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Armstrong Jr.-Sr. High School students receive CPR kits at special assembly
The use of hands-only Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), was the topic of the assembly, and the students were there to receive kits

The auditorium of Armstrong Junior-Senior High School recently was full of students there for a special assembly.

The use of hands-only Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), was the topic of the assembly, and the students were there to receive Family & Friends CPR Anytime kits.

Before the assembly started, a message on the screen in the auditorium said the purpose of the kits is to prepare first responders by teaching basic and hands-only CPR for students and teachers, as well as their family and friends.

Eleventh-grade health teacher Jim Callipare, who is also the girls’ basketball coach, led the assembly.

Information on the screen said the average amount of time from calling 911 to having emergency personnel arrive is around 8 minutes.

At normal temperatures, when someone’s heart stops, people must begin CPR within 4 minutes to restore oxygenated blood circulation to the brain and save it.

“If we can shorten that (8-minute) time, maybe we can save a few lives,” Mr. Callipare said.

He said the American Heart Association had donated slightly fewer than 1,000 of the CPR kits to Armstrong School District before COVID-19 hit.

The kits are worth $50, Mr. Callipare added. They were handed out to AJSHS seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen before they left the auditorium, and school for the day, Friday.

The kits contain a Mini Anne CPR Learning Mannequin on which to practice CPR; a CPR skills paractice DVD; an adult CPR and Automatic External Difibrillator reminder card and wipes to clean the mannequin between uses.

Mr. Callipare also asked students to write down the names of themselves, and every family member they train in CPR using the kits, and to return the lists to him, so he knows how many first responders have been trained through the effort.

East Brady Area 2022 'We Believe Light-Up Night' is Dec. 3

The annual East Brady Area “We Believe Light-Up Night” will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 3.

Activities planned, as part of the event, include:

  • Mortimer’s Music and Antiques open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.;
  • Allegheny Hills Retirement Residence sloppy Joe lunch, rummage sale and sales of ICE JAM jam from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.;
  • Methodist Church crafters from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.;
  • Bridgeview Crossing’s food, wine, beer and bonfire from noon to 3 p.m.;
  • Cookie Crawl from 1-4 p.m., with $5 cookie passports available presale and at the borough office weekdays starting Nov. 17 or at The Old bank Deli during business hours;
  • Farmer’s National Bank parking lot and Veterans Park coffee, hot chocolate and popcorn, photos with Santa from 4-5 p.m.

The highlight of the day will be the Light-Up festivities at the Veteran’s Memorial Park starting at 5 p.m. with a greeting from the East Brady Area Development Corporation (EBADC) president and a welcome from the East Brady Borough Council president, followed by the invocation by the East Brady Borough mayor.

Local deceased veteran Arnie Frazier will be recognized by the American Legion.

Christmas carolers from Mother Goose Christian Preschool and several local soloists will entertain as holiday trees and candles are lit.

Watch for Santa and Mrs. Claus to arrive by fire truck at 4 p.m. escorted by the East Brady Fire Company volunteers.

The East Brady Baptist Church will be offering photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and treat bags will be provided by the East Brady Riverfest Committee.

A 50/50 raffle will be offered to benefit the EBADC projects with tickets on sale at Allegheny Hills Retirement Residence and at the Light-Up Night festivities.

Luminary kits will be available for sale at the concession stand for our second annual luminary display on Christmas Eve.

Kits will also be available at the borough office weekdays starting Nov. 17.

The 2022 East Brady holiday events are co-sponsored by the EBADC and East Brady Borough.

Fentanyl strip bill passes state House

Having more Democrats than Republicans among his co-sponsors, state Rep. Jim Struzzi, R-Indiana, won unanimous support Monday, 200-0, for his House Bill 1393, which would help prevent deadly overdoses by removing fentanyl test strips from the definition of “drug paraphernalia” which are prohibited and carry serious penalties.

“I’ve worked hard and received a great deal of help in getting a life-saving bill to this point and am truly appreciative of my colleagues vote on House Bill 1393,” Struzzi said. “The January hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee really demonstrated the need for this legislation and was a key to attracting bipartisan support followed by a unanimous vote in committee, which really made me optimistic.”

Struzzi had 27 co-sponsors including Reps. Brian Smith, R-Punxsutawney; Jim Rigby, R-Johnstown; Austin Davis, D-McKeesport (the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor); Tina Davis, D-Bucks County (Democratic caucus secretary); and Michael Schlossburg, D-Lehigh County (Democratic caucus administrator).

“Fentanyl is one of the leading causes of overdose deaths, and nearly half of our states have taken this course of action for individuals who are in the grip of addiction,” Struzzi said. “I’m also glad to see the bill was amended to expand the definition of “testing products,” as we anticipate the next wave of dangerous, controlled substances that could unfortunately impact our society.”

Struzzi said H.B. 1393 was developed in cooperation with the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission.

“We are seeing individuals overdose now on drugs other than heroin and other opiates, as dealers are now adding fentanyl to cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana,” AICDAC Executive Director Kami Anderson said when Struzzi first introduced H.B. 1393 15 months ago. “These very inexpensive strips are a tool for anyone using any illegal drugs, and the Drug and Alcohol Commission applauds Rep. Struzzi for his efforts to get this bill passed in Pennsylvania and save many lives in our area.”

The bill now moves to the state Senate.

ARIN IU 28 conducts monthly board meeting

The board gave conditional approval to employing:

• Christine Tate as a part-time (hourly) breath alcohol technician, at $15.51 per hour.

• Anne McGowan as a part-time (less than 50%) school psychologist, at $56,485.60 per year, prorated to days worked.

• Samantha Humbert as a full-time paraprofessional at $11.50 per hour.

• Casey Shoenfelt as a full-time special education teacher at an annual salary of $50,629.

The board approved for ARIN IU 28’s 21st Century After School Program:

• Lead Staff at $13 per hour, including Cecelia Weiss.

• Regular Hourly Staff at $12 per hour, including Rachel Bourke, Autumn McDonald, Kami Roofner, Kiersten Thompson, and Anna Mary Yoder.

It accepted, with appreciation for their service, the resignations of Darcey Mains as a full-time instructor in adult education, and, from the 21st Century After School Program, effective November 23, lead staff Serinity Beskid, Samiyah Patterson and Lauren Walters and regular hourly staffer Zachary Raymond.

It approved and authorized volunteer tutor services of Rita Ott (under the supervision of Director of Early Childhood, School and Community Services Andrea Sheesley) and classroom assistant services of Brock Cochran (under the supervision of Instructor Ashley Pisarcik) in the ARIN Adult Education programs.

The board also authorized ARIN IU 28 Executive Director Dr. Brigette Matson to enter into 2022-23 agreements:

• With Riverview Intermediate Unit (RIU6) for a part time (0.4 full-time equivalent) teacher of students who are deaf and hard of hearing at a projected cost of $51,050.

• With Riverview for school psychologist services (conducted by a half time employee) at a projected cost of $64,750.

• With Derry Area School District, for which ARIN IU 28 will provide a teacher of students who are blind and visually impaired, at $92 per hour for the entire 2022-23 school year.

• With United School District, for which ARIN IU 28 will provide an emotional support teacher at a cost of no more than $81,500 for the remainder of of the 2022-23 school year.

• To purchase and implement Zoom Workspace Reservation Annual to replace the current conference reservation system at a cost of $90 annually, prorated to $38.96 for the current year.

• With UPMC For You Inc., for which ARIN IU 28 will provide in-home parent/caregiver and child health promotion, prevention and individualized, strengths-based support of HealthChoices members from Dec. 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2023, unless otherwise amended or terminated.

• With Evergreen After School Club, for which ARIN IU 28 will provide payroll services per the agreement retroactive to

Oct. 1, 2022, and running through June 30, 2023.

• To enter into Parent Transportation Agreements with Larry Richardson, Ashley Reid, Kenisha Blackwood, Desirae

Hasley, Melia Heilman, Brianna Novick, Isadora Walker, Johanna Cruz, Michael Stewart, and Natalie Vergari for the transportation of their children for the 2022-23 school year at approved daily miles and per diem rates.

The board also approved and authorized:

• Acceptance of a revised memorandum of agreement with ARIN Intermediate Unit 28 Professionals-PSEA regarding salary and benefits for social workers, licensed professional counselors, occupational therapists and physical therapists.

• Having the executive director or her designee to pursue and/or accept supplemental revenues to be used for the operation of programs within ARIN IU 28 and/or its constituent school districts.

• The Director of Human Resources and Operations or the Director of Finance of ARIN IU 28 to make decisions on behalf of the unit if and when the executive director is temporarily unavailable to do so, including execution of contracts or other legal documents.

The board also approved and authorized review and approval of the ARIN IU 28 Health and Safety Plan, finding that no updates are needed at this time.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at the ARIN IU 28 Central Office.

PA General Assembly will be split, pending outcome of AP projections on close races

The Pennsylvania General Assembly apparently will be split between a Democratic majority in the state House and a Republican majority in the state Senate.

“Apparently” remains the operative word, even though, based on Associated Press projections, 102 House seats have gone to the Democrats, 101 to Republicans, out of 203 seats in the lower chamber of the General Assembly. That’s a change from the current 113 Republican/90 Democratic split in the House.

Three of those 102 seats for the Democrats will require special elections early in the new year, to replace the late Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Penn Hills, whose death came too late to take him off the Nov. 8 ballot; as well as Lt. Gov.-elect Austin Davis, D-McKeesport, and U.S. Rep. Summer Lee, D-Swissvale, each of whom remained on their respective state House ballots and also won re-election there.

Davis could be on hand to vote when the new state House session begins Jan. 3, as he is not to be sworn in as lieutenant governor until Jan. 17. However, the 118th Congress, including Lee, is to begin Jan. 3 in Washington, D.C.

There were two remaining House seats late last week, in the 142nd and 151st legislative districts, both in suburban Philadelphia. The Democratic nominee conceded in Bucks County’s 142nd District.

“While we stand to further narrow (Republican nominee) Joe Hogan’s current 53-vote lead, the ballots remaining in contention do not appear to be enough for me to pull ahead,” Democratic nominee Mark Moffa posted on Facebook.

However, an incumbent Republican conceded in the 151st Legislative District in Montgomery County, giving Democrats that 102nd seat.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime representing the people of the 151st District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the last 12 years,” Rep. Todd Stephens posted on Facebook. “While in years past I have been able to overcome the odds despite tremendously unpopular Republicans at the top of the ticket, the new 36% Republican district into which I was drawn, and a gubernatorial candidate who received just 29% of the vote, proved to be too much to overcome this year.”

The gubernatorial candidate was state Sen. Douglas V. Mastriano, R-Franklin County, who was easily defeated in the general election by Democratic state Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Democratic nominee Melissa Cerrato will replace Stephens in the 151st District.

Redrawn districts included the 54th, formerly found in Westmoreland County but reapportioned to Montgomery County, near Philadelphia, where Democrat Scott Gregory won by a 71.5% to 28.5% margin over Republican Allen Arthur Anderson.

The redrawing created a new 55th District that initially was home to both Reps. Bob Brooks, R-Murrysville, who subsequently retired, and Jason Silvis, R-Washington Township (Westmoreland County), who was defeated in the GOP primary by Jill Nixon Cooper of Murrysville.

Cooper then won the general election over Democrat Scott Gauss, also of Murrysville, by a margin of nearly 7,000 votes.

The special state elections will be called by the Speaker of the House — a role that could go to current House Minority Leader Joanna McClinton, D-Philadelphia, if she is chosen when the next session of the General Assembly convenes in January.

Rep. Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, is the current House Speaker. He was re-elected to his 100th District House seat earlier this month.

The state Senate is in GOP hands by 28 to 22. Last week, Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield Township, was chosen interim President Pro Tempore while Sen. Joe Pittman, R-Indiana, was chosen majority leader for the 2023-24 session.