Crime Watch hosts dinner
Crime Watch is hosting a celebration dinner at 6 p.m. Oct. 19 in the Community Center to honor seven municipal police officers who have guided the program.
Tickets are $15 and are available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Oct. 12 in the police records room.
The Crime Watch is a group of 1,000 residents who volunteer to keep an eye on their neighborhoods and report suspicious activity to police.
Details: at 412-851-0504.
WEST GREENE SCHOOLS
District gets grant for building
CONSOL Energy Inc. announced this week that it will donate $100,000 to the West Greene School District to renovate its facilities.
The district is in the middle of an $18 million capital plan to renovate the existing West Greene shared middle-senior high school facility, which was built in 1957, and construct a new elementary school, which will replace two older existing schools, to accommodate 775 students who reside in the district's nine townships. One of five school districts in Greene County, West Greene comprises more than half of the county and has the largest geographic area.
The district is home to the company's Bailey-Enlow Fork Mine Complex, along with a new BMX Mine, slated to open next year.
MT. LEBANON SCHOOLS
Lincoln school Blue Ribbon winner
Lincoln Elementary School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2013 -- this is Lincoln's third Blue Ribbon.
The U.S. Department of Education recognized 286 schools as Blue Ribbon Schools, based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in improving student academic achievement.
Lincoln elementary will be honored at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 18-19 in Washington, D.C.
• The high school's Blue Devil Marching Band will present its annual band festival at 7 p.m. Saturday at the high school stadium.
Other high school bands performing include those from Allderdice, Brashear, Brentwood, Carlynton, Carrick, Chartiers Valley, South Allegheny and Upper St. Clair. There will also be special performances by Westminster College and the Mt. Lebanon drum and frontline.
The Blue Devils perform at the school's football games, various community parades and plan to perform at Disney World.
Festival tickets are $7 at the gate or $6 in advance from any band member.
Details: Jill Mandelblatt at 412-563-4530.
Vacancy on preservation board
Commissioners are seeking applications from residents to fill a vacancy on the Historic Preservation Board. This seven-member group of volunteers advises the commission about historic preservation in the context of economic development. Members serve three-year terms and are appointed "at large," meaning members can live in any ward. The board meets on the third Monday of each month at 5 p.m. in the municipal building.
Online applications are at http://www.mtlebanon.org.
Details: Susan Morgans, 412-343-3780.
Home to Blue Ribbon School
Peters Township Middle School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School. It was recognized among the highest performing public and private schools as measured by performance on state assessments. The middle school is the second building in the district to earn the honor. In 2011 Pleasant Valley Elementary, one of the District's K-3 buildings, also earned this distinction.
The Middle School will be honored during a recognition ceremony on Nov. 18-19 in Washington, D.C.
• The new $20 million medical facility that houses St. Clair Hospital Outpatient Center has been named The Michael & Dolores Kara Building.
The two-story, 40,000-square-foot building located along Route 19 South has been named in honor of Michael and Dolores Kara of Cecil, who made one of the largest philanthropic gifts to St. Clair Hospital in support of the new facility, which opened June 3. The hospital declined to provide the amount of the donation.
STEEL VALLEY SCHOOLS
Board reviewing expenses
Directors Donna Kiefer and Mike Terrick said they are concerned about expenses during a workshop meeting last week.
Mrs. Kiefer said she was concerned that health care expenses were not shown in the district's July and August budget information, and is also worried about mounting spending for new hires, curriculum, retirement and health care expenses.
At the meeting, superintendent Ed Wehrer defended money spent to upgrade curriculum.
"Curriculum development is an absolutely critical need for us to be successful," he said.
Mr. Terrick said he didn't think any directors would argue against how Mr. Wehrer is using the money, but he urged the superintendent to make sure there is enough in the budget to cover it.
At the workshop, Betsy Krisher of Maher Duessel, the accounting firm that audits district finances, also reported on the single audit from the financial year beginning July 1, 2011, and ending June 30, 2012.
During that time period, bank reconciliations were not done in a timely fashion, some students receiving free lunches should have been marked as getting reduced-price lunches, and one student receiving reduced-price lunches should have been receiving free lunches, she said.
Ms. Krisher said auditors from her firm did not find any evidence of fraud from that time period, when former business manager Mark Cherpak was in charge.
In March, during a committee meeting when directors discussed the financial tangle left behind by Mr. Cherpak, school director Vince Natale said Ms. Krisher and another auditor felt that because of the downsizing and layoffs in the district, there were no longer enough people in the business office to perform needed accounting functions.
Sandy Reiner was rehired as an accounts payable secretary at the special board meeting June 28.
The position had been eliminated in the furloughs of April 2011, and she had worked as a secretary at Barrett Elementary School until the position was restored.
At last week's meeting, Ms. Krisher said auditors from her firm will be doing field work on the audit for the year ending June 30, 2013, through the end of October, and plan to submit that audit report to the Pennsylvania Department of Education by the end of December.
She said she will give a report on that audit to the board at the Jan. 14 meeting.
Training set for water monitors
C-SAW, the Consortium for Science Assistance to Watersheds, will conduct two training sessions for volunteer water quality monitors. The first will be held 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday and the second is set with the same hours on Oct. 5 -- both at North Strabane Township Municipal Building on Route 519.
To register, call 724-503-4785.
UPPER ST. CLAIR
Middle School is Blue Ribbon
The Upper St. Clair School District announced this week its Fort Couch Middle School had received the Blue Ribbon School designation by the U.S. Department of Education for the fourth time. The school is one of only seven other schools nationwide to be recognized four times. The middle school previously earned the distinction in 1986-87, 1992-93 and 2001-02. The award has been given each year since 1982. The district's high school has been named a Blue Ribbon school on three occasions.