The South at a glance

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Grant planning program continued

The county has allocated $250,000 to continue the AlleghenyPlaces Municipal Planning Grant Program. Through the program, municipalities may apply for grants to update existing comprehensive plans and land use ordinances -- or develop new ones.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald made the announcement last week.

The goal is to ensure municipalities have land use ordinances and comprehensive plans that are consistent with the county's comprehensive plan, AlleghenyPlaces. The program also encourages multi-municipal cooperation and innovative approaches to land development.

The program started in 2010.

County municipalities, Councils of Government and nonprofits working on behalf of municipalities are eligible to apply. The maximum allowable grant per applicant, project or application is $65,000. Minimum required local match ranges from 0-50% and cannot be provided from other county funds.

Guidelines and requirements are at under "breaking news." Interested municipalities may also contact Kay Pierce at 412-350-1030.


Pickleball Comes to JCC

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh in the South Hills, 345 Kane Boulevard, is offering a new racquet sport called Pickleball. It's a paddle game that is part tennis and part badminton.

The game is played using a large paddle to hit a special perforated, slow-moving ball over a tennis-type net on a badminton-sized court.

The JCC has set up indoor courts and offering Tuesday afternoon clinics and play on Sunday. Special times are set for senior adults, families and children.

The USA Pickleball Association ( provides information about the game and places to play.

Details on clinics: Elaine Cappucci, 412-278-1975, or For more on the JCC, call 412-521-8010.


Federal funds sought for flood recovery

The township and Allegheny County have continued work on the damage from heavy rain and flash flooding from July 10 to see if the township qualifies for federal emergency funding.

The township formally declared a disaster emergency after the rains. Manager Ryan Eggleston said the township received more than 100 storm related calls. Some of the hardest hit regions were in Sturgeon and along Millers Run, Presto-Sygan, Boyce and Mayview roads.

And a number of residents went to the July 17 commissioners meeting to express concerns about flooding in homes at Washington Pike and Pineview Drive. Some said they saw water from the rains in neighborhoods that had never before experienced flooding.

• David Pope is a new member of the township's Environmental Advisory council. He was appointed by commissioners last week. The board are seeking applicants to fill two more vacant slots. Mr. Pope is vice president of the South Fayette Conservation Group.

The board is seeking applicants for two more vacant slots on the council.


Grable grant funds science, tech learning

The school district has been awarded two grants, totaling more than $118,000, for innovative student programs. One grant will go toward a K-12 technology program and the other toward an elementary environmental science curriculum.

Superintendent Bille Rondinelli told the school board last week that a grant of more than $103,000 from The Grable Foundation of Pittsburgh will support a K-12 program involving STEAM subjects - science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics - that can be shared with other school districts, technology director Aileen Owens said.

Ms. Rondinelli said the grant is one of the largest Grable ever has awarded to a single school district.

The grant will help the district complete its project to incorporate computational thinking concepts into the curriculum, with a goal of producing innovative opportunities for students at all grade levels, Ms. Owens said. For example, the grant will fund creation of a 20-unit lesson on computer programming for eighth-graders, she said.

"A lot of times in the past, it's been hard for students to understand programming, or engineering and design, because it happens in high school," Ms. Owens said. "Now, we're building these concepts at such an early age that it's very easy for them to grasp the next step, so we feel like they're going to learn in a more powerful way."

• A $15,000 grant from The Sprout Fund of Pittsburgh will help establish an environmental science curriculum for grades K-4 that includes growing gardens.

Ms. Owens said the program, embedded in other subjects, will use digital media to reinforce learning.

Students will design and grow vegetable gardens in the newly built intermediate school, and they will share plants and homegrown food with low-income families and with the school cafeteria, Ms. Owens said.

• The intermediate school on the Old Oakdale Road campus recently received its full occupancy permit, the superintendent said. A building dedication is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 10.

The new school will accommodate about 677 pupils in grades 3 to 5. As a result, the elementary school population will decrease from 1,172 to 704, and middle school enrollment will drop from 803 to 596.

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