The East at a glance
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Schools awarded STEAM grants
The Allegheny Intermediate Unit's Center for Creativity has distributed $212,000 in grants to 20 school districts in Allegheny and Washington counties. The money will fund a variety of initiatives that engage students in STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics - initiatives.
Individual grants were at least $5,000, but five school districts - Allegheny Valley, Carlynton, Elizabeth Forward, Hampton and Washington - each received $20,000.
Other districts that received funding were Chartiers Valley, Cornell, Fort Cherry, Fox Chapel Area, Highlands, Keystone Oaks, Penn Hills, Riverview, South Allegheny, South Fayette, South Park, Uniontown, Upper St. Clair, West Allegheny and Wilkinsburg.
Board OKs $83 million budget, tax hike
The school board voted unanimously Monday to approve an $83 million budget, which includes a 1.47-mill tax increase for residents of Hempfield, Adamsburg, Hunker, Manor, New Stanton and Youngwood.
Jude Abraham, district business manager, said the tax hike will add an increase of about $30 a year for the average resident in the district.
To make up some of a $5.7 million deficit, the board voted to use nearly $2.9 million from the district's fund balance. The district still has an estimated $8.34 million fund balance.
Mr. Abraham said the district made "slight alterations" to schedules and business programs at the middle school, which allowed the district to eliminate four to six teaching positions without drastically affecting courses and programs.
Officer commended for coming to man's aid
Part-time police Officer Bryan DeFelice received a commendation at this month's Irwin council meeting for his actions in performing CPR on a man found unresponsive and not breathing in his vehicle at the Marathon gas station on Route 30.
Officer DeFelice took the man out of his vehicle and performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
Paramedics continued resuscitation efforts, and the man was taken to a hospital. Police Chief Joseph Pocsatko said Officer DeFelice's action likely saved the man's life.
• Council's work session meeting was changed from Wednesday to next Thursday, and the August work session meeting was moved from Aug. 1 to Aug. 2. Meetings are held at 6:30 p.m.
Allocation of fire funds questioned
At this month's commissioners' meeting, Fire Chief Jeff McNeil said he believes that commissioners are supposed to allocate 50 percent of the township's fire company funds to his fire department each year, with 25 percent going to Crestas Volunteer Fire Department and 25 percent going to West Wilmerding Volunteer Fire Department.
Councilman George Beswick said he has reviewed a number of meeting minutes to research the question. Although the commissioners made a motion at one meeting that fire funds should be divided that way, it was never formalized as an ordinance, and everything in writing says the commissioners should divide the fire money as they see fit, Mr. Beswick said.
Hotel opens near Arnold Palmer airport
The new SpringHill Suites Latrobe by Marriott opened for business with a brief ceremony and ribbon-cutting last week. Golfing legend Arnold Palmer, who is a partner with Concord Hospitality Group, was among officials on hand. The new hotel is near Mr. Palmer's childhood home.
The 109-room hotel at Route 981 and Arnold Palmer Drive is adjacent to Arnold Palmer Regional Airport and Kennametal Corp. world headquarters.
A grand opening is planned for later in the summer.
Unity celebration to be held Sunday
A Community Unity Festival is set for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Hunter Park, one of several activities in the year-long celebration of the community's 125th anniversary.
Wilkinsburg was officially established as a borough on Oct. 5, 1887.
The free event includes food, beverages, games, face painting, baseball, live entertainment and more.
The American Wind Symphony Orchestra and music director Robert Austin Boudreau will dedicate a concert on July 14 to Wilkinsburg at Point State Park.
In October, a three-day celebration will begin with a community reception at Hosanna House from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 5. A parade will be held Oct. 6 and will be followed by a gala that evening at the DoubleTree Hotel near Monroeville Mall. Festivities will conclude Oct. 7 with a communitywide worship and celebration at Wilkinsburg High School.
Mayor John Thompson, the celebration's chairman, announced the 125th anniversary theme as "Celebrating the Past, Present and Future."
"I want to encourage all of our residents, businesses and partners to be a part of the celebration," Mr. Thompson said in a news release. "Help sponsor events, join a committee or just attend and enjoy the activities. These are all ways to show your support for our rich history."
Donations to support the activities can be made at any Citizens Bank and should be made payable to Wilkinsburg's 125th Anniversary Committee. All funds raised that exceed event expenses will be used to support youth programs in the borough.
Details: www.wilkinsburgpa.gov and www.wilkinsburgcdc.org.
First Published June 28, 2012 6:23 am