News Record from North Hills, Pennsylvania on December 12, 1992 · Page 7
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News Record from North Hills, Pennsylvania · Page 7

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North Hills, Pennsylvania
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Saturday, December 12, 1992
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Page 7
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Mark Land, Metro Editor, 772-7359 North Hills News Record North Hills Saturday, December 12, 1992 Harmonists left behind a little bit of Germany HARMONY - When Harmonist leader George Rapp and his followers arrived from Wittenberg in 1804, they brought Germany with them _w^M^^^4k^^UM»J iiicy iivcuiu j that's what they built. What you have here in Harmony is a little piece of Germany," said Roger A. Weaver, who surveyed the architecture of the borough, a designated National Historic Landmark District, in 1985. Soon, Weaver moved from Mars to Harmony and bought the Chnstoph Mueller House, which dates to 1810. During the year-long survey, he spoke with a World War II veteran who said the village brought back memories. "He kept expecting to see a tank come around the corner," Weaver said. The Harmonists who founded the settlement built it after a ^^^^^^^^ European the Clock Staey Nie decker model. All the buildings are crowded together ' around a town square. The style allowed most land to be used for farming, which was important in land- restricted" Germany. About 15 of the buildings fronrthe Harmonist era remain. Harmony was the first U.S. settlement of the Harmonists, whose religious beliefs dictated hard work, simple lives and celibacy: "If it hadn't been for the celibacy they'd still be around and they'd be very powerful," Weaver said. The group adopted orphans and accepted converts. But by 1905 only a few remained and the sect died off, a victim of its belief in sexual-abstinence. 'They thought that Christ was coming in their lifetime, so they weren't worried about the future," said Sharon Anno, of the Harmony Museum. The Harmonists rose at dawn -and worked all day, with only Sunday for rest. They attended religious services before bed nightly. But they had their pleasures -such as a band that included French horns and violins. "They would play music while they were working -- mostly reli- had brought from Germany," Weaver said The Germans founded Harmony on 9,000 acres purchased from Dettmar Basse, the first resident of Zelienople, but stayed for only 10 years before founding New Harmony in Indiana state in 1814. "They were pacifists and they paid to keep their men out of the War of 1812. The neighbors didn't like them much after it was over. . Theyhadn'tgone and fought and_ died like their husbands and sons," Anno said. Weaver says the move also may have restored Rapp's control over his flock. "Things were getting comfortable here in Harmony and people might have noticed what the neighbors had. After the move, they were more dependent than ever." They sold the settlement in Harmony to Abraham Ziegler, who formed a Mennonite settlement in 1815 But, within a few years, the Mennonites were gone. In Indiana, the Harmonist sect split over religious differences. Some moved to Louisiana with a new leader, Count Leon. The rest returned to Pennsylvania in 1824 and founded Old Economy near present day Ambndge The Harmonists were successful at business. A thriving lumber business -- their religion prohibited them from drinking alcohol, -- produced whiskey, beer and wine for Pittsburgh, Anno said. In Old Economy they established an oil business. Eventually they owned much of the region The money they accumulated went to John Duss, the son ofa" later convert to the Harmonist movement who died in the 1930s "The last Harmonist wasn't a Harmonist He got all the wealth of the Harmonists, which, 1 imag ine, was considerable," Weaver said Stacy Niedecker is a News staff iwiier. Turnina Validity of guilty plea focus of hearing By Ann Belter SUItmMr PITTSBURGH - U.S. District Court Judge Gustave Diamond is planning to hear testimony Monday on whether a "^ n who plcftdpd guilty to shooting a Richland antiques dealer made his plea voluntarily. Steven Anthony Heiser, 35, is claiming that the agreement he made in 1980 to plead guilty to sec.' was onlv made ...... . SBBTi represent him any more. Diamond issued a court order to bring in Richard Martin, Heiser's trial attorney, to testify about what he remembers saying to Heiser. Heiser pleaded-guilty in the middle of his trial for the 1979 shooting death of 52 yw-"* 1 * .w«H""» Lear, the proprietor of The Olde Cracker Barrel antiques store. One of the issues in the case is that Heiser, who pleaded guilty but then changed his mind before he was sen- enced, lias not been granted a made voluntarily. The case was originally before Judge Thomas Harper, who died in 1983 The case was reassigned to Allegheny County Judge Alan Penkower three years after Harper's death, but, white Penkower held status conferences on the case, he never held the hearing on whether or not the plea was voluntary. After the years of delay, Heiser eventually sought his release by nlaimina hi^£Qjj£^^jj|j^__i-i. ··- 1 had been denied. U.S. Magistrate Gary Lancaster originally denied the petition Heiser then appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, which sent the case back to Lancast er for another hearing In his second report, Lancaster recommended that Heiser be freed because of the delay Diamond, who will make the final decision in the case barring any fur ther appeals, disagreed with Lancaster. He wrote that the issue was JMti^A^^^^Wyt^^^^k^^ plea was made voluntarily It is that hearing which Diamond Having faith SAEO HINDASH, staff photographer Lois Rutan, left, of Valencia and Ann Qulnque of -McCandleaa join In Friday at the fifth "Healing Clinic '92'" by Pastor Richard ROM), below. Adams pastor holds fifth healing clinic By Ben Rand Stiff wrrltr McCANDLESS - Pastor Richard Rossi paces the North Allegheny High-School stage like a college professor lectures to a large class. After sipping from a can of Diet Pepsi, he starts looking for someone to heal. "There is a man here. He's 37 years old;" Rossi says. "I don't know him, but he suffers from a back JnjuryJIJio-reaction. ,,_ .. ,,_ "I'm certain he's 37. I'm certain." Quietly, a man in a white dress shirt and jeans stands. A group of five other men surround and then point to him, getting Rossi's attention. The man has hands placed on his head, chest, shoulders and back. "We must pray for his back. After beginning to pray, he will be able to bend over," Rossi says. "There is a demon in this place. Demon be gone. Gonel In the name of Jesus J3hrisJ,Jegpne." This was part of the scene Friday at Rossi's fifth "Healing Clinic '92," billed as an assembly for supernatural healing. About 500 people attended __ Rossiis senior pastor ot the nondenominational First Love Church in Adams Township. He founded the church in 1989 after discovering he had some differences with the tenets of the Assemblies of God. His healing sessions began this year. Rossi says he recognizes that his a diffexence-ol Rossi, wearing sneakers, black denim and a purplish long-sleeved T-shirt, began the session with a half-hour of religious songs. The audience joined in by clap. ping and putting their hands up int opinions, but welcomes that dialogue. A local official Friday said the Catholic Church keeps an open mind about faith healing. "We wouldn't pass a judgment on anyone," said Father Ronald Leng- winrspokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. "We believe that some people are called to heal and through the grace of God, healing can occur. Of course, not everyone who claims to heal has the power to heal." __ the air and waving them back and forth. The music came from two electric guitars, Rossi's acoustic guitar, a keyboard, two flutes and four backup singers. Then, he called for "seven people" with jnental illness-to-come-forta the front of the stage to have hands laid on them. Rossi then asked the believers in the audience to stand behind them. When he stopped talking, all that was heard through the audience was whispers as the believers spoke encouraging Biblical phrases. Minutes later, the first of what would be five or six people went rigid and fell to the ground. She's a gray-haired woman in a blue sweat shirt and blue pants. Five to six of the believers surrounded her, caressed her hand, touched her shoulder and murmured religious phrases. On stage, Rossi repeated: "Sound mind. Sound mind." "Keep your mind on the Lord. Not on me, not on any distractions," Rossi said. North Side family blames city for damaged home By Dana DIFIHppo NORTH SIDE - Mention the name Mike Moeslein in the mayor's and city law offices downtown, and any worker within earshot inevitably will shudder. "How 'bout those Moesleins?" says the mayor's aide, Lew Borman. But Borman doesn't laugh long. For several years, Borman has watched Mike and Mary Moeslein fight the city for flood damages they say were caused by the city's negligence. Their decade-long fight has turned into a test of wills. The city refuses to back down from its appeal of an arbitrator's ruling in favor of the Moesleins and the family refuses to accept a lesser settlement they say the city offered. And as the weather gets colder, the North Side couple fear the war with city officials could leave casualties The problenfhinges on a small hole in the side of the Moesleins' house The hole, which the family says was caused by street drainage pfunriing against the houee for 10 years, allows cold air to seep into the home Turning on the furnace to combat the cold leak is ill advised because it kicks up dust that aggra- Mpeskjn's a tneirB SAED HINDASH, itiff photographer Mike Moesteln blames the city for hie flood-damaged house. So the family wears winter coats and ski caps in its home, enduring temperatures of around 50 degrees for the sake of the 1 1-year-old. "I cannot take the chance," Mike Moeslein says as his three sons hide their hands in their jacket sleeves. plained to the city about the flooding problem in 1982, a month after they moved into the 100-year-old home. The house sits on the corner of LnepfHIa and Ldndell streets, both of which now slant toward the home despite some leveling work that was done Even after light rains, the Moesleins say, rainwater ran toward the house and smacked its side, run- For a while, the problem simply meant a flooded basement and dead grass and ankle-deep puddles around the house But wallpaper in a basement bathroom began to pucker and grow, mold four years ago. A medicine cabinet and tiles fell off the wall sTiorfly after, and tfle drywalT began to collapse The Moesleins complained to the city, got a damage estimate, filed a claim for $7,200 m October 1991 and waited for the city to pay up When no settlement checks appeared, the Moesleins called Mike Boguslawski, the consumer affairs reporter at WPXI Channel 11 The day of the news _ ca ^ l i5? n ^|' u 5 nofl woTReTS s?iow?fj trpTO outrfj 9 curb and sewer Rainwater now slides easily along the curb into the sewer, bypassing the house But the city still hadn't paid for damages to the house, so the couple sued in March. In April the basement wall collapsed, leaving a hole in the side of the house Mike Moeslein plugged the hole -- big enough for a child to crawl through -- with plyboard and again asked city officials to pay. "I wasn't out to do anything other than get our walls fixed," he said.. Arbitrators ruled in September the city should pay the family $15,200 for repairs The city in October appealed. It could take years before the appeal makes its way through the court system. The Moesleins say city officials since have offered $12,000 to settle City solicitors refuse to comment because it's still in litigation And other officials refuse to confirm specifics "Everyone and their mother has talked to them We've made an offer and we re waiting," Borman says But he refuses to elaborate Borman also questions the Moeslems' decisions to make their gripes public and ignore their water and sanitation bills which have gone unpaid since 1985 in protest of the city's slow reaction "He can point his finger in every riirortinn h|ll hl.S OWT1. ThfiV Wflnt tQ will hold Monday Heiser's attorney federal public defender Michael Bartko. said he would call Heiser and possibly Heiser's mother. Dons Flynn to te'stify at the hearing Bartko"said the hearing is another in a series that have been held on the case in the federal courts "He's got a couple more questions he wants answered, that s all,' Bartko said about the court ordered "I'll do what I can for Mr Heiser," Bartko said N A faces budget battle District appears $452,000 short By Joanne Hong Sun wrri*r North Allegheny School District is keeping a watchful eye on its spending. The district is $452.000 short of projected revenues for the 1992-93 school year, said financial administrator Paul Long The shortfall resulted because the district received less than the expected state funds and because the property assessment wasn't as much as the board anticipated. The current tax rate is 83.25 mills. The shortfall represents less tharr 1 percent of the school district's $60.8 million total annuakmdget The dis- trirf will rnntinnptn rurtail itg ditures, and no school programs wig be affected, he said. "It's still a long way to go until the end of the school year," he said He said that the district has alternatives and other options to make up for the shortfall. For example, the board maintains a reserve usually totaling about 2 ercent of the annual budget, he said. Currently, there is a fund balance of about $2 million. By reducing its expenditures, the district won't have to worry about the shortfall affecting next year's budget; he said. Shooting stars aim for area tonight By Ann Belser Meteor show The Geminids meteor s h o w e r s are expected to begin tonight The s h o o t i n g s t a should be m view from about 6 p m today until 6 a m Stiff wrlttr Tuesday night's full lunar eclipse was just a warmup for tonight's version of stellar fireworks The Geminids meteor showers will _b_e_gin__ ^ falling tonight and a b r e a k in the s n o w clouds c o u l d provide f o r e x c e l 1 e n t viewing Tom Reiland, an a s s i s t a n t astronomer for the Alleghen Observatory, said the best time to watch the showers will be Saturday evening and early Sunday morning "This is a fairly good meteor show er." Reiland said. If the skies are clear tonight after the sun goes down around 6 p m and before the moon rises at 8 p m , observers may see an average of a meteor a minute Meteors also are known as shoot ing stars, which are bright flashes of light as the debris from comets comes into contact with the Earth's atmosphere Reiland said the height of the meteor shower will be about 6 a m Sunday and eveirwrth moonlight, the meteors will be bright enough to see The showers are called the Gemi- nids because they appear to come from the area of the constellation Grrnim Gemini will be rising in the East around 7 p m today The G e m i n i d s rival the Perseid shouers of August Reiland said the latter showers are more pleasant to watrh because viewers can set up a days : appears Satur- Moesleins ana tncian sav eevue a- fill IK HTUUIiU 1i rcrigu into their basement Turn to HOUSE, A10 oul freezln g "early to death

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