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Christmas customs fade as family dynamics evolve

By Craig Smith
Some of Jo Ann Lyon’s fondest memories of celebrating Christmas with her Italian family revolve around the food — the mountain of pastas, fish and sweets that her mother and father lovingly prepared for friends, family and anyone else who happened by their Mt. Pleasant home. Every Christmas Eve, her …

Watchdogs call for better transparency of nonprofits’ IRS filings

By Natasha Lindstrom
Marcus S. Owens has observed troubling trends since stepping down as director of the Internal Revenue Service’s exempt organizations division 14 years ago. The nation’s nonprofit sector is proliferating, just as resources …

Flu season picking up in time for the holidays

By Adam Smeltz
Now you’ve got a legitimate reason not to kiss Aunt Mildred at Christmas dinner. Flu is ramping up just in time for the height of the holidays, worrying doctors that touchy-feely celebrations …

Allegheny

Pittsburgh police officer’s daughter helps homeless on Christmas Eve

By Chris Togneri
Train Johnson stared up with bewildered eyes, trying to process the scene. He had just awakened from a nap in a North Side homeless camp to find a 10-year-old girl, …

Westmoreland

Through adoption, Hempfield family merrier with more

By Renatta Signorini
A Christmas morning with excited boys tearing into their toys — that’s expected at the Buylla family’s Hempfield home. That scenario isn’t so different from any ...

Fayette

Fayette veterans recall holidays spent thousands of miles from family

By Karl Polacek
Connellsville’s Arthur McGann spent Christmases 1943 and 1944 far away from home. The World War II vet remembers spending Christmas 1944 in the Pacific. Korean War veteran Jim Flynn of …

Armstrong

Generations of Santa Clauses started in Ford City

By Julie E. Martin
Generations of Santa Clauses got their start on the 400 block of Fourth Avenue in Ford City, including one who went on to become a professional part-time Santa after settling …

Beaver

Search for ID of woman’s head found in Beaver County leads to organ donation groups

By Bill Vidonic
Investigators know a woman’s head found alongside a rural Beaver County road was embalmed, which they say means a funeral home or mortuary was involved in preparing her body. They know at least part of her eyes were removed for …

Butler

Traffic backup in Cranberry as crews work to repair broken signal

By Tribune-Review
Crews are working to repair a broken traffic signal at one of Cranberry’s busiest intersections. The signal at Routes 19 and 228 has not been working for most of Wednesday, according to Butler County Emergency Services. Traffic backups at the …

Indiana

Indiana County light display could go dark for good if no buyer found

By Greg Reinbold
Indiana County officials have holiday lights for sale — miles of them — but no suitable buyer. If no one steps up with an acceptable offer, a popular holiday light display could go dark for good after New Year’s Day. …

Somerset

Somerset woman killed in crash

By Tribune-Review
A 22-year-old Somerset woman died Sunday of injuries she sustained Saturday night when she was ejected from her Volkswagen Jetta on Route 219 in Quemahoning Township, Somerset County, state police said. The victim, Kelsy R. Peters, was pronounced dead at …

Washington

Washington to raze 7 dilapidated buildings in county seat

By Jason Cato
A dank, moldy stench seeps from under the doors of a mothballed building on a prominent corner in downtown Washington. Clutter fills the space behind dingy windows. If Mayor Brenda …

Education

Pittsburgh Public Schools updates school comparison website

By Megan Harris
Pittsburgh Public Schools updated the district’s school comparison website on Tuesday, incorporating school-specific information about enrollment, budgets and cost per student. The site also shows four-year enrollment trends, school policies, facility information, results from parent surveys, absenteeism data and the …

Pennsylvania

Christmas customs fade as family dynamics evolve

By Craig Smith
Some of Jo Ann Lyon’s fondest memories of celebrating Christmas with her Italian family revolve around the food — the mountain of pastas, fish and sweets that her mother and …

Photo Gallery

Wednesday - Dec. 24, 2014

Daily images from around the region by Trib Total Media staff photographers. …

Luis Fábregas

Luis Fábregas
Highmark backtracks on policy not to pay for anesthetic during colonoscopies
Health insurer Highmark Inc. has stepped back from a proposal to stop paying for full anesthesia for some patients undergoing colonoscopies, a spokesman said Tuesday. …

More Luis Fábregas

Salena Zito

Salena Zito
Love of history started friendship with Dick Scaife
I still miss him every day. Five months after holding his hand at his bedside on his birthday, hours before he died, Richard Mellon Scaife …

More Salena Zito

Eric Heyl

Eric Heyl
Heyl: What to get the bigwig who has everything?
Looking for a last-minute gift to get that hard-to-shop-for bigwig? As usual, I’m here to help. With Christmas mere hours away, some headline-grabbing notables have …

More Eric Heyl

Nafari Vanaski

Nafari Vanaski
Vanaski: Egg nog is a Christmas mystery
The great thing about Christmas is its magic and wonder. There are questions that defy explanation, such as one brain teaser my son posed: “How …

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Obituaries

Dad’s energy, heart a good fit for career, family

By Bob Stiles
Marshall Hoffman liked to keep active hunting, fishing and gardening, but he always made time for his family. “He was just always active. He just loved to be active. He …