Donora mayor, 92, recuperating after hospitalization

August 14, 2014
Donora Mayor John Lignelli is shown in his office in this 2013 photo. - Scott Beveridge / O-R

DONORA – Longtime Donora Mayor John Lignelli was expected Thursday to miss a council meeting for the first time while in office after he recently was hospitalized and later transferred to an assisted-living home, a borough official said.

Council President Karen Polkabla said she will perform the duties of mayor until Lignelli, 92, recuperates.

“We have to give him a period of time,” Polkabla said Thursday afternoon.

She said Lignelli, who will turn 93 later this month, was living by himself when he took ill and was recovering at the Residence at Hilltop in Carroll Township.

Lignelli was re-elected in 2013 to his sixth term as mayor after having been involved in local politics for the past four decades, serving for many years as council president.

Last year, Lignelli said, he was still rising at 4 a.m. each day to volunteer for the Meals on Wheels program’s central kitchen in Donora and driving a minibus for local senior services in between working at the municipal building.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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