The Thursday wrap
Miscommunication among some Norwin School District administrators is being blamed for why some community groups got smacked with substantially higher-than-expected building-usage charges last year after Norwin increased the fees. One dance group reportedly saw its cost increase more than $3,000. The affected groups are being contacted regarding their proper payments. But setting facility fees isn't advanced calculus. More to the point, the goal for Norwin and other school districts should be to encourage community use of public facilities at a fair price. ... As many area children head back to school this week, an opportunity for a different kind of learning is available, through Saturday, at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds. The Westmoreland Fair offers an up-close look at the county's rich tradition in agriculture. Indeed, the annual fair and its exhibits can be an eye-opening experience for folks who grew up in cities or subdivisions far removed from farming. ... Although nothing official has been announced, preliminary plans for what's being called the Greensburg Sunrise Veterans Center at the former state prison in Hempfield are gaining momentum. What's envisioned is an inclusive veterans-transition center, with housing, health care and job-training services. To date, however, Hempfield officials haven't received any formal proposals for the 96-acre complex. Still, the latest news is encouraging and it indicates that the shuttered state prison is not destined to become another white elephant on Westmoreland County's real-estate rolls.