Top Signal Item stories of 2013

Megan Guza
| Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The following events made headlines in The Signal Item for 2013:

She's back

After a tumultuous two years and an official search, Maggie Forbes was hired as executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall. Again.

Forbes accepted an offer from the library in August after the library's search committee recommended her to the board of trustees at its July 31 meeting.

Forbes came to the library in 2003 to run the Chartiers Valley Partnership's campaign to restore the library. She raised $7.5 million during the course of the campaign and became executive director in 2005. She stepped down in 2011.


Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek was re-elected to the post after running unopposed in the November general election. Republican Phil Boyd beat out councilman Bob Veres in the primary to run unopposed for the Ward 1 council seat.

In Green Tree, the winner of the fourth open council seat came down to the casting of lots — pulling numbered pellets out of a leather bottle, where the highest number wins. The lots were cast Nov. 22 to David Lorenzini, the winner over Democrat Kristina Pusateri.

A long goodbye

Longtime Carnegie police chief Jeffrey Harbin left his post after 21 years. Harbin had been chief since 1992 and on the force since 1976. He grew up in the area and attended the Carlynton School District.

Harbin had also served as Carnegie borough manager since 2011. His retirement took effect Aug. 9, and he has retired with his family to North Carolina. Carnegie officer Jeff Kennedy was appointed chief.

July 10 flood

Parts of Collier and Bridgeville were inundated with water in July after heavy rains dumped nearly 2 inches of water on the area in less than 24 hours. Runoff problems in Collier sent water into homes, yards and roads.

In November, parts of Allegheny County affected by the floods were official declared a disaster area.

Pitcher Park

Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark became a reality in 2013 when ground was broken for the skatepark, to be housed in Carnegie Park. The park is named for Scott siblings Vincent and Stephen Pitcher, who drowned on a 2009 camping trip.

Carnegie officials hope for the park to be open by spring 2014.


The Carlynton School District began renovations on its three school buildings, the largest being at Carnegie and Crafton elementary schools. Main priorities approved included upgraded security features, including an electronic entry system and captured vestibules.

The approval and upgrades came in the wake of the deadly 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.


Crafton Elementary School celebrated its 100th birthday in 2013 after beginning as Crafton High School and becoming an elementary school in the 1970s.

The spring celebration included an open house at the school with the district's marching band and cheerleaders.

Prime Time TV

Some Crafton Elementary School students and teachers will make their prime time television debut in 2014 after filming for the show “Sea Rescue” came to the school in fall 2013.

Producers of the series came to Crafton after hearing of Susan Kosko's class studying English through dolphins who watched live the harrowing rescue of Seymour, a dolphin in Florida.

Special surprise

Bridgeville serviceman Adam Schwiederowski surprised his 7-year-old daughter, Autumn, at Chartiers Valley Primary School after returning home from Afghanistan just in time for Thanksgiving.

Schwiederowski posed as the first-grade class's mystery reader before coming out and surprising his daughter. Autumn got to take the rest of the day off of school to spend with her father.

Collier recreation

After planning and securing funds, ground was broken for the Collier Park Recreation Center July 30.

The recreation center will be at the site of the former U.S. Army Charles E. Kelly Support facility, which the Army sold to the township with the stipulation it be used for parks and recreation.

Once finished, the facility will include a 8,750-square-foot gymnasium, an elevated walking track, locker rooms and a lounge area, party and banquet rooms and group exercise rooms.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or

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