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Murrysville Atria’s damaged by fire

By Patrick Varine
The kitchen area of Atria’s Restaurant on the 4000 block of William Penn Highway was damaged in a fire early Monday morning. Crews from Murrysville Volunteer Fire Department No. 1 were called to the scene around 12:23 a.m. Fire Chief Brian Synan ...

Franklin Regional board reluctantly votes to advertise budget

By Patrick Varine
Franklin Regional officials took a procedural step this week that sets them up to adopt a preliminary 2015-16 budget next month and to possibly seek permission to raise the property-tax rate in excess of what state law allows. On Monday, the ...

Agencies still working on Pucketa sewer solution in Murrysville

By Patrick Varine
After months of courtroom wrangling and debate among various sewage authorities, a Murrysville couple seeking permission to tie into Washington Township’s sewer system has decided it’s not necessary after all. Jim and Barbara Colpo, who live on the 5000 block of ...

Franklin Regional: No decision yet on music teacher’s return

By Patrick Varine
Franklin Regional officials have not yet decided whether they will appeal a judge’s order that would return to the classroom a teacher accused of touching students inappropriately. Philip Wonderling of Greensburg, an elementary music teacher, was suspended first with and then ...

Murrysville man jailed after state agents find heroin stash in car

By Tribune-Review
A Murrysville man was arrested Saturday after agents in the Attorney General’s Office found five bundles of heroin in his 2014 Mercedes Benz, according to ...

Amish crew to wrangle Murrysville tree sign into shape

By Patrick Varine
A group of Amish workers from the Smicksburg area are hard at work this week clearing brush around the Murrysville tree sign off of Pleasant ...

Delmont library to add section on parenting

By Patrick Varine
The Delmont Public Library has plenty of books for children. Thanks to the United Way, it soon will have a section specifically for parents. The library was among the recipients of the organization’s Impact Fund Grants, which were possible because United ...

Judge: Put Franklin Regional music teacher back in classroom

By Patrick Varine
A music teacher who was fired after being accused of inappropriately touching elementary students is scheduled to return to the classroom after a Westmoreland court ordered that he be reinstated Jan. 20. Which classroom and whether his return actually will happen ...

Export officials consider ways to honor late councilman

By Patrick Varine
Export Councilwoman Melanie Litz has suggested the borough place and dedicate a bench in the landscaped area on Kennedy Avenue to Councilman David Pascuzzi, who died Dec. 23. “It’s in close proximity to his business, and I know several of ...

W.Pa. police chiefs discuss use of force, de-escalation tactics

By Tony LaRussa
While adding their voices to the national discussion that has taken place about police tactics, local police chiefs say that the uncertainty and the dangerous nature of policing requires officers to be ready to use force and be stern when ...

‘Dance Moms’ star’s video with Aussie pop singer garners swift criticism

By Patrick Varine
When a 12-year-old dances in a provocative video with movie star Shia LaBeouf, people will take notice. And when that preteen is reprising a role that ...

Murrysville residents sound off on proposed update to comp plan

By Patrick Varine
To several Murrysville residents, the municipality’s updated comprehensive-plan draft seemed to prioritize the promotion of Marcellus shale drilling over residents’ health and welfare. At Monday’s public hearing on the update to the state-mandated comprehensive plan, council members tried to assure them ...

Supermarket donation bolsters Murrysville food pantry

By Patrick Varine
A timely donation from a Westmoreland County business owner will help a Murrysville food pantry avoid the traditional “January dip” in contributions. Typically, food pantries tend ...

Franklin Regional begins process to possibly exceed state property-tax limit

By Patrick Varine
Franklin Regional School District officials are positioning themselves to raise the property-tax rate higher than what the state normally would allow, should the need arise. While all of the preliminary budget numbers aren’t close to being finalized, a lengthy discussion at ...

Export bar owner will serve out longtime councilman’s term

By Patrick Varine
Although he hasn’t officially been sworn in yet, tavern owner Joe Ferri is Export’s newest councilman. Ferri — whose term expires at the end of this ...

Murrysville couple builds dream house on lot behind community icon

By Jacob Tierney
Valerie and Edward Mittereder’s dream home is perched just above a piece of Murrysville history. They are building a house just above the community’s iconic tree ...

Westmoreland Land Trust deal links Murrysville parks

By Tribune-Review
Nature enthusiasts will be able to move unrestricted on foot or by bicycle between Duff and Pleasant Valley parks in Murrysville as a result of ...

Story of Delmont Borough has been 200 years in the making

By Patrick Varine
Salem Crossroads Apothecary — Salem Crossroads Daycare — Christmas in Salem Crossroads — “Salem Crossroads” is all over Delmont, and with good reason. Two days ...

Franklin Regional grad hopes to run marathon on each continent

By Patrick Varine
It’s one thing to run a marathon. It’s another to run the stretch of ancient Greek land that gave the event its name. Still, Murrysville native ...

Looking back at the Murrysville region in 2014

By Patrick Varine and Brian Estadt
Although one event eclipsed all others when it comes to the big local news stories of 2014, the knife attack at Franklin Regional High School ...

Colleagues, friends remember Export resident Pascuzzi

By Patrick Varine
Every year, Dave Pascuzzi joined with his brother, Ken, to host a Christmas Eve party for friends and family. This year, the party went on as ...

A year later, Murrysville man reflects on loss of family artifacts

By Patrick Varine
When a fire gutted Carl Patty’s home on Logan Ferry Road last December, he didn’t just lose a wealth of Murrysville history. He lost a ...

Export, Murrysville history groups could share old church

By Patrick Varine
Officials from the Export and Murrysville history groups are exploring whether they can turn the former Emmanuel Lutheran Church into a home base. Export Historical Committee member Melanie Litz said she and Export Solicitor Wes Long met with their Murrysville counterparts ...

Jacoby honored as Murrysville 2014 Volunteer of the Year

By Patrick Varine
Resident John Jacoby was recognized as the 2014 Murrysville Volunteer of the Year. Jacoby has been a member of the Murrysville Lions Club since 1995 and ...

Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority customers won’t see rate increase

By Patrick Varine
Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority customers won’t see a rate increase next year. The authority board unanimously passed its 2015 budget last week and will end the year with a projected fund balance of about $839,000. Of that, $339,000 will be ...

Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority boss to retire

By Patrick Varine
As manager of the Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority, Jim Brucker has been dealing with numbers for more than four decades. There have been numbers of ...

Mellon, King honored with Murrysville Community Service awards

By Patrick Varine
Franklin Regional assistant principals Joan Mellon and Sam King were given the Murrysville 2014 Community Service Award last week for their actions in the immediate ...

Twins keep trains on track at Western Pa. malls

By Patrick Varine
You know a guy is into trains when his grandson calls him “Choo Choo Pap.” Though they know he loves trains, Tom Marucci’s grandchildren might not ...

Franklin Regional works to boost auto call system participation

By Patrick Varine
Franklin Regional School District officials would like to get their new automated call system up and running at peak efficiency, but for that to happen, more than half of the district’s high school students still need to supply information for ...

Murrysville Medic One named Agency of the Year

By Patrick Varine
Fellow emergency responders have named Murrysville Medic One as the state’s Agency of the Year. The Pennsylvania Department of Health, state Bureau of EMS and Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council honored Medic One at the 2014 Pennsylvania State EMS Awards, held ...

Donors help Delmont-based food bank rebound

By Patrick Varine
Westmoreland County Food Bank officials were thankful last month for donations from the public, a funding stream which they are relying on more and more. After a shortage of supplies forced food bank officials to dip into their Christmas stock to ...

Murrysville’s Jenkins starts recording EP

By Patrick Varine
Hannah Jenkins didn’t expect to be a recording artist by her sophomore year of college, and she was even more surprised to discover that she’d ...

Family does what it can to care for Murrysville graveyard

By Patrick Varine
When William Kistler of Leechburg stopped by Sardis Cemetery to visit the graves of his parents and grandparents shortly after Veterans Day, he was shocked ...

Municipal hours, trash service affected by holidays

By Tribune-Review
Municipal holiday closures in the Star’s coverage area will be as follows over the next two weeks: • Murrysville and Delmont municipal offices will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. There will be a one-day delay in trash and recycling ...

Brooks to help Wolf take office

By Patrick Varine
Murrysville Mayor Bob Brooks is a relatively rare bird: a Republican on a gubernatorial transition team full of Democrats. Brooks was tapped as one of 11 ...

Murrysville chief administrator updated on pipeline projects

By Patrick Varine
Murrysville chief administrator Jim Morrison came away from his most recent meeting with Sunoco Logistics representatives saying he’s satisfied with how their plan to install a transmission pipeline in the area are progressing. “I think they’ve done a very good ...

Murrysville seeks volunteers for boards, committees

By Patrick Varine
Murrysville officials are looking for members of the community to serve on municipal boards and committees. There currently are 25 vacancies among the municipality’s 11 boards ...

Export, Delmont hold line on taxes for 2015

By Patrick Varine
Officials in both Delmont and Export approved their 2015 budgets without tax increases on Tuesday night. Delmont Council unanimously approved a $1.19 million budget that carries over about $191,000 from the borough’s 2014 general fund. Export officials voted 6-0 — with Councilman ...

Westmoreland woman recounts how scammer took her for $50K

By Patrick Varine
(Editor’s note: The names of people contacted or victimized as part of a telephone scam have been omitted from this story.) When a Westmoreland County woman joined Facebook in 2009, she had no idea about things such as privacy ...