Indiana, PA - Indiana County

INSIDE INDIANA: Dove, losers, Evergreen, James, etc.

by BILL HASTINGS on April 25, 2014 10:55 AM

To whom it may concern —

Remember Dove Bright, the Indiana woman who suffers paralysis from the rare neurological disorder acute transverse myelitis?

Dove has been home in Indiana for nearly a year after living in hospitals and nursing homes since her illness took hold Feb. 24, 2012.

And though it’s been a rough winter, “she’s doing better,” said her mom, Melanie Bright.

The community has rallied around Dove, 21, and will do so once again with a concert next weekend.

A fundraiser to benefit the Bright family is set for 6 to 9 p.m. May 3 at The Artists Hand Gallery on Philadelphia Street.

The bands Coastal Remedy, Remaining Green and William Forrest — all with local connections — will perform light acoustic rock versions of their original work.

Tickets are a $5 donation, though event-goers may donate more if desired.

The event is being organized by neighbor Dan Murphy.

And if you go to the fundraiser, be sure to say hello to Dove, who is expected to be in attendance.


Recent news for Dove includes signing off on a research registry through UPMC, where she will be informed of “anything and everything out there” that may help with her condition, Melanie said.

Another highlight for Dove recently was when she met celebrity wedding planner David Tutera, host of WE TV’s “My Fair Wedding.”

A fan of Tutera, Melanie drove Dove to Ohio to meet him at an appearance, where he stayed to talk to Dove, exchanged contact information and instructed her to design three wedding dresses to send him for review.

He is expected to use the designs to develop a dress he will name “The Dove.”

“He was the nicest man ever,” Melanie said.


Commonplace Coffee Co. House and Roasters, based in Indiana and owned by Julie and TJ Fairchild, has been named to a list of the best coffee in America by The Daily Meal.

The local business, which includes four shops and two roasteries in Indiana and Pittsburgh, was No. 11 in the slideshow.

“The Fairchilds and Commonplace are actively trying to change Pittsburgh’s perception of coffee from, well, something commonplace to something extraordinary,” the article said.


A new app launched by The Reschini Group provides information and resources for business owners regarding health care reform and the Affordable Care Act.

The app is for Android and iPhones and iPads. Information includes aspects of employee benefits, workplace trends and health care reform, as well as surveying users about plans regarding benefits.

“The industry is a rapidly changing one,” said Joe Reschini, president of The Reschini Group, in a news release. “It is important to us that we make every effort to help keep our clients and colleagues abreast of the changes that may affect them and their business.”

To learn more, visit


Indiana Regional Medical Center will offer a Lose a Ton program, with weigh-ins from May 1 to 7 at the S&T Wellness Center or the Center for Weight Loss. Through the program, participants weigh in each month to track loss. A $50 gift card is awarded monthly to the participant who loses the highest percentage of body weight.

The grand prize winner will be selected at the end of the program in March and will receive an iPad.

Participation in the program is free. For more information, call (724) 357-8088.


Help support the advocacy and research foundation Autism Speaks this weekend at a health and wellness fair set for Saturday at DRIVE Personal Fitness in the Atrium, 665 Philadelphia St.

Tickets to the event are $10 and available at the door.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be vendors, health and wellness presentations, food and shake samples, chair massages, skin and beauty product samples, exercise demonstrations and more.

Lunch will be provided by Pizza House. There will also be basket raffles.

Keynote speakers will also present on health and wellness topics.

The event was organized by Tracy Serbian, owner of DRIVE Personal Fitness.


A gala fundraising reception to benefit the Carol Teti Memorial Organ Scholarship is set from 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 4 in the Fisher Auditorium Mezzanine, preceding the IUP Symphony Orchestra Concert with organist Dr. Christine Clewell.

The cost is $75 per person, which includes a “sumptuous small-plate reception” that features a carving station, mashed potato bar, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, dessert and a beverage, in addition to a concert ticket and donation to the scholarship fund.

Reservations are required. Call Jean Blair at (724) 349-1996 by Tuesday.


Evergreen Boys & Girls Club will hold a Kolors for Kids 5K Fun Run/Walk at 10 a.m. May 17 at Yellow Creek State Park’s South Shore, main entrance.

Participants may register at individuals or teams, either $30 for one person or $100 for a team of four.

Register at www.EvergreenBGC. org.


Senior Citizen Law Day will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Rustic Lodge in White Township, where speakers include Brian Duke, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging.

This seminar will cover topics that relate to how to “inform, protect and prevent Indiana County older adults from abuse and exploitation,” according to organizers.

It is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.


Our recent obituaries included James L. Watkins, 86, of Indiana, co-owner of Watkins Masonry. James was known for building numerous stone homes and churches in the Indiana area.

In addition, he was credited in his obituary as being the last survivor who had worked on the IUP stone wall.

Watkins was interviewed in a 2007 Gazette article by reporter Randy Wells, with whom he shared the history of the wall that ran along Pratt Drive.

Watkins was a teenager and went to the job site with his father and worked as a water boy and doing odd jobs for the crew of about 30 men who built the wall, according to the article.

The wall was torn down in 2007 to make room for updated student housing.


The Armstrong County District Attorney is seeking donations to fund veterinarian care of K9 Officer Klif, a gun and explosives detection dog, after the discovery of a health issue recently.

Klif, who patrols events such as the Pittsburgh Marathon and Steelers home games, and visits crime scenes in western Pennsylvania, including Indiana County, is in need of an MRI.

Examinations have indicated a disc problem in Klif’s back, and the test is necessary to assess the damage and determine treatment.

“With your donation, it is hoped that Klif will be able to complete treatment and return to patrol,” according to a news release.

To donate, a fund is set up at Farmers & Merchants Bank, under “Armstrong County DA K9 Fund.”

Questions? Call the Armstrong DA’s office at (724) 548-3240.


Gas prices in the Indiana area today were running as low as $3.69 a gallon but were averaging $3.75. … Willie, our ex-shoeshine boy, chuckled over comedian Tim Allen’s quip: “My mom said the only reason men are alive is for lawn care and vehicle maintenance.”

Good evening!

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