Connellsville teachers told to pack quickly

May 30, 2008

Teachers in the Connellsville Area School District are complaining they had to quickly collect their personal items this week.

Jane Sandusky, Connellsville Area Education Association (CAEA) president and a Dunbar Borough Elementary School teacher, confirmed that she had received the directive on Wednesday morning, but some teachers had not been notified until only hours before the close of school on Thursday.

“Those teachers affected by this are upset that the district would issue this directive,” she said. “It adds more pressure to an already challenging situation.”

The Dunbar school, along with South Side and Connellsville Township elementary schools, was officially closed after students were dismissed on Thursday. The three buildings are part of a district consolidation plan approved recently by the school board.

Sandusky, who will be relocated, has taught for more than 30 years, and to pack the countless books, supplies, a table and other items would prove to be a huge undertaking, especially on such short notice, she said.

“The idea of emptying out 34 years worth of personal items and instructional items that I have personally purchased over these many years, is not feasible,” she said. “As an elementary teacher, most of what we have is personal material and I would expect it would be the same at the secondary level.”


Two killed in East Huntingdon collision

May 30, 2008

State police said the drivers of two cars were killed in a collision on Route 119, just south of Route 31, at 4:12 p.m. Thursday. Police said Joseph B. Halley, 18, of Hunker and Norman J. Peretti, 49, of Scottdale died in the accident. Police said Halley was driving north in the left lane when his car traveled about 50 feet through the grass median and entered the left southbound lane where it traveled for about 80 feet. Peretti applied the brakes for about 60 feet before the cars collided head-on, police said. After the impact, Halley’s car went about 25 feet to the north before it rolled on to its roof and then traveled another 25 feet before stopping, police said. Both southbound lanes were blocked following the accident. The Westmoreland County coroner’s office pronounced Halley dead at the scene and Peretti was pronounced dead at Frick Excela Hospital. Police ask anybody who witnessed the accident to call the barracks at 724-832-3288.

Arrested township supervisor can stay on job

May 30, 2008

A Lower Tyrone Township supervisor recently charged by state police with having marijuana plants on his property can remain in the position until a judge or jury determines his guilt or innocence, according to the township solicitor.

Last month, township supervisors Chairman George M. Gillespie, 50, was charged by Fayette County Drug Task Force Lt. Kyle W. Sneddon with possession of marijuana and possession with intent to deliver marijuana after a raid revealed 19 plants were growing on his Gillespie Road farm.

He was arraigned on the charges May 22 before Magisterial District Judge Dwight Shaner and released on a $5,000 unsecured bond. A preliminary hearing date has not been scheduled.

“He is innocent until he is proven guilty,” said township solicitor Richard Husband. “Until the issue is resolved, Mr. Gillespie can continue to serve in his elected position.”

Concert series kicks off Monday

May 30, 2008

The bands are set and the food will be hot for the Uniontown Downtown Business District Authority’s annual Storey Square Summer Concert Series, which kicks off Monday.

Like last year, jazz trombonist Harold Betters, a Connellsville native, will perform at the first and events of the series.

The free concert series is held in Storey Square on Main Street in downtown Uniontown every Monday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. through Aug. 25.

People planning to attend should bring lawn chairs because seating will not provided.


May 30, 2008

The weather this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service, will be mostly sunny with highs in the lower 80s and south winds around 10 mph.

The weather tonight will be partly cloudy in the evening then mostly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms likely after midnight. Lows in the mid 60s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.

There will be showers and thunderstorms Saturday with highs in the upper 70s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph. Chance of rain is 70 percent.

Saturday night will be mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the evening. Lows in the upper 50s. West winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Artist wants Hardy’s ex-wife to pay up

May 30, 2008

A Fayette County artist wants a judge to force Debra Hardy, the ex-wife of 84 Lumber magnate Joe Hardy, to pay $75,000 for a decorative tea room mural.

Artist Carolyn Quinn, of Chalk Hill, says the 150-square-foot mural featured life-sized French dancers and ornate flowers and other details.

Quinn says she and Hardy never agreed on a price when they struck the oral agreement for her to paint the mural. Quinn is basing her price on the 1,430 hours it took to paint, plus materials and mileage to and from her business to Hardy’s mansion in Rostraver.

Debra Hardy was the second wife of Joe Hardy, the multimillionaire founder of 84 Lumber.

Park board adopts draft master plan

May 29, 2008

LUZERNE TWP. — The Patsy Hillman Park Board Wednesday adopted the draft master plan for the park prepared by Pennoni Associates.

Landscape architects Tom Swisher and Ron Schipani presented the draft first to the study committee set up for the master plan, then to the park board. The drawing is based on input gathered at public meetings, from the study committee and from interviews with key members of the community conducted over the past several months.

Swisher and Schipani said they will now draft the narrative that goes along with the graphic view of the future plans for the park. The narrative will include a phased capital development plan, showing cost estimates and when each item in the master plan realistically could be constructed based on available funding.