Happy Birthday to Pine-Richland Patch!

It has been an action-filled year in which we have published nearly 1,700 articles.

'Twas two days before Christmas and all through my house, the computer keys were clicking. I didn't have a mouse.

Pine-Richland Patch was launching, it was quite an event.

Readers got tons of information about the community ... and it didn't cost them a cent.

OK, I can't keep rhyming in telling you my big news:

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Pine-Richland Patch's launching! 

It has been an action-filled year during which we have published nearly 1,700 articles, averaging more than four articles a day.

I would love to tell you which ones were the best or most important, but I'm a little prejudiced. As far as I'm concerned, they all are important.

But I can tell you about a few that touched my heart.

One of the first people about whom we wrote was a little girl who turned 10 on Christmas Day 2010 and had spent her entire life battling a rare intestinal disease that prevented her from eating.

In early December, she finally received the organ transplant for which she had been waiting. We followed the story of those tough days and weeks she spent in the hospital, battling pain and potential organ rejection.

We followed Matisse's story through her mother, Jodee, who writes eloquently about life with Matisse in a journal on CaringBridge.org.

Early in January, the community came together for in honor of Matisse. Donors told us they wanted to do "something" to help the brave little girl.

We published many of their photos and quotes in the hopes that Matisse and her family would click on the story and see how many friends and strangers came out to support her.

Another little girl's story filled our website, too.

Singing prodigy  was born the same year as Matisse, and somehow the stars aligned to bring both of these children to Richland Township.

Jackie's story is known internationally. Quickly rising to fame through her performances on America's Got Talent, she has performed at venues all over the U.S. as well as Canada, Great Britain and Japan.

Just this week, , again wowing the hometown crowd as well as avid fans who traveled long distances to see her show.

Monitoring Jackie's journey has given us the pleasure of watching her many TV interviews, in which she always comes across as the same sweet kid with a close-knit family. In fact, she was named recently to

Another person who touched my heart was someone I did not have the pleasure to meet and interview.

The late  was a police officer for Northern Regional Police Department and fire chief for Wexford Volunteer Fire Co. Writing his obituary and creating a was an incredible honor and privilege, knowing that someday his grandchildren might view it to get to know the man roundly praised as a great police officer, fire chief, family man and incredibly good person.

is a person I did have the pleasure to meet, and I don't think I'll ever forget her. She traveled to Afghanistan to capture the stories of female soldiers as she prepared to film “Female Veterans on the Long Journey Home: A Documentary.”

DeStefano drew her inspiration from an episode of "Oprah" in which a female war veteran was the guest.

“She said that when she went to make her 4-year-old a peanut-butter sandwich, she realized she could never make a sandwich like she did before she went to war, because she had lost her arm in combat,” said DeStefano. “That moved me so much, and I wanted to do something out of that story.”

We have written about the weather, crime, court cases and roadwork.

During the past year, 's plans to create a sustainable campus in Richland Township have been approved; moved into a new fire station; is being renovated and expanded; and

We gave you local-angle stories on the Steelers' run to the Super Bowl, restaurant reviews, recipes, day trips and business profiles.

Then there were taxes, elections, schools, township governments, community days, sports and the arts.

Patch.com is constantly evolving, always with our eyes on the goal of being your online source of information for the Pine-Richland community.

We hope you've enjoyed seeing us online as much as we've enjoyed being there for you.


Kelly Burgess December 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM
Happy Birthday, Patch! And a many more!
Jeanne Dutel December 23, 2011 at 12:15 PM
Congrats on a great first year. Happy Birthday P-R Patch.
Larissa Dudkiewicz December 23, 2011 at 01:20 PM
Happy Birthday Pine-Richland Patch!
Terry Baker December 23, 2011 at 01:24 PM
Congratulations and Happy First Anniversary Cindy, to you and all those with whom you work to bring the Patch to our "door step" every day. Although I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota I very much enjoy hearing about the news from your area. And as one of Jackie Evancho's biggest fans (maybe the-biggest) I especially appreciate all you do to share the news and excitement of Jackie and her amazing journey. I have flown in to attend both of Jackie's hometown performances at the Benedum Center, and am coming to love Pittsburgh more with each visit. Jackie is a great "Ambassador" for your city as well as America's Sweetheart. You all must be very proud of her as are her family and legions of fans. Well done, and keep up the great work. -Terry Baker Minneapolis, MN
Jessica Sinichak December 23, 2011 at 01:38 PM
Happy Birthday, Pine-Richland Patch! Great job Cindy!
Cindy Cusic Micco December 23, 2011 at 02:23 PM
Thank you!
Dr.Fred Brown December 23, 2011 at 05:55 PM
A verrry HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the wonderful PATCH. I think Jackie Evancho put the Patch on the map. We count on you Cindy and staff. I hope it has been an enjoyable year.
Mike Jones December 23, 2011 at 08:24 PM
Congrats on the P-R Patch's anniversary!


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