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Penn Township commissioners hear from supporters of shale drilling

By Chris Foreman
Supporters of shale drilling stepped up this week to discourage Penn Township commissioners from imposing local regulations that could curb unconventional gas wells from operating on the largest of the township’s private properties. Since a public hearing last May about updates ...

Insurance helps cover cost of plow truck in Trafford

By Chris Foreman
Trafford Council is moving forward with the purchase of a new truck that will be used for snow removal to replace one that is totaled. Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to buy a 2015 four-wheel-drive truck through a state purchasing contract ...

Penn Township to limit speakers, require premeeting registration

By Chris Foreman
An overwhelming interest in Penn Township’s pending zoning ordinance is leading officials to require township residents and property owners to register for the chance to give comments at a public meeting next month. Township officials also said they are willing to ...

Penn Township sets setback back to 600 feet

By Chris Foreman
Fearing possible litigation from drilling companies, Penn Township commissioners on Monday abandoned a plan to expand the buffer zone between an unconventional well and homes and “vulnerable structures” such as schools, hospitals and intermediate care centers. Their 3-1 decision was …

Penn firefighters hope to modify language of rec center sale

By Chris Foreman
Penn Township’s sale of the former PTARC/Shelley Proskin Recreation Center and associated land to the Level Green Volunteer Fire Department is heading back to the lawyers for revisions. The firefighters are seeking some leeway in a clause of the proposed ...

5 nabbed in break-in at Trafford residence

By Paul Peirce
Tips from witnesses helped authorities track down five suspects within an hour of a burglary this week, Trafford police said Thursday. The suspects, Jamal R. Bailey, 19; Jessie Storm Rau, 18; and Benjamin Payne, 18, all of Pitcairn, and Randall Vrabel, ...

Access road worries Shadow Wood residents

By Chris Foreman
Some residents in the Shadow Wood housing plan in Trafford are growing restless about what the future might hold for a nearby 9-acre property. But the property owner, James Urban — who developed a nearby retail plaza at Route 130 and ...

Hearing set on Trafford Motor building

By Chris Foreman
The former Trafford Motor Co. building at Fifth Street and Duquesne Avenue could be one step closer to a wrecking ball if Trafford Council determines ...

Trafford seeks full-time manager

By Chris Foreman
Trafford council is on the hunt again for a full-time borough manager. After turning last summer to Virginia Finnegan to work part time to reorganize the borough finances, officials now are looking for a full-time successor. Finnegan, 69, has said since ...

Trafford looks to hire snow-plow help

By Chris Foreman
Down to two operable snow-plow trucks — including one that is too large to be used in most of the borough — Trafford council is seeking prices for emergency snow-removal services to help the road crew during heavy snows. Borough officials ...

Sewer work to cost Penn-Trafford $158K

By Chris Foreman
A Lawrence County company is receiving a contract for emergency sewer work at Penn-Trafford High School. School board members on Monday voted 8-0, with Bruce Newell absent, to pay Wilson Excavating of New Wilmington $158,237 for pipe-bursting work outside the school. Contractors ...

Manor American Legion Post 472 upgrades gym

By Chris Foreman
Soccer and futsal teams are starting the new year on better footing at Manor American Legion Post 472. During two weeks of down time during the ...

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 ...

Penn-Trafford grad finds herself in ‘Jeopardy’

By Chris Foreman
This 1995 Penn-Trafford graduate who now lives in Canada will appear on an episode of “Jeopardy” next week. If you answered “Who is Cyndi Pruss?” you ...

Bires takes over PTARC during time of transition

By Chris Foreman
Linda Bires says there’s a joke about her: If she talks with you for five minutes, she’ll rope you into volunteering for or participating in ...

Open house to focus on drilling in Level Green

By Chris Foreman
A proposed shale-drilling site in the Level Green neighborhood of Penn Township is spurring Trafford officials to have an open house next week to review the potential ramifications for borough residents. Mayor Rey Peduzzi is organizing a meeting that is scheduled ...

Construction crews stayed busy at Penn-Trafford over break

By Chris Foreman
Though students had nearly two weeks off from classes, construction crews kept working on the $31 million project at Penn-Trafford High School. The English rooms have been turned back over to classes, and work on the math rooms is expected to ...

Charges dismissed against ‘lonely’ 911 caller from Penn Township

By Bob Stiles
Authorities withdrew charges Tuesday against a Penn Township man who had been accused of calling 911 several times “because he was lonely,” his attorney said. Gregory L. Shaffer, 52, had been scheduled to appear before township District Judge Helen Kistler for ...

PTARC upheaval, Trafford turnover among top stories of 2014

By Chris Foreman
Years from now, when nostalgia inspires a VH1-style show about the essence and oddities of 2014, we’ll be reminded of the viral explosion of the ...

Penn Township man again seeking 3rd trial in 2006 homicide

By Renatta Signorini
A Penn Township man is trying for the second time to have a judge grant him a third trial on the basis that his attorney was ineffective during a 2008 homicide trial. Jason P. Maple, 33, through attorney Caroline Roberto, filed ...

Penn Township District Judge Kistler plans bid for 3rd term on bench

By Paul Peirce
Penn Township District Judge Helen M. Kistler has announced she will seek re-election to a third six-year term. Kistler, 59, a Republican, was appointed to the ...

Penn-Trafford graduate helps produce sci-fi series

By Chris Foreman
A Penn-Trafford graduate is a part of a new sci-fi series that is being filmed in the Pittsburgh area. Raquel Bouvy is a producer for Pittsburgh-based ...

New government websites in the works for Penn, Manor, Trafford

By Chris Foreman
Officials for Penn Township, Manor and Trafford all are in the midst of increasing the content on their websites, as well as improving their appearances. The most-significant changes likely will be on the Penn Township website. The township might spend as ...

Driving course at Penn-Trafford Academy blends online, after-school instruction

By Chris Foreman
The Penn-Trafford Academy is expanding its driver’s theory course to include high school students from outside of the district. Administrators for the academy — which blends both online and after-school, in-class instruction — are accepting registrations for the two-month class, which ...

Trafford Council passes 2015 budget

By Chris Foreman
In a last-minute move, Trafford council last week increased funding for part-time police officers by $10,000 before passing a $1.3-million budget for 2015. Council decided to bump expenses for part-time police up to $108,000, which is closer to what officials budgeted ...

Appellate court upholds ruling on vo-tech teachers in Penn-Trafford

By Chris Foreman
An appellate court has upheld a ruling in Westmoreland County that the Penn-Trafford School District wasn’t required to hire from a group of furloughed vo-tech teachers when it filled a job opening at the high school in 2010. The Commonwealth Court ...

Penn Township board OKs 5-year road crew pact

By Chris Foreman
Unionized road-crew workers in Penn Township are getting annual 2-percent raises in a new five-year contract that runs through 2019. Township commissioners unanimously gave conditional approval to the terms of the new contract on Dec. 15, two weeks before the existing ...

Sewage rates to decrease slightly in Manor

By Chris Foreman
Sewage rates are going down slightly in Manor. Starting with the billing for the last three months of 2014, the quarterly base rate will drop for most borough residents by $1.09 to $107.45 for the first 3,000 gallons of water. Homeowners ...

Penn Township-Sunoco pipeline battle could go to court

By Rich Cholodofsky
Penn Township has initiated a legal battle to force Sunoco Logistics to remove a small portion of a 300-mile pipeline that was erroneously installed in the municipality. The writ was filed Tuesday morning, hours before township and company officials held a ...

Suspect ordered to trial in Trafford attack

By Paul Peirce
A Trafford man testified Tuesday he was sleeping on his couch Nov. 26 when he was awakened by a former roommate bludgeoning him with a metal baseball bat. Jason D. Baranowsky, 33, said he awoke in pain with blood dripping down ...

Level Green VFD nears closing on Proskin rec center

By Chris Foreman
Given a second chance to buy a former school property to build a new garage, Level Green firefighters pounced. “We never ever thought for an instant that the property would become available again once we passed on it in the ’90s,” ...

Penn Township officials move to ban fracking ponds

By Chris Foreman
In a change from two months ago, Penn Township officials now are moving to ban fracking ponds from all five zoning districts, not just residential and commercial areas. The shift to expand the pond prohibition comes as commissioners are working with ...

Sunoco mistakenly puts part of pipeline on Penn Township land

By Chris Foreman
Penn Township officials are threatening litigation against Sunoco Logistics because the company installed a tiny section of a major pipeline on township property without their permission. Township Solicitor Les Mlakar said he might go so far as to request a court ...

Penn Township homemaker to seek district judge position

By Rich Cholodofsky
A Penn Township homemaker will run for the district judge office currently held by Republican Helen Kistler. Republican Georgia Snowden, 43, said Thursday she wants to ...

Workers at Penn-Trafford High School discover damaged pipes

By Chris Foreman
The cost of replacing cracked and collapsing sewage lines at Penn-Trafford High School is expected to run into six figures. A construction crew working on the $31-million improvement project at the high school found major problems with the terra cotta and ...

Trafford Council streamlines problem-tenant ordinance

By Chris Foreman
On the heels of some of the higher-profile crime reports in town, Trafford officials are aiming to hold landlords and tenants accountable if police are called to a rental unit multiple times during a 90-day period. Under a proposal that would ...

Manor shifts sewage fee collection duties to MAWC

By Chris Foreman
With an eye toward cutting its expenses for collecting sewage payments, Manor Council has decided to have the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County bill customers next year instead of the borough tax collector. Council’s decision last week takes away a duty ...

Level Green VFD agrees to take on PTARC rec center debt

By Chris Foreman
Penn Township commissioners are nearing a decision on a potential transfer of the PTARC/Shelley Proskin Recreation Center property to the Level Green Volunteer Fire Department. With the firefighters agreeing last month to pay the estimated $46,000 remaining on an outstanding loan ...

Penn-Trafford School Board agrees to not exceed tax-hike limit

By Chris Foreman
In a procedural move, the Penn-Trafford School Board has agreed to cap any possible increase in the property-tax rate for the 2015-16 school year at the state-based index of 1.92 mills. The board voted unanimously on Dec. 2 to limit any ...