IN 2013, THERE WERE FEW REGRETS from Latrobe residents when a notorious nuisance bar at the corner of Ligonier and Main streets in the heart of the downtown was destroyed by a fire that officials determined was caused by arson. The dirt-covered lot that lingered for several years afterward served as a constant marker of deterioration in a town struggling to recover from a decades-long recession.
It’s an unfortunate fact that most local elected officials win their positions by way of a small percentage of those eligible to vote. But holding office as a member of a school board, council, board of supervisors or mayor means something far greater than what is represented in a vote tally.
PENNSYLVANIA — specifically, native son Benjamin Franklin — created the concept of volunteer fire brigades, which have served small communities since 1736. But nearly three centuries later, rural communities like many in Westmoreland County are struggling to maintain that selfless tradition.
Faced with a sharp decline in volunteer firefighters, philanthropic and emergency services officials turned to a federal government program to make Westmoreland the proving ground for a novel recruitment strategy.
Twin Lakes Park is considered the jewel of Westmoreland County’s parks system, both for its natural beauty and its public amenities designed to be accessible by all residents. Centrally located in the county, the park’s recently completed expansion is being hailed as a national model for community partnerships, planning and stewardship.
IN 1989, VINCENT QUATRINI was an attorney with a young family and a demanding practice in his native Westmoreland County, when someone dear to him died of a heart attack at age 40.
That Nicholas Cecchini was also his brother-in-law made the grief all the more searing. Quatrini’s wife, Patty, was devastated over losing her brother so young. (Over the course of the next 12 years, the Cecchini family would also lose brothers Ned and Fred, and niece, Kimberly.)