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Playground program in the swing of things

| Saturday, May 12, 2012, 12:07 p.m.

Murrysville 's playground program, designed for students who have just completed kindergarten through sixth grade, will run Monday through July 25.

The program is held 10 a.m. -2 p.m. weekdays, at a different park each day. Activities are held at Pedora Park on Mondays, Bear Hollow on Tuesdays, Kovalczik on Wednesdays, Chamber on Thursdays and Townsend Park on Fridays.

No advance registration is required; children and parents may come to the program site and fill out a registration form. Younger children may attend if they are accompanied by and supervised by an adult. Teenagers may volunteer to help with games and crafts.

There is a $7 registration fee, to be paid on the first day of attendance, plus a $2 fee for each visit to the program. Children may bring lunch and stay for all or part of the day.

For safety's sake

Greensburg has decided to insure its police pension plan against a catastrophic financial loss.

City council and the city's police pension committee authorized purchasing insurance to cover financial losses that may be incurred if an officer were to be killed in the line of duty. Beneficiaries of an officer killed in the line of duty are eligible to receive his full monthly pension, even if the officer has less than the required 20 years' service.

The insurance policy costs about $3,400 and will be paid from the assets of the police pension plan, said Mary Perez, city fiscal director.

Park improvement

Construction has begun on a concession stand and restroom facility at a park in Washington Township.

The one-story, 2,005-square-foot Kunkle Park Recreation Building will include an indoor concession stand, outdoor picnic area, accessible restrooms and storage space.

Funding for the $200,000 facility comes from a $100,000 Keystone Matching Grant and money raised by the Washington Township Parks Improvement Fund-Raising Committee and the township's baseball association, plus financing through a state-sponsored, low-interest loan program for community development.

The facility is scheduled for completion by Sept. 1.

Thanks a million

The owner of a Route 51 motorcycle shop approached the Rostraver Township commissioners recently to publicly thank township police for their assistance during a recent incident.

Joe Eori, owner of Angel's World of Cycles, said, "I had a problem at the shop, and they were up there in a matter of minutes."

A 23-year-old Donora man was arrested after he allegedly made telephone threats to the shop and then went there with a homemade spear, intending to start a fight. "They do not get paid enough to do what they do," Eori said of the police.


Franklin Regional School Board has approved Darlene von Behren as the district's new director of human resources.

Behren comes to Franklin Regional with 22 years of experience in public education. She was the chief financial officer of the Cowichean School District, in British Columbia, Canada. She also served that district as director of human resources, and she held many other positions at school districts in Canada.

Von Behren relocated to southwestern Pennsylvania to marry Craig von Behren, director of human resources for the Shaler Area School District in Allegheny County.

The director's position was brought about by the district's administrative realignment. Von Behren will replace Sam Shaneyfelt, director of K-5 instructional and personnel services, who is retiring June 30.

Von Behren's appointment is for four years, with a starting salary of $75,000.

Winning bidders

Franklin Regional School Board approved several capital projects.

Contracts have been awarded to Architectural Windows, $94,730 to replace doors and locks at the middle school; Keystone Concepts, about $4,640 for desks and stools; Vicro Manufacturing, $21,704 for tables, open chairs and desks; Quality Mechanical, $15,900 for a hot-water replacement valve at the middle school; and Security Systems of America, $46,350 for security cameras at the high school.

Ready, aim, fire

Murrysville is offering local, seasonal bow-hunting and muzzleloader permits for Duff, Townsend and Pleasant Valley parks, along with the Kellman Nature Reserve.

Seasonal permits will allow a hunter to hunt in Murrysville parks without first having to stop at the police station. A hunter will notify the park coordinator of his plans to hunt in any particular park.

To receive one of the permits, hunters must pass a proficiency test, show a Westmoreland County doe tag and agree in writing to follow local and state regulations.

Proficiency testing for muzzleloader and bow hunting will be held 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and 5-8 p.m. July 8 at the Crowfoot Rod and Gun Club. Advance registration is required; call 724-327-2100, Ext. 104. Cost is $5 for a single test and $7.50 to take both bow and muzzleloader tests.

Day permits will continue to be issued at the police station. Only seasonal permit holders will be allowed to hunt in Murrysville parks on the first day of each season and on other dates scheduled by the Sub-Committee on Hunting in Murrysville Parks.

All wet

Recreational swimming at the Franklin Regional Middle School's indoor pool will be held 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning Tuesdayand continuing through July 31. The pool will be closed July 1, July 8 and July 10. Cost is $3 for each swimmer; children ages 4 and younger are admitted free. The pool is accessible to people with disabilities.

Scrubbing up

A community cleanup day will be held 8-11 a.m. Saturday at the South Sixth Street Playground in Jeannette . All city residents may participate.

Jeannette teenagers on probation with the Westmoreland County Juvenile Probation Department suggested the cleanup as part of a community service project, said Marjorie Stanislaw, of the juvenile probation office, an event sponsor.

Participants may cut the lawn, plant perennials, paint over graffiti and scrub benches. Organizers also hope to repaint lines on the basketball court and in the parking lot.

Interested residents are urged to bring shovels, paintbrushes and scrub brushes.

Food and drink will be on hand.

In addition to the juvenile probation office, the cleanup is being sponsored by Jeannette churches, the Jeannette Youth Commission, the Jeannette Salvation Army, Jeannette Asset Builders and Mercy Jeannette Hospital.

More parking

The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is adding another parking lot to its Hempfield Township campus. Hempfield's planning commission has recommended that township supervisors approve the university's plan to build a 60-space lot. It will be on the southeast corner of the campus, near Brinkerton and Powers road.

Furry friends

Pet Friends Inc., a volunteer, nonprofit animal rescue group, is now accepting cats and dogs for rescue, rehabilitation and placement in permanent homes.

Based in western Westmoreland County, the newly formed group has been conducting a series of fund-raising events.

Pet Friends is seeking volunteers to foster animals, socialize cats, walk dogs and work at fund-raisers. Anyone interested in joining the group may attend a meeting 7 p.m. Thursday in the North Huntingdon Township Townhouse, along Center Highway. For more information, call 724-515-5691, visit the group's Web site at, or send e-mail to

Monetary donations may be sent to: Pet Friends Inc., P.O. Box 484, Irwin, PA 15642.

Pull to the curb

Motorists accustomed to leasing a parking space along Beacon Street in Greensburg have been given alternative parking spaces at the city's St. Clair Park lot because of the planned closing of the North Maple Avenue bridge.

Greensburg Council decided to eliminate about 20 parking spaces along Beacon Street because of the bridge closing, planned for this year, making it inconvenient for motorists to park along the street.

City administrator Thomas Sphon said residents of that neighborhood will be able to use the spaces previously reserved for leasing.

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