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Around The Rivers: A Coach's New Start, A Drug Dealer Jailed, A Race for Virginia and A Police Legacy

Here's a review of the week's headlines from around our region's Three Rivers.

Patch noshed on hot dogs and goodies, played plenty of games and  on the 

We hummed along to , romped and raced with you in parks and, we admit it, noshed some more beside you at your hometown's .

We kept you abreast of developments in court cases, and we made you smile with peeks at  caught frolicking for our cameras. Come on, folks -- when's the last time you had a front-row view of . . . 

Patch brought you plenty of other stories as well from Around the Rivers over the past week. Among them:

 

After reaching a four-year contract with its teachers union, the  sent furlough notices to 27 staff members, including 19 support staff and eight cafeteria workers.

School Board President Mark Scappe said the support staff members received furlough notices after their five-year contract with the district expired. District officials said the planned layoffs may affect only three people, but all positions had to be eliminated and reopened.

A meeting is planned for July 19 for staff members to bid on job openings based on seniority. Scappe said negotiations with the support staff's union are ongoing, and the district may reinstate the positions.  

 

Mark Washington, the Moon Area School District’s new head varsity football coach, said he's aiming to build a family as he prepares for the upcoming season.

"I want that family to extend into the whole community, not just the high school," he said. "I expect big things from [the team] this year."

The Aliquippa native and former Quips assistant coach acknowledged that some parents in Moon weren't keen on his  to replace former coach Jonathan Miller, who resigned in March.

But Washington, 42, didn't waste time getting to work to win over his players and their parents. He held his first team meeting one day after his hiring, and he started practices in June.

He's betting his team of assistant coaches, who've played or coached with him before, will help to boost Moon's 3-6 overall record from last year.

"You know, the kids and the parents have been great, and we've got a lot of supportive people," he said. "I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but everybody's getting to know me."

 

A judge sentenced John Duzicky, a convicted drug dealer and former owner of a well-known motorcycle shop, to up to 12 years in prison after the  man  for sentencing on drug charges in January.

“I was scared. I was backed into a corner and did not know where to go,” Duzicky, 39, told Beaver County Common Pleas Judge John P. Dohanich. The judge was not swayed by pleas for leniency and sentenced Duzicky to six to 12 consecutive years in prison, with eligibility for parole after six years. 

The former owner of the Infamous Choppers cycle shop in Ohio Township was one of 12 people charged in a drug-trafficking operation that the state Attorney General's office said shipped marijuana valued at more than $2 million from Arizona to Western Pennsylvania between 2007 and 2009.

Duzicky pleaded guilty Jan. 28 to charges of maintaining a corrupt organization and possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, according to the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office. While free on bond and awaiting sentencing, he fled to Arizona until authorities located and extradited him.

 

A suspended  officer and an Economy man will stand trial and have pleaded not guilty of charges in a drunken-driving crash a year ago in Economy, Beaver County.

Beaver County Judge Dale Nicholson held Officer Wayne Drish, 36, of Bell Acres, and Jason Ludovico, 31, of Economy, for court during a hearing on charges filed after the crash Aug. 1

Ludovico is charged with drunken driving, reckless driving and careless driving. Drish, who is  from the Leetsdale Police force, is charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution, obstructing the law and providing false statements to law enforcement about the crash. 

During the hearing, prosecutors presented testimony and evidence pointing to Ludovico as the driver of the car. Defense attorneys, however, noted that Drish has said he was driving before the crash.

 

Red Cross Volunteers to Deploy to North Dakota

Spurred by reports of disastrous flooding that has displaced thousands in North Dakota, residents of Patch communities headed west to pitch in and help with other Red Cross volunteers.

Richland resident Joe Korinchak planned to  for residents of Minot, where around 11,000 residents have been evacuated and forced to seek alternate shelter.

High school math teacher  who has been a Red Cross volunteer for 15 years, also planned to spend two to three weeks working with flood victims in North Dakota.

"No one who hasn't lost their home to a disaster can even imagine how hard it is for these people," said Korinchak, who has volunteered with the Red Cross since he retired five years ago. 

 

Virginia Clark was 9 when she died in 2002 of neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer.

Over the next decade, her family and friends organized Cranberry's Race for Virginia each Fourth of July to honor her memory. The annual 5K run/walk has raised around $500,000 for the Pediatric Cancer Research Fund at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

This year's event at  was the 10th and final running of the race. Nancy Clark, Virginia's mother, said her daughter would have graduated from high school this year, and it is time for the race's dedicated volunteers to move on.

“As a bereaved parent, you worry your child will be forgotten because of her short life,” she said. “The race was a way to have more people  get to know her.”

 

After nearly 60 years in the "family business," the last members of the Freedman clan are leaving law enforcement in Ross Township and West View to others.

Randall Freedman, 63, a lieutenant with the  for 37 years, retired June 30, following in the footsteps of his older brother. Ralph Freedman retired in February as chief of police with the 

Their father, Ralph C. Freedman Sr., and another brother, Ronny Freedman, also worked as West View officers. The brothers had distinguished careers in their communities and occasionally worked together on cases that overlapped boundaries. 

Both men said they are ready for a new, less busy chapter of their lives.

“I think that it was time to move on, go out and enjoy the weather or whatever,” Ralph Freedman said.

“I’m going to Disney World!” his brother joked.

william green July 11, 2011 at 01:01 AM
6 - 12 for marijuana conviction that is insane . that he is going at all is a joke ( a bad joke) - but for up to 12 years that is just not right . and its not just my opinion . the government needs to focus on whatever it is they are really supposed to be doing and quit wasting tax money that they dont have to begin with . I LOVE MY COUNTRY - GOD BLESS AMERICA BUT I FEAR MY GOVERNMENT

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