The shuttered Shop 'n Save store in Centre Heldman Plaza along Centre Avenue in the Hill District in 2019. (Photo by Justin Merriman/PublicSource)

Develop PGH Bulletins: One store, four visions: Hill District residents to score grocery proposals

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy. Check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 9/20/21: From live seafood to hardware, residents weigh options for Shop ‘n Save site
Two and a half years after the Hill District’s Shop ‘n Save closed, the neighborhood is weighing four pitches from entrepreneurs hoping to occupy the vacant bulk of a shopping plaza at Centre Avenue and Heldman Street. Would-be retailers made markedly different offers to more than 100 participants in a virtual community meeting run by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The URA bought the site in November 2019, after Shop ‘n Save failed, and has pledged to consider results from a neighborhood scoring process before picking a new tenant.

(Illustration via iStock)

‘Vaccines continue to do their job.’ No mask mandate in Allegheny County.

PublicSource has been tracking COVID-19’s spread on a daily basis since March 2020. More than a year later, in an effort to direct our resources into enterprise reporting on the pandemic and other important issues, we will cover the Allegheny County Health Department’s weekly briefing on Wednesdays and update the numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We may adjust as the prevalence of the coronavirus ebbs and flows. If you have questions or comments, please email PublicSource’s managing editor halle@publicsource.org. According to newly released state data, 97% of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19-related deaths since January involved individuals who were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb sits at his desk

Pittsburgh controller alarmed over COVID relief transparency

Update (9/14/2021): City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday to approve the transfers, which add up to more than $90 million. Councilwoman Deb Gross voted against the move. An amendment was attached to authorize the city controller to audit the agencies' use of the funds and to require quarterly reports to the city. After swiftly passing Mayor Bill Peduto’s federal COVID-19 relief spending plan in July, City Council is preparing for final votes Tuesday on the transfer of more than $90 million of the funds to outside entities such as OnePGH and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). 

Friday morning, Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb sent a letter to council, asking them to leave the money in the city’s American Rescue Plan trust fund until the agencies are ready to spend it. He said leaving the money in the city account will allow for greater oversight and public transparency.

As membership changes in Pittsburgh, long-established unions use lessons of history to serve workers today

Some days, West Penn Hospital nurse Kayla Rath barely has time to eat. “If you could take a lunch break by three or four o'clock and just scarf down your food, then that was a good day,” she said. Rath, a postpartum nurse at the Pittsburgh hospital, said the past 18 months have been especially stressful. Caring for vulnerable newborns and their mothers throughout the pandemic has been fraught with uncertainty. “There’s not a lot of research on the effects of COVID in those populations,” Rath said.

Pittsburgh Public superintendent offers resignation amid ethics controversy

Two weeks after a state ethics commission found violations, and with mounting tensions, Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet submitted a resignation notice to the school board, effective Oct. 1. The resignation comes about one year after Hamlet’s contract was renewed, and five years after he joined the district. “After much thought and consideration and because, in light of current circumstances, I think it is presently the best thing for our students and families, I believe that now is the time for my tenure to come to an end and to embark upon a new chapter of my professional life,” Hamlet said in his letter to the school board. The board is expected to accept Hamlet’s resignation at a special legislative meeting on Sept.