Visit Monroeville

Author Archive

UPMC Presents – ALIVE & WELL: Beneath the Surface

BENEATH THE SURFACE – Using Advance Procedures to Treat Common Health Problems

Tuesday, March 17, 2020
5:30 p.m. – Free health screening and hot hors d’oeuvers
6:00 p.m. – Presentation

Imagine doctors navigating through your blood vessels to make repairs inside your body. Sounds like science fiction – but it’s not.

Join Paul Lewis, MD, board-certified bascular and interventional physician at UPC East, to hear about the latest minimally invasive outpatient procedures that can eliminate the need for traditional surgeries affecting the prostate, uterus, liver, blood vessels and even bone.

Parking will be validated in hospital garage.

Registration is required. Call 412-357-3700 or visit

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Health department official: businesses should start preparing for coronavirus

A key Allegheny County Health
Department official is urging businesses to start making preparations now for
the possibility that coronavirus COVID-19 could impact the region and their

It echoes advisories from the
federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on
Tuesday and the Pennsylvania Department of
Health on Wednesday
, who have said that it’s time to start getting
ready for the possibility that COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS CoV-2
virus, could appear widespread in the United States. The Allegheny County
Health Department and state health officials are monitoring people in the
region who have been traveled to China for symptoms of COVID-19, the disease that have sickened
81,243 people and killed 2,770, mostly in China

But the appearance of
COVID-19 elsewhere in the world not tied to Chinese cases, including Iran and
Italy, has led to a ramping up of preparations around the globe, including in
the United States. There have been only 14 confirmed cases in the U.S., all but
two travel-related, and then 39 others of Americans who
have been brought back from Wuhan, China, or the Diamond Princess cruise ship

Dr. Kristen Mertz, medical epidemiologist at the
Allegheny County Health Department, told the Business Times on Wednesday that
while there’s the chance the disease may not occur here, it’s time to start
planning. A CDC official on Tuesday said that it was no longer a question of if
COVID-19 will spread in the United States “but rather more a question of
exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have
severe illness.”
 CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier said health officials
were asking the public to prepare “in the expectation that this could be
bad,” she told reporters in a conference
call Tuesday

“Like the CDC and the
state, we’re trying to expand from just containment (of the disease) to
community mitigation,” Mertz said. “Our plans are to try to make sure
that schools and businesses and health care providers are all preparing for
eventual cases here in Allegheny County.”

Local, state and federal officials,
along with health care providers, have had regular conference calls on
preparations. The playbook they’re using is gleaned from the pandemic flu
guidelines from 2017. That includes stressing personal protective measures like
hand hygiene and staying home when suffering from illness. But that could ramp
up to more stringent restrictions if COVID-19 spreads here, to strategies for
social distancing including potential school closures, postponing large
gatherings, and workplace changes to stop the spread.

“If we start getting a
lot of cases, we’ll have to start thinking about how things will change in the
workplace, will there be teleworking or teleconferencing,” she said. She
said that the measures that were done in China have apparently been effective
in slowing the pace of the epidemic. But it’s too early to determine whether
any will be needed and there’s always the chance that none will be needed.

“That will be a call
that comes later,” she said of social-distancing restrictions.

But she advised businesses to
think about the potential implications of their business if some of their
employees or their employees’ children become ill, and whether there are ways
to use teleconferencing or teleworking to do jobs in the interim. She suggested
that it might also be appropriate to think about more lenient sick-leave
policies, given that current evidence shows that people who have mild cases of
COVID-19 are sick for about two weeks and people with more severe cases are
sick three to five weeks. And close contacts of ill people would also be out
for a minimum of 14 days.

“People could be out for
quite a while,” she said.

She said the more teleworking
and other plans businesses have, the better off they’ll be able to weather the
potential disruptions.

“This may never come to
pass,” she said. “We don’t know if it’s going to die out in the
summer the way some viruses do. Or will we be able to contain it by just doing
what we’re doing? I think the general feeling is that it’s coming and we need
to be prepared.”

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Automotive News 40 Under 40

David Bernardini, 36

Regional operations director, #1 Cochran Automotive

When #1 Cochran Automotive’s service departments were struggling with inefficiencies in 2016, David Bernardini devised a sweeping solution.

He launched a new service lane process, implemented it in the company’s 18 service drives within six months and trained 100 service managers and advisers on the new standard.

Although the new process demanded continual documentation in an “exhaustive” online training manual for #1 Cochran employees, it provided a tremendous payoff for the dealership group’s service and parts departments, said Bernardini, a corporate service and parts training manager at the time. Net income in 2018 nearly tripled to $6.18 million from two years earlier.

Meanwhile, #1 Cochran’s customer pay effective labor rate improved 10 percent and customer pay hours per repair order improved 8 percent in 2018 from 2016.

“We also became more efficient in the operational costs in our overhead and dealerships,” Bernardini said. “The streamlined process took 12 steps to seven steps without cutting out any of the customer touches. We really dialed it in and trained hard so that it was the only way our team knew how to operate.”

More recently, Bernardini has proved his knack for operational efficiencies as #1 Cochran’s regional operations director for nearly two years, overseeing operations at four stores.

His efforts to eliminate waste and trim vendor expenses at two Monroeville, Pa., stores — #1 Cochran Subaru and #1 Cochran Hyundai — resulted in 2018 return on sales of 4 percent at the Subaru store and 3 percent at the Hyundai dealership. He recently began overseeing a Toyota store in North Huntingdon, Pa., that #1 Cochran acquired in 2018.

Bernardini’s goal is to be COO of a large dealership group. He said he has propelled his career with this mantra: “Keep everything as simplistic as possible. It comes down to consistently looking for the right people and the right processes.”

— Danielle Szatkowski

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Visit Monroeville Sports Tourism becomes AJGA Tournament Title Partner

VM Sports partners with the AJGA to host VM Sports Preview at Westmoreland

Monroeville, PA: Visit Monroeville Sports Tourism joins the American Junior Golf Association for the next two years, 2020 & 2021, in hosting the VM Sports Preview at Westmoreland. Westmoreland Country Club in Export, Pennsylvania, will play host to its first AJGA tournament, May 1-3.

Located just east of Pittsburgh at the junction of the
Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 376, Monroeville offers area visitors some
distinct advantages when it comes to location, price, and amenities. Monroeville
is just a short drive to both the City of Pittsburgh and the mountains of
the Laurel Highlands. With city
attractions including theaters, museums, amusement parks and outdoor activities
including hiking, biking, fishing, and rafting.

“We are honored to be hosting the AJGA in 2020 and for
years to come,” said Amy Capcara, Sales and Marketing Manager for VM Sports and
Visit Monroeville. “We are always looking to attract new events to the area,
and this was an especially prestigious win for us.”

The AJGA is committed to enriching the communities in which AJGA tournaments are held. The 78-player field from around the world will be eligible to receive a $50 dollar housing reimbursement courtesy of Visit Monroeville Tourism as an incentive for staying in a Monroeville, Pennsylvania, area code: 15146, hotel. All participants in the VM Sports Preview can take advantage of this unique partnership between the AJGA and Visit Monroeville Tourism. This opportunity will help reduce the cost to participating families, making this event more accessible to a wider segment of the AJGA’s membership.

The AJGA Preview Series is designed specifically for AJGA members who have not yet played/been accepted to an AJGA tournament. This series, conducted during the spring, offers these new and returning members the opportunity to start building Performance Based Entry status before application deadlines arrive for summer Open and AJGA Junior All-Star Series events. The Preview Series aids in establishing the foundation for a junior golfer’s career moving forward within the AJGA.

The tournament begins
Friday, May 1st with the official practice round. The 36-holes of
stroke play begin Saturday, May 2nd, and culminate with the awards
ceremony the afternoon of Sunday, May 3rd. A putting contest social
activity will be hosted after the first round for all participants.

For more information about the AJGA visit online through FacebookTwitter or at

direct questions about the tournament, contact Tournament Director, Brandon
Wheat, at

About PA Sports

The mission of Pennsylvania Sports is to attract and
host international, national, regional and local sporting events, and showcase
Pennsylvania as a viable sports event destination for professional, collegiate,
interscholastic, amateur, and youth sporting ventures, which will foster
economic development, and enrich the quality of life in the Commonwealth,
making it a better place to visit, live, work, and play.

About VM Sports

Visit Monroeville was established in 1987 to increase
and serve the convention, trade show, entertainment, and sports industries. The
agency also works closely with the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce to
promote local businesses and services – including hotels, restaurants, and
retail establishments – to visitors to the region. The staff markets the
Monroeville Convention Center, hotels, and other indoor and outdoor venues in
the area to promote the region as a low-cost, high-quality location for trade
shows, conventions, entertainment, and sporting events.

About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who
aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The
AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships and has an annual
junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-19) of more than 7,000 members from
50 states and 60 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving
Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and
Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors
charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next

TaylorMade and adidas are the AJGA’s National
Sponsors, supporting the AJGA for more than 25 years. TaylorMade has served as
the Official Ball of the AJGA since 2016. adidas has been the Official Apparel
and Footwear of the AJGA since 2017. Rolex, in its fourth decade of AJGA
sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur,
collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than
900 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Rickie Fowler,
Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth,
Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr,
Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Anna Nordqvist, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson.


Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Food Truck-a-Palooza returns to Monroeville Convention Center

The fourth annual Food Truck-a-Palooza rolls into the Monroeville Convention Center Saturday.

It’s presented by GoodTaste! Pittsburgh and set for noon to 5 p.m. at 209 Mall Plaza Blvd.

About 30 food trucks of various types are expected to participate in what GoodTaste! calls Around the World in 30 Trucks.

Terry Speal of New Alexandria plans to bring his truck, Speals on Wheels, along with it signature wraps, like margarita chicken, chicken cordon blue, steak and even a shrimp po’ boy.

“It’s good for us,” Speal said of the event. “You’re not going to find to many events this busy at this time of year. It’s very tight. At the same time, it’s busy. We don’t get much time to get out and walk around. It’s never made me feel as though it’s too much or overwhelming. When you’re inside, you can almost guarantee you’re going to get a crowd.”

Other food trucks include Humus Pittsburgh, Pgh Crepes, Emporio Meetball, Pgh Halal, Burgh Bites, Revival Chili, BG’s Italian Ice, La Palapa, Pattie’s Pastries, Spectro Dolce and Wicked Ribs N’at.

Other activities include an ice bar, beer, spirits, global music and a Kid’s Zone with various games. Admission is $10.

Monroeville Volunteer Fire Co. No. 6 members will once again walk the site repeatedly with carbon monoxide detectors, and enforce other safety measures such as limiting food truck fuel usage to one 20-pound propane tank at a time. A portion of the event proceeds benefit the fire company. It received at least $2,000 in previous years.

Members of the Allegheny County Health Department are also expected to inspect the trucks before they serve food.

Sponsors include First National Bank, State Farm, Monroeville Chrysler Jeep, Monroeville Kia, Monroeville Dodge Ram and Arsenal Cider House.

More information is available at

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, or via Twitter .

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →


One of Pittsburgh’s great sports traditions, the Allegheny Outdoor Sport and Travel Show Sponsored by North Country Brewing, will celebrate its 35th year of bringing the best of hunting, fishing, camping, boating, vacation planning under one roof when it returns to the Pittsburgh/Monroeville Convention Center for 3 Big Days – Friday, Feb. 14 through Sunday, Feb 16.

Western Pennsylvania’s largest, ongoing Outdoor Show celebrates the diversity of the region’s natural resources and outdoor traditions treasured by thousands in the region. The show features a giant array fishing, camping and hunting exhibitors from across the country, live demonstrations and an exclusive line-up of expert seminars. New 2020 Fishing boats, Canoes/Kayaks and UTV’s/ATV’s are also displayed.

Those planning family camping trips, fishing charters, and even once-in-a-lifetime hunting excursions in exotic locales will want to speak with the Show’s many seasoned travel professionals from as close as Nemacolin’s Orvis Field Club to as far away as Alaska and Western States, to Canada and even Africa.

“The Outdoor Show is an incredible value,” said Show Manager Christopher Fassnacht. “Where else can you enjoy non-stop fishing and hunting seminars and the Wild World of Animals Show – all for 20 bucks for the entire family? And of course, Parking is FREE with FREE Shuttle!

Ticket Price: NEW ! Every Day Low Pricing – Admission to the 2020 Allegheny Outdoor Show is $10. No Coupon is required ! Children 12 and under are admitted free w/paid adult admission. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in uniform will also receive free admission. All seminars and animal shows are included free with paid admission.

Show hours: Feb. 14th 12 pm – 8pm, Feb. 15th 10 am – 8 pm, Feb. 16th 10 am – 5 pm.

The complete schedule of Fishing and Hunting seminars and Wild World of Animals stage shows and all other important information is available at by Jan 15th. All seminars and animal shows are included free with paid admission.

The Allegheny Outdoor Show is produced by Expositions Inc. Established in 1937, Expositions Inc. is one of the country’s oldest show producers. Expositions Inc is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the P.O.W.A. and Visit Monroeville . For press passes and more information about the Allegheny Outdoor Show, contact Christopher Fassnacht at 1-800-600-0307 or

The Monroeville Convention Center is located 9 miles east of Downtown Pittsburgh and just 2 miles from the PA Turnpike Exit 57. Physical address: 209 Mall Blvd Monroeville PA 15146

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

New Pingpong Venue Coming to Monroeville Mall

MONROEVILLE, Pa. – Shopping, a quick bite to eat… and pingpong? It’s not exactly something you’d think of being at the mall, but there will soon be a 9,000-square-foot palace of pingpong at the Monroeville Mall.

Called Paddle Pong, the new venue plans to open for Black Friday.

The space will be located on the lower level next to Hollister and feature hardwood floors, chandeliers, 10 pingpong tables, artwork and more, according to a company press release. The company said it will offer leagues and the ability to book areas for parties. 

For more information about Paddle Pong, visit .

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Pittsburgh-area NAACP leader named NAACP State President

Kenneth L. Huston, president of the NAACP Allegheny East Branch, has been elected president of the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference, the organization’s highest-ranking position in the state.

Huston, who replaced Blanding Watson, also plans to remain president of NAACP Allegheny East, headquartered in Monroeville.

“I ran for state president because I felt that the NAACP in the state of Pennsylvania needed to be more at the forefront that impacts our communities,” Huston told the New Pittsburgh Courier. “There was a sense of being a socialite organization as opposed to taking on front-and-center the issues our organization has been fighting for over 100 years. This was extremely alarming to me and I felt as a state we were not aggressive enough about the issues that impact us. The NAACP should always be front-and-center on issues of civil and human rights and never should be ‘Johnny come lately’ to stand for the rights of our people — never.”

Huston is one of two officers representing Western Pennsylvania on the NAACP Pennsylvania state level. Phyllis Waller is serving as third vice president from the Washington County Branch. Huston told the Courier his election to the presidency marks the first time in roughly 20 years an NAACP Pennsylvania president has come from Western Pennsylvania.

As president, Huston will oversee the 44 branches in the state and the more than 17,000 state-wide members. “I must travel throughout the commonwealth, meet with the governor and state officials as well as have a clear message as to what is impacting our communities,” he said. “I am responsible to ensure that the Pennsylvania state NAACP is strong. And I intend to do just that with our great presidents and state leadership.”

On a national level, the NAACP has six “Game Changers” that are the primary focus of the 110-year-old organization in today’s climate: economic sustainability (a chance to live the American Dream for all), education (a free, high-quality public education for all), health (health equality for all Americans including a healthy life and high-quality health care), public safety and criminal justice (equitable dispensation of justice for all), voting rights and political representation (protect and enhance voting rights and fair representation), and expanding youth and young adult engagement.

Huston said that from his perspective, the primary role of the NAACP on a state level is “to fight for justice with more effective outcomes. People are asking, ‘Well, what does the NAACP do?’ And that is extremely troubling to me, because we do a whole lot and the work we do should be understood with clarity. I believe we are about to experience one of the most hateful and fear-torn elections in over 50 years or more and the NAACP has to be armed to fight for the rights of our people, and that is on several fronts — economically, education, all the issues that we know are still very much an issue. We must be prepared with clear outcomes to our work.”

The New Pittsburgh Courier

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Terrain Race Sees Success in Monroeville, PA

Terrain Race, the nation’s fastest-growing obstacle course
race, returned to the Pittsburgh area on October 12th, at Monroeville Community
Park.  Despite light rain, the event was a fun, outdoor challenge for
participants that generated significant economic impact in the municipality of

Terrain Race is produced by CoolEvents, the nation’s
largest experiential event company, and this date was presented in association
with Visit Monroeville and V.M. Sports. 

“For this specific weekend, hotels in the
Monroeville-area were filled to capacity,” said Sean Logan, V.P. Community
Relations for Visit Monroeville.  “That is roughly 1,400 hotel
rooms.  Thousands of participants came into Monroeville, some for two
days, staying, eating, and shopping in our community.”

The number of participants
and spectators exceeded 7,500; with over 4,000 event participants residing
outside of Allegheny County.

“We couldn’t be happier with how the entire city of Monroeville rallied around Terrain Race,” said Justin Muir, Business Development Specialist at CoolEvents.  “We would like to give special thanks to Visit Monroeville, Monroeville Recreation and Parks, and Forbes Hospital for their tireless efforts which helped streamline the entire operation and execution of Terrain Race.” 

The community support even
extended to City Hall, as the Mayor of Monroeville, Dr. Nicholas J. Gresock,
participated in the event.  “We were thrilled with the outcome of
Terrain Race,” said Dr. Gresock.  “It was very well organized, a lot
of fun, and had a very positive economic impact on our community.  We
can’t wait to schedule our next one.” 

Terrain Race was recently voted Best International Obstacle Race at the Challenge Awards Presented by Runner’s World.

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Small Electronic Recycle Event!

Spectrum Charter School of Monroeville is announcing that they are organizing a recycling collection event for broken, outdated and unwanted small electronics. This is a free community service open to the residential and business community as part of Spectrum Charters School’s 20th Anniversary.   

Charter School is the first autism specific charter school in the United States.
Their curriculum embraces community service as an integral part of the
student’s education as well as teaching environmental literacy through lessons
in Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

that will be accepted for recycling include: Cell Phones, Desktop Computers,
Laptop Computers, Tablets and Notebooks, Circuit Boards, Hard Drives, Modems
and Routers, Game Systems, Cable Boxes, Servers & Switches, Networking
Equipment and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS with battery).

off for all items will be accepted at the Monroeville Public Library located on
the Gateway School Campus – 400 Gateway Drive beginning On October 21 –
November 9.  Recyclable items will also
be accepted at the Monroeville Lion’s Club Farmer’s Market on November 2 and
November 9 from 9 a.m. – noon.

All recycling of items will be in
compliance and conformance of recycling regulatory standards and managed
through West Penn Recycling of Delmont.

For more information about this
event contact:

About Spectrum
Charter School:

Spectrum Charter School
is a tuition-free, public charter school located on Northern Pike n
Monroeville.  The school is structured to
meet the needs of students who do not learn well in traditional classroom
settings due to cognitive, communication, and sensory challenges; including
students with autism spectrum disorders.

mission: Since 1999 we have been providing school-to-work transition
instruction in the classroom, on-site business, and community-based work sites
for students aged 13-21. 

Spectrum Charter
School is a 501-(c)(3) organization and is affiliated with:

  • PA Coalition of Charter Schools, Greater Pittsburgh Non-Profit Organization,  ABOARDS’s Autism Connection, Autism Society of Pittsburgh, Green Building Alliance, PA Green Schools, National Wildlife Federation; Eco Schools USA, Duquesne Light Watt Choices “Community Education Energy Efficiency Program”
  • Spectrum Charter School’s building has successfully earned the Energy Star Certification for the past consecutive 5 years.
  • Spectrum Charter School is a recipient of the prestigious Green Flag Award. The Green Flag Award recognizes schools that are creating healthy and sustainable learning environments and teaching to environmental literacy. The National Wildlife Foundation Eco­Schools USA program presented the award to students and faculty members during an October 28, 2015 ceremony. Spectrum Charter School is one of three schools in all of Pennsylvania to receive this national environment award.
  • 2015 Recipient of the SW Pennsylvania Sustainable Small Business Certificate of Recognition from Sustainable Pittsburgh.
  • Healthy Schools Pennsylvania High Honor Roll 2015, 2016, 2018 & 2018
  • Earned a Allegheny County Live Well School designation – May 2017

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Terrain Race Stops In Monroeville, PA This Weekend

The obstacle course event visits the
Pittsburgh suburb on Saturday

PHOENIX (Oct. 10, 2019) – Terrain Race, the nation’s fastest
growing obstacle course race, returns to Western Pennsylvania this Saturday,
October 12th.  This weekend will be the
first time this event has been hosted in Monroeville, a suburb east of Downtown
Pittsburgh.  Terrain Race is produced by
CoolEvents, the nation’s largest experiential event company, in association
with VM Sports, Monroeville Pennsylvania’s tourism bureau for athletic events.  Over 7,500 participants and spectators are
expected at Monroeville Community Park.

“Thanks to Visit Monroeville and VM Sports for
allowing us the opportunity to engage their community and get people from all
over Western Pennsylvania to enjoy what Monroeville has to offer,” said
CoolEvents CEO Bill Spata.  “We welcome
the opportunity to work with communities around the country.”

Terrain Race is an obstacle course race that is
approximately five kilometers long where participants can expect mud pits,
walls, ropes, monkey bars, and a variety of additional obstacles that will be
placed around the unique terrain of the venue. The first wave of participants
launches at 8:15 a.m. and subsequent waves launch every 15 minutes until 2:00
p.m.  The Mini Monkey kids race goes off
at 10:05 a.m. and 11:05 a.m.

“We are super excited to be hosting the Terrain Race
this weekend,” said Amy Capcara, Sales and Marketing Manager for VM Sports and
Visit Monroeville. “We are always looking for new events to bring to the area,
and this was an especially big win for Monroeville.”

Packet Pick Up will take place on Friday October 11th
from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at JCPenney at the Monroeville Mall, located at
500 Mall Cir Dr, Monroeville, PA 15146.

Located just east of Pittsburgh, PA at the junction of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 376, Monroeville is just a short drive to both the City of Pittsburgh and the mountains of the Laurel Highlands.  Monroeville Community Park is located at 2399 Tilbrook Rd, Monroeville, PA 15146.

Forbes Hospital is generously donating all medical aid for this event.

Terrain Race was recently voted Best International
Obstacle Race at the Challenge Awards Presented by Runner’s World

About CoolEvents, LLC

CoolEvents, LLC offers a variety of unique,
experiential running and obstacle events that attract thousands of participants
who share a passion for running and helping others.  The Company is in the middle of the 2019
event season that will see in excess of 150 events over six national
tours.  These include: Terrain Race, the country’s fastest-growing
obstacle course race; Bubble Run, the largest daytime 5K run
in the country; Blacklight Run, and Foam Glow, the largest night-time glow runs in the country; and
Blacklight Slide, the world’s only
five-story-high waterslide with neon glowing water.  The Company recently added Muddy Dash, a new muddy fun run tour, to its
schedule.  Cool Events supports childhood
cancer awareness and has donated more than $5 million since inception to
children’s charities including Phoenix Children’s Hospital/Children’s Miracle
Network.  2019 saw one dollar from each
registration going to the Company’s official charity partner, 1Wish, whose vision is “to assist as many families and communities
in delivering that 1Wish for a child with a life-altering illness.”

more information and updates please follow Cool Events on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

AMERICAN PICKERS to Film in Pennsylvania

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to Pennsylvania! They plan to film episodes of the hit series American Pickers throughout your area in November 2019.

AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.

Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them. AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: or call 855-OLD-RUST.

facebook: @GotAPick

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Visit Monroeville Launches VM Sports, a New Sports Tourism Brand

Monroeville, Pa 

September 6, 2019 – Visit Monroeville, Monroeville
Pennsylvania’s tourism bureau, announced the development of VM Sports on
September 6th. VM Sports will advance sports tourism in Monroeville
and eastern Allegheny County by taking advantage of the area’s many existing
sports complexes and venues to attract a diverse range of tournaments and
sporting events.   

President & CEO of Visit Monroeville, Sean Logan, said
that sports tourism generates economic impact by bringing direct spending into
the community. “When sports events, big or small, come to town, the athletes
and their families and supporters bring their wallets. They’re looking for
quality lodging, excellent food, entertainment, and shopping. Monroeville has
it all – along with proximity to a major international airport and downtown
Pittsburgh. Monroeville, with its amenities and wide variety of sporting
facilities, is the perfect place to bring their teams.”

“Visit Monroeville is always looking for new ways to
bring events into our region,” said Amy Capcara, sales and marketing
manager of Visit Monroeville. “The development of VM Sports just formalizes our
dedication to tap into this growing market. Sports are part of our area’s
legacy, and we couldn’t be more excited about VM Sports.”

For years, Visit Monroeville’s promotion of sports tourism
has been paying off. Their biggest sports event partner, Atlantic Coast Sports,
annually generates over $1 million in direct spending in Allegheny County’s
hotels alone. Visit Monroeville attracts tournaments like Tyrant Wrestling,
which has recently doubled in attendence and is projected to double again for
November 2019, the Showstoppers Dance Competition, which is under a two-year
contract with the Monroeville Convention Center, and Terrain Race at
Monroeville Community Park, which has 8,000 participants. 

Visit Monroeville celebrated the launch of VM Sports with
a new section of, which provides in-depth field
measurements and new photography taken by local creative and marketing
multimedia agency Twothirty Media. The VM Sports logo was designed by graphic designer
Devin D’alessandro, owner of GK Creative.


About Visit Monroeville:

Visit Monroeville was established in 1987 to increase and serve
the convention, trade show, entertainment, and sports industries. The agency
also works closely with the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce to promote
local businesses and services – including hotels, restaurants, and retail
establishments – to visitors to the region. The staff markets the Monroeville
Convention Center, hotels, and other indoor and outdoor venues in the area to
promote the region as a low-cost, high-quality location for trade shows,
conventions, entertainment, and sporting events.

For more information, please contact:

Amy Capcara


Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Making a Financial Impact on Pennsylvania’s Communities

“Sporting events represent an integral part of the Pennsylvania economy,” said Sertz. “The market is diverse, including youth and adult amateur, college and professional events that attract out-of-town visitors to destinations across the Commonwealth. These visitors generate room nights and spending in local economies that produce substantial tax revenues and employment impacts. Thanks to the sales and marketing efforts of PA Sports, our team reports increased annual sporting events, which means a positive economic impact for Pennsylvania.”

To read more about this article click the link below.

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

No Mutation Needed: New Treatments Being Developed for a Small Group of Parkinson’s Patients May Work for Most People with the Disease


PITTSBURGH – A gene linked to 3 to 4 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease could play an important role in most, if not all, people with the disease, according to new study findings from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC. The gene, called LLRK2, was previously thought to only cause disease when mutated, but researchers have found that it may be just as significant in the non-hereditary form of the disease, according to the study published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

“This discovery is extremely consequential for Parkinson’s disease because it suggests that therapies currently being developed for a small group of patients may benefit everybody with the disease,” said senior author J. Timothy Greenamyre, M.D., Ph.D., Love Family Professor of Neurology in Pitt’s School of Medicine, chief of the Movement Disorders Division at UPMC and director of the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (PIND).

Parkinson’s affects one million people in the U.S. and as many as 10 million worldwide and has no known cause, but is thought to involve both genetic and environmental factors. In 2004, researchers discovered that mutations in the LRRK2 gene (commonly pronounced as “Lark2”), overactivated the protein and caused Parkinson’s in a small group of people, often in a hereditary fashion. However, the LRRK2 protein is difficult to study because it is present in extremely small amounts in nerve cells that are affected in Parkinson’s.

To overcome this problem, Greenamyre and his team engineered a molecular ‘beacon’ that attached to LRRK2 and glowed red under a microscope only if the protein was active. This allowed them to also reveal the nerve cells in which LRRK2 was active in the brain.

The researchers applied the test to postmortem brain tissue donated to science by Parkinson’s patients, none of whom had mutations in LRRK2, and healthy individuals of approximately the same age.

Remarkably, the test indicated that in ‘dopamine neurons,’ which are the brain cells most commonly affected in Parkinson’s, LRRK2 was highly active in individuals affected by the disease, but not in the healthy individuals. This suggests that LRRK2 overactivity may be important in all people with Parkinson’s, not just those who have a mutation in the gene.

A second major finding of the study was that it connected two proteins that have separately been recognized as important players in causing Parkinson’s – LRRK2 and alpha-synuclein. Accumulation of alpha-synuclein leads to the formation of structures called ‘Lewy bodies,’ a hallmark of Parkinson’s.

While enormous efforts have been focused on alpha-synuclein, the cause of its accumulation is still poorly understood. Using a rodent model of Parkinson’s induced by an environmental toxin, Greenamyre and his team discovered that activation of LRRK2 blocked the mechanisms that cells use to clear excess alpha-synuclein, leading directly to its accumulation. The researchers then treated the animals with a drug currently being developed to treat familial Parkinson’s patients by blocking LRRK2 activity. The drug prevented the accumulation of alpha-synuclein and formation of Lewy bodies.

“LRRK2 ties together both genetic and environmental causes of Parkinson’s, as we were able to show that external factors like oxidative stress or toxins can activate LRRK2, which can in turn cause Lewy bodies to form in the brain,” noted lead author Roberto Di Maio, Ph.D., an assistant professor in Greenamyre’s lab and a researcher at the Ri.MED Foundation.

In the future, Greenamyre expects to build on these findings to discover how neurodegeneration caused by LRRK2 overactivation can be prevented, and identify how oxidative stress and environmental toxins cause LRRK2 activation.

Study co-authors include Eric K. Hoffman, Ph.D., Emily M. Rocha, Ph.D., Matthew T. Keeney, Briana R. De Miranda, Ph.D., Teresa G. Hastings, Ph.D., Alevtina Zharikov, Ph.D., and Amber Van Laar, M.D., from PIND; Antonia Stepan, Ph.D., and Thomas A. Lanz, Ph.D., from Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development; Julia K. Kofler, M.D., of Pitt; Edward A. Burton, M.D., of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and PIND; Dario R. Alessi, from the University of Dundee; and Laurie H. Sanders, Ph.D., of Duke University and PIND.

This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grants NS100744, R21ES027470, NS095387 and AG005133, the Blechman Foundation, the American Parkinson Disease Association, University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute, Michael J. Fox Foundation grant 6986, Medical Research Council grant MC_UU_12016/2, and friends and family of Sean Logan. The University of Dundee’s Division of Signal Transduction Therapy Unit received support from pharmaceutical companies Boehringer‐Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, and Merck KGaA. Greenamyre briefly held an advisory position at Pfizer. The authors declared no further competing financial interests.

For Journalists

Arvind Suresh

Madison Brunner
Communications Specialist I

Pitt Health Sciences UPMC Life Changing Medicine

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Monroeville Police Fighting Crime With Surveillance Cameras

MONROEVILLE (KDKA) — For the last few months, the Monroeville Police Department has been fighting crime with technology.

Cameras have been set up all around the municipality to catch suspected criminals.

“If you come here to commit a crime, you will be seen, you will be caught,” said Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala.

The district attorney is praising the surveillance camera monitors at the Monroeville Police station, saying it’s changing the movement of crime by using technology.

Monroeville has had the system in place for three months.

So, with 25 cameras in place in Monroeville, several at busy intersections like at 22-48, the question is – are the cameras doing what they were designed to do?

Monroeville Police Chief Doug Cole admits he didn’t embrace the technology at first, but says now, it has gone above and beyond his expectations.

“Last night, we had an incident where we assisted the Pitcairn Police Department with a double shooting. We were able to place the getaway vehicle after we did some detective work and be able to go back and trace where it left and how it left our community,” Monroeville Police Chief Doug Cole said.

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Additional Surveillance Cameras Now Operational in Monroeville


Pittsburgh PA —- Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., along with officials from Monroeville, announced today that additional surveillance cameras are now operational throughout Monroeville. The pledge to provide additional cameras had been announced a few weeks ago at a meeting of Monroeville business owners and community leaders and is a collaborative effort involving the DA’s Office, the Municipality of Monroeville, Visit Monroeville and the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce.

“These additional cameras are a top priority for our community and will be a very effective tool for our police force,” said Monroeville Mayor Greg Erosenko.

“I am very pleased at the cooperation of our business leaders and residents banding together for the common goal of ensuring that Monroeville is a safe place to raise families and to provide a positive experience to everyone visiting our community,” added Sean Logan, President of Visit Monroeville and the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce.

The cameras will stream back to a central location where they will be monitored in real time, part of a two year effort to utilize the latest technology at a time when the City of Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania are being recognized nationally for their roles in technological innovations.

“The safety of a community should be an inclusive process and cameras are an important part of that process because we see what the camera sees in an objective fashion,” said D.A. Zappala. “The way that Monroeville has implemented this project with input from all the stakeholders should be a model for other communities.”



Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

12 Video Cameras to Act as Eyes for Monroeville

Samson X Horne
By Samson X Horne | Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, 10:57 p.m.

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office will provide 12 high-resolution video cameras to monitor vehicles throughout Monroeville in an effort to reduce crime.

District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. told Monroeville public officials, businesses leaders and some residents about the initiative Tuesday.

“We’ve found over the years that the best deterrent to crime is knowing you’re going to be seen and knowing you’re going to get caught,” Zappala said.

Supplying the new cameras, which have license plate recognition capabilities at a cost of about $4,000 each, “is a continuation of what was started after the shooting at the mall,” said Mike Manko, spokesman for Zappala.

Officials declined to disclose locations for the cameras.

Police say Tarod Thornhill, 18, of Penn Hills opened fire into a crowd at Macy’s at the Monroeville Mall in 2015, wounding three people. His trial is scheduled for Oct. 17. Officials implemented a youth escort policy on weekends and reopened a police substation in the mall after the shooting.

The cameras through the DA’s office are an expansion of surveillance cameras in place in Monroeville, said Sean Logan, CEO of Visit Monroeville and president of the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Monroeville Police Department monitors those cameras.

“We’re really just bringing crime prevention to the next level. We have to take the next step in crime prevention, and that’s technology with cameras,” Logan said.

The recognition software in the cameras will serve as “virtual checkpoints” in Monroeville, which is home to a busy shopping district, hospitals, the Community College of Allegheny County’s Boyce campus, and the Monroeville Convention Center. About 28,000 people live in the community, located at the “crossroads” of Interstate 376, Route 22 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Monroeville Mayor Greg Erosenko encouraged business leaders to get involved by installing their own cameras that would link with the other cameras; doing so, he said, not only will assist with law enforcement but will “help your customers feel safe.”

“Let’s be honest, bad guys don’t want their face on film,” Erosenko said.

Monroeville police Chief Doug Cole said such a linked system is possible.

Two men were wounded in a daylight shooting June 21 outside a shopping center near the Monroeville Mall. Their injuries were not life-threatening. Bullets damaged the storefronts of two businesess.

“With these cameras, if you’re going to commit a crime, you’re going to get caught,” Logan said.

Samson X Horne is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach him at 412-320-7845 or

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →