, to high school students.Not an easy undertaking, that. But then, neither is getting a nightclub audience...
Common Childhood Vaccine Recalled
A routine childhood vaccine is being recalled because of potential contamination, but public health officials said Wednesday no short-term health threat exists. New Jersey-based Merck & Co. Inc. recalled 1.2 million doses of its Haemophilus influenzae...
Current Events Open New Worlds for Rasputina Singer
For years, Rasputina's Melora Creager ignored the news, be it local, national or international. She just wasn't interested in what was happening overseas or across the street if it didn't involve her personally."It's kind of a self-centered thing," says...
Decisions of Westmoreland County Judges
The following is a list of defendants charged with a first offense of driving under the influence in Westmoreland County criminal court. These defendants receive a standard sentence that includes enrollment in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition...
Downtown Holiday Sites Make for Fun Walking Tour
Hollie Plevyak of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership says wrapping the city in lights is more than a tradition.It is a way of creating a "destination" that gives shoppers and residents an early Christmas treat."When a person goes to a mall, they do...
Driving Test? Not If Car Has Sensors
Diane Rice tried putting duct tape over the proximity sensors on her minivan to keep them from beeping during her daughter's next driver's test. It didn't work. Katie Rice, 16, is scheduled to take her driver's test again Jan. 3, after a testing officer...
East Huntingdon Killer Receives Maximum Sentence
Family members of Chad Bonelli told a Westmoreland County judge on Wednesday they don't hate the man convicted of killing the 21- year-old following an alcohol-fueled party in East Huntingdon last year."I promised my son I wasn't going to live in hate,...
Florists Warn of Web Impostors
For Jennifer Gatto, a thoughtful gesture soured when she decided to send flowers on Mother's Day. She knew she wouldn't see her mom on the special day, so she went online to send an arrangement. But she didn't realize she'd pay more for the card and...
Fox Chapel Teen Uses Writing Talent for Charity
A new book penned by a young local author piques interest in science and sparks imagination.To help a good read do good, some of the profits will be donated to help homeless children.Praveen Tummalapalli, 16, a junior at Fox Chapel Area High School,...
Girlfriend Ordered to Stand Trial in Fayette Death
A Fayette County woman is headed to trial on charges she fatally shot her boyfriend in the head after he purportedly took her pillow.Johnna Marie Palya, 42, of 25 Nell St., Hopwood, is charged by state police at Uniontown with criminal homicide in the...
Graphic Designer Offers Web Site to Trail Chapter
The Coal and Coke Trail Chapter will soon have its own Web site thanks to Connellsville resident Geno Gallo, who volunteered to create and provide the site at no charge.Gallo said his business, Gallo Graphic Design in Bullskin, is located along one of...
Hillary's Slush-Fund Attack
WASHINGTON -- David Axelrod, the seasoned Chicago Democrat political operative who is chief strategist for Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, was taken by surprise in the last minute of CBS's "Face the Nation" on Dec. 2. Howard Wolfson, Sen....
Hot Picks: Chris Trapper, Chris Porter, Grand Buffet
Jazz'Holidays' with the jazz setLisa Ferraro is giving the Family Links Holiday Campaign a gift you all can enjoy.Monday, she will be headlining a "Jazz Up the Holidays" concert at the Cabaret in Theater Square, Downtown, that is a fundraiser for the...
Huggins Starts Fast at WVU
It's too early to predict the path of Hurricane Huggins, but this much we know:West Virginia basketball will never be the same.Ask junior forward Joe Alexander to compare life under his old coach, John Beilein, to life under his new coach, Bob Huggins,...
Independent Pharmacies Face More Competition from Chains
Mt. Lebanon pharmacist Bill Riley sees all the new Walgreens stores being built across the area, and is not afraid."I just think it seems kind of crazy just because it seems like overkill," said Riley, co-owner of Lebanon Shops Pharmacy. "It doesn't...
Injury Sidelines Pens' Fleury for 6 to 8 Weeks
On the first day of free agency last summer, Penguins general manager Ray Shero made a splash when he signed defenseman Darryl Sydor and right wing Petr Sykora.Almost lost in the shuffle was a minor deal in which the team brought back goaltender Dany...
Irwin Council OKs Tentative Contract with Police
Irwin Council unanimously approved a tentative, three-year agreement with its three full-time police officers Wednesday night that includes a provision to hire a part-timer, which was eliminated under the terms of the existing pact.A one-year contract...
Jags to See Steelers' New Roethlisberger
The Jaguars blitzed Ben Roethlisberger early and often when the Steelers visited Jacksonville last September, and it's not hard to figure out why.Roethlisberger was only a couple of weeks removed from an emergency appendectomy when the Steelers played...
Jeannette Players Get Second Chance
Matt Barbish and Mike Matt were forced to miss last year's PIAA Class AA championship game and be cheerleaders.A back injury kept Barbish on the bench, and a knee injury sidelined Matt.But as No. 1 Jeannette (15-0) prepares for Saturday's game against...
Jeannette Seeks $480,000 Grant for Revitalization
Jeannette will apply for a federal grant to help with the South Sixth Street revitalization project.Council approved seeking $480,000 in financial assistance under the Brownfields Economic Development Initiative, a competitive grant program administered...
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": Through Dec. 27: 1 and 3 p.m. Sat.-Sun. $9. Gemini Theater, The Factory, 7501 Penn Ave., Point...
Latrobe Troupe Delivers Traditional 'Christmas Carol'
Everyone has their favorite version of "Scrooge," the retelling of the Charles Dickens tale about the values of repentance and generosity.For Margie Griffin Hillebrecht of Latrobe, who directs "The Dickens Christmas Carol Show" for Greasepaint Players...
Let's Play Start or Sit
There's little left to the season other than figuring out your best lineup for this week's playoff game. You're not going to be tearing up the roster. So, let's get into everybody's favorite game -- start or sit -- and try to hit as many interesting...
'Lyrical Christmas Carol' Gets to Heart of Holiday
The gentle Ghost of Christmas Past, the robust Ghost of Christmas Present and the frightening Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come are paying a visit to an embarrassed Ebenezer Scrooge in front of an audience."A Lyrical Christmas Carol," a production by Pittsburgh...
Mat Herpes Shows Up at 2 More Schools
Members of the South Park and Kiski Area wrestling teams are the most recent victims of herpes gladiatorum, commonly known as mat herpes.Herpes emerged in the WPIAL last week when Penn-Trafford and Connellsville officials became aware that several of...
McKeesport Railroad Club Hopes to Pick Up Steam
Dean Liberty has made it his mission to get the McKeesport Model Railroad Club back on track.In the past year, the club dropped from 24 to 16 members, for reasons ranging from illness to job priorities to moving out of the area."At this pace, this club...
Middle School Teams Separated
Three years into his tenure as Hempfield's head boys' basketball coach, Bill Swan received the backing of the school board to merge the three middle school teams to increase the district's competitiveness and develop a harmonious program.Four seasons...
Monongahela Printer, Bible Scholar Wrote about Holocaust
Charles Provan was a dedicated Christian who "marched to his own drummer," his mother said."Chuck was not only a Bible scholar who wrote books on his biblical experiences and observations, but a respected businessman who operated the century-old Zimmer...
Monroeville Church Combines Worship, Sports in New Building
When Life Church concludes its Sunday morning service, the members have about 15 minutes to stack chairs, disassemble and move a stage and otherwise prepare their space for soccer games."Guys are going like ants so that we can get the soccer teams in,"...
Monroeville Mayor Vetoes Council's Development Plan
Monroeville Council can't pick and choose parts of state law in creating an economic development agency, Mayor James Lomeo said in vetoing an ordinance that would have created a redevelopment authority.Council voted 4-3 this week to create the agency...
Moon Area Elementary School to Get HDTVs
McCormick Elementary School students soon will be moving to the future in stunning HD clarity. Each classroom in the remodeled school on Beaver Grade Road will have a flat-screen, high-definition television and a combination VCR and DVD player mounted...
New Generation Just Looking to Pay for Their iPods
When I graduate from college Saturday, the piece of paper the dean hands me will deem me qualified to be part of the "Real World," just like my birth certificate marked me as a member of the Millennial generation. Born between 1980 and 2000, we're starting...
North Allegheny Works on Security after Break-In
North Allegheny school officials said they are working to secure the high school after a Ross man was charged with breaking into a locker room to steal girls' clothing.McCandless police charged Gary M. Mazur, 18, with aggravated assault, burglary and...
North Hills Schools, Businesses Commit to Going 'Green'
In the North Hills, buildings far outnumber green pastures. But many communities are giving back to Mother Nature by taking an environmentally friendly approach to development.The Pine Township Community Center, which opens this spring, was designed...
North Hills Students Takes Part in Shoe Recycling Program
Tennis shoes are part of the daily uniform for most third- graders -- perfect for shooting hoops on the basketball court or playing kickball in the playground. But for the third-graders at McIntyre Elementary in the North Hills School District, tennis...
Notebook: Jayhawks Bond over Meals
Once the football playoffs began, the Jeannette football team continued a tradition by meeting for pizza and wings at Pitzer's Townhouse every Wednesday.The team got together one final time last night, where they sat around chowing down on food and joking...
'Nuncrackers' Finds the Funny Side of Christmas
For those who could use some comic relief as the countdown to Christmas continues, Flatwoods Productions offers a musical comedy, "Nuncrackers," for three performances this weekend."We all think back on sentimental memories at Christmas, but we certainly...
Penguins Q&A: Rob Rossi Answers Your Questions
Tribune-Review Penguins writer Rob Rossi answers questions about the Pittsburgh Penguins.Q: Everybody does realize that Mark Recchi will come back to haunt the Penguins with another club later this season. I am still confused with choosing a mediocre...
Penn Hills Organizer Has Big Ideas for 'Relay' East
The next American Cancer Society Relay for Life-Pittsburgh East is in July, but Connie Ainsworth already has more ideas than she can count.Ainsworth, 54, of Penn Hills will chair the event scheduled for July 12 and 13 at the Penn Hills High School football...
Personality Test: Jazz Vocalist Lisa Ferraro
Lisa Ferraro is one of those local blessings jazz fans should be happy about. She's always around and always working. One of those gigs will be coming up Monday, when she will be vocalist at a "Jazzin' Up the Holidays" concert at the Cabaret, Downtown....
Pets Pose with Santa
Eric Gloeckl isn't your average shopping mall Santa Claus. His visitors don't come clutching Christmas lists, and they sometimes leave behind little presents of their own.They're dogs, cats, birds and reptiles.Gloeckl, 47, of Pleasant Hills is what you...
Pirates Sign Backup Infielder
By signing free agent Chris Gomez, the Pirates on Wednesday rounded out their infield options for next season.Although the infield roles are set, general manager Neal Huntington likely is not done reworking the roster.Huntington continues to explore...
Plan for Baldwin Borough Helipad Still Grounded
The skies over Leland Point have been quiet lately.Daniel Karam, whose Ohio-based company owns Leland Point, has not sought new permits to use a helicopter pad at the 1,070-unit Baldwin Borough apartment complex, officials said.A six-month PennDOT license...
PNC Slashes 4th-Quarter Forecast
The much-publicized mortgage industry woes forced PNC Financial Services Group Inc. to markedly reduce its fourth-quarter earnings forecast on Wednesday and add to its loan-loss reserve.PNC's stock fell $2.51 a share yesterday to close at $68.25, after...
Police Blotter
Penn HillsKahlil Gibran Darden, 25, of Penn Hills was held for court Dec. 3 on charges of possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, driving without insurance, careless driving, and running a stop sign. Darden was arrested Aug. 11, by Penn Hills police...
Pops Orchestra Goes in Search of Santa Claus
The Pittsburgh Symphony Pops Orchestra unfurls a new show for the holidays this season, featuring Mrs. Claus as well as Santa in concerts that will mix theatricality, humor and popular Christmas music, plus the world premiere of a new Hanukkah song by...
Possible School Closings Draw Crowd to Connellsville Meeting
More than 130 concerned residents, most of them against closing schools, attended Connellsville Area School Board's informational meeting Wednesday night.The meeting was held to discuss the possibility of realigning the district and closing schools to...
Program Allows Kids to Reach out to Soldiers
It's been about 40 years since Paul Cusik served in the Vietnam War, but he'll never forget how lonely it felt coming back from a mission -- a feeling lessened when there was a letter from home awaiting his return to base."We read letters over and over...
Proposal Would Dust off Wilkinsburg Train Station
There's a proposal to bring new life to the Wilkinsburg train station, which has been vacant since the 1970s.The board of the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County last month approved a request from the county's Department of Economic Development...
Quadriplegic Takes Video Games to Next Level
Anyone who thinks video games are a waste of time might have a change of heart when they hear Robert Florio's story.Controlling a character on a screen is more than a vicarious escape for Florio, 25, of Glen Burnie, Md. It's a way of moving again, something...
'Rock Band' Lets the Whole Gang in on the Fun
By now, you've probably established your rock-legend cred with the "Guitar Hero" series, nailing five-star performances and bragging to all your pals about how you beat Slash on expert level in your first attempt. ... Not that I know what that's like.But...
Ross Teen Gets School into Spirit of Giving
In the days leading up to Christmas, many teens are browsing the mall for gifts for friends and family as well as additions to their own wish lists.Not Shannon Evans.For the past two years, Evans, 14, of Ross has focused on the children of Angel's Place,...
Roundup: Hempfield Wrestling Tops BV
Hempfield, ranked No. 1 in Class AAA by the Tribune-Review, got pins from Paul Bewak (103 pounds), Nico Cortese (119), Jack Bachman (135), Craig Chelednik (145) and T.J. Valore (189), and defeated Belle Vernon, 47-21, in a Section 2-AAA match Wednesday...
Shaler Family Tells Story of Local Pioneer
Ken Girty and his family want everyone to know that Simon Girty isn't the savage many history books make him out to be.Ken Girty, along with his son, Ken Jr., and grandson, Ken III, were at the Shaler North Hills Library for the Shaler Historical Society...
Silver Eye Experiments with Weird Science
It looks like a mad scientist's lair: A dripping candle is dramatically blown by a mist of WD-40; a magnet pulls needles like spokes of a bicycle wheel in a still container of water, and a quiet arrangement of water in its three states -- solid, liquid...
Sisters of St. Francis Reopen Clinic in Millvale
Sometimes, taking the time to listen can make all the difference, according to Sister Lorraine Wesolowski of the Sisters of St. Francis.She remembers a time when an elderly woman came into the sisters' wellness center in Millvale, and was having problems....
Steelers' Batch Prepared If Ben Can't Play
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a history of playing through injuries, so it's likely he'll want to play Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, even if his sore right shoulder isn't 100 percent.However, Roethlisberger has not practiced...
Steelers Q&A: Scott Brown Answers Your Questions
Tribune-Review Steelers writer Scott Brown answers your questions about the Pittsburgh Steelers.One thing that I think that Ben needs is a taller receiver (i.e., over 6-3) to complement Hines and make Santonio more effective. There are some receivers...
The Rise and Fall of the House of Pickens
Life has a way of exacting a price. And success in business is no shield.Boone Pickens, the Texas oil billionaire, is well known to Pittsburghers. In 1984 he put the skids under this city's largest corporation, Gulf Oil. Gulf management couldn't seem...
Tiny Sharpsburg Restaurant Makes Impression
When I called to make a reservation at Bona Terra, I got the first clue it would be a smart dining choice. The affable person who took my call politely invited us to be there 10 minutes before our scheduled time so we'd have time to peruse the menu and...
TJ Finds Right Combination
So many things had to go right. Thomas Jefferson was forced to replace its star running back and starting quarterback and reconfigure its identity throughout the course of the season. But now, the Jaguars (15-0) hope to put the finishing touches on a...
Trib's Annual Drive Helps Needy
With the help of generous donors, Operation Santa Claus has been setting the holiday table for 24 years.Once again, the Tribune-Review is planning dinner for thousands of needy families throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.The Trib's 2007 campaign will...
U.S. Needs Open Dialogue with Iran: Mideast Expert
The United States should stop focusing on regime change in Iran and try opening a dialogue with Iranian "pragmatists" in hopes of a deal for strict international oversight of Iran's nuclear program, a Middle East policy expert said Wednesday in Pittsburgh."I...
Veon Staffer Called before Grand Jury
HARRISBURG -- A former assistant to ousted House Minority Whip Mike Veon confirmed Wednesday that she will appear before a state grand jury investigating House Democrats.Esther Reever, who served as an administrative assistant to Veon, told the Tribune-Review...
West Jefferson Hills District to Get Security Upgrade
State-of-the art security cameras and identification cards for administrators, teachers and students are being installed in the West Jefferson Hills School District.A $5,000 grant obtained by the Pleasant Hills and Jefferson Hills police departments...
West Mifflin Hopes for Kennywood Accord
Kennywood and West Mifflin officials hope a judge will resolve their long dispute over an amusement tax months before the park's ownership changes in March. If not, "We'd love to talk to some new faces," borough Council President William Welsh said Wednesday,...
Westmoreland Symphony Concert Brings Unity Native Home
Julie Snyder Bishop is getting something she has always wanted at Saturday's holiday concert by the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra -- the chance to perform "Rejoice Greatly" from Georg Frederic Handel's "Messiah.""I have always wanted to sing 'Rejoice...
Whitehall Councilman Goes Back to the Canvas
He hadn't picked up his palette for 25 years, but Phil Lahr's inspiration was rekindled after viewing paintings in the Manor Care Nursing Home in Whitehall."My mother was in a nursing home, and she was starting to pass," he recalled. "I was there every...
Winter Weather Ices Park Opening
Westmoreland County officials are no weather experts.That became pretty clear when the grand opening of the county's new outdoor skateboard park in Twin Lakes Park was scheduled for the middle of December. County officials will try sometime this spring."We...
With New Album, Loverboy Gets Its Second Wind
Mike Reno, the lead singer of the '80s rock band Loverboy, says the title of the band's new album -- its first studio album in more than a decade -- perfectly describes how he and other band members are feeling.Despite having almost three decades of...
WVU Women Scale New Heights
Fans of the West Virginia women's basketball team can point to coach Mike Carey's 14-14 record in his first season with the Mountaineers as the tell-all indicator of the success in store for what has become one of the premier Big East Conference programs.Carey,...
Young Achievers: Derek Deakins and Mallory Ruhling
Residence: Both are residents of Penn Hills.Age: Both are 17.School: Deakins and Ruhling are seniors at Penn Hills High School. Deakins is interested in studying business marketing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., or Coastal Carolina University...