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Heinz Foundation to honor child care centers

| Wednesday, June 5, 2002, 12:00 p.m.

The Cyert Center for Early Education in Oakland will host a reception at 7 tonight to honor this year's recipients of Celebrating Those Who Care grants from The Heinz Endowments. Fourteen child care centers received $1,000 grants, which they will use to incorporate the arts into activities for children.

The recipients are:

  • Allegheny Child Care Academy.

  • Caring 4 Kids Christian Home Daycare.

  • Crafton United Methodist Daycare.

  • Familylinks Parent and Child Development Center.

  • Focus on Renewal Positive Learning Program.

  • Greater Braddock Early Childhood Network.

  • Ingomar Enrichment Center.

  • Lawrenceville Corporation Family Support Center Head Start.

  • Mt. Lebanon Extended Day Program.

  • St. Philip Child Care.

  • Tender Care Learning Centers in Cranberry, McCandless, Robinson and Ross.

    Retired city workers see benefits adjusted

    Pittsburgh's retired workers will now get either full health benefits or a stipend to offset health costs — but not both, as hundreds have in recent years.

    City police officers who retired after 1984 and firefighters who retired after 1991 have received both health care benefits and a stipend of $59 a month to offset their health care costs, while all other retired city workers get only the stipend.

    Under a resolution that City Council unanimously approved Tuesday, nearly 1,000 retirees with benefits will have to give up the stipend. That allows the city to nearly double the stipend amount going to 2,300 others without any other city-funded health coverage.

    "I believe the bill is the right thing to do: We need to take care of those municipal employees who do not have health care," said Councilman Jim Motznik, who had not previously supported the bill.

    Firefighters who retired after 1991 receive an average monthly gross pension of $2,640, compared with $1,209 for those who retired earlier. Police officers who retired after 1985 receive $2,538, while those who retired before get $984. All other municipal workers get $817.

    Windshield crack causes jet to return

    A US Airways flight that departed from Pittsburgh International Airport was forced to turn around Tuesday afternoon after a small crack appeared in the cockpit windshield, an airlines spokesman said.

    No emergency was declared and the jet returned and landed without incident, US Airways spokesman John Ellis said.

    The Airbus A319, which was headed to St. Louis with 56 passengers and a crew of five, left Pittsburgh at 2:06 p.m. The captain noticed the crack as the flight was near Indianapolis and followed normal operating procedure by immediately turning around and returning to base, Ellis said.

    The flight landed at Pittsburgh at 4:36 p.m., and arrangements were made for the passengers to catch another flight that was scheduled to leave about an hour later, he said.

    Police targeting intersection blockers

    Enforcement of Pittsburgh's "don't block the box" campaign starts in earnest this week with police ticketing drivers who stop in city intersections.

    City Councilman Sala Udin introduced legislation in April to kick off the campaign with street signs and promotional information. Traffic laws already prohibit drivers from blocking intersections, commonly called the box.

    "I want to thank drivers in advance, particularly drivers of the Port Authority bus system, for being more patient and more confident about not entering the intersection unless certain they are able to get all the way through before the light cycle changes," Udin said Tuesday.

    Drivers could be fined $25 for trying to make it through an intersection just before a light turns red, thus blocking opposing traffic. Similar legislation in New York City and Philadelphia carries fines as high as $300.

    Strict enforcement follows a 30-day "warning period" during which box-blockers were issued written warnings.

    Udin said it was more than a matter of relieving inconvenience for drivers because box-blockers can delay emergency vehicles from getting through busy intersections.

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