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M A I NLI NE newspapers

Vol. 109 No. 34

USPS 439-000

Portage, Pa.

Portage Area Elementary dismissal times change

“This is one profession that never gets ho hum, because the new year brings a new At this time of year, school set of challenges for all of us districts are abuzz with and the opportunity to posiactivity, as factively impact the ulty, staff, and lives of our stuadministrations dents and their work tirelessly families.” to ready themOne big selves and the change coming school for the at the elementary start of an school is the disexciting new missal times. school year. C h r i s t i a n Each year Serenko, the eleoffers its own mentary school unique chalprincipal said, lenges and “In an effort to experiences increase instrucenough to keep tional time, startRich Bernazzoli, everyone on ing this year, disPASD superintendent missal for all eletheir toes. “As always, I mentary students start to get excited in antici- will be 3:20 p.m. Both walkpation of the return of staff er and bus students will be and students,” said Portage dismissed at the same time,” Area School District super- he explained. “We are asking intendent Rich Bernazzoli. By Sarah Wolford

of Mainline Newspapers

SEE PORTAGE, PAGE 13A

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Since 1904

continue the tradition of excellence that was established over the years,” Bowser said. “As a Each new school year offers a district, we take a lot of pride in plethora of new experiences and providing each individual stuopportunities, not dent in our disjust for the stutrict academic, dents, but for the athletic, and other teachers and extracurricular administrators who opportunities to work hard each ensure they are year to ensure that provided opporthe new school year tunities to prepare will be the best yet. them for postsecThis holds true ondary education for the Forest Hills and to meet their School District, career aspirawhich is currently tions.” preparing to swing One big open its doors yet change on the again. FHSD horizon for Edwin Bowser, superintendent FHSD is the conEdwin Bowser said FHSD superintendent struction of a new that although this year will be a middle school/high school buildtime of change in the district, he ing. “The Forest Hills School looks forward to the many great District is in the process of a things to come in Forest Hills. major renovation,” explained “I am looking forward to the Bowser. “The administration and start of another school year to SEE FOREST, PAGE 13A By Sarah Wolford

of Mainline Newspapers

Township supervisors set weight limits for roads By Sarah Wolford

of Mainline Newspapers

The Portage Township supervisors handled a few matters of business during their Wednesday, Aug. 7, meeting. Supervisors approved an ordinance for weight limits on township roads, as previously advertised. Supervisor Rick Olshavsky explained that, in the past, the township has had several different ordinances cover-

ing different roads. This new ordinance organizes all of that information in one place. He also pointed out that the ordinance does not cover all township roads, just those where there is the most activity, like hauling. Supervisor Elwood Selepack also noted that most of the weight limits are 10 tons, though there are some that are eight tons. When asked if there was a limit on Shoemaker Road, the site of several recent resident com-

plaints, Olshavsky said there wasn’t currently a weight limit, and he couldn’t say for sure whether or not one could be put on that road; that was something an engineer would need to study. Olshavsky also added that even if the road did have a weight limit, companies could just get a bond, which he said wouldn’t come close to covering the cost of any repairs that might need to be done to the road. He said that the township would

APVT puts personnel in order for new year

By Sarah Wolford

of Mainline Newspapers

The Admiral Peary Vo-Tech Joint Operating Committee got right down to business during their Thursday, Aug. 15, meeting, tackling several personnel matters that needed to be sorted out before the start of the upcoming new school year. They began by accepting the resignation of Kristi Jacobson from the position of childcare instructor. Executive director Ken Jubas explained that the committee had hired Jacobson for the position at their July meeting. “She’s highly qualified,” said Jubas. However, Jacobson was hoping for a position close to where she lives in Somerset, and just a week after accepting a position in Ebensburg, she was offered a position in Somerset. “She apologized and submitted her resignation,” Jubas explained. With the childcare instructor position once again vacant, Jubas said

that the hiring committee turned to their second choice, Torie Brodish. “Torie and Kristi were tied during the interview process,” Jubas said. “But Kristi had actually worked in a vo-tech school before,” he said, explaining why she had ultimately come out on top. However, he noted that Brodish had the same credentials, which is a degree in family/consumer science. “[Brodish] has been a long-term sub at Blacklick Valley, and she was highly recommended by Dr. Mastillo [the BVSD superintendent],” said Jubas. “The [APVT hiring] committee unanimously agreed to recommend [Brodish].” Next up, the committee looked to fill the welding instructor position. The hiring committee recommended David Smith. “He has a great story,” said Jubas. “He’s Northern Cambria born and a graduate of votech.” After attending WyoTech for welding, Smith joined the army, where he received their certification for welding and worked with the elite Night Stalkers brigade. “We’re very pleased [with Smith],”

said Jubas. “He’s one of our own.” The operating committee approved the voluntary transfer of Richard Capraun, APVT assistant director, to the carpentry instructor position. “It’s a unique situation,” Jubas told the operating committee. Capraun had stepped into the carpentry instructor position last year when the school had needed someone. “We needed someone, and he stepped up last year,” said Jubas. “He requested a voluntary transfer, and we’d like to try it. We know there are budget issues. We’d like to make the assistant director a vacant position,” Jubas explained, saying that he, business manager Jeff Vasilko, and guidance counselor Jackie Wurm would step up to handle the assistant director’s duties. Also approved was the hiring of Jennifer Bednar as a part-time receptionist. Jubas said that Bednar is “a whiz at computer stuff” and will be able to assist the district with state reporting work, budgeting, and accounting matters. Turning their attention to business SEE APVT, PAGE 16A

Portage Sewer will go forward with project

Newsstand Price 75¢

Forest Hills District ready to say ‘hello’ to new year

SEE TOWNSHIP, PAGE 5A

Taking the field

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36 Pages

M’dale, ward three to see work

By Sarah Wolford

of Mainline Newspapers

With the Portage Borough Council’s recent decision to move forward with an ordinance only requiring pressure testing of private sewer laterals at the time of the sale or transfer of the property, the fate of the Portage Area Sewer Authority’s planned improvement project seemed up in the air. The sewer authority has been setting up an improvement project which planned to install sewer lines in the Martindale area of Portage Township, as well as replace lines in ward three of Portage Borough. In regards to the planned project, authority Stiffler, McGraw Inc. engineer Kyle Fritz pointed out that the project will only address 18,000 linear feet of sewer line in ward three, out of a total 29,000 linear feet. Fritz explained that the 18,000 linear feet planned for ward three were original lines that had never seen any improvement, and were considered some of the worst lines in the system. “As of their Aug. 5 meeting, the borough advertised air testing sewer lines on the sale or transfer of a property and for new construction,” explained sewer authority board president Don Squillario. “I was pushing for air testing for anything involved with the new construction,” he told his fellow board SEE PROJECT, PAGE 4A

Members of the percussion section of the Forest Hills High School Marching Band rehearse this year’s halftime show during band camp last week. The marching band will perform their show “The Music of Boston” during Parents Night tonight. For more on the FHHS and PAHS marching bands, see page 13A. Photo by Sarah Wolford.


Dispatch 08 22 2013