Metro Beat

Increased fines and fees

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has announced that beginning Jan. 1, there will be an increase in fines on overdue materials and fees for library services as a way to address financial issues the library system is facing.

Changes include, scans and overdue adult prints, VHS, CDs, MP3 Playaways and slides will be 30 cents; photocopies and computer prints will be 25 cents per day; and overdue children’s materials 20 cent per day.

There will be a Board of Trustees meeting Dec. 14, where there will be a final decision announced on the proposed library closings.


Assessment plan

Last Friday Allegheny County’s 2012 Reassessment Property plan has been approved by Common Pleas Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. This comes as a result of two groups representing property owners claimed the county’s base-year assessment was unfair.

“It is regrettable that Allegheny County has once again been court ordered to perform a reassessment. But I want Allegheny County property owners to know that this battle is not over—it has only shifted to Harrisburg,” Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato said in a release. “Allegheny County will comply with the court-ordered 2012 reassessment, but I will also spend the next 24 months fighting to fix Pennsylvania’s broken property assessment system and to protect property owners from backdoor tax increases and court-mandated reassessments.”


New weapons

Pittsburgh police officers are expected to receive 40 more new high-powered riffles Dec. 11. The Smith and Wesson M and P15 rifles are a civilian variant of the M-16 rifle used by the U.S. military and the city’s SWAT unit. They have already received 15 for training purposes.

All six zones will receive the riffles and will begin required training in January. Currently most officers carry handguns and each bureau has shotguns.

The $80,000 agreement for these riffles was set forth after three officers were killed by a man with assault weapons when they answered a call at a Stanton Heights home April 4.


Census hiring

The United States Census Bureau is now hiring for various jobs for the 2010 Census Day on Apr. 1. Every 10 years, each person and household must be counted.

The bureau is looking for men and women, 18 and over, to fill part-time, temporary jobs that offer good pay, flexible hours, paid training and the ability to work close to home. The pay ranges from $15.75 to $18.75 per hour.

Interested individuals must be a U.S. citizen and are required to pass a test and a background check. There are practice test available at the website.

For more information, call, 1-866-861-2010 or visit


Membership meeting

The Pittsburgh Branch of the NAACP will hold a General Membership Meeting Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. at the Freedom Unlimited Building on Wylie Avenue in the Hill District. The meeting will include a discussion on the education issues, especially in the Pittsburgh area and voting for National board members.


Greeter assaulted

AP—A 72-year-old Walmart greeter near Pittsburgh was punched in the face outside his store and now is in the hospital.

Surveillance video shows the employee, Thomas Jenkins, walking near the entrance to the Walmart in North Versailles on Tuesday night. A man came around the corner, punched Jenkins in the face and he fell to the ground.

North Versailles Police Sgt. Vince DiCenzo says the attack appears unprovoked.

Paul Washington, 55, of North Versailles, was arrested and charged with assault, public drunkenness and other counts. It is not clear if he has an attorney.

DiCenzo says Washington denies hitting Jenkins, despite the video footage.

Jenkins is being treated in a hospital for broken facial bones.

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