Tornado cleanup: Under a new state law, homeowners now have recourse to dispute unwarranted mechanics liens when a contractor fails to pay for building materials. State Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield, introduced the legislation after 17 Westmoreland County homeowners, in the aftermath of a 2011 tornado, got slapped with liens because their roofing contractor didn't pay his building materials supplier. Now homeowners who pay their contractors in full won't get double dipped on materials, especially after coping with a devastating storm.
Checks & balances: The Rev. Emil Stephen Payer has been ordered to pay more than $98,000 in restitution for stealing from a South Huntingdon church. And exactly how much does the Greensburg Diocese realistically expect to collect from a 69-year-old priest who's on administrative leave? What's needed are better checks and balances at the parish council level to catch errant spending, by the pastor or anyone else, before it becomes a fiscal catastrophe.
A sinkhole widens: Jeannette's leaders got a snapshot of the city's fiscal health, and it isn't flattering. The latest financial report shows Jeannette finished last year with more than a $615,000 deficit and is on pace to end 2014 significantly in the red, says Mayor Richard Jacobelli. Councilman Bill Bedont, however, puts this year's shortfall at about $50,000. And the city's plan for resolving its deficit spending? It would be nice to see one.
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