New Castle News


March 30, 2013

Financial struggle

Career and technical center gives practical nursing program deadline to start generating funds

NEW CASTLE — Betty Tillia has nurtured the practical nursing program at Lawrence County Career and Technical Center for more than two decades.

The adult program, located inside the vocational-technical school on Phelps Way, opened in 1968 and has graduated hundreds of men and women who have gone on to successful careers in nursing homes, hospitals, doctors’ offices, urgent care clinics, emergency rooms, surgical centers and other medical facilities.

But a continued decline in enrollment and student retention rates has caused budget figures to slide into the red.

During the past two years, the program, which subsists on tuition, has operated at a deficit, with the career and technical center supporting it.

Now Tillia is looking for new ways to boost revenue so the program can repay a climbing debt to the vo-tech school.

While the national student retention rate average is 68 percent, the retention rates in the nursing program have ranged from 34 to 35 percent during the 2011-12 school year to 54 to 56 percent for the 2010-11 year.


 Fifty students are needed per year to break even, said Tillia, the program’s director. There are 41 students enrolled this year, but a question is how many will remain in the program.

In the past few years, the quota has not been met because of economic times, Tillia said. Thus, the nursing program has not broken even. It owes the career and technical center more than a half-million dollars in rent and operational costs, and the debt has been growing.

At its March 21 meeting, the joint operating committee agreed to give Tillia until June 30, 2014, to come up with funds to meet the program’s obligations to the school.

The program operates under the umbrella of the career and technical center, and is a line item in the school’s budget, explained Chastity Williams, business manager. The nursing program’s typical annual obligation to school is around $50,000.

She added that as of February, the nursing program had repaid about $17,000 of its outstanding debt. It still owes $526,159.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • lamancusa.jpg Tanner, district attorney: No comment

    The Lawrence County District Attorney is keeping mum about a probe into finances in Shenango Township. “We don’t talk about ongoing investigations,” Lamancusa said Friday.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • Shenango1.jpg Shenango Township: Supervisors fire Tanner, release DeLorenzo

    The Shenango supervisors fired township secretary/treasurer Brian Tanner and terminated auditor and consultant Deno DeLorenzo last night.

    July 18, 2014 3 Photos 4 Stories

  • gavel.jpg Shenango to take action on Tanner, DeLorenzo

    Shenango’s supervisors will act Thursday night on the employment contracts of two men being investigated for possible theft of township funds.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • money.jpg Shenango computers, financial papers seized

    Investigators have seized computers and a host of financial paperwork from the Shenango Township Municipal Building.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • money.jpg Second warrant issued in Shenango Township finances probe

    The home office of Shenango Township’s secretary/treasurer is the subject of a search warrant. A warrant was approved allowing investigators from the Lawrence County district attorney’s office to search Brian Tanner’s home office at 658 Melody Lane Extension in Shenango and seize all computers and computer records.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Our Opinion: Who’s watching the money in Shenango Township?

    The Shenango Township supervisors have some explaining to do. And that’s putting it mildly.

    July 15, 2014 1 Story

  • Shenango places Tanner on leave, schedules meeting

    The Shenango Township supervisors have placed their secretary/treasurer on leave. In a statement faxed late Monday afternoon to the New Castle News, the supervisors said Brian Tanner had been placed on “administrative leave” as the result of a search warrant served on the township municipal building Friday.

    July 15, 2014

  • DROWN.jpg Local teen drowns in Slippery Rock Creek

    Divers from several fire departments responded yesterday to a drowning in the Kennedy Mill area of Slippery Rock Creek. Reports from the scene indicated that two teenage males from the Ellwood-Wampum area had gone swimming in the creek, and that one had gone under and not resurfaced.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 fell from the sky in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Thursday, killing all 298 people aboard. Many are speculating that Russian rebels (supported by Vladimir Putin) are responsible for downing the aircraft. What do you think?

Yes. All evidence points that way.
No. Everyone is so quick to point fingers, but there's not enough evidence to support claims of Russian guilt.
I'm not sure. I'll just wait until the investigation is over to make up my mind.
What is up with these Malaysian Airlines planes? I know one airline I won't be flying any time soon...
     View Results