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WEEKONE
WEEK
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PLUS get more in post-game videos, stories, photos and more
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DiMantae Bronaugh

SALLY MAXSON/THE TIMES

resurrecting aliquippa

Trenity Arrington stands on a chair while answering a vocabulary question about the word chuckle in Stacey Alexanders third-grade class at Aliquippa Elementary School. Alexander, who has been
teaching at the school for 17 years, says having children stand on the chair reduces nervousness and allows them to more easily maintain eye contact with her.

CITYS STRUGGLES
CONTINUE IN CLASS
Aliquippa School District faces the same
problems as the city it serves: A tax base thats
eroded for three decades after the decline of
the steel industry, coupled with a declining

population. Those who are left in the city


struggle with poverty and the problems
associated with it, and the school district is
faced with addressing those issues.

S TO RY BY TO M DAV I D S O N P H OTO BY K E V I N LO R E N Z I S E E PAG E A 6

WATC H V I D E O AT T I M E S O N L I N E . C O M

TODAYS TIMES
2015 Beaver Newspapers Inc.

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local&state

A2 | THE TIMES | BEAVER NEWSPAPERS INC., PENNSYLVANIA | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2015

Toomey discusses Iran


nuke deal in GOP
weekly address, visit
to Jewish center
By J.D. Prose
jprose@calkins.com

U.S. SEN. PAT TOOMEY


discussed the proposed
Iran nuclear deal
in the weekly
Republican
address
Saturday and
will also do so
during a visit to
a Pittsburgh
Jewish center next
week.
Toomey, R-Zionsville,
Lehigh County, has been
a vocal opponent of the
agreement while U.S.
Sen. Bob Casey,
D-Scranton, said last
week that he would
support it.
Calling the agreement
very dangerous,
Toomey warned in the
weekly address that the
Iranians will not be
impeded from developing a nuclear arsenal by
the restrictions.
Whats at stake here
is nothing less than the
possibility of giving
hundreds of billions of
dollars to the worlds
largest and worst state
sponsor of terrorism, and
ultimately paving the

way for this outlaw


regime to obtain nuclear
weapons, Toomey said.
On Tuesday, Toomey
will be at the Jewish
Community Center of
Greater Pittsburgh
to share his
concerns on the
deal, according
to a press release
from his office.
Specifically,
Toomey will address
the risk to our national
security and the safety of
our allies in the Middle
East if this agreement is
implemented.
On Sept. 1, Casey
announced that he
would support the
Obama administrations
proposed accord and
vote against a
Republican-backed
resolution of
disapproval.
I firmly believe that
effective implementation of the (deal), bolstered by other U.S.
policies, including a
strong deterrence policy
of the U.S. and our
partners, will be in our
national security interest, Casey said in a
statement.

BIG KNOB FAIR

Gavin Good, 3, of North Strabane, Washington County, peaks through a fence at some baby goats while some bigger goats watch
him from the next pen at the Big Knob Fair Saturday evening.

R O C H E S T E R T W P.

ONE KILLED IN EARLY MORNING FIRE


By Kristen Doerschner

Aliquippa Aldi to have


grand opening Oct. 28
By Jared Stonesifer
jstonesifer@timesonline.com

ALIQUIPPA The new Aldi


grocery store will open
Oct. 28 and will include a
grand opening ceremony
and special promotions.
The store, a former
Bottom Dollar, is at 2011
Sheffield Road in
Aliquippa.
It will be one of four
Aldi locations to open
that day in the Pittsburgh
region.
Aldi spokesman Brent
Laubaugh said Friday
there will be a ribboncutting ceremony at
9 a.m. followed by tours
open to customers.
Customers in attendance will also get to
sample products and
enter an on-site sweepstakes for the chance to
win a years supply of
Aldi produce.
Laubaugh said the
building itself has an
all-new interior design
with high ceilings, natural lighting and environmentally-friendly
building materials.
Aldi has been serving
customers in the
Pittsburgh region for
more than 20 years.
Laubaugh said the
Aliquippa store is one of
11 that have opened or
will open in southwestern Pennsylvania by the

IF YOU GO
What: Aldi grand opening
ceremony
When: 9 a.m. on Oct. 28
Where: 2011 Sheffield Road
in Aliquippa
Info: Following the ribboncutting there will be tours
open to customers.Those in
attendance will also get to
sample products and enter
an on-site sweepstakes for
the chance to win a years
supply of Aldi produce.
end of the year.
Were excited to
invite loyal and new
customers to take a fresh
look at Aldi by visiting
one of our new stores,
he said.
Aldi in March completed its purchase of the
Bottom Dollar chain and
announced its plans to
reopen about half of
those stores as Aldis.
But a similar store in
Ambridge didnt make
the cut and instead will
be evaluated for other
purposes.
The new Aliquippa
location will be the
fourth Aldi store to open
in the county. In addition
to Baden, Aldi has stores
in Center and Chippewa
townships.

SALLY MAXSON/THE TIMES

Anybody home?

kdoerschner@timesonline.com

ROCHESTER TWP. One


person was killed
Saturday in an early
morning house fire in the
township.
Beaver County 911 said
a call came in at 12:57 a.m.
from 702 Virginia Ave. A
911 dispatcher confirmed
there was a fatality.
Rochester Fire Chief

Michael Mamone said a


man and his elderly
mother lived in the
house. He said the son
was asleep in an upstairs
bedroom and the mother
was asleep on the first
floor of the house when
the fire started. Mamone
said the fire began on the
first floor and the woman
tried to yell to awaken
her son before she had to
flee the house and call

for help.
Mamone said firefighters extricated the man
through a second-floor
window, but he was
already deceased by the
time they were able to get
to him. He died as a result
of smoke inhalation,
Mamone said he was told
by the Beaver County
coroner.
Mamone did not have
the name of the man. He

said a state police fire


marshal was called to
investigate, but they
believe it was accidental.
The house was a total
loss, Mamone said. A
house next door at 700
Virginia Ave. also had
melted siding from the
fire, he said.
A call to the coroner
was not immediately
returned Saturday
afternoon.

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local&state

Sunday, September 6, 2015 | Beaver newspapers Inc., Pennsylvania | The Times | A3

pa pa l v i s it

B l ac k h aw k H i g h S c h o o l

Ticket requirements
for the popes
Philadelphia events

Case of whooping
cough confirmed

PHILADELPHIA (AP)
Organizers faced an
outcry
this week
over a
ticket
plan
keeping
most of
Pope
Francis audience at his
two biggest
Philadelphia events
several blocks away. A
map added to some
confusion over the size
of the ticketholder-only
zone.
Here are answers to
some key questions:

By Daveen Rae Kurutz

&A

Do I need tickets
to attend the popes
public events
in Philadelphia?
It depends on the
event. The pope is
holding three major
public events in the city:
a Sept. 26 speech on
immigration and religious freedom in front
of Independence Hall,
an appearance at the
closing festival of the
World Meeting of
Families on Sept. 26 on
the Benjamin Franklin
Parkway and a celebration of Mass on Sept. 27
on the same boulevard.

Do I need tickets for


the independence
hall speech?
Yes. Beginning at
noon Tuesday, 10,000
tickets are being made
available to the general
public on a first-come,
first-served basis
through the website
worldmeeting2015.org/
tickets.
Theres a limit of four
per person.
Thousands of other
tickets are being given
out to parishes with
large immigrant communities in an effort to
assure a diverse
audience.

Do I need tickets for


the two Benjamin
Franklin parkway
appearances?
No, if you dont mind
standing at least 2.5
blocks, or a quartermile, away.
Francis appearance
at the closing festival of
the World Meeting of
Families on Sept. 26 is
expected to draw 750,000
or more people, his
celebration of Mass on

5K

Sept. 27 up to 1.5
million.
If you want to stand in
the 2.5 blocks closest to
the stage on Sept. 26 or
the altar on Sept. 27, you
will need a ticket.

Who gets tickets for


the two big events?
Tickets are being
distributed primarily to
parishioners in the
Philadelphia
Archdiocese, plus
surrounding dioceses in
Pennsylvania, New
Jersey and Delaware.
The thousands of
people attending the
World Meeting of
Families, the triennial
Catholic conference
attracting Francis to
Philadelphia, are automatically receiving
passes.
Passes also are being
given to event sponsors
and members of other
faith communities and
church social service
programs.
There are also 10,000
tickets for each day that
will be made available
to the general public.
They will be distributed Sept. 9 through a
website on a first-come,
first-served basis; details have not yet been
announced.
Papal visit planners
decided to make that
last batch available
after a backlash over the
announcement this
week that several blocks
up front had been set
aside for ticketholders
and that tickets were
largely reserved for
parishioners in the city
and four surrounding
counties.

If I dont have a
ticket, will there still
be an opportunity
to see the pope?
Yes. Organizers also
announced that Francis
will parade along the
Benjamin Franklin
Parkway before the
Sept. 26 and 27 events,
giving many an opportunity to see him up close.
They said the parade
the first day would
likely be longer than the
one before the Mass.
Papal events will also
be broadcast on 40 huge
screens throughout the
city for crowds to watch
all his appearances
during his two-day visit
to Philadelphia, including those that are not
public.

10K

dkurutz@timesonline.com

CHIPPEWA TWP. Blackhawk


officials are cautioning
parents after a high school
student was diagnosed
and treated for whooping
cough.
Superintendent
Melanie Kerber said a
letter was sent home with
students as a precaution
after the district was
notified by the boys
parents on Wednesday.
Kerber said the student is
an athlete, but she would
not say what grade he is
in.
The child has been
successfully treated, but
the doctors said that if he
had close contact with his
friends like at a
sleepover they should
be checked out, Kerber
said. If your child develops a cough, you should
take them to see a doctor.
Whooping cough, also
known as pertussis, is a
severe respiratory illness
that is readily preventable with high community
vaccination rates, said Dr.
Daniel Graff, a pediatrician with Sewickley
Valley Pediatrics and
Adolescent Medicine.
Children are required to
be vaccinated against
whooping cough before
entering kindergarten and
seventh grade, according
to state requirements.
Pennsylvania is 49th in
the country for its whooping cough vaccination
rates, Graff said.
At Blackhawks
Highland Middle School,
the percentage of seventhgrade students who have
been vaccinated against
whooping cough on time
before Oct. 15 of a
school year has varied
in recent years. According
to the districts School
Immunization Law reports, just two out of five
children had their vaccinations on time in 2010.
But in 2012, at least four
out of five children were
vaccinated on time.
Pennsylvania does not
require updated immuni-

Percent of Blackhawk seventh-graders vaccinated


against whooping cough by Oct. 15 each year

Source: Blackhawk School District School Immunization Law reports


Daveen Rae Kurutz/The Times

zation reports for grades


other than kindergarten
and seventh grade.
This should be a
clarion call to parents to
make sure their childs
vaccinations are up to
date, Kerber said.
Kerber said she expects
the school board will
discuss the districts
policy on monitoring
vaccination records in the
coming months.
Whooping cough is
particularly dangerous to
small children, Graff said.
Its less dangerous for
most teenagers and
adults, but could still
result in a prolonged
hospital stay.
Its extremely contagious because the cough is
so violent that droplets of
mucus are broadcast over
a very wide surface, Graff
said. When people cough,
the bacteria lives for a
period of time on the
surface. It may be passed
along in a grocery aisle or

Its extremely contagious because the


cough is so violent that droplets of mucus
are broadcast over a very wide surface.
When people cough, the bacteria lives
for a period of time on the surface. It
may be passed along in a grocery aisle or
a church pew.
Dr. Daniel Graff, a pediatrician
with Sewickley Valley
Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

a church pew.
Whooping cough epidemics have cropped up
across the country in
recent years, Graff said.
So far this year, there
have been six confirmed
or probable cases of
whooping cough in Beaver
County, said Amy Worden,
spokeswoman for the state
Department of Health.
There were five or fewer
cases the previous three
years, and 18 cases in

2011. Statewide, there


have been 533 confirmed
or probable cases of
whooping cough this year.
In 2014, there were 813,
Worden said.
Graff said parents
shouldnt be afraid to get
their child vaccinated. A
soon-to-be grandfather of
three, he recently got a
booster of the vaccination
himself because he is
exposed to the illness
each year.

McGinty getting backing from top Pittsburgh-area Dems


HARRISBURG (AP) Katie
McGintys campaign says
shell have the backing of
top Pittsburgh-area
Democrats in her campaign for the Democratic
nomination for U.S.
Senate.
McGintys campaign
said she will get a public
endorsement Saturday

from Congressman Mike


Doyle, Allegheny County
Executive Rich
Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh
Mayor Bill Peduto and
Allegheny County
Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy Mills.
The campaign says a
number of other state
lawmakers and local

elected officials from the


area will endorse her at
the event.
The primary election is
April 26.
The 52-year-old McGinty
is running in the primary
against former
Congressman Joe Sestak,
a former Navy vice admiral who is making his

second run for the office.


The 63-year-old Sestak
narrowly lost to
Republican U.S. Sen. Pat
Toomey in 2010 after he
beat Republican-turnedDemocrat Arlen Specter
in the primary.
Both McGinty and
Sestak hail from
Philadelphias suburbs.

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Supporters of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis hold up signs in support of her, outside the Carter County Detention Center,
Saturday, in Grayson, Ky. Since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in June, the vast majority of officials have abided
by that ruling. However, Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses to any couple, gay or straight, in defiance of a federal court
order, and was sent to jail on Thursday.

License issue divides gay


and church communities
By James Higdon
The Washington Post

MOREHEAD, Ky. Square in the


middle of embattled Rowan County is
this college town in the Appalachian
foothills home to Morehead State
University, a population that swells by
10,000 with the start of each school year,
and an active LGBT community.
Beyond the city limits, nearly twothirds of the county is protected wilderness inside the Daniel Boone National
Forest. Small, tight-knit communities
carry on an Appalachian tradition that
has largely resisted change for decades,
including followers of the Apostolic
Christian faith.
For years, gay members of the university community and Apostolic Christians
have tip-toed around each other.
But the Supreme Courts decision in
June in favor of same-sex marriage
made a collision perhaps inevitable, as
the only thing left standing in the way of
gays who wanted to marry was the
signature of Rowan County Clerk Kim
Davis, a member of the Apostolic
Church. Her refusal to sign the marriage
licenses since June has landed her in
jail for contempt of a federal court. Her
case is on appeal.
When the Supreme Court ruled in
favor of gay marriage, a handful of
conservative county clerks in Kentucky
sounded the alarm, realizing it would fall
on them to issue marriage licenses to
same-sex couples, an idea they abhorred.
But unlike in Rowan County, there is no
LGBT community to speak of in those
other rural areas few if any gay couples to demand that the county clerk
comply with the Supreme Court ruling.
On Friday, the Rowan County clerks
office issued marriage certificates to at
least five same-sex couples. The documents did not bear Kim Daviss name
and were signed by a deputy clerk.
This is our civil right, said April
Miller, a professor of education at
Morehead State, when she and her
partner Karen Roberts emerged from
the county courthouse with a marriage
certificate.
Daviss backers in Rowan County have
characterized the university as an outside force, a troublemaking interloper.
This community isnt divided. This
community is united, said Pastor
Randy Smith, a supporter of Kim Davis.
The division comes no disrespect
from Morehead State University.
But Wayne Andrews, president of
Morehead State University, disagreed:
I dont think this issue is dividing our
community.

Rally held to support


defiant, jailed clerk
GRAYSON, KY. They stood chanting outside
the jail house, Thank you, Kim; Thank you, Kim,
and prayed that the defiant county clerk locked
inside could hear them.
As Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis began
her third day as an inmate at the Carter County
Detention Center on Saturday, having chosen
indefinite imprisonment over licensing gay
marriage, around 300 people gathered on the
lawn outside.
She wont bow, I promise you, Davis
husband, Joe, told the crowd. She sends her
love to each and every one of you all. And this
is what she said, All is well. Tell them to hold
their head high because I am.
Part revival, part political rally, a series of
speakers denounced the government and the
judiciary, and hailed Davis a Christian hero in a
war against the godless. They waved signs that
read Kim Davis for President, no to sodomite
perversion and God gives his hardest battles
to his strongest soldiers.
In a statement to the Morehead News,
he said, We believe elected officials
should obey the law and do their jobs.
Many here agree, and not just those
connected to the university.
Andrews has been Moreheads president since 2005, and during that time the
school has consistently ranked among
the top public universities in the South
by U.S. News & World Report. The
university has been racially integrated
since 1954 and LGBT-friendly for
decades.
Its remarkable how many people are
involved in the LGBT community here,
said Darbi Hardin, a 20-year-old junior
at Morehead State and president of the
ALLYance, a campus-based group that
advocates for their rights.
Morehead passed a fairness ordinance in 2013, becoming the second city
in Kentucky to enact such a measure to
protect the rights of the LGBT community. The Rowan County Rights Coalition,
an off-campus organization, has nearly
1,400 members in its closed Facebook
group.
Rowan County has diversified its
economy more than most Appalachian
counties, but still, some of the best jobs
are offered by the government. Daviss
mother, Jean Bailey, was county clerk
for 37 years, and Davis was her deputy
for 27 of them. Now, Davis employs her
son, Nathan Davis, as a deputy.

NEWS
IN BRIEF

Clinton: Family
paid employee
for email work
while Secretary

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP)


Hillary Rodham
Clinton said Saturday
that her family paid a
State Department
employee to maintain
the private email server
she used while secretary of state and compensated him for a
period of time for his
technical skills.
After picking up the
endorsement of New
Hampshires senior
senator, Democrat
Jeanne Shaheen,
Clinton was again
pressed to answer
questions about an
issue from her time in
the Obama Cabinet that
has dogged her presidential candidacy.
We obviously paid
for those services and
did so because during
a period of time we
continued to need his
technical assistance,
the Democratic frontrunner told reporters
after a campaign event.

Voters in Ohio
take a measured
view of 2016
presidential race

COLUMBUS, OHIO (AP) Its


been a tumultuous
political summer.
The unexpected
rises of billionaire
Donald Trump and
socialist Bernie
Sanders. Signs of
weakness for
Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham
Clinton. Curiosity
about the future of
Vice President Joe
Biden.
Yet in Ohio, the
nations most reliable
general election bellwether, voters are
taking a more measured view of a race
they ultimately may
decide.
Its all just chatter,
said Judith Anderson,
40, a Democrat from
Cincinnati. Were a
ways out.

TODAY IN
HISTORY
1861
Union forces led by Gen.
Ulysses S. Grant occupied
Paducah, Ky., during the
Civil War.

1901
President William McKinley was shot and mortally wounded by anarchist
Leon Czolgosz at the
Pan-American Exposition
in Buffalo, N.Y. (McKinley died eight days later;
Czolgosz was executed on
Oct. 29.)

1916
The first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly,
was opened in Memphis,
Tenn., by Clarence Saunders.

1943
79 People were killed
when a New York-bound
Pennsylvania Railroad train
derailed and crashed in
Philadelphia.

1954

Groundbreaking took
place for the Shippingport
Atomic Power Station in
western Pennsylvania.

1966
South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd
was stabbed to death by an
apparently deranged page
during a parliamentary session in Cape Town.

1970
Palestinian guerrillas
seized control of three
U.S.-bound jetliners. (Two
were later blown up on
the ground in Jordan, along
with a London-bound plane
hijacked on Sept. 9; the
fourth plane was destroyed
on the ground in Egypt. No
hostages were harmed.)

1985
All 31 people aboard a
Midwest Express Airlines
DC-9 were killed when
the Atlanta-bound jetliner
crashed just after takeoff
from Milwaukees Mitchell
Field.
The Associated Press

world

Sunday, September 6, 2015 | Beaver newspapers Inc., Pennsylvania | The Times | A5

European migrants

Austria
says it,
Germany
will take
refugees
By Shawn Pogatchnik
and Pablo Gorondi
The Associated Press

BICSKE, Hungary After


misery, delivery. Hundreds
of migrants, exhausted after
breaking away from police
and marching for hours
toward Western Europe,
boarded buses provided
by Hungarys government
as Austria in the earlymorning hours said it and
Germany would let them in.
Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann announced
the decision early Saturday
after speaking with Angela
Merkel, his German counterpart not long after
Hungarys surprise nighttime move to provide buses
for the weary travelers from
Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
With people streaming
in long lines along highways from a Budapest train
station and near a migrant
reception center in this
northern town, the buses
would be used because
transportation safety cant
be put at risk, said Janos
Lazar, chief of staff to the
prime minister.
Lazar blamed Germanys
contradictory communications and the European
Union for the crisis.
The asylum seekers had
already made dangerous
treks in scorching heat,
crawling under barbed wire
on Hungarys southern
frontier and facing the hostility of some locals along
the way. Their first stop will
be Austria, on Hungarys
western border, though
most hope to eventually
reach Germany.

The Associated Press

A woman rescued with other migrants off the Libyan coast peers through a gate on Sept. 3 on the Norwegian ship Siem Pilot to get her first sight of the island of
Sardinia as they sail in the Mediterranean sea towards the Italian port of Cagliari.

A photo, a turning point?


All depends on leaders
By Angela Charlton
and Lorne Cook
The Associated Press

PARIS The 3-year-old


boy could have been
dressed for preschool.
Instead he was lying face
down in the surf.
Suddenly offers of
money, meals and refuge
are pouring in to help the
hundreds of thousands of
migrants surging into
Europe. A single photo of
a lifeless boy did more to
galvanize public sympathy for Europes migrants
than thousands of drownings in the Mediterranean
or four years of Syrian
civil war.
Whether Aylan Kurdis
drowning death marks a
turning point in Europes
migration crisis depends
on what European politicians do in response. So
far, no dramatic new
solutions have emerged.

Given the EUs cumbersome structure and powerful national interests


among its 28 members,
any political change will
be slow if it happens at
all. Ideological divides
run deep, and suspicion
of immigrants simmers.
Yet for many people
from London to Athens to
San Francisco, something
clicked Thursday. There
will be a before and an
after, a collective memory
of the image of a 3-yearold on a Turkish beach,
that moment when the
migrants plight became
tangible and unjustifiably
cruel. Swedens foreign
minister cried on national
television. So did
Australias most popular
TV personality.
They were not alone.
Tweets in a dozen languages shared pain and
anger elicited by viewing
the photo of Aylan, taken

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insisted they are not


soulless bureaucrats.
Germany and France
urged faster action on a
relatively modest plan to
force all EU members to
take in a certain number
of migrants.
Our job, she said, is
to take decisions rationally, being consistent and
coherent with our
emotions.
One political cartoon
Friday showed a boy dead
in the water with a lifesaver floating nearby, painted
with the yellow stars and
blue field of the EU flag.
Thats how many view
Europes failure to take
bold steps amid its worst
refugee crisis since World
War II especially as
Turkey, Jordan and
Lebanon have taken in
more than 3.7 million
Syrians while European
governments argue about
where to put 40,000 refu-

gees. After hundreds of


migrants died in an
overcrowded boat that
capsized off the Italian
island of Lampedusa in
2013, European officials
swore such horrors must
stop.
This year, after another
800 people drowned in the
Mediterranean in April,
European Parliament
President Martin Schulz
had a sense of deja vu.
Every single life lost
off our coasts is a stain on
Europe, he said. Each
time a refugee boat sinks,
with people screaming,
shouting and drowning,
we swear Never again.
We hold minutes of silence. We lay wreaths. We
promise that this time
must be the turning point.
And then ...
And then, five months
later, a boys small body
washes up on a Turkish
beach.

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Many have taken action,
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room offers Tuesday; by
Thursday night it had 500.
Donors from around the
world flooded the U.N.
refugee agency with offers
of aid.
The image ... has
started a movement of
civil society, of private
individuals, and even of
the tabloid press, to say:
Governments, we need to
do more, said agency
spokeswoman Melissa
Fleming.
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resurrecting aliquippa

Kevin Lorenzi/The Times

Kindergarten teacher Gary Stumpf helps a Marqelle Burgess-Dye open his milk carton as Micah Gibson, second from right, and Daniel King look on and Amir Davis, left, reacts to his unfamiliar
surroundings at Aliquippa Elementary School.

citys struggles
continue in class
In Aliquippa, the school district faces the same problems
as the city it serves: A tax base thats been eroding
for decades, resulting in a shrinking population and
difficulties with poverty.
By Tom Davidson
tdavidson@timesonline.com

ALIQUIPPA Superintendent David


Wytiaz was waxing on about the good
things in the school district on a
recent Wednesday.
I actually love what Im doing,
Wytiaz said of his job as leader of the
Aliquippa School District, perhaps
the toughest task in his chosen
profession in Beaver County.
The district faces the same problems as the city it serves: a tax base
thats been eroding for 30 years since
the decline of the steel industry,
coupled with a declining population.
Those who are left in the city struggle with poverty and the problems
associated with it, and the school

the people

inside

community
Aliquippa High School
football coach Mike
Zmijanac reflects on
his hometown and the
spirit its residents embody. Story, see page c1
photo by sally maxson/the times

district is faced with dealing with


those issues.
Wytiazs office is in the high school,
adjacent to the gym, and he has
several tables filled with paperwork
he is perpetually referencing and
organizing.
The first week of school is a hectic
time, and Wytiazs day was filled with
the business of education: He rode a
bus to the Plan 11 section of the city
to see firsthand one parents concerns about a bus stop there, then he
met with others about a special-education issue.
There are few administrative
layers between Wytiaz and the
students at the school, so hes intimately involved in most decisions
made by the district. He enjoys it
because it gives him a chance to roll
up his sleeves and make a difference in the lives of the youth of his
hometown.
The kids are innocent in this
whole thing, Wytiaz said of the
complex problems facing the school
district and the city as a whole.
Adult problems have caused them
grief.
Our kids are loved. Theyre kept
safe. Theyre protected, he said.
We deal with things other districts
dont deal with, but we deal with it.
Thats evident in a few minutes,
when Wytiaz takes a call from the
elementary school: A bank was
robbed near the school that afternoon, Aug. 26, just before dismissal,
and the building was placed on
lockdown.
Wytiaz cut short an interview to
drive the short distance between the
schools to be on the scene.
Everything turned out OK, but the
robbery was emblematic of the
issues here: It was something that
happened outside the school walls
that affected the students lives and
education.

Struggling to pay the bills

Its similar to the immense financial difficulties the school has to stay
open and remain afloat even as the
citys tax base continues to crumble,
population in the city continues to
decline and state leaders put off

t h e st u d e n ts

Kevin Lorenzi/The Times

Third-graders, from left, Charles Platt, Trenity Arrington and Tahmeir Martin celebrate
their success during a game identifying sentence fragments in Stacey Alexanders class at
Aliquippa Elementary School. Alexander has been teaching at the school for 17 years.

addressing the problem of how to


News about the tax-anticipation
equitably pay for education in
loan and a one-year wonder of a
Pennsylvania.
bond refinancing that will save the
Those problems occupy much of
district about $615,000 on its debt
Wytiazs time. Paying the bills were a
repayments this year have made
challenge before state leaders began
things more bearable as the 2015-16
their budget battles this summer,
school year begins.
and its more challenging two
There were tears on the
months later, as an end to the
phone as we talked, Wytiaz
impasse in Harrisburg isnt in
said of a conference call with
watch
sight.
the districts bond counsel
online
Weve worked very hard to
about the savings it will see this
keep this afloat, Wytiaz said.
year at no increase in the
For video of
The week before school
districts debt or length of terms
this story visit
started, the district got good
of the bond.
timesonline.
news: It was approved to
Its like, maybe close one eye
com.
borrow $2 million from a bank
now, he said.
in a tax-anticipation note it has
The cash-flow problems
been unable to get for several
didnt exist when Wytiaz was a
years. That cash will help make ends
student at then-booming school.
meet now, Wytiaz said.
Its not the Aliquippa I knew, (not)
The district is due more than $2
the Aliquippa I grew up with, he
million in state subsidies, and there
said of the district today. I went to
were $1.7 million in outstanding bills
school during better economic
dating from May before school
times.
started Aug. 24.
Hes a 1978 graduate of the school
We had four pages of bills that
and used to ride a bus with mill
were overwhelming, Wytiaz said.
workers each morning. Jones &
Our vendors have worked with us.
Laughlin Steel Corp.s sprawling
On Aug. 19, Wytiaz and Business
Aliquippa plant dominated the
Manager Debbie Engleman winbanks of the Ohio River then, and
nowed down the bills and paid about
most everyone made their living
$300,000 of them, but the task refrom the mill.
mains daunting.
I have those memories of what

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2015 | BEAVER NEWSPAPERS INC., PENNSYLVANIA | THE TIMES | A7

resurrecting aliquippa

that plant did to the community,


Wytiaz said.
It took a half-hour to get from one
end of Franklin Avenue to the other
because of traffic and stop lights. He
worked summers at the mill after
graduating from high school and says
the work there gave him a different
appreciation of life.
He was tempted to make a career
at J&L, but his father discouraged
him.
Dad said, Youre 19, 20 years old.
When youre 50, 55, youre going to
appreciate your education more,
Wytiaz said.
He listened to his dad and pursued
a career in finance. He also served as
an Aliquippa School Board member
before he became business manager
of the district in 2003. Hes been
superintendent since 2010.
I think I got an education of the
streets rather than the books,
Wytiaz said, even though he has two
masters degrees. I think being from
here, I have an understanding of the
people and what theyve gone
through.

THE RESOURCES

Aliquippa High
School security
guard J. Calvin
Graham watches
as students leave
at the end of the
school day.
SALLY MAXSON/
THE TIMES

What theyve gone through

What theyve gone through is a


polite way of describing the last
three decades of decline in
Aliquippa. It truly is a case study,
Wytiaz said of the plight of the town.
Aliquippa was planned and built
by J&L executives to house the
thousands of workers needed to
support the mill, and since its slow
exit in the late 1980s and early 1990s,
the city and the school district
served by it have had to deal with the
ramifications, which include the loss
of a viable tax base and place of
employment for residents and a
continual decline in population.
Aliquippa has suffered since,
Wytiaz said. He has watched as
weeds have overgrown most of the
land once occupied by the mill.
For the school district, it means
complete dependence on state and
federal funds, as only about $5
million of the districts $20 million
annual budget comes from local
revenues. And even if the district
increases its property tax rate,
because property values keep declining, it means revenues can fall
each year, Wytiaz said.
We cant tax our way out of this,
he said.
Aliquippas case is a visible symptom of a statewide problem in the
way education is funded.
The wealth of your community
determines the quality of your school
district, he said.
Lack of adequate revenue means
the district cant offer the programs
it should, and the overriding poverty
of its residents only adds to the
challenge, Wytiaz said.

Battling low test scores

When theres poverty, theres low


test scores, he said.
The students in Aliquippa dont
score as well on standardized tests
as those in wealthier districts in
Beaver County and elsewhere in the
state. The battle to boost the performance of Aliquippas students under
extreme financial constraints has
been an issue in the district that
predates Wytiaz.
Former Superintendent William
DiBenedetto Jr. retired in 2004 and
had worked in the district since 1988.
DiBenedetto started at the district at
the same time the citys financial
problems came to roost and Aliquippa
became a financially distressed
community under state Act 47.
The town was looking for help. We
were looking for help, DiBenedetto
said of those times.
Throughout DiBenedettos tenure,
there were always financial problems, he said, but there was always a
good staff and leadership at the
ALIQUIPPA, PAGE A8

SCHOOL SAFETY STATS UNCLEAR


LEA: Aliquippa
SD
School Year: 2009
- 2010

Enrollment
Incidents
Offenders

While recent school safety


reports from the Aliquippa
School District are largely
incomplete, district
Superintendent David Wytiaz
still thinks the schools are
the safest place for students.
By Kirstin Kennedy
kkennedy@timesonline.com

ALIQUIPPA To district Superintendent


David Wytiaz, Aliquippas schools are
the safest place in the city.
The Aliquippa School Districts
junior-senior high school and elementary school act as more than just
education centers, he said. Often
teachers and staff members have to
address some of the most basic needs
the students have: security, health,
food.
Many Aliquippa students come from
economically disadvantaged families,
Wytiaz said. With higher rates of
poverty, there tends to be more drug
activity, more crime, he said.
Wytiaz also notes the many social
issues such as single-parenting,
domestic violence and drug use that
can impact students when theyre at
home. These are all things we deal
with, he said.
He believes that Aliquippa students
are loved, fed and protected when
theyre at school.

Security

Still, Wytiaz is aware of safety


concerns throughout the schools and is
cognizant of the issues the district
faces.
When it comes to security, the
district tries to take a practical approach, he said. Security guards from
an independent company, Graham
Security, patrol the districts two
schools. There are also cameras
throughout both buildings and metal
detectors at the high school.
The schools are also developing a
visitor management system, which will
require any person who is not an
employee of the school to provide a
valid state identification at the front
door before being allowed to enter.
The ultimate goal is safety, Wytiaz
said.

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BUILDING AND SAVINGS BANK

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Well never sell your


loan to another bank

The district also works with


city police when an incident at
the school reaches the level of
criminal activity.
I have to give it to the police
department and the mayor, he
said. Theyve been supportive
of working with us. Police
have brought in drug-sniffing
dogs, talked to students
individually and even socialized with the student body
during lunch periods.
But the district doesnt worry only
about keeping everyone safe from
outside forces. They also have to
address violence and bullying inside
the school.
Wytiaz said social media have really
changed the game regarding fighting
in school. Now, incidents can start
virtually, anywhere.
Thats probably the biggest issue,
he said, and he doesnt see an end in
sight.
The district has blocked social
media on devices in the computer lab,
but students can still access their
accounts on their cell phones. Wytiaz
said the school board is considering
changing the cell phone policy.
You cant be walking with it (a cell
phone) down the halls, he said. Its
amazing what can happen (in the
transition between classes).
It is hoped this will help reduce
fights in the school, Wytiaz said.

'HQQLV/
*RHKULQJ

:HVW3DUN6WUHHW5RFKHVWHU724-774-4970

1,196
122
108

Misconduct Categori

Safe Schools -

LEA Report

Incidents Involving
Local Law Enforcm
ent
Total Arrests
Assignments to
Alternative Educatio
n
Incidents Associated

with the Misconduct


0
14

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Kidnapping/Interferen
ce with Custody
of
Unlawful Restraint

Threatening School
Official/Student
Reckless Endangerin
g
Robbery
Theft

0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
0
0
0
0

Attempt/Commit
Murder/Manslaughter
Bullying
Suicide - Attempted
Suicide - Committed
Rioting
Bomb Threats

Terroristic Threats
(excl bomb threats)
Failure of Disorderly
Persons to Dispers
Disorderly Conduct

0
0
4
0
0
0
0

Possession of Handgun
Possession of Rifle/Shotg
un
Possession of Other
Firearm
Possession of Knife

11/21/2011 2:59:27
PM

Mandatory school safety reports are


due July 31 every year, statewide. Data
for the 2014-15 school year has not yet
been released, but Aliquippas 2013-14
numbers seem largely incomplete.
Aliquippa reported 15 total incidents for the year, 10 of which required
local law enforcement involvement.
That number pales in comparison with
the 509 incidents reported throughout
Beaver Countys 14 school districts.
Wytiaz agrees. It was bad data, he
said.
When submitting school safety
reports, the individual districts infraction codes have to jibe with the states
codes in order for the data to make
sense, Wytiaz said. Aliquippas did not.
Im responsible for it, Wytiaz said,
but he made clear he wasnt attempting to hide anything, vowing the data
for the 2014-15 year will paint a better
picture of incidents that happen

Percent of Total

Incidents
0.00%
11.48%

4
0
0
3
30
47

Minor Altercation
Rape
Involuntary Sexual
Deviate Intercourse
Statutory Sexual
Assault
Sexual Assault
Aggravated Indecent
Assault
Indecent Assault
Indecent Exposure
Open Lewdness
Obscene and other
sexual materials
and p
Sexual Harassmen
t
Stalking

School safety reports

0
0
1

es

Discipline Infraction
Aggravated Assault
on Student
Simple Assault
on Student
Aggravated Assault
on Staff
Simple Assault
on Staff
Racial/Ethnic Intimidation
All Other Forms
of Harassment/Intimidati
Fighting

-1-

3.28%
0.00%
0.00%
2.46%
24.59%
38.52%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
4.10%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%

Incidents per 100

Students
0.00
1.17
0.33
0.00
0.00
0.25
2.51
3.93
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00

more online
See the Aliquippa
Safe Schools reports
for 2009-2014 at
timesonline.com.

0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.42
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00

throughout the district.


Our system is going to
match, Wytiaz said.
Despite Aliquippa
accounting for four of
seven ex- pulsions across the county
in 2014-15, Wytiaz said he doesnt like
the term zero tolerance, except in
the most extreme circumstances, such
as bringing a deadly weapon into a
school.
After an infraction, students go
through due process. Often its
handled on a case-by-case basis,
Wytiaz said.
Staff members also learn from
mistakes and will recap after an
incident to see what the district can do
better, he said.
0.00%
0.00%
3.28%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%

0.00
0.00
0.33
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00

www.pimsreports.sta
te.pa.us

Resources

Communication is the best solution,


Wytiaz said. Each year, students go
over the districts code of conduct so
that they know what is expected of
them.
A juvenile probation officer has an
office in the high school. Students with
past criminal issues that have been put
on probation can meet with the officer
directly inside the school.
The high school also has a mental
health worker available to students.
Mental health issues are very prevalent, he said.
Wytiaz said that counseling is
working fantastic. The 2014-15 school
year was the first year it was available
to students.
The stigma is starting to go away,
and kids are starting to ask for help,
he said.
Another encouraging sign he cites is
the cleanliness of the districts buildings. Our kids are proud of this
building, Wytiaz said. Its clean and
safe, he said. I think we do that every
well.
But the district isnt running away
from safety concerns and school
violence, he said.
I feel our children are safer here
than anywhere in the community, he
said.

A8 | THE TIMES | BEAVER NEWSPAPERS INC., PENNSYLVANIA | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2015

resurrecting aliquippa

Aliquippas schools face the same problems as the city


point, politics at all levels are hurting these populations (the
underserved and underrepresented).
The middle class keeps sliding
backward.
I think there are things that can
help, but they have to be things that
are doable, he said. How that
happens thats a big issue.

ALIQUIPPA, from A7

school and the school board provided positive leadership. The teachers union was also cooperative.
The district also took advantage of
any and every grant opportunity that
was available, but those grants have
since dried up, meaning the situation
in the school district is now more
severe, DiBenedetto said. The problems in the schools worsened as the
tax base and student population
declined.
In 2002, the district sent letters to
each of the other Beaver County
school districts asking for a tuition
agreement and/or consideration of
merger, DiBenedetto remembered.
Not all of the districts replied, and
the ones that did found kind ways to
indicate they were unable to work
with us, he said.
The issues we were facing in the
late 1980s, early 1990s kept getting
worse, DiBenedetto said. And the
real issues with the town are the
same issues with the school.
DiBenedetto said the most damaging thing has been state-standardized testing. Those tests make things
tough for districts like Aliquippa,
which he described as one of the
underserved and underrepresented communities in the state.
The state offered various initiatives to help school districts, and
Aliquippa took advantage, but grant
money covered only the first year of
those programs.
We always had a lot of help, but
even those funds kept shrinking,
DiBenedetto said. At one time, state
funding accounted for 50 percent of
education costs, but when

To merge or not to merge?

KEVIN LORENZI/THE TIMES

Kindergarten teacher Gary Stumpf leads his class to breakfast at the cafeteria on the second
day of school Aug. 26 at Aliquippa Elementary School. The photo on the wall is of the former
Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. mill.
DiBenedetto retired, the state was
providing less than 35 percent in his
district.
The issues in Aliquippa arent
teaching/learning, he said. Its the
economics of trying to keep schools
open. Solving that will require the
economic and social climate of the
city to rebound, and even then, it
would take a generation to improve,
DiBenedetto said.
You need folks that have jobs, he
said. Real jobs with the ability to
have benefits and make a living
wage.

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He didnt mince words about the


reasons for it all, and its something
thats not pleasant to say.
Its about race. Its about money.
Its about race and poverty and the
issues that communities face with
underserved, underrepresented
populations.
Im an optimist. Or, if not an
optimist, at least a pragmatist,
DiBenedetto said. I also believe in
America, and I think its possible to
work our way around it, to work our
way through it.
However, from a political stand-

Merging Aliquippa into a neighboring school district would only


make sense, both DiBenedetto and
Wytiaz said.
Before Monaca and Center Area
merged six years ago to become
Central Valley, DiBenedetto thought
the Center, Hopewell Area and
Aliquippa school districts would be
a natural fit to be merged, as each
of them faced declining student
population, he said.
Theres your district. Youd have
probably 6,000 students in the school
district, he said.
It would be comparable in size to
the well-performing suburban
Pittsburgh school districts, he said.
The quality of teaching is here.
The quality of administration is here.
The quality at the board level is
here, he said. But we dont make
the rules. We are always reacting to
the mandates that come from outside
Beaver County. The fight is still there
every day.
Wytiaz said the big-picture issue is
that there are about 23,000 public
school students in 14 school districts
in Beaver County, and schools need
to consolidate.
Do the math, he said. If my

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resurrecting aliquippa

KEVIN LORENZI/THE TIMES

Africa T. Sheppard tries to keep the attention of her sixth-graders while talking
about their future career aspirations at Aliquippa Elementary School. Sheppard is
from Aliquippa and has been teaching at the school for 14 years.
position needs to go away in the
bigger scheme of things, Im OK
(with that).
Merging districts would lead
to better opportunities for
students, he said. Every student
deserves equal opportunity. We
have to give kids that chance.
When Wytiaz graduated in
1978, he was one of a class of 235
students more than four times
the size of a graduating class
now. Some graduating classes
were as big as 400 students in
better times, he said.
I am concerned about the
future, he said. Ive told the
(school) board Im running out of

rabbits to pull out of hats.


Theres no end in sight to the
financial problems, especially
with the failure of state officials
to make any substantive changes, he said.
Im hoping for brighter days
for Beaver County in general,
but I think a lot of changes need
to be made across the state,
Wytiaz said.

Hope for the


future remains
John Thomas is a 1969
Aliquippa graduate and former
star athlete. He worked as a

teacher, counselor and principal


at the school before working as
superintendent between the
tenures of DiBenedetto and
Wytiaz.
Thomas remains proud of the
job Aliquippas educators are
doing and holds out hope for the
future of his hometown.
Theres always hope.
Aliquippas endured a lot of
things over the years, and
theyve been able to survive.
Aliquippas been able to survive,
and Aliquippa will survive,
Thomas said.
The city has good, strong,
young leadership, and it is
filled with strong, family folks
that wont let adversity keep
them down, he said. You want
to continue to provide quality
education. I believe theres very
bright kids in Aliquippa. Theyre
hard workers.
One challenge is overcoming
the negative perceptions that
persist about the city and the
school district, which are unfair,
Thomas said.
When you come and see and
meet the people, your perception changes, he said.
Good things are happening in
Aliquippa. Aliquippas a good
place. I see Aliquippa as a city
of hope, he said.
I believe the citys going to
rebound. I dont know when, but
its going to return, Thomas
said. There are too many good
people for it not to (return). I
may be reaching, but Id rather
reach than put my hands in my
pockets and say, Thats it.

Standardized testing: How they did


Performance by students in the Aliquippa school district
over four school years, 2009-2014.

Aliquippa math performance

Aliquippa reading performance

SOURCE: PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


DAVEEN RAE KURUTZ/THE TIMES

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PAGE A10 | TIMESONLINE.COM |

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2015

Beaver
Newspapers Inc.
S.W. Calkins Sr.
Publisher, 1943-73

Tina Bequeath
Publisher
Jody Schwartz
Director of Sales
Mary Cotters
Circulation Director
EDITORIAL BOARD
Tina Bequeath
Publisher
Lisa Micco
Executive Editor
Tom Bickert
Editorial Page Editor

CALKINS MEDIA
Mark G. Contreras
Chief executive officer
Stanley M. Ellis
Director, vice president
Sandra C. Hardy
Director, vice president
Charles C. Smith
Director
Shirley C. Ellis
Vice president
Ryan Ellis
Director
Guy T.Tasaka
Vice president/Chief digital
officer
Michael W.White
Vice president/Chief financial
officer

WRITE TO US

The Times welcomes your


opinion. Letters to the editor
must be signed and must
contain your name, address
and phone number. Letters
must be fewer than 250
words and are subject to
editing. Emailed submissions
get first consideration, followed
by typewritten. Handwritten
letters must be legible for
consideration.
timesletters@
timesonline.com
The Times Editorial Board
400 Fair Ave.
Beaver, PA 15009

THERES
ALWAYS MORE
ONLINE
Did you a miss a letter
to the editor? Wish to
comment on an article? Or
perhaps youd like to check
out past columns by your
favorite columnist. All these
and more are available at
timesonline.com.Wed love
to hear from you.

NEW FACES, VIDEOS AND VENTURES


TO REACH READERS BEYOND PRINT
A co-worker of my husbands stopped by our
house the other night,
plopped down on a couch
in the family room, looked
around and quipped, Isnt
it about that time you
rearrange the room? Its
been awhile.
Sarcasm I get it. Its
been about three weeks
since I last shuffled the
furniture in there. I have an
annoying habit of moving
things around to freshen
up a room, as my grandmother called it. (She was
the proverbial neat freak,
going as far as to wash
decorative rocks that
bordered her rose garden
because they looked
dirty. Um, thats because
theyre sitting in soil,
Grandma.)
Im not that bad, but I will
confess I like all the labels
to face the same way in the
pantry and I get heart
palpitations when those
stringy shreds of paper are
left in the wire spirals of a
notebook. As Dr. Sheldon
Cooper of The Big Bang
Theory explains, It
bothers me.
So when I became
executive editor, it was
assumed there would be
changes. And despite what
my husbands co-worker
might think, Im not changing things just to freshen
up the newsroom.
Are beats shifting at The
Times? Yes.
Is it for feng shui purposes? No.
As my predecessor,
Shane Fitzgerald, often
said, its a matter of putting
the right person in the right

LISA
MICCO
LMICCO@
TIMESONLINE.COM

seat on the bus. These


shifts, of course, started
with Shanes promotion to
our Calkins Media properties in the Philadelphia
area. This also provided an
opportunity for our digital
content manager, Jacki
Gray, who joined his Philly
team.
Sarah McCraley was
promoted to digital content
manager, and Audra
Bradford was moved up to
Sarahs former position as
production coordinator.
But wait, theres more.
Health/enterprise reporter Jenny Wagner recently
accepted a job with the
Calkins team in Philly. A
Beaver Falls native, Jenny
was named Reporter of the
Year in May by the
Pennsylvania The
Associated Press Managing
Editors for her yearlong
series Aging in Beaver
County. We hate to see a
homegrown talent leave,
but were thrilled that
Calkins recognizes her
award-winning storytelling
abilities. (Her departure
from the newsroom is a
tough one for me. Jenny
was the first reporter I
interacted with when I
started at The Times as the

night assistant production


desk manager. We joked
that she was the harbinger
of doom because every
night shift she worked,
something exploded,
leaked or escaped.)
So changes were inevitable. Police/public safety
reporter Kirstin Kennedy
will take over Jennys
former health beat. The two
also will collaborate across
the state on health care
issues and trends.
David Taube has been
appointed as community
affairs reporter and will
host daily video newsbreaks for timesonline.com,
beginning Sept. 14. David
will report the who, what,
where, when and why for
the many communities in
our coverage area, with
quick-hit video segments
that also will be streamed
through our OTT platforms,
such as Roku and FireTV.
He will continue to cover
municipalities and write
enterprise features for
digital and print products.
Tom Davidson steps in as
our county reporter, with
his primary focus on the
commissioners and the
operations within the
county seat. He will keep
his Veterans of Beaver
County series, while
turning over the education
beat to Katherine
Schaeffer, who joins our
staff in one week.
And then theres J.D.
Prose. A veteran reporter of
nearly 16 years at The
Times, J.D. is now the
Calkins Media western
Pennsylvania government
and politics reporter. Hes

already started, tackling


state legislators and governments for Calkins newspapers and websites in
Beaver, Lawrence, Fayette
and Greene counties. Hes
tracking actions in
Harrisburg, explaining
their bottom-line impact on
readers and holding legislators in the House and
Senate accountable for
their decisions.
J.D., a Beaver County
government reporter for
nearly 15 years, has an
established working relationship with officials
across the region, which is
vital to his new role because the interplay between state and county
governments is so intrinsic.
Reporter Jared
Stonesifer will continue
with his business/energy
beat, while number-cruncher Daveen Kurutz still
serves as our database/
enterprise reporter. Marsha
Keefer will continue in her
role as community outreach
coordinator and Scott Tady
will remain entertainment
editor.
See? I didnt change
everything.
As if that wasnt enough,
The Times is launching two
new video series: You
Dont Know Squat and
History in a Minute.
You Dont Know Squat
note tongue firmly
placed in cheek debuts
Sunday and features our
fitness and athletic development columnist Rick
Daman in weekly quickhit videos that highlight
proper weight-training
techniques, tips and exer-

cises. Youll love his highenergy approach and


enthusiasm in this informative series. So tune in, you
just might see someone you
know as a demonstrator. (In
October, columnist Joline
Atkins will join our aggressive video initiative with
her weekly show, For the
Health of It. Details to be
announced at a later date.)
History in a Minute,
which launches Sept. 15,
will feature popular Times
history columnist Jeffrey
Snedden traveling throughout the region, pointing out
interesting factoids and
stories of our past. You cant
help but get caught up in
Jeffreys excitement about
local history. If this biweekly video is anything like his
Histories & Mysteries,
itll be a sure-fire hit.
And before an algorithm
is needed, dont forget our
new podcasts, hosted by
Stephen Gugliociello, a
production desk editor and
Times technology columnist. Listen to a new show
every week on scholastic
sports (Tuesdays), Steelers
(Thursdays) and news
(Fridays) for a behind-thescenes talks with reporters
and editors.
Podcasts are available
for downloads on iTunes,
Soundcloud and Stitcher
Radio apps. Or you can
tune in at timesonline.com.
Whew. I can breathe
again at least for a
moment.
Lisa Micco is executive
editor of The Times. She can
be reached at lmicco@timesonline.com or 724-775-3200,
ext. 157.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Clerks actions
are shameful
Kim Davis, Rowan
County, Kentucky Clerk,
draws an $80,000 annual
salary despite refusing to
do her job of issuing
marriage licenses to all
who are entitled to them,
which much to her dismay, includes same-sex
couples.
Ms. Davis knows that
she has no legal authority
to disregard the decree of
the United States
Supreme Court, rather
she cites that she has
been commanded by God,
that to issue the licenses
would violate her strong
religious tenets, this
coming from a woman

who is thrice-divorced.
We see once again the
evil that can be perpetrated when one cloaks
themselves in religion
and the dangerous path
we travel when individuals believe that they have
the right to thumb their
noses at legitimate authority because they
know what is best for our
society.
Ms. Davis shenanigans
mark a shameful episode
in the life of our nation,
causing she and her
narrow-minded supporters to be the subjects of
derision.
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper St. Clair

cops&courts

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2015 | BEAVER NEWSPAPERS INC., PENNSYLVANIA | THE TIMES | A11

Attorney General
Kane argues against
law license suspension
By Marc Levy
and Mark Scolforo
The Associated Press

HARRISBURG Pennsylvania Attorney General


KATHLEEN KANE argued
to the states highest court
Friday that suspending
her law license while she
fights criminal charges
would violate her
constitutional
right to due
process.
Her lawyers
f i l e d
a
107-page response to the
Supreme Court,
the first public confirmation the justices last
week ordered her to respond to a petition by
Pennsylvanias legal ethics
lawyers for an emergency
suspension of her
license.
Kane was charged Aug.
6 by Montgomery County
authorities with perjury,
obstruction and other offenses based on allegations she leaked secret
grand jury information to
a newspaper and lied
about her actions.
Kanes lawyers rejected
the allegations against her
as untrue and said there
was no proof her continued practice of law would
cause harm.
They argued that suspending her license would
circumvent explicit constitutional provisions for removing her from office and
violate her right to due
process of law.
The central facts of this
case are in dispute, and
due process demands
more than mere allegations set forth in a petition
before Attorney General
Kanes right to pursue her
profession could be curtailed, her lawyers wrote.
They asked for a hearing
before an impartial fact
finder.
The Pennsylvania
Constitution requires the
attorney general to be a licensed lawyer, and court
officials have said that suspending her law license
would not remove her
from office because they
do not have the power to
remove her.
Kane, the first woman
and first Democrat elected
as the states attorney general, was sworn in nearly
three years ago. Her term
expires in January 2017.
If her license is suspended, it could lead to a
legal fight over her status
as the states top law enforcement officer.
Even with a suspended
law license, Kane potentially could exert influ-

ence over the office. For


instance, she might be
able hire and fire and retain the perk of traveling
with a security detail.
Kanes attorneys said it
is far from clear that an
emergency suspension of
her license would automatically result in her removal from office.
The petition, however, attempts to remove Kane
through a disciplinary proceeding, they wrote.
They disclosed
that the Office of
Disciplinary
Counsel, in its petition
against Kane, claimed that
public confidence and
trust in her continued
practice of law has been
totally eroded, citing
calls for her to resign by
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf,
other elected state officials
and
the
electorate.
The disciplinary petition, beyond the excerpts
in Kanes new filing, has
not been made public.
How the Office of
Disciplinary Counsel can
purport to speak for the
electorate which expresses itself only in the
voting booth, which last
did so when it elected
Attorney General Kane,
and whose decision will be
nullified if she is removed
from office by suspension
is a mystery, her lawyers said.
They said the heart of
the petition is a claim
Kane authorized or directed disclosure to a reporter of a transcript made
last year by her underlings
that described the findings
of a secret grand jury investigation, conducted before Kane took office.
That allegation is also
central to the criminal
case against her.
But Kane did not disclose grand jury material
or information kept secret
under state criminal records laws, her lawyers
wrote.
Instead, they said, she
only authorized the release of information relating to a pattern of
unjustifiable selective
prosecution or nonprosecution under her
predecessors.
As part of their filing,
her lawyers said previous
statements by her attorneys that she authorized
the transcripts release
were incorrect.
State court officials and
disciplinary lawyers have
declined comment about
the matter, citing confidentiality rules.

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Rochester. They cleared
the scene shortly after
1 a.m. Friday, Rambo
said.
That place is so hot,
with grease everywhere, Rambo said.
Its not the first time
theres been such a fire,
he said, adding that it
was quickly under control and that firefighters
mainly worked to contain hot spots in the
roof.
No one was injured,
and work was resuming
at the factory as firefighters left, Rambo
said.

DA: Womans
holding cell
hanging unlikely
to bring charges

NORTH BRADDOCK, PA. (AP)


The district attorney
says a womans hanging
in
a
western
Pennsylvania police
holding cell is unlikely
to result in criminal
charges, but hopes police chiefs can come up
with better ways to monitor prisoners.
Allegheny County
District Attorney
Stephen Zappala Jr.
tells the Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette that the
sergeant monitoring an
intoxicated woman in
the North Braddock
holding cell on Tuesday

B E AV E R FA L L S
left briefly to patrol before returning to find
the woman hanged by
her shirt.
Zappala says the sergeant believed 43-yearold Dana Thompson
wasnt distressed and
was sleeping when he
left her alone just after
midnight. County police
are continuing to investigate Thompsons death
and say theyre still sifting through conflicting
accounts about why the
sergeant left the police
station.
Zappala wants the
county police chiefs association to develop better cell-monitoring
policies.

High school
student outside
crosswalk killed
by school bus

MCKEESPORT, PA. (AP)


County homicide detectives are investigating
after a 15-year-old high
school student was fatally struck by a school
bus while crossing a
busy street outside of a
crosswalk.
Parents say theyve
worked to no avail to get
a crossing guard near
where Deonte Cobbs
was struck Thursday afternoon
near
McKeesport Area High
School and Founders
Hall Middle School.
Both are on the school
district campus in
McKeesport, about 10
miles southeast of
Pittsburgh.
A 14-year-old girl was
killed by a dump truck
in March 2014 while
crossing the street near
the same intersection.
McKeesport police
didnt immediately return a call Friday, and
havent identified the
school bus driver nor
said whether a citation
or charges may be filed.
Allegheny County detectives were called in
because of the boys
death.

PATTERN
OF ARSON
CONTINUES
By Jared Stonesifer
jstonesifer@timesonline.com

BEAVER FALLS Fire Chief


Mark Stowe said a pattern
of arson continues to
plague the citys Mount
Washington section after
the department was called
to extinguish fires in abandoned
buildings
Wednesday and Thursday
nights.
That brings the total number of suspected arsons in
Beaver Falls to five. The
fires, which started Aug. 29,
have all occurred between
6 p.m. and midnight and
have all involved abandoned buildings.
Stowe said the most recent incident on Thursday
night involved a two-story
structure at 1809 11th Ave.
The department was on
the scene for more than
three hours trying to extinguish the blaze, which
was called in just after 9
p.m.
This was a bigger house
than the other ones, Stowe
said about the abandoned
buildings. But like the other ones, its been abandoned for years. The house
was a total loss.
The incident on
Wednesday night, called in
just before midnight, occurred at 1909 12th Ave. The
one-story house was also
considered a total loss after
the fire.
Stowe said he was hoping
the rash of fires would come
to an end.
Im not convinced thats
going to happen, he said.
I think were probably going to have another one.
After five incidents that
share certain similarities,
Stowe said theres no doubt
they are connected.

Authorities are
asking anyone with
information about
the recent res to call
the Beaver Falls Fire
Department at
724-843-1135 or the
city police department
at 724-846-7000.
Theres definitely a pattern of arson up here, he
said. If anyone sees anything suspicious, act immediately and call 911. Were
asking everyone to be on
alert. If theres an abandoned property near you,
keep an eye on it as best you
can.
The first suspected arson
was reported Aug. 29 at 5:30
p.m. in the rear of 1604 12th
Ave. Stowe said the back of
the building was engulfed,
with smoke and flames coming out of the windows and
doors.
The department extinguished two fires Monday
night, the first in the 1800
block of 11th Avenue that involved a house that burned
to the ground, Stowe said
previously.
The second fire on
Monday, called in just after
11 p.m., broke out at 1701
Center Ave. That building
was a total loss although
firefighters contained the
blaze and prevented it from
spreading to other
dwellings.
Authorities are asking
anyone with information
about the recent fires to call
the Beaver Falls Fire
Department at 724-843-1135
or the city police department at 724-846-7000.

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