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Forbes at 40 CommUNITY Day

The Monroeville Foundation is pleased to be organizing the 1st Annual Monroeville CommUNITY Day to be held at the Monroeville Community Park West on Tilbrook Road on Saturday July 28, 2018. The event will kick-off with an early morning 5K Run/Walk: “Run for Your Life and Walk With A Doc” along with a health fair and screenings sponsored by Forbes Hospital and Highmark in celebration of Forbes Hospital’s 40th Anniversary in Monroeville.

Working together with Forbes Hospital, Highmark and Allegheny Health Network, The Monroeville Foundation is planning to celebrate a CommUNITY Day that will bring the entire community together. The day-long celebration will provide opportunities for local business and entrepreneurs, food and craft vendors, stage performances, kid’s activities and entertainment for all ages.

According to Ernie Groover, President of The Monroeville Foundation, “We are pleased to be able to bring our business community and the residents of Monroeville together for a CommUNITY Day that will focus on and highlight the best that Monroeville has to offer. This is the first year for this community-wide, family –friendly event. Our goal is to create an annual event that celebrates unity, diversity in Monroeville.”
Admission and parking to Monroeville CommUNITY Day is free and open to the public.

This is a rain-or shine event.

Information and registration for the 5K Run For Your Life & Walk With A Doc is available at:

Forbes40_CommunityDay (004)


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Allegheny, Westmoreland Brewers get Grants to Promote Pennsylvania Beer

With 32 independent breweries operating in Allegheny County, drawing in tourists isn’t as easy as publishing a map, said Brian Eaton, co-owner of Millvale-based Grist House Craft Brewery.

A $30,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, one of 13 announced Wednesday as part of an effort to promote Commonwealth-made craft brews and malt beverages, will help the breweries coordinate and create a guide to all of them to help attract tourists and customers.

“It’s not going to be a traditional ‘ale trail,’ where you can follow the dots in a straight line,” said Eaton, chairman of the Pittsburgh Brewers Guild. “This is going to be more of an atlas of all the breweries in Allegheny County.”

The grant allows the guild to hire a firm to coordinate and compile a print guide, website and mobile app, and may also help them in working with VisitPittsburgh to train its visitor concierges on all the region’s craft-brew options.

The guild formed in December and held its first quarterly meeting in early February. So far 29 of the county’s 32 breweries are dues-paying members, Eaton said.

The grant was one part of $705,000 Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday under the Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverages Industry Promotion Board.

The Pittsburgh District of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas got a $35,000 grant, which will be used to facilitate professional speakers and technical seminars for brewers in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

“We’ll bring in hops growers, maltsters, quality-control professionals and hopefully some of the rock stars of the brewing industry to share their secrets,” said Dan Yarnell, brewer at Export-based Rivertowne Brewing Co. and district president.

Other parts of the grant will go toward recruiting more brewers to join the association for their professional development and getting a local brewery with laboratory space to share with other brewers, so they can test their beers for things like proper fermentation and bacteria content to ensure its quality, Yarnell said.

“A lot of breweries don’t have lab equipment, and a lot of science is involved in the brewing process,” he said. “There’s a lot of finger-crossing going on.”

Other awards include:

• $10,000 for Hops on Lots Pittsburgh, which turns vacant properties into hops farms to supply local breweries.

• $127,500 for “Pennsylvania Pursue Your Hoppiness,” a project to identify “beer trails” where tourists can visit multiple regional microbreweries, and to develop a statewide “brand identity” for the state’s breweries.

• $65,000 for Harrisburg-based GK Visual LLC to create a documentary on Pennsylvania breweries.

• A total of $136,154 to Penn State for two projects studying the effect of fungicides on hops and improving hops-drying techniques to preserve their aromatic compounds.

There are more than 300 breweries now licensed in Pennsylvania, which Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding estimated was a $5.8 billion industry in the statement announcing the grants.

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724 836 6660, or on Twitter @msantoni.

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All The Best Food Festivals Coming to Pittsburgh in 2018

It may feel like we just rung in 2018 yesterday, but we’re already halfway through February, and food festival season is well underway!To help you plan ahead for 2018, we’ve listed our favorite annual food festivals that happen every year all over the ‘burgh.

Be sure to bookmark this page for reference for rest of the year. We’ll keep updating when we find more events to add! If you organize one of these events, and would like us to update the information, please email:


Pittsburgh Winter Beerfest
February 23-24

One of Pittsburgh’s favorite beer fests is back at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Over two days, guests can sample more than 400 different craft beers from breweries across the country. Tickets range from $45 – $90 per person, and there are a number of sessions to choose from. See more online.


Threadbare Cider’s Maple Festival
March 10

Sample and purchase local maple syrups, watch a maple sugaring demonstration, shop for maple candies, purchase maple goods, and enjoy kids activities, maple cocktails, at Threadbare Cider’s Maple Festival!

Food Truck-a-Palooza
March 10

Food Truck-a-Palooza is back and even bigger than before. Over 30 food trucks will be the Waterfront, in addtion to live music, and friendly competition – one truck will be crowned the “People’s Choice Winner.” Tickets can be purchased online.

Pittsburgh Food Bank’s Empty Bowls 2018
March 18

The annual Empty Bowls event will take place on March 18th at Rodef Shalom. Tickets to the event include a handmade bowl, and soup from some of the best restaurants in Pittsburgh. Proceeds from the event benefit Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and Just Harvest. More information can be found online.


Annual Beaver County Maple Syrup Festival
April 7-8

Beaver County hosts a Maple Syrup Festival with a massive, all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. There will be two stages of entertainment, mountain men encampments, handmade crafts, pony-rides, stoneground flour and more. The festival is free, and the breakfast is $9 adults and $5 children (12 and under). See more information on the event page.

Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week
April 20-29

According to their website, Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week highlights the Pittsburgh region’s craft beer culture, expanding the reach of craft beer through education, collaboration, cooperation and responsible libation.


Pittsburgh Wine Festival
May 5

For the 16th year in a row, the Pittsburgh Wine Festival is bringing a collection of wines from around the world to Heinz Field. There will be food, drinks, tons of fellow wine enthusiasts, and over 530 expertly selected wines. Tickets can be purchased online.

PGH Taco Festival

Now in its second year, the Pittsburgh Taco Festival promises to bring together some of Pittsburgh’s best tacos in one place. Tickets are $15 per person, and the event will be held at Highmark Stadium. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the event page.

May 27

Every year, everyone’s favorite island restaurant in the Strip, Kaya, hosts a start-of-summer block party. Kaya promises that Smallman Street will be erupting with music, Caribbean inspired food and great vibes. The party lasts 11 hours and is free and open to all ages.


The 2018 Beers of the Burgh Festival
June 2

Celebrate local beers at the 4th Annual Beers of the Burgh Festival at the Carrie Furnace! Over 40 of the area’s best breweries will be in attendance, serving ales, ciders and more, all unique to the Three Rivers regional area. Tickets can be purchased online.

Smicksburg Strawberry Saturday
June 9

The town of Smicksburg, PA (located an hour outside of Pittsburgh), hosts a massive strawberry festival every year. Smicksburg, an Amish town, is known for their homemade goods – from pottery, to quilts and wooden furniture. The festival is a great opportunity to visit the town and its shops. In honor of the festival, Smicksburg will be serving strawberry wine, strawberry jam, strawberry ice-cream, and will be selling berry bowls and serving plates. More information can be found online.

Little Italy Days in Bloomfield
August 16 – 19

Four days, three stages, and over 30 acts! The dates for the 2018 Little Italy Days have already been announced. Stop through for activities like celebrity bocce, Miss Little Italy pageant, Italian Idol singing competition, and much more. Tons of Italian food and drink will be available for purchase during the event. Now a Pittsburgh tradition, Bloomfield’s Little Italy Days started in 2002 as a way to celebrate Bloomfield’s Italian heritage, and create a destination for Italian-themed entertainment and food in Pittsburgh. Little Italy Days

Corks & Kegs in Washington County
August 25-26

Get ready for two days of beer, wine, spirits, and food at the Meadows Racetrack for Washington County’s premiere craft beer festival.The dates for the 2018 Corks & Kegs festival have already been announced. Over sixteen breweries, six wineries, and two spirit companies will be at this event. Multiple food trucks will also be in attendance, as well as tons of regional vendors. Admission to this event is free. Corks & Kegs

Mountaineer Brewfest
August 19

Celebrate West Virginia’s finest craft and microbrews at the fourth annual Mountaineer Brewfest in Wheeling, West Virginia. General admission tickets include ten beer samples, and VIP tickets include a special beer and food pairing. The event will also feature a “Beer Garden” with live entertainment, and beer and food for purchase. Follow the festival on Facebook for updates.

Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival
Weekends August 18 – September 23

Here ye, here ye! A true sign of the arrival of Fall in Western PA is the return of the annual Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival. Stop through for Renaissance themed games and shows (jousting, archery, fire breathing, fortune telling, ect.) There will also be a lot of classic Renaissance festival food and drink (giant drumsticks and beer). Tickets can be purchased online.


Steel City Big Pour
September 15

Drink local beer at one of Pittsburgh’s biggest craft beer festivals! The date for the 2018 Steel City Big Pour has already been announced. Tickets includes samples from all food and drink vendors. Hosted by Construction Junction, the proceeds from the event support material reuse. There will also be live music and art. Steel City Big Pour

Brews in the Park at Kennywood
September 22

Enjoying a beer at Kennywood Park? Sounds like a pretty good time. Listen to live music and sample dozens of different craft beers for Brews in the Park. More than 100 different beers are available for sampling, with food trucks, live music and entertainment setting the scene. More information can be found online.

Butler Fall Festival
September 22

Main Street in Butler, PA, transforms for their annual fall festival. Attendees can expect food, crafts, two stages of live music, and a kids zone with a petting zoo, barrel train, face painting food vendors, and more. More information can be found online.

Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival
September 23

Kennywood is hosting the Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival – an event dedicated to one of Pittsburgh’s most popular foods, and a symbol of the city. Eat specialty pierogis from dozens of vendors, paint your own pierogi with Paint Monkey, and ride a select number of rides. 2017’s Pierogi Fest featured 40 vendors offered dozens of different pierogi styles, great music and entertainment, and the ability to ride some of Kennywood’s most popular attractions. A beer garden will be available for 21+ guests.

Soergel’s Fall Festival
Weekends September 23 – October 31

Soergel’s typically celebrates the season with six weekends of fall festivals! Each weekend will feature food from Sorgel’s BBQ and food bar (including roasted corn while supplies last), as well as desserts from their Sweet Saloon. There will also be hayrides, a pumpkin patch, kettle corn, pick your own apples, face painting, games, and so much more! For the 21+ crowd Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka, Arrowhead Wine Cellars, Arsenal Cider, and Aurochs Brewing Company have all been on site in the past. More information can be found on their Facebook page.


Wholey’s Hosting Oyster Fest
Weekends November 4 – 12

For two weekends in a row Wholey’s in the Strip District is hosts an Oyster Festival, featuring oysters, special sales, live entertainment, shucking demonstrations, and lots of oyster varieties, like Chesapeake Bay, Fat Baby, Connecticut Blue Points, James River and more. See more on their Facebook page.

Pierogi Fest at St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church
November 4

If you love homemade pierogies, get yourself to St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church in Woods Run for their annual Pierogi Fest. They’ll be featuring seven kinds of pierogies, like loaded potato, farmer’s cheese and sauerkraut, plus three kinds of soup and homemade baked goods. See the Facebook page for more information.


Krampusnacht in Market Square
December 5

For the past few years, Pittsburgh has been celebrating Krampus Night in Market Square. Thi s ancient European holiday joins the merriment at the People’s Gas Holiday Market. Krampus will be joining St. Nicholas, and dispensing coal and the ruten bundles to bad children. Follow Krampus in Pittsburgh for updates on the 2018 edition of this celebration.

Did we forget your favorite festival? Don’t fret! Email us:

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Owner Says Medical Marijuana Dispensary to Open in Monroeville by April

The owner of a medical marijuana dispensary expects his Monroeville shop to be open by April.

The Healing Center’s plans to build at 130 Mall Circle Drive and provide medical marijuana to patients were approved by council in September. The former bank building was demolished to make room for a new 7,000 square foot building.

The company was one of the 27 in the state awarded permits to dispense medical marijuana by the state Department of Health in June. It will also open dispensaries in Cranberry in Butler County and in Washington County.

Two other companies were given permits in Allegheny County and another will open a dispensary in Westmoreland County. Solevo Wellness, a medical marijuana dispensary in Squirrel Hill, is scheduled to open Feb. 15.

Healing Center co-owner Chris Kohan said the company’s proposed dispensary in Washington County is also slated to open in early April. The company’s Cranberry operation is not expected to open until late summer.

“Cranberry just doesn’t move very fast for anyone, unfortunately,” he said.

The company is hiring a nurse practitioner, a pharmacist and a patient care representative for its Monroeville location. Go to for information.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed a medical marijuana bill into law in 2016. The Health Department is regulating the marijuana, which prohibits smoking it in dry leaf form. Dispensaries will sell the drug in pills, oils, tinctures and ointments. They are also permitted to sell equipment such as vaping devices to administer medical marijuana.

Patients must apply for a state-issued medical marijuana card if a doctor certifies they have one of 17 medical conditions — including epilepsy, cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2325, or via Twitter @dillonswriting.

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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.

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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.”



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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

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Fitzgerald Announces Launch of Parks Trails App for County Parks System

PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced today the launch of a new Trails App which will give users information on trails available in the Allegheny County Parks System. Using their mobile devices, residents and visitors alike will be able to discover and navigate park trails both in advance of a hike, and while in the park too.

“We’re excited to launch the Trails App for our residents and visitors. Our nine county parks contain 12,000 acres and attract over two million visitors each year,” said Fitzgerald. “For hikers, being able to plan hikes, as well as utilize information while hiking will make their experience even better. We’re proud of the work that has been done on this effort to date and look forward to the continued offerings that this technology will provide to park users.”

The app focuses on navigation information for all users at each of the county’s nine parks. All trails – blazed, unmarked and paved – are shown in the map. Information on the blazed trails also includes length and difficulty (based on a hiker’s perspective). When the mobile device’s GPS is turned on, the app can also provide live elevation information when on a blazed trail. Additionally, users will have access to current weather conditions, alerts and upcoming forecasts from the National Weather Service.

“Our parks are a wonderful resource for so many different organizations and groups, many of which take full advantage of our many trails,” said Council Member John Palmiere, Chair of County Council’s Parks Committee. “Having a resource such as this app which makes the users’ experience better, safer and more enjoyable ensures that residents and visitors have a good, positive interaction with our parks system.”

The Division of Computer Services partnered with Esri, a geographic information systems (GIS) mapping software company, to create a product using the county’s GIS data. Working with Esri, the Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group, and the Allegheny County Park Rangers, the data and information collected was developed into an application that reflects current conditions for users. Work on future versions of the app will include information on trailheads, parking options, shelters and restroom facilities.

The map-based, GPS-enabled app is available and free to download in the Apple App Store. It will be available through the Android Play Store by the end of the week. The app can be found by searching “Allegheny County Parks Trails.”

# # #

Office of the County Executive
101 Courthouse • 436 Grant Street • Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone (412) 350-6500 • Fax (412) 350-6512

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This Region Needs the Mon-Fayette Expressway Extension

This Region Needs the Mon-Fayette Expressway Extension

Late last year the Construction Legislative Council issued a report reviewing a number of key transportation projects essential for the economic future of our region. On this list was the completion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway link from Route 51 to Monroeville, with extension of the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway to the expressway.

The report was developed by a committee of the region’s leading transportation engineers, planners and professionals with expertise in development and design of public infrastructure.

It was disappointing that the Post-Gazette took a negative position on the expressway project in its Feb. 2 editorial “False Promise: The New Mon-Fayette Segment Is a Road to Nowhere.”

Our region has shown its resilience through evolution and adoption of new industries such as health care, education, technology, robotics, financial services, film and most recently oil and natural gas. However, southwestern Pennsylvania is crippled by severe congestion that significantly limits our economic competitiveness.

In the case of the Mon Valley, a lack of modern highway access has significantly limited the redevelopment opportunities of brownfield industrial sites. Linking these sites to regional and interstate markets is essential to increase jobs in the Mon Valley.

In addition, transit access into Oakland and other parts of Pittsburgh from the extension of the busway to the expressway would both improve access of Mon Valley residents to job opportunities throughout the region and spur redevelopment of Mon Valley communities.

We hope that businesses and residents of the Mon Valley will take the opportunity to participate in meetings and hearings on the restart of the expressway project and offer their thoughts on the benefits of this valuable transportation improvement.

Construction Legislative Committee
Green Tree

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A New Pennsylvania Tourism Slogan? It’s About That Time

March 8, 2016

We’re going to bet Thomas Jefferson and the other founding fathers never really thought about how to make Pennsylvania stick in the common man’s mind as a travel destination.

But at the rate Pennsylvania’s going in the 21st Century, those guys from Independence Hall may soon start demanding royalties.

The state Tourism Office unveiled its new marketing slogan for state tourism promotion Tuesday, and it is – drum roll please: “Pennsylvania. Pursue Your Happiness.”

The accompanying logo is designed, officials said, to present a fresh look for Pennsylvania, with the hint of a smile.

The new tagline is central to a re-branding effort tagged to traditional travel guides and paid advertising, as well as very 21st-Century social media campaigns that developers hope will spawn an inter-active conversation.

“We’re asking our social media followers to join the conversation and share photos of what makes them happy about travel in Pennsylvania using the hashtag #PATravelHappy,” Department of Community and Economic Development spokeswoman Lyndsay Kensinger said.

The slogan replaces “State of Independence,” the winner of a contest sponsored by former Gov. Ed Rendell’s administration that also happened to play off the Philadelphia-born Declaration of Independence.

“This new slogan encourages travelers to satisfy a core virtue which we all desire and can never have too much of — happiness,” Karen Winner Sed, co-chair of the Pennsylvania Tourism Partnership, said during the official unveiling at a Somerset County winery Tuesday.

“Whether you are looking to explore the outdoors, a historical attraction, or an urban setting the overarching motivator is happiness,” Winner Sed said.

The tourism partnership is a public-private entity that helped lead consumer research and brand development efforts to develop the new brand over the last 18 months, at a cost of roughly $500,000 split between state funds and private matches.

Because the initiative was kicked off and funded in the 2013-14 fiscal year, it was not stopped by this year’s budget impasse, Kensinger said.
DCED still has about $500,000 on hand to kick off the new campaign’s roll-out, which will be supplemented by additional private sector matches, according to Kensinger.

New PA Slogan

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Business Booms in Monroeville Medical Corridor with Forbes, UPMC East

Business Booms in Monroeville Medical Corridor with Forbes, UPMC East

Monroeville Mayor Greg Erosenko proudly refers to it as “mini Oakland,” the one-mile stretch of Mosside Boulevard housing rival hospitals owned by UPMC and Allegheny Health Network.

For Erosenko, business booms in a medical corridor with more jobs, more commerce and more competition between AHN’s community mainstay Forbes Hospital and the glistening, state-of-the-art UPMC East.

“Sincerely, it has been good not just for Monroeville residents, but for everyone out east,” the mayor said. “The competition has kept both health systems on the cutting edge, and that’s definitely not a bad thing.”

As UPMC postures to build a controversial hospital in the South Hills — less than a mile from AHN’s Jefferson Hospital — Erosenko points to the eastern suburbs as a model for coexistence of dueling hospitals.

An open question is whether 341-bed Jefferson Hospital can handle the competition. AHN lost $39 million in 2015, according to financial documents filed with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

David Holmberg, president and CEO of AHN’s parent company Highmark Health, is confident Jefferson will thrive. Still, he’s not thrilled with the prospect of a neighboring hospital in the South Hills.

“I don’t think we need more beds in the region,” Holmberg told the Tribune-Review. “Jefferson is an excellent facility. It has everything people need in the South Hills to take care of them. You have to ask what the motivations are for putting a hospital right next to a high-performing institution like that.”

UPMC plans to invest as much as $200 million to build the proposed 300,000 square-foot UPMC South, similar in size to UPMC East, with promises of 500 permanent jobs. The health care giant’s most recent plan was to build UPMC South in Pleasant Hills off Route 51 at Lindsay-Snyder Drive, although resident complaints could persuade UPMC to select an alternate site. A hearing on the plan before the Pleasant Hills zoning board is scheduled for April 25.

“We are optimistic that the UPMC proposal will foster sustained economic development in the 51 corridor,” said John Biedrzycki, vice president of the South Hills Chamber of Commerce. UPMC Health Plan is a member of the chamber. AHN is not.

Paul Wood, spokesman for UPMC, said motivation for building UPMC South is simple: thousands of UPMC Health Plan members live in communities along the Route 51 corridor that want and need a local hospital.

The South Hills proposal has opened a new chapter in an ongoing feud between UPMC and Highmark. As a result of the dispute, most UPMC hospitals no longer accept most Highmark insurance and UPMC Health Plan doesn’t contract with most Allegheny Health Network hospitals.

There are some exceptions. A Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision issued in late November required UPMC to include seniors in a group of “vulnerable” Highmark patients that the state is requiring UPMC to continue treating until 2019, when a consent decree governing relations between the nonprofits expires. People with Highmark insurance who are disabled, poor or engaged in a “continuing course of treatment” at UPMC hospitals are also protected until 2019.

Another exception is Jefferson Hospital. Unlike the other hospitals in Allegheny Health Network, Jefferson admits anyone with UPMC Health Plan insurance because it has a separate contract with the insurer. The terms of that contract, including when it expires, are confidential, both systems said.

“We do provide access to UPMC patients at Jefferson, whereas UPMC has said to us, they don’t want to see Highmark customers,” Holmberg said. “They have made it very clear. So it’s a different motivation.”


When UPMC announced plans for a hospital in Monroeville, said Forbes Chief Medical Officer Mark Rubino, patients asked: “Why are they hurting you? Why are they trying to kill you?”

“Most cities are not building additional hospital beds in a stable population. Yet, that was the UPMC model,” Rubino said. “Here, we try to provide high quality, comprehensive acute care services. We need to have strong core services to do that. To have it diluted by excess bed capacity doesn’t really make sense.”

Mark Sevco, president of UPMC East, said demand prompted the opening of the Monroeville hospital. UPMC Shadyside was over capacity and 30 percent of its patients were driving into Pittsburgh from the eastern suburbs, he said. The $250 million UPMC East opened in 2012.

“Our strategy was to provide low-cost, high-quality care in a community where our patients live,” Sevco said.

Forbes executives point out their hospital is full-service, offering medical services that UPMC East does not, such as open heart surgery, inpatient psychiatric care, complex brain and spine surgery, trauma care and baby deliveries. Forbes is certified as a Level II trauma center, which Holmberg said saved lives during the April 9, 2014, stabbings of 20 students and an adult at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.

UPMC East is just one piece of a regional Western Pennsylvania network that satisfies the full range of patient needs, Sevco said. Trauma patients can be flown by helicopter to UPMC Presbyterian or Montefiore hospitals in Oakland. Magee-Womens Hospital offers quality women’s health care, he said.

At UPMC East, planners sought to avoid duplicating services of other UPMC hospitals, Sevco said. Planners left the more complicated procedures to doctors who perform the procedures more often. Research shows that medical teams that perform higher volumes of procedures often have better outcomes, he said.

UPMC East does medical imaging and heart procedures, has a critical care unit, a rehabilitation program and performs a broad range of surgeries, he said.

“In medicine, like most things in life, the more you do something the better you are at it,” Sevco said. “For us, it’s about supporting a network of coordinated patient care, not duplicating services within our network. The focus is integrated and we work very hard at making patient transfers seamless.”

Forbes took a hit when UPMC East opened, losing 17 percent of its emergency department patient volume, according to its president and CEO Duke Rupert. However, much of the volume has bounced back, he said.

“We still have our challenges going forward with UPMC East right here,” Rupert said. “Obviously, if you put another inpatient facility in the community, it starts to split the volume.

“I think the future is bright for Forbes, but it’s not without investment and time and expenses.”


Since the formation of AHN in July 2013, Highmark has invested about $34 million in renovations, new technology and program expansions at Forbes.

Among them: a new trauma program, a new 20-bed intensive care unit, an expanded obstetrics and postpartum unit, installation of an electronic medical record system, a reconstructed emergency room waiting area, a dedicated patient elevator tower designed to improve the admission and transport of patients throughout the hospital and new signs atop and outside of the hospital.

The investments aren’t lost on Monroeville resident Kimberly Miller, 47, who wondered whether Forbes would survive after UPMC East opened.

“As a resident, I was very nervous that Forbes would immediately shut down and become a vacant eyesore in the community,” she said. “On top of that, there would be lost jobs. Nobody wants that.”

Miller, who three years ago switched from Highmark to a UPMC health insurance plan for her family, is thrilled with the convenience of UPMC East. A mother of four, she has made several visits to the emergency room for bumps, bruises and illnesses.

“The parking is great, there are low wait times and the building is super clean since it’s brand spanking new,” she said.

Although she hasn’t visited Forbes much since her switch in health insurance, she is pleased that Forbes is still around.

“They are certainly putting on the persona that they are making improvements and trying to stay a leader in health care out here,” she said.

Bernhard Erb, who served on Monroeville’s council from 2010 through 2014, said he believes UPMC’s plan is to continue growing locally, nationally and internationally. He joked that the only headache associated with UPMC East’s construction was creating an extra turning lane off Mosside into the hospital campus area.

“You’ve got great doctors at both facilities in Monroeville; you’ve got many of them moving to the region,” he said. “If the only benefit this new hospital brings to the South Hills is doctors and surgeons with six-figure salaries moving into the area, that’s still a great thing.”

Ben Schmitt and Wes Venteicher are Tribune-Review staff writers. Reach Schmitt at 412-320-7991 or Reach Venteicher at 412-380-5676 or

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Monroeville Mall Announces Additional Security Upgrades

JUNE 30, 2015

Additional Security Upgrades Planned for Monroeville Mall
Monroeville, PA (June 30, 2015) – At a press conference today, Monroeville Mall officials announced additional security upgrades for Monroeville Mall, located in the Monroeville suburb of Pittsburgh. Security upgrades include the installation of an internal and external state-of-the-art video camera system. This cutting edge system will have both on and off-site monitoring capabilities. Monroeville Mall’s security provider will also take other measures to enhance visibility and maximize coverage of the center; including adding additional security hours and shifts.

This announcement comes on the heels of many other security measures that have already been put in place. A Monroeville Police Department Substation opened inside the mall in March and on-duty Monroeville Police officers will be available at the Police Substation during peak shopping hours. In addition, Monroeville Police will increase the number of patrolling officers throughout the malls interior and exterior.

In February, management launched a Youth Escort Policy (YEP), which requires anyone under the age of 18 to be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 21 on Friday and Saturday evenings after 6pm. This program has been met with positive feedback from customers, retailers, and Monroeville officials.

“Thank you Lance and CBL for your leadership in working with all of the retailers here at the mall, and with law enforcement officials and community leaders toward re-assuring shoppers that the mall at Monroeville is a terrific, convenient and safe place to shop,” said Mark Ionadi, Macy’s Representative.

In addition to the announced security upgrades, officials discussed their plans for the mall’s multi-million dollar renovation, currently underway. Once completed, the interior will feature an updated color scheme, new lighting fixtures to brighten common areas, and sleek, stainless steel railings lining the walkways.

Guests will discover modernized, soft-seating lounge stations designed for relaxation and conversation. Remodeled restrooms will feature new tile, granite, and cherry wood finishes. The food court will also receive a facelift that includes new furniture to complement the overall contemporary design. New benches and receptacles will also enhance the mall’s exterior appeal. In addition, the children’s play area will be updated with a brand new look, theme and play elements. The renovation is slated to be complete just in time for the 2015 holiday season with details about a renovation celebration and play area grand opening being announced later this year.

“Our commitment to the community is clear. We have and are continuing to make significant investments in Monroeville Mall through these security enhancements and the comprehensive revitalization,” said Lance Ivy, Regional Director of Management at CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., owner of Monroeville Mall. “Monroeville Mall has long held a special place in the community as a favored destination. Our goal through these upgrades is to ensure that shoppers can continue to expect a welcoming, vibrant destination to shop, dine, and spend time with family and friends for years to come.”

About Monroeville Mall
Owned and managed by Chattanooga-based CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., Monroeville Mall is a super-regional, two-level shopping center featuring Crazy 8, Christopher & Banks, Hollister Co., The Children’s Place, Rue 21 and White House | Black Market. Recent additions to Monroeville Mall include H&M, Cinemark Theatre, Gift-ology, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Soma, and Teavana. Monroeville Mall also features an 80,000 square-foot lifestyle streetscape expansion called “The District” featuring Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Jos. A. Bank, ULTA Cosmetics, Chico’s, and SAGA Japanese Steak House.


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Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Monroeville Sign Affiliation Agreement

Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce, Visit Monroeville Sign Affiliation Agreement — Chamber Names Sean Logan President & CEO

For Immediate Release
May 27, 2015

Monroeville, PA – The Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce (MACC) and Visit Monroeville signed an affiliation agreement today, marking the official beginning of a partnership between the two.

In addition, the MACC Board of Directors named Sean Logan President & CEO of the organization. Mr. Logan will continue to serve as Executive Director & CEO of Visit Monroeville.

“The agreement is designed to help strengthen both organizations,” said Sean Logan, Chief Executive Officer of Visit Monroeville and President of the Monroeville Area Chamber. “It also creates efficiencies by reducing overhead costs and sharing services.”

The management consolidation between MACC and Visit Monroeville will allow both organizations to align common missions, share resources and reduce administrative costs. While both organizations will retain their separate boards of directors and fiscal oversight, the staffs will combine under a joint Chief Executive Officer. A third advisory board will be created to oversee the partnership.

Visit Monroeville and the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce remain committed to their missions, which each play a role in continuing to promote Monroeville and the surrounding area as a great place to live, work, visit and do business.

Contact: Sean Logan – 412-856-7422


About the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce: The Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce is a diverse, member-driven organization, focused on being an advocate to promote and advance business excellence and business alliances, thereby strengthening our local communities.

About Visit Monroeville: Visit Monroeville was established in 1987 to increase and serve the convention, trade show, and travel industry. The agency also works to promote local businesses and services – including hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments – to visitors to the region. The staff works closely with the staff of the Monroeville Convention Center to market and promote the region as a low-cost, high-quality location for trade shows and conventions. In addition to providing traditional meeting planning services, Visit Monroeville offers shuttle service to and from Monroeville’s meeting spaces, hotels, banquet facilities, and shopping.

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