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GLSHS Drama Club to present 'Radium Girls' Oct. 22-23

The Greater Latrobe Senior High School Drama Club will present “Radium Girls” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, and Saturday, Oct. 23, in the senior high school auditorium.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and will be on sale at the door. For more information, visit latrobedramaclub.com.

In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie was an international celebrity, and luminous watches were the latest rage — until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease.

Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court.

Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees.

As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire.

Written with warmth and humor, Radium Girls is a fast-moving, highly theatrical ensemble piece. Called a “powerful” and “engrossing” drama by critics, Radium Girls offers a wry, unflinching look at the peculiarly American obsessions with health, wealth and the commercialization of science.

The 2021-22 Greater Latrobe Senior High School (GLSHS) homecoming court includes seniors Meghan Henderson, Paige Kunklemann, Andrea Hoffman, Darrian Lynch, Sarah Matsko; (second row) freshman Mia Myers, sophomore Belle Blossey, junior Kendall Piper; (third row) freshman Jaycee Bodnar, sophomore Regan Reilly and junior Lily Fenton. The homecoming queen will be announced at the GL-Franklin Regional football game, which will begin at 7 p.m. today (Friday), Oct. 15, at Latrobe Memorial Stadium.

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Unity seeking more public input for proposed Route 30-Wimmerton improvements

Unity Township officials are seeking additional community input for proposed improvements to the intersection of Route 30 and the Wimmerton residential development, but still haven’t decided the next step to go about it.

At Thursday’s meeting, township supervisors expressed disappointment in the low turnout at an open house held last month highlighting the proposed intersection upgrades.

Between the roughly 40 residents who attended the open house and others who emailed surveys, Supervisor Ed Poponick said the township only received 56 responses from Wimmerton residents.

With more than 400 residents living in the development, Supervisor Mike O’Barto was hoping to get responses from at least half the residents, and hoped more were able to attend the open house.

“That’s telling us maybe a lot of residents don’t care about what happens, but it’s hard for us to make a determination on that little bit of input,” Poponick said of the low turnout at the open house.

Of the 56 responses, 21 residents want to eliminate turning motions from the development toward Latrobe, 19 residents want officials to explore the possibility of installing a traffic signal at the intersection and 16 residents want no changes made.

Township officials haven’t made any decisions on how to potentially garner more community input.

“The three of us will sit down and talk about it, and go from there,” Poponick said.

Last month’s open house was provided as a public service and did not include involvement from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

Township officials had previously looked into adding a traffic signal at the intersection, engineer Dan Schmitt of Gibson-Thomas has said, but officials were not in favor of it, citing costs and maintenance need to operate a traffic light.

In a previous survey of 261 residents who live in the development and use its roadways, 131 residents wanted to see the installation of a traffic light at Wimmerton’s intersection with Route 30 while 78 residents wanted to maintain the status quo and 52 residents wanted to use an existing traffic signal at Route 30 near St. Vincent Drive.

If improvements are made, Schmitt said previously that motorists traveling on Route 30 East toward Wimmerton will still have the option of making the left turn from the highway into the development. But he noted that “it’s our intention that if anybody wants to go to Latrobe (from Wimmerton), they will go down past the Green Meadows nursing home (via Brouwers Drive) and go out at St. Vincent Lake.”

Schmitt said the yield sign going out of the Wimmerton development will still be in place if roadway improvements are made at the site.

Township officials are seeking grant funding to make safety improvements. In June, supervisors approved to authorize the submission of a Pennsylvania Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) grant in hopes of upgrading the busy intersection.

Schmitt has said that the township hasn’t received grant funding for intersection improvements and hasn’t made a decision on whether a project will occur. He said last month that officials may not know where they stand in regard to grant funding until next spring.

If the township receives funding and moves forward with improvement plans, the project would be paid in full through the ARLE grant. If the municipality fails to receive funding, Schmitt said previously it could exploring making improvements through a previously approved township bond issue.

Also discussed at Thursday’s meeting:

  • Township leaf pickup dates are scheduled for Oct. 16 and 30, Nov. 13 and 27 and Dec. 4. Residents must call their garbage hauler to arrange for the service. Leaves must be placed in biodegradable bags, securely tied shut and placed at the curb. Residents may also drop off leaves at the designated area behind the township municipal building, but must make sure to empty leaves out of the bag.
  • A Household Hazardous Waste Collection will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Westmoreland Cleanways Recycling Center near Pleasant Unity;
  • The township will hold trick-or-treating from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. Residents that wish to participate are asked to leave their porch light on. All treats must be individually wrapped.
  • A senior holiday luncheon for ages 50-plus is scheduled to begin at noon Dec. 3 at Giannilli’s II along Route 30 West in Unity Township. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. All seniors and their guests are welcome, but space is limited. For more information, call 724-539-2546.
  • The Deck the Tree with Unity drive-thru event will be held starting at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the township municipal complex, 154 Beatty County Road. Guests will be able to wave to Santa from their vehicles and will receive a holiday treat; children can also send their letters to Santa from the Santa Express Mailbox. Treats will be limited to the first 300 children ages 12 and under. For more details, call 724-539-2546.
  • At the request of resident Dorothy Piper, township solicitor Gary Falatovich said he will look into why a township neighborhood had its name changed from Greenwald to Greenwalt. He noted that supervisors would have to weigh making any further name changes to the area, which has some residential mailing addresses. Piper said during Thursday’s public comment period that “for 100 years, it was Greenwald. I hope it can be restored for history’s sake.”
  • A public hearing on amendments to off-street parking provisions of the township zoning ordinance is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Nov. 3.
  • Next month’s supervisors meeting is being moved to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, because of Veterans Day (Nov. 11);

In other business Thursday, supervisors approved:

  • A pay estimate of $305,014.46 and a change order of $239,555.16 to Tresco Paving Corp. for the township’s 2021 hot mix paving program;
  • A pay estimate of $358,364.70 to Russell Standard Corp. for the township’s 2021 shot and chip program;
  • A pay estimate of $97,603 and a change order of $1,570 to TRS Roofing for work to replace the municipal building roof;
  • A pay estimate of $15,658.34 and a change order deduction of $65,781.69 to Insituform Technologies LLC for a stormwater lining project.
  • To hire James Fontana as a township road crew member at a rate of $24.40 per hour. Falatovich said the rate begins at 80% and moves to the full rate in six months;
  • To advertise for fuel and gas bids for 2022;
  • Airport Automotive agreement and site plan, which calls for the extension of a pipe connecting to conjoined parcels to allow better access within the parcel;
  • Eat’n Park Hospitality Group site plan to add a pickup window to the restaurant property along Route 30 East;
  • Kistler site plan to turn a home at 1134 Laurel View Drive into a five-bed bed and breakfast;
  • A service contract to retain Hoffman’s Board Kennels and Gary Hoffman as the township’s dog law enforcement officer. The two-year agreement does not go into effect until January and includes rates of $445 per month and $100 per call, Falatovich noted;
  • Wittman Felice site plan;
  • Cratty plan and Salandro subdivisions.

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St. Vincent monk to be featured on EWTN

The Rev. Boniface Hicks, OSB, started writing a book about St. Joseph years ago but never completed it.

He knew that he had to finish it when Pope Francis declared 2020-21 to be the Year of St. Joseph. That was in conjunction with the 150th anniversary year of the Proclamation of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church.

On Sunday, Oct. 17, he will appear on EWTN’s “Life on the Rock” series to talk about that book, “Through the Heart of St. Joseph,” that was published earlier this year. The prerecorded episode will air at 9 p.m. and will be re-aired three days next week.

Father Boniface entered St. Vincent Monastery in 1998 and was ordained into the priesthood in 2004.

He has a Ph.D. in computer science and currently serves as director of spiritual formation and director of the Institute for Ministry Formation for the seminary. He has also served as campus minister for the college, faculty member, retreat master and spiritual director, and is involved with WAOB radio in Latrobe.

He has co-authored two books with the Rev. Thomas Aklin, OSB, on spiritual direction and personal prayer.

Father Boniface developed an interest in St. Joseph 18 years ago, and it took him years to research materials for his book. There’s little known about St. Joseph, but Father Boniface said, “Once you start looking for it, there’s a lot about him compared to any other figure. There’s a lot about Mary, but not a lot more. He’s a major figure in four chapters of the gospels and appears in other places.”

His book does not delve into the legends of St. Joseph, for instance, that he was widowed and much older than Mary and that he had children from a previous marriage.

“There was no precedent for an old man marrying a young virgin 2,000 years ago,” he said. “That would have been as weird then as it would be today. So why did we allow all of those images of him as an old man persist so long?”

Perhaps it’s because an old man represents wisdom and experience, and has tried and true virtue, he explained. Also, he added, St. Joseph, has been depicted as a father figure compared to the heavenly father figure, who is usually depicted as an old man.

“I do believe that Joseph was a young married man,” Father Boniface said.

In the matter of brothers and sisters of Jesus mentioned in the Gospels, he noted, “There was no Hebrew word for cousins, so calling them brothers of Jesus would be a reasonable thing. We don’t know when Joseph died, either. One of the possibilities is that it was his death that actually led to Jesus’s public ministry. Joseph died, and then Jesus and Mary went to the wedding at Cana.”

Those matters aren’t the focus of his book.

“In my process, I really wanted to develop a relationship with St. Joseph,” he said. “I kept trying to get to know him and to flesh out the picture of what he was like. I guess my understanding of him grew in a way that didn’t have surprises in it.”

Although little is written about the family lives of Joseph, Mary and Jesus, there are hints that can be surmised from cultural norms of the time.

“They offered two turtle doves in the temple,” Father Boniface said.

“That was an offering of the poor. So they were not destitute and they were not rich. Then when Jesus declares himself, they ask, ‘Who is this? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?’ That was a surprise to them that Jesus had anything to offer. That leads to their lives being ordinary. It was in that ordinariness that Joseph took on the responsibility to teach Jesus to do the will of the father.”

In the book, he writes: “When Joseph asked Jesus to do his chores and complete certain tasks necessary for their carpentry projects, when he asked him for a cup of cold water, or when they went together to visit a sick neighbor, in each case, they were doing the will of the Father.”

He further noted that the Benedictine charism of ora et labora, or work and prayer, is in the spirit of St. Joseph, and was the model for the sanctification of ordinary daily life.

The book presents five pathways to meet St. Joseph. Two are to look at him as a protector, as he was for Mary and Jesus, or as a father because, Father Hicks wrote, “We are all brothers and sisters of Jesus.”

“In two other pathways, to become like him we can become silent or we can become hidden,” he said. “Then in one of the pathways we choose, he becomes the comfort of the afflicted.”

The book cites the courage of St. Joseph to carry out the will of God through accepting his role with Mary and Jesus, and in fleeing to Egypt to save his family. He becomes a role model for navigating through “life’s inevitable nights.” The author writes, too, about St. Joseph’s surrender to God’s plan and how to become humble and obedient like he was.

Those are some of the things that lead to the chapter on what Father Boniface calls the Joseph Option. Through that, he said, can come a powerful influence to become a leaven for renewal of culture and society, and live in a way to help others to encounter their faith “through the heart of St. Joseph.”

Sunday’s episode on EWTN will be repeated at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, 3 a.m. Friday, Oct. 22, and 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23.

The shows can also be viewed online at www.ewtn.com/tv/shows/life-on-the-rock.