Sunday, February 28, 2016

Planned power outage

Just to get the word out to make sure everyone impacted is aware, West Penn Power will have a planned power outage to upgrade facilities on Tuesday, March 1, from about 8 a.m. until noon in Uniontown. However, the outage should only impact about 55 West Penn customers near Pittsburgh St. Customers will be notified via phone message, and in case of bad weather, the upgrade will be pushed back a day until March 2.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Toddler left in carseat for 13 hours

UPDATE: The county coroner has announced that preliminary autopsy results will not be released "so as to in no way compromise the accuracy and completeness of the ongoing investigation into the death of [the child]." Personally, this makes me concerned that this is going to end up a pretty sad, disturbing case.

If you've wondered why posts lately have been kind of bland things like upcoming events, this is why. Keeping up with Fayette County news gets exhausting and upsetting because so much of it is negative, so a long time ago now, I stopped looking for things to post about and instead decided to post about whatever made it onto my radar on its own. Unfortunately, this was it.

A toddler died Wednesday after being taken to Uniontown Hospital after being left in a carseat for 13 hours. Initially, I assumed this meant the child had been left in the car overnight, but this does not seem to be the case. Yet leaving a child strapped in a carseat indoors for no real reason is still confusing to me, not to mention really sad.

The child's mother returned from running errands and went to give her a drink and noticed something was wrong, prompting her to take the child to the hospital. Upon investigation, the home was found to be in "deplorable" condition with no running water. The child's father was at home at the time but apparently just...left her unattended in a carseat for 13 hours. Father of the year right there.

The child's two siblings have since been put in protective custody, which sounds like it's for the best.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Nam Nuptials: Fernstone Retreat

As you may or may not know, I got engaged on New Year's Day! So between working and writing and trying to enjoy free time, too, I've been slowly plugging away at planning a wedding. And...I haven't made much progress. But I have gained blog material! While I live in Washington and it's looking more and more like my wedding will be in Pittsburgh with Pittsburgh-area vendors, Fayette County isn't out of the running just yet, and it's worth discussing what the Nam has to offer in terms of weddings, especially if you're like me and want something a little different than a social hall.

While we still haven't settled on a venue, one of the ones previously in the running was Fernstone Retreat in Farmington, a beautiful oak pavilion with such things as overnight accommodations and a waterfall on the property. And for a couple who got engaged at Ohiopyle, that's a pretty serious contender. Packages start around $10,000.

Unfortunately, we never got to see the venue in person, and this is where Fernstone lost me as a customer as a result--they couldn't work with our schedule when it came to taking a tour. Now, due to work and the hour-long travel time, we wouldn't have been able to make it to the venue before 5 in the evening, and while I understand this isn't ideal for venues and their staff who tend to keep typical 9-5 business hours, we were led to believe this was doable, only to have our tour canceled twice the day of the tour. Upon the second cancelation, we were told to let them know if we were ever able to make it at 4 instead, a mere hour earlier. If they couldn't really work with our schedule, I would've appreciated an up-front explanation rather than to be strung along and bailed on twice, wasting my time as a result. I lost about two weeks because of this, when I could've spent that two weeks looking at other venues. Hell, I could have one booked by now--the original plan was to look at Fernstone a week ago and make our final decision by the following Monday, and now I'm back to square one.

So if you're interested in Fernstone and can make it up there by 4 on a weekday, go for it. It looks like a great, unique place.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Blast from the Past: We Used to Be a Different County

Credit goes to The Windber Area Museum for posting this to their Facebook page.

Pennsylvania's counties used to look like this, at the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775.

Yep, Fayette County used to be part of Westmoreland County. It's interesting to think about how things could be different for either county had that not changed.

The museum also posted some other nice historical tidbits, like the fact that Somerset County wasn't created until 1795 and was part of Bedford County until then.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Annual spring tree sale

Honestly, guys, I wish I could buy a tree, but alas. The struggles of apartment life. But if you're doing some landscaping and want to add some trees to your property, the Conservation District is holding its annual tree sale. Order forms and payment must be submitted by March 18 at the District office at Nickman's Plaza in Lemont Furnace.

Pick-up will be April 1 and 2 at the county fairgrounds from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.--2 p.m. on the 2nd.

Enjoy your trees!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Rabies Clinic

A rabis clinic will be held at Tractor Supply in Uniontown on March 6 from 1:30 util 3 p.m. Rabies and distemper shots will cost $15 each. You can also have your furry family member checked out by a vet from Duck Hollow Animal hospital.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lenten fish dinner masterpost

Mardi Gras has come and gone, and I have the beads and feathered mask to prove it. That means we're heading right into Lent, the season of fish dinners, so I've decided to compile a list of county dinners--especially if you're like my dad and want to spend your Lent eating at as many different ones as possible. The list is in alphabetical order by location, and any links lead you to a menu. Enjoy!

  • Hiller VFC, every Friday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m., including lunch delivery. 724-785-9793.
  • North Union Township VFW, every Friday from 4-7 p.m. $9.95, eat-in or take-out. 724-438-8543.
  • Perryopolis: St. John the Baptist RC Church, noon until 6 p.m., eat-in or take-out. Menu includes baked or fried fish dinner, fish sandwiches, pierogies, haluski, green beans, macaroni & cheese, and cole slaw. 724-736-0675.
I'll be adding to the list throughout Lent, so if you have any locations to add or menus to link to, feel free to contact me.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

State job openings

Looking for a job? The state police recently reminded everyone on Facebook that they have positions open, in both civil service and non-civil service. If you're in need of a job or looking for a job change, this could be a good opportunity to take advantage of. Visit the state's employment website to view available positions and apply--and I took a look and there are plenty of openings across a variety of areas, so there's something for almost everyone, not just police work.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Man shackled 15-year-old girl as collateral for loan

When I was in high school, I had a teacher who would take collateral anytime a student needed to borrow something like a pen--he'd take, say, a book or your handbook that contained our hall passes or something that we needed to ensure he'd get his pen back. But a Brownsville man, Christopher Wiley Brown, took collateral to next-level awful when he took an actual human being, like someone out of a primetime drama or, like, the mob.

I have so many questions, the biggest and most important one being what makes one think that a human is appropriate collateral? It's sick.

The loan agreement required the girl to help care for the man's disabled fiancée, while the girl's dad was to repair their home. And honestly, that arrangement would be fine if it were, you know, consensual and didn't involve leg shackles and a ball gag.

And when I heard "leg shackles and ball gag," my mind jumped right to sexual assault, too, and sure enough, Brown "made her touch his genitals."

Fortunately, the girl was able to free herself and text her dad, who called 911 and is not being charged. The news article doesn't given too much detail here, but I do have concerns about what kind of father allows his teenage daughter to go with a grown man, even if it is part of a loan agreement. Because it sounds like her dad knew where she was, just not the fucked-up extent of it.

The man was jailed Thursday on charges of kidnapping and indecent assault, among others.

I was gonna advise Brown's fiancée to find someone better, but on second thought, I have a hard time imagining that she didn't know.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Geibel to compete on "Hometown High Q"

This Saturday, Feb. 13, students from Geibel will be competing on KDKA's "Hometown High Q." Their episode will air twice--first on March 19 at 11 a.m., then on March 26 at 11:30.

Go, Gators! Good luck! Kick some ass!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Local man's snow machine makes Weather Channel

Maybe Ohiopyle should've called in Mark Duda for their canceled Winterfest--he apparently has a pretty good snow machine that got the attention of The Weather Channel.

Duda's been working on snow machines since he was 16, which is about as long as I've been trying to figure out a way I can hibernate for the winter. If this winter hadn't been so warm, he might've gotten a good bit of homemade snow out of it, but alas, homemade snow needs certain conditions to come about. But that means that last year, he was able to make snow until May--which isn't surprising to me, since that was about the time I was heading up to the mountains for the weekends and finding everything still bare and dead.

But Duda's been able to make some pretty impressive snowy hills, the tallest being 30 feet high. So, skiers who haven't been able to get their fix this winter, make friends with Duda.

Or maybe he should just start charging admission.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Brownsville Chamber of Commerce President dies

Sad news for the Brownsville community today--longtime president Frank Ricco has died, according to a Facebook post.

The post includes a statement from Vice President Carl Della Penna, which reads:
"Pretty much every one of us can't remember living in the Brownsville area without Frank Ricco. When I think of Brownsville I can't help but thinking of Frank. His love and passion for Brownsville and its betterment was second to none. He gave countless gifts of time, talent and treasure to the Brownsville community for decades. He gave to and supported the community more than anyone will ever know. I remember Frank as a kid with Little League Baseball, what he did for the schools, the sports teams, the band and numerous other school activities. I remember selling parts to Frank as a late teenager and continuing servicing his company up to today. I served as Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce under Frank for probably 20 years, and Vice President of his Sons of Italy Lodge for almost 10 years. Frank was board President for the hospital, Luzerne Park, State President of the Grand Lodge of many organizations you can't name them all. He was a mover and shaker. When Frank was involved he wanted and expected it done, and done right. He was a pillar businessman in the community. To me he was an inspiration and an idol. I learned a lot from Frank. We will all miss him very much."
As a result, the Chamber of Commerce's meeting scheduled for Feb. 9 has been canceled.

Visitation hours will be Sunday and Monday from 1-8 p.m. at the Brownsville Sons & Daughters of Italy. The Sons of Italy will hold a memorial at 6 p.m. Sunday and a wake at 6 p.m. Monday. The funeral will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday at Brownsville's Historic Church of St. Peter, an Ricco will be interred at LaFayette Memorial Park.

His family has asked that donations be made to Ricco's scholarship fund.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Have breakfast with the Easter Bunny

New Haven Hose Co. is hosting breakfast with the Easter Bunny on Sunday, March 20, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Food will include pancakes, eggs, homefries, sausage, coffee and juice. Cost for adults is $6, children under 12 will be $3. Have fun!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Home Depot holding job fair

Need a job or exploring new opportunities? Home Depot will be holding a job fair on Thursday, Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. More details below.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ohiopyle cancels Winterfest because of a lack of winter

Look, I know some of you love snow, but don't we deserve a break after the past couple of winters? I mean, I say this fully expecting another round of snow by Valentine's Day because that's just how winter works around here, but still. It's been a warm, snow-less one, and as much as I'm rejoicing, not everyone is happy.

A lack of snow has led Ohiopyle to cancel their Winterfest originally scheduled for this weekend. They will not reschedule. They won't be rescheduling, presumably because at this point, when do you reschedule?

Of course, Ohiopyle is still a great place to visit, even without specific festivities.

Or you can come hang out with me at Mardi Gras.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Laurel Highlands Ambassador Program featuring historical lectures

It's easy to forget with everything that goes on in this county,  but we live in an area rich in history. The Laurel Highlands Ambassador Program recognizes this and will be hosting a series of lectures starting in March showcasing that history, plus things like tourism and even the paranormal.

Personally, I'm all about that Kecksburg lecture.