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Artifacts put history in Belle Vernon students’ hands

By Joe Napsha
When a Belle Vernon Area Middle School teacher talks about the Civil War with his students, he has something to show the students that no book can provide. A Confederate artillery shell, an 8-pound cannonball, grapeshot, a canteen and a …

Yough drug symposium attracts full house

By Joe Napsha
Drug abuse is a public health epidemic and people need to become aware of the problem – both illegal drugs and prescription medications – and educate themselves to the dangers of drug abuse, speakers said last week at a drug …

Smithton council continues drive for pedestrian safety

By William S. Zirkle
Sidewalks were once again on the agenda at Smithton Borough Council’s monthly meeting Monday. Council president Dan Barthels said, “Council reminds borough residents that maintenance of their sidewalk is pretty important.” He said it is the resident’s responsibility to maintain …

Yough postpones land bank decision

By William S. Zirkle
The Yough School Board voted, 5-3, to table action on joining the Westmoreland County Land Bank during the regular April 9 meeting. Director Ken Bach made the motion to table after the district’s business manager Mike Wrobleski said he did …

West Newton Council approves seismic testing for natural gas — without trucks

By Joe Napsha
An oil and gas services company received permission on Monday to install recorders in West Newton to collect seismic data from underground explosions to determine whether the land underneath the 1.1-square-mile borough contains pockets of natural gas. West Newton Council …

Jazz alive, kicking at Yough High School

By Joe Napsha
The Yough High School auditorium will be filled with the sounds of jazz music Friday and Saturday nights when several middle school, high school and …

Sutersville Sewickley authority could be out $10,000

By Joe Napsha
The Sutersville Sewickley Municipal Sewage Authority could lose more than $10,000 in revenue from liens it placed on three properties in Sutersville, if the tax-delinquent parcels are sold in a Westmoreland County tax sale that releases the buyer from paying …

New hire hopes to reinvigorate Smithton Library

By Joe Napsha
The Smithton Library is undergoing a rejuvenation with a new consultant who brings a long career as a school librarian to the small-town library, the …

Yough boasts ‘strong balance sheet’

By William S. Zirkle
Joel Kunkel, partner at Herbein & Co. Inc., Pittsburgh, complimented the Yough School Board on the district’s “strong balance sheet.” Kunkel recently reported to the board the results of an audit of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, and …

Yough to host drug abuse symposium

By Joe Napsha
Coming on the heels of complaints of drug use in Herminie and a jump in drug and alcohol overdoses in Westmoreland County last year, the Yough School District is seeking to make residents aware of the issues surrounding drug and …

Simeral Square news

By William S. Zirkle
Downtown West Newton Inc. is anticipating an exciting second season at Simeral Square as plans for events and activities are being finalized. During an informational meeting Saturday night, Simeral Square project coordinator George Sam briefed attendees on the history of …

Yough students enjoy challenge of Science Bowl

By Joe Napsha
A group of Yough High School students accustomed to competing in cross-country, basketball, football, golf, soccer and track, tested their skills recently in a different …

1 dead in West Newton house fire

By Mary Pickels
A critically ill man desperately attempted to escape the flames that consumed his West Newton home early Thursday but failed when the roof of the …

West Newton to tap power of Web for emergency info

By Joe Napsha
West Newton Borough plans to join Sewickley Township in using social media to inform borough residents of any emergencies such as adverse weather, flooding and other incidents. Paul Williams, West Newton’s emergency management director, received permission from borough council Monday …

Smithton Council to ticket scofflaws: ‘Pay up’

By William S. Zirkle
Smithton Borough Council is cracking down on those who choose to ignore parking tickets issued by borough police. In an attempt to enforce compliance and recover lost revenue, council voted unanimously Monday to have borough police officers issue citations to …

West Newton fire company says debts paid

By Joe Napsha
The state has threatened to withhold aid to the West Newton Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Association over an unpaid loan of nearly $20,000 to the town’s fire company, but the fire chief said the loan has been repaid. The state auditor …

Belle Vernon middle schoolers delve into history

By Joe Napsha
Belle Vernon Area Middle School student Rebecca Holderbaum’s journey to create a poster about several atrocities in Appalachia that were a precursor to the Whiskey …

Sewickley Township utilizes social media

By Joe Napsha
Sewickley Township has turned to social media – Facebook and the web-based mass-notification service called Nixle – to alert local residents to road closures, flooding, and other emergencies. The Sewickley Township Emergency Management Agency used Nixle last Saturday night as …

Bell Vernon, Yough students prepare for First Robotics competition

By Kelly Vernon
Belle Vernon Area and Yough high school students in the mechatronics program prepare for competition as they add finishing touches to their robot Eugene IV …

Sutersville council remains shorthanded

By Joe Napsha
Sutersville has a new council member, but is still looking for someone to serve on council and represent Sutersville on the Sutersville-Sewickley Municipal Sewage Authority. Michael Way was sworn into office by Mayor Alaina Breakiron at council’s Feb. 11 meeting. …