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Collier Township Park among the items making news in 2012

- Manager John Autieri places an order for a customer at The Sports Deli in Parkway Center Mall. File photo
Manager John Autieri places an order for a customer at The Sports Deli in Parkway Center Mall. File photo
- Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek points out where the skate park would be constructed at Carnegie Park. File photo
Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek points out where the skate park would be constructed at Carnegie Park. File photo

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Jeff Widmer and Doug Gulasy
Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 8:57 p.m.
 

What was a sprawling Army installation now is the first phase of Collier Township Park.

The ribbon-cutting took place this month where large structures, including Army office buildings and barracks from what was the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility, once existed. They have been replaced by a dek hockey rink, soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts, playground equipment, and more.

CCDC replacement

Joanne Letcher, owner of J & L Travel in Carnegie, is the new executive director of the Carnegie Community Development Corporation, it was announced in October.

Letcher, a Carnegie business person since April 1989, replaced Leigh White, who left the position to become vice president of marking and communications for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnersnip.

PC Mall closing

The 442,742-square-foot Parkway Center Mall, visible from Interstate 376 and once favored by residents of Green Tree and surrounding communities, is on its way out now. It is scheduled to close after the Kmart there shuts down on Jan. 6.

The few remaining small businesses that are there plan on moving out and relocating by Jan. 13.

New chief hired

Following the resignation of Andrew Lisiecki in May, Green Tree in December hired Robert Downey Jr., a Baldwin Township commissioner and former Allegheny County police officer, as its new head man. He is scheduled to take over the job in January.

Reassessments

Uncertainty over Allegheny County's final reassessment numbers caused many municipalities to delay budget decisions this December. Communities expected to receive certified values on Dec. 21, but many property owners are appealing their assessed values.

Common Pleas Senior Judge R. Stanton Wettick extended the deadlines for municipalities to pass budgets and set millage. Carnegie won't vote on its budget until January, and many other municipalities won't vote on millage until then.

Carlynton's new head man

Carlynton School District found its new superintendent in 2012, hiring Gary Peiffer from East Allegheny, where he served as assistant to the superintendent. Carlynton school directors officially hired Peiffer with a 9-0 vote in April, and he started in July.

Peiffer, who replaced Michael Lanza as superintendent, is overseeing the beginnings of a renovation process in the district's schools.

Scott patrols Rosslyn

After months of discussion, Rosslyn Farms approved Scott Township to take over police duties in the 427-person community. Rosslyn Farms made the decision to disband its police force following former Chief Lawrence Fischio's retirement and sought bids from neighboring communities.

Scott Township's bid beat out Carnegie, Crafton, Heidelberg and Robinson Township, and officers began patrolling Rosslyn Farms in August.

Crafton abolishes wards

Crafton Borough Council will shrink from nine seats to seven in 2013 after a decision to abolish wards within the borough.

Council approved the decision to abolish wards by a 6-1 vote at its Nov. 27 meeting. Five at-large seats will be up for grabs in 2013; four council members will be elected to four-year terms and one will be elected to a two-year term. Council hopes the decision to abolish wards will make for a “less unwieldy” council and increase the likelihood of filling seats.

Skate park awarded

A popular idea became a reality in Carnegie this summer when the borough was informed Carnegie Park was selected as the location for the Pitcher Park Memorial Skate Park. Carnegie beat out Scott and Mt. Lebanon for the park, named in honor of two Scott siblings who drowned on a camping trip in 2009.

Groundbreaking for the park should happen in spring 2013. Borough officials believe the park will benefit the local economy.

CV resource officers

Following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, Chartiers Valley administrators continue to work with area police about placing school resource officers from Collier and Scott at all of its schools.

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