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Posted on: June 29, 2016

Free summer lunches for kids in Western Pa. 'on the table'

Jessica Eckert plans to take her four children to the Castle Shannon Library every weekday during their summer break.

Jessica Eckert plans to take her four children to the Castle Shannon Library every weekday during their summer break. They play games,...Read on...

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Posted on: June 28, 2016

County officials, human service providers gather for budget rally

“We are counting on you. Just like the people of this community count on us,” Laurie Barnett Levine delivered that message to state legislators and the governor at a budget impasse rally held Wednesday in front of the Westmoreland County Courthouse.

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Posted on: June 27, 2016

Donated teddy bears to help calm traumatized children in Westmoreland County

When Louann Starr's daughter was injured in a car accident, first responders gave the girl a stuffed animal to help calm her.

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Posted on: June 23, 2016

Life on the waiting list: The struggle to receive intellectual disability services in Pennsylvania

Abbey Etling lifts the sippy cup to her lips and drinks from it.

It’s a small gesture, but one that is laden with meaning for her mother, Sandy Etling.

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Posted on: June 23, 2016

Service agency advocates rally in Greensburg for on-time passage of state budget

Linda Parker has been a user of social service programs for nearly two decades and is worried she will be left on her own without the timely passage of a state budget.

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Posted on: June 23, 2016

Good News Hidden in the Data: Today’s Children Are Healthier

For the first time in over a decade, the death rate Abuse Rises.” “U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High.”.....But there are happier trends that have received a lot less attention

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Posted on: June 22, 2016

Westmoreland Community Action awarded HUD grant

Westmoreland Community Action was awarded a $15,823 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Tuesday.

The money will benefit the organization's Housing Counseling & Money Management Center, which provides training and resources

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Posted on: June 22, 2016

Excela Westmoreland Hospital opens healing garden as facet of care

Patients, their families and staff at Excela Westmoreland Hospital have a new spot of tranquility on the Greensburg campus.

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Posted on: June 21, 2016

North Huntingdon nonprofit brightens birthdays for homeless children

An Irwin woman is on a mission to deliver birthday cheer — parties, cakes, candles and presents — to youngsters who otherwise wouldn't have anything to make them feel special.

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Posted on: June 21, 2016

Westmoreland Community Action to close 11 centers, dismiss 24

Cuts in funding linked in part to a federal citation for having a child left alone in a schoolyard at a Head Start site will force Westmoreland Community Action to close 11 of its centers and lay off 24 workers at the end of the month.

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Posted on: June 21, 2016

Fare changes mulled to reduce Westmoreland County paratransit deficit

Some fares could be higher and others lower this year for riders of Westmoreland County's paratransit system, officials said.

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Posted on: June 10, 2016

Summer food programs sprout in Alle-Kiski Valley

In Southwestern Pennsylvania, 43 percent of children are eligible for a free or reduced-priced lunch during the nine-month school year.

But for these low-income students, breakfast and lunch can be uncertain prospects during the summer recess.

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Posted on: June 10, 2016

State's new long-term care plan postponed by six months

The Wolf administration has postponed by six months the sweeping changes that were planned in southwestern Pennsylvania on Jan. 1, 2017, for delivery of long-term care services to low-to-moderate income seniors and disabled individuals.

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Posted on: June 9, 2016

Pennsylvania's child abuse reporting law draws fire for perceived vagueness

The Pennsylvania law requiring school employees, doctors, coaches and others to report suspected child abuse is vague and confusing, legal experts say.

Despite the law being in effect for more than a year, questions remain...

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Posted on: June 9, 2016

5 Myths About Suicide (Opinion)

It populates our most ancient stories, spelling the ends of figures both infamous and innocent, from to Brutus to Judas to Juliet — but we still don’t fully understand suicide.

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Posted on: June 7, 2016

Federal overtime pay rules sting nonprofits

Nonprofit leaders across Pennsylvania are in a quandary over how to respond to new U.S. Department of Labor rules that vastly expand the umbrella of workers who qualify for overtime pay.

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Posted on: June 7, 2016

Report forecasts Pa. education funding perils

Taxes are rising and programs are shrinking in more school districts than ever, and there's widespread doubt among administrators that things will improve soon, according to a new report.

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Posted on: June 3, 2016

Westmoreland County officials plan rally to avert repeat of budget impasse

Westmoreland County officials concerned about a repeat of an eight-month state budget stalemate plan a rally to show the General Assembly and Gov. Tom Wolf the importance of passing the 2016-17 budget by the June 30 deadline.

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Posted on: June 1, 2016

Westmoreland group 1 of 12 to assess training overhaul for child advocates

A nonprofit group played a big role in pushing for updated training for adults who advocate for children caught up in the court system because they have been abused or neglected.

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Posted on: June 1, 2016

Rally for an On-time State Budget announced

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Dirk Matson, Director of Human Services for Westmoreland County, announces that a rally for passage of a state budget on time will be held Wednesday, June 22nd, from noon to 1:15 at Courthouse Square, 2 N. Main Street, Greensburg.

Join your County Comm...Read on...

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Posted on: June 1, 2016

Attorney general's outreach specialist warns about scams of seniors

Aging Edge: What are the most common scams you caution people about?

Little: There’s always what I call the “scam of the season.” From about January to April it’s the IRS scam, where people call and pretend to be the IRS, and we tell people do not repl...Read on...

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Posted on: June 1, 2016

Social workers are some of the unsung heroes of eldercare

The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; of social and economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interaction of all these factors.”

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Posted on: June 1, 2016

Survey: Pennsylvania budget impasse cost nonprofits thousands

Services slashed for 17,000 clients in all 67 counties

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Posted on: June 1, 2016

Writing Away the Stigma

Nine people shared stories of their mental illness in Pittsburgh in May as part of a Creative Nonfiction Magazine project to fight the shame and embarrassment that often accompany the illness, which is estimated to affect one in five Americans each year. ...Read on...

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Posted on: May 27, 2016

Navy Cross Citation Describes SEAL Nicolas Checque's Final Moments

(Chief Petty Officer Nicolas Checque was a Norwin native.)

A Navy SEAL killed during a 2012 rescue of an American hostage in Afghanistan demonstrated "unhesitant commitment" and "undaunted courage" during his final moments

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Posted on: May 26, 2016

Nuns, Seton Hill volunteers plant potatoes to distribute to Westmoreland food bank

A handful of nuns raced against an approaching rainstorm Monday as they tucked pieces of potato into freshly tilled earth near Greensburg's Seton Hill University campus.

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Posted on: May 19, 2016

Community aims to curb suicide among teens

Craig Walkins knows all too well the pain that comes with losing a child to suicide.

His son, Kyle, a newly hired officer for the Northern Regional Police Department, was just 23 when he took his own life last June.

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Posted on: May 19, 2016

Westmoreland Manor's new administrator wants return to glory days

John Austin has known nursing home work for most of his life.

Austin was hired last month as administrator for Westmoreland Manor, the county's troubled publicly owned nursing home, where he said he wants to restore employee and resident morale...

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Posted on: May 19, 2016

Caregivers' needs are focus of state hearing on aging issues

Pennsylvania officials need to put more emphasis on helping unpaid family caregivers as part of a new State Plan on Aging that’s under development, a succession of speakers urged Wednesday at a local hearing on the plan.

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Posted on: May 18, 2016

PA Department of Corrections highlights facility aimed at helping those with serious mental illness

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel on Tuesday gave an overview of mental health services provided by a unique facility within corrections.

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Posted on: May 18, 2016

Senior Transportation Aid Sought in Monessen

A transportation work group from the Monessen Senior Center wants better public access for older residents and asked city council for help.

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Posted on: May 18, 2016

Community Foundation of Westmoreland County hosts "Courageous Conversations"

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Non-profit professionals from human services and other areas convened in Greensburg yesterday at a conference hosted by the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County.

Executive directors, development professionals, and board members from throughout...Read on...

Posted on: May 16, 2016

State deals with trend of elderly abuse cases on the rise

Paralleling a national trend, nearly 800 cases of elder abuse were reported last year in the Philadelphia suburb of Chester County — a 35 percent jump over the previous year, the county said Friday.

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Posted on: May 13, 2016

Survey: Costs for most long-term care climb slightly

Long-term care costs grew more expensive again this year, with the median annual bill for a private nursing home room edging closer to $100,000, according to a survey.

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Posted on: May 13, 2016

Highmark initiative to merge behaviorial health and primary care

Highmark members will soon be able to receive counseling for depression and other behavioral health issues along with a visit to the primary care doctor as the health insurer seeks to cut health care costs while enhancing member care.

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Posted on: May 11, 2016

New unit at The Children's Institute uses physical, mental treatments

Alda Walker wonders whether her 28-year-old adopted daughter would be in a psychiatric hospital if she hadn't received intensive mental-health treatment as a teenager.

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Posted on: May 10, 2016

Area woman accepts Pa. Aging Service Award

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Latrobe Bulletin--

The annual Conference of the Pennsylvania Council on Aging was held in Gettysburg. The five geographical regions of the Keystone State convened with the Pennsylvania Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) and the Department of Aging to work to...Read on...

Posted on: June 1, 2016

June is PTSD Awareness Month

Post-traumatic stress disorder affects a wide range of people, not just soldiers

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Posted on: May 5, 2016

Finding Help for Families and Youth, and Finding Hope on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness

Viewers of the hit television show “Modern Family” know Reid Ewing as the talented, handsome actor and musician who has a recurring role as Dylan, the boyfriend of one of the show’s core characters. Nobody would have guessed the difficulties...

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Posted on: May 5, 2016

HUD awards $19.5M for local homeless programs in Pa.--Latrobe Bulletin

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro awarded $19.5 million to 89 local homeless housing and service programs across Pennsylvania this week, including Westmoreland Community Action’s supportive housing program in...Read on...

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Posted on: May 4, 2016

Public readings will offer insight into surviving mental illness

This month, the Creative Nonfiction Foundation hosts three public readings of true stories about surviving mental illness in observance of Mental Health Month.

The nine people who will read are fellows in the foundation’s program...

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Posted on: May 3, 2016

Influential physicians' group recommends cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic insomnia

Therapy — not pills — should be the first approach for people suffering with insomnia, according to new guidelines from the American College of Physicians, an influential national internal medicine organization.

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Posted on: April 29, 2016

Autism Awareness Month recognized

BY MARYANN GOGNIAT EIDEMILLER
For The Latrobe Bulletin

A typical classroom setting. Meghan Ladd, instructor Vicki Weimer, PCA Tina Marinchak, PCA Tabby Fitz, Josh Garris and Tommy Wagner discuss the primary election. Photos by Ernie Sistek
A typic...Read on...

Posted on: April 28, 2016

Farmers' Market Checks for Seniors available soon

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The 2016 Senior Farmers’ Market Program provides eligible seniors with checks to purchase produce grown in Pennsylvania. This program, which is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, provides eligible individuals four $5.00 checks to use...Read on...

Posted on: April 28, 2016

Latrobe couple pushes for legislation to strengthen adoption tax credit

When an orphanage or family calls, from Guatemala to Latrobe, Christine Brinker can't say no.

The evidence lies in the string of red frames full of baby pictures stretching across a family room shelf, the photo collages propped...

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Posted on: April 26, 2016

PA Anti-Bullying Consultation Line live

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Available to parents, students, and school staff throughout the Commonwealth. Get strategies and resources to deal with school-based bullying. Messages can be left 24/7 and staff will return your call during business hours.

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Posted on: April 26, 2016

Can this app change schizophrenia treatment?

(CNN)People with schizophrenia often say the disease is an isolating one. They can struggle to connect with loved ones or to find people who understand what they're dealing with. But a new app might help them find the support they need to improve

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Posted on: April 25, 2016

Police Try New Approach to Mental Illness: Nonviolence

PORTLAND, Ore. — The 911 caller had reported a man with a samurai sword, lunging at people on the waterfront.

It was evening, and when the police arrived, they saw the man pacing the beach and called to him. He responded by throwing a rock...

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Posted on: April 25, 2016

Family Services of Western Pa. pursues $16M complex in New Kensington

Family Services of Western Pennsylvania is pursuing a $16 million complex that would feature offices and apartments in downtown New Kensington.

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Posted on: April 25, 2016

Pitt, fellow universities strengthen mental health services

Cash-strapped universities across the country are digging deeply to bolster mental health services for millennials.

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Posted on: April 22, 2016

U.S. suicide rates up

(CNN)The number of suicides in the United States has been on the rise since 1999 in everyone between the ages of 10 and 74, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Posted on: April 19, 2016

Westmoreland County’s Substance Abuse Helpline Goes Live Wednesday

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(Greensburg, PA – April 19, 2016) – Westmoreland Community Action announces that the county’s first helpline dedicated solely to drug and alcohol issues will go live on Wednesday, April 20.
Those with substance abuse questions or concerns can call...Read on...

Posted on: April 19, 2016

Pennsylvanians with disabilities now can save tax-free

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday signed a law allowing the creation of tax-exempt savings accounts for people with disabilities and their families.

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Posted on: April 12, 2016

Even With Insurance Parity Rules, Counseling May Count As Specialty Care

When it comes to insurance coverage for mental health counseling and infertility, how much can people expect? And what would happen to someone who gets a tax credit for buying a marketplace plan if a state expands its Medicaid program during the year?

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Posted on: April 12, 2016

Celebrate Mental Wellness Saturday, May 21st!

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Mental Wellness Crosses Many Paths! Join the celebration Saturday, May 21st from 10 am to 2 pm, Westmoreland Mall's Center Court.

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Posted on: April 11, 2016

Kinship eases foster child placement across Pennsylvania

When a family friend asked Rhianna Diana and her husband, Robert, to become foster parents of a 3-year-old boy whom the friend was temporarily fostering, the Bridgeville couple did not hesitate.

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Posted on: April 11, 2016

No Safe Harbor: Region's last state mental hospital ailing

Southwestern Pennsylvania’s last state mental hospital is ailing, and approaching a critical turning point.

Torrance State Hospital in Westmoreland County has drawn recent attention of state auditors, civil-rights activists, the federal government

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Posted on: April 5, 2016

Push to keep seniors in home, communitybased programs

2016-04-05 / General News

Print article Print
Push to keep seniors in home, communitybased programsCHICAGO (AP) — The federal government is pushing states to keep more low-income seniors out of nursing homes and, instead, enroll them in home and...Read on...

Posted on: April 4, 2016

When transit costs are included, study finds ‘affordable’ housing often isn’t

By Kate Giammarise / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Once the last P16 bus departs the Hulton Arbors complex in eastern Penn Hills at 7:13 a.m., Autumn Conley has few options if she wants to get anywhere.

“I’m barely making it to and from school. It’s very ha...Read on...

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Posted on: March 30, 2016

Backpacks of food supplement weekend meals for Franklin Regional students

The Franklin Regional School District does not have a high enough percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches to qualify for state and local food bank assistance.

But that means donations are even more important for those students who

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Posted on: March 21, 2016

Share your input on PA's State Plan on Aging

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging is required under the Older Americans Act to develop and implement a State Plan on Aging. The Plan is prepared every four years and provides a strategic framework that outlines how the Department will help older Penns...Read on...

Posted on: March 14, 2016

Pediatrics group advocates screening for poverty

Calling poverty “one of the most widespread and persistent health risks facing children,” the American Academy of Pediatrics is issuing new recommendations today urging pediatricians to ask at checkups if families are able to make ends meet.

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Posted on: March 14, 2016

Pitt study links exercise, delay in mental decline

There's no question exercise is beneficial on many fronts, and a new study links calorie-burning in older people to delaying the onset of cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

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Posted on: March 14, 2016

Mentorship, meant to last a year, endures 4 decades for Westmoreland 'sisters'

Forty years ago, a young single teacher heard about a new program matching children with adult mentors.

At the same time, a single mother with two young daughters saw an opportunity for her children. “Westmoreland County had just started..."

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Posted on: March 8, 2016

Doctors Often Fail To Treat Depression Like A Chronic Illness

Depression prompts people to make about 8 million doctors' appointments a year, and more than half are with primary care physicians. A study suggests those doctors often fall short in treating depression because of insurance issues, time constraints...

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Posted on: March 8, 2016

Area Agency on Aging debuts new and improved Inside Line newsletter!

AAA editors Sharon Casario and Michelle Whiting-Zona invite you to peruse the new digital Inside Line. In this issue:
--LIHEAPP--Learn while you earn training opportunities
--INcome tax assistance--Smart driver info
--and more!

Read on...

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Posted on: March 7, 2016

Health insurance exchange calling? No, it’s a scam

AARP Pennsylvania is warning consumers about the latest twist on a health insurance scam.

Here’s how it works. You get a robocall purporting to be from the Health Insurance Marketplace, saying you need to purchase insurance or pay a fine.

If you do ...Read on...

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Posted on: March 7, 2016

County experiences another record-breaking year in drug deaths

BYAMY FAUTH Bulletin Staff Writer

Westmoreland County had a record-breaking year in 2015. Unfortunately, it’s not good news, as the records that were broken involve the number of cases — and, more specifically, the cases of drug and alcohol overdose...Read on...

Posted on: March 7, 2016

Data shows police lack Crisis Intervention Team training to deal with mentally ill

Responding to a 911 call of a man trying to force his sister from an apartment, Pittsburgh police encountered Ian Bankert on a Lawrenceville street and repeatedly ordered him to stand still so they could speak with him.

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Posted on: March 7, 2016

Westmoreland authority seeks funding again for senior apartments

For the third time in less than two years, the Westmoreland County Housing Authority is asking for several million dollars to build an apartment complex in Hempfield for low-income seniors.

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Posted on: February 24, 2016

Caregivers for mentally ill need help, study finds

Parents and others caring for loved ones with mental illness endanger their own health as they labor, often for years at a time with little support, to navigate an unfriendly treatment system, an advocacy group said Tuesday in a report.

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Posted on: February 24, 2016

Human services organizations still feeling impact of budget impasse

Human service organizations are getting months-delayed payments from the state, but many say interest payments, layoffs and other disruptions mean they are still feeling the impacts of Harrisburg's long-running budget dispute.

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Posted on: February 24, 2016

Report: Too many Pa. foster children are on psychiatric meds Read more at http://www.philly.com/phil

Following a report last summer that large numbers of Pennsylvania children on Medicaid, especially those in foster care, are taking psychiatric medications, state officials Tuesday announced steps to address the problem.

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Posted on: February 23, 2016

IDD Awareness Month to be observed in March; End the R-Word event Feb. 27

March is nationally recognized as Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Celebrating the accomplishments and passion of children and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and their families, Westmoreland Cou...Read on...

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Posted on: February 16, 2016

Don't screen all children for autism yet, task force says

Sparking strong reaction from doctors and child development experts, an influential task force says there's "insufficient evidence" to argue definitely that the benefits of screening all young children for autism outweigh the harms.

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Posted on: February 11, 2016

Soup delivery to Union Mission

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Instructor Dhara McCaver accompanied students from Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center (EWCTC) with 16 gallons of soup they made for the men at the Union Mission that they delivered last Friday. The students created their own recipes and p...Read on...

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Posted on: February 11, 2016

Nonprofits worry about ongoing state government gridlock

HARRISBURG — During the state’s budget impasse, many nonprofit human service agencies across Pennsylvania cut services, laid people off, took out loans, and generally struggled, cut off from state funds for nearly six months.

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Posted on: February 10, 2016

March is Westmoreland County IDD Awareness Month--highlighted in County Happenings Newsletter

he Celebration kicks off Saturday, February 27 from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm at Westmoreland Mall Center Court.

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Posted on: February 10, 2016

Caregiver support group meetings 2nd Wednesdays announced in County Happenings Newsletter

Caring for a loved one at home is stressful, no matter the circumstances.
But you aren’t alone—Westmoreland County’s Area Agency on Aging Caregiver Support Group is there for you.

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Posted on: February 9, 2016

Adolescents should be screened for depression, too, says federal panel

Amid evidence that fewer than half of depressed adolescents get treatment for their emotional distress, a federal task force has recommended that physicians routinely screen children between 12 and 18 for depression and have systems in place...

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Posted on: February 8, 2016

Home care industry workers in midst of big changes in Pennsylvania

When Christina West stops by Roosevelt Turner’s apartment to clean and tidy it for the sometimes-forgetful 82-year-old and escort him to appointments, the Superior Home Care aide is aware of the greater significance of the modestly compensated work.

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Posted on: February 8, 2016

Pennsylvania nonprofits work to help those facing food stamp restrictions

Western Pennsylvania nonprofits are hustling to blunt a clamp-down this spring on food stamp benefits, promoting volunteer work and other provisions that can keep low-income households eligible for the aid.

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Posted on: February 1, 2016

New Kensington health clinic to expand services to meet demand

A $125,000 grant will help the Community Health Clinic in New Kensington expand its services to meet growing demand.

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Posted on: February 1, 2016

Teaching Parenting Skills At Doctor Visits Helps Children's Behavior

As researchers have come to understand how poverty and its stresses influence children's brain development, they've begun untangling how that can lead to increased behavior problems and learning difficulties for disadvantaged kids.

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Posted on: February 1, 2016

Downsizing baby boomers compete for affordable housing

Pat Marroni knows she's one of the lucky ones.

In 2013, when the Westmoreland County Housing Authority built its first new apartment building in three decades, officials were inundated with applications from Marroni and others looking for a spot...

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Posted on: February 1, 2016

Care bags ease transition for girls at Adelphoi Village

Claudia Narcisi of North Huntingdon has given a new and positive meaning to the phrase “bag lady,” because she makes bags full of clothes and basic toiletries for young girls who find themselves placed in Adelphoi Village group homes...

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Posted on: January 29, 2016

Community Arts & Reintegration Project's Mural Arts Program comes to Westmoreland County Feb. 12

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On Feb. 12 at University of Pittsburgh/Greensburg, learn how the Mural Art's collective mural-making processes have been a powerful tool for generating dialogue, building relationships. and sparking revitalization.

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Posted on: January 28, 2016

Smart Driver series offered by WCCC

Latrobe Bulletin--The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) at Westmoreland County Community College is offering an AARP Smart Driver Course at three locations starting Feb. 22.

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Posted on: January 28, 2016

Pennsylvania pledges more help for mentally ill defendants

Pennsylvania is pledging in a federal court settlement approved Wednesday to broaden services for mentally ill defendants to avoid stays of hundreds of days in jail or restrictive hospital units while they wait for an assessment by doctors.

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Posted on: January 26, 2016

Depression screening for all adults needed

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on Tuesday announced recommendations that all adults, including pregnant and postpartum women, be screened for depression during regular doctor visits.

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Posted on: January 25, 2016

Westmoreland Transit Authority to add accessible vehicles

Wait times for physically challenged riders who use Westmoreland Transit's shared-ride program may be reduced when 11 wheelchair-accessible vehicles are added to the authority's fleet, according to its executive director.

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Posted on: January 25, 2016

Finding beds for Pennsylvania's mentally ill difficult even when available

Beds in hospital psychiatric units across the state regularly sit empty even though emergency department physicians struggle to find space for mental health patients requiring inpatient care, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review.

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Posted on: January 21, 2016

Westmoreland County's Drug Overdose Task Force gets $250K from foundation

With fatal drug overdoses at historic levels in Westmoreland County, officials now have more money to combat the problem.

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Posted on: January 20, 2016

Financial crime finds victims in aging population

NACI COUNTY NEWS
Financial crime finds victims in aging populationBy CHARLIE BAN Jan. 11, 2016

(Please note: in Westmoreland County, report elder abuse M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 724-830-4444. After hours, call 911.)

Elderly are often targets ...Read on...

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Posted on: January 20, 2016

Young and homeless: Pittsburgh man looking to survive in frigid weather

{Note: See http://goo.gl/u9zQgJ Westmoreland County for info on warming shelters here.}

As winter weather moves into the Pittsburgh area, each day becomes a little tougher for Brandon McGranahan, 27, who has been homeless for nearly a year.

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Posted on: January 19, 2016

Westmoreland County, children's bureau dismissed from civil rights suit

A federal judge has dismissed Westmoreland County, its children's bureau and two caseworkers from a civil rights lawsuit filed by the paternal grandmother of an infant killed by her father more than four years ago.

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Posted on: January 19, 2016

Penn State seniors put class gift funds toward mental health

STATE COLLEGE — Pennsylvania State University's senior class will donate its class gift funds to an endowment to support campus mental health services

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Posted on: January 15, 2016

Navigating the Teen Years--Strengthening Families FREE program for grades 5th and 6th

Join with other families for a FREE--FUN opportunity to strengthen family communication and promote family bonding.

Strengthening Families is a 7 week program that meets once a week for 3 hours after school. The evenings start with a free family meal a...Read on...

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Posted on: January 15, 2016

No Visible Bruises: Domestic Violence and Traumatic Brain Injury

The vast majority of domestic-violence victims who show signs of traumatic brain injury never receive a formal diagnosis.

If you or someone you care about has been touched by domestic or sexual violence, get help in Westmoreland Co. at 1-888-832-2272.

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Posted on: January 15, 2016

Homeless receive help from private Alle-Kiski Valley groups Read more: http://triblive.com/news/val

No county-funded warming shelters exist for the homeless in the Alle-Kiski Valley, but three private groups are helping and more aid may be on the way.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/valleynewsdispatch/9784334-74/homeless-county-

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Posted on: January 13, 2016

Westmoreland County opens its 1st cold-weather shelters

Residents without a warm bed on a frigid night can get short-term help at one of Westmoreland County's first emergency cold-weather shelters.

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Posted on: January 11, 2016

Psychiatrist shortage strains health system

Danae DiRocco saw the frustration a family can face firsthand while she was going through her rotations as a third-year med student.

A family needed psychiatric help for its child, but was going to have to wait weeks...

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Posted on: January 11, 2016

Westmoreland County senior centers to reopen as state budget impasse eases Read more: http://tribli

The five Westmoreland County senior centers that were closed because of the state budget impasse will reopen Thursday now that the long-overdue money has arrived.

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Posted on: January 5, 2016

No Safe Harbor: McKees Rocks, Homestead left with clusters of mentally ill residents

From 'psychiatric ghettos' to prisons, the mentally ill have few havens

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Posted on: January 4, 2016

Physicians want robust studies on medical marijuana use

Pittsburgh may be ready to decriminalize marijuana for recreational use, but a new survey suggests local physicians hold widely varying views when it comes to their willingness to prescribe marijuana for medical use, even if it were legal.

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Posted on: January 4, 2016

Trying to make mental health first aid as familiar as CPR

If someone suddenly collapsed and appeared to be having a heart attack, you wouldn't just walk on by, right? ...So why is it that when we see obvious signs of mental or emotional crisis...our first reaction is to withdraw?

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Posted on: December 30, 2015

Area Agency on Aging warns of suspicious activity toward senior citizens

GREENSBURG, Pa. —Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging officials are warning of suspicious behavior involving people claiming to work for the agency.

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Posted on: December 30, 2015

4 gain access to Derry-area home after 1 falsely claims to work for Area Agency on Aging

Warnings of a scheme that targets the elderly were issued Tuesday because a group of people deemed “suspicious” gained entry to a Westmoreland County resident's home.

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Posted on: December 30, 2015

Senior centers try to stay in step with new generation of retirees

Cora Roscoe visits the Center for Active Adults in Herminie five days a week, mingling with others her age, sharing a lunch, playing bingo, listening to the pickup band that performs there and even doing a little yoga.

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Posted on: December 28, 2015

PA Moves CHIP into the Department of Human Services

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Wolf signed HB 857, sponsored by Rep. Pickett, which reauthorizes and moves CHIP from the Insurance Department into the Department of Human Services.

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Posted on: December 18, 2015

Lifesharing offers alternative for people with disabilities

By Molly Born / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Early one morning, after yet another nightmare, Clara Hopson pushed the quilt off her small frame and shuffled down the hall.

The 85-year-old, who has an intellectual disability and trouble getting around..

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Posted on: December 17, 2015

Blog: Caring for senior family members this holiday season

With the holiday season upon us, many families are likely to get together at some point during the next two weeks. Such family gatherings serve as the perfect time to check in and quietly assess how elderly family members are faring....

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Posted on: December 17, 2015

Leaders in state Legislature hope to end budget stalemate in coming days

HARRISBURG -- Legislative leaders said Wednesday afternoon that an end could be in sight -- within days -- to Pennsylvania's long-running budget stalemate, which has gone one for more than five months.

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Posted on: December 15, 2015

Community solutions to homelessness, violence save lives, money

WASHINGTON — Homelessness and violence are plagues of urban life that are as deadly as any cancer. Experts say both take as many as 25 years off your life.

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Posted on: December 14, 2015

Saint Vincent students know how to wrap!

St. Vincent College (SVC) students from the Early Childhood Education Club came out in full force Sunday to wrap Christmas gifts for the Westmoreland County Children’s Bureau....

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Posted on: December 11, 2015

Twilight Wish Foundation seeking senior citizens with wishes

Twilight Wish Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that grants wishes to senior citizens & military veterans who financially cannot do so on their own. Their mission is to help make the world a nicer place to age, one w...Read on...

Twilight Wish website
Posted on: December 11, 2015

Mon-Yough food banks struggle to meet need as state budget impasse drags on

Despite a state budget impasse now in its sixth month, some things continue, such as hunger.

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Posted on: December 10, 2015

Westmoreland County Food Bank forced to cut some items

Thousands of families who are assisted by the Westmoreland County Food Bank will be seeing fewer groceries in their packages.

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Posted on: December 10, 2015

Around Latrobe Winter 2015-2016: PA Link to Aging and Disability Resources

If you or a family member is over 60 or has disabilities, and you've wondered where to turn to help you with complex long-term support needs, you'll be glad to learn about PA Link.

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Posted on: December 9, 2015

Shopping spree at Greensburg Shop 'n Save helps fill Westmoreland Food Bank's needs

Brian Pettinato wore running shoes and was armed with a list of dry and canned goods Tuesday as he geared up for a charitable shopping spree at the Shop 'n Save on North Main Street in Greensburg.

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Posted on: December 8, 2015

Budget stalemate, broken heater may force closure of Westmoreland County senior center

New Kensington--In light of the ongoing budget stalemate in Harrisburg, New Kensington’s senior center has been hanging by a thread.
The location has exhausted its savings to remain open and now the center is dealing with a broken heater.

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Posted on: December 2, 2015

Merged United Way to reveal 5-year plan aimed at Western Pa. children Read more: http://triblive.co

The United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania plans to reveal Thursday a five-year plan focused on improving the lives of children in the region.

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Posted on: December 2, 2015

Operator of shared-ride program in Westmoreland County not meeting standards

The Ohio company that operates Westmoreland County's shared-ride and paratransit programs has yet to meet on-time standards required as part of its three-year, $14.2 million contract signed in the summer.

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Posted on: November 23, 2015

Big premium increases foreseen for Medicare drug plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — With time running out on open enrollment season, many seniors are facing sharply higher premiums for Medicare’s popular prescription drug program. The reason: rising drug costs have overtaken a long stretch of stable premiums.

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Posted on: November 23, 2015

Op-Ed: A life-saving drug is now available to everyone in Pennsylvania

When Pennsylvania Physician General Rachel Levine signed a statewide standing order for naloxone in October, she removed a significant barrier to the life-saving medication that reverses drug overdoses from heroin and prescription pain medication.

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Posted on: November 23, 2015

4 families grow on Adoption Day in Westmoreland County

Bailey Thomas looked up at his new mother and smiled. Stephanie Williams was still wiping away tears after telling a Westmoreland County judge why the 9-year-old boy should be hers forever.
“Every kid deserves to have a family and a home"....

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Posted on: November 23, 2015

Greensburg rally spotlights plight of homeless

Kevin Hickok said he left the makeshift tent that's been his home for the past three months and walked alone to a nearby bar outside Greensburg on a rainy Thursday afternoon to drink a toast to his 62nd birthday.

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Posted on: November 23, 2015

2016 Speaker Series "Future Planning for Special Needs"

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All Sessions will be held from 9:00-11:00am
at ACHIEVA 711 Bingham Street Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Light Breakfast Provided.

RSVP: 412-995-5000 ext. 589 or rtyers@achieva.info

Friday, January 15, 2016 - Special Needs Trusts & Able Act Accounts
...Read on...

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Posted on: November 19, 2015

National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week

Westmoreland County is recognizing the less fortunate among us

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Posted on: November 19, 2015

St. Vincent College's Bearcat BEST program eases disabled students' transition

Nick Popovich, a member of the equestrian club at St. Vincent College, enjoys interacting with other students on the Unity campus as a part of the Bearcat BEST program.

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Posted on: November 19, 2015

New Kensington, East Vandergrift, Avonmore senior centers to reopen

Three of eight Westmoreland County senior citizens centers that closed their doors on Monday because of the state budget impasse will reopen next week, in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

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Posted on: November 16, 2015

Some Westmoreland County senior centers to close amid state budget impasse Read more: http://tribli

The majority of Westmoreland County's 13 senior citizen centers will shut their doors Monday and stay closed for a while because of the state budget impasse, officials said Friday.

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Posted on: November 3, 2015

Assistance available for winter heating bills

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf joined other officials Monday to announce the start of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and explain the application process for the 2015-16 season.

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Posted on: October 30, 2015

LIHEAP opens Nov. 2 to help low-income families pay their heating bills

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he Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, helps low-income families pay their heating bills. LIHEAP is a grant that offers assistance in the form of a cash grant, sent directly to the utility company, or a crisis grant for househ...Read on...

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Posted on: October 27, 2015

Natrona Catholic Daughters, Salvation Army team up to combat hunger Read more: http://triblive.com/

Mary Ann Debor was overwhelmed the first time she went to the Salvation Army Allegheny Valley to drop off a donation from the Natrona Catholic Daughters of America for the Love in a Backpack program.

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Posted on: October 26, 2015

Pediatricians aim to help at-risk kids get enough food

In the United States last year, 15 million children had limited access to adequate food because of a lack of money and other resources. Alarmed by that fact, the nation’s pediatricians plan to take action.

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Posted on: October 26, 2015

Study reinforces avoiding alcohol while pregnant

Complete avoidance of alcohol during pregnancy is necessary to prevent alcohol-related birth defects, including intellectual disabilities in children.

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Posted on: October 20, 2015

Amid budget crisis, lawmakers voice concern for human service programs, agencies

By Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — With no budget deal in sight, a group of House Republicans called Monday for Pennsylvania to restart funding for domestic violence programs, cancer screening and other areas...

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Posted on: October 20, 2015

Pennsylvania human services stretching every cent as budget crisis drags on

HARRISBURG — With no approved state budget and many human service providers having gone without payments for months, Family Services of Western Pennsylvania is working on its second line of credit and is “squeaking by”...

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Posted on: October 13, 2015

TODAY: Public can learn about Narcan use during training in New Kensington Read more: http://tribli

The area's first local training for the general public on how to administer the heroin overdose medication Narcan will be held Tuesday in New Kensington.

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Posted on: October 6, 2015

Pittsburgh businesses learning to deal with customers struggling with dementia

By Sophie Wodzak

With Pittsburgh ranked the second most senior region in the U.S., a significant portion of the population is likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, according to William E. Klunk...

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Posted on: October 6, 2015

PREP Training for those who work with housing clients scheduled for Nov. 9th in Greensburg

PREP Training, a FREE Train the Trainer Program, is designed for professionals that are assisting clients with housing related issues. The training offers an overview of the PREP curriculum and highlights key aspects to the program. PREP explains what ren...Read on...

Posted on: September 28, 2015

Delmont couple's 'Hugs' to aid military, their families

Michael and Jenn Mason's family tree includes numerous branches of the military — siblings, parents and grandparents have served or are on active duty.

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Posted on: September 28, 2015

Residents given samples of overdose antidote at Derry training session

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BY NICK CAMMUSO Latrobe Bulletin Staff Writer

A group of area residents now have a lifeline to ward off the effects of a drug overdose.

On Wednesday at Derry Area High School, about 30 naloxone kits were given out to community members during a t...Read on...

Posted on: September 28, 2015

Are you or is someone you know caring for a child with mental illness?

NAMI Basics is a six-session program designed for parents and other family caregivers of children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral difficulties. There is no cost to participants.

NAMI Basics helps parents and caregivers understand the il...Read on...

Posted on: September 23, 2015

Human Services Development Fund Request for Proposals available now

Westmoreland County's Human Services Department has released a Request for Proposals for services and programs to be funded by the Human Services Development Fund under the DHS Block Grant. Download information at http://www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/bids.asp...Read on...

Posted on: September 15, 2015

Pennsylvania sees rise in homeless students

By Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The number of homeless students attending public school in Pennsylvania increased by 18 percent between the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years — an increase more than double the national average of 8 percent.

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Posted on: September 14, 2015

“Addictions and Impact on Families” training offered October 2nd in Greensburg

Westmoreland County “Children’s Roundtable” In collaboration with the Westmoreland Bar Association presents the training opportunity: Addiction and the Impact on Families

WHEN: Friday, October 2, 2015, 11:30-1:30PM
WHERE: Westmoreland Bar Association ...Read on...

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Posted on: September 14, 2015

Advocates hope to harness power of social media to prevent teen suicides

Social media bullying has been blamed for suicides among teens and young adults, but now there’s a national effort afoot to use social media to prevent young people from taking their lives.

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Posted on: September 14, 2015

Reversal in 'War on Drugs': Treatment, not time

Roy Mellott walked home from his shift at McDonald's in Coraopolis, passing through a quaint downtown filled with shops, clean sidewalks and parking spaces available for a quarter per hour.

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Posted on: September 8, 2015

New homes for sale as part of $8M revitalization effort in Jeannette

Improvements on South Sixth Street are the latest projects to be completed in a multi-year revitalization effort in Jeannette.

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Posted on: September 8, 2015

Westmoreland nears beginning of its drug court

After a year of research, fundraising and planning, Westmoreland County is poised to begin its drug court program later this month as a means to help curb the addiction problem in the region.

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Posted on: September 8, 2015

OD antidote not catching on with many Westmoreland police departments Read more: http://triblive.co

Police officers in the region have used an opioid antidote to save at least a dozen lives since October, but only 18 percent of municipal departments in the state are carrying the medication that in minutes can revive a person who has overdosed.

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Posted on: September 8, 2015

September is FASD month

September is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness and Prevention Month! Here are some quick facts from Ohio’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Initiative.

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Posted on: September 3, 2015

Diversity report shows Westmoreland's strengths, weaknesses

A report on the challenge of diversity was released last week at the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County.

The report was compiled by Paige Community Coordinators, Westmoreland Community Action and Seton Hill University.

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Posted on: September 2, 2015

Residents concerned over cuts to Westmoreland County shared ride service

By Deana Carpenter
Several senior citizens who depend on Westmoreland County Transit Authority’s shared ride service said recent cuts to the program hurt.

They brought their concerns to an open house hosted by the authority last week...

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Posted on: September 2, 2015

Free training sessions to administer naloxone opioid antidote to begin in Derry

A group working to reduce the number of drug overdose deaths in Westmoreland County will put an antidote into the hands of addicts, their families and others community members for the first time.

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Posted on: September 1, 2015

Detaining juveniles charged as adults costs Westmoreland reimbursement money

Five teens charged with adult crimes who have been housed in Westmoreland County's 12-bed juvenile detention center during the past year will cost taxpayers more than $286,000, officials said

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Posted on: August 21, 2015

Naloxone training to be held in Derry on Sept. 23rd

Learn How to SAVE A LIFE!!
Naloxone (Narcan) and Overdose Prevention Training

FREE and Open to the Public

Derry Area High School Audion

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Training will include:• Ways to reduce the risk of an accident...Read on...

Posted on: August 18, 2015

Westmoreland County Transit Authority officials will discuss shared-ride program Read more: http://

The Westmoreland County Transit Authority will hold an open house Thursday to provide information about its struggling shared-ride program.

Agency officials will be on hand between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at authority headquarters...

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Posted on: August 17, 2015

Pa. police forces swamped with child abuse cases amid stricter reporting standards Read more: http:

Western Pennsylvania police departments are swamped with child abuse referrals but have no extra staff to investigate them, a result of changes to state laws prompted by the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

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Posted on: August 14, 2015

Excela signs lease pact for detox facility at Frick Hospital Read more: http://triblive.com/news/we

An area of Westmoreland County targeted for prevention of drug and alcohol abuse is set to gain a facility devoted to treatment of those afflicted by such problems.

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Posted on: August 14, 2015

Excela signs lease pact for detox facility at Frick Hospital Read more: http://triblive.com/news/we

An area of Westmoreland County targeted for prevention of drug and alcohol abuse is set to gain a facility devoted to treatment of those afflicted by such problems.

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Posted on: August 12, 2015

Westmoreland County libraries help inmates keep in touch with loved ones

Warden John Walton had a problem.
He was fielding complaints about a new video visitation program for inmates at the Westmoreland County jail that cut back on in-person visits. And fewer people than he anticipated were ponying up...

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Posted on: August 10, 2015

Avonmore police chief 1st in Westmoreland Co. to save life with Narcan

Avonmore police Chief Jim Shaffer knew there was little left for him to do when he went to a mobile home Thursday night on receiving a call about an unconscious man in a bathtub.

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Posted on: August 7, 2015

Big Brothers, Big Sisters session at Jeannette McKee

A little more than 25 percent of third-graders in the Jeannette School District are reading at a level below proficient, according to the state Department of Education “reach and risk” data

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Posted on: August 5, 2015

Adaptive bikes, trikes add to Westmoreland kids' mobility

Lindsay Klein relished the expression of joy on her son Ethan's face after he got to ride a new tricycle for the first time.
“This smile was different,” she said. “He felt proud and happy and excited.”

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Posted on: August 3, 2015

Federal government to make inmates eligible for Pell grants

The U.S. Department of Education today announced a pilot program that will restore educational opportunities to prisoners after they are released from incarceration.

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Posted on: July 31, 2015

High-rise medical visits aimed at curbing 911 calls in New Kensington Read more: http://triblive.co

Dozens of Citizens Plaza residents interacted with New Kensington Ambulance and Allegheny Valley Hospital staff Wednesday, but no medical emergencies were involved.

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Posted on: July 30, 2015

Child abuse reporting up; thousands of children remain at risk in Pennsylvania

A record number of child abuse reports were made in Pennsylvania in 2014, new state statistics show, but a disturbingly high number of children remain vulnerable despite efforts to improve the investigation of abuse allegations.

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Posted on: July 29, 2015

Unity zoning hearing board OKs addition to Adelphoi home

The Unity zoning hearing board on Tuesday approved a variance to allow Adelphoi USA to expand one of its homes for delinquent youths.

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Posted on: July 29, 2015

Youngwood playground found to be in violation of disability act again

Youngwood council has agreed to consider buying a specially designed swing and other items for the new community playground in hopes of satisfying a state regulatory agency.

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Posted on: July 28, 2015

Mobile office allows Veterans Affairs to extend reach

With over 34,000 veterans residing in Westmoreland County and just four full-time employees in the county's Veterans Affairs department, servicing all the veterans has been a difficult task.

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Posted on: July 27, 2015

The ADA at 25: Pittsburgh-area disabled adults say act made difference in their lives

For the teenagers and 20-somethings born after its passage, the Americans with Disabilities Act has ensured access to the necessary accommodations for most of their lives. Still, young disability advocacy leaders stressed the need for further progress...Read on...

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Posted on: July 27, 2015

Westmoreland County disability act celebration a time of reflection

Local officials and members of the community aren't satisfied with Westmoreland County's efforts to help the disabled, they said Friday at an event to celebrate the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Posted on: July 27, 2015

Wolf says social service providers may have to borrow money

By Marc Levy
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Wolf acknowledged today that nonprofit social services providers may have to borrow money during the state budget stalemate, but he said they should share his broader goal of doing the right thing for Pennsylvania.

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Posted on: July 24, 2015

Social service agencies should push to protect state funding during budget impasse

By Jon Schmitz / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A former longtime state legislator urged local human services providers on Thursday to use the state’s budget impasse as an opportunity to push for lasting improvements in the funding of such services.

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Posted on: July 22, 2015

NAMI has a new home on the web

NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Health) of Southwestern PA has a new website: http://www.namiswpa.org/

Established in 1983, NAMI Southwestern Pennsylvania is a 501(c)3 grassroots, non-profit organization that provides support, education and advocac...Read on...

Posted on: July 22, 2015

Multi-faceted treatment urged for drug addicts

By Kari Andren

Heroin addiction treatment needs to include more than just medication or short-term in-patient rehabilitative care, drug treatment experts and Ohio officials told Pennsylvania lawmakers Tuesday.

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Posted on: July 20, 2015

Public Hearing July 21st on Opioid Addiction at Fred Rogers Center in Latrobe

Public Hearings
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a legislative research agency for the Pennsylvania General Assembly, is sponsoring three public hearings this summer to continue its work in helping state government and communities address the heroin an...Read on...

Posted on: July 20, 2015

Mobile office aims to ensure Westmoreland veterans get their benefits

Officials are taking their show on the road to ensure Westmoreland County's 35,000 veterans have access to the benefits they've earned, according to county Veterans Affairs Director Matt Zamosky.

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Posted on: July 20, 2015

Reductions in Westmoreland shared-ride program defended

As complaints continue to roll in about planned service cuts to the Westmoreland County Transit Authority shared-ride program, officials insist the changes are necessary to keep the financially struggling program solvent.

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Posted on: July 20, 2015

Social changes making adoption process tougher across Pennsylvania

By Joe Smydo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The number of adoptions in Allegheny County and statewide has been down in recent years amid shifting views of parenthood, changes in the child-welfare system and decreased availability of foreign children.

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Posted on: July 20, 2015

Service providers brace for lengthy Pennsylvania budget battle

By Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — As the Pennsylvania budget impasse wears on, human service providers are preparing to feel the pinch.

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Posted on: July 17, 2015

County helps elderly stay in their homes

More than 1,000 older residents in Westmoreland County each year get help to stay in their homes from personal care and health care aides through the county’s Area Agency on Aging.

Rosemarie Pavlik, 66, of New Kensington, is one of them.

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Posted on: July 16, 2015

Western Pa. officials push for life-saving heroin overdose medicine Read more: http://triblive.com/

Mike Fendya wasn't looking for notoriety last month when he became the first Washington County police officer to use naloxone to revive a person from a heroin overdose.

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Posted on: July 14, 2015

Majesty Care Clinic

FREE HEALTH CARE provided by MAJESTY CARE CLINIC…

WHO: Free health care for Westmoreland County residents ages 19-65 who do not have any health care insurance and who fall below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (see chart below).

WHERE:116 East Pit...Read more...

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Posted on: July 13, 2015

Westmoreland lockup to resume GED program

Inmates in the Westmoreland County Prison will get a chance to better themselves by taking their general educational development test while still behind bars.

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Posted on: July 13, 2015

Adults with autism to share housing with general population in Heidelberg complex

By Mark Roth / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
In what may be the first project of its kind in the nation, local developers are building an apartment complex that will house adults with autism alongside non-autistic residents.

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Posted on: July 10, 2015

Paratransit operations in Westmoreland County blasted by users

Vietnam War-era veteran Janice Russo of Greensburg undergoes testing on Fridays at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Oakland for breathing problems, but changes in Westmoreland Co. paratransit operations will eliminate trips to Pittsburgh on Fridays...Read on...

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Posted on: July 9, 2015

July Drug Overdose Task Force news

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Read updates from the Task Force committees and related news.

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Posted on: July 9, 2015

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections train prison staff to recognize mental illness

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has completed a training program for its 15,000 employees that focuses on mental illness and how to help people in crisis.

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Posted on: July 8, 2015

Westmoreland Area Agency on Aging lends support to caregivers Read more: http://triblive.com/neighb

It's been emotionally draining and heartbreaking for Peg Wiley to watch her husband slip into dementia...

Every month, she looks forward to one day in particular marked on her calendar — the second Wednesday.

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Posted on: July 6, 2015

Westmoreland County on pace to surpass record for drug-related fatalities

Drug-related deaths in Westmoreland County are up more than 47 percent in the first six months of the year and show no signs of slowing, according to Coroner Ken Bacha.

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Posted on: July 2, 2015

Mt. Pleasant-area sticks to campaign to curb underage drinking

As part of the Drug Free Communities grant funding awarded in December to the Westmoreland Drug & Alcohol Commission, the “Sticker Shock” program ensures labels warning parents about the legal repercussions of purchasing alcohol for minors.Read on...

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Posted on: July 2, 2015

Westmoreland, Allegheny United Way units complete merger

The region's two largest United Way organizations — the United Way of Westmoreland County and the United Way of Allegheny County — are now the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, following the completion Wednesday of a merger a year in the making.Read on...

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Posted on: July 2, 2015

Greensburg senior care center salutes veterans

As Independence Day draws near, a local senior care center honored its veterans.

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Posted on: July 2, 2015

Group takes veterans, seniors in WWII-era planes at Unity airport

Florence “Shutsy” Reynolds climbed into the front seat of a blue-and-yellow 1940 Boeing Stearman biplane Wednesday at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity, the same type of plane she flew 70 years ago in Sweetwater, Texas.Read on...

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Posted on: June 30, 2015

GET IN WESTMORELAND has moved

GET IN Westmoreland has moved. Please visit our new address and bookmark it: http://www.getinwestmoreland.info/

GET INformed about the overdose epidemic in our community, GET INvolved by taking action, and GET INvested to let your voice be heard.

...Read on...

Posted on: June 30, 2015

St. Vincent professor, students use interviews for drug addiction data

Eric Kocian is looking for answers.

With the backdrop of people dying from drug overdoses in record numbers throughout Westmoreland County, he wants those answers sooner, not later.

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Posted on: June 29, 2015

Alle-Kiski Valley seniors get free lift to doctor's office

Seniors and others who need transportation to a doctor or UPMC hospital will continue to have several options because of grant funding from the St. Margaret Foundation.

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Posted on: June 25, 2015

Cross-state trek to help veterans passes through Ligonier

Thistlethwaite, 68, a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam from August 1964 through October 1967, was one of 13 participants in the seven annual PA Hero Walk who paraded through downtown Ligonier.

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Posted on: June 24, 2015

Judge approves $1.7 million sale of former Ligonier Valley school

A Westmoreland County judge gave formal approval Tuesday to the $1.7 million sale of the defunct Laurel Valley Middle/High School to a firm with plans to lease the building for use as a drug and alcohol treatment center.

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Posted on: June 23, 2015

Drug overdoses surpass car accident deaths in Pennsylvania

By Hannah Schwarz / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pennsylvania is near the top of the national statistics for drug overdose deaths, but neighboring states West Virginia and Ohio are being hit even worse, according to a report released last week.

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Posted on: June 22, 2015

Westmoreland Transit Authority officials approve paratransit fare increase

In an effort to keep the Westmoreland Transit Authority's struggling paratransit system out of the red, officials approved a small fare increase for senior citizens and others who use the popular service.

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Posted on: June 18, 2015

Westmoreland, Allegheny United Ways to combine

Following a trend that has rippled through the nonprofit world, the United Way of Westmoreland County is merging with a larger agency — the United Way of Allegheny County.

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Posted on: June 17, 2015

Local hearing held on governor's long-term care plan

State officials preparing to embark on a major shift in how long-term care services are delivered to needy older and disabled adults in Pennsylvania received a series of cautions at a packed public hearing this week.

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Posted on: June 17, 2015

Murphy’s bill to overhaul mental health system stirs debate

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy’s sweeping mental health overhaul got a hearing Tuesday in Washington, where lawmakers weighed privacy interests against the interest in providing crucial information to caregivers.

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Posted on: June 17, 2015

First state troopers use anti-overdose drug naloxone to revive an unconscious man

For the first time since Gov. Tom Wolf announced in April that state troopers would begin carrying the anti-overdose drug naloxone, a trooper from the Uniontown station successfully administered a dose Friday to an unresponsive man.Read on...

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Posted on: June 12, 2015

Governor Wolf Announces Fee Waivers for Volunteers Seeking Background Checks

Governor Wolf Announces Fee Waivers for Volunteers Seeking Background Checks

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Posted on: June 8, 2015

Seniors worry about the future of Westmoreland Transit's shared ride program

Marionne Croake is a firm believer in the Westmoreland County Transit Authority's shared ride program but worries about its future.

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Posted on: June 1, 2015

Cyber schools would have to check truancy under Pennsylvania bill

What began as a conversation between two local children’s advocates recently made its way to the state House of Representatives in the form of a bill to address truancy in charter and cyber charter schools.

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Posted on: May 29, 2015

Westmoreland County drug court could start late this summer

After more than a year of preparations, a Westmoreland County drug treatment program could start in late summer. It would admit criminal defendants who are struggling with drug addiction.

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Posted on: May 28, 2015

Westmoreland County Transit Authority to consider raising bus fare rate for paratransit participants

Fares for senior and handicapped riders of the Westmoreland County Transit Authority paratransit system likely will increase this summer.

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Posted on: May 22, 2015

Pa. Department of Corrections names new mental health advocate for offenders

Lynn Patrone will head up the Pennsylvania Department of Correction's newly-created Office of Mental Health Advocate in an effort to ensure offenders are getting the treatment they need in and out of prison.

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Posted on: May 22, 2015

Senior housing proposal in Westmoreland County turned down again

A Westmoreland County Housing Authority plan to build a low-income senior citizen apartment complex was dealt a blow this week when the $11 million project was rejected for funding for the second time.

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Posted on: May 22, 2015

Youngwood veteran officially joins the Class of 1945

In 1944, Walko decided to leave what was then Youngwood High School to join the Navy during World War II and never finished his senior year, according to his family members.

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Posted on: May 22, 2015

Westmoreland County Blind Association building brimming with activity

The plain tan-colored building with the giant American flag along Main Street in Greensburg belies the hive of activity inside, where the chatter from 125 Westmoreland County Blind Association workers is constant and the mood is cheerful. Read on...

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Posted on: May 20, 2015

Need a car to get to work?

Reliable transportation is essential for working individuals and families, but the cost of purchasing or repairing a vehicle can be a challenge for those with less than perfect credit. The PA Ways to Work program is a partnership between Westmoreland Com...Read on...

Posted on: May 14, 2015

Depression Can Double Risk for Stroke—Even When It’s Treated

May is Mental Health Month.
Find screening tools for depression and other conditions: Mental Health America and Depression-Stroke RiskRead on...

Posted on: May 11, 2015

Updated: Special needs children receive the gift of freedom in Greensburg event

Variety the Children's Charity

Variety the Children's Charity provides adaptive bikes individually customized to eligible children with disabilities. More information and Bike Application.

In addition to bikes, they also provide communication devices (i.e. an iPad) to eligible children with a communication disorder to give them a voice at all times. Their “My Voice” program enables children to express their thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs. More information

Variety also has a limited number of funds for a pilot program to provide kids with disabilities an adaptive stroller (i.e. Kid Kart Mighty Lite). More information

For more information on any of these programs, please call:
Shayna MacCleary, Programs and Special Events Manager at Variety (724) 933-0460 Read on...

Read related Tribune-Review article
Posted on: May 8, 2015

DOTF Advocacy Committee Candidate Survey Responses available now

The Drug Overdose Task Force has released the responses to our candidates' survey. Go to getinwestmoreland.org/informed/ and click on the Candidate Survey graphic.

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Posted on: May 4, 2015

Saving Lives with Naloxone: A Conversation with Gary Tennis

Pennsylvanians are enduring the worst epidemic of fatal overdoses in our commonwealths' history. In 2011, nearly 2,400 Pennsylvanians died of drug overdose, and we know overdoses have gone up since then…..

By Pennsylvania’s Director of Drug and Alcoho...Read on...

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Posted on: April 28, 2015

2nd Annual Mental Health Awareness Fair at Westmoreland Mall

Mental Health America

Celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month will include free screenings, giveaways, resources

Greensburg, Pa. -- Over 20 local human service organizations will come together on Saturday, May 16 for the 2nd Annual Mental Health Awareness Fa...Read on...

Posted on: April 27, 2015

Wolf administration to begin reorganizing Medicaid plans

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration plans to begin transferring more than a million adult Medicaid enrollees into a single, new benefits program that it touts as a more efficient and effective way of providing health care for the poor, disabled and elderly.
...Read on...

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Posted on: April 17, 2015

Westmoreland task force hopes to raise money for overdose antidote

The Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force, through its project called Get In Westmoreland, wants to raise $40,000 to help pay for and distribute a drug that can prevent overdose deaths.

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Posted on: April 17, 2015

Latrobe pharmacy will offer overdose antidote

A Latrobe pharmacy is the first in Westmoreland County to offer a drug that can counter the lethal effects of an overdose of heroin, painkillers or other opioids to anyone who walks in the door

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Posted on: April 16, 2015

Life Skills program brings dynamic atmosphere to Mt. Pleasant Area

The Life Skills curriculum provides differentiated instructing for each student, focusing on improving students' academic and vocational capabilities, Bradley said.

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Posted on: April 7, 2015

Penn Middle school student wants to steer bikes to disadvantaged kids

As a service project to help celebrate his bar mitzvah, the Penn Middle School seventh-grader is organizing a bicycle drive next week so that idle rides can hit the streets again.

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Posted on: April 7, 2015

Food drive natural fit for Boy Scouts in Western Pa.

For more than 10,000 Boy Scouts in Western Pennsylvania, Easter weekend kicks off a month of “scouting” for hundreds of thousands of pounds of food

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Posted on: March 30, 2015

Serving the hungry 'a calling,' say Jeannette volunteers

The Westmoreland County Food Bank operates a food pantry at Grace United Church of Christ on Second Street in Jeannette, which distributes food to residents in need the second Tuesday of every month.

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Posted on: March 30, 2015

Trafford Middle School program talks about cyber bullying

When Philip Little of the state Attorney General's Office talks with students in the region about cyberbullying, he tells them about a startling statistic backed by several studies.

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Posted on: March 30, 2015

Westmoreland County Transit Authority to buy 12 minibuses

The Westmoreland County Transit Authority will purchase 12 vehicles to help correct inefficiencies that have plagued the agency's paratransit program since its takeover nearly two years ago.

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Posted on: March 23, 2015

Community Care Naloxone Conference

Community Care Naloxone Conference

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 | 8:00 am–12:00 pm

Marriott City Center, 112 Washington Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Program Description & Educational Objectives:
Sponsored by Community Care Behavioral Health Organizati...Read on...

Register here...
Posted on: March 13, 2015

Laurel: To fighting drug overdoses.

Greensburg Laurels & Lances

By The Tribune-Review
Thursday, March 12, 2015, 8:55 p.m.Updated 12 hours ago

Laurel: To fighting drug overdoses. The anonymous $9,000 donation to the Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force underscores a key c...Read on...

Posted on: March 12, 2015

Westmoreland County's juvenile detention center affected by teens charged as adults

Behind the walls of the Regional Youth Services Center in Hempfield are three teens charged as adults in high-profile, violent crimes who can't be housed in adult prisons because of a federal law that took effect in 2012

Read on...

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Posted on: March 10, 2015

DMVA Announces Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Recipients

Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) has selected 12 Pennsylvania County Directors of Veterans Affairs Offices to receive $99,840 in grants from the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF).

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Posted on: March 9, 2015

Pitt School of Pharmacy develops website to track overdoses

As a drug overdose epidemic rages in Pennsylvania, a website developed by the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy will help track in real time how counties compare in death rates.

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Posted on: March 6, 2015

Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force gets $9K to buy heroin antidote

(Update: the DOTF learned that this donation will actually total $10,000)

An anonymous donation to the Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force could put an antidote for heroin into the hands of emergency responders and community members.

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Posted on: March 6, 2015

Ligonier-based group sponsors rafting adventures to help ease veterans' anxiety

His thirst for adventure and exploration gone, the Army veteran struggled with deep anxiety and depression.

“I've always been active, and then with these conditions, I shied away from being who I was,” Mike Busovicki, 36, of Canonsburg said.

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Posted on: February 27, 2015

Dirk Matson, the HS Department Director, speaks on Human Services!

Tay Waltenbaugh and Dirk Matson

Tune-in to WCNS 1480, February 28th at 8:00am;
Our very own Dirk Matson, director of the Westmoreland County Human Services Department makes a guest appearance on Tay Waltenbaugh's, C.E.O. of Westmoreland Community Action, radio show. Human Services ...Read on...

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Posted on: February 27, 2015

Jeannette's new housing project enters final phase

For this project, Reitz worked with city, county and state funding and officials in addition to Westmoreland Community Action and Homes Build Hope, nonprofits in Westmoreland County.

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Posted on: February 20, 2015

'Food 2 Go 4 Kids' helps Ligonier Valley students in need

A program designed to provide Ligonier Valley children in need with food on the weekends is thriving, but organizers need ongoing funding to sustain it.

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Posted on: February 10, 2015

As expected, fatal overdoses in Westmoreland set record

Forensic toxicology tests confirmed a statistic Coroner Ken Bacha dreaded but anticipated: Westmoreland County set a new record in drug overdose deaths in 2014.

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Posted on: February 6, 2015

Office to serve Mt. Pleasant's drug and alcohol battle

The recently announced plan by the Westmoreland Drug & Alcohol Commission Inc., to use federal funding to finance drug and alcohol education and awareness in Mt. Pleasant and surrounding communities is materializing.

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Posted on: February 6, 2015

Strengthening Families program begins in Jeannette

Jeannette School District is once again partnering with Penn State Extension to offer the Strengthening Families Program.

The program is for parents and youth, ages 10 through 14, and is geared toward helping families navigate the challenges....

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Posted on: February 3, 2015

A Super Bowl ad took on the nation’s heroin problem, this drug could do more; Washington Post op-ed

St. Louis-area Superbowl viewers used to amusing television commercials hawking the latest products were rattled out of complacency by a public service announcement about drug overdose.

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Posted on: February 3, 2015

Strengthening Families Program aims to help middle schoolers and their parents

In the Greensburg home of Lynna Thomas, the refrigerator door is covered with magnets displaying family photos, vacation souvenirs and fun, quirky images like the creature Gollum from “The Hobbit.”

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Posted on: January 29, 2015

Jeannette Salvation Army looks for advisory board and women's auxiliary members

We are looking for professional people, small business owners, and local corporate representatives to serve on our Advisory Board of Directors- people (who) are interested in Jeannette and ways that they can help the community,” said Maj. Kathleen Waddell...Read on...

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Posted on: January 27, 2015

Veterans Court in session in Westmoreland for first time

I'm just tickled to death the program is finally starting to move,” Judge David Regoli said of the program that requires participants to receive counseling, social services and meet other conditions set by the judge.

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Posted on: January 23, 2015

Jobs added to address increase in abuse cases

Five caseworkers will be hired to help a staff of 50 handle the rising number of cases of abused and neglected children investigated by the Westmoreland County Children's Bureau, officials said Thursday.

View Tribune-Review article
Posted on: January 23, 2015

Faith in Action looks to help Jeannette seniors

Faith in Action, a United Way of Westmoreland program, is looking to get a foothold in Jeannette.

Faith in Action is a volunteer program that helps senior citizens with specific everyday tasks that may have become difficult for them.

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Posted on: January 22, 2015

Westmoreland County seeks to create drug court

Westmoreland County officials are working to begin a drug court to help those who are addicted.

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Posted on: January 20, 2015

PA Hero Walk provides car for Navy vet in need

Pulice said that in the six years since he founded PA Hero Walk, more than $1 million has been raised to help Pennsylvania veterans. The organization sponsors a walk for two weeks in June that runs from Philadelphia to Murrysville, Pulice's hometown. Read on...

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Posted on: January 20, 2015

Unity man to appear in 'Broken Skull Challenge' reality TV competition

Reese, 21, has turned his energy from drugs and alcohol to physical fitness, and that has carried him all the way to Hollywood.

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Posted on: January 20, 2015

Westmoreland to tally homeless population

Homelessness persists in Westmoreland County, although it's not an obvious, visible problem, said Union Mission director Dan Carney.

“It isn't as seen as you would in a traditional city,” Carney said. “It's a little bit more hidden...

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Posted on: January 15, 2015

Problems reported with enrollment in state's Healthy PA program

HARRISBURG — From confusion about benefits to backlogs and busy signals at county assistance offices, there are some glitches with enrollment in Healthy PA, Gov. Tom Corbett’s alternative to a traditional Medicaid expansion, advocacy groups say.

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Posted on: January 12, 2015

KeepKidsSafe.pa.gov launched

During the previous legislative session, the House passed a comprehensive package of legislation designed to update Pennsylvania’s child protection laws. These laws took effect on Dec. 31, 2014.

To help keep the public up to date on these changes, the...Read on...

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Posted on: January 12, 2015

Medicare Aims to Improve Coordinating Seniors' Chronic Care

WASHINGTON — Adjusting medications before someone gets sick enough to visit the doctor. Updating outside specialists so one doctor's prescription doesn't interfere with another's.

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Posted on: January 9, 2015

Drugs called 'scourge' in Westmoreland County's bright future

Westmoreland County has a bright future in terms of economic development, job growth, a better trained workforce and improved education opportunities, but the cloud overhead is the “scourge” of drug abuse, addiction and drug-fueled crimes...

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Posted on: January 9, 2015

Pennsylvania prison system develops separate housing for mentally ill inmates

Inmates with serious mental illnesses will no longer be locked in cells all day, under new policies outlined Monday by state prison officials.

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Posted on: January 8, 2015

Union Mission in Latrobe extends holiday spirit of giving through year

What started as an act of Christmas giving to the Union Mission in Latrobe now stretches throughout the year for a group of families in the area.

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Posted on: January 7, 2015

Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign reaches goal

Last-minute generosity pushed Westmoreland County's struggling Salvation Army centers over their fundraising goal in the final days of their Red Kettle Campaign.

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Posted on: January 7, 2015

Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign reaches goal

Last-minute generosity pushed Westmoreland County's struggling Salvation Army centers over their fundraising goal in the final days of their Red Kettle Campaign.

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Posted on: January 2, 2015

Stricter child abuse laws go into effect in Pennsylvania

Child care advocates hope a major package of child abuse laws that took effect this week will prevent more children at risk from slipping through the cracks.

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Posted on: January 2, 2015

Federal funding to aid Mt. Pleasant area drug and alcohol battle

Federal grant funding recently awarded to the Westmoreland Drug & Alcohol Commission, Inc., will be used to finance a series of programs and projects aimed at enhancing drug and alcohol education and awareness specifically in Mt. Pleasant...

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Posted on: January 2, 2015

Pennsylvania enacts modernized child abuse laws after Sandusky scandal

If a shaken baby is taken to a Pennsylvania hospital and doctors and police can't figure out who shook the child, it might not get reported as child abuse.

If a teacher, child care provider or nurse is told of sexual abuse, he or she tells a superior,...Read on...

Posted on: December 30, 2014

Painkiller Abuse, a Cyclical Challenge

Even as the Food and Drug Administration approves new, powerful opioid-based painkillers, the United States is in the midst of an epidemic of opioid overuse. This is not the first time.

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Posted on: December 29, 2014

State survey finds more than 23,000 households in Pa. without heat

HARRISBURG — An annual survey that the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission released last week shows more households entering the winter months without heat than at the same time last year.

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Posted on: December 29, 2014

Through adoption, Hempfield family merrier with more

A Christmas morning with excited boys tearing into their toys — that's expected at the Buylla family's Hempfield home.

That scenario isn't so different from any other day at home, where dinosaur toys eat each other and washable marker ends up...

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Posted on: December 29, 2014

Westmoreland County heroin overdose deaths jump; easy access, low cost blamed

Westmoreland County is expected to end 2014 with a record number of heroin overdose deaths, according to the coroner's office.

The total number of fatal drug overdoses could reach 88 or more, surpassing the 2013 record of 86, officials said.

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Posted on: December 29, 2014

Westmoreland Veterans Affairs provides rides with van program

When Air Force veteran Daryl Radaker didn't have a way to get to his doctor's appointments in Pittsburgh, he turned to the Westmoreland County Veteran's Affairs Office for help.

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Posted on: December 22, 2014

United Way surplus funds benefit 9 nonprofits in Westmoreland County

United Way of Westmoreland County used a leftover $50,000 to establish a one-time grant fund benefiting nine nonprofits.

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Posted on: December 19, 2014

Greenburg service groups exemplify the season of giving

'Tis the season for giving as two Greensburg service organizations are contributing time and money to help police officers and injured veterans for the holidays.

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Posted on: December 19, 2014

Fellow veterans come to aid of Jeannette Air Force amputee

Jeannette resident Jim O'Donnell is receiving the gift of home remodeling thanks to other area veterans and city residents.

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Posted on: December 19, 2014

Catholic Diocese of Greensburg bestows $30K to combat poverty

The Catholic Diocese of Greensburg has awarded $30,000 in grants to three agencies that help people in need with beds for children, food and assistance with heating and other utilities.

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Posted on: December 18, 2014

Mt. Pleasant student wins Red Ribbon Photo Contest

Ramsay Elementary School sixth-grader Nathan Kubasky, 12, recently earned $1,000 for his school when he was selected as one of 11 winners of the 2014 National Red Ribbon Photo Contest.

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Posted on: December 16, 2014

Mt. Pleasant Area considering sports program for special-needs students

Mt. Pleasant Area School District is hoping to soon partner with the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit and three other area school districts to provide a “Unified Sports Program” for students through Special Olympics Pennsylvania.Read on...

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Posted on: December 16, 2014

Shop with a cop helps Westmoreland County children in 'unfortunate circumstances'

Officers from Smithton, Charleroi and California University of Pennsylvania, and state police teamed up with 19 local children, each allotted $150 in spending money.

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Posted on: December 15, 2014

Rostraver Food Pantry continues to meet need

Over the years, the need has not wavered, but grown, notes Rostraver Food Pantry coordinator Richard Currie

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Posted on: December 15, 2014

Turkey Cup Challenge nets nearly $34k for Westmoreland County Food Bank

Schools across the county held their own events, opting how and when to raise the funds, with the proceeds going to the Westmoreland County Food Bank to purchase holiday turkeys.

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Posted on: December 15, 2014

Latrobe man smashes record for charity shopping spree

Grocery shoppers don't often receive shouted encouragement from cheerleaders. They don't usually race through the aisles to fill their carts with as much stuff for charity as they can grab in three minutes.

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Posted on: December 11, 2014

Less mental illness among southerners, less access to treatment, too

You'd expect the socially progressive states of the Northeast and Midwest to score well in a new state-by-state ranking of mental health services, and indeed, by some measures they do.

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Posted on: December 11, 2014

Westmoreland County sheriff deputies to carry anti-overdose medicines

Westmoreland County sheriff deputies will begin carrying medicine that can help to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.

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Posted on: December 9, 2014

Effort afoot to streamline veterans' access to aide in western Pa.

A major effort involving more than 30 charitable nonprofits, private companies and public entities is under way to overhaul the way veterans and their families find resources in a 12-county region of Western Pennsylvania.

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Posted on: December 8, 2014

$40K awarded to social service nonprofits in Westmoreland, Fayette counties

The $5,000 grant the Christian Layman Corps received Friday will “get 15 kids off the floor” and into beds of their own, said Curtis Hoffman, president of the Greensburg nonprofit.

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Posted on: December 4, 2014

Public input will be sought on sale of Ligonier school

The Ligonier Valley school board will ask for community feedback on the potential sale of Laurel Valley Middle High School for $1.75 million.

The potential purchaser wants to use the facility, which is next door to Laurel Valley Elementary School, as ...Read on...

Posted on: December 4, 2014

Westmoreland Officials learn of lauded drug life saving Project Lazarus

Alarmed by the growing toll of drug overdose deaths, officials in Westmoreland County are looking south, to a North Carolina county known for moonshine and as the birthplace of NASCAR, for a solution to the problem.

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Posted on: December 1, 2014

Laurel Valley's Kids Korner provides clothing for families in need

A year has passed since the Ligonier Valley School District Foundation started its Kidz Kare Fund in an effort to help students whose basic needs were not being met.

Its latest undertaking is going beyond its initial mission of helping children...

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Posted on: December 1, 2014

Families welcome new members on Adoption Day in Westmoreland County

Nia Pearce ran around a Westmoreland County courtroom Wednesday as Judge Chris Scherer finalized her adoption.

Moments before, the 2-year-old had been sitting attentively on the lap of Amber Pearce, her adoptive mother.

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Posted on: November 25, 2014

Saltsburg grad developing app to help addicts with recovery

When IUP senior Ryan Brannon saw his friends and classmates slip from experimental drug use to drug abuse and addiction, he recognized a need for a drug addiction recovery resource targeted toward people of his own generation.

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Posted on: November 25, 2014

Clelian Heights parents rally to keep program put in jeopardy by new federal rule

Parents of adult children with intellectual or developmental disabilities said Monday they should be free to choose the best work placements for their children, and they worry a new federal rule will limit the options available.

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Posted on: November 25, 2014

Pennsylvania human services agency gets new name

HARRISBURG — The Department is Public Welfare is gone in Pennsylvania.

As of Monday, it is now the Department of Human Services, under a state law signed two months ago by Gov. Tom Corbett.

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Posted on: November 24, 2014

Builder finds calling as chaplain at Westmoreland jail

To most people, perhaps, those who are serving time at Westmoreland County jail are inmates. To Chaplain Jim Badamo, they are his parishioners.

“I've probably seen more lives changed in the prison in a week than you would in a normal church..."

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Posted on: November 24, 2014

Westmoreland, Fayette groups open doors to share Thanksgiving meals

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time of giving thanks and enjoying a great meal, and several area organizations are once again making sure that everyone who wishes can have a home-cooked turkey dinner

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Posted on: November 24, 2014

Blairsville parishioner reaches out to help care for the vulnerable

DOM-Care.jpg

BLAIRSVILLE--Helen Clevenger and her husband had made plans to open their farm as a home for special needs adults. When Clevenger suddenly found herself a widow, she persevered with the plan anyway.

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Posted on: November 20, 2014

Students learn risks of digital lives at middle school presentation in Hempfield

When the eyes of middle-schoolers get big, Philip Little knows he's getting through to them.

The education and outreach specialist with the state attorney general's office routinely informs students of the dangers that lurk online...

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Posted on: November 20, 2014

Tartal's, Salvation Army to host free Thanksgiving dinner

Tartal's Restaurant and the Salvation Army are hosting a free Thanksgiving dinner from 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 27 at Tartal's Restaurant, 123 Pittsburgh St., Scottdale. Please register by calling 724-887-5451.

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Posted on: November 20, 2014

Two groups yet again hosting free Thanksgiving meals in Latrobe

With the tradition of giving thanks each year comes the tradition of giving back for two local groups hosting free dinners on Thanksgiving Day.

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Posted on: November 18, 2014

Westmoreland County Warden wants X-ray machine to find drugs.

The warden told members of the county prison board Monday that a growing number of inmates are using drugs and tobacco, even though they are confined behind bars and, in theory, unable to get their hands on contraband.

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Posted on: November 14, 2014

Seminar will present success of drug death prevention project

The Drug Overdose Task Force of Westmoreland County will offer a free seminar on Project Lazarus, a public health nonprofit organization established in 2007 in response to extremely high mortality rates attributed to prescription medication...

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Posted on: November 14, 2014

Goodwill of Southwestern Pa. to expand volunteer program

Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania is looking to expand a volunteer program for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, noting that paid work is not the only way people can find satisfaction.

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Posted on: November 13, 2014

Murrysville Reality Tour takes families on dark journey of drug abuse

Ten years ago, concerned about her Butler community, Norma Norris left her job to start a drug awareness program. Today, that community-based program, The Reality Tour, is a nationally recognized one.

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Posted on: November 13, 2014

November is National Family Caregivers Month

CareComesHome_FINAL.jpg

From the President of the United States:
Each day, courageous individuals step forward to help care for family members in need, their quiet acts of selflessness and sacrifice telling a story of love and devotion. Across our country, parents and children,...Read on...

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Posted on: November 12, 2014

Drivers Sought for Westmoreland Veterans' Ride Program

The county program that provides free rides for Westmoreland County veterans who need to travel to medical appointments in Allegheny County is looking to expand.

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Posted on: November 5, 2014

Moms are key to baby’s learning language skills

Between birth and seven months of age, the average baby born into a two-parent household hears nearly three times as much babbling, cooing and sing-song questions-and-answers from a woman — generally the mother — than from a man, new research shows.

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Posted on: November 3, 2014

Seton Hill University Aims for Suicide Prevention

Seton Hill University students who visit the health office for a cough or some other minor malady might come away with lifesaving awareness.

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Posted on: October 28, 2014

Seton Hill University Implements Suicide Prevention Screening Program

October 28, 2014

Author: Jennifer Reeger

Seton Hill University is partnering with Westmoreland County and area mental health providers to implement a suicide prevention project that screens young people for risk behaviors for suicide.

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Posted on: October 28, 2014

Westmoreland County represented at Governor’s Mansion

Rich Gordon

Westmoreland County represented at Governor’s Mansion
October 28, 2014

Greensburg--Rich Gordon, Westmoreland County Juvenile Detention/Shelter Director, represented the Juvenile Detention Center and Alternative Programs (JDCAP) at the Intervention Res...Read on...

Posted on: October 24, 2014

$10K grants will help people purchase homes in Monessen

Westmoreland County commissioners will fund a program to give Monessen residents grants of up to $10,000 to help them purchase homes in the city. The grants are part of a strategy county and city officials devised last year ...

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Posted on: October 22, 2014

Unity rally aims to counter negativity of KKK message in '97

The demonstration in the shadow of the Westmoreland County Courthouse by the Ku Klux Klan on Aug. 16, 1997, caused a reaction that has spanned almost 20 years, and one whose irony has not escaped Carlotta Paige.

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Posted on: October 20, 2014

Generosity, new coats will keep foster children warm

Children who need the help of the Westmoreland County Children's Bureau were the focus of the Wine, Chocolate, Coats and Boots fundraiser for a second year in the Greensburg lobby of the First Commonwealth Bank.

“Donations are still coming in..."

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Posted on: October 16, 2014

Ligonier Valley school psychologist proposes mental health program

Ligonier Valley School District is looking into starting a mental health program at its high school.

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Posted on: October 16, 2014

Mt. Pleasant dinner proceeds to benefit "Shop for a Cop" program

In December, members of area police departments and other law enforcement agencies will again take part in the “Shop with a Cop” program, which teams children with officers for a day of gift searching and interaction.

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Posted on: October 16, 2014

Hunger Games ready to commence for Southmoreland, Mt. Pleasant students

I believe the ‘Hunger Challenge' is an important cause for school community because the donations are returned to needy families in Westmoreland County,” said Chris Fabian, National Honor Society advisor.

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Posted on: October 16, 2014

McKee 4th-graders get new opportunities this year

When students returned to class early this fall, there were lots of changes at McKee K-8 — not the least of which is the name change, there is no more formal elementary and middle school separation.

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Posted on: October 14, 2014

Ministry makes sure no one goes hungry

Wishing to reach out to those who may need a little assistance making ends meet each month, organizers of HIS Food Ministry now offers inexpensive food options to any family or individual in the area.

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Posted on: October 14, 2014

Westmoreland County Foodbank short 1,700 turkeys for holiday season

The head of the Westmoreland County Food Bank is appealing for donations of money and turkeys to make up for shortfalls during the upcoming holiday season.

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Posted on: October 8, 2014

Latrobe mother finds outlet for grief in Reality Tour

Mary Ann Musick wanted to do something to help families from suffering like she did when her son was addicted to heroin.

“I watched, and it destroyed his life, completely destroyed his life,” she said.

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Posted on: October 7, 2014

Senators: Widen Medicaid program for frail seniors

WASHINGTON — More than a dozen U.S. senators from both parties are calling on the Obama administration to broaden a Medicaid program for the nation’s frailest seniors, calling it a proven alternative to pricier nursing home care ...

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Posted on: October 1, 2014

Pittsburgh-area family shares autism story in film

Two men stand in a kitchen discussing how hectic it is to take their sons to sports practices. The camera zooms in on another man. He says nothing because he can’t join in the conversation. His two sons don’t have sports practices because...

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Posted on: September 29, 2014

Corbett announces funding for programs for at-risk students

Gov. Tom Corbett announced $23.1 million in state funding for social and artistic activities in high-poverty, low-performing schools on Monday, including nine in Western Pennsylvania.

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Posted on: September 29, 2014

No one way to fix Western PA's heroin problem, report says

Reducing heroin overdoses in Western Pennsylvania will require better education, better interventions, better treatments, better policing and better laws, an advisory group to U.S. Attorney David Hickton said in a 52-page report released Monday.

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Posted on: September 29, 2014

Mark your calendar for the November 7 Pennsylvania Parent Drug & Alcohol Forum in Hershey, PA

The Parent Panel Advisory Council, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, is hosting the 2014 Pennsylvania Parent Forum, a free, day-long informational event for parents.

Topics included in the event are signs a...Read on...

Posted on: September 26, 2014

Weekend event in Latrobe offers opportunity for adoptions

Life has been busy, but happy beyond words since Debbie and John Klinvex's son David came into their lives five years ago.

That's when the North Huntingdon couple adopted the now-13-year-old boy who loves football....

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Posted on: September 24, 2014

Gillen says state should 'keep kids at school and moms at home'

Reading Eagle
Tuesday September 23, 2014 12:01 AM By Dan Kelly
State Rep. Mark M. Gillen said Monday he used to be a corrections officer and doesn't believe it is an appropriate place for moms dealing with truant children. "I think we sh...Read on...

Posted on: September 24, 2014

PA Senate expected to pass medical marijuana bill

Legislation to permit the medical use of marijuana in Pennsylvania is poised to clear the state Senate, but movement is expected to slow -- perhaps to a halt -- if the measure reaches the House.

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Posted on: September 24, 2014

A County Answer to the Drug Epidemic

The Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force was established by the county commissioners to devise and implement a plan to reverse the trend and accomplish a 25 percent reduction in overdose deaths by 2019.

Prescription drugs are the driving force ...

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Posted on: September 24, 2014

Westmoreland County Testifies at the House Education Committee on Truancy

Dirk Matson, Shara Saveikis, and Ken Williams addressed the House of Education on September 22, 2014 to testify for truancy.

Read on to see their testimonies...
Posted on: September 23, 2014

Grant program targets 7 Westmoreland County towns

The foundation will forward $150,000 in revitalization grants for each of the next three years to groups in the county's seven Third Class cities — Arnold, Jeannette, Greensburg, Latrobe, Lower Burrell, Monessen and New Kensington. Read on...

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Posted on: September 16, 2014

Faces and Voices of Recovery and Young People in Recovery to Merge

YPR poster.jpg

Dear Friends of Recovery,
Faces & Voices of Recovery and Young People in Recovery (YPR) today announced that the Board of Directors of both organizations have approved plans to merge the two recovery community organizations. The merger, which will be for...Read on...

Posted on: September 16, 2014

Teen hangouts at home offer privacy for kids, piece of mind for parents

Lynn Cisneros' Chalfant house has become the happening headquarters for her teenage son's circle of friends, who flock to the home a few times a week to socialize, relax after school and just hang out together.

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Posted on: September 15, 2014

Jeannette JAYS after school program brings in needed dollars

JAYS is a community driven initiative with an advisory board is comprised of local residents and others interested in seeing Jeannette students succeed.

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Posted on: September 12, 2014

Standard Bank helps Feeding the Spirit at Greensburg church

Standard Charitable Foundation has awarded a $2,400 grant to Feeding the Spirit in Greensburg to help with weekly meals provided on Thursdays to more than 100 people in need.

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Posted on: September 10, 2014

Employers must focus on a person’s ability, not disability, Ridge says

Within the past year, the U.S. Department of Labor made a sweeping policy change that former Gov. Tom Ridge believes will make great strides to help people with disabilities to find jobs.

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Posted on: September 9, 2014

National Alliance on Mental Illness Family Support Groups

National Alliance on Mental Illness Family Support Groups meet:

7-8:30 p.m. on the second Monday of the month at the Salvation Army,
308 Schoonmaker Ave., Monessen;

7-9 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at West Hempfield Presbyterian Church...Read on...

Visit NAMI Southwestern PA website for more info..
Posted on: September 9, 2014

Mt. Pleasant Township woman aided by Jacob's Creek Area Faith in Action

Thanks to Jacobs Creek Area Faith in Action, a Mt. Pleasant Township woman not only is getting the help she needs, but she also found a friend.

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Posted on: September 8, 2014

Woman drives Hempfield event connecting those with illness, disabilities

Judith Huber's life was “moving along very smoothly” before she was diagnosed with Devic's disease, a type of multiple sclerosis, at age 29.

She was a teacher, raising two children in a century-old farmhouse...

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Posted on: September 8, 2014

One suicide every 40 seconds: World Health Organization report

Every 40 seconds someone in the world takes their own life, a global tally of more than 800,000 suicides a year, according to a landmark United Nations report on the subject.

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Posted on: September 4, 2014

Pitt School of Pharmacy Developing an Overdose Prevention Website


Contact: Anita Srikameswaran Phone: 412-578-9193
E-mail: SrikamAV@upmc.edu

Contact: Susan Manko Phone: 412-586-9771
E-mail: MankoSM@upmc.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pitt School of Pharmacy Developing an Overdose Prevention Website with Col...Read on...

Posted on: September 2, 2014

As suicide rates rise, awareness needs to follow

Lynn Patrone knows about suicide.

Both of her parents tried to kill themselves, and she has struggled with thoughts of killing herself — to the point of writing farewell letters to her three children.

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Posted on: September 2, 2014

Western PA districts aim to win back students from cyber charters

As scores of students flee traditional classrooms for the comfort of their keyboards at cyber charter schools, Western Pennsylvania school districts are building cyber academies in an attempt to keep those pupils...

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Posted on: August 25, 2014

Survey Finds Westmoreland County Food Bank Has Work To Do

In Westmoreland County, one in seven people, or an estimated 45,000 people, turn to the food bank for help. Nearly 9,900 children and 7,680 senior citizens are included in the number, officials said.

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Posted on: August 22, 2014

Pitcairn Police Departments First In W. PA to Carry Narcan For Heroin Overdoses

Pitcairn police will become the first department in Western Pennsylvania to be equipped to administer a potentially life-saving medication to heroin overdose victims, officials said.

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Posted on: August 18, 2014

NIMH Director’s Blog: Robin Williams

Once again a tragedy has mental illness in the news. Much has been written about the suicide of Robin Williams this week; print stories, television news, and social media have all covered the loss of an extraordinarily talented man.

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Posted on: August 13, 2014

Depression: A disease that conceals hope

Depression can mow down even the wealthiest, most creative people, and those with both mental illness and an addiction are especially vulnerable, mental health experts said Tuesday in the wake of comedian Robin Williams’ apparent suicide.

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Posted on: August 13, 2014

Finding the best Medicare option for your family

Many people hold off on retiring early because of health insurance costs. They believe that Medicare will take care of everything at 65. There are many things that Medicare does not cover.

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Posted on: August 11, 2014

Pennsylvania Receives $1.75 Million to Support Mental Health Services

Department of Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth today announced that seven Pennsylvania health centers will share $1.75 million in federal funding to establish or expand behavioral health services.

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Posted on: August 7, 2014

Upper St. Clair couple's Down syndrome advocacy a labor of love

Margie Kondrich was afraid to look at her baby.

In 2003, after giving birth to her daughter, Chloe, in a Pittsburgh hospital, the attending medical staff suddenly turned somber.

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Posted on: August 1, 2014

Feds Urged to Carry Naloxone Kits to Combat Heroin Overdoses

Federal law enforcement officials may soon be equipped with naloxone kits, a drug which reverses opioid and heroin overdose.

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Posted on: August 1, 2014

Yarn Brigade Envelops South Greensburg

An explosion of fabric and color drapes fences, concrete pillars, street lamp posts, trees and shrubs along Huff Avenue, a main artery connecting the borough's Broad Street with Route 119.

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Posted on: July 29, 2014

When the Caregivers Need Healing

“This has happened before,” she tells herself. “It’s nowhere near as bad as before, and it will pass.”
Robbie Pinter’s 21-year-old son, Nicholas, is upset again. He yells. He obsesses about something that can’t be changed..

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Posted on: July 28, 2014

Westmoreland celebrates Americans with Disabilities Act anniversary

The courtyard in front of the Westmoreland County Courthouse was packed on Friday with people gathered to celebrate the 24th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Posted on: July 23, 2014

Westmoreland County gets the word out about drug problem

Westmoreland officials have taken to the Internet to publicize the county's drug problem, which has resulted in 49 deaths so far this year.

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Posted on: July 22, 2014

Westmoreland County Prison to Start Video Visits

Video visits at Westmoreland County Prison are expected to begin sometime in August, Warden John Walton told the prison board on Monday.

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Posted on: July 18, 2014

Westmoreland County Transit Authority Chief Resigns

The longtime executive director of the Westmoreland County Transit Authority resigned on Thursday to take a job in the private sector.

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Posted on: July 16, 2014

Drug treatment center opens in Greensburg

A Pittsburgh drug treatment center, which prescribes Suboxone to treat drug addiction, has opened a clinic in Greensburg.

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Posted on: July 14, 2014

Plan helps doctors check painkiller use

Small white pills, packaged in bright orange canisters and marked with inscrutable labels -- Oxycontin, Vicodin -- have long been considered the answer to physical pain.

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Posted on: July 14, 2014

Drug court planned in Westmoreland County

A reorganization of Westmoreland County's Court of Common Pleas will pave the way for establishment of a drug court.

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Posted on: July 14, 2014

As suicides spike, new PA law to start prevention efforts in 6th grade

The world changed for Rita McWilliams on Nov. 20, 2012, when her daughter, Karla, committed suicide.

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Posted on: July 9, 2014

Hempfield's All Kids Theatre reaches out to special-needs, too.

Students listened to the hushed tones of “The Berenstain Bears Get Stage Fright” during story time at a summer camp session at Hempfield's All Kids Theater.

Later, they shook maracas and clacked rhythm sticks in a free-for-all band.

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Posted on: July 7, 2014

Video recording equipment played key role at abuse trial in Westmoreland County

By the time an 8-year-old girl took the stand to testify against the New Kensington man accused of assaulting her, three years had passed.

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Posted on: July 7, 2014

Special needs kids find a place to play in western PA through Miracle League

Daniel Lucas' mom showed him how to take a level swing in baseball as a boy. His dad taught him that playing catch isn't called, “Dad, go get it.”

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Posted on: July 7, 2014

Westmoreland Agency on Aging delivers summer service boxes

More than 700 senior citizens in Westmoreland County received “Summer Service Boxes” complete with drinks, snacks and gadgets to stay cool and beat the summer heat.

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Posted on: July 2, 2014

Painkiller prescription rates vary widely

Health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers in 2012, enough to give a bottle of the pills to every adult in the country.

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Posted on: July 2, 2014

Westmoreland drug deaths outpace 2013; record rate

Drug overdose deaths could set a record this year in Westmoreland County, where heroin has again surpassed prescription painkillers as the leading cause, Coroner Ken Bacha said.

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Posted on: July 1, 2014

Sandwich generation needs help with financial, family strains

People who become caregivers to parents while raising children need to know more about options available for help, residents and advocates told Sen. Bob Casey during a hearing on Monday in Pittsburgh.

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Posted on: June 30, 2014

Nun Leaves Retirement : Keeps Plenty Busy as Faith In Action Volunteer

Through Faith in Action, a United Way of Westmoreland County agency, she was put in touch with Sister Pat Wilson, a volunteer.

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Posted on: December 12, 2013

Westmoreland Children’s Bureau Continues Coats and Toys for Kids Tradition

Saint Vincent Education Students Wrap Presents for Children's Bureau 7 Dec 13

Westmoreland Children’s Bureau Continues Coats and Toys for Kids Tradition
Community turns out to make 1200+ kids' holidays bright

Release: 12 December 2013Contact: Shara Saveikis
Children’s Bureau, Department of Human Services, Westmoreland Count...Read on...