Health Department Hoping to Eradicate Raccoon Rabies
Don't be surprised to see representatives of the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) around Baldwin Borough this week.
From Aug. 20-24, health department workers will place fish oil-scented pellets containing a vaccination for rabies at select spots in the borough, Chief Michael Scott said during Tuesday night's Baldwin Council meeting.
The effort is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is part of a multi-state program to eradicate raccoon rabies. Four rabid raccoons have been reported in Allegheny County so far in 2012, according to the ACHD website, compared to 23 in 2002, the program's first year.
Worried about coming across some of the bait?
The ACHD site states that it is not harmful to touch an intact pellet, but the fish oil and odor on the bait may get on your fingers. Anyone who finds a stray pellet should pick it up using rubber or latex gloves or a shovel.
If the bait is whole, toss it into a nearby ditch, wooded area or other raccoon habitat. If it is partially eaten or damaged, place the bait in a plastic bag and dispose of it in the trash.
If you touch an intact bait or the liquid vaccine inside, immediately wash your hands and any other exposed area of skin with soap and water. In the unlikely event that a blister-like rash should develop, please contact a doctor.
Also according to the ACHD site, it is not harmful for a typical pet to consume a small quantity of pellets, but pets will not be vaccinated by eating the bait. A veterinarian, in accordance with state and local regulations, should vaccinate pets.
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Baldwin Police Accept State DUI Grant
The Baldwin Council accepted a $40,000 grant on Tuesday night from the Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence Association to use in its DUI task force efforts with neighboring communities.
Baldwin police Sgt. Ralph Miller explained that other police departments in the task force include ones from the Steel Valley and Route 51 corridor areas.
"We are not an island," Miller said. "People who are DUI, if they originate from somewhere other than Baldwin Borough, they certainly have a chance of coming through Baldwin Borough and adversely affecting our residents. That's why DUI enforcement is so important, not only within our own borough but within other boroughs, as well."
The grant will help the task force cover the costs of roving DUI patrols and sobriety checkpoints, such as ones on Routes 51, 837 and 885.
Vernon Avenue Landslide Update
Vernon Avenue resident David Book used public comments time at Tuesday's meeting to ask about the status of landslide repairs on his street.
A landslide occurred there in the spring of 2011, and in January of 2012, Plavchak Construction, of Jefferson Hills Borough, was to repair the slide.
Borough engineer Larry Souleret said that problems handling utility lines in the area have been delaying repairs.
But Barrett said that Sept. 11 is the new target date.
"I'm just trying to see where this is because it's dragging on," Book said. "I'm not saying it's anyone's fault."
Special 'Slum and Blight' Hearing
A couple of eyesores in north Baldwin will soon meet their demise, as the borough council to declare vacant houses at 831 Somerset St. and at 835 Becks Run Rd. "as being in hazardous or dangerous condition."
But before the structures are to be demolished, the council will hold a hearing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18—a half-hour before that night's regularly scheduled council meeting—to allow for public comment regarding the council's 'slum and blight declaration.'
Mayor Alexander R. Bennett Jr. said that Baldwin's annual Halloween celebration at the will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20, this year.
An exact time is to be determined.
Councilman John Ferris was absent on Tuesday.
PHOTOS: Troubled Stretch of Route 51 Gets Crosswalks
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