Laurels & lances: Teacher, townships, cops, coach and a big blaze
Laurel: To longtime Burrell High School chemistry teacher Catherine Rudolph, who won the Outstanding Educator Award from the University of Chicago. We need more teachers like Rudolph, praised for a work ethic that doesn’t quit and a keen understanding of her role in students’ lives. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition.
Lance: To Harrison and Fawn townships. A boundary issue over several roads that cross both municipalities is causing headaches among residents. The residents are rightly protesting that parts of their streets are not being paved because no one can agree on responsibility. It’s no surprise that some of these residents don’t even know where they live. What’s even more surprising: No one seems to be in a rush to meet about this. A meeting of all those involved should be scheduled soon, to ensure that these taxpayers receive adequate maintenance of their streets.
Lance: To Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge Alexander Bicket for issuing a gag order Thursday as his first order of business presiding over the East Pittsburgh Officer Michael Rosfeld case in the shooting of Antwon Rose. What good does a gag order do for anyone? Let the people connected to this case, or anyone else for that matter, speak.
Laurel: To North Huntingdon Commissioners for finally appointing a new police chief on Wednesday, concluding a nine-month search process that seemed to drag on with no end in sight.
Sgt. Robert Rizzo, a 28-year veteran of the department, has been in charge of the police force since former Lt. Rod Mahinkse had retired in May. North Huntingdon’s department has been without a chief since former chief Andrew Lisiecki was fired in September 2016 in a controversial 4-3 vote.
Rizzo has promised a restructuring of the department. He likely will have his hands full commanding a department long known for having factions. At least this time, unlike the hiring of Lisiecki, no one can complain that the township hired an “outsider” as its leader.
Lance: Mike Tomlin for not suspending mercurial wide receiver Antonio Brown. Sorry, Mike: if an employee skips practice and meetings – no matter how great he is – you have to suspend him.
Lance: The Ninth Avenue fire was devastating for New Kensington. So was what happened after the fire was largely put out.
The roof and second floor collapse onto rubble caused four rekindles the next day. The fire company had to put the new flames out each time. Each trip cost fuel and it was tiring for the volunteer firefighters who spent at least seven hours battling the flames.
The recommended action would be to get heavy equipment in and pull the rubble apart so the firefighters could spray foam or water on it to put out any unseen hot spots. But the fire department couldn’t do that because insurance investigators had to see it first. That was after the state fire marshal investigated the night of the fire.
Couldn’t the insurance company or companies hurry up or send an OK to the fire department?