Shenango River Watchers picked up more than 30,000 pounds of trash on seven cleanup days along the river last year. That included 184 tires and 7,872 aluminum cans. The cans were sold to a recycler to raise money for environmental education programs. The volunteer group presented educational programs to 560 children last year.
Playhouse winners: The raffle of an 8-foot-by-8-foot playhouse, complete with heat and lights, netted $5,200 for the Arc of Mercer County Foundation, the funding arm of Mercer County Association for the Retarded. The playhouse was built by members of Carpenters Local 268 with materials provided by the Mercer County Builders Association and the Mercer County Building Trades Council as a fund-raising project for MCAR's 50th anniversary. It was raffled off during last month's builders association's annual Home Show. The winners were Lance and Tina Messett of Sharon and their sons, Lance, 6, and Jarod, 3. Proceeds benefit people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities in Mercer County.
Getting wetter: The Shenango Valley was wetter than normal for the second month in a row in March, an indication that the valley is catching up on its precipitation. Statistics kept by the Shenango Valley Division of Consumers Pennsylvania Water Co. showed that total precipitation for the month (snow is converted to the equivalent amount of rainfall) showed 3.48 inches compared with the average of 2.89 inches for the month. In February, it was 2.81 inches, compared with the normal 1.96 inches for the month. Total for the first three months of the year was 8.17 inches, well above the normal 7.07 inches for the first quarter, but the valley still has a lot of catching up to do. Rainfall for all of 2001 totaled 34.7 inches, more than 4.5 inches below normal.
Camp cadets: The Pennsylvania State Police are now accepting applications for the 2002 Troop D Camp Cadet Program. The camp will take place the week of July 14 to 19 at Slippery Rock University, Butler County. Butler, Beaver, Lawrence and Mercer county youths between the ages of 12 and 15 are eligible to attend. Applications can be picked up at any of the state police barracks or by calling (724) 284-8210. The deadline to apply is June 1. All applicants will be notified by June 12. There is a $20 fee. The camp's goal is to provide young people with a positive view of law enforcement and to build self-esteem, discipline and respect.
XCONTRIBUTORS: Harold Gwin of The Vindicator Sharon Bureau and Laure Cioffi of the New Castle Bureau.