HIT: Just seven months after an economic development group talked up a $7.5 million plan to restore Charleroi’s Coyle Theater, it was announced last week that the 200-seat movie house, which last screened a film in 1999, was going to be torn down. Ben Brown, the chief executive officer of the Mon Valley Alliance, said, “We tried. At some point you have to say enough is enough.” Throughout the long-running debate on whether the theater should be restored, advocates argued a refurbished Coyle Theater would be a spark to revitalize downtown Charleroi, while skeptics said the theater was too far gone to restore. In any event, the decision ends the discussion, paves the way for the site to be redeveloped and, perhaps, will give Charleroi’s downtown the boost it has long needed.
HIT: Europe has experienced another summer of record-breaking heat, while this region has endured yet another season of leaky basements and flooded roads. Blazing heat, drenching rainfalls, and an assortment of other calamities could well become routine if we shrug and allow climate change to proceed unabated. With the danger that climate change poses to our health and economy, it’s heartening to see the Carnegie Museum of Natural History jump into the fray with a plan to educate residents of this region on the consequences of climate change. It has received a $1.2 million grant to develop the Climate and Rural Systems Partnership, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported this week. The initiative will offer insights on how a changing climate could affect rural activities like hunting and farming. While we are insulated from much of the world’s problems, no one will be able to escape climate change, and it sounds like this program will highlight that fact.
HIT: This doesn’t qualify as breaking news, but sometimes our governments – local, state and federal – don’t always make the best use of our tax dollars. Such is not the case with an outlay that will bring some much-needed money to the Nineveh Heights project in Morris Township, which aims to create affordable housing on a 90-some-acre piece of property off Carter Road that was donated to the township by Consol. The Nineveh Heights project is receiving about $800,000 from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund. Too often, rural areas get the short end of the stick when money like this is handed out. We’re glad that’s not the case this time around.
HIT: When it comes to preventing crime, good police work is the key, but a little luck doesn’t hurt. Canonsburg and federal authorities got some unexpected good fortune in making an arrest of a Canonsburg man who allegedly ordered 1,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition to do who knows what. Luckily, police say the package of ammo meant for Henry Wesler III was accidentally delivered to one of his neighbors, who went to police. Wesler is no stranger to local authorities. Police say they’ve responded to his Cecil Street home more than a dozen times for mental health checks, most often because he was threatening suicide. We might never know what, exactly, Wesler intended to do with the stockpile of ammo, but officials in Canonsburg are relieved. Said Mayor David Rhome, “I, along with the police department, truly believe we averted a tragedy.”