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Hit by burglary

| Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2003

Mount Pleasant police are investigating a weekend burglary at a borough restaurant.

A side rear door at the Village Restaurant, 236 W. Main St., was forced open sometime between 1 and 8 a.m. Saturday, police said. Once inside, the burglars kicked a hole in the wall to gain access to a kitchen storage area. From there, they forced their way into an office, where they pried open a file cabinet-safe and removed approximately $2,000 and a .25-caliber handgun.

Anyone with information is asked to contact borough police at 724-547-7210.

Thief nets $10,000

A Ruffsdale woman had $10,000 worth of jewelry, Christmas presents, six guns and cash stolen from her home on Christmas Eve, state police at Belle Vernon reported.

Renee Bussard, of Oden Road, South Huntingdon Township, told state police that her house was entered sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Christmas Eve. The burglar broke in to the house after throwing a large rock through a window in a side door and unlocking the door by reaching through the broken window, police said.

Trooper James Monkelis said the items were stolen from areas throughout the house. Four Winchester rifles were taken, along with a .357-caliber handgun and a 20-gauge shotgun, Monkelis said.

Bussard could not be reached for comment Monday. Anyone with information is asked to contact Monkelis at 724-929-6262.

Meetings

East Huntingdon Township Supervisors will meet at 3:15 p.m. today at the municipal building.

Mount Pleasant Township Supervisors will meet at 4:15 p.m. today at the municipal building.

Shots fired

(AP) -- Four vehicles traveling on Route 30 were shot at the day after Christmas, state police said.

Nobody was injured when the four cars were hit with small projectiles, likely fired from a .22-caliber gun or similar weapon, state police said in a news release Monday afternoon. Troopers didn't immediately return calls seeking additional information.

Two of the victims reported the incidents when they occurred -- sometime between 9:10 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. -- while two others waited until the weekend to call police, but reported events during the same time span.

Police believe the shots came from a cemetery near Possum Hollow Road on the south side of the highway in Hempfield Township, about 25 miles east of Pittsburgh. Nobody has reported any similar shootings since Friday in the area, police said.

Towns gain

Internet software company NuRelm Inc., Uniontown, won a contract to develop editable Web sites for southwest Pennsylvania municipalities. The pact, formally known as the Municipal Technical Assistance Program, was made by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission. Value of the pact was not disclosed. Municipals slated to receive their own Web sites include Aliquippa, Brownsville Borough, Butler County Sewage, Carroll and Cecil townships, Chalfant borough, Clay, Clinton and Daugherty townships, Harmony and McKees Rocks boroughs, Oakland and South Union townships, Wilkinsburg Borough, White Township, and Uniontown. Once the sites are developed, the municipalities will have the ability to update them so they always are current.

No hike

Westmoreland County Community College students won't have to dig any deeper for tuition this spring, but all bets are off for fall classes.

Blame it on an unexpected budget crunch, college officials say.

Citing their own financial shortfall, Westmoreland County commissioners this month opted to cut $1 million, or 20 percent, from the anticipated $5 million annual appropriation to the college, based near Youngwood.

College officials feared a second hit -- cutbacks in state funding -- but a portion of those anticipated losses were restored as part of the $21.35 billion budget package approved last week by the General Assembly.

State law requires that 33 percent of the college's operating revenue must be generated from the local sponsor -- the county, he said. Another 33 percent may be raised through tuition, and the rest is garnered from state funding.

Because the college budget for the upcoming spring semester was approved last year and is already in effect, WCCC can't raise tuition now. The full impact of the cuts won't be felt until the 2004-05 school year that begins next fall. The college has never needed to borrow money to pay for operations.

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