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Quick Takes

August 5, 2012
From staff and wire reports , The Herald-Star

HIRED: Michael L. Smith, MSW, LGSW, has joined the staff of Family Connections as Brooke Place director.

Smith has 17 years of experience in a variety of areas in the field, including clinical leadership, program development, risk management, quality improvement and regulatory compliance, all in working with troubled youth.

He earned his undergraduate degree from West Liberty University, and his master's of social work degree from West Virginia University. He is licensed as a graduate social worker in West Virginia. He and his family reside in Benwood.

Brooke Place is funded in part under an agreement with the Bureau for Children and Families, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

JOINS STAFF: Debbie Phillippi, a certified baton instructor and judge for more than 40 years, has joined Michele Dance Studio in Weirton as certified baton instructor.

She has been on the board of directors for Twirling Unlimited for 15 years as a regional, state and international judge, and has taught state and collegiate champions from Ohio, Florida and Canada. A former judge for Cinderella Pageants and Miss America prelims, she also was formerly half-time director for the Freedom Bowl in Arizona, and judged Disney Twirl Mania.

Phillippi is a Toronto resident.

Michele Dance Studio, under the direction of Michele McAbee, offers tap, acrobat, jazz, ballet, point, lyrical, baton, hip hop and musical theatre lessons. Registration is open for fall classes by calling (304) 670-7356 or (304) 748-1200.

UPGRADES: Comcast is continuing its all-digital upgrades in the Steubenville area by moving to digital delivery of all Limited Basic lineups beginning Aug. 14. Digital Starter customers in Steubenville were upgraded in late 2010, and now the move to all-digital is coming for Limited Basic customers, who already received several pieces of direct mail about the project over the last two months.

Limited Basic customers will need digital equipment and are eligible for up to three digital adapters at no additional cost. Adapters are available now for all customers, either by stopping at Comcast's Wintersville office, located at 100 Welday Drive; ordering online at; or by calling, toll-free, (877) 634-4434. Shipping is free.

Once digital adapters are activated, customers will receive nine new channels at no additional cost, including C-Span2, KDKA-TV, WTAE-TV, WPXI-TV, WTOV-RTV, TV Guide Network, JTV, WTAE This TV and Leased Access.

DEAL REACHED: United Airlines says it has a deal with union negotiators on a new labor contract with its own pilots and those from the former Continental Airlines.

United Continental Holdings Inc. said that the agreement is an important step in creating a single work force at the company, which was formed by a 2010 merger.

The deal is still subject to approval by governing boards of the two pilot groups and by rank-and-file pilots.

Terms of the agreement were not immediately disclosed. The pilot groups were seeking pay raises and limits on outsourcing of flying to other airlines.

Both the United and former Continental pilots are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, but by separate groups within the union.

"This agreement follows intense negotiations with our pilot group and is an important step forward for our company," said Fred Abbott, United's senior vice president of flight operations.

A union spokesman declined to comment.

From staff and wire reports

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