In The News

O-R business editor retiring after 27 years

Much like the fluctuating stock market, Observer-Reporter Business Editor Michael Bradwell has seen his share of ups and downs on the local business beat. Now, after 27 years, Bradwell is sounding the closing bell and retiring.

Canonsburg company provides closed captioning for Olympics

Canonsburg-based Vitac Corp. was chosen by NBC Olympics to provide live closed captioning services for its production
of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Officials discuss construction plans coming to Peters Township

Another year brings another variety of construction projects in Peters Township.

Ed Zuk, township planning director, provided an overview of what is being built for the edification of Peters Township School Board members during their annual joint meeting with township council, held Monday night.

Mexican equity fund buys Southpointe office building

The Aztec Fund Inc. has bought 501 Technology Drive, a Class A office building in Southpointe.

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, which marketed the building on behalf of the seller, an affiliate of Laurus Corp., announced the transaction on Tuesday, but did not disclose financials.

Public invited to view plans for fairgrounds entrance project

Washington County commissioners will host a public meeting to present changes proposed for the trolley-stop entrance to the fairgrounds at 6 p.m. Feb. 13, in exhibit hall No. 2.

Because the project includes $750,000 of funding from the state Department of Transportation, a public meeting is required. An additional $400,000 from the Local Share Account from gambling proceeds generated by The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has been earmarked for the work.

Commissioners award contracts for new buildings at airport

After analyzing 45 bids for two metal buildings on concrete slabs to be constructed at Washington County Airport, the board of commissioners Thursday awarded four contracts totaling $3.1 million.

W&J purchases East Chestnut Street building

Washington & Jefferson College has purchased the O’Reilly Auto Parts building in the city, according to information provided by the county’s recorder of deeds office.

The college purchased the building at 57 E. Chestnut St., which for many years prior to O’Reilly was operated as Auto Supermarket, for $512,500 from Eagle Holdings LLP of Uniontown.

Freedom Transit gets new buses

Washington County Transit Authority will have two new buses within two weeks, as part of a five-year purchasing contract it entered years ago.

Joseph Thomas, director of fixed-route services for Freedom Transit, addressed Washington City Council Monday to inform them of a new 30-foot bus they received last week and another on its way. He said these are the first two of five new buses the authority will receive as part of a purchasing consortium contract they entered with Federal Transit Administration grant funds in 2015.

Shell ethane pipeline application under review by DEP

Shell Pipeline Co. has submitted applications to the state Department of Environmental Protection related to the construction of its Falcon Ethane Pipeline to carry ethane from natural gas production sites to Shell’s ethane cracker plant now under construction in Beaver County.

Lauren Fraley, community coordinator for communications in DEP’s Southwest Regional office, said Monday the permit application “is currently under technical review” by the agency. While Shell was earlier approved to construct the cracker plant in Beaver County, Fraley said this is the first time it has submitted an application for construction of pipelines to the plant.

Apartment construction started in Washington Trust Building project

If all goes as planned, there will be two dozen new one-bedroom apartments for rent in the middle of downtown Washington by the end of the year.

Vanessa Murphy, project manager for Pittsburgh-based Trek Development Group’s Washington Trust Building at the corner of South Main and East Beau streets, said last week a demolition of floors two through 10 of the building’s tower that began in October is nearing completion and that framing for some of the 24 apartment units has begun. The apartments were designed by the Pittsburgh architectural firm LAB8 in collaboration with Clearscapes Architect + Art from North Carolina.

California University of Pennsylvania adds new data science degree

Responding to changing workforce needs, California University of Pennsylvania will add a new degree this fall: a bachelor of science in statistics and data science.

Peters Township High School plan recommended for approval

The site plan for a new Peters Township High School has been recommended for approval by the township planning commission.

Peters Township Council now will vote on granting approval, which would pave the way for the $90 million project to advance, toward a targeted opening at the start of the 2020-21 academic year.

Vacated Monongahela building may prove an economic catalyst

For nearly four months, a large building at 211 W. Main St. in Monongahela has stood vacant. Following its purchase by the Monongahela Area Chamber of Commerce, the building is expected to play a major role in the city’s economic growth.

In partnership with the Mon Valley Alliance, which guaranteed the loan from Community Bank, the chamber closed on the building Dec. 28. EQT Corp. donated $15,000 toward the purchase price of $60,000, with another donor who wishes to remain anonymous contributing an additional $5,000.

Ensinger expansion project progresses

An expansion project is progressing for Ensinger Inc., an international plastics manufacturing company with North American headquarters in North Strabane Township.

According to Doug Trbovich, North Strabane’s building code official, Ensinger has three projects going on near its facility at 365 Meadowlands Boulevard – a new headquarters facility, an addition to its current facility, and a parking lot expansion that is on the township supervisors’ agenda for approval next week.

Dunkin' Donuts to open W. Chestnut St. location Monday

Heartland Restaurant Group, the Pittsburgh-based franchisee for Dunkin' Donuts in Southwestern Pennsylvania, said it will hold a grand opening Monday of its newest Dunkin' Donuts unit at 1271 W. Chestnut St.

Jimmy John's opens Southpointe location

A new Jimmy John’s sandwich shop at 1800 Main St. in Southpointe Town Center, is open for business.

“This will be our fifth store in the Pittsburgh area and our team is excited to serve fresh, fast and tasty sandwiches to a new set of customers in the area,” said owner Chris Petty.

Starpointe receives $1.5M state grant for infrastructure work

Starpointe, the business park in Hanover Township, is receiving a $1.5 million state grant for infrastructure work through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

The announcement, made by state Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Carroll, is for development and infrastructure work that will include 1.5 million cubic yards of earthwork and the installation of electric and phone conduits, gas and water lines, streets, sidewalks, curbs and other components of the park.

State grants go to Chapman Properties, Washington business incubator

Chapman Properties will receive a $1 million state grant to develop the Chapman Southport Business Park at Racetrack Road and Tanger Boulevard in South Strabane Township.

In addition to Chapman’s $1 million grant, Washington & Jefferson College received $500,000 in Redevelopment Assistance Capital money to start construction on the Greater Washington Area Business Incubator.

MCC adds space

Park Place developer sees more retail, restaurants and apartments coming in 2018

Residential project for seniors gains conditional use approval in Peters Township

A proposed 124-unit residential complex for senior citizens at Valley Brook Road and Friar Lane has gained conditional-use approval from Peters Township Council.

Lake Superior Consulting Announces New Engineering Office and Regional Engineering Manager in Canonsburg

Lake Superior Consulting (LSC) is pleased to announce the opening of a new office in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and the addition of John Henning, PE, as Regional Engineering Manager. LSC has been playing an increasing role in Northeastern Pennsylvania since 2012 and has an existing office shared with parent company, Shawcor, in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

New Sky Zone trampoline park will let customers jump for joy

Washington County is now home to an indoor, walled trampoline court whose concept is so unique it holds a patent.

Regardless of its pedigree, it will be a jumpin’ joint when it officially opens Friday.

Sky Zone, an internationally franchised indoor trampoline park, held a pre-opening event for media Nov. 30 at 281 Georgetown Road in Cecil Township. The local franchise is co-owned by Joel Karg and Dave Beckett, two Ohioans who also have a unit in Monroeville.

Fairmont Supply adds 2 suppliers

Fairmont Supply, one of the largest distributors of industrial maintenance, repair and operation supplies in the United States, has announced Industrial Pipe & Supply of Omaha, Neb., and Industrial Pipe & Valve of Portland, Ore., have joined the Fairmont Supply family of companies.

Perryman increases titanium melting capacity

Perryman Co. will more than double its current titanium melting capacity through the addition of two new furnaces, as it prepares to tap a larger segment of the aerospace industry.

CNX Resources completes spin-off of Consol Energy

CNX Resources Corp., formerly named Consol Energy Inc., said Wednesday it has completed the spin-off of Consol Energy Inc., formerly named Consol Mining Corp., creating two publicly-traded companies – a natural gas exploration and production company and a coal company.

Heading downstream: MSC president updates natural gas industry activity

The president of Marcellus Shale Coalition said Tuesday the natural gas industry is moving to a new phase that seeks to develop new markets for the abundant natural gas now being extracted from the region.

David Spigelmyer recalled an ad campaign several years ago by Range Resources that had a tagline of “Drilling is just the beginning.”

“Drilling truly was just the beginning,” Spigelmyer told about 100 members of Washington County Chamber of Commerce at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southpointe. While drilling for the product is still very much active, he said the focus is now migrating toward finding new markets for wet and dry natural gas.

Real estate broker seeing more activity from large square footage users in Southpointe

A commercial real estate broker with longtime experience in leasing at Southpointe is seeing a wave of activity from large square-footage users over the past few months.

Two state grants awarded to Washington County projects

More than $900,000 in state grants was awarded last week for two projects in Washington County, according to state Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Carroll Township.

Well completion company takes new space in Washington County

Well completion company FTS International is growing its operations in western Pennsylvania, moving a wireline division previously based in Ohio to Washington County.

Ductmate Industries moves ahead with sustainability measures

When Ductmate Industries made a commitment a decade ago to get its employees to think about sustainability on the shop floor, company officials knew they were fomenting a major cultural change in attitudes about material and energy waste at the plant that makes metal ductwork for commercial and residential applications.

“Everybody buys into this, and everybody takes a road to get there,” DMI Director of Operations Doug Gudenburr said Thursday.

The company’s local plant sits in Forward Township, Allegheny County, directly across the Monongahela River from Monongahela. Its corporate headquarters are in Charleroi, and its 250 employees hail mainly from Washington, Fayette and Westmoreland counties.

CB Financial, First W.Va. Bancorp announce merger

CB Financial Services Inc., the Carmichaels-based holding company for Community Bank, and First West Virginia Bancorp, Inc., the Wheeling-based holding company for Progressive Bank, NA, on Thursday announced a definitive merger agreement under which First West Virginia will merge into CB in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $49 million.

Here's the new tenants coming to the Street at the Meadows

The new craft beer offering of Whitehourse Brewing will be joined by J&D Cellars, a wine maker based in Eighty Four, Pa., that specializes in producing a variety of wines from grapes and other fruits.

They come to a property along with a Dunkin’ Donuts, an office for Howard Hanna, and an outpost of wealth management firm Hilliard Lyons. Already operating at the Street at the Meadows is a Buford’s Kitchen, a Markook Authentic Mediterranean Eats and a Primanti Bros. restaurant.

Perryman Co. buys former Caterpillar site to expand titanium production

Perryman Co. said Wednesday it purchased the former Caterpillar site – approximately 35 acres of land – adjacent to its current headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Houston where it will create an advanced manufacturing campus for its titanium products.

Washington County energy services company eyes growth in '17 and beyond

HydroEdge Solutions, which provides turnkey water services for the oil and gas industry, is planning to hire more than 20 employees by the end of the year to accommodate its growth.

Artisanal cheese merchant takes retail space in Washington

For the past several years, Emerald Valley Artisans of Scenery Hill has had glowing success selling its artisanal cheeses to restaurants and other commercial food outlets across Pennsylvania.

Now the company, which makes 11 different types of hard cheeses from locally produced cow’s milk as well as two versions of ricotta cheese, is testing the retail market on Main Street in Washington.

Emerald Valley co-founder Alisa Fava Fasnacht said the “pop-up” store at 145 S. Main St., has the potential to become a permanent location if the company sees ample demand from walk-in customers.

Dash-n-Dine expands delivery service to Washington

Dash-n-Dine Delivery, a multi-restaurant delivery service based in Bridgeville has expanded its service area to Washington, the company said Friday in a press release.

Finleyville Airport gets GPS approach

Bad weather conditions will be less of a deterrent for humanitarian and medical flight pilots who need to land at Finleyville Airport, now that it has a GPS approach for landing.

Tom Riemer of Virginia spent the last two years working to clear the approach with the Federal Aviation Administration, saying safety was his main concern.

Consol officially separates coal and natural gas entities

For the past year, Consol Energy has discussed its intention to separate its oil and gas and coal businesses into two separate entities.

The company’s board made the move official Tuesday, approving the separation of the energy company into publicly traded natural gas and coal entities. It will divide the stock for shareholders in late November.

Popeyes opening Monday in South Strabane

The fast food restaurant, which has been under construction for several months at the Washington Mall in South Strabane Township, will open Monday, October 30, the contractor at the site posted on Facebook Tuesday.

Washington Crown Center adding Rural King Supply, Toffee House

Two weeks ago, a bridge connecting Franklin Farms Road with Washington Crown Center’s South Ring Road reopened at the North Franklin Township shopping mall.

The timing of the bridge reopening, which provides a crucial second entrance/exit in addition to the main one from West Chestnut Street, couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time, according to Washington Crown Center Manager Civil Knox.

Coen redoubles efforts to grow convenience store business

A 94-year-old Washington County company is looking to a future where it could nearly double the number of its locations in the next five years.

Coen Oil Co. began as a single service station in 1923 and grew into a regional powerhouse in commercial and residential oil, transport and energy services. Earlier this month, it sold its Coen Energy and Coen Transport divisions to Sprague Resources (NYSE: SRLP).

New Hampshire firm acquires two Coen Oil divisions

Sprague Resources LP has acquired Coen Energy and Coen Transport, bringing the publicly-traded company based in New Hampshire into southwestern Pennsylvania.

Financial terms of the deal between Sprague (NYSE: SRLP) and privately held Coen Oil. Co. of Washington, Pa., included a $33.75 million base purchase price, the value of its petroleum products and a potential earnout of up to $12 million, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange filing made by Sprague. The rest of Coen Oil, which also includes convenience stores and a tire company, were not involved in the transaction and remain on their own.

Peters Township Council approves preliminary plan for 55-lot development

The preliminary plan for a proposed residential development containing 55 single-family lots recently received approval from Peters Township Council.

The township requires that Justabout Farms, to be built on 25.8 acres between Bower Hill and Justabout roads to the north of Snyder Road, sets aside 30 percent of the property as open space. 

Heyl & Patterson division moving to Southpointe

A 130-year-old Pittsburgh engineering firm that was sold out of bankruptcy last year to an Ellwood City-based manufacturer is moving back to town.

The Heyl & Patterson Equipment Division of Hall Industries is taking 8,000 square feet at Southpointe with an option to triple that space as it grows, confirmed Vice President Len Walnoha. The move of 20 employees to 701 Technology Drive is expected to occur by mid-October.

Executive: Shell cracker will ‘change the skyline’ next year

Within the next two to three years, the region should start to see additional plastics manufacturers arriving in the region to take advantage of cheap polyethylene pellets being produced here, an economic development official said Thursday.

Pittsburgh Regional Alliance President David Ruppersberger made the comment while participating in a panel discussion during the second day of the annual Shale Insight conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. 

Corsa Coal to double office space at Southpointe

Corsa Coal Corp. has plans to double its headquarters space at Southpointe to accommodate growth plans following the June opening of its Acosta mine near Somerset and a new mine in Berlin, Pa., next year.

Jamaican on Main: Jaiden’s Place brings Caribbean flavors to Washington

The city’s dining scene, which earlier this month added a microbrewery with a full-service restaurant, now also offers the flavors of the Caribbean on Main Street.

Originally opened as a convenience store in May with her Caribbean dishes offered as takeout, Jaiden’s Place owner Marsha Collins has reworked the site as a restaurant following the urging of a staffer who admires her food. 

Chipotle to open Wednesday at Old Mill

Chipotle Mexican Grill will open its first Washington location on Wednesday at 179 Old Mill Boulevard in South Strabane Township.

CNX Coal Resources, OMNIS to develop solid energy refinery to produce clean coal

Today, CNX Coal Resources LP and OMNIS Bailey LLC announced a partnership on Wednesday to build a first-of-a-kind solid energy refinery.  The refinery will be used for processing waste coal at Consol Energy’s Bailey Mine Complex and converting it into high-quality clean carbon fuel.

A pilot plant was constructed at the Bailey Central Preparation Plant in May to allow for optimization of the production process and commercial-scale testing of CCF by power plant customers. 

Dunkin’ Donuts to convert closed Donut Connection site in Canton

Washington County has lost a longtime connection to one doughnut chain, while another is further cementing its presence here.

Anthony Braun, chief financial officer and chief operating officer for Heartland Restaurant Group, the Strip District-based franchisee for Dunkin’ Donuts in Southwestern Pennsylvania, said Friday Heartland will convert the former Donut Connection store at 1271 W. Chestnut St. to a Dunkin’ Donuts unit by the end of the year or early next year. 

Whitehorse Brewing riding toward taproom opening on Racetrack Road

The microbrewery scene continues to heat up in Washington County.

Whitehorse Brewing, based in Berlin, Somerset County, has staked out 1,200 square feet in the Street At The Meadows mixed-use development in North Strabane Township for a taproom for its microbrews. 

$2.3 million distribution and trucking dispatch center planned at Starpointe, but for whom?

Development of a 31-acre tract as a distribution facility and trucking dispatch operation in the Starpointe Business Park, Hanover Township, is on the horizon, but what will be distributed from there and by whose trucks was not divulged Wednesday at an agenda-setting session convened by the Washington County commissioners, who have been asked to approve the sale of the land for $2,325,000.

Chipotle Mexican Grill coming to Old Mill

Chipotle Mexican Grill will open a unit next month in the Old Mill shopping complex in South Strabane Township, the chain said Wednesday.

According to a news release, the company will open at 179 Old Mill Boulevard, the location of a recently completed 10,000 square-foot outparcel building that also houses a Great Clips hair salon and a Zoup! restaurant that is also scheduled to open soon. 

Rice Energy to acquire start-up Lola Energy

Rice Energy, which itself is in the process of being acquired by Pittsburgh-based EQT, acknowledged in releasing its second-quarter earnings Wednesday that it is buying Wexford-based Lola Energy. The purchase price is $180 million.

“This acquisition is highly complementary to our existing position and consists of 11,700 net undeveloped acres in Greene County and 4,800 net undeveloped acres in Monongalia and Wetzel counties, West Virginia,” the company stated in its second-quarter financial report. 

Pittsburgh-based ABARTA becomes one of largest Coca-Cola franchises in U.S.

The Houston distribution center for Coca-Cola products is one of a dozen Pennsylvania facilities that are now part of ABARTA Coca-Cola Beverages.

The relationship was finalized Saturday when ABARTA announced that it became an expanded franchise partner of the Coca-Cola Co. by acquiring sales and distribution rights from the world’s largest beverage maker throughout the commonwealth. 

North Strabane supervisors approve $2 million for YMCA

Plans to build a YMCA facility in North Strabane Township are moving forward.

Township supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a $2 million capital contribution to YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh for construction of a YMCA facility in the township.

MedExpress finds Southpointe administrative hub a site for success

As an urgent care provider, MedExpress has a name that lives up to its mission.  Today, MedExpress, which operates an administrative hub in Southpointe, has 212 centers in 15 states with 5,000 employees.

Nerf ‘Battle Arena’ opens today in Canonsburg

The Battle Arena, a new attraction featuring a play area where people using Nerf guns can safely battle using barricades and obstacles, will hold a grand opening from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. today at 6 N. Central Ave., Canonsburg.

Dispensary details discussed

The co-founder of one of the first marijuana dispensaries to be permitted by the state Department of Health released details about the business.

Jay Richards, co-founder of the Healing Center, addressed Washington City Council Monday with plans for a dispensary at 799 W. Chestnut St.

North Strabane prepares for new municipal complex

Washington County’s fastest-growing municipality finds its workforce has outstripped the size of its governmental base of operations, so 40 years after North Strabane opened its municipal building at 1929 Route 519, the township is preparing for major changes and expansion at its 80-acre complex.

“We’ve just simply outgrown the building,” said Frank Siffrin, township manager.

Washington brewery takes delivery of microbrew tanks

Things are beginning to brew at Washington’s first microbrewery.

The first batch of 18 stainless steel tanks related to the launch of Washington Brewing Co. at 28 E. Maiden St. arrived around 9 a.m. Thursday.

Washington center permitted to dispense medical marijuana

A Washington business has received one of the first permits from the state Department of Health to operate a medical marijuana dispensary.

The Healing Center at 799 W. Chestnut St. was on a list of 27 companies across Pennsylvania provided Thursday by the state that are permitted to dispense medical marijuana. Those receiving permits have six months to become operational before they can dispense the medical cannabis.

Work has started on $118 million project to reconstruct stretch of I-70

Ensinger to stay in North Strabane

Montour, Panhandle trails part of national bike route

The first nationally designated bicycle route in Pennsylvania has been established by the state Department of Transportation.

U.S. Bicycle Route 50 includes the Montour Trail, Panhandle Trail and Great Allegheny Passage. Montour Trail runs from the Coraopolis area to Clairton, with a large section in Washington County. Panhandle Trail runs between Weirton, W.Va., and Carnegie, traversing northern Washington County. The two trails intersect in McDonald

EQT agrees to buy Rice Energy for $6.7 billion

Zoup! breaks ground for August opening in Old Mill shopping complex

Zoup!, the nation’s leading fast-casual soup brand, featuring award-winning soups and made-to-order salads and sandwiches, has broken ground on its first Washington area restaurant at 181 Old Mill Boulevard, in the Old Mill shopping center, South Strabane Township.

Impact fees down again but Washington County is top recipient

Pennsylvania’s counties and municipal governments will see another drop in the annual revenue they get from Marcellus Shale gas wells. 

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission said Thursday that impact fee revenue from Marcellus Shale wells dropped by almost $15 million to about $173 million.

Henry F. Teichmann Inc. acquires E.W. Bowman

Glass engineering and construction company Henry F. Teichmann Inc. acquired the glass annealing lehr operations from manufacturer E.W. Bowman Inc. of Uniontown.

The acquisition was completed May 26, and announced June 9.

WHS partners with three other health systems on care initiative

Washington Health System announced Monday afternoon that it and three other independent, nonprofit health systems in the region have formed a partnership called Bridges Health Partners.

WHS has joined forces with St. Clair Hospital, Butler Health System and Excela Health System to establish a clinically integrated network that, according to a news release, intends to provide a better quality of patient care at a lower cost.

City Mission opens a career center

The ceremonial ribbon was cut Tuesday on ANSYS Career Training & Education Center, located in the lower level of the mission in downtown Washington. The center will serve residents of the homeless shelter and essentially all Washington County residents who need assistance with their employment search.

New S. Main signals to activate Tuesday

The newly installed traffic signals at South Main Street, South Street and Park Avenue in Washington will flash until Tuesday, when they will be activated.

Though not a true intersection, the lights will be synchronized to allow for better traffic flow in the area.

Public bus natural gas fueling station opens in Donora

The Mid Mon Valley Transit Authority opened a compressed natural gas fueling station for its fleet of buses at former U.S. Steel property.

Canonsburg brewery plans June 15 opening

A second brewery will begin operations in Washington County on June 15, when Rusty Gold has its grand opening in Canonsburg.

The grand opening will run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kleckner, of Peters Township, said he plans to offer five beers crafted by master brewer Justin Viale: a creme ale, an IPA, an oatmeal stout, an amber ale and a pale ale.

DCED approves Local Share project list as presented by county commissioners

The chief of the Washington County Redevelopment Authority reported to the county commissioners Wednesday the state Department of Community and Economic Development approved $6.7 million worth of projects to be financed by Local Share Account casino gambling revenues.

South Main Street restaurant changes owners, name

A local family has taken over an established South Main Street establishment. Spouses Ryan and Brittany Hepinger and Ryan’s brother, Chris, have bought Nunny’s Place at South Side in Washington, and renamed it Hepinger’s Legacy Tavern at South Side.

Firehouse Subs will open its second Washington location

Firehouse Subs will open its second Washington County location, on the former Sharp’s Furniture property along Route 19 in South Strabane Township. Angela Swartz, the franchisee, said a June 12 launch is planned and about 18 will be employed there.

The Carlton Diner, formerly known as the Carlton Kitchen, is up and running under new management.

Washington County box plant to be acquired

WestRock Co. announced Wednesday it was acquiring five corrugated converting facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Louisiana from U.S. Corrugated Inc., a packaging company the company's website said was based in Washington, Pa. The purchase price is $192 million and the deal is expected to close in June 2017.

MVA CEO: Mon Valley poised for economic, community growth

As chief executive officer for the Mon Valley Alliance, Chris Whitlatch isn’t just a cheerleader for the Mon Valley. He’s also charged with putting the means in place for an area he says is ripe for economic and community revival.

“We believe we are poised for growth,” Whitlatch, 43, told the Washington County Chamber of Commerce Friday at its breakfast meeting at The Golf Club of Washington.

New rec center opens at W&J

 Washington & Jefferson College officially opened a new 30,000-square-foot recreation center Friday.

The James David Ross Recreation Center – the first of its kind in the school’s 236-year history – is part of a $100 milllion project that includes construction and upgrades to other college buildings.

Area rail project receives $1.8M state grant

A $1.8 million grant from the state Department of Transportation will support a freight rail infrastructure improvement project in Washington and Westmoreland counties.

DCED’s Davin gets update on microbrewery, incubator projects

As secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, Dennis Davin frequently sees the business districts of a lot of towns the size of Washington and even smaller.

Following a brief tour of A&M Wine & Beer Supplies and Washington Winery, as well as the adjacent microbrewery on East Maiden Street that is a work in progress, Davin said he could see the potential the businesses have for the economic well-being of a town.

Canon-Mac expanding high school, improving stadium

Several capital improvement projects in the Canon-McMillan School District are intended to accommodate a robust student population.

According to Assistant Superintendent Scott Chambers, officials started planning for new construction, renovations and expansion of existing facilities after a demographic study performed in 2013 forecast a growing population in the district.

Partners update progress on downtown Washington business incubator

The partners of a planned small business incubator in Washington said Wednesday that funding requests for the project are moving forward, spurred by a matching challenge from one of the area’s most successful entrepreneurs.

The project, known as the Washington Area Business Incubator, was announced in September by Tori Haring-Smith, president of Washington & Jefferson College, and Tom Northrop, publisher of the Observer-Reporter.

Whiskey, wine and beer: A spirited discussion about a downtown renaissance

Shell cracker project dominates PRA 2016 ‘scorecard’

Energy may have been in a downturn in Southwestern Pennsylvania in 2016, but that didn’t stop industries of all types from making a huge capital investment in the Pittsburgh region – $10.2 billion – in manufacturing, health care, information technology, financial services and, yes, energy.

The $10.2 billion worth of total investment was the largest-ever annual amount recorded by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, which released the results Thursday of its 10th annual Business Investment Scorecard for the 10-county region that includes Washington and Greene counties.

Highway construction gears up for season

As one construction project on Interstate 70 starts to wind down and two more continue, drivers traveling the highway in Washington County should be prepared for two new construction zones.

There will be five construction projects on different stretches of the highway between the welcome center in Donegal Township and the Centerville/Monongahela interchange.

LaCarte, King team up to bring Stoney’s beer back to family roots

Two Mon Valley businessmen are helping Stoney’s Beer return to its Smithton family roots.

In a press release issued Wednesday by Stoney’s, the company announced that Jon King, great-grandson of William Benjamin “Stoney” Jones, in partnership with John LaCarte, president of LaCarte Enterprises based in Charleroi, have formed Stoney’s Brewing Co. They have acquired the trademarks and licenses to brew and sell Stoney’s Premium and Stoney’s Light Beer from Jones Brewing Co.

Peters Township approves patio home development

A new 54-unit residential development has gained Peters Township Council’s approval.

The unanimous vote last week paves the way for Sherwood Pond, the final phase of the Crossings plans developed by Eddy Land Co. of Bridgeville. The patio homes, carrying an expected average price tag of $550,000, are to be built on 15.761 acres between the current terminus of Maid Marion Lane and the Pleasant Valley Elementary School property.

Panel: Townships would benefit from regional approach on issues

Three of Washington County’s township managers said Friday they speak frequently with their counterparts in other townships and often enter into cooperative agreements to purchase goods and services and to share equipment.

But the trio, featured in a panel discussion at the monthly breakfast meeting of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, said they would like to see all of the county’s municipalities be a part of a bigger picture represented by a regional plan.

BSRE sees multiple leasing activity in Southpointe

Burns Scalo Real Estate has announced the following new leases in the Southpointe mixed-use business park. 

The company said in a press release three leases at BSRE’s Zenith Ridge 2 were signed, including Colonial Life, S & B Engineering and ECM Energy, along with an expansion of Elior/Aladdin, a food management company.

New center open to community, nonprofits

A new, 5,200-square-foot structure with the most up-to-date features and amenities stands at 59 E. Strawberry Ave., on the site of a historic Washington institution.

Pete Cameron, great-grandson of Cameron Coca-Cola Bottling founder Wilfred Cameron, and his wife, Kathy, opened The Center on Strawberry on Wilfred’s old homestead and business property.

Safety stressed at soon-to-open Goldfish Swim School in Peters Township

Concrete plant in the mix for Robinson

A Beaver County concrete maker is planning to build a plant in Robinson Township ahead of growth expected from the Southern Beltway expansion.

Franklin Township-based J.J. Kennedy Inc. plans to break ground in the spring on a ready-mix concrete plant on Old Steubenville Pike near the Findlay Township line.

New mines bank on steel’s need for metallurgical coal

Contractors for Corsa Coal Corp. are busy digging a hole larger than a football field in Somerset County. Their goal is the Middle Kittanning seam – buried about 120 feet deep.

The Southpointe-based company is on schedule to open its Acosta Deep Mine in May, with a plan for at least 70 miners to remove about three miles of metallurgical-quality coal – used in steelmaking – over the next decade. Starting a new mine in an era when many are shutting down feels good, said Robert Bottegal, Corsa’s general manager for engineering.

Maryland firm purchases Iceoplex property

A Chevy Chase, Md., holding company has purchased Southpointe’s Iceoplex.

Iceoplex Operating LLC, an affiliate of Blackstreet Capital Holdings, acquired all of the assets of the Southpointe sports complex, with plans to improve the financially troubled facility.

FirstEnergy plans $235M in improvements in West Penn Power area

FirstEnergy plans to spend $235 million during 2017 to make infrastructure upgrades in the 24-county West Penn Power services area, including improvements aimed at supporting the shale gas industry.

Cal U. plans to build new science building