Greetings everyone and welcome to this week’s edition of the Derry Diary.

Hopefully, today will be the start of new beginnings.

Now that our area has entered the “yellow phase” of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening plan, we should now see a little light at the end of the tunnel.

With some businesses starting to reopen today, this might be the first step in the right direction for our area to return to some type of normalcy.

I’m just hoping that things work out so we can make a full recovery and get back to living our lives the way we’re used to. It would be nice to see our weather patterns cooperate as well.

As you may have noticed in my recent columns, I’ve been complaining about our weather the last few months.

It’s no secret that we’ve had nothing but awful weather this spring, including temperatures way below normal. Moreover, we’ve had more than our share of rain, wind and other disgusting elements — snow — factored into the mix.

With temperatures expected to rise this weekend, this might finally be the official start of spring. However, there always seems to be a catch.

Yep, you guessed it — rain and thunderstorms.

Regardless, it’s time to move toward summer because before you know it, fall and winter will be right around the corner.

I’ve always said, especially in my sports column, after July 4, summer is all but over.

As soon as you see the Steelers head into St. Vincent College for training camp, Old Man Winter isn’t far behind.

Nonetheless, maybe we should take it one day at a time for now. Let’s enjoy what’s left of spring and hopefully a long, warm summer with lots of sunshine.

That works for me and I hope for you, too.

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The Ethel Springs Wellness Trail is now reopened! Many thanks to Derry Borough Mayor Alanna DeRito-Guadiello and Derry Borough Council Members Sara Cowan, Matthew Clever and George Allen Hixon who have volunteered to handle the trash collection and litter pickup! Also, many thanks to the authority employees who keep the property beautiful and maintain the trail year-round, and thanks to the township who resurfaced the trail last summer!

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New Alexandria Borough Council has announced that the resurfacing of Main Street is set to begin next week, weather permitting. Main Street will be resurfaced from one end to the other. Patching holes and additional gravel will be included in the work. The measure was approved last fall by borough council. So, be alert when driving by.

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The Derry Area School Board is planning to have an “in-person” meeting at 6:30 p.m, Thursday, May 21. The board plans to follow social distancing guidelines recommended by the “yellow phase” designation for Westmoreland County.

The meeting will take place in the middle school auditorium and public attendance will be limited to accommodate social distancing guidelines.

It is recommended that the public join the meeting via the Zoom internet platform.

A Zoom link will be provided on the school district webpage for public viewing. All public comments will be handled the same as last meeting.

Stay tuned to the Bulletin for more information as it develops.

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Brooke Nixon wrote to the Diary last week on behalf of Hillside United Methodist Church. Nixon explained that the church is in need of money donations or volunteered services to ensure the continuing existence of the cemetery. Donations may be sent to Hillside UMC, 279 Old Route 217, Derry PA, 15627. Anyone interested may call 724-694-5446.

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The Derry Area School District Trojan Greenhouse is selling plants to the public weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Friday through May 22.

Because of COVID-19, only four adults will be permitted in the greenhouse at one time and will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing. Customers must enter at the rear door near the barn. Children are not permitted to attend.

Customers are asked to make their selections in a timely manner — preferably within a half hour.

Orders may be placed in advance for curbside pickup by emailing Carly Jean Rippole at Payment must be by checks only and made payable to The Trojan Florist.

A complete list of available plants can be viewed on the Derry Area School District website and Facebook page.

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Derry Township tax collector Debby Zello reminds us of an important announcement:

“The 2020 county/township real estate tax deadline has been extended from April 30 to Aug. 31. Taxpayers will have until Dec. 31 to pay their county/township real estate taxes without penalty.

“The Derry Township tax office still remains closed until further notice, so tax payers need to mail their payment in. If a receipt is requested, you MUST send ENTIRE statement and include a self-addressed stamped envelope to have a paid receipt returned. The address to mail payments is: 978 N. Chestnut St. Ext., Derry, PA 15627. Everyone stay safe and healthy.

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Barbie Jones, early childhood liaison for the Derry Area School District, has provided important information regarding kindergarten registration.

If your child will be attending kindergarten in the fall of 2020, online registration is now open. To register your child, go to For additional information, assistance or questions regarding registration, call 724-694-2400 ext. 1103 or email

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Derry Area School District continues to offer no-cost meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) school closure.

The no-cost meals are available regardless of income level or school attendance to students and any other district residents under the age of 18.

The district offers a drive-through service at Derry Area High School and provide delivery services to four locations throughout the district Monday through Friday.

A lunch for the current day and a breakfast for the next day, will be available throughout the duration of the school closure.

Drive-through service will be offered at the high school cafeteria entrance in the school’s rear parking lot from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Please read revised drive-thru info for May 22 below).

Meal deliveries will be made Monday through Friday on the following schedule: 1116 Murtha Way from 10:30 to 10:45 a.m.; Holiday Acres at Scott Court by the playground from 11 to 11:15 a.m.; Derry Area Community Center (Germano Hall) from 11:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., and Dogwood Mobile Home Park on Earl Drive from 12 to 12:15 p.m.. Delivery time frames are estimates and may require adjustments.

Those who can’t make it to one of the delivery sites or who have other specific questions should contact Derry Area food service director Gwen Kozar at 724-694-1401, ext. 1442 or 1476, or by email at

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The drive-thru at the high school is being relocated to the A.V. Germano Hall (previously called Derry Community Center) on May 22. The time will still be 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. It is being relocated to accommodate the seniors who will be attending the Senior Farewell Luncheon.

On May 22, there will be a Senior Farewell Luncheon in the back parking lot at the high school. It will start at 11 a.m. On the menu General Tso’s Chicken and slushies.

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Thelma Kline reminds us that Derry’s National Day of Prayer (NDP) observance will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, at Mossback Park in Derry Borough. NDP is an annual event for all Americans of all faiths to unite and pray for America and her leaders. Never has the need for prayer been so great. The 2020 theme is ‘Pray God’s Glory Across the Earth.’ Servants’ Call will lead worship music and prayers will be offered by the community for government, churches, military, media, education, business, family and first responders. So, save the date for Derry’s 22nd National Day of Prayer Observance!

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Idlewild & SoakZone is currently conducting virtual interview sessions for interested applicants to learn more about summer job opportunities and interview for a position for the upcoming 2020 season. Idlewild & SoakZone has just announced new higher pay rates for all team members. Many positions pay more than $11 per hour! In addition to competitive pay, you will enjoy flexible scheduling, gain valuable job experience, and make friends; all while having fun and enjoying great perks. There are many exciting positions available in the following departments: Rides and attractions, lifeguards, food service, retail and games, admissions and guest services, maintenance and grounds, public safety and more.

To schedule a virtual interview session, apply online at Additional questions may be sent via email to

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The 5th annual DARCee Car Show will be held from noon until 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, at the Derry Borough Community Park. Gates open at 10 a.m.

Stay tuned for more information.

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The Derry Area High School Marching Band is preparing for the 2020-21 season despite the uncertainty in the world. If you plan to participate in marching band in the fall, you are asked to fill out the GoogleForm by clicking the link ( on the marching band website. The summer schedule is up in the air at this point, but as soon as the staff is permitted to schedule rehearsals, they will let you know.

There is also a new remind for this upcoming season. Text “@dahsmb20” to 81010 to join the new remind. Messages will be sent out on the old and new remind until the end of May, so make sure you switch over before then.

In addition, band camp is tentatively schedule from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday for the weeks of Aug. 10 and Aug. 17. The preview show and picnic is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21. All other summer practices are TBD at this point because of the pandemic.

Lastly, if you are interested in auditioning for drum major, or applying for consideration as a section leader, join the Google Classroom with the code: ezhfylv. Auditions/interviews will be held virtually at the end of May. All dates and information about the process can be found on the classroom.

Students entering at least their third year in marching band are eligible for leadership positions. Any student may “mock” audition/interview for experience and feedback.

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Have a great weekend!

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