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Cause of fire unknown

| Saturday, Dec. 21, 2002

State police at Greensburg report that the cause of a fire on Dec. 16 that heavily damaged a sawdust transfer shed at Babcock Lumber Co. in Donegal has not been determined and continues to be investigated.

Uniontown

Clinton Cohen, 26, of Pittsburgh was found with multiple gunshot wounds in an upstairs' bathroom of his mother's home on Wilson Avenue in Uniontown.

He was transferred to Uniontown Hospital emergency roon and then flown to a Pittsburgh Hospital where he remains in stable condition.

Through several witness statements, detectives learned that a black man with a very light complexion, medium build, with a height of approximately 5-foot, 10-inches, was allegedly seen entering a door of Cohen's mother's house, and gunfire followed from the residence.

The investigation is continuing.

Fay-West

The Forest Lands Beautification Program seeks to educate citizens about proper methods of waste disposal. The program's Web site is www.CleanPAForests.org (select "Proper Disposal") and includes a link to "Earth's 911," a public-private partnership providing a national database of recycling information.

Area residents wanting more information on proper disposal of any item may call Fayette County recycling coordinator Warren Hughes at 724-430-4884. To join a clean-up team or for more information, call the Forest Lands Beautification program toll-free at 1-877-7PA-FOREST (1-887-772-3673) or visit the above-listed Web site.

Fay-West

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania), the future chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, has announced increased funding for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospitals in Pennsylvania. The increase is a result of a restructuring of the formula used to determine the distribution of funds for VA medical facilities throughout the nation.

Of the 21 geographically designated Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) funding areas in the United States, the Department of Veterans Affairs will increase Pennsylvania's VISN by 12.6 percent, the highest rate increase in the country. The Department of Veterans Affairs made these VISN changes to improve the equity of funds distribution, and in response to recommendations made by both the General Accounting Office and the RAND Corporation.

With these changes, and an anticipated increase of $2.5 billion for VA health care in the FY03 (fiscal year 2003) budget, funding for the VA hospital system in Pennsylvania will be raised $120 million, from $956 million in FY02 to $1.076 billion in FY03. Much of this additional funding will be available to increase care and reduce patient waiting time backlogs.

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