The head of the city’s paramedics union expects negotiations with the city to begin in earnest soon.Anthony Weinmann, head of Pittsburgh Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics Local 1, said his union and city officials haven’t had any significant talks yet. The current five-year contract expires on Dec. 31.“I can’t even report back anything to my guys, because I don’t have anything to report at this point,” Weinmann said.The negotiations come at a time when the city is struggling to find money to boost its foundering pension funds.City officials have warned that the city could face severe cutbacks in employment or services if it is forced to significantly increase its annual payment to the pension fund. The city is under Act 47, meaning the state is overseeing its finances.Weinmann said the union, which represents 160 members, has negotiated one five-year contract under Act 47. He added that the union likely will seek another five-year contract.The city’s proposed 2011 budgets contain nearly $9.7 million for emergency medical services salaries, and another $2.6 million for premium pay, which includes overtime.City Public Safety Director Michael Huss said he does not comment on contract negotiations.
The Winden triplets used matching shovels to help their mom clear the driveway in Prairie Village.The massive winter front that parked over much of the central plains Tuesday ground business as usual to a halt, and it likely to continue hindering it Wednesday and beyond.Reports suggest parts of northeast Johnson County received nearly a foot of snow, with accumulation piling up over nearly a full day of snowfall, hampering street clearing efforts. Prior to the start of the storm, Prairie Village public works director Keith Bredehoeft said the city’s eight plows were planning to start work at 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, but warned that the size of the storm would pose challenges to his crews.“Public works departments in this part of the country aren’t really equipped to deal with a storm like this,” he said. “We do ask a little patience.”The street clearing issues were compounded early Tuesday in Fairway where a broken water main on Shawnee Mission Parkway just west of Mission Road blocked part of an eastbound lane. WaterOne crews were able to clear the scene by the early afternoon:WaterOne crews fixed a broken main along Shawnee Mission Parkway in Fairway.Challenging as the day may have been, the school closures left some time for fun — particularly before the accummulation made the roads increasingly difficult to manage. At SM East, the Riscovallez family relaxed in their car with hot chocolate and homemade pumpkin donuts (…which they were kind enough to share. It was amazing) between stints on the sledding hill:Here’s what sledders Michael and Stella had to say about their day on the slopette:Audio Playerhttps://dfv6pkw99pxmo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/New-Recording-19.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Today, though, attention turns to clean up. Forecasts don’t call for a temperature above freezing until Saturday, with especially cold air predicted to fall on the area today and Thursday.