Monday, April 30, 2012

Fine Dining: Meloni's

For all you college kids finishing up finals and heading back to your home and one true love, Fayette County, welcome back! You know you missed us. You also know that being back kind of makes you want to go back to dorm life. If you graduated and have yet to find a job, don't worry! You will soon make it out with your soul at least somewhat intact. If you're working in the county, though, best of luck. May your job not keep you trapped forever, or may you make it to the big leagues of "where the rich people live."

Also, the other night, my former roommate was chatting with me and said, "Your blog is making me hate humans." I'd call that a solid endorsement.

Now, about Meloni's. It might be the best restaurant in Uniontown. Sure, Caporella's, Caileigh's, and Pasta Lorenzo may be among the nicer places and the Chinese buffet may own my heart, but Meloni's wins. Meloni's wins so much that my cousins from Belle Vernon even adore it and they always win the reader's polls.

Meloni's is primarily Italian, but they have plenty of other options with meat and seafood. My mom's a big fan of their fish with macaroni and cheese, and my dad likes the seafood salad. And as always, I get the same thing almost every time. I'm a big fan of the gnocchi, but pretty much anything with their sauce is guaranteed to be great. The gnocchi might be the best I've ever had, though, and I am a connoisseur of pastas (and all other carbs). I almost branched out the other night and had their alfredo or stuffed shells, but I wanted that gnocchi so bad it hindered my ability to make decisions. In fact, here's my pre-Meloni's tweet:

Too excited at the possibility of eating Meloni's tonight. If this doesn't happen, I'll be devastated.
4/28/12 4:29 PM

I was terrified that they'd be crowded. They were. They usually are on weekends. But if you're of age, you can cheat the system and swipe one of the booths in the bar.

Meloni's also does every part of the meal very well. Even the bread and salad is good. I'm guessing dessert is, too, but I ever make it that far. And best of all, you can get take-out!

Meloni's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

PS: The awesome Rob is still trying to raise money to put on his play. Donate! With Rob's sense and humor and wit, the show will be awesome.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's a Small World (County)

I went dancing in Uniontown last night, which was a lot of fun even though it was organized by a dance teacher and her adult students and they all knew how to cha cha and waltz and all I really did was electric slide with my mom.

My gynecologist was there, too. This county is too small. But he's a good dancer. He's also a good doctor, too, and makes everything about gynecology--including seeing him in public--the least awkward possible.

And then my mom saw her 6th grade teacher and his wife, who she says who used to be great disco dancers and for class parties would move the desks and dance in the middle of the room. Sounds pretty cool. Needless to say, they were good, too.

And then Al Ambrosini showed up to perform with the instructor. They'll be performing in Pittsburgh next weekend for Dancing with the Celebrities. He looked nervous, but they did some complicated steps. He could totally nail it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Random Tidbits/Crime Roundup

  • You know how I can tell a majority of my readers must actually be in the Nam? Because my stats tell me most people visit this blog in Internet Explorer. Turn that into Netscape and my life will be made.
  • I wish it wasn't really creepy to post pictures of, say, my cousin's friend because he just posted a picture of himself to Facebook where he's covered in deer skins.
  • Fayette Friends of Animals needs food for the little animals, dudes! If you're in the Nam, you can just go buy something and drop it off. They also have great ways online if you're out of town or something to donate items or money. That link also includes a list of things they need. Food just happens to be the priority right now. As some incentive...

The only thing I miss about Fayette County. This picture is highly regarded as possibly the cutest picture of Duke ever taken. Of course, it was on Thanksgiving and he was begging for food, which he probably got, because look at that face! He was adopted from Fayette Friends almost four years ago.

Now, if you don't feel like hearing about the county's debauchery, don't scroll down. Just stare at Duke and buy the shelter some food instead.

  • A man was charged in a shooting. The shooting was over a dispute over $15, which could actually go a long way. It also reminds me of a debacle my uncle heard at Sherwood's one night.
  • You see, it goes something like this: a man and a woman were arguing over money, which apparently she had stolen from work for him but needed to put it back. He wasn't having it. He may have had a gun. She started screaming, "Just kill me, then!" He threw her purse over the bank, spilling its contents in jagger bushes. My uncle called the cops.
  • Representative Bill DeWeese was sent to prison for using taxpayer money for campaigns. Shady, unacceptable business, right? Apparently not if you're one of his colleagues. You can only take sympathy so far, dudes. If someone does something illegal, they have to do with that. There's nothing sad about justice.
  • I won't even get into the epic failures we've been having with cars lately, but just one example is the guy who just crashed his car into a dance studio. He was also charged with vehicular homicide in 2009 after a crash that killed a woman. Great driving!
  • A guy snuck a cellphone into jail using his prosthetic leg. Points for creativity, dude.
This isn't even counting all the parole violations and escape attempts, guys.

Now would be a good time to mention that I had to turn down a job doing crime reporting for and my heart broke into a million little pieces (or fibers).

P.S. Like the Facebook page!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Uh...What Happened Today?

First of all, looking at the analytics of this blog scares me sometimes. Someone got here by Googling "arson without being caught." They can search your computer for searches like that if you're suspected of arson, guys. They have the technology.

Anyway...I go to work for eight hours and all hell breaks loose in the Nam? For real? Wait, that's not surprising. But so much went down that we were trending on Twitter, and no way is that ever a good thing.

First, a woman was shot while lounging by the Mighty Yough. If you're wondering why they used the phrase "the area known as South Connellsville Beach," that's because--you guessed it--it's not actually much of a beach.

What scares me is who did it and why. It was either an accident (you really never know here) or someone had something against her or someone just felt like shooting a girl at the beach. Hard to say which is more likely.

As a result, my friend's sister has made it a point to remind her that rafts aren't bulletproof. Does this mean we'll have to take to the raging waters armed? I mean, people with weed and babies is bad enough, but I don't want to see what happens when you throw a gun into that mix.

So while we were all processing that information, there was a car chase. Then there was a drug bust. The two events were actually unrelated, even though apparently the driver of the car in the chase threw drugs out his window. 'Cause, you know, that's gonna help his case.

As for the drug bust, it was epic. According to crime reporter Josh Krysak, 330 live plants were taken from the house. They're actually calling it a "grow lab" and say it is "very sophisticated."

Was it operated by Nancy Botwin or something?

How is Weeds not the number-one show in the Nam?

The estimated value of the drugs was $500,000. The man charged in the operation has his bail set at $100,000. His drugs were worth more than his bail! Am I the only one seeing a problem with this?

Nine dogs were also removed from the house, because living one Fayette County stereotype isn't enough.

Mr. Krysak also posted some great pictures.

That's my favorite. Look at all those neighbors enjoying the show!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dogs Banned from Redstone Park

This is why we can't have nice things!

Since one of you has a dog that bit someone while it was on a leash, now no doggies are allowed to go to the park. Leash or no leash.

I understand the problem, but isn't banning all dogs after one bite a little harsh? Besides, we don't know why the dog bit. I tend to believe--with a few exceptions--that dogs won't bite you if you leave them alone. I mean, they're dogs. They get cranky and sometimes they bite when antagonized. Is the dog a little more mean-spirited than others? Did the owner warn this person by saying, "Hey, don't touch my dog" and the person didn't listen?

Fun fact: I've only heard my beagle growl once when he had to be moved while he was sleeping. I moved him; he growled. Which only proves my point that dogs get cranky when you bug them.

Then there's the poor nice doggies that are being banned unjustly.

And since when is the park responsible for the dogs and not the owners or people interacting with them? I get that people are afraid of legal accountability and lawsuits and all that, but seriously. The great Justin Stevenson always said, "You are responsible for you." So here's the deal: don't go walking up to unfriendly dogs and don't let your unfriendly dog ruin lives.

But wait! As it turns out, parks are for people, not dogs. 'Cause, you know, people haven't been taking dogs to parks since the dawn of time or anything. I mean, if people didn't take dogs to parks, 101 Dalmatians never would've happened, you guys.
"It’s a park for humans. If someone wants to get together and fund a dog park, we’d be willing to entertain that idea,” Williams said.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

If It's Broke

This is in Connellsville right now. Apparently, it keeps getting worse, so I guess everyone in Connellsville is down with this and is relatively unconcerned about, you know, power lines coming down and ruining lives.

There was too much going on in the Facebook comments of this picture for me to screen cap. I'm lazy. But here are the highlights, which say more about this better than I ever could.

"All the more reason to drive around Connells hell instead of thru it."

I'll give you another (unnecessary) reason--Crawford Avenue. If that road doesn't strike the fear of God into your heart, nothing will. That said, Geibel alumni drive Crawford like a boss.

"yea how have i missed it. it was a solid pole the other day because iant that a new pole? just wait we will get a shitty xmas tree on there before it completely crumble," in reference, of course, to Connellsville's Christmas decorations. I'll post a picture of those when they put them up for Thanksgiving since I can't seem to find one now.

There's also talk of New Haven Hose and how it won't be fixed until it's a problem for them. I know nothing about New Haven Hose, but apparently they're the pride and joy of Connellsville. But my personal favorite comment on all of those completely nails it and expresses perfectly all of the Fayette County angst we all have. So I leave you with these words of wisdom from the man behind the myth and the legend Coffee on Crawford.

"A drunk cop probably hit the pole, so...they want to ignore it so it will go away. It is the same method they use on new business, the local economy and the area has worked for those things why not this?"

Ladies and gentlemen, this man is your new lord and savior. Bow to him.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Things To Do Instead of Arson or Vandalism

Look, I know Fayette County is a massive pit of despair, but I survived 22 years there without setting something on fire or vandalizing something out of boredom and so can you! I'll tell you how. Here are plenty of fun things to do that aren't arson or vandalism. Or drugs or anything else illegal for that matter. Mostly. Some of these activities are seasonal. Have I done these things? Do I know people who have? Well...

  • Go rafting. Marijuana, alcohol, babies, and pets are all optional. Bud Murphy's pizza (and maybe the alcohol) highly recommended.
  • Have a party! Alcohol recommended, minors are not. Themes are a bonus. Try White Trash Night. Dead deer are appropriate but optional and do not make for lively guests.
  • Go bowling. Cosmic bowling is the best. Yough Lanes is the most fun at random times when no one is there.
  • Go bar hopping. Bud's for sporting events, trivia, and pizza. Lynn's for other good food and unofficial weekly reunions of Connellsville's Catholic schools. Sherwood's for creepy old men buying you drinks, the cheapest drinks anywhere ever, the best margaritas anywhere ever, fights, karaoke, and a visible haze of cigarette smoke.
  • Go snakin' through the patches. Best done at Christmas to see the decorations. What is snakin'? Driving through the patch towns.
  • Go huntin' and/or fishin'.
  • Throw stale cookies at road signs.
  • Go out to eat. Bonus points for Eat 'N' Park. Bonus bonus points on a busy weekend where their security guard is in.
  • Go mall walking. Just remember not to stop in the middle of the mall at night on a weekend or security will yet at you. Don't walk in a big group or security will yet at you. Don't wear a hood or a hat or security will yell at you.
  • Go see a movie. Keep in mind that the theaters are always cold. In fact, one summer, the thermostat in one of the Laurel Mall theaters broke and stayed around 50 degrees. Also, some seats might be broken and covered in plastic. Disregard the employees secretly drinking and having sex in the projection room.
  • Go to the drive-in. Sneak people in your trunk or under blankets. Develop a safe word so they know when you're in and they can come out for oxygen. Take in tons of food from Pechins. Hope someone drops their pot in the dark and you can claim it.
  • Go to the flea market. Sift through the stacks of records, but be prepared to sneeze and have hands visibly blackened by dust. Hope to find couches. Get incense and tapestries from the hippie stand.
  • Go to the fair and people-watch, or dress up in your Fayette County finest like, I don't know, torn jeans, a beater, and mullet wig and take in the livestock and tractor shows and demolition derby.
  • Go see The Clarks. Especially at the Fayette County Fair, where they will encore "Cigarette."
  • Get a tattoo and crafts at Crafty Tats. Try not to be surprised when you find out the guy who did your tattoo is a murderer.
  • Go to Ohiopyle, Jumonville, Fort Necessity, Fallingwater, and/or Laurel Caverns. 
  • Go to the high school shows, sporting events, and fundraiser auctions. Plus the church street fairs. Bring me fried dough from each.
  • Either audition for or go see a show at the Geyer in Scottdale.
  • Read the papers and laugh at all the stupidity.
  • Give up entirely, ditch the county, and go to Greensburg or Pittsburgh.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Big news, you guys. A kid had a nosebleed after a bus accident!

Why is this news? I mean, obviously the bus accident itself should be reported on. By the way, three cars were involved after the bus rear-ended a car, which got pushed into the car in front of it. If I was that middle car, I'd be especially furious even though all three vehicles only had minor damage and no charges were filed, which is good, but doesn't mean I'm going to ever trust bus drivers. I rode enough buses. I know how they are.

Injuries are also important, but a nosebleed? Really? And that nosebleed is so epic that it's the headline? Are people scanning their papers saying, "Hmm, I wonder if any kids had nosebleeds today." Some poor soul hit the jackpot then.

I'd be more impressed by nosebleed stories involving kids like me who had the amazing ability to have a nosebleed at random. I don't remember much about my Sea World vacation when I was four, but spending an evening with ice packs on my neck stands out.

There aren't any ninjas or mad scientists to talk about?

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Okay, the Nam is no stranger to arson. People just like to burn down buildings here, the most famous incident being when I was in high school and an arsonist was running around Connellsville setting tons of buildings on fire without getting caught for a while.

Fun fact: a friend of mine was asked out by a guy that turned out to be an arsonist, but I'm not sure if he was the arsonist. We've had too many to be sure. We even have a new one!

This dude's been sentenced to up to 10 years for 12 arsons. He was also a former volunteer firefighter. So...did he get bored or something? What's the deal? I don't get it. I mean, arson is bad enough, but a firefighting arsonist? I don't get it!

Oh yeah, he's also the same dude who stole that ambulance a while back.

Speaking of boredom, some other dudes did go around damaging vehicles out of boredom.

First of all, the cops don't care how bored you are. In fact, no one cares how bored you are and no one is going to say, "Oh, you were bored? All right, then. Off you go!"

I know there's not much to do in Fayette County, but seriously, you can't come up with anything else? In my next post, we shall explore the plethora of recreational activities the Nam offers.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We Live Such Exciting Lives

While Pitt keeps getting bomb threats and my roommates and I have turned into amateur detectives, Fayette County is taking care of the world's real problems--like trash in Perryopolis not getting picked up.

Don't get me wrong, that does suck pretty hard. And it's pretty gross, like a lot of other things in this county. But really? This is the worst of our newsworthy problems?

Want to know what other exciting shit is going down? Of course you do!

  • The Mighty Yough is being sprayed for black flies. I'll probably be grateful for this come rafting season, but while they're at it, can they get rid of the pop cans, beer bottles, tires, shopping carts, and other random items floating around down there? I mean, I gaze into that muck and try to figure out exactly what I'm gazing at most of the time. And let's not forget we found a boat once.
  • The county population fluctuates. Now, I'm no expert, but I'm gonna say that is because at one time, Fayette County actually didn't suck. It had pretty buildings, industry, a good economy, and rich people to prove it. The the coal and steel industries started sucking, so the whole county started sucking, and now Connellsville's literally falling apart and most of my friends have either already left (myself included) or are planning to in the near future.
  • Connellsville High School is renovating. Meanwhile, Geibel just got new windows that I'm told should've been replaced like 20 years ago, but it's a start. Baby steps! One day there will be air conditioning and a heater that's turned on before November. Just kidding! Dream on, kids.
We'll have to do a crime round-up soon. Lots of people are getting hit by cars and killing people and setting stuff on fire.

Monday, April 16, 2012

On Geibel's Spring Auction

First of all, I was just looking at my stats. Who is getting here by Googling "fayettenam gangsta pics" and why are you Googling "fayettenam gangsta pics?" And why do you think Fayettenam gangstas exist? They don't. They think they do, but they don't.

Anyway, obviously Geibel is just like a black hole that keeps sucking you in, since I've gone back twice this month. Except it's a black hole that usually costs you money. Especially at the spring auction, but I have to admit, it was a pretty good auction.

  • I did not find this out until maybe an hour ago when I was chatting with my roommates, but apparently in the very beginning they auctioned off a football signed by the Geibel football team for $450. Now, I could've sworn it was a signed Steelers football, but like I said, I wasn't paying attention so I just kind of assumed. I'm all for raising money and I paid a lot for some Larry Orlando calligraphy, but the calligraphy is gorgeous and the Geibel football team has historically been the Pittsburgh Pirates of high-school sports.
  • Now that we have that out of the way, the auction was filled with awesome stuff, including lots of signed Pens and Steelers gear (signed Staal jersey went for $500, signed Crosby one for $700, signed Lemieux puck for $400), gift certificates, weekend trips, and gift baskets. My other winnings included four tickets to the Carnegie Museums, two Pittsburgh Public Theater tickets, a signed Mike Green hockey stick my brother wanted, a Kindle Fire for my dad, and a basket of lottery tickets for my mom. Pretty impressive for a Catholic school's auction.
  • I am quickly becoming a cranky old person (yes, I'm 22--whatever). I haven't been inside the school in a year or so at least, and they have this new set of doors in the hallway that confused me. My reaction was, "What is this!?"
  • At least most of the teachers are the same. In fact, they're better now because I'm not getting yelled at for not having my shirt tucked in or procrastinating on their homework.
  • One of the art students made Nigel Thornberry. He wasn't for sale. I would've thrown down tons of cash for that.
  • Apparently, the sangria was good. I didn't have any, surprisingly. Drinking in my high school is a little weird, even though I considered bidding on a champagne brunch with the teachers.
  • I don't miss how unbearably hot that school gets. I don't miss how unbearably cold it gets, either, for that matter. I still hate whoever made the "no turning the heat on until November" rule.
  • Auctions appeal to my sense of competition. I just wanted to win! To which my boyfriend said, "Oh God. Don't spend everything." He knows me so well.
  • The 50/50 take was $800. I obviously didn't win.
  • Mr. Bell's Brass Knuckles Band is actually quite good. I'd never heard them before except for the muffled sounds of "Unchained Melody" outside the State Theater one night. Len was still working there.
  • I'm told that was the nicest Geibel auction in recent years.
And as further proof that Geibel is a black hole, two of my friends have subbed there and I'm planning on going back for prom's Grand March and probably graduation, even though I notoriously hate graduation ceremonies.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

On Geibel's Cats

  • The State Theater isn't the same without Len. I don't care if people disliked him. They only disliked him because they were afraid of him, and they were only afraid of him because Len takes theater super serious and high schoolers don't. High schoolers also don't appreciate his pompadour or amazing taste in button-down shirts. Sure, he could be mean, but only if you were rude or an idiot. Which means I was on his good side. He was actually quite funny and did crazy things like climb all over the balcony to adjust lighting. He also heckled the shows over the headset. In fact, the heckling was so inappropriate that Geibel student directors who were on headset with him were not allowed to repeat what they heard. I had the great fortune of working with him in a non-Geibel show and I can tell you the things said over the headset were amazing and hilarious. One day I'll share, but for now know that he was allegedly fired for drinking at work, which was probably a coping mechanism.
  • The sound system is still terrible. Didn't they just get a new one and put in new massive dressing rooms? So why does it still cut out and sound bad? I blame the lack of Len for this. Len was on that shit.
  • Who is responsible for allowing candy and drinks in the theater? I was one crinkly wrapper away from setting something on fire. 
  • On that note, just because it's a high-school production does not mean you can be rude and talk the whole time and let your kids declare that they just farted. I know we're not good at high class and the arts, Fayette County, but come on! Also, when they say pictures aren't allowed, that means pictures aren't allowed, so don't be surprised when your flash distracts the entire mezzanine and gets you evil glares.
  • Cats was good. Most of the people who say that it wasn't hated Cats to begin with. I am not one of those people. In fact, this is me when I watch Cats:
  • Some of the songs were too high and the dancers weren't always in synch. But I enjoyed it and didn't spend the whole show thinking, "PLEASE GOD LET IT END" or "DID YOUR PARENTS PAY OFF THE ENTIRE ADMINISTRATION FOR YOU TO GET THIS PART!?" I'm looking at you, Connellsville. I will never let Bye, Bye Birdie go. Never.
  • While we're talking about Connellsville musicals, one of my coworkers who went there in their musical heyday admits it's gotten bad. Anyone remember Titanic
  • That choreography doesn't fool me. I've seen the DVD like 100 times and I happen to know most of those steps were recycled. This is only forgivable because they're good and really, how many cat-like dance steps are there?
Stay tuned, because next we're going to talk about the Geibel auction and how I creep on Neubauer's on Facebook to see their gorgeous flowers and Fayette County teenagers' questionable prom dresses.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fine Dining: The Grotto

First, a story.

I spent my 21st birthday on the Mighty Yough. The river was low thanks to a lack of rain, but we didn't realize just how long it would take us to float to Dawson. We set out in the early afternoon. Within a few hours, we were starving. I did get thrown a beer by a guy fishing in Dawson, but by then it was early evening and our options for restaurants that served both food and alcohol and would give me alcohol while accompanied by a few minors were limited. Plus we had to make it there before the kitchen closed. This led us to The Grotto, which was new at the time. It took the place of Garfield's at the mall. High. Class.

I got a pina colada, which was strong. I've since discovered they make all their drinks strong, but the mango daiquiri is the best so far.

The food is also always really good. They have great spinach dip that comes in a bread bowl, so when you run out of pitas, you can use the bread. Unless, of course, you are me and have a serious problem with soggy bread.

Truth be told, I can't say too much about their food because for one, I'm a vegetarian. And then I have this habit of saying, "I should try something new" and ordering pasta. But hey, it's good pasta!

I know that people really like their burgers.

I've never seen them super busy, like any moderately priced place in the county. Except Applebee's. Applebee's draws a crowd. I think that maybe the Boston Beanery or Rosa Pizza get the most business. So I have no idea why they were so incredibly slow the night of Geibel's musical, other than the universe wants me to be late for everything ever and we decided every other place would be slow or packed. Seriously, Eat 'N' Park is a joke some nights. Anyway, it took us 45 minutes to get our food, which did not include our dip that we were still charged for. Don't worry--we asked for it in a take-out box. But still, what's the deal, Grotto?

Aside from that, it's a pretty good place to go. It's a good middle ground between casual and nice.

I still need to check out the new hibachi place, also in the mall, and the Vietnamese place, not in the mall but down the road from our lone gay bar.

Oh, hey, you should also like my Facebook page. My dad just did, and I'm not even Facebook friends with him.

  The Grotto Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone's enjoying their candy from Colebrook and Redstone!

Speaking of Colebrook, I stopped in last weekend and first cleaned out their Cats-themed chocolate for Geibel's musical and then stared at all the other candy. And met the Easter Bunny!

They have everything. Chocolate covered everything, fruit-flavored things, themed things, including lots of green and white for Geibel kids. I've been eating their peach rings all day, plus some chocolate-covered pretzels. I haven't made it to the chocolate bunny or large peanut-butter melt away egg yet. We'll see how my boyfriend likes his chocolate-covered brazil nuts.

Colebrook, unfortunately, is not paying me.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rob Hensley "On the Set"

Rob Hensley, writer of Leo's Love Story and Death, Life, and a Creme-Filled Center, recently went on "On the Set with Jasper Cole" to talk about his many projects and naturally, Fayette County was bound to come up.

Here's one we can all identify with: sneaking in to the drive-in. I've done my fair share of lying motionless under blankets in the back of a van. I've even helped friends climb into the trunk. And by the way, drive-ins are dying out and Fayette County is lucky enough to have to that both show double features. Sometimes, you get lucky and those features are actually in the same genre. Bridesmaids and The Hangover 2 was a winner. Plus sometimes you find drugs but we'll talk about that later. Sometimes you also get yelled at for "disturbing other customers" when it's 1 AM and no one else stayed to watch 300.

Check out Rob's chatting below. It's kind of long, but it's funny and Rob discusses Leo's Love Story a little more in depth. I swear I'll read it some day.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Patch Hunky's Got a Point

First of all, this is super old news. I fell way, embarrassingly behind on my blog reading when I spent almost three hours of my day commuting to and from work.

In January 2011, a 15-month-old girl died in Point Marion. CYS got some criticism, and Zapotosky vowed to find out what went wrong and hold the responsible parties accountable. That's all well and good.

And then a four-year-old boy died in Springhill Township, and the issue is the same--multiple reports of abuse were filed with CYS, who did nothing. So the Patch Hunky called out CYS and Zapotoksy--but mostly Zapotosky--for it, and rightfully so.

Zapotosky told the Tribune Review, "When you bury two children in less than 12 months, it's not a number. It's a crisis."

Yeah, it is.

He blamed budget cuts on CYS failures, and I'm sure CYS has a lot going on, but how can you get reports of abuse and completely fail to do anything when your job is to do something? Unfortunately, as tragic as the deaths of children are, they're not surprising here anymore. Neither is the abuse or the fact that CYS is swamped. At the same time, though, the Patch Hunky points out that the commissioners can appoint as many CYS staffers as they need, and I'm guessing we need a lot.

Perhaps worst of all, though, is that this speaks to a larger problem. Sure, we can and probably should hold Zapotosky and CYS responsible to a degree, but what about the parents? Obviously, the cases of these two children and others will be investigated and charges pressed where appropriate, but the fact that two children died where abuse had been reported previously within nine months of each other shows that Fayette County has a real problem with child abuse. Maybe someone should be looking at how, if at all, that could be examined and stopped.

What's the remedy? How far does it go? Any factor could be considered here, the most glaring being cycles of abuse. If people report what they see and hear and speak out against it, assuming CYS can and does act, maybe children can be removed from abusive homes, helped, and the cycle stopped. Or maybe parents can be given resources and help with being good, non-abusive parents. Maybe the problem is people becoming parents before they're ready for whatever reason. Maybe the problem is the high poverty here.

Something has to be done somewhere, and maybe the beginning is in Fayette County homes.