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Briefs: Man gets life term in Waynesburg woman's murder

| Tuesday, May 3, 2005

A Hill District man was sentenced to life in prison Monday for the 2003 execution-style slaying of a Greene County woman as she rode in a car in the Hill District.

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Donald E. Machen also sentenced Lamar Harry Rector, 27, to 20 to 40 years in prison for shooting and injuring a Hill District man in the same incident.

A jury in February convicted Rector of first-degree murder for shooting Mary Clevanger, 47, of Waynesburg, Greene County, and of attempted homicide for shooting George Briggs, 44. Briggs and Clevanger had given Rector a ride when Rector, sitting in the rear seat, pulled a gun and shot the pair as they rode in the front seat. The car then crashed on Lombard Street, and Rector ran off.

South Side
Budget class offered

Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Western Pennsylvania Inc. will offer a community education class, "Budgeting Basics," from 10 a.m. to noon May 14, at the CCCS Education Center, River Park Commons, 2403 Sidney St., South Side.

The class is designed for consumers who are interested in better finance management. Topics will include developing goals, distinguishing "wants" from "needs," handling expenses that occur only periodically, tracking expenses and saving.

Reservations are required, and there is a $5 registration fee. To register, call (888) 511-2227, Ext. 145.

Woman hospitalized after being hit by bus

A woman hit by a Port Authority of Allegheny County bus on Monday morning Downtown is recuperating at Mercy Hospital.

The woman was struck by a 53H Homeville/Duquesne bus at the intersection of Washington Place and Fifth Avenue at 8:31 a.m. and was transported to Mercy, Uptown, with injuries to her head and arm, Port Authority spokesman Bob Grove said. Grove was unable to give the woman's name or age, but said her injuries were not life-threatening.

Grove said Port Authority police were investigating.

City man a finalist for White House fellowship

A Pittsburgh man is among 31 national finalists for the 2005-06 White House Fellows Program, the White House announced Monday.

Matthew Todd Anestis, of Pittsburgh, a project leader with Boston Consulting Group, is a finalist for the leadership and public service program.

Fellows will be selected in June and begin the one-year term Sept. 1. They will work in a federal agency or office and most earn about $91,000. The program provides opportunities for meeting with leaders in various fields and the study of U.S. policy in action.

Dean of international affairs school to resign

Carolyn Ban will resign as dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, effective Aug. 1

During her eight-year tenure, the school tripled its endowment, launched a new major in urban and regional affairs and a new master's degree in international development, and expanded the Ridgway Center for International Security Studies. The school also created the Ford Institute for Human Security, the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership and a nonprofit clinic.

Ban will continue to work in the school as a professor. A search committee will be set up this summer to find her successor.

Mon Valley
West Mifflin
Whitaker man gets up to 26 years in slaying

A Whitaker man was sentenced Monday to 13 to 26 years in prison for fatally shooting another Whitaker man.

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman also sentenced Jamal Rashed, 23, to five years' probation in the Feb. 10, 2003, killing, of Michael Schuffert, 18. Rashed was convicted of third-degree murder Feb. 1.

Schuffert was killed in an alley in West Mifflin after he and a friend argued with another man who was dating Schuffert's former girlfriend. The man called Rashed for help, and Rashed soon arrived, pulled a gun and shot Schuffert. Rashed was also convicted of gun charges.

North Shore
Father's Day run celebrates survival

Local runners, walkers and prostate cancer survivors will participate in the Father's Day 5/10K Run and Prostate Cancer Survivor Celebration on June 19 at North Shore Riverfront Park.

The event will begin at 7:45 a.m. with a one-mile faith and health walk. The 10K race will begin at 8:30 and the 5K run/walk at 8:40. An award ceremony will be after the races. Community activities will continue until 4 p.m.

Free prostate cancer screenings will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. June 17 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 18 at the National City Center, 20 Stanwix St., Downtown. To register for screenings or for details about the Father's Day event, call (412) 572-6830.

Forest Hills
Reward fund tops $8,000 for gunman

Mine Safety Appliances Co. has donated $2,500 to the reward fund for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot Forest Hills police Officer Matt Livingstone.

Livingstone, 26, was shot April 23 while responding to a call at the Braddock Hills Shopping Center parking lot. As much as $8,250 is available to those providing information about the shooter. Tipsters, who can remain anonymous, can call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at (412) 255-8477.

Fire kills man, injures two others on Rebecca Avenue

A fire killed a 61-year-old Wilkinsburg man and injured two other people Monday evening, the Wilkinsburg fire chief said.

The fire erupted shortly before 6 p.m. in a first-floor bedroom occupied by the unidentified man, Chief Owen McAfee said. A friend going to visit one of the eight residents in the duplex in the 800 block of Rebecca Avenue discovered the fire.

The visitor got two people home at the time out of the building, tried to rescue the man from the burning bedroom and unsuccessfully fought the flames "using a dishpan and water from the kitchen sink," McAfee said.

The visitor and a female resident who suffered smoke inhalation were treated at UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Oakland, McAfee said. The woman was released, but McAfee did not know the condition of the man. A third resident escaped uninjured.

Wilkinsburg schools
Guard fired for failing to report student gun

A security guard at Wilkinsburg High School was fired last week for not reporting to police on April 22 that a student brought a gun to school, school officials said Monday.

Debbie Hoy, no age or address available, an employee with the private security firm of Gentile-Meinert & Associates of Monaca, violated district policy when she allowed the student to take the gun home after it activated the school's metal detector, school district spokeswoman Kitty Julian said.

District policy dictates that "when a weapon is brought to school, it becomes a law enforcement issue -- there is no discretion in that policy," Julian said. Julian said the 19-year-old student told the guard she shared her jacket with someone else, and the gun must have belonged to that person. Officials of the security firm could not be reached for comment.

North Hills schools
Budget holds line on 2005-06 taxes

North Hills School Board members unanimously approved a preliminary 2005-06 budget on Monday that is just more than $60 million and calls for no increase in the property tax rate.

The budget projects nearly $59 million in revenue and takes a little more than $1 million from the fund balance, said W. David Hall, the district's director of fiscal management. The current tax rate is 18.5 mills. The budget would cut some staff positions and increase some class sizes, but the new sizes still will meet district guidelines, spokeswoman Tina Vojtko said.

"It's been over 10 years since we passed a preliminary budget with no (tax) increase," board Vice President Arlene Bender said. Residents will be able to speak about the budget at a public hearing at 7 p.m. May 16 at North Hills Junior High School, 55 Rochester Road, Ross.

Mt. Lebanon
Candidates' night planned for voters

A Mt. Lebanon Candidates' Night for voters to meet those running in the May 17 primary election will begin at 7 p.m. today at the Mt. Lebanon municipal building, 710 Washington Road.

Voters will be selecting candidates for commissioner in Mt. Lebanon's 2nd and 4th wards, the Mt. Lebanon School Board, and the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. The event is sponsored by the Mt. Lebanon Council of Republican Women.

Allegheny County
Seminar to discuss, help prepare living wills

Kane Regional Centers will present "Living Wills: Protecting Your Future" at various locations next week, which is National Nursing Home Week.

Participants can learn about living wills and advance directives and what type of medical care a patient can receive or refuse in certain circumstances.

Seminars are scheduled at 2 and 7:30 p.m. May 9, Kane in Scott, 300 Kane Boulevard; 1 p.m. May 9, Kane in Glen Hazel, 955 Rivermont Drive; 2 p.m. May 10, Kane in Ross, 110 McIntyre Road; and 2 p.m. May 12, Kane in McKeesport, 100 Ninth Street. Specialists will discuss the impact of living wills and advance directives, and assistants will be available to help prepare a free advance directive and living will. For more information, call (412) 422-6214.

Awards to highlight help for nursing moms

The Allegheny County Health Department is accepting nominations for its 10th annual Breastfeeding Friendly Place Awards, presented to workplaces and public places that accommodate the needs of nursing mothers.

Public places can be supportive by providing a clean, private area for mothers to use when nursing. Employers can help by offering a health plan with breast pump coverage.

To nominate an employer or a public place for this year's awards, call (412) 687-2243, or visit Nominations will be accepted until June 30. Awards will be announced during World Breastfeeding Week, August 1 through 7.

CCAC training Senior Olympics volunteers

Community College of Allegheny County's Institute for Volunteerism will offer a "Train the Trainer" session for 2005 National Senior Olympics volunteers from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 11 in Byers Hall, Room 211, Allegheny Campus, Ridge Avenue, North Side.

Those who complete the session will train 3,000 additional Senior Olympics volunteers in greeting, hospitality, set up, registration, awards, security, traffic control, athlete hospitality, equipment and grounds keeping, as well as timers, scorekeepers and runners. Training will take place at the Allegheny, Boyce, North and South campuses May 14 through June 2. For details, call (412) 237-2723.

Swimmers have chance to become lifeguards

In an attempt to adequately staff city and county public swimming pools this summer, the American Red Cross is seeking swimmers interested in becoming lifeguards to enroll in its certification course.

The American Red Cross Aquatic School has openings for its lifeguard certification course May 12 through 15 and May 19 through 22 at University of Pittsburgh Trees Hall pool, Oakland. Lifeguard candidates must complete one four-day session. Lifeguard instructor candidates must attend both sessions. Participants must be at least 15 years old and able to swim 500 yards, surface dive 9 feet and retrieve a 10-pound diving block. To register, call (412) 263-3128.

Literacy Council looking for volunteers

The Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council seeks volunteers to teach basic literacy -- including reading, writing, math and computer skills -- and English as a second language to more than 200 adult students in Allegheny County.

A workshop for basic literacy tutor volunteers will be from 6 to 9 p.m. June 7, 9, 14 and 16 at the WPIC Project Literacy Classroom in Oakland. Another workshop for tutors of non-native English speakers is set for 6 to 9 p.m. June 21, 23, 28 and 30 at the council's main office in East Liberty. No foreign language experience is necessary. Workshops equip volunteers with the skills needed for tutoring.

To register, call (412) 661-7323, or visit

Western Pennsylvania
SharpVisions receives $70K grant for camps

SharpVisions Inc., an Uptown-based nonprofit organization that provides support for people with disabilities was awarded a $70,000 grant by the Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust.

The grant will support therapeutic activities camps, an extended camp program and seasonal festivals for more than 200 children with mental retardation and other disabilities. Almost 300 people in a 17-county area are served by SharpVisions. The Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust has provided grant support to SharpVisions since 1996.

For details about SharpVisions and its therapeutic activities camps, call (412) 456-2144, Ext. 145.

Crawford County
Tourism map spotlights attractions

A new regional tourism map is out, and officials in Crawford County are excited about their role in it.

The map highlights five attractions in and near Crawford County. The Geotourism Map Guide to Appalachia was put out by National Geographic with help from the Appalachian Regional Commission. "People do pay attention to these things," said Juanita Hampton, executive director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "I think it's important to be able to get your attractions out there like that."

Among the Pennsylvania attractions listed on the map are the Erie National Wildlife Refuge, the Meadville Market House, the Riverside Inn in Cambridge Springs, the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad and the Drake Well Museum.

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