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Carnegie officials waiting for massage-therapy licenses

| Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Carnegie officials say they still have not received all of the documents needed from a Mt. Lebanon woman wishing to open a massage business in the borough's business district.

At a hearing last month that will resume Monday, council members asked Qun Shen to provide copies of state massage-therapy licenses for the three masseuses she would employ as soon as possible. Shen does not have a state license, and said in June she was in the process of obtaining one.

Borough manager Stephen Beuter said copies of the licenses had not been provided as of July 7, nor has Shen been in contact with the borough since the June 9 hearing.

Shen, owner of Excel-USA Trading and Services, applied in April for an occupancy permit to operate a Thai massage business at 39 W. Main St. in Carnegie. She previously owned a business in Turtle Creek.

At the public hearing on the conditional use of the property last month, she addressed worries from council about the legitimacy of the business. Her son, Max Shen, translated, as her native language is Mandarin Chinese.

But borough officials say they are still unsure how their decision will go, and some want more information.

“We're still very undecided,” council President Pat Catena said. “There are still some more questions that need to be asked. There's still more fact-finding to be done.”

He said council would like to have an official interpreter at the next hearing.

“We'd like to be asking her the questions directly rather than have her son interpret for her,” he said. Catena said the transcript from the June hearing was only partially complete because of the communication barriers. He said a second round of questioning Monday is a possibility.

“I personally still have reservations because it seemed to me, there were inconsistencies in the story that I don't feel were answered,” he said.

The Shens could not be reached for comment.

Borough police Chief Jeffrey Kennedy said the department has not done any checking into the business' background.

“It's in the hands of the borough right now,” he said. “If the borough grants (the permit), it'll then be our job to make sure it's all (legitimate).”

He said borough officials have not asked the department to do any background checking.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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