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Passenger flown to Pittsburgh hospital

| Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009

A passenger in a Jeep Grand Cherokee involved in a vehicle collision at 9 a.m. Monday at Rich Hill Road, the intersection with Hanson Stone Quarry, was flown by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital with moderate injuries.

Police said the Cherokee, operated by Brenda Stahl, 49, of Connellsville, was traveling north on Rich Hill Road when a CAT Excavator, operated by Allen H. Knopsnider, 58, of White attempted to cross the roadway. Police said the Stahl vehicle hit the bucket of the excavator.

Police said Knopsnider was not injured. Stahl was taken to Highlands Hospital for neck injuries. The passenger in the Stahl vehicle, Scott Keith Stahl, 29, of Connellsville was flown to the Pittsburgh hospital.


Dunbar man allegedly flees from police

Multiple charges including fleeing and eluding police have been filed against Duane R. Hughes, 43, of Lowery Drive, Dunbar, following an incident at 8:24 p.m. Sunday in Uniontown

Police said a trooper was on patrol when he observed a 1995 Chevrolet Lumina traveling at a high rate of speed. A police pursuit ensued on Lebanon Avenue to Dixon Boulevard.

Hughes crashed his vehicle and a foot pursuit started, police said. Hughes was eventually taken into custody.

Police said Hughes nearly crashed into two vehicles, the first one on Dixon Boulevard at South Mt. Vernon Avenue and the second on Dixon Boulevard at Hague Lane.


Blood donations are needed

Upcoming American Red Cross blood drives include:

• 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Laurel Highlands High School, 300 Bailey Ave. in Uniontown.

• Noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 27 at Indian Creek Valley Community Center, Route 711 in Indian Head.

• 12:30 to 6 p.m. Oct. 27 at Calvary Assembly of God, 1316 S. Pittsburgh St. in Connellsville.

• 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Uniontown High School, 146 E. Fayette St. in Uniontown.

• 1 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at Franklin Memorial United Methodist Church, 54 Bridge St. in Dunbar.

• Noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 3 at Uniontown Fireman's Social Hall, 58 Dunbar St. in Uniontown.

• 1 to 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 126 E. Fairview Ave. in Connellsville.

• Noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 13 at Highlands Hospital, 401 E. Murphy Ave. in Connellsville.

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 16 at Penn State Fayette, Route 119 North in Uniontown.

• Noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 19 at St John the Baptist Catholic Church, 3332 Pittsburgh Road in Perryopolis.

• 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 24 at Third Presbyterian Church, 425 Union St. in Uniontown.


Gasoline prices rise, report says

The average U.S. pump price for regular gasoline rose 8.5 cents to $2.574 a gallon in the week ended Monday, a government report showed.

Prices are down 12 percent from the year-earlier average of $2.914 a gallon, according to weekly data from the Department of Energy.

Diesel fuel increased 10.5 cents to $2.705 a gallon. The report is based on a survey of about 800 filling stations.

Prices were lowest on the Gulf Coast, where gasoline rose 12.3 cents to $2.439 a gallon. The highest prices were in California, where gasoline dropped 2.7 cents to $2.988 a gallon.


EPA report details program's benefits

The Environmental Protection Agency released a report to Congress detailing the health, environmental and economic benefits of the agency's Diesel Emission Reduction Program. The program, funded at $50 million last year, allowed EPA to fund the purchase or retrofitting of 14,000 diesel-powered vehicles and pieces of equipment, preventing respiratory illnesses and saving money in communities nationwide.

EPA is implementing stringent regulatory standards for new diesel engines.

On top of the FY2008 funding, competitions for FY2009 clean diesel funding grants totaling more than $60 million are in progress.

In addition to its budget funding, EPA recently awarded $300 million in clean diesel funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

For more information on clean diesel grants and funding, visit: For information on the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance program, visit:


Poster contest is launched

The Cultural Diversity Committee of the 100-county American Red Cross Blood Services, Greater Alleghenies Region, has launched its 2009-10 poster contest to benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and to recognize outstanding student efforts.

The contest is open to children who are enrolled in the fourth through sixth grades during the current 2009-10 school year.

Theme for this year's contest is "How can blood help save your friend's or family's life?" Participants are encouraged to visit, the national American Red Cross Web site, to gain ideas on how to represent this theme.

Prizes will be given for entries earning first-place, second-place, third-place and honorable mention awards. The first-place award is $200 in U.S. Savings Bonds; second place, a $100 U.S. Savings Bond; and third place, a $50 U.S. Savings Bond. All bond amounts represent value at maturity. Entrants will receive a Red Cross recognition item.

Participants may draw a poster using pens, pencils, crayons, paint or magic markers; computer-generated entries are not acceptable. Entries must be at least 11-inch by 14-inch and no larger than 12-inch by 16-inch. They must include the words "American Red Cross" and if the Red Cross symbol is used it must appear in red.

The back of each entry should include the child's name and address; 2009-10 school grade; teacher's name; school name, address and phone.

Entries must be submitted by Dec. 20, to American Red Cross Blood Services, Attention: Linda Myers, 250 Jari Drive, Johnstown, PA 15904-6949.

The region's employees will vote for their favorite entries using tickets purchased from the region's Diversity Committee and other regional employees. Funds generated through the ticket sales will be donated to support the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.


Cultural Trust to hold fundraiser

The Connellsville Cultural Trust will hold its third annual fundraiser this month.

The event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Connellsville Cultural Trust, 502 S. Pittsburgh Street. The cost is $50 and includes dinner and entertainment.

An international buffet will be offered, and music will be provided by junior high students under the direction of Ben Haines and Gayle Cuneo.

Trust President Michael Edwards said that all funds raised during the event will be used to support initiatives. The trust just received a state grant to continue its summer Art on the Yough event.

The mission of the Connellsville Cultural Trust is to improve the quality of life in the Connellsville region by valuing and preserving Connellsville's cultural and historic assess and supporting and nurturing other cultural groups and educational initiatives.

Reservations for the fundraising dinner must be made by Friday by calling 724-626-0141 or sending a check to 507 S. Pittsburgh St., Connellsville, PA 15425.

Council OKs payment into pension plans

At its regular October meeting, Connellsville City Council approved paying $181,815 into the police and firefighters pension plans to satisfy the 2009 Minimum Municipal Obligations. The total includes $150,144 in general municipal pension state aid from the Pennsylvania Auditor General's Office and $31,670 from the city's general fund.

The police pension plan will receive $159,448; the firefighters' pension plan will receive $22,367.

Council authorized paying $29,468 to the New Haven Hose Volunteer Fire Department. The money is the annual allotment to the Volunteer Fire Relief Association from the state Auditor General's Office.



Municipal meetings being held this week include:


• Fayette Airport Authority, 5:30 p.m., airport office

• Vanderbilt Borough Council, 7 p.m., borough building

• Connellsville City Council budget workshop, 5:15 p.m., city hall

• Laurel Highlands School Board, 7 p.m., middle school auditorium


• Frazier School Board, 7 p.m., administration building


Bonfire to aid football

team set for Wed.

The Southmoreland Football Parents Association invites members of the community to a bonfire supporting the Scottie football team for a "Night of Believing."

The special event will be held 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Russ Grimm Stadium's practice field. Hot dogs and hot chocolate will be provided.

Members of the Southmoreland marching band, cheerleaders and midget-league football players plan to honor the high school team and show their support for the home team.

The bonfire is being sponsored by Armor Chiropractic Health and Wellness Center.


Pennsylvania labor force increases in Sept.

Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted civilian labor force -- the number of people working or looking for work -- rose by 9,000 in September to 6.4 million. Employment was unchanged in September, while resident unemployment rose by 9,000. The Pennsylvania labor force was down 55,000 from September 2008.

Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was up one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.8 percent in September. The state rate remained below the U.S. unemployment rate, which rose one-tenth of a point to 9.8 percent. Pennsylvania's rate was up 3.2 percentage points from September 2008, while the U.S. rate was up 3.6 percentage points in the 12-month period.

Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs count dropped by 10,300 in September. The majority of the job losses were among service providing industries, however, the Professional and Business Services sector added 2,700 jobs.

Pennsylvania job count was down 198,100, or 3.4 percent, since September 2008. Nationally, jobs were down 4.2 percent over the same time period.

Fayette County

Head Start services in Fayette to expand

Rep. John Murtha announced the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette Inc. has been awarded a $322,575 grant to increase the number of preschool-age children served by its Head Start program in Fayette County.

The PIC currently receives federal funding to provide Head Start services to 534 preschool age children and their families. This represents only 30 percent of the population of children younger than 5 in Fayette County who meet the eligibility guidelines for Head Start services. The expansion funding will enable PIC to serve an additional 36 children and families in the county.

PIC has been the grant administrator of the Head Start Program of Fayette County since 1994. Contracted by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Fayette County Head Start program provides a coordinated delivery of services to 3- to 5-year-old low-income children and their families. With 10 locations throughout Fayette County, the Head Start program promotes school readiness by enhancing physical and emotional development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, and social services to enrolled children and families.

Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February. The PIC obtained this funding through a competitive RFP process.

For more information on the Head Start program in Fayette County, call Sandra Hall, director Head Start/Early Head Start, at 724-430-4818.

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