1. Matthew Young (left), 8, and his brother Noah Harrison, 6, both of McKeesport, look from Jerome Street Bridge on to the site of a train derailment in their neighborhood on Sunday, June 8, 2014.

     
  2. The beautiful and talented Miss Erin Lynn Welsh visiting us in southwestern PA. To see her incredible paintings of the American landscape and other creations, look here

     
  3. Summer self-portrait with clouds, and flowers. Western PA.

     
  4. A quick roundup of some of the World Cup festivities in Pittsburgh, PA. The top three photos are from the Wilkinsburg Boys and Girls Club, where the The Cameroon Football Development program organized a World Cup Festival, bringing food, music, sport, and culture from Brazil and Cameroon to the children and community members at the event. The fourth frame down is from the Italy vs. Uruguay, where La Prima Espresso shut down part of 21st Street in the Strip District to have a viewing party in the street. The following frames are from downtown Pittsburgh, where the City of Pittsburgh government and Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership organized to have the USA vs. Belgium World Cup match play on a big screen in Market Square. Some thought it would never be said, but it’s official: Pittsburgh cares about soccer.

     
  5. Above: The Steel City American Outlaws celebrate Team USA’s advancement onto round two of the World Cup as they gather at Claddagh’s Irish Pub in the South Side on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

    Lots of places to catch the USA v. Belgium World Cup game today in Pittsburgh:

    The Steel City American Outlaws are hosting official watching parties at Claddagh Irish Pub in the South Side and Latitude 360.

    Piper’s Pub on Carson Street and Mullaney’s Harp and Fiddle Irish Pub in the Strip District are two classic Pittsburgh pubs to watch in, if you can squeeze in (which unless you’re really early, you may not be able to).

    A bit off the beaten path, The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh in Oakland is also showing a lot of the games. Blue Dust in Homestead has awesome beer and food in addition to games on both TVs.

    Finally, if you want to watch the game on the big big screen, check out the watching parties in Market Square Downtown hosted by Pittsburgh city government and the nonprofit Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and at Stage AE on the North Shore.

     
  6. Azar Transitional Housing in Mount Oliver to close today due to lack of funding.

    Top: Janice Dolash, 46, eats her dinner at Azar Transitional Housing in Mt. Oliver after another day spent looking for a job on Monday, June 23, 2014. Less than a year after opening the women’s shelter is shuttering its nonprofit housing program this Monday, June 30th, 2014 because of a lack of funds. The women who live there are now looking to find other housing.

    Bottom: Lori Davis, 49, lays in her bedroom during a break between dinner, group session, and chores in Azar Transitional Housing in Mt. Oliver after another day spent looking for a job on Monday, June 23, 2014.  Davis is volunteering at UPMC Shadyside as she studies to become a medical assistant.

    "Azar House set out to provide up to two years of housing and support services to women who were victims of domestic violence, recently released from jail for nonviolent crimes or recovering from mental health or substance abuse problems (at least 90 days drug-free). The women had their own rooms and were required to work, search for work or volunteer from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily."


    Read more from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Natasha Lindstrom here.

     
  7. Rachael Minda (bottom), 18, of Leechburg, relaxes on a piece of cardboard as she waits with Lilian Zancajo-Lugo (top left), 15, of Annapolis, MD, and Stephanie Conklin (top right), 15, also of Leechburg, and their friends for the gates at Stage AE to open on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 on the North Shore. Minda and her friends were waiting outside the venue since 11:30AM to get the closest to the stage as they could get for the evening’s Arctic Monkeys show, with gates not set to open until 6:30PM. They were chronicling parts of their day on the cardboard underneath them, which made their hours waiting on the concrete sidewalk a bit softer to sit on, they said.

     
  8. Monks carry a container of water in a procession to the Allegheny River during a celebration of the Buddhist holiday of Vesak on the North Side on Sunday, May 18, 2014. Vesak is the celebration of the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Gautama Buddha. Participants in the day’s festivities bathed a statue of the Baby Buddha with water, meditating upon the water with peace and good will to all beings. The water was then poured spoonful by spoonful by participants into the Allegheny River, which will join with the Ohio River, flow to the Mississippi River, then to the Atlantic Ocean, where it will join the rest of the bodies of water in the world, carrying with it a symbolic gesture of love, the faithful believe.

     
  9. Longtime University of Pittsburgh English professor and writer Chuck Kinder poses for a portrait in his Squirrel Hill home.

    This is where he used to hold court with writers and poets and musicians, all drawn to his Appalachian version of the Algonquin Roundtable, spirits and libations plentiful and flowing. It was not unusual for Kinder to host parties for visiting writers — he seemed to know everyone who ever published a book — so guests might spot James Crumley or Tobias Wolff or April Smith or Scott Turow, friends and accomplices, mixing with students from his classes at the University of Pittsburgh.”

    - Read more from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rege Behe on Kinder’s legacy and retirement here.

     
  10. Top: Graduates from the School of Drama cheer at Carnegie Mellon University’s commencement ceremony in Oakland on Sunday, May 18, 2014.

    Bottom: Srinivas Moorkanikkara, of Fox Chapel, watches from the steps of the East Campus Garage at Carnegie Mellon University’s commencement ceremony in Oakland on Sunday, May 18, 2014. Joined by family that flew in from India, Moorkanikkara’s wife was graduating and receiving her MBA degree.

     
  11. Pittsburgh art collector Evan Mirapaul, of Troy Hill, poses for a portrait inside “La Hütte Royal” in Troy Hill on Monday, April 28, 2014. Mirapaul purchased the vacant house from the city of Pittsburgh for $9,000 in 2011. He invited German artist Thorsten Brinkmann to re-imagine the space over a span of two years, using many materials found in the house and the neighborhood together to create several stories of installation art that come together as one. Brinkmann weaves the visitor through a series of low corridors, narrow hallways, and passageways only accessible by crawling to get from room to room of the several story experience. Photos by Brinkmann with his face covered hang throughout the house, in which he is the recurring subject (except the ones of dogs).

    Read more from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Chris Togneri here.

     
  12. "We have so many special needs children… We have to take these kids out in the community, it’s the only way they learn," says teacher Ashley Dupont, a Life Skills teacher at Friendship Hill Elementary School in Point Marion, PA. Dupont says she finds herself pulling from her own pocket to afford class trips out into the community to give students experience with ordering food, grocery shopping, and other day-to-day life skills. 

    “It’s what I call a bare-bones operation,” Albert Gallatin School District Special Education Director Sheri Dunham said. “Funding definitely limits us from going above and beyond what the basic requirements of the law are.”

    "There’s a big span of ability," says learning support teacher Nicole Williams of the first grade class she provides assistance to at Friendship Hill Elementary School. The class is grouped into several pods of students, with Williams working in the classroom with a learning support paraprofessional and the main teacher. The teacher will give some students extra work so they can continue ahead in a lesson, "While we review and review and review," says Williams. 

    Read about Pennsylvania’s struggle with special education funding from Tribune-Review reporters Megan Harris and Daveen Rae Kurutz here.

     
  13. Kaleb Howard II, 2, of West Mifflin, gets the ride on the back of the wheelchair of William Alred, 40, of McKeesport, outside Kool Kutz Barber Shop/Salon where Howard’s father and grandfather work in McKeesport on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.

     
  14. Hezekiah Perdue (left), 5, of McKeesport, Jada Banks (right), 3, and Kaleb Howard II (front), 2, of West Mifflin, play with the hair of Kaisyn Howard (center), 3, of West Mifflin, with toy styling tools at Kool Kutz Barber Shop/Salon in McKeesport on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.

     
  15. A dog pokes its head out from beyond curtains as it barks out the window in McKeesport on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.