Briefs – July 24

Published Jul 24, 2013 at 6:42 am (Updated Jul 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm)

Historical Society hosting mine tour

The Historical Society of South Fayette and The Allegheny Land Trust will present “Our Mining History: The Legacy of Land Use,” 9 a.m.-noon July 27 at Wingfield Pines Conservation Area, Mayview Road, Bridgeville.

The outdoor presentation also features a tour of the abandoned mine drainage passive treatment system at Wingfield Pines. South Fayette resident John Kosky, who has been involved in mining for many years, will speak.

Garden in the Parks Field Day

The annual Garden in the Parks Field Day sponsored by the Penn State Master Gardeners of Allegheny County will be held at the North and South Park Demonstration Gardens 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 17.

The North Park Demonstration Garden is located at the East Ingomar Road and Babcock Boulevard at the Veterans Memorial. The South Park garden is at the intersection of Corrigan Drive and McConkey Road.

Garden in the Parks Field Day is a free, all ages celebration of horticulture that is both educational and fun. Penn State extension educators and the Master Gardeners of Allegheny County share their expertise and offer advice on horticultural topics. Special stations located throughout the garden provide information on pollinators, herbs, composting and rain barrels. Visitors can talk with local beekeepers and take guided tours of the annual flower trials and pollinator gardens. They can also sample a variety of tomatoes, garlic and basil pesto and vote for their favorites. Special children’s activities will be provided, including hands-on gardening activities. Master gardeners will be selling their own fresh produce, and an assortment of perennials, fresh cut flowers and gardening items at the garden market. Soil test kits will be available for $9 each.

For more information, call 412-473-2540.

CCAC to host admissions & financial workshop

The Community College of Allegheny County South Campus will host a free Admissions and Financial Aid Workshop from 6-8 p.m. July 30 in Room G311. CCAC representatives will be on hand to address questions on a wide range of topics including the college’s admission process, types of programs offered at the college and financial aid options available to students.

The campus is located on Clairton Road (Route 885) in West Mifflin. Those interested in one of the sessions can reserve a space by calling 412-469-6480.

Smith Encourages Small Businesses to Apply for Energy Efficiency Grants

State Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny/Washington) announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for the Small Business Advantage Grant program.

A for-profit corporation, limited liability corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship or other legal entity with 100 or fewer full-time employees may be eligible to receive 50 percent matching funds up to $9,500 to adopt or acquire pollution prevention or energy efficient procedures or equipment.

Qualifying projects like lighting upgrades, heating and cooling systems, or anti-idling technology for trucks must be located in Pennsylvania, owned by the applicant, and save the business at least 25 percent plus $500 in annual energy consumption, pollution handling or prevention related expenses.

The application period runs through Sept. 6. Qualifying projects are approved on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted.

Smith encourages interested businesses to contact his office at 412-571-2169.

Businesses interested in applying can receive the application form and additional information from the Department’s website, by clicking on the “Small Business Advantage Grant” button.

PennDot requests public input

PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) are seeking the public’s input on traveler information through a brief online survey, accessible at and

The anonymous survey includes questions on the types of traffic information travelers find valuable, how they access and utilize that information, and how traffic information affects their driving habits. It also asks for feedback on PennDOT’s 511PA traveler information service and the PTC’s Turnpike Roadway Information Program (TRIP).

PennDOT’s 511PA service provides traffic-delay warnings, weather forecasts, average traffic speeds on urban interstates and access to more than 679 traffic cameras. TRIP provides real-time traffic conditions, weather alerts and travel information online, on the road and on your phone or mobile device for the 552 miles of turnpike roadway.

Red Cross launches new App

The American Red Cross has launched the Team Red Cross App, which allows people to sign up to help, get an overview on basic tasks and receive notifications about Red Cross disaster volunteer opportunities in their community.

Once users download the app, they create an account. They can then learn about different jobs, such as working in a warehouse, handing out supplies or assisting with feeding. When the Red Cross has a need for volunteers, the Team Red Cross App will notify users based on their location. Potential volunteers can instantly accept or decline the volunteer opportunity.

The Red Cross is encouraging the public to download the app before a disaster strikes in Washington County so volunteers can help immediately.

The app is free and designed for iPhone and Android smart phones and tablets. The Team Red Cross App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross or by going to

Bethany Hospice sponsors 81 veterans for charity outing

Bethany Hospice, a locally-owned leader in hospice services, will sponsor 81 hospitalized veterans for the 2013 Sharing and Caring Inc. Labor Day riverboat cruise aboard the Gateway Clipper.

Since 2008, Bethany Hospice has raised funds through the generous donations of employees and volunteers to sponsor more than 180 veterans. “It is so rewarding to give back to people who have given so much to our country. While we are involved in many community service projects, Sharing and Caring is near and dear to our hearts,” said Diane Mead, president and CEO of Bethany Hospice.

“Sharing and Caring operates solely on the funds raised by our donors. Veterans gave us the liberty that we are able to enjoy today; and we figure that the least we can do is help them enjoy a little bit of life,” said Robert Abbott, president of Sharing and Caring Inc.

Sharing and Caring Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring hospitalized veterans by providing therapeutic recreation activities. The organization is composed of a volunteer staff that represents 17 veterans service organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and American Legion. Sharing and Caring sponsors events and activities at veterans hospitals around the Greater Pittsburgh region.

Local dance studio honored with national award

An elite level of the dance company from The Thomas Studio of Performing Arts was honored to be named the Federation of Dance Competitions 2013 National People’s Choice Award winner. The dancers were nominated for the award when they competed against 750 dances and were named the regional award winner in April. After a 30 day online voting event held this month, competing against thousands of entries, The Thomas Studio was named the National Winner on July 15, just days after The Thomas Studio Dance Company returned home from its national competition where they competed against dancers from all over the country and Canada. At the close of the competition, they were crowned the National Champion and won 15 Overall High Score Awards.

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