Labor Day is right around the corner and it looks as if the weather is going to cooperate and be nice. So, I hope everyone takes time to enjoy one of our last weekends of the summer!

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this week relaxed restrictions on spectators at some fall sporting events. The revised guidelines mentions that speculators may attend events, but they count toward the statewide gatherings limits of 25 people indoors and 250 people outdoors. The restrictions also mandate that spectators must wear masks, unless outside and can maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet.

Derry Area Athletic Director Brett Miller posted this announcement on the school’s website.

“All sports-related activities must adhere to the gathering limitations set forth by the Governor’s plan for phased reopening (25 or fewer people for an indoor activity, 250 or fewer people for outdoor activity) and the facility as a whole may not exceed 50% of total occupancy otherwise permitted by law. All individuals present at the facility at which such activities are held count towards gathering limitations and must comply with the face-covering order and social distancing guidelines.

“There is no longer a restriction on spectators or visitors. Each school can now determine who to allow into their facility as long as they do not exceed the 25 (indoor) and 250 (outdoor) maximum capacity limits.

“Unfortunately, spectators will not be permitted into volleyball or other indoor contests due to the number of players and coaches required. Our school district will develop a plan with regards to all other outdoor sports as we must remain under the 250 maximum. More information will be communicated in the coming days.”

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In case you haven’t noticed, a beautiful 30-foot flag pole has been placed at the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Derry Borough with funds raised from the project created by The Chestnut Ridge Post 444 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Derry.

The project has received more than 50 donations and is still accepting more for maintenance and flags. According to project spokesman J.D. Nace, suggestions for benches, landscape or a monument for the veterans are also welcomed.

The flag pole looks great and I can’t wait to see what else they come up with. Great job!

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The Hillside United Methodist Church is having a sub sale in memory of June Kellerman Ehman beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12.

Subs are $9 each and can be purchased at the following sites: Taylor Trucking on Torrance Road, Blairsville Tractor Supply and the District Magistrate Office on Route 982 in Bradenville. Subs are being supplied by Ronaldo’s Pizza Barn.

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ELKS CARE, ELKS SHARE Lodge 907 will be presenting a check for $2,000 to the Westmoreland County Food Bank. In these most trying times, the food bank is in desperate need of high protein, non-perishable items to help feed the many families that are dependent upon their services.

Along with the monetary donation it is offering, the lodge will be conducting a food drive until Friday, Sept. 11.

They are in need of the following items: canned tuna and chicken, peanut butter, cereal, canned vegetables, and macaroni and cheese. Please no damaged or expired products.

All donations can be dropped off at the Lodge Pavilion. Food items may also be ordered from Amazon Prime. They will ship direct to the lodge on your behalf.

You may use the following site to do your shopping from home:

“Thank you for your consideration and your continued support of Lodge 907,” the lodge noted. “Early next month we hope to announce a joint venture with the Derry Area School District that we are very excited about. Stay safe and protect one another.”

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Derry’s annual Railroad Days festival is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20.

This year will mark the 31st year for the prestigious event. However, there will be a few changes to this year’s event, as the Hobo Picnic and the bonfire have been canceled. The Hobo Picnic has taken place the Thursday before the festival while the bonfire was held the following night.

A parade will kickoff the festivities at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19. The parade route is scheduled to begin at A.V. Germano Hall in Derry Borough and proceed across Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Food, craft and sales vendors will be on hand during the two-day event and will be located on South Chestnut Street and East Second Avenue.

Entertainment will also play a major role during the festivities on the main stage, located in the First Commonwealth Bank parking lot beside Mossback Park. The parking area will contain chairs and picnic tables that will be spread apart to maintain social distancing.

A couple of the top headliners to perform include The Steel City Yacht Club and The Andy Davis Band.

The Steel City Yacht Club is scheduled to perform at 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, and the Andy Davis Band is set to take the stage 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20.

Pandemic safety precautions and guidelines will be in place during the festival, and hand sanitizer will be available at vendor booths. In addition, signs will placed throughout area reminding the public of safety guidelines and precautions.

The public will not be permitted to access the municipal building’s restrooms during the festival. However, portable toilets will be provided.

The caboose gift shop will be open to the public under social distancing guidelines. Masks will also be encouraged to wear.

Stay tuned for more information about Railroad Days in future columns. Additionally, more information about the festival and forms for vendors and sponsors can be obtained on the Derry Railroad Days Facebook page.

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Derry Township Tax Collector Debby Zello wrote in a few weeks ago with some new and important information:

“Beginning Monday, Aug. 31, the Derry Township Tax Office will be open WITH STRICT GUIDELINES. We are continuing to encourage everyone to mail your real estate and per capita payments to: Derry Township Tax Office, 978 N. Chestnut St. Ext., Derry, Pa., 15627.

“If you must enter the tax office, you need to follow these guidelines: A mask is required when entering the administration building and tax office, One person allowed in the real estate tax office at a time, One person permitted to wait inside in a chair outside of the real estate tax office, all others must wait outside, maintaining 6-foot social distancing until openings become available inside.

“If a paid receipt is requested you need to include the entire statement along with a self addressed envelope. THERE ARE NO CHANGES IN THE DUE DATES FOR THE RECENTLY MAILED FALL/SCHOOL REAL ESTATE TAX BILLS. The 2020 spring county/township real estate tax bills 2% discount period has been extended until Aug. 31, 2020. The face period for the 2020 county/township real estate tax is Sept. 1 until Dec. 31. The penalty period was eliminated for 2020 for the county township taxes. Office will be closed Friday, Sept. 4, and Monday, Sept. 7. Have a GREAT Labor Day!”

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The Chestnut Ridge Post 444 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Derry is still accepting donations for the flag pole project, which has placed a 30-foot flag pole at the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Derry.

The post is hoping to dedicate it on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, in honor of area veterans, present, future and past.

Donations can be sent or dropped off at Derry Credit Union, 160 East First Ave., Derry.

The Derry VFW is still an active post, supporting veterans in the Derry Area. The post has a trained service officer, who can and will help any veteran with any issues they may have.

As with all other organizations, the post is looking for new members.

If interested, the post meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month at the Derry American Legion.

Any questions, call post quartermaster Chris Johnston at 724-694-2538. For information, go to The post would like to thank everyone who has donated.

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Derry Area School District’s 21st Century Community Learning Center Program (CCLC) Director Debbie Gray writes in to share information about the after-school program best known as “aft3r@dasd”.

The program is set to begin virtually on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Features of the program include: Academic Enrichment, Coding, Graphic Design, Homework Help, Service Learning, Social Emotional Learning, STEM/STEAM Activities, Targeted Tutoring, Technology Support and more.

To register, you may go online to Once you have registered, a follow up email will be sent to you to confirm.

For more information, email Debbie at Sign up today!

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Derry Borough Council meetings will hold its work sessions and regular monthly meetings for the remainder of 2020 at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at A.V. Germano Hall, located at 100 W. Second St., Derry.

Work sessions are scheduled for Oct. 6, Nov. 20 and Dec. 1. The regular monthly meetings are set for Sept. 8, Oct. 13, Nov. 17 and Dec. 8.

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Idlewild & SoakZone will end its 2020 season early this year because of the uncertainty of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Idlewild and its sister parks — Kennywood in West Mifflin and Sandcastle Water Park in Homestead — will now close Monday, Sept. 7.

According to the park’s website, Idlewild will now focus on the future, as it plans for an “unforgettable” season in 2021. According to the website, the park is planning a variety of surprises and promises that better days are ahead.

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Have a great Labor Day weekend!

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