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Woman marks 70 years on bench at Rostraver church’s organ

By Emma Jene Lelik
August will mark a 70-year anniversary for the organist at the small country church, Concord United Methodist in Rostraver Township. Mary Lee Budd McBeth developed …

Belle Vernon man faces drug charges

By Chris Buckley
Police are seeking a Belle Vernon man accused of offering cocaine to teenage girls and soliciting them to buy marijuana for him. David Kutcy, 51, …

Urban new leader at Jefferson

By The Valley Independent
A Rostraver Township woman is leading Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Hills. Louise Urban this week was named president and CEO of the hospital located off …

Architect seeks money for work on Charleroi theater project

By Chris Buckley
A Phoenixville, Pa., firm is seeking payment for work performed on the embattled Coyle Theater project. But a judge might have to determine who among the revolving door of leadership in the Mid Mon Valley Cultural Trust is responsible for …

Woman agrees to testify against boyfriend in Charleroi knife fray

By Chris Buckley
The woman who apparently was at the center of a fight that led to a knifing incident at the MD Bar in Charleroi last month has agreed to testify against her boyfriend. Rose M. Brown, 33, of 56 Marion Villa, …

From fighting fires to fighting cancer, Rostraver woman displays strength

By Joe Napsha
Kate Crawford of Rostraver Township used to fight fires for a living, but now she is fighting against stage IV metastatic breast cancer, with the …

Ringgold to seek state’s help funding new school building

By Chris Buckley
The Ringgold School District will formally seek state help in funding its proposed new middle school. The board Wednesday night authorized its architect, HHSDR Engineers, to submit documents applying for funding under the state’s PlanCON program. PlanCON, short for Planning …

Readers retain fond memories of people, places

By Ron Paglia
It’s not unusual for readers of these backward glances to respond with poignant personal recollections of people and places that affected their lives in special ways. And we always appreciate the reminiscences of people like Alan Patrick and John I. …

Donora seems ready to sue over school sale

By Chris Buckley
Donora appears prepared to seek an injunction aimed at blocking the sale of the former Donora Elementary Center building ahead of a planned Aug. 6 auction. The former Monongahela Elementary Center is also scheduled to go on the auction block …

Ringgold School Board bans book in haste

By Chris Buckley
The Ringgold School Board banned a book in the haste of the meeting and questioned the action after the meeting. The board voted to ban “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s highly decorated but often challenged 1985 book. The …

Victim of Monessen standoff committed suicide

By Rick Bruni Jr.
A Fayette City man who police said shot himself as they attempted to arrest him at a Monessen residence died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the Westmoreland County Coroner’s office ruled Tuesday. Deputy Coroner Tim O’Donnell said …

Timing right for firefighter to get woman, 84, out of burning house

By Rick Bruni Jr.
An elderly Charleroi woman who was unaware her house was burning Tuesday afternoon, escaped quickly and unharmed, thanks to a bit of luck. Doug Prentice …

Land bank considered in Washington County

By Chris Buckley
One property on Charleroi’s demolition list is owned by a man from Irvine, Calif. who told borough officials it is “too cold” in Charleroi for …

Don’t take excessive investment risks

By Gary Boatman
Most investors credit the Fed’s easy money policies for much of the stock market climb. The Fed has been trying to encourage investors to take on more risk by holding interest rates very low. This forces investors to enter the …

House Democratic Policy Committee meets in Monessen

By Chris Buckley
Members of the state House Democratic Policy Committee on Tuesday blamed Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration for cuts in education funding they claim are hurting local …

California police: Suspect shielded self with infant during arrest

By Rick Bruni Jr.
A Uniontown man was still in jail Monday night after purportedly using his infant daughter to shield himself from California police as officers attempted to …

Standoff ends with Fayette City man’s suicide

By Rick Bruni Jr.
A Fayette City man fatally shot himself Monday afternoon inside a Monessen residence as Pennsylvania State Police attempted to arrest him on an outstanding bench …

South Huntingdon girl, 15, heading to college early

By Joe Napsha
Like thousands of other students in the region, Victoria L. Hrach of South Huntingdon, will be going to college this fall, getting an education that …

Bikers’ dozen gear up for 5-day trip from West Newton to D.C.

By Chris Buckley
Each year, an ever-growing group of riders look to David Mickley for guidance as they leave West Newton on a five-day bike trip in pursuit …

Appreciation dance draws oldies faithful back to Stockdale

By Ron Paglia
They were dancing in the street in Stockdale on July 12. Well, almost. “The (parking) lot is filled,” T.J. Wilkinson, chief of the Stockdale Volunteer …

Monessen adds dean of students position

By Chris Buckley
The Monessen School District will have one new principal to oversee the middle and high schools, but a familiar face will assist in administrative efforts. Last month, the board hired Eric Manko as high school principal. At a special meeting …

Charleroi father jailed over filthy home

By Stacy Wolford
A Charleroi man accused of allowing his children to live in a cockroach-infested home littered with drugs, feces and garbage is now in the same …

Porter swears oath as Charleroi Regional Police chief

By Chris Buckley
Larry Hopkins came not just to swear in Eric Porter, but to praise him. Before administering the oath of office to Porter – the new …

Man accused of pushing teen into Mon River

By The Valley Independent
A Monessen man is accused of pushing a teenager into the river and hitting his two friends while they were fishing off the city’s boat launch. Gary Bieneck, 24, of 4 Colonial Drive, is charged with simple assault, harassment and …

Charleroi Area, Bethlehem-Center sued in sex assault case

By Stacy Wolford
A teenage girl who was sexually assaulted in 2012 by a music teacher is suing the Charleroi Area and Bethlehem-Center school districts for failing to protect her. The girl, now 17, claims Charleroi Area High School Principal Patricia Mason was …

PlanCON’s return good news for Ringgold

By Chris Buckley
Ringgold’s plan to build a middle school has received a financial boost because the state has revived the program that funds new building construction. The state has lifted the moratorium on PlanCON, which began in October 2012. PlanCON, short for …

North Charleroi man waives hearing on porn charges

By The Valley Independent
A North Charleroi man will stand trial after being accused of downloading child pornography onto his cellphone. Cody Alan Gadd, 21, of 909 Fourth Street …

Monongahela man back in jail

By Stacy Wolford
A Monongahela man on probation for drug violations and child endangerment is in jail after being accused of burglarizing a New Eagle home. Jeffrey M. …

People, places stir readers’ questions; parodies puzzling

By Ron Paglia
Two men with strikingly similar names and business interests are on the minds of an inquisitive group in California. “Do you recall Lou Fleck, the entrepreneur from this area?” a member of that crew asked. “I think he’s the man …

Mid Mon Valley Transit Authority replacing fleet with natural gas-powered buses

By Chris Buckley
By next fall, buses operating on natural gas will begin making the rounds in the Valley. Bob Smith, operations manager for the Mid Mon Valley Transit Authority, said the price of compressed natural gas is more stable than diesel fuel, …

Valley native Stuart Harris gets national award

By Chris Buckley
If the secret to success is finding a market for your product, Stuart Harris works in the perfect industry. “We’re selling a little bit of …

Retirement requires planning

By Gary Boatman
CNBC recently interviewed eight top financial planners from around the country about how to avoid the eight retirement mistakes. I find that their areas of concern are very true to what I see right here in the Mon Valley. The …

Monongahela native turns Vietnam helicopter experiences into documentary

By Chris Buckley
A reunion of five servicemen and two newsmen who met decades ago in war-torn Vietnam allowed Robert Brady to release some pent-up emotions and heal …

Belle Vernon councilman still on job

By Chris Buckley
After being absent for the past two monthly meetings and offering his resignation, Belle Vernon Councilman Joe Minniti chaired the panel’s Monday meeting. Although he apparently has decided to stick around, there is no recording of the special meeting in …

Firefighters quickly douse blaze inside Donora Industrial Park

By The Valley Independent
Firefighters responded to a fire at the Donora Industrial Park on Washington Street in Carroll Township about 1 p.m. Monday. Workers were using a cutting …

Monessen WWII vets due recognition

By Chris Buckley
When Ron Chromulak worked for the state Department of Labor in the early 1980s, he recalled that Allegheny County had more military veterans than 14 …

N. Belle Vernon councilman calls for joint effort on events

By Joe Napsha
A North Belle Vernon councilman is seeking the support of other Mon Valley municipalities in a joint effort to publicize and promote activities and events at their community parks in Washington, Fayette and Westmoreland counties. By getting multiple municipalities to …

Belle Vernon students to get a dose of ‘reality’

By Chris Buckley
At Belle Vernon Area High School once a month, students will get a first-hand look at the dangers and consequences of drug addiction through the Reality Tour. Its powerful message for teens is being embraced not only by the school …

Donora man accused of assaulting daughter, 4

By Stacy Wolford
A Donora man is accused of grabbing his 4-year-old daughter by the throat, then telling her to lie to police. James S. Deshong, 48, of …