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Looking back at the year that was


As we close out the year, we invite you to look back on a few highlights from 2021.

From the pandemic’s effect on small businesses to high school sports triumphs and government resignations, at every step we have worked to capture the news that’s essential to you.

Topping our personal highlights for the year, are the arrival of new Owner and Publisher Sonja Reis and several investigative partnerships with regional news sources. We continue to fulfill our mission of serving the West-Pittsburgh region with quality news and commentary.

Looking ahead to 2022, we are excited to continue expanding our coverage of your communities. While across the country newsrooms continue to fold and printing presses grind to a final halt, with your help we’ve been able to buck the alarming trend of vanishing print media.

Thank you for partnering with us on this exciting journey – We’ll see you again in 2022!


Illegal billboards?

National advertising firm Lamar took Robinson to court over claims officials shortcutted zoning regulations to help a competitor install billboards within the township.

Two Robinson residents joined the civil suit against the township, while several residents separately voiced concerns over the placement of the signs, saying they present a safety risk.

Billed as “welcome signs,” about six digital signs which include a combination of township information and private advertising were installed in late 2020.

Unresolved, the case is still inching through the courts.

Internet access

Gazette 2.0 joined with other media outlets to examine student internet and technology access during the first nine months of virtual schooling.

Working alongside the Mon Valley Independent of Monessen and Pittsburgh-based online publication, The Incline, our reporting uncovered a range of disparities affecting students across the Pittsburgh region. We also highlighted some effective solutions put forward by schools and nonprofits to quickly meet those needs.

Admin issues

Closing out a rocky year, Crafton’s council fired its manager within 12 months of releasing his predecessor.

Two dissenting members said the move took place behind closed doors, leaving them and the public in the dark. The majority who approved the termination motion denied this, saying it took place after appropriate council discussion.

Person of the year

Area residents selected Gazette 2.0’s own Lynne Deliman for the newspaper’s second annual person of the year award.

Nearly 40 people nominated Deliman for the award, with most pointing to her relentless work to serve the McKees Rocks community she grew up in. Now a Kennedy resident, Deliman is the manager at Rite Aid in McKees Rocks, where her husband serves as police chief.

Among her many community contributions, Deliman maintains a photo page in Gazette 2.0 highlighting positive local happenings.

Restaurant relief

Local restaurateurs let out sighs of relief when state mandates limiting operating capacity at 50% lapsed during the early days of 2021.

Several local business owners described desperate months relying on take-out sales and a trickle of dine-in customers expressed hope the worst of the pandemic was behind them. “I believe there is a lot of pent-up demand for simply sitting down for a nice meal out,” said Bob Crossland, owner of Mickey’s Place in Kennedy.

With American case rates near an all-time high, but with vaccines appearing on the horizon, the outlook on the COVID-19 pandemic was at that time mixed.

Saga continues

Frustrated by the recent dismissal of longtime fire chief Nick Radoycis, former council president Paul Krisby sent a letter to Allegheny County’s emergency service department stating Mike Stepek of neighboring Presston volunteer company would handle all fire business for McKees Rocks.

Irate members of the McKees Rocks Volunteer Fire Department said they were “blindsided” by the move and accused Krisby of putting personal loyalties before public safety.

Krisby resigned from council Jan. 8 citing health concerns, and his successor Archie Brinza ultimately reinstated the McKees Rocks company as the borough’s official department.

Billing issues

Frustration over billing issues reached a peak right after the holiday period for some residents of McKees Rocks and Stowe.

Affected customers complained of irregular billing practices that meant they would frequently go months without and then be expected to pay for two or more cycles.

Officials at Stowe and McKees Rocks said the problems were caused by Burkheimer, which both contract to collect sewage bills on their behalf.

Some discussed exploring other service providers but lamented that few are available on the market.


Council resignations

Anthony Saba, a relative newcomer to Crafton’s council, announced his resignation from public office late January.

Elected in 2019, Saba said he was ending his term early on account of personal reasons after losing several family members during 2020. Saba’s husband, formerly council’s vice president, stepped down the following month.

Vaccine delays

Locals seeking COVID-19 jabs for the