Serra Catholic High School was less than two weeks away from opening night of the musical “Mary Poppins” when schools were shut down March 13 to combat spread of the coronavirus.
“When they first announced the two-week closure, I tried to take a positive approach and thought it would be a good break for everyone,” director Jesse Bush said. “It would give us extra time to build props and costumes. I had hoped we would perform the show possibly sometime in May.”
Initially, students continued to rehearse online, he said, and choreographer Cassie Fedor created videos of all the dance routines so they could practice at home.
I was on a car ride with my camera exploring the neighborhood to photograph scenery. In an empty parking lot of a local office building in Dravosburg, I noticed tulips surrounding the area and I wanted to capture the beauty of their vivid cup-shaped flowers with photography.
Tulips are bulbous spring-flowering plants of the lily family and are perfect for bouquets or floral gardens. I was curious about the flowers’ origin and what they symbolize. I started searching Google and was surprised to find information unknown to me about the flowers.
They come in a variety of colors and like many flowers; the different colors have their own significant meaning.
Residents of Allegheny County want to know about coronavirus testing, and during a recent telephone town hall with local elected officials, they made that known in a big way.
During the April 22 phone call, organized by the Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition, U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, Democrat of Forest Hills, said legislators wanted residents to be able to ask questions about “unemployment, COVID-19 testing, funding, stimulus payments and other pandemic-related issues.”
Testing quickly topped the list of questions. Callers asked Dr. Debra Bogen, director of the Allegheny County Health Department, about a lack of testing in local communities — specifically in predominantly Black neighborhoods in the East End and Mon Valley.
On April 21, McKeesport Area School District administrators distributed electronic devices to students and parents so that they could do schoolwork from home during the coronavirus pandemic. Above, Joan Wehmer, district business manager, and below, Mark Holtzman Jr., district superintendent. (Both photos: Richard Finch Jr. for Tube City Almanac)
School board members in McKeesport Area School District expect to be considering a property tax increase for the 2020-21 academic year.
At April’s board meeting, Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. told school directors that the administration is working on a preliminary budget to determine “what the deficit is, and how we can manage that based on our current fund balance and expenses.”
Some of the expenses were predictable, including debt service, increases in pension costs and tuition for charter school students, Holtzman said, but others are related to the COVID-19 crisis that forced schools statewide to cancel all in-person classes on March 13.
Holtzman said the district is “still working on trying to (keep) the numbers down.”
The docks are in and McKees Point Marina is welcoming boaters again, but with social-distancing restrictions in place. (Tube City Almanac photo)
In a small sign of normality returning amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the McKees Point Marina opened for the season on May 1.
“We’re ready to go — we’re excited for another boating season, for the boaters especially,” McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said. “We’re just hoping everyone can enjoy their boating season.”
But the mayor cautioned there will likely be changes to other city activities, including the summer concert series and McKeesport’s premier annual event, the three-day International Village ethnic food and music festival, which is set to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
Along with golf courses, privately operated campgrounds and guided fishing trips, marinas were among the outdoor facilities that Pennsylvania officials last week said could resume operations.
Two teen-agers were reportedly in critical condition after a shooting near Yester Square on Tuesday night.
Allegheny County police said the male victims, both 15, were taken to an area hospital. Their names were not released.
The incident happened just after 9 p.m. in the 900 block of Craig Street. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that a bronze Chevrolet Malibu with Wisconsin license plates fled the scene and that the vehicle was located in Whitaker on Wednesday afternoon.
Editor’s Note: This story was edited following publication.
Allegheny County police have released few details in connection with the shooting death of a woman whose body was found near Myer Park on Sunday morning.
On Thursday, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that the victim was Amber Rose Dolby, 38, also known as Amber Bailey.
In a prepared statement, county homicide detectives said McKeesport police and paramedics were dispatched to the corner of Rogena Street and Riverview Avenue just before 5:30 a.m. Sunday when a caller to 9-1-1 reported that a woman was lying in the intersection.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene of an apparent gunshot wound to the head, county police said.
Lisa Duval is “incredibly proud” of teachers and staff in South Allegheny School District.
Duval, the school superintendent, said South Allegheny is not a so-called “1:1” district that already provides a laptop or tablet for every student. That created challenges during the district’s transition to distance learning.
South Allegheny serves more than 1,500 students in kindergarten through 12th grade in Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln and Port Vue.
On March 30, South Allegheny began a review process to determine which students had access to electronic devices and Internet service at home, and which did not.
When Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all schools to shut down and move to online learning due to the coronavirus pandemic, Clairton City School District did not have funding to provide electronic devices to all students.
About 90 percent of nearly 800 students in the district are economically disadvantaged.
So on April 2, Clairton School Superintendent Ginny Hunt and other district officials launched the “Clairton Supplemental Education Fund,” seeking donations to procure more laptops and Internet access.