Latest news . . .
Click on the FB logo to access our Facebook page, then click the                  
occasional news updates via Facebook.
Special report:
Shell picks Potter
The economic effect of Shell Oil building a petrochemical plant on the former Horsehead site in Potter, and/or another company building a similar plant on the Aliquippa riverfront cannot be overstated.
button to receive
"An informed citizen is the only true repository of the American will."
      -- Thomas Jefferson
Center Township planning to raze,
replace its aging municipal center
It’s five decades old,
and has outlived its usefulness, Rachel DelTondo said.

The Center Township Municipal Building, which houses various township offices, a meeting room and the 
bvtoday photos
Center Township Police will move into the Just Like Home Daycare and Preschool Building.
police station, will be razed and replaced, said DelTondo, the township manager.

“This building is over 50 years old. The floors are bad. The roof is bad,” she said. “It’s time.”

A few years ago, the township secured a bond for building improvements, DelTondo said.

Finally, things are moving: The township’s zoning hearing board will consider a pair of variances when it meets Sept. 9.

One would be to allow construction of a new municipal center where the current one sits on Center Grange Road. The other would allow a new public works facility on Wilhelm Drive.

In an early construction phase, the Center Township Police Department would be moved into the Just Like Home Daycare and Preschool Building, adjacent to the municipal complex.

The costs associated with so massive an undertaking will become clearer when bids are solicited later this year, DelTondo said.

Pittsburgh-based PJ Dick has been retained as the project manager.

Hopewell hires new police chief

In retirement, he has been teaching criminal justice classes at Penn State-Beaver and the community colleges of both Beaver and Allegheny County.

A 1983 Hopewell grad, he earned his master’s degree in the Administration of Criminal Justice from Point Park University after earning a bachelor’s degree there in Public Administration.

He is certified by the Law Enforcement Executive Development Association.

Hopewell Township Commissioner Rich Bufalini said Sedlacek lives with his wife and two children in Independence Township.

His duties begin Saturday, June 5. Brian Uhrmacher will retire the day before after serving five years as Hopewell’s chief.
A Hopewell Area High School graduate has been hired as the next police chief of Hopewell Township.

Don Sedlacek retired at the rank of sergeant from the Findlay Township Police Department after 25 years on the force.
Parents voice objections to Hopewell Area’s mask mandate
bv today photos
Sarah Fischer prepares to address the Hopewell Area School Board.
Several Hopewell Area School District parents gave an earful to the school board Tuesday about their opposition to a recent decision mandating masks for both COVID-19 vaccinated and unvaccinated students.

Though the meeting was moved to the high school auditorium in expectation of a large turnout, only about 60 residents showed up, a few with signs.

Jamie Sheffield complained that the district was “not allowing our students to live freely on school property.”

“We are not going to settle for our Constitutional rights to be taken away,” she said.

She accused the board of acting unconstitutionally, and threatened legal action.

Along with Moon Area, Hopewell Area voted earlier this month to make masks mandatory to open the 2021-22 school year.

Both districts are requiring that masks be worn inside all district buildings to start the school year as western Pennsylvania experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Beaver County remains designated as high transmission area, according to state data. 

But Tuesday, Valerie Hilton complained that Hopewell children were being forced to wear “muzzles, like rabid dogs.”

She argued that drowning, traffic accidents and the flu pose a bigger risk to children than does the COVID-19 virus.

“Have you thought about what kind of damage you are doing to these kids?” Hilton asked.

Sarah Fischer, who said she is a registered nurse, said that masks reduce the ability of children to develop social skills, and can increase fungal infections and other respiratory issues.

Current district policy

This is the mask policy as posted on the Hopewell Area website:

“Based on current CDC updated guidance on facial coverings, the District is requiring masks to be worn for both vaccinated and unvaccinated students and staff when indoors while Beaver County’s transmission rate is at the substantial or high level category based on the CDC’s transmission levels.

“Currently, Beaver County is in the highest level of transmission. The Board of School Directors and administration will monitor the requirement for facial coverings and may adjust this requirement at any time.

“The District may also require masks in the event we see any negative impact on our schools. As was the case last year, our health and safety procedures may change if local, state, or federal orders are put in place. As a reminder, facial coverings are required by the CDC and TSA on school busses (sic).

“Mask exemptions will continue to be considered when the District requires facial coverings. Students and staff are not required to wear facial coverings while outdoors.”
Vikings game at Blackhawk canceled by lack of numbers
The Hopewell Vikings’ game scheduled for Friday, Sept. 3, has been canceled.

Blackhawk Athletic Director and football coach Zach Hayward confirmed that he received a call from Hopewell Area saying the team lacked a sufficient number of players to field a team.

"Between COVID and injuries, our numbers have been decimated," Hopewell Athletic Director Don Short said. "I just don't have enough healthy bodies.

"Five or six schools are out this week, and it's only going to get worse," Short said.

Hayward said he has been calling around in an effort to find a replacement  opponent for what is scheduled to be the Cougars’ home opener.