Back to Rants&Raves 2019




    Rants&Raves   July-August, 2019




    "Quotes Of The Day" revisiting the coroner's public funded training cruise, anonymous
    sources vs credible sources who must remain anonymous
    "Did the county coroner ever reimburse the county for any of the $14,000 spent on a training cruise for him and his family he
    employs?"
    Pete, asking, in a Saturday evening voice mail, from the Italian Festival in downtown Uniontown, where he said he was in search of a Giuseppe
    sandwich.  Read More.

    Young man from prison stoop returning to Michigan
    RAVES to Bill Jones and his family of Uniontown for all of the work they did these last five weeks, helping a young man with
    developmental disabilities who stayed on the county prison stoop after he was released at night with no supports and nowhere to go.

    Jones and his extended family fed the young man, bought him clothes and helped him coordinate getting back to Michigan, where he
    was extradited from, on inappropriate internet contact with a juvenile charges that were dropped.

    Although Fay officials extradited him from Michigan and then dropped the charges, the young man was declared incompetent and in
    need of guardianship through courts there two months prior to arriving in Fay.

    RAVES that Jones and his family helped the young man get into a shelter, advocated for medications for him, fed and clothed him and
    provided structure and daily companionship to keep him from roaming the streets aimlessly.  

    RAVES that tomorrow, the young man finally is scheduled to return to his hometown, after being in Fay since earlier this year. RAVES
    that the Joneses took the young man in late July from the prison stoop, got him in the shelter and kept the young man off the streets
    during daytime hours required to be out of the shelter, all with very little social service assistance, except for medications.

    RAVES that the young man made it, but only with the Jones' help. (30 Aug 19)

    "Cookout" fentanyl bust: enough to kill 14 million people
    RAVES that police in Virginia seized enough fentanyl to kill 14 million people, busting a massive three-state drug ring as part of what
    they called "Operation Cookout."

    In total, authorities seized over 30 kilograms of fentanyl, 30 kilograms of heroin, five kilograms of cocaine and over $700,000 om
    Virginia's largest drug bust in 15 years.

    RAVES, too, that the Coast Guard announced yesterday that it seized about 2,800 pounds of cocaine during patrol in the eastern Pacific
    Ocean. The cocaine was worth an estimated $38.5 million.

    RAVES since all that may translate to a bit less fentanyl, heroin and cocaine being sold and used here in Fay.

    Please note, with there being a bipartisan bill in the Senate to sanction Chinese fentanyl labs and those who export it,

    RAVES of hope that no Fay commish takes it upon himself to contact Chinese labs directly, to tip them off or to try to squeeze them
    into a loan to fix the property tax sale problem or fast track some kind of damage settlement our way. (30 Aug 19)


    Why, God, why???
    Lohr contacted opposing side in national opioid lawsuit?
    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note of disbelief, reading that in the midst of the big pharmaceutical companies settling up lawsuits
    for the wrecking of municipal budgets dealing with an opioid plague, that Fayette County Commissioner Dave Lohr -- in what seems to
    be his goofiest yet motion -- reportedly, bypassed the lawyers handling this suit, and contacted the big pharmaceutical companies
    directly himself to settle the suit after it was filed.

    RANTS that we seem to have such a reckless commissioner. There seems to be no good, sound explanation to sign on to a suit with
    other plaintiffs and then contact the other side to settle it.

    RANTS, too, that Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink commented only so much on the Trib's webpage, but kept us hanging as to what
    exactly Lohr wanted to relay to the companies settling up through lawyers and how he went about approaching the county's
    opposition in a lawsuit. She needs to tell us more.  

    Too, we'll seek Lohr's reasoning for thinking he's qualified enough, smart enough and special enough to have contacted the opposition
    in a major lawsuit to try to settle it. Rants&Raves, too, will ask the Pittsburgh law firm handling the regional piece of the suit against the
    pharmaceutical company, if Lohr had been asked to contact the opposition in their suit.


    Shame on Lohr if he reached out to the pharmaceutical company to barter the settlement down for a desperate, quicker pay out, for
    instance, to cover his non budgeted spending mess with the county property tax sale revenue. More to come on this...

    but in the meantime...
    Lohr draws RAVES for wanting to improve airport's rep from place
    where US' most infamous bio-terrorist left car, disappeared
    RAVES to Lohr for what appears to be his serious, honest desire to revamp and expand the local airport's runways, He wants to
    transform it into a huge, thriving, hustle-bustle business center success that will draw legitimate businesses and good paying jobs to
    the area. Really, nobody here drank the cool aid or ate the brownies...

    It's just that somebody has to step up to change the image of the airport, in other words.

    May it be Lohr then.  An expanded airport just might draw legitimate businesses to the county.  An expanded airport, certainly, could
    not cause existing businesses or industry to shutter and leave the county. Most importantly, expansions, increased numbers of flights
    in and a busier airport status in the FAA's eyes could require incoming and outgoing flights there finally one day to have to be logged.
    Currently, unless someone purchases fuel with a credit card, flights otherwise are not on record.


    Till that piece of the its business status is changed, the airport will maintain its dark, shady reputation of being the place where this
    country's most infamous post 9-11 bio-terrorist left his vehicle and disappeared in the sky and the place where, still years later, alarms
    sound or go off detected by the FAA, from unregistered planes stored off record in hangers leased by local tenants.


    Really, Rants&Raves sincerely hopes that Lohr's interest in changing the airport's reputation and image with new corporate hangers --
    and all the private meetings he has had about the airport without Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink knowing about them -- pays off.  
    Respectfully, Rants&Raves asks its readers to pray and send only positive energy that Lohr makes the airport a true success.

    He just seems to be up against what might end up being a Goliath of feds who might prefer to keep operations well under the radar.  
    (29 Aug 19)


    Who picks jail over rehab?
    RANTS hearing a young woman in Connellsville today tell her legal representative trying to help her that she opts to return to prison,
    rather than go to detox or rehab.

    RANTS hearing her reasoning that she has "been to rehab 14 times," and simply just is not returning for more. Jail, on the other hand,
    offered her a drug-free environment.

    No, nobody else who could not help but overhear the sad exchange likely bought it, either.

    Fay Prison Board cancels another meeting
    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note that Wednesday's county prison board meeting is cancelled, due to a lack of a quorum of
    members.

    Tomorrow makes the second meeting cancelled since May this hectic re-election period.  The prison board is comprised of the three
    county commissioners, the district attorney, sheriff, controller and a judge.

    RANTS that it seems those who did plan on attending learned of the cancellation only by reading the public notice in today's classified
    section of the daily newspaper. (27 Aug 19)




    Nuns closer to selling land for medical center
    RAVES that no manipulation of the press seemed to be the case in the Trib's piece, "Fayette nuns sell land for construction of WVU
    outpatient center," covering the sale of 20 acres of land to the health care provider for the construction of one or two buildings on the
    estate.

    RAVES that the out of county newspaper article included no photos of and no comments from politicians seeking re-election, who
    previously dominated and filled big holes in the local news rag with double-talk spin of the sale being a highly exaggerated expansion
    of, or a mysterious "fourth phase" of an industrial park development.

    RAVES that the Trib wrote a straight forward piece without the fluff spin that the nuns were selling land for an industrial park
    development -- i.e., more restaurants that pay workers a pitifully low wage that requires them to have multiple jobs or rely on
    government assistance to support themselves or a family.  

    RAVES that the sisters didn't allow themselves to be the naive political chumps some may have hoped they easily would have been.
    (25 Aug 19)

    "Quote Of The Day" on next week's grand jury
    "Pursuant to the Supreme Court Order of June 28, 2019, Fayette County was selected to provide jurors for the Forty-Sixth Statewide
    Investigating Grand Jury..."
    Court Order, ordering that a pool of 300 potential jurors are to meet in one week with Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning, in the Fay
    Courthouse, Courtroom 1.  

    Faygate: Fay officials delete emails
    RANTS that Fayette County officials can't depend on their pricey contracted computer management company to keep
    correspondences among county commissioners and county board and authority members longer than one week, without causing an
    overload to the county email system.

    As per today's Courier piece, "County defends email practices in prison suit," we learn that the lawyer for three women -- who
    previously filed a civil suit against the county for the conditions which the women say they endured while incarcerated in 2017 in the
    county prison -- cannot obtain correspondences among county prison board members who pretty quickly claim to delete emails.

    Oddly, the suit doesn't specifically also target telephone text messages or instant messaging, in an era when some officials seem to
    have stopped sending traceable emails to peers almost entirely. And those who do keep others updated and those who do receive
    those updates or email communications from board peers all, or seemingly all, delete within, well, just one week.


    But back to the pricey monthly or yearly rate the contracted computer management company receives. Why can't the system that
    these professionals manage handle more than a week's worth of county email? It's not as though these officials email one another that
    often, right? We're speaking in terms of official county business.

    RANTS, because even if Fay had automatic electronic filing of incoming emails among officials and board peers with filters to simplify
    the process, there likely would still be little information to produce to fulfill a Right To Know request.

    RANTS because it's not brain surgery, but those officials wanting to hide routine business seem to fancy themselves to be entitled to a
    shroud of secrecy and extreme privacy, as though they were guarding a president. (16 Aug 19)


    "Quotes Of The Day" speculating on the grand jury about to convene
    "Could a grand jury be convening over 2018 Fairgate, other election irregularities, prosecutorial problems, more drug money
    laundering, Fay business fraud, more copper thefts or more unsolved murders?"
    Pete, this morning at the diner, reacting to news that a state grand jury is being convened in the next week in Fayette County

    "I didn't read that in the paper. You're lying. There's nothing wrong in Fay. Stop being negative. Everything's working here. There's no
    grand jury being convened. We don't need any grand juries here. Our leaders are beyond reproach."
    Gent sitting to Pete's left at the counter, trying to talk with food in his mouth, as gravy from his breakfast bisquits ran down his shirt onto his
    political campaign pin, escalating to asking Pete to stop talking

    "Yes, it's true. A grand jury is being convened. It probably won't matter anyway, since Fayette County judges can seal and never
    reopen a Presentment, as we know Judge Leskinen did a few years ago."
    Dave, adding his two cents, as the gent with the gravy stain on his tie and political pin left the counter in a huff to head to the men's room to try to
    spot clean himself




    Connellsville to start after hours tutorial program
    RAVES, RAVES and then some more RAVES, that the Connellsville School District is implementing an after school tutorial program for
    third through eighth graders, who want 12 weekly hours of help with homework, tutoring and STEM education.  

    Funding for the after school program will come from the state Department of Education, coordinated by the Private Industry Council.

    While these types of programs are designed to improve grades, school attendance and PSSA scores, RAVES of hope that the students
    who participate will also gain more confidence in their abilities and be less likely to ruin their lives with drugs, alcohol or any of the
    other social downfalls kids face these days.

    RAVES of hope that the after school program is a great success, showing some kids that they really can have a more promising future
    with some help. (15 Aug 19)

    Perryopolis cops credited in fed cocaine case tied to Mexican drug
    cartel
    RAVES to the small Perryopolis Borough Police, for having a hand in a regional take down of a large cocaine trafficking organization
    that feds called one of the largest to operate in the history of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

    The bust, ironically, targeted two brothers with sources to Mexican cartels, said to have brought hundreds of kilos of cocaine into the
    region, with a bulk of it sold here in Fayette County. The father of the brothers arrested, reportedly, helped run the ring from his federal
    prison cell.

    The two-year Operation Heavy Hand investigation involved FBI, state police and borough cops from Perryopolis, South Strabane and
    Elizabeth. The two brothers are said to have distributed large quantities of cocaine into Fayette and surrounding counties in this
    Mercedes van and an RV.  


    RANTS, however, that this particular case reeks too suspiciously reminiscent of a 2015 fed cocaine and heroin money laundering bust,
    in which the Fay task force and county officials supposedly were kept in the dark about, until round ups at dawn started.

    Only, a few days prior to that 2015 bust, an anonymous person wrote on faywest.com that a big bust was imminent. The father of a
    then county prison deputy warden was picked up in that bust.


    RAVES, this time around, that the feds seemed to trust the Perryopolis police in Fay enough to include them in the investigation and
    credited them in out of county newspapers for their assistance. (10 Aug 19)    

    Related references/reading:
    https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2019/08/01/jamie-lightfoot-pleads-guilty-for-large-drug-operatoin/
    https://observer-reporter.com/news/localnews/penn-hills-man-guilty-of-running-one-of-the-largest/article_256f1fce-b49c-11e9-a7aa-
    5bb956d9f747.html
    https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdpa/pr/jamie-lightfoot-jr-pleads-guilty-running-one-largest-drug-trafficking-organizations


    And speaking of Perryopolis, please visit the Vietnam Traveling Memorial, hosted by the Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department
    and Perryopolis Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7023, stationed at the Frazier School District Campus in Perryopolis, through
    tomorrow. (10 Aug 19)


    U'twn mayor fined for ethics violations
    RAVES to out of county newspapers for giving us Fay news when it happens. RANTS that we have to hear it first from papers outside
    Fay that the state Ethics Commission fined the Uniontown mayor for appointing himself as mayor when he was a city councilman, and
    for getting his daughter a job in his new administration.

    As per the Trib's piece, "State fines Uniontown mayor for votes to promote himself, daughter to public positions," the Uniontown
    mayor was fined $2,446.04, the difference or jump in pay he got appointing himself mayor in his paid councilman role. The article noted
    that the mayor donates his salary to charity. Apparently, that mattered not to the Ethics Commission after receiving a complaint.

    Complaints to the state ethics commission require signed, notarized statements.


    Nonetheless, RANTS that there had to be an ethics violation, a complaint and another news story that tells outsiders that Fay is corrupt
    or run by those who don't know jack about ethics, municipal codes, conflicts of interest or protocol. (5 Aug 19)

    While shooter targets Dayton, Fay nut targets disabled vet
    RANTS, as those with heart and conscience are sickened with news of two mass shootings in a 24-hour span in America, that one
    small, hateful hometown clique here in Fay opted to anonymously harass a whole extended family of a disabled veteran, for
    volunteering his free help to a developmentally disabled young man, who sat on the front prison stoop and wouldn't leave, when he
    was released 11 days ago on probation at 5:30 P.M. from the county prison.

    While Rants&Raves won't disclose the location of the man's temporary local residence to protect his privacy and the privacy of the
    other persons receiving limited housing services, we RAVE the volunteer being horribly trashed by anonymous trash for providing a
    team of other volunteers to help occupy the young man's time during the day and afternoons.

    Had this disabled veteran not stepped in to help keep the young disabled man safe, we all know that the young man, declared
    incompetent in need of a guardian one year prior to Fay extraditing him on intenet predictor violations, he, in all likelihood, 11 days
    ago, would have ended up arrested for loitering, hospitalized, or worse -- especially the longer he would have gone without
    medications.



    Had the disabled veteran trashed by the trash -- who, you just know, likely polish their shiny halos for public photos -- not helped the
    young man, the young man would not be in the process of getting his court misdemeanor matter transferred back home and definitely
    would not have received medication six days after his release from jail. The young man would have fallen through the cracks.


    So, RANTS it must be for the anonymous, cowardly trash, who spent this tragic and sad day in America spreading the same kind of
    hatred here locally online with the horrific attack on a disabled veteran and his extended family.

    RANTS that misfit babies orchestrated the mass shootings elsewhere today, and that here in Fay, our miserable shooters were those
    significantly older, some strongly sensed to be pillars in the community, with halos soaking away the sins, attacking the disabled vet
    volunteer and his extended family with the latest electronic, hand-held device. (4 Aug 19)

    DA didn't know so last month?
    Cremains no longer corpses to abuse?
    RANTS, once again, after the big news conference one month ago, with all those boxes of cremated remains from Stephen K's Little
    Storage Shed of Horrors, Fayette County District Attorney Rich Bower today dropped dozens of recent charges of abuse of corpses
    against the former local funeral home owner charged in 2018 with swiping about $600K from customers. Those abuse of corpses
    charges were filed last month after hidden business records and 18 boxes of cremated remains were found in a storage locker.

    Today's announcement -- i.e., that those recent charges were dropped and the defendant was released from jail  -- came as no surprise
    here.

    Talk for weeks -- especially inside the county prison -- has been that the district attorney foolishly jumped to suck up television air
    time in an election year without knowing the law, ignorant of the basic, common sense fact that cremated remains no longer are
    considered corpses to be able to be abused..

    No kidding.  (30 Jul 19)


    Kid on prison stoop finally gets meds
    RAVES, six days after the young man with developmental disabilities was released from the county prison and wouldn't leave the
    prison stoop, finally today received medications for the first time.

    RANTS that Fay just did not care to try to help.  Next time a developmentally disabled inmate is booted out of the prison to probation at
    5 PM,  the hearts of gold inside calling around for emergency shelter for them should probably contact that well known civil suit lawyer
    well in need of a real case for a change to take to court. (30 Jul 19)



    WHY?
    Fay extradited man in guardianship???
    RANTS that Fay's courts paid to extradite a developmentally disabled young man a few states away, brought him here with just the
    shirt on his back to prosecute him for inappropriate internet communication with a minor child, when courts there had already
    processed legal guardianship paperwork for him in 2018, declaring him to be incapable of making decisions.

    RANTS that the township cop and courts in Fay went to such ridiculous extremes to extradite him, bring him here 700 miles away to
    Fay to drop the charges, then release him from prison at 5 PM Wednesday without medication or means to purchase it, knowing that
    he was declared mentally incompetent in another state and unable to fend for himself. (See "Autistic man released from Fay Co Prison
    sits on stoop, stays," below.)

    RANTS that locals here showed no common sense and were so hell bent on prosecuting the developmentally disabled, homeless
    man, who reportedly aged out of foster care in another state and was then left to live on the streets.  

    Had he stayed put in his home state and not been incarcerated here in Fay for five or so months, he may have become eligible for
    some type of supported residential program by now instead of being homeless in Fayette County, PA. (26 Jul 19)  

       

    Gardens get break from humidity
    RAVES to being blessed with receiving a few spectacularly beautiful summer days, without humidity and rain this week, to give the air
    conditioning a well needed rest.  

    Some of the garden that did not rot from the humidity and mold of recent weeks might just end up rebounding, along with this
    summer's bumper crop of green beans, tomatoes and assorted peppers. Enjoy the day because we'll probably be whining again soon
    about the humidity! (25 Jul 19)




    Update: The young man mentioned below was released from the jail around 5 PM yesterday, wandered around town and went back to sit
    on the stoop.
    Autistic man released from Fay Co Prison sits on stoop, stays
    RAVES that two people inside the Fayette County Prison late last night cared enough to act and locate emergency respite housing for
    a young man with Autism released, but observed sitting on the front prison stoop around 10:30 PM last night, not leaving, not going
    anywhere.

    RAVES, of course, too, to the local family who got out of their jammies to go to the prison to offer the young man a safe place to stay
    overnight with them. No kidding, life really isn't as too often depicted in social media. There really are still some good people left who
    do these acts of kindness just because it's the right thing to do.


    RANTS, otherwise, to the whole system of supports and services -- or more appropriately, the breakdown of Fay's miserable system.
    In spite of everything done to date, the system fails and more often, miserably fails, persons with developmental disabilities being
    charged with crimes. Whether they're being hosed down by a guard to calm down or then withdrawn afterwards from the trauma, held
    way too long in turtle suits in the dark basement or released from jail and told to get on his own in the morning to meet with probation
    and mental health, the system can never seem to connect at the right time in too many instances.


    While Rants&Raves is not yet fully familiar with this young man's case -- i.e., why was he arrested, how he ended up in jail, what time
    he was released, how many people may have seen and ignored him sitting on the jail stoop, etc. -- we have to wonder if the young
    man would have still been sitting on the prison stoop this morning at dawn for him to get to appointments with adult probation and
    mental health. We have to wonder how a system so out of touch with its own inter-connected departments or roles could have done
    such a sloppy job with this release.


    RAVES, once again, to the two inside the prison with hearts of gold who wanted to find a safe place for the young man they saw sitting
    on a stoop outside the jail, not wanting to leave or too afraid to leave.... and to the family who went to the jail to take the young man
    somewhere safe for the night and offered to get him to his appointments today.

    Except for those two inside and the folks who took the young man off the street, we're quite convinced the whole rest of the
    pathetically late or disconnected social service and criminal justice system would not have remembered the young man with
    developmental disabilities probably until he missed a court date and a bench warrant was issued for another arrest. (25 Jul 19)  





    2019 Fay County Fair begins
    RAVES of hope on this opening day of the Fayette County Fair that the Usual Suspects from both political parties this year do not try to
    buy or sell votes or hold questionable or illegal drawings of any kind that violate election or criminal laws in their political committee
    and party booths.

    Please, God, don't let them embarrass Fay again in such cheap scandal, as they did one year ago with the 2018 Fairgate scandal that
    showed their disrespect or ignorance of state election laws, with the different prize awarding drawings for citizens who registered to
    vote at the fair or bought questionable prize giveaway tickets.

    Lets hope both sides learned something last year, but we are not going to be foolish enough to hold our breath on that one.  (25 Jul 19)


    "Quote Of The Day" on the definition of police oppression
    "So, if this ex-police chief is telling the truth, why didn't the attorney general file oppression charges against the district attorney?"
    Dave, this evening at the diner, asking


    DA, lead detective sued over S. Conn police oppression case
    RANTS that the state attorney general's office was pulled into another Fay case, to take over prosecution from the county district
    attorney, and that the formerly accused defendant now has filed suit for damages since the attorney general dropped criminal
    prosecution against him.

    A former South Connellsville police chief, in his civil suit against Fayette County District Attorney Rich Bower and a lead county
    detective, contends that the official charges of police oppression he faced were revenge charges filed against him after he increased
    police patrols to target drunk driving around a social club where Bower is said to have held political campaign fund raiser events.  

    Additionally, the former police chief contends that the district attorney refused to take calls from the South Connellsville police force
    and refused to help them with the prosecution of the drunk driving cases involving patrons of the social club.
     
    While we know that sometimes frivolous civil suits are filed, RANTS that this case appears to be one that might not go away for a mere
    $30K settlement. That the attorney general of the commonwealth dropped Bower's case of oppression against the former police chief
    should be an indicator that Fay will have to write a significantly larger check early on to settle this one and prevent additional
    testimony or statements from the former police chief from getting out.  (24 Jul 19)   


    Conn mayor loses Woodruff race, stirs pot with possible adult curfew
    RAVES to Connellsville's mayor for challenging and gracefully losing the Woodruff race to two confident teen gals with their comical
    "Eat my dust, mayor" shirts. True to his word, he allowed the two young women to be mayors for a day on Saturday and participate in
    some community and civic events around town. All that, yes, RAVES it is.

    But what, we must ask, was the same mayor thinking when he said that a curfew for adults might be considered and imposed to curb
    vandalism, break ins and crime? While we realize his frustration when there's an increase in crime, we can't agree that an adult curfew
    would do much except stop the observing citizens already reporting crime from seeing something suspicious and alerting police.

    RAVES of hope that more citizens report suspicious activity and not look the other way out of indifference or fear when they do
    witness something or learn something significant is planned to happen. Nobody likes a crazy vigilante, mind you. (23 Jul 19)


    Shaffer Boys Club: back open for business!
    RAVES to Uniontown lawyer Tommy Shaffer for caring to dig so deeply into his own pocket to fund a gymnasium open at no cost to
    boys and girls under 14 to use and where older wannabe athletes can train at a minimal cost to possibly become the world's next title
    winning boxer.

    Shaffer's late father, of course, was a local legend boxing trainer by the same name, who ran his own gym and training program for
    more than 50 years, for well known former world title holders. In his later years, the elder Shaffer was a sweet fixture in the old bank
    building running his basement-level barber shop.

    To those of us who worked in that 2 W. Main bank and office building, the elder Shaffer was often a breath of fresh air in a sometimes
    tense, hectic, downtown work atmosphere. RAVES that this new downtown gym pays tribute so poignantly to the elder Shaffer, who
    passed away six years ago at the age of 81.  

    RAVES to his son who adored him, for making the new gym a reality. (23 Jul 19)



    Imagine a womens prison at 32 Iowa today
    2014 'Obstructionists' thanked each, every time it rains
    RAVES that Fay once had citizens galore to challenge corruption and that the once proposed womens prison project at 32 Iowa Street,
    Uniontown, was stopped.

    RAVES, as that building flooded, as shown in a photo on the right, again today for what has to be the fifth or sixth time since county
    business developers and elected officials swore falsely to the public that the building never flooded, that female inmates and staff
    never came to be housed and working in that building, in a disaster waiting to happen.   

    RAVES, hearing Uniontown citizens on television news today comment about how quickly today's storm and flooding overtook their
    homes, that the once proposed womens prison project in a flood zone never happened. Imagine, if in addition to having to perform all
    of the amazing rescue work seen on today's televised news, if local emergency services had also to evacuate all those female
    inmates and staff on Iowa.  

    RAVES that Fay once upon a time had citizens galore who were not intimidated to challenge stupidity being promoted as sound
    business deals.

    RANTS that these were the same people that two current county commissioners and an editorial page editor scrambled in 2016 to
    intimidate back into silence.


    Now, nearly four years later, we no longer just have to wonder why. (21 Jul 19)



    "Quotes Of The Day" you won't read in Fay news articles about the hiring of a prison architect
    "As all seven architects said, and, more specifically, the top-two ranked, there is some significant land work that may need done
    because of current building, locations, slope, sewage, etc. Also, not all seven prison board members participated in all seven
    interviews and recalls and only one of the non commissioner prison board members shared his opinion with everyone, so not certain
    where Lohr got his information unless the others just spoke to him. All prison board members have been interested and participated in
    this process thus far. The key is continued open, shared information with all commissioners & prison board and public. Estimated
    costs, etc., were discussed. This is not an inexpensive project."
    Fayette County Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, in online newspaper reader comments to heraldstandard.com's "Fayette County
    Commissioners choose architectural firm for new prison," indicating that there is still too much county business being conducted in secrecy
    behind closed doors

    How much other counties pay Fay's fiscal guru SACS
    While we in Fay know that the county commissioners have paid Susquehanna Accountants and Consulting Solutions, Inc., (SACS),
    nearly one million dollars for professional services since 2016, we are curious how high or low tabs run up for other counties which
    use that same firm.

    Fay's extensive assistance or dependence on the SACS financial consultants these last 43 months, as per the commission, is because
    the previous 2016-19 commission of Ambrosini-Zapotosky-Zimmerlink left the county in such pathetic fiscal shape at the close of 2015.

    True, nobody can argue that the current three county commissioners scrambled and worked like a well oiled machine to re-do the
    2016 budget. They needed SACS then.


    Problem is, of course, that the current three disagree on the level of dependence the county should have on SACS, since Fay inches
    closer to the million dollar mark in spending with the Harrisburg firm. Instead of becoming less dependent, Fay keeps on wracking up
    the hours on the SACS tab.


    Let it be stated clearly, that Rants&Raves isn't knocking anyone who works at that firm.

    We just want to take a fair look at what other counties pay SACS, in comparison to Fay. We figure all who've turned to SACS over the
    years probably were in dire or near-dire financial straits, or in dire need of consultants to step in and take over, due to staff vacancies
    or other reasons, including staff negligence or incompetence.


    More specifically, too, Rants&Raves would also like to learn if it's true or not that SACS has to remind all county staff outside of Fay,
    as, supposedly, in Fay, SACS sometimes is said to have to remind staff to follow through on some type of previously agreed upon
    expectation or task.  


    While we know that news articles state that another county paid SACS about $240,000 in two years for basic county fiscal consultation
    and a separate jail contract, Rants&Raves will try to find out what the other counties have paid in recent years, in comparison to Fay's
    total likely to exceed $1 million before the end of this year.  

    Somehow, we doubt anyone else outside of Fay is such a high service utilizer or big spender. (18 Jul 19)


    "Quotes Of The Day" on two cases in Fay's oh soooooooooo slow court system, one grabbing attention of --
    no, simply blowing the minds of -- thoroughly shocked, retired fed investigators following our local Fay kangaroo court system
    with jaws dropped

    “For the record, it is clear that Defendant has been held in pre-trial incarceration well in excess of 180 days from the date
    on which the Complaint was filed in this matter after excluding the periods of delay caused by the Defendant.”
    Fayette County Judge Gerald Solomon, waking up after taking nearly three months to conclude that Fayette County Assistant District Attorney
    Christina A. DeMarco-Breeden in April needed a new calculator when asserting that the mandate for the defendant's right to trial in 180 days for
    prosecution without bail was way kewl till August 11, 2019, but way wrong

    "... the slow protracted adjudication of it is a national tragedy. It should be an indicting example of the state of 'in-
    justice' and a citizen's constitutional rights in the greatest country in the world."
    Retired federal criminal investigator, offering opinion this week on Fay's ridiculously unique system of chaos that we call the courts, while
    continuing tp follow a different homicide case before Fay's too often illegally operated legal system  



    Why can't they get it right for long?
    Fay prison commissary accounts frozen by glitch or staff neglect?
    RANTS hearing first a few weeks ago about a prison lock down, then more recently that tension is so bad among some staff at Fay's
    county prison that grievances or talk of grievances being written circulates even to the inmates.

    Those preventable situations were bad enough, but now word has come in to Rants&Raves that Fay, once again, is failing to run the
    inmate commissary account system properly.

    "Inmate pay doesn't deposit on time, money orders aren't deposited in a timely manner, paper commissary orders are always messed
    up. Now, regular commissary orders are not ordered," Rants&Raves was told today.


    "These little things are important to inmate morale and they keep screwing up," an incarcerated man said of the disappointment
    experienced among those incarcerated at the county prison who cannot access their personal funds.

    RANTS that the commissary system experiences such nasty glitches, or is just not updated with deposits or funds because some staff
    is not doing his or her job of making those transitions.

    RANTS because word inside leans towards odds having the latter possibility be the case. (11 Jul 19)


    "Quotes Of The Day" on Fay's pitiful quality of life, this part of Appalachia
    "Relative to the national average, Fayette County worsened on all three of ARC’s economic indicators in the past year. While the
    county’s per capita market income improved by 3.2 percent from $26,487 in 2016 to $27,345 in 2017, the national average improved at a
    greater rate (5.4 percent), causing the county’s value relative to the national average to worsen from 65.1 percent to 63.8 percent of the
    U.S. rate."
    China Riddle, communications specialist for Appalachian Regional Commission, as quoted above comparing the quality of life across 420
    counties in 12 Appalachian states, in today's Herald Standard piece, "Report shows Pennsylvania's Appalachia residents make $7,000 less than
    state average"

    "There’s a lot of activity going on in Fayette. Recently there’s been a lot of growth with our businesses and it probably hasn’t shown in
    the reports because those are taking numbers from 2017. Fayette will be considered transitional when the next report comes around
    again."
    Bob Stark, executive director, Fay-Penn Economic Development Council for Fayette County, trying to comfort us with hopeful spin, in the same
    referenced article, to reserve judgement since Fay "will be" considered transitional when the ARC releases economic status designations in the
    upcoming years.


    Happy Independence Day!



    Fay court settlement that should not have ever happened
    RANTS that the county didn't litigate to defend, and didn't take more cases against one particular public official to court, but opted, way
    too often, instead to settle out of court with the supposed persecuted staff.

    RANTS, because according to the spouse of one of those civil case petitioners, that spouse claimed to have used unspecified personal
    or political influence of some kind to get the spouse staff hired in the first place at the courthouse. Read More.


    "Quotes Of The Day" in Fay today
    "I didn't realize where the DA was going when I saw all those boxes. That presentation and Dollar General bag were surreal! We didn't
    need to see the 21 boxes. I would've taken his word for it if he just showed us the big, empty container or a picture of it. Talk about
    prejudicing a jury!"
    Pete, who recently lost a brother and nephew, whose ashes have not yet arrived from out of state, for their memorial service, commenting on a
    hard copy, headline news story on the day-old newspaper sitting folded on the diner counter of the former funeral home director who stole
    $600K from customers and now is charged with hiding cremains for 21 customers in a storage locker

    "We weren't told anything about those missing business documents found in that storage locker, huh?"
    Dave,  just asking, about the documents that the former funeral home director previously told police didn't exist to his knowledge, found with the
    cremains