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Teacher conduct under spotlight in Pennsylvania

By Tory N. Parrish
Pennsylvania law bans sexual contact between teachers and students, regardless of students’ ages, but as reports of teacher improprieties surface, experts say school districts must tell staff that inappropriate conduct won’t be tolerated. There are state mandates to train staff to ...

Antiques show at Oakmont Country Club keeps Kerr Museum going

By Pamela Murphy
It’s been a long, cold winter. But next weekend, antiques enthusiasts will be able to shake off their cabin fever, escape the winter doldrums and ...

Arrests of Plum teachers prompt tight-lipped reaction

By Karen Zapf
Some students say the atmosphere inside Plum High School remains tense and tight-lipped ever since the arrest of two teachers accused of having sex with students. “It has been very tense,” said Max Barone, 17, a senior. “Teachers have been uptight ...

Plum School District will move bus terminal to Greensburg Road

By Karen Zapf
The Plum School District transportation operation is moving to Greensburg Road. Board members in a special meeting last week voted 5-3 to spend nearly $1.7 million ...

Plum planners want more time to ponder electronic signs

By Karen Zapf
The Plum Borough Planning Commission on Monday night tabled a vote on changing the minimum message timing on electronic message boards from one minute to 10 seconds. Members said they received the revision Monday night and wanted more time to study ...

Plum School District prelim budget shows $2.5 million shortfall

By Karen Zapf
Wade Woolford said he doesn’t mind paying a bit more in taxes if students benefit. “I don’t mind chipping in for them,” Woolford of Winchester Drive told Plum School Board members during last week’s finance committee meeting. “I don’t want to ...

Parents of Plum students demand protection against sexual impropriety by teachers

By Karen Zapf
Because of two Plum High School teachers being arrested and accused of having sex with female students, four residents who spoke at Tuesday night’s school ...

Plum teacher contacted student, violated bond, police say

By Karen Zapf
A Plum High School chemistry teacher accused of having sex with an 18-year-old female student contacted her last week, police said. Chief Jeffrey Armstrong said Plum police obtained a warrant Monday for Jason Cooper’s arrest on a charge of witness intimidation. Police ...

Plum couple can’t sue borough over bridge removal

By Brian Bowling
A Plum couple can’t pursue constitutional claims against the borough for removing a bridge from their property because they can’t show the removal was due to a policy or other criteria needed to establish municipal liability under federal law, a ...

Plum School District considers fraternization limits as 2 teachers accused of sex with students

By Adam Brandolph and Karen Zapf
A suburban school district where two teachers are accused of having sex with students has no policy to prevent fraternization between them. At least one school ...

Plum’s Pivik Elementary School classrooms damaged

By Karen Zapf
For the second time in four months, Pivik Elementary School has sustained water damage. Superintendent Timothy Glasspool said Monday two classrooms — a fourth-grade room on ...

Plum mayor gauging interest in community parade to commemorate Memorial Day

By Karen Zapf
The completion of Old Mine Road, a new street that runs through the center of borough property in the Renton section of Plum, gave Mayor Richard Hrivnak an idea. Hrivnak said he was talking with his son, Richie, about the military ...

Increased remodeling costs prompt debate over the future of Plum’s Regency Park Elementary

By Karen Zapf
Plum School Board members are evaluating options before deciding the future of Regency Park Elementary — again. The move comes on the heels of Dennis Russo, who manages the district’s construction projects, telling members during last week’s facilities committee meeting that ...

Second Plum teacher arrested, accused of sex with student

By Karen Zapf and Tony Raap
For the second time in less than a week, police have arrested and accused a Plum High School teacher of having sex with a student. Joseph ...

Student says charges of relationship between Plum High educator, girl no shock

By Megan Guza and Karen Zapf
A relationship between Plum High School teacher Jason Cooper and a senior girl at the school was not a well-kept secret, according to one student. “A ...

Plum teacher mixed drinks for girl, police say

By Karen Zapf  and Megan Guza
When the 17-year-old Plum High School senior visited chemistry teacher Jason Edward Cooper’s home before Christmas, he made her Long Island iced teas, she told ...

Plum wants safety, common sense in updating message laws

By Karen Zapf
Motorists in Plum might be seeing more messages as they drive past electronic reader boards. Planning Commission director Jason Straley is drafting revisions to the borough ordinance governing electronic message boards, to reduce the minimum message timing and potentially require messages ...

Plum teacher arrested for sexual conduct with student; another under investigation

By Karen Zapf
A Plum High School teacher on Wednesday was arraigned on charges he engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with an 18-year-old female student, and police say a separate, unrelated investigation is underway involving a second teacher and a different female student. Plum ...

Plum plans for road paving throughout borough streets

By Karen Zapf
With spring about a month away, Plum officials are turning their attention to road paving projects. Council members on Monday night voted to approve the 2015 paving program that assistant manager Greg Bachy said consists of 14 streets in the Greendale, ...

Cushion given to complete new Plum emergency building

By Karen Zapf
Renton Volunteer Fire Department members are anxious to move their trucks and equipment to the new station. “We are thankful we will be in a new ...

Solicitor defends Plum manager amid Sunshine Act dispute

By Karen Zapf
A Plum resident told council on Monday night that she wants to know who is making decisions about borough business. “My question is, who gives (manager) Mike Thomas his orders — the council and mayor — or does he (Thomas) give ...

Plum police, school district investigating ‘impropriety’

By Karen Zapf
Plum Borough School District and Plum Police are investigating an allegation of impropriety at Plum Senior High School, but wouldn’t offer details Tuesday. Police Chief Jeffrey Armstrong declined to disclose details about the allegation or who is under investigation. Armstrong …

Tracing African-American genealogy to be topic at event

By Cynthia Bombach Helzel
When Marlene Garrett Bransom set out in 1984 to trace her family’s history in Greene County, she was excited by the prospect of what she ...

Running Mustangs program sparks Plum elementary set to start training

By Karen Zapf
Running is a family activity for the Walkers. The family last year ran in the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay. Also, Bailey and Antonino Walker, students at Holiday Park ...

Plum School District expected to hold lunch prices next year

By Karen Zapf
Plum School District food service director Maryann Lazzaro recommends no increase in lunch prices in the 2015-16 school year, despite brown-baggers who never returned to the lunch line after a 2012 boycott. Lazzaro told school board members during a recent finance ...

Plum council promises transparency for meetings

By Karen Zapf
Plum council has reversed manager Michael Thomas’ decision to keep the public from attending committee meetings. “As per council’s discussion with the borough manager, we agreed to advertise committee meetings going forward,” council Vice President Michael Dell wrote in an email ...

Plum superintendent receives 5-year contract and $10,000 raise for next year

By Karen Zapf
Plum Superintendent Timothy Glasspool has a new five-year contract that will boost his salary to $142,600 in the 2015-16 school year. In a unanimous vote Tuesday ...

Plum teachers join board in approving contract

By Karen Zapf
Plum School District’s 268 teachers have a new contract that increases wages, but raises the amount of money they are required to contribute to their health care. The four-year agreement that will cost the district an additional $3.7 million in teacher ...

Plum teachers get raise but will pay more in health care

By Karen Zapf 10:24 p.m.
Plum School District’s 268 teachers have a contract that increases wages but raises the amount of money they are required to contribute to their health care. The four-year agreement will cost the district $3.7 million in teacher salaries and takes effect ...

Plum snow response beefed up

By Karen Zapf
Procedures to beef up clearing snow-covered roads in Plum that were decided during a closed council committee meeting were put into action during this week’s snowstorm. Councilman Steven “Skip” Taylor said Monday that six public works employees were deployed at the ...

Plum’s Unity VFD to seek license for small games of chance

By Karen Zapf
The Unity Volunteer Fire Department is looking to add variety to its events and raise money. President Ira Helfer said the department plans to seek a small games of chance license to conduct 50/50 drawings and other raffles at events, including ...

Plum Council vows to keep meetings open

By Karen Zapf
Council committee sessions will be open to the public despite Plum manager Michael Thomas’ decision to close a recent public works committee meeting, as well as future ones, President Mike Doyle said. “We are not banning anyone from attending any type ...

Plum School Board in limbo over budget prep

By Karen Zapf
Plum School Board members Tuesday night were expected to consider a budget for 2015-16 that would request exceptions to go above the maximum property-tax rate increase allowed under the Act 1 index. The item was included on the agenda despite board ...

Plum’s 1st property tax hike since 2006 could reach 6.2%

By Karen Zapf
The Plum School District is considering raising property taxes next school year by as much as 6.2 percent. Whether the district actually raises the real estate tax, and by how much, won’t be determined until spring or early summer. The ...

Plum School Board OKs teachers contract

By Karen Zapf
Plum School Board voted, 7-2, Tuesday night to approve a four-year contract with the district’s 268 teachers. The pact is retroactive to Sept. 1, 2014. The teachers are set to vote on the proposal Feb. 3, said Plum Borough Education Association ...

Flood victims’ family to receive $1.5M in damages

By Bob Bauder
Government agencies have agreed to pay a total of about $1.5 million in damages to the family of a Plum woman who drowned in 2011 ...

Plum School Board considering iPad for each student

By Karen Zapf
Plum School Board members are exploring the possibility of providing an iPad for each student. The board is considering starting its own “1:1 Initiative,” a national ...

Soaring costs may prompt Plum School board to reconsider Regency Park Elementary fixes

By Karen Zapf
The price to remodel and expand Regency Park Elementary School has increased by a half-million dollars. Construction officials discovered that in addition to not finding enough area in a crawl space below the first floor to install a new elevator, the ...

St. John the Baptist school in Plum to mark Catholic Schools Week with activities

By Karen Zapf
The Catholic Schools Week theme incorporating faith, knowledge and service is how St. John the Baptist in Plum strives to carry out each day. “We celebrate it all year round,” Principal Theresa Szmed said. The Diocese of Pittsburgh is celebrating Catholic Schools ...