May 13, 2019 – Congratulations to Makayla Noll, recipient of my annual Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center scholarship. Makayla studies Protective Services at the CTC, will graduate from Penn-Trafford, and then attend Pitt-Greensburg to study to be a nurse.
May 10, 2019 – A fun day at the Courthouse today as we welcomed dozens of our employees’ children for Child Government Day. All kinds of fun and educational activities. And there was one wannabe Commissioner who apparently takes his new job very seriously!
May 9, 2019 – A great way to kick off the day…reading to Ms. Vessley’s reading students at Hempfield’s Fort Allen Elementary. A fun bunch of kiddos!
My favorite question was from a little girl who asked me how I look “kinda” young, but have some grey hair. Kids!
May 4, 2019 – Congratulations to Al Maida (55 years) and Cory Snyder (20 years) for your service to the Mount Pleasant VFD. A great time at tonight’s banquet honoring their service. It was my pleasure to serve as the keynote speaker.
May 4, 2019 – A great day in Lower Burrell, swearing in the new “Mayor”, 9-year-old Nico Pampena. Nico has been the target of bullying in recent years, so the city designated today Anti-Bullying Awareness Day. Mayor Richard Callender also named Nico as Mayor For The Day. Great job by Mayor Callendar and city council to raise awareness of this important issue for kids.
It takes courage to stand up to bullies, and also courage to report it. Proud of you, Mayor Nico!
May 2, 2019 – Congratulations to the 2019 Mental Health America of Southwestern PA award winners. Thank you for all that you do for the vulnerable throughout our county Tay Waltenbaugh, Carmen Capozzi of Sage’s Army, Inc. and Deb Thackrah of Feeding the Spirit.
May 1, 2019 – Celebrating the success of the “Teacher in the Workplace” program. Our Workforce Investment Board and Westmoreland County Forum for Workforce Development worked with 50 teachers from the county’s 17 school districts and more than 20 businesses to develop curriculum to better align education with the workforce demands of today and tomorrow.
April 29, 2019 – The grand opening of our new Vistors Center in New Stanton! Located right next to Sib’s Sweet Shoppe and Hepler’s Hardware on Rt. 119, the center is a destination point for both visitors and residents to learn about all the exciting tourist attractions in Westmoreland County. It will be staffed daily by experts from the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau.
Oh, and I got to hold a baby kangaroo! (Thanks for the first, Tom Guiher from Living Treasures Animal Park)
April 28, 2019 – Congratulations Ed Christofano, 2019 Mount Pleasant Rotary Citizen of the Year. A well-deserved honor. Service Above Self indeed!
April 24, 2019 – A great day for Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation thanks to the generosity of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and CNX. Our Northmoreland Park now features a brand new accessible playground! Thanks, too, to my new friends from the Appleseed Learning Center for letting me test it out with them.
April 22, 2019 – Day one of autism training for Corrections Officers at our county prison. Over the next two weeks every officer will be trained on the signs of, and the proper response to, people on the autism spectrum. Those with autism are seven times more likely than neurotypical people to come into contact with law enforcement. I organized this important training through the state’s Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training (ASERT) program.
Learn more at http://www.paautism.org.
Awareness. Education. Acceptance.
April 17, 2019 – Kicking off the “Building Your Talent Pipeline” seminar. We’re working to better align employers needs and employees skills. Thanks to all those from the private sector who are partnering with us and our local schools to improve our workforce and economy.
Learn more at https://www.careerhubconnect.com
April 16, 2019 – Celebrating the dignity of work and the right of choice in employment for people with special needs at the Spring Open House of the Westmoreland County Blind Association.
April 10, 2019 – Congratulations to my friend Ron Zona, who is retiring after a stellar 31-year career with the Pennsylvania State Police. Corporal Zona is also the long-time president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 62. Here’s to a long and happy retirement, Corporal!
April 9, 2019 – It’s Week of the Young Child in Westmoreland County. I celebrated by reading to…and playing with…a really fun bunch of kiddos at Today’s Learning Childcare & Education Academy.
April 7, 2019 – Congrats to my fellow Lions on another successful breakfast!
April 4, 2019 – Joining Judge Michele Bononi to recognize Adeline Beighley, who is retiring after 40 years of service to our Juvenile Probation Department. When she started she was the first and only woman to serve in the department. She retires a successful and well-respected Director! Well done, Addie. You’ll be missed.
April 1, 2019 – Light it up blue…it’s Autism Awareness Month in Westmoreland County.
Acceptance. Respect. See things differently
March 30, 2019 – Thanks to everyone who supported Westmoreland County Parks at our annual March for Parks. Through your generosity and support we crossed the million dollar mark in fundraising…money that goes directly back into county park improvements!
March 29, 2019 – Wonderful event at the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit, celebrating the “Champion of the Arts”. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the debut of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, all artists with special needs were invited to create artwork that reflects the message of Fred Rogers. Inspiring!
March 28, 2019 – The grand opening of Tronix3D at the Westmoreland County Community College Advanced Technology Center. The latest in 3D printing to manufacture parts for all sorts of applications. Incorporating the private sector and entrepreneurship into education…exactly what we envisioned when we opened the ATC six years ago.
March 26, 2019 – Plumbers and Pipefitters from throughout the state competing in Latrobe at the 2019 Pennsylvania Pipe Trades Apprentice Contest.
March 20, 2019 – My privilege to welcome more than 200 engineers from throughout the region to the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College for a workshop hosted by the Westmoreland Conservation District to discuss innovative stormwater solutions and conservation best practices. Economic development and environmental protection can work together!
March 16 – Celebrating 100 years of the American Legion with Post 344 Commander Sonny Blasco, Pennsylvania Commander James Vollrath and Jeannette Mayor Curtis Antoniak.
March 14, 2019 – Joining Greensburg Mayor Robb Bell to talk government and public policy as guest lecturers for the fine students in Seton Hill University’s Social Policy class.
March 8, 2019 – Fun night in Youngwood as we honored the winners of our annual Fire Prevention Awards. Congrats to all the students who went home with new bicycles tonight!
March 7, 2019 – Admittedly, some nights on the campaign trail are better than others. Spending the evening eating wings and chili with Rotary President Bill McCabe and Irwin Mayor Bill Hawley as judges for the Norwin Rotary cook-off.
March 7, 2019 – Spreading the word to end the R Word! Fun morning with the great students at Penn-Trafford’s Penn Middle School.
March 4, 2019 – Joining state Senators Jim Brewster and Pat Stefano and Rep. Eric Nelson at Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s marijuana legalization listening tours. A terrific turnout, with thoughtful comments, and some respectful disagreement, about this important issue.
March 2, 2019 – Acceptance. Inclusion. Respect. Our annual “End the R Word” event to celebrate the abilities and achievements of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Take the pledge today to spread the word to end the word …www.spreadtheword.global
March 1, 2019 – Supporting the great work of the Westmoreland County Blind Association and their efforts to help people with special needs. Great job by the Board of Directors (including my wife, April) organizing such a successful event.
February 28, 2019 – Not a typical Thursday in the office when Steelers’ legend Rocky Bleier drops by to say hi.
February 26, 2019 – Joining nonprofit, business and philanthropic leaders at a news conference to kickoff our Complete Count Committee for the 2020 U.S. Census. It’s more important than ever that every person in Westmoreland County is counted. So much of our federal funding for community development and human services is tied to the Census.
February 23, 2019 – Supporting the Westmoreland Cultural Trust and the important work it does throughout the county at the annual Party at The Palace. This year had a Vegas theme. So, of course, we had to renew our wedding vows before an Elvis minister.
February 22, 2019 – My honor to swear in the officers of the Westmoreland County Fire Chiefs Association. Keep up the great work. (And apologies again for my dress … I just finished coaching a 5th grade basketball game!)
February 21, 2019 – Meetin’ and greetin’ in New Kensington with Lower Burrell Mayor Richard Callender, Councilman Rob Hamilton and Arnold’s Aaron Moore.
February 21, 2019 – Proud to proclaim March as Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Month in Westmoreland County. Today we got an early start on the celebration! Thanks to our friends from ACHIEVA and Clelian Heights and other service providers for joining us. Special thanks to Michael, Jeremy and Matt!
February 14, 2019 – Spending some time this talking county government with students at Kiski Area High School . And catching up with their excellent teacher (and fellow Allegheny College alum) Mr. Jim McKenzie.
February 13, 2019 – In Harrisburg, representing Westmoreland County – and Pennsylvania’s 67 counties – as an appointee to the Governors Long-Term Care Council. We’re strategizing ways to best care for older citizens and address the need for direct care workers.
February 10, 2019 – Fun night celebrating Hempfield Youth Basketball. So proud of these little 5th graders I help coach.
February 10, 2019 – So much cuteness in one room! Great crowd and a great time at the Humane Society of Westmoreland County’s annual Have-A-Heart celebration.
February 8, 2019 – Honoring 4H Leaders for their great work to educate, and serve as terrific role models for, young people in the county. Especially Miss Thelma, who’s been a leader for 60 years!
February 7, 2019 – Great work by Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Irv Shipley and Deputy John Dixon, who recently apprehended a drug suspect who had fled from his vehicle during a pursuit. We honored them before today’s Commissioners’ meeting. Great job fellas…a win for the good guys!
February 6, 2019 – Fun visit with 13-year Will Baer from Grapeville, a student at Merakey School in Jeannette. He interviewed me as part of his work to become a Boy Scout 1st class.
January 25, 2019 – Greensburg Mayor Robb Bell, South Greensburg Mayor Kevin Fajt, Southwest Greensburg Mayor Carol Hudock Palcic and Latrobe Mayor Rosie Wolford join me to support Michael Stewart for Judge.
January 24, 2019 – Joining local government, business and human services leaders for our first Complete Count Committee meeting for the 2020 Census. I am co-chairing this effort to make sure everyone in Westmoreland County is counted. It means so much for our federal funding allocations, community development and reapportionment.
January 17, 2019 – With Governor Tom Wolf to recognize Franklin Regional Superintendant Dr. Gennaro R. Piraino Jr. as 2019 Superintendant of the Year in Pennsylvania. Congrats, and well-deserved, Jamie!
January 14, 2019 – Congratulations on your retirement, Yasuyuki Uruma, Elliott Company CEO. Elliott has meant so much to generations of county workers, including my grandfather and father-in-law, and to Jeannette’s and the county’s economy. Wishing you a long and happy retirement, Uruma-san!
January 9, 2019 – Smiles all around as we award $474,000 in grants to tourism and tourism-related businesses – the highest amount ever in the program’s history! Overnight stays in the county increased by 8 percent last year. Tourism remains a major contributor to the county’s economy.
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