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Church to recreate Bethlehem scene

| Thursday, Nov. 29, 2001

St. John's Lutheran Church of Highland will offer its fourth annual "A Visit to Bethlehem" from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Dec. 8 and 9 at the church, 311 Cumberland Road, McCandless.

The event will recreate the town of Bethlehem and will feature a walk-through village including townspeople, bakers, shepherds, wine makers, basket and textile weavers, beggars, soldiers, carpenters, potters, herbalists, a synagogue and the inn.

Visitors will be asked to take part in the Roman census and will hear rumors of a special birth as they walk through the village.

Admission is free. For more information or directions or to make plans for groups of 20 or more, call (412) 364-2508.

Sewickley

The Sweetwater Center for the Arts' annual Holiday Mart will open at 2 p.m. Friday and close at 4 p.m. Dec. 9.

The event will feature hand-made gifts and jewelry.

Friday's program will include "Let the Men Cook, Again" from 5 to 8 p.m., when men will serve soups, breads and salads for $10.

Shopping will be from 2 to 9 p.m. Friday, from 10 to 4 p.m. Saturday through Tuesday and Dec. 7 to 9 and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Dec. 6.

Lunch will be served daily from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 9. A different nonprofit group will prepare lunch each day. The cost is $7.50.

For more information, call the Sweetwater Center for the Arts at (412) 741-4405. The center is located at 200 Broad St., Sewickley.

Harmony

The registration deadline for Historic Harmony's annual Gingerbread House Baking Contest is Saturday.

The contest is open to people of all ages. Gingerbread structures must be homemade and consist of edible materials. Past entries have included houses, churches, Nativity scenes, farm scenes and light houses.

The winners will be selected by popular vote of those attending the museum's Candlelight Christmas from 2 to 8 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Harmony Museum, Main and Mercer streets, Harmony.

Forms and complete contest rules can be picked up from 1 to 4 p.m. daily through Friday at the museum and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through Friday at the museum shop.

Bakers can bring their creations to the museum's Stewart Hall between 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 7 or between 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 8 or call (724) 452-7341 to make other arrangements.

Ross Township

Ross Park KinderCare, the local KinderCare Learning Center, received an accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

To receive the accreditation, centers must demonstrate that they provide a healthy, safe environment for children; developmentally appropriate curriculum for children; high-quality interaction among children and staff; a sufficient number of adults per children in group sizes appropriate for children's age; and strong communication among parents and staff.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children accreditation is a voluntary process. Early childhood programs undergo an intensive self-study, collecting information from parents, teachers, administrators and observing in classrooms. A team of national experts visits the sites to review and validate the information and decide if the program should be accredited. If granted, accreditation remains for three years.

Ross Park KinderCare has been in business since 1988 and can accommodate 151 children, ages 6 weeks to 12 years.

Cranberry Township

Dutilh United Methodist Church and the Butler County Chapter of the American Red Cross will sponsor a blood drive from 1 to 7 p.m. Monday at the church, Dutilh Road, Cranberry.

Blood donors of all types are needed. Donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 105 pounds and be in generally good health.

Franklin Park

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church will sponsor a live, outdoor nativity scene from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9 at the church, 2500 Brandt School Road, Franklin Park.

The event will feature costumed characters and live animals and will be repeated every half hour. Christmas carols will accompany the scenes.

Guests are invited to the church for refreshments after the program.

For more information, call the church at (724) 935-2746.

The Pathology and Laboratory Medicine department at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Butler Township has received an accreditation from the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists.

The department received the recognition based on the results of an on-site inspection.

Inspectors examined the records and quality control of the laboratory for the preceding two years, the education and qualifications of the staff, the adequacy of the facilities, the equipment, laboratory safety and laboratory management to determine how well the laboratory is serving patients.

The College of American Pathologists is a medical society that serves about 16,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world. The association is an advocate for high-quality and cost-effective medical care.

Region

Butler County school real estate taxes are due at the face amount if they are paid by Friday.

The taxes will be due with a 10 percent penalty beginning Saturday.

All unpaid county, municipal and school real estate taxes not paid by Dec. 31 will be liened to the Butler County Tax Claim Bureau.

Brady Township

Jennings Environmental Education Center will offer an outdoor survival program at 2 p.m. Sunday at the center, 2951 Prospect Road.

The program will focus on survival as a matter of preparedness and will address the psychology of survival and basic wilderness techniques.

Participants will learn how to handle a survival crisis and how to avoid a survival situation.

The center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and on weekends as scheduled.

Those who need accommodations to participate in park activities because of a disability can contact the Jennings Environmental Education Center at (724) 794-6011, or call the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984.

Butler County

PA CleanWays of Butler County will sponsor a meeting at 7 p.m. today at the Jennings Environmental Education Center, 2951 Prospect Road.

The nonprofit environmental organization helps people clean illegally dumped trash from Pennsylvania lands and waters. The group also provides recycling opportunities for items such as tires and appliances and provides education to the public about affordable and convenient disposal.

For more information, call Sheryl Kelly, Butler County recycling and waste management coordinator at (724) 284-5300.

Center Township

Texas Roadhouse will sponsor a Celebrity Wait from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 5 at the restaurant in the Clearview Mall, Center Township.

Local celebrities will wait tables at the restaurant. All tips collected will be donated to Butler Memorial Hospital's Caring Angel Program in support of the Free Care Fund for Kids.

Waiters include Matt Clement of the Florida Marlins, Scott Lowe, Larry Berg, John Walchesky, Dale Pinkerton, Dr. Ed Fink, Dave Crater, Art Bernardi, Wink Robinson and Mike Kelly.

The lead sponsor for the 2001 Caring Angel campaign is Allegheny Power, and this year's goal is $105,000.

Those who wish to donate to the fund can send contributions to the Butler Health System Foundation, 911 East Brady St., Butler.

Butler

The Butler County Chapter of the American Red Cross will sponsor an Adult CPR/AED and first aid course from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at the chapter office, 312 Mercer St., Butler.

The cost for the course, including books, is $40. Proceeds will benefit local disaster victims. To register or for more information, call (724) 283-2810.

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