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Briefs: Council to review draft of deal for contributions

| Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005

Pittsburgh City Council will review a draft agreement on Sept. 7 to accept millions of dollars from city nonprofits.

Council Tuesday introduced a preliminary version of the deal signed by Mayor Tom Murphy and Pittsburgh Foundation President Bill Trueheart but won't discuss or vote on the matter until next week.

The city has asked a group of charities called the Pittsburgh Public Service Fund -- managed by the Pittsburgh Foundation -- to contribute $5 million to the city's operating budget this year.

Council President Gene Ricciardi had wanted to waive council rules so members could discuss the agreement this week but said he changed his mind in order to give city residents time to review the proposal and offer their views.

North Habay being sued for credit card bills

Embattled State Rep. Jeff Habay has been sued for unpaid credit card bills.

Great Seneca Financial Corp. filed a suit last week that said Habay owed $3,581 on his MasterCard bill. The company also seeks $361 in interest payments and $716 in legal fees. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Dec. 12 in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

Habay, R-Shaler, also is awaiting trial in October on 21 criminal charges. He is accused of conflict of interest, harassing political opponents, using staff workers to do campaign work on state time and falsely telling police that a political foe mailed him a suspicious white powder that U.S. Postal Service inspectors said most likely was baking soda, according to a criminal complaint.


Cambria County Woman sentenced for causing son's death

A woman who pleaded guilty to causing the death of her 15-month-old son from a severe diaper rash that led to an infection was sentenced this week

Amy Livingston, 28, of Johnstown, will serve one year and seven months to five years and 11 months in the Cambria County jail. She pleaded guilty in June to involuntary manslaughter in the boy's death and to child endangerment for not treating the rash on another son.

Her son Harley died in December of dehydration and sepsis stemming from the diaper rash. Her other son, Hunter, 4, was successfully treated.

Livingston also was sentenced to a concurrent term of six months to two years after pleading guilty to statutory sexual assault in a separate case for her relationship with a 14-year-old boy.

Crawford County Judge not pleased with park information

A Crawford County judge said he could hold the operators of Conneaut Lake Park in contempt and fine them if they don't supply documentation he seeks about park finances.

Last month, Judge Anthony Vardaro said a financial report indicating the 113-year-old park continues to lose money wasn't straightforward or specific enough for him to determine whether managers are adhering to a court-ordered oversight plan. Park debts grew from more than $2.5 million in June 2004 to more than $2.6 million through July 5, according to the report ordered by Vardaro.

Vardaro said the report wasn't specific enough for him or for creditors who are owed money, and ordered park officials to submit more detailed information as soon as possible. Despite two previous court orders, Vardaro wrote this week that he had received no meaningful information.

Trustees Chairman Terry Deitz declined to comment.

Westmoreland County Cultural Trust plans move to new offices

The administrative offices of the Westmoreland Cultural Trust and Westmoreland Symphony will be moving soon.

The Trust's offices will move Friday to the Union Trust Building on North Main Street in Greensburg and are expected to open Tuesday. The symphony's administrative facilities will relocate next week from the Palace Theatre, in downtown Greensburg, to the Trust's former location at the Greensburg Garden & Civic Center.

Trust President Mike Langer said the relocation seemed right for the Trust -- which operates the Palace Theatre, owns and manages The Train Station, and is an owner of the Union Trust and Stark/James buildings -- because its offices will be closer to its assets.

Burglary charges filed after school break-in

An Irwin man faces criminal charges in connection with a burglary earlier last month at Greensburg Central Catholic High School in Hempfield.

Philip John Hanyak, 18, of Plymouth Drive, has been charged by state police with criminal conspiracy, burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief. He reportedly told troopers that he and an unidentified youth broke into the school on Aug. 6, state police said. They are suspected of taking more than $20,000 worth of electronics, including laptop computers, monitors, a projector and a big-screen television, state police said. Investigators recovered most of the items at a vacant apartment at the Villages of Easton in Irwin.

State police said previously that the younger suspect likely will be prosecuted in juvenile court.


Centers to be closed for holiday weekend

PennDOT today announced that driver's license and photo centers will be closed on Saturday and Monday because of the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on PennDOT's Web site: Services include driver's license, photo identification and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; address changes; and driver test scheduling. There are no additional fees for using online services.


  • In Downtown, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership is having its last "Thursdays With a Twist" concert of the year today. Pittsburgh's own Bill Deasy, former lead singer of "Gathering Field," will be featured from noon to 1 p.m. in Market Square. A farmers' market will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and continue on Thursdays through Oct. 27.

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