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Harrison fire victim helps others while on road to recovery

By Chuck Biedka
Nearly five months after a fire nearly killed her, Tina Slomkoski’s life still revolves around helping others. On July 30,  Slomkoski, who has put together many ...

Butler County initiative aims to find employment for struggling job-seekers

By Jodi Weigand
Butler County Human Services hopes to work with the local hospitality industry to improve access to entry-level jobs for people who typically struggle to find employment. The Butler County Employment Initiative will focus on four major barriers to getting a job ...

Harmar-based company’s expansion into Tarentum adds jobs

By Braden Ashe
A Harmar-based shipping and packaging company is expanding into Tarentum and adding up to 30 full-time and part-time local jobs. Don Fidler, owner of Tripak ...

3 charged in East Deer home invasion

By Jodi Weigand
Police arrested three men from the Pittsburgh area in connection with a home invasion and assault at an East Deer apartment early Saturday morning. Shortly ...

Authorities investigating grocery store robberies Plum, Monroeville

By Trib Total Media
Police in Plum and Monroeville are investigating robberies Saturday at two grocery stores that may have been connected. Plum police are seeking information about an 11 a.m. robbery at the Shop ’n Save on Golden Mile Highway. The suspect is described ...

Allegheny Valley Hospital volunteers give back, get rewards

By Joyce Hanz
Walk into the bright and spacious lobby of Allegheny Valley Hospital in Natrona Heights, and you notice a sea of red. Red coats and red ...

Return of Verona’s Doughboy statue delayed

By Braden Ashe
Editor’s note: This is the first is a series of articles updating stories covered by the Valley News Dispatch in 2014. The Verona Doughboy statue’s ...

4 plead guilty to charges of luring, beating man at Harrison gas station

By Chuck Biedka
Two men and two women pleaded guilty to charges of luring a man to a Harrison gas station to severely beat him on Feb. 27. Stephen ...

Icy roads, cold causing school delays, wrecks in Western Pa.

By The Associated Press
Freezing rain and wind chills in the teens have prompted school delays in western Pennsylvania, and scattered vehicle accidents, including an overturned tractor-trailer on Interstate 79 north of the city. That crash, near Wexford, had northbound traffic down to one ...

Valley reaches out to brighten East Deer cancer patient’s holiday

By Jodi Weigand
Friends, family and strangers have been working feverishly to brighten Christmas for an East Deer family whose patriarch is battling cancer. Joe Harris, 34, was diagnosed ...

Valley choir ‘shows’ off at Mills mall

By Tribune-Review
The Valley High School show choir took its act on the road Thursday for a performance at the food court at the Pittsburgh Mills ...

Harmar to consider offer to drill under township land

By Brian C. Rittmeyer
Harmar supervisors are entertaining an offer to drill for Marcellus shale natural gas under township property. Energy firms Huntley & Huntley and Range Resources are proposing a lease to drill under 90 acres of township property, township Engineer Larry Seiler told ...

New Kensington-Arnold confronts ‘frightening’ budget situation

By Tom Yerace
New Kensington-Arnold School District officials aren’t mincing words when characterizing the 2015-16 budget process. “The budget is frightening,” Superintendent John Pallone said Thursday night. “There’s going to be some very tough decisions there.” Finance committee chairman Pat Petit provided board members with ...

Arnold Stop-n-Go robbed

By Valley News Dispatch
Arnold’s Stop-N-Go was robbed by three men Wednesday night. The trio walked into the store at 1542 Constitution Blvd. about 9:30 p.m., taking money, cigarettes and other items, according to police. Each of the masked men in dark, gray clothes showed handguns ...

Armstrong man dies in single-vehicle crash

By Leader Times
An Armstrong County man died in a single-vehicle wreck early Thursday. Coroner Brian K. Myers said Robert P. Sweet Jr., 46, of Burrell Township was driving east on Cochrans Mill Road at about 12:10 a.m. when he lost control of his ...

Hays ‘eagle cams’ reinstalled for 2015 nesting season

By Mary Ann Thomas
The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania and PixController installed two webcams Thursday morning at the bald eagle nest in the Hays neighborhood in Pittsburgh. According to ...

Generous Leechburg boy receives Christmas surprise from secret Santa

By Braden Ashe
It was two Sundays before Christmas and all through Angie King’s Leechburg house, not a creature was stirring — not even their two dogs and ...

Bed and breakfast proposed at former Liperote Mansion in South Buffalo Township

By Jodi Weigand
A South Buffalo Township family wants to turn the former Liperote Mansion on Ford City Road into a bed and breakfast and wedding venue. The Waddell ...

Expenses rise, taxes hold in West Deer

By Brian C. Rittmeyer
West Deer property owners will not pay any more in real estate taxes to the township in 2015 than they did this year. The township’s property tax rate remains at 1.99 mills under the 2015 budget supervisors approved Wednesday. The $5.2 million ...

Indiana Township man charged with third molestation offense

By Braden Ashe
An Indiana Township man already awaiting trial on two juvenile sexual assault cases is now charged in a third. Robert Edward Snyder, 47, formerly of Sylvan ...

Harmar developer sells 15 hotels in Western Pa., West Virginia

By Tom Fontaine
A New York investment company has bought 15 hotels in Pennsylvania and West Virginia from a Harmar developer in a deal that further signals the strength of the region’s growing hospitality industry. “Business has been good for our region. That’s why ...

Monroeville man charged with bad-check racket

By Tom Yerace
A man, who used bad checks to buy custom truck wheels and tires, then tried to sell them on Craigslist, was arrested Monday. Frazer police Chief Terry Kuhns said Richard Joseph Hibbard, 29, of Monroeville, was arrested around 7:30 p.m. ...

Be a Santa to a Senior delivers joy to nursing home residents in Oakmont

By Jodi Weigand
It appears Santa, in the form of dozens of anonymous donors, has been especially generous to some senior citizens this year. Tuesday, the approximately 80 residents ...

Springdale Free Public Library to pay utilities, but no rent

By Brian C. Rittmeyer
Springdale will not collect rent next year from the public library that shares space in its municipal building. The borough will, however, have the Springdale Free Public Library pay for its own electricity, natural gas and maintenance, Council President John ...

Rain keeps donations from pouring into Red Kettles of New Kensington Salvation Army

By R.A. Monti
Rain is putting a damper on Major Elvie Carter’s holiday spirit, at least for now. The head of the New Kensington Salvation Army thinks the recent spell of wet weather is causing a downturn in donations at his 12 area ...

Final phase of Leechburg’s sewer separation project delayed

By Braden Ashe
The final phase of Leechburg’s sewer separation project will begin about three months later than anticipated. The project, which involves the separation of stormwater and sanitary sewer lines through about 60 percent of the borough, had been on pace to break ...

Safety of shipping oil by rail addressed in appropriations bill

By Jodi Weigand
Provisions pushed by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey to improve the safety of crude oil shipments are included in the final version of the appropriations bill that will fund the federal government for the next nine months. Casey began pushing for more ...

Kiski Area takes steps to moving football games

By Jodi Weigand
Kiski Area School Board took a step toward making the new artificial turf field at the high school in Allegheny Township the home of Cavalier football. The board Monday approved a $5,000 contract with Playing Surface Solutions Inc. to construct a ...

New Kensington man recovering from shooting

By Chuck Biedka
A New Kensington man continues to recover from his fourth gunshot wound in as many months. Jadrian Race “Toochy” Wade, 21, of Woodmont Avenue, who was still recovering from three gunshot wounds he suffered in New Kensington’s Proctor Alley on Aug. ...

Apollo residents urged to ‘take back community’

By Braden Ashe
Drug overdoses have claimed 15 lives in Armstrong County this year, with a 16th pending. According to county Coroner Brian Myers, the numbers are up from ...

Pearl Harbor survivor, Steve Jager, ‘kept their memory alive’

By Mary Ann Thomas
One of the region’s few remaining survivors of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 died Sunday. Steve Jager, 94, of New Kensington kept ...

Tarentum councilman resigns to take new position

By Tom Yerace
Tim Rapp entered Monday night’s Tarentum Council meeting as a councilman and left as the borough’s newest employee. Rapp, who until this month, was president of council, was hired as a plant operator in the borough’s water department in a 4-2 ...

Injunction postpones building demolition in Tarentum

By Tom Yerace
A hearing Wednesday in an Allegheny County courtroom will determine when demolition of a condemned Tarentum building can resume. An injunction issued Friday by Allegheny ...

North Apollo Church of God serves dinner, gives gifts to those less fortunate

By Braden Ashe
In the second holiday season without her father, 3-year-old Arabella Campbell eagerly tore away the gift wrapping from her Christmas present Sunday in the North ...

Shooting victim identified by New Kensington police as man hit in summer

By Braden Ashe
New Kensington police identified the victim of a shooting Saturday as a city resident who refused to testify against two men who were accused of ...

Fire damages home in Kiski Township

By Braden Ashe
No one was injured Sunday in a Kiski Township house fire, which firefighters extinguished in time to salvage the home. Rich Frain, chief of the Kiski Township Volunteer Fire Department, said crews were dispatched about 3:30 p.m. to the 400 block ...

Man shot in New Kensington

By Valley News Dispatch
For the fifth night in a row, New Kensington was hit with a violent crime. According to Westmoreland County 911 police transmissions, a man was …

Penn United Technology carries on Toys for Tots tradition

By Jodi Weigand
The second year of Penn United Technology’s Toys for Tots collection in memory of a late colleague was a resounding success. Employees in the tooling group ...

Elks Lodge member robbed at gunpoint in New Kensington

By Mary Ann Thomas
Police are looking for the two men who robbed a New Kensington man at gunpoint Friday evening as he left the Elks Lodge 294 along Third Avenue. The victim, a middle-aged man, was not harmed, according to New Kensington police. The ...