Franklin Regional High to reopen Monday



While injured Franklin Regional Senior High School students continued to heal Friday, Westmoreland County officials focused their efforts on preparing the school for their return and began the process of having the stabbing suspect evaluated.

One of the most seriously injured, 17-year-old senior Jared Boger, remained in critical condition at UPMC Presbyterian's intensive care unit, where he was being treated for a stab wound to the chest that narrowly missed his heart. Jared underwent a third round of surgery Friday and showed signs of progress, even beginning to communicate with his family, a surgeon said.

Dr. Louis Alarcon, medical director of trauma surgery at UPMC Presbyterian, said Jared is unable to speak or consume anything by mouth but communicated with his family using head motions and written notes.

"Our prognosis is very good for him, but there are a lot of hurdles before he comes off the ventilator, comes out of the ICU and leaves the hospital," said Dr. Alarcon, who did not refer to Jared by name. "We don't anticipate problems, but we're being vigilant."

Jared will undergo a fourth surgery this weekend to continue repair of injuries to his abdomen, which remained too swollen for the wounds to be closed Friday.

Two other students admitted to Forbes Hospital with injuries sustained during the stabbings were discharged from the hospital Friday. But three male patients, ages 15, 16 and 16, remained at the hospital in critical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit. No further information was available on the three.

Dan Stevens, spokesman for the Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety, said other students will have a "systematic" return to school, with some returning early next week and others at a later date. He said the school district will post an updated schedule for students' return on its website when it is ready.

Mr. Stevens said a restoration company, which he declined to name, is waiting for special ceiling tiles that needed to be replaced after Wednesday's mass stabbings. The company, he said, was recommended by the FBI and specializes in this kind of cleanup. Its workers are trained both to clean and to collect additional evidence should they find it.

"It's important that the school looks the way it did Tuesday," the day before the attacks, Mr. Stevens said.

He met Friday afternoon with Murrysville police Chief Thomas Seefeld, whose department is leading the investigation and receiving assistance from the FBI and county police.

Among the pieces of evidence they are examining, Mr. Stevens said, are computers and a cell phone.

He said he did not know who owned the cell phone or where investigators had collected it.

Also Friday, Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Richard E. McCormick signed an order authorizing a psychologist to meet with Alex at the Westmoreland County juvenile detention center in Greensburg, where he has been held without bond since Wednesday.

Private psychologist Bruce Chambers has agreed to examine Alex to determine whether he is competent to stand trial and whether he might be a good candidate to have his case moved to a juvenile court, according to a motion filed by defense attorney Patrick Thomassey.



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