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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

New shelter space: A New Kensington native has donated a rural, 5-acre parcel in Allegheny Township to the Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley for a new shelter. That's great. The current shelter off of Stevenson Boulevard is far too small and the animals have little exercise space. Now the no-kill shelter has to do its part — raise $2 million for construction.

Budgets, budgets, budgets: The annual sausage-making that it takes to create a fiscal plan for our counties is well underway:

• In Westmoreland, we're hearing the same “We're so broke!” lament we've been hearing for decades. This year's deficit is an estimated $19 million. But fear not — the commissioners may whine but invariably make the cuts/find more money.

• In Allegheny, the proposed capital budget contains a $500,000 line item to help bail out the insolvent August Wilson black cultural center. But as County Councilman Michael Finnerty, D-Scott, astutely notes, that's not a capital budget function — not that the county should be bailing out the Wilson center in the first place.

• In Armstrong, the commissioners have told all departments to come in with a 10-percent budget reduction — no if, ands or buts. There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth in Kittanning.

• The Butler commissioners aren't raising taxes, but they are threatening to sell the county's money-losing nursing home, Sunnyview.

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