Hermitage Commissioner Sylvia Stull said she enjoyed the city's annual Holiday Light Parade last weekend, but she was disappointed that the commissioners' vehicle ran out of candy that it was handing out to children before it reached the end of the parade route. Warm weather brought out larger-than-normal crowds for the event, authorities said. "We threw out 92 pounds of candy," said Commissioner Joseph Augustine.
Toy for Tots: The Mercer Barracks of the Pennsylvania State Police, in cooperation with the U.S. Marine Corps, is accepting donations for the annual Toys for Tots campaign. Toys collected from the drive will be distributed to needy families in Mercer County with the assistance of the Mercer County Children's Aid Society. Only new toys are being accepted, and they shouldn't be gift wrapped so parents who will be receiving the gifts can make selections based on what their children want. Toys can be dropped off at the Barracks at 826 Franklin Road (U.S. Route 62 just west of the I-79 interchange) now through Dec. 16.
Pay raise: It surely wasn't the reaction New Castle Councilman Mark Elisco was expecting when he asked for a pay raise. Elisco proposed at Tuesday's meeting that council members increase their own salaries to $5,000 per year and the mayor's yearly salary to $55,000 for 2004. Council members now make $2,700 per year, with the president getting an extra $200, and the mayor gets $44,331 per year. Fellow council members kept quiet after Elisco made the suggestion, but that didn't stop Bob Semler, a vocal council critic, from voicing his opinion. Semler from his front row seat said, "Over my dead body."
Humane Society: The Lawrence County Humane Society got some recognition for its work with homeless animals. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recognized the society for its participation in outreach programs in the county. Samuel Hayes Jr., secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture presented a certificate of appreciation recently to Cindy Mittica, humane society board president and county humane officer.
XContributors: Harold Gwin of The Vindicator Sharon Bureau and Laure Cioffi of the New Castle Bureau.