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Vocal resident banned from all Baldwin-Whitehall district property

By Stephanie Hacke
Tom Barchfeld stood at the microphone, wearing a neatly pressed black suit. Speaking once again in a monotone voice, the Whitehall man, 58, questioned school …

Shredding program set in Pleasant Hills

By Dona S. Dreeland
One name plus one account number could equal identity theft. Pleasant Hills officials on April 26 will host a “Secure Your ID” Day, sponsored by the Better Business Bureau. This year, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s “Got Drugs” program is scheduled …

Baldwin EMS assistant chief honored for safety

By Stephanie Hacke
The streets can be a dangerous place for emergency personnel. Cars accelerate past them as they stand there, trying to save a life. “We’re responding …

WJH held drill day before FR incident

By Dona S. Dreeland
The violence at Franklin Regional High School last Wednesday took West Jefferson Hills School District superintendent Michael Panza by surprise. But parents in the district did not panic, he said. “There were no calls from anyone,” Panza said. “It was …

Jefferson Regional volunteers downplay individual achievements

By Dona S. Dreeland
A tap on her shoulder years ago set a new direction for Thresa Yerman of Whitehall. At her church, St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin, …

Thomas Jefferson’s first Mini-THON nets maxi-results

By Dona S. Dreeland
Thomas Jefferson High School’s first Mini-THON was an overwhelming succcess that raised more than double its organizer’s goal. Dancers on 21 teams kept the beat …

Baldwin Township charter school plans for enrollment boost

By Stephanie Hacke
Adding 36 parking spaces at a multilingual, multicultural charter school in Baldwin Township will equip the school for a planned enrollment boost over the next …

Baldwin-Whitehall board fires transportation manager

By Stephanie Hacke
It was the scariest day of her life, she said. Amber Kustron waited more than 20 minutes longer than usual on Feb. 26 for her daughter, 7, to arrive home from school. The Baldwin-Whitehall school bus was no where around …

Stabbing tragedy prompts districts to re-examine what they would do

By Stephanie Hacke
The bell had yet to ring to signal the start of the school day, when a student at Franklin Regional High School moved through the building wielding two kitchen knives. Twenty-two people, mostly students, at the Westmoreland County school were …

Baldwin-Whitehall board approves termination of interim cafeteria manager

By Stephanie Hacke
An interim cafeteria manager at Baldwin High School, who was arrested on charges that she stole more than $90,000 from student accounts in a nearby district, was terminated last week. Kathleen Smith, 55, of Carnegie, left her job in Baldwin-Whitehall …

Baldwin officials think outside the pool

By Stephanie Hacke
Baldwin Borough leaders said they hope an outside management company can help curtail the municipal pool from continuing to drain borough funds. Elm Leaf Park Swimming Pool, located behind the Baldwin Borough municipal building, operates at an annual loss of …

Defense experts tell of disease they say claimed 4-month-old from Castle Shannon whose father is charged with homicide

By Adam Brandolph
A medical expert’s testimony about a 4-month-old boy’s death could determine whether an Allegheny County judge sends a Castle Shannon man home or to prison. Police charged Jason Gmuer, 35, with homicide, aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children …

Fallen tree closes Route 51 in Jefferson Hills

By Michael Hasch
All four lanes of Route 51 in Jefferson Hills were closed Monday night between Large and the Elizabeth Bridge because of a downed tree, Allegheny County emergency dispatchers said. The tree fell around 9:30 p.m. in the southbound lanes near …

3 Baldwin-Whitehall teachers claim discrimination

By Brian Bowling
Baldwin-Whitehall School District put three female teachers lower on the pay scale than their male counterparts by giving them less credit for prior experience, the teachers claim in a federal lawsuit filed on Friday. The district hired Holly Niemi, 37, …

Consent decree settles discrimination lawsuit against Baldwin Borough apartment complex

By Brian Bowling
The owner of a Baldwin Borough apartment complex agreed to pay a $15,000 fine and keep a log of people asking about vacancies to settle a federal discrimination lawsuit, according to a consent decree that the government filed on Wednesday. …

Veterans share stories of service at Whitehall library

By Shawn Annarelli
World War II veteran George Morgan didn’t have to go. During his military training, he developed pneumonia in his left lung. Doctors told him he …

Residents of 4 communities may bear sewage treatment plant cost hike

By Stephanie Hacke and Dona Dreeland
A drastic increase in the proposed cost for upgrades to a Pleasant Hills Authority sewage treatment plant has local officials saying the change will trigger a similar hike in residents’ bills. Communities covered by the Pleasant Hills Authority — which …

West Jefferson Hills’ math curriculum to be fortified

By Dona S. Dreeland
West Jefferson Hills School District is updating its math curriculum. Bonnie Dyer, district director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, is working with teachers to make the math curriculum more compatible with the Keystone and Common Core Standard assessments. The overhaul …

Carnegie library leaders look to meet more sophisticated needs

By Dona S. Dreeland
Allegheny County library leaders are working together to sharpen the focus of the 45 county and 19 Carnegie libraries for the next several years. The initiative, Library Service in the 21st Century, encourages people to consider how they use the …

March Madness is poetry to Pleasant Hills Middle Schoolers

By Dona S. Dreeland
In Susan Luckhardt’s English classes at Pleasant Hills Middle School, it wasn’t Gators, Huskies, Badgers or Wildcats on her students’ minds as April began. During their March Madness competition, poet bested poet until Shel Silverstein took the title for his …

Baldwin High honors students enjoy an all-night ‘Odyssey’

By Stephanie Hacke
It takes a certain kind of person to stay at school for 17 hours to read a 3,000-year-old, 400-page poem with nearly 60 classmates. “This …

Baldwin alumni go behind the scenes to help with musicals

By Stephanie Hacke
One year after Connor Doran stared in his final high school musical, he continues to perfect vocal performances inside the Baldwin High School performing arts …

New director breathes new life into Baldwin Borough Library

By Stephanie Hacke
The front doors of the old Wallace School building opened and a little girl burst inside — running as fast as she could ahead of …

New video makes a statement for South Baldwin VFC

By Stephanie Hacke
Forget the booty shaking, fire truck dancing and astonishing moments in front of the camera. The latest video by the South Baldwin Volunteer Fire Company …

Brentwood cracks down on illegally parked commercial vehicles

By Stephanie Hacke
Brentwood residents opting to park oversized commercial vehicles on the street overnight without a permit can expect a ticket. Resident complaints prompted borough leaders to begin enforcing parking regulations for commercial vehicles that are illegally parked on the street overnight. …

Baldwin Borough Scout gives old flags a proper disposal

By Stephanie Hacke
Torn and tattered flags across the South Hills now will have a proper final resting place. A large, wooden box — encrusted in red, white …

Baldwin Community Day pushed to later in the year

By Stephanie Hacke
The carnival rides, meatball hoagies and sky-illuminating fireworks that fill Baldwin Borough’s annual community day on the first Saturday of June will have to wait a couple of months this year. Borough leaders on Tuesday agreed that the annual community …

Benefit dinner to benefit South Park girl with cancer

By Dona S. Dreeland
Madison Wasco is happy to be outside and playing again with her friends. What 11-year-old wouldn’t be? But her enjoyment is extra special. Last week, …

Bridgeville, South Fayette hosting meetings on future of libraries

By Dona S. Dreeland
Library patrons who attend sessions next week in Bridgeville and South Fayette will be asked to talk about services that should be consistent in libraries across Allegheny County, and those that might be localized in each community. The Allegheny County …

Salt delay could mean savings for South Hills communities

By Stephanie Hacke
A delay in the delivery of rock salt this year left some South Hills roads, at times, covered in ice for hours, but the wait also saved some communities several thousand dollars. Baldwin Borough was one of the towns participating …

Brentwood Council approves contract for stadium work

By Stephanie Hacke
A South Hills company will construct new bleachers, a press box and concession stand at Brentwood Park this summer. Council members last week, in a unanimous vote, awarded a $1.8 million contract to Plavchak Construction of Jefferson Hills for the …

Baldwin students to take audience on fairy tale journey

By Stephanie Hacke
The Three Little Pigs, Humpty Dumpty, Peter Pan, an ogre and even a princess — adorned in bright, flashy colors — threw their hands up …

Brentwood youngsters are munchkins, monkeys in ‘Oz’

By Stephanie Hacke
Tiny tykes fill the Brentwood Middle/High School stage, singing and dancing along the yellow brick road to the Emerald City beside their older and taller peers. Twenty-four elementary students from Brentwood will join the cast of this year’s middle/high school …

Former rescue dog enjoying retired life with Baldwin family

By Stephanie Hacke
Patches of gray now streak across the black Labrador retriever’s body. Years of searches and rescues across local counties and visits to schools have caused …

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Brentwood’s musical

By Stephanie Hacke
Perfecting that wicked-sounding, high-pitched cackle took weeks of practice as a high school senior was transformed into a green-faced witch. Liz Powell had to dig …

Gardening pro ready for child’s play at Jefferson Hills library

By Dona S. Dreeland
One common fruit may become a child’s inspiration to grow a whole garden. That’s what Denise Schreiber is hoping for as she prepares for her April 9 class, All About Apples, at Jefferson Hills Public Library. Children, pre-kindergarten through third-grade, …

South Hills family brings lumber to life for sluggers in 20 states

By Photos and Story By Phil Pavely
It’s Aul good in this South Hills garage. Springtime. Baseball returns. Orders arrive for custom lumber. When Joe Aul, 24, graduated from St. Vincent College …

Baldwin firefighters climb to new heights

By Stephanie Hacke
Upbeat tunes from Rob Bailey and the Hustle Standard blared through the headphones. Danielle Morrison was ready to go: 45 floors, 897 steps to the …

Brentwood Council has ‘legal’ concerns regarding BPI fundraising

By Stephanie Hacke
Brentwood leaders have suspended ties to a nonprofit philanthropic group credited with raising nearly $400,000 for borough park improvements, citing legal concerns about how some of the funds were raised. Council members in a 6-1 vote on Monday agreed for …