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Kiski Area bus ransacked during game at Franklin Regional

| Thursday, Feb. 15, 2001

MURRYSVILLE: Police are attempting to find the people who entered an unlocked and unattended bus Feb. 8 at Franklin Regional High School and took several items.

The bus was carrying the girls basketball team from Kiski Area High School, which was visiting the rival high school for a game. During the game, someone went through bags and clothing left on the bus, Murrysville Police Officer David Hanko said.

Several items were stolen from the bus; some were kept by the suspect and other items were thrown over a hill, Hanko said.

In the same school complex, Gateway School District and Franklin Regional athletes were competing in a swim meet at the middle school, the officer said.

A message left with David Singer, principal of Franklin Regional High School, wasn't returned for comment Wednesday.

Hanko asked the girls' basketball coach to send him a list of victims and what was stolen or destroyed from each girl.

The officer said he hasn't received a list from the district.

Kiski Area Principal John Shaner said the district athletic director sent the list to the police department and Franklin Regional High School.

Shaner also disputes the officer's account of how the bus from Moore Bus Company of Washington Township was entered.

He said the district was told by the company that the bus was locked during the game.

The district doesn't have a policy requiring the bus driver to stay with the vehicle. Shaner said it was his guess that most districts don't have that requirement.

A letter wasn't sent to parents by Kiski Area officials because the coach and athletic director spoke with some of the parents, Shaner said.

'Under normal circumstances, the kids are going to report this to their parents,' he said. 'Some parents would have preferred we (send letters).'

Shaner and Hanko said that when the boys basketball team from Kiski Area played at Franklin Regional High School on Feb. 9 there were no incidents reported.

Both school districts are cooperating to determine what happened and recover as much property as possible.

'We are not blaming Franklin Regional,' Shaner said. 'In any school district, unfortunately, there are times when this may happen. It is really unfortunate.'

Tricia Ritchie can be reached at tritchie@tribweb.com

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