Sending the right message: Former Monessen Treasurer Frank “Bucky” Rizzuto, a 26-year city fixture, was sentenced to a year of probation for skimming $470 from parking meter money. What he didn't get from the county District Attorney's Office was the option to enroll in a program that would have wiped clean his criminal record. Whether he took $400 or $400,000, he was an elected official who trampled the public trust. And for that breach there should be no easy out, offered or applied.
Amnesty for library scofflaws: Eighteen Westmoreland County libraries are making an offer that neglectful patrons cannot refuse: For the week of Nov. 3-9, they'll see their fines forgiven if they return overdue books, movies and CDs — dating back to 2008 — and donate a food item, which will go to the Westmoreland County Food Bank. Here's hoping this will reduce the backlog of more than 11,000 missing materials, which add up to a significant cost. Besides, those overdue items aren't doing scofflaws any good gathering dust in their homes.
Battery check: Members of a Ligonier Township family escaped tragedy last week when they were roused by their home's smoke detectors during an early morning fire. Fire officials said it's a “textbook example” of why they urge people to change the batteries in their smoke detectors at this time of year. Most people tend to wait until their smoke detectors “chirp” with a weak-battery signal. Simply swapping out batteries on a regular schedule makes considerably more sense.
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