(Above: Jason DeFelice, U.S. Air Force senior master sergeant (retired), and McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko. Tube City Almanac photo.)
Four people were honored this month by McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko and the McKeesport Message Committee for upholding the values of respect, dignity, hope and love.
A subgroup of the mayor's Select Committee on Crime and Violence, the committee accepts nominations from the public and makes the selections four times per year.
Citations were presented at the April 5 city council meeting to U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. (retired) Jason DeFelice; Sharon Soles; Coach Gerald Grayson; and McKeesport Area High School senior Hannah Klingensmith.
Annunciation of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church will hold a Greek Food Festival from 12 noon to 8 p.m. May 13, featuring lamb shanks, gyros, pastitsio, spanakopita, chicken, grape leaves, rice pilaf, Greek pastries, loukoumades (honey balls) and more.
The church is located at 1128 Summit St., White Oak. For more information about the church, call (412) 673-1224 or visit the website.
More than 150 people turned out Saturday morning at Earth Day-themed cleanup events throughout the city of McKeesport, while in neighboring communities such as Port Vue and Glassport, residents woke up early to get organized.
Tom Callahan of Port Vue was helping to man one of several large trash bins set up behind the Romine Avenue ballfields. "I do this every year," he said, adding that he was planning to be back at his post on Sunday morning as well. "It's a lot of garbage so far," Callahan said.
In the city, leaders of cleanup groups met at the Palisades on Water Street for breakfast and to plot strategy before meeting up with 15 groups of volunteers ranging from six people to more than 20 people throughout McKeesport.
One woman volunteered to clean the intersection of Walnut Street and Eden Park Boulevard by herself.
Mayor Mike Cherepko said the turnout was heartening.
"I would be lying if I said I was surprised, because here in the city of McKeesport, that's one thing that we're always blessed with is volunteers," he said. "No matter what it is --- no matter what the occasion --- this is just another example of people pulling together for the betterment of the city."
An eighth-grader from West Mifflin Area Middle School took first place in a county-wide contest to create a poster to celebrate Earth Day tomorrow.
Meanwhile, many communities --- including McKeesport, East McKeesport, Glassport, Jefferson Hills and Port Vue --- are preparing to mark the 47th annual Earth Day on Saturday with community-wide clean up events, while West Homestead will have a flower-planting event.
Lauren Jacobs' colorful poster, shown above, won the poster contest, sponsored by the Allegheny County Health Department. This year's theme was "brighter paths in preserving energy."
Jacobs' poster features suggestions such as using energy-efficient light bulbs, installing solar panels, and trying alternative and renewable energy sources.
UPMC McKeesport and its sister hospitals will participate in a prescription drug "take-back" day on April 28.
A spokeswoman said the event is being organized in cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in an effort to get unused prescription drugs --- particularly painkillers, which have the potential for abuse --- off the streets.
Drugs will be collected from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first floor of the Crawford Building at UPMC McKeesport's Aging Institute Resource Room, and in the main lobby of UPMC East hospital in Monroeville.
Additional collection locations include UPMC Presbyterian hospital and Magee-Womens Hospital in Oakland; UPMC Mercy hospital in the uptown section of Pittsburgh; UPMC Mercy South Side hospital; Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in Lawrenceville; Hillman Cancer Center in Shadyside; and various locations at the University of Pittsburgh campus in Oakland.
Above: Lay minister Ray Albright and the Rev. David Else nail sins to a wooden cross at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Downtown, during Good Friday services there.
Christians around the world are marking Easter weekend, the three days that commemorate the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ as recorded in the New Testament.
Churches in the Western and Orthodox traditions calculate holy days using different calendars, but this year, both are celebrating Easter Sunday at the same time --- a relatively rare event that will not happen again until 2025.