New Castle News

TOP STORIES

December 18, 2012

Shooting Aftermath: Local school districts gear up for crisis plan reviews

NEW CASTLE — Lawrence County’s district attorney is planning a school safety summit of sorts after the first of the year.

Joshua Lamancusa said he will meet with district officials, security guards and police to determine what security measures are in place at local schools and what can be done to enhance them.

“We want to address security within each school and what the response will be to any emergency,” he said.

Jan. 10 is the tentative date for the gathering, expected to be at New Castle High School.

This review is in response to Friday’s rampage by a 20-year-old gunman who killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

“I’ve spent 33 years in education,” said Dr. Mary Todora, Neshannock’s superintendent, “I never thought we’d see anything like this.”

ASSESSING SECURITY

George Gabriel, New Castle’s superintendent, spent his first day back from sick leave Monday meeting with city police and administrators to assess the district’s security and how it can be improved.

“The New Castle police department has volunteered to assist us to assess lockdown plans of each building,” he said. “Now that we’ve seen what can happen, we’re looking at everything.”

He added that when the schools were built, “we considered education, not constructing forts and fortresses, building in ways to barricade if we came under attack. By design there are hazards, but we will address that. We will be making changes.”

Gabriel said he already has some ideas.

“Parents may not like this, but I plan to minimize the number of unnecessary visits in and out of the buildings and establish a more arduous screening policy.”

POLICE PROTECTION

Students at New Castle High School also will see an increased police presence. The school already has a metal detector, video surveillance cameras, several security guards and one armed, uniformed, full-time police officer employed by the district.

“There is security at the high school, but there may be more soon,” New Castle Police Chief Bobby Salem said.

The district employs security guards at the high school, he noted. A guard at George Washington Intermediate School — housing grades four, five and six — sits at the front door and buzzes in anyone who has business there.

However, Salem said, at the city’s three primary centers — John F. Kennedy, Thaddeus Stevens and Harry W. Lockley — visitors are buzzed in but there are no guards.

“That could change,” Salem said. “Up until now, since Columbine ... we thought if we had an incident, it would most likely occur at the high school. After Friday, we’re not sure of anything any more.”

In 1999, two high school seniors in Colorado murdered a dozen students and a teacher at Columbine High School before committing suicide.

Salem noted Friday’s shootings played no part in a training exercise at New Castle High that afternoon. The session, which had been scheduled weeks in advance, was for K-9 officers.

“Since Columbine, we have training sessions all the time. They help us to get to know the school buildings.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
TOP STORIES
  • school.jpg Wilmington board debates ‘free expression’

    Wilmington Area school directors weighed student safety concerns against free speech rights Monday. A proposed policy on student free expression and posting of materials drew concern from one board member.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • meehan.jpg Meehan named Neshannock superintendent

    Terence P. Meehan is the new superintendent at Neshannock Township School District. Board members voted 5-4 last night to fill the post that will be vacated June 30 with the retirement of Dr. Mary Todora.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • fire.jpg Fire guts Union Township house

    The state police fire marshal is investigating a fire in that broke out in a vacant Union Township house Monday. Union Township firefighters responded at 3 a.m. to 314 Smithfield St.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 08.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Community Easter morning service

    There’s a reason why most holidays last only 24 hours. It’s because when you’re finished celebrating, there’s still work to be done. The Rev. David Young reminded everyone who attended Sunday’s community Easter morning service at Lawrence Village Plaza of that.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • money.jpg Retirements, attrition to save district money

    A slew of retirements in the New Castle School District may result in savings in the 2014-15  budget. The school district plans to introduce its spending plan next month.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fletch1.jpg No Retreat: Teacher’s golden retriever proves to be a hero, fighter

    It was last fall, and my favorite time of the year to be in the woods hunting. On this day, I could hunt small game and turkey, though my primary purpose was a hike in the woods with my dog, Maggie. This year was special. I also had my five-month-old golden retriever, Remi.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Firefighters respond to gas leak

    New Castle firefighters responded to a gas leak Friday at the former Lincoln-Garfield school on Long Avenue. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Petrone said Columbia Gas received a call from someone in the 800 block of South Mercer Street about the smell of gas Friday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • ATV.jpg City residents register complaints about ATVs

    Some North Hill residents expressed annoyance and frustration over youngsters recklessly operating all-terrain vehicles through their neighborhoods.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Barletto.jpg Emotional Closure: Woman sentenced in Jerry McCarthy’s death

    The driver of the car that killed a Shenango Township policeman is heading to prison. Kylee Gwen Barletto, 26, apologized Wednesday to the family of William J. “Jerry” McCarthy and to her family after pleading guilty to eight of 16 charges against her.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Fire marshal probes cause of blaze

    A city police fire marshal said he hasn’t ruled yet on a blaze that ravaged two Taylor Street houses. Chris Fabian, who was at the fire scene for the duration Monday morning, said the blaze that displaced three families started in the back of a yellow, two-story duplex at 602 Taylor St.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed “unprecedented” legislation yesterday to expand gun rights in his state. Good idea?

Yes. Expanding the scope of where people can carry guns can help halt violent crimes and make those places safer.
No. Carrying guns into bars and schools is NEVER a good idea. I think it will lead to more violence.
Not sure, but I don’t plan to visit Georgia any time soon.
     View Results