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What is Allegheny County’s children’s fund referendum all about? Find out.

🚨🚨 ALLEGHENY COUNTY VOTERS 🚨🚨

You’ll see this referendum on your ballot on Nov. 6. 🗳

Here are news stories and opinion pieces to help educate you on this measure.

News stories

Opinion pieces

Kennywood Park at 120

This year marks Kennywood Park’s 120th anniversary.

I visited the venerable Pittsburgh area amusement park on Saturday as part of its Season Passholder Appreciation Weekend.

Among the major changes the park will see this year include a multi-million dollar Thomas the Train addition, dubbed Thomas Town. You can read more about that addition here.

Changes to the train (part of the Thomas Town addition) meant Laffin’ Sal — the somewhat creepy character who has cackled loudly for a few decades in front of the train — was relocated. She’s not part of any ride right now, but park goers will have easier access to selfies with Sal!

Of course, 2017 was the final year for the very popular Log Jammer log flume ride. It was the park’s first $1 million addition when it was built in the 1970s. The park has not yet announced what will be located in that corner of the park. But there is reason to believe that a roller coaster will be placed on and around the land. Hopefully we’ll know soon!

Along with the park’s 120th anniversary, they will honor the Thunderbolt, which is in its 50th year. Fun fact, the trains for Thunderbolt are from the original coaster on that site — Pippin!

And, get this … Exterminator is 20 years old this year. I’m now at the age where hearing things like that makes me feel old like a life expert.

Kennywood opens May 5 for weekends, and will open for daily summer operation later in May. Find all of the details at kennywood.com.

Cleveland Browns ‘Perfect Season’ parade draws 3,000 people in bitter cold temperatures

 

They even crowned a queen.

Fans of the Cleveland Browns found humor (?), maybe solace in attending and participating in the Cleveland Browns Perfect Season Parade. The Browns went 0-16 this season — a dismal performance at a franchise that’s routinely underperformed.

Mother Nature had some fun with Cleveland, too. The air temperature was forecasted to be 0 degrees when the parade kicked off. The wind chill was forecasted to be -16. Put them together and what do you get? 0-16.

A Cleveland.com reporter using Facebook Live said there was a group of people protesting the parade.

People decorated floats to march in the parade that circled the stadium the Browns play in.

At one point in the Cleveland.com broadcast, fans could be heard chanting “0…16.”

The parade was sponsored by FarmersOnly.com and Excedrin (yes, the headache medicine).

It should be noted that the parade organizers wanted fans to bring nonperishable items for the local food bank.

The Browns organization released a statement apologizing to fans: “We greatly appreciate the passion of all our fans and we apologize to them for not making 2017 an enjoyable season. We certainly hear them and understand their frustration. Obviously, we want the same thing as our fans; winning results. We are committed to doing everything we can to improve and build them the type of team they most certainly deserve.”

Better luck next year, Cleveland?

A brief history of Pittsburgh Light Up Night

The Incline — a digital news site in Pittsburgh — offered a brief history of Pittsburgh’s biggest party: Light Up Night.

The Downtown Pittsburgh Partnership told Incline that the first “Light Up” event happened April 9, 1959, in honor of the Pirates.

The event took a nine-year break beginning in 1973 in an effort to conserve energy. Light Up Night returned in 1982 to help lift morale as the steel industry collapsed. By the way, a few years later, Gimbels closed.

What was most surprising to me was how few people used to attend! The PDP told Incline that 25,000 people attended each year before 1998 when about 50,000 people showed up.

The low turnout makes sense as the 90s saw major changes in Downtown’s retail sector. (Anybody remember the failed “Fifth and Forbes” plans?) It was also a time when suburban shopping malls really solidified their dominance over Downtown.

But something happened since then … the Downtown Pittsburgh Partnership has grown the event — along with the help of many other groups. Last year, half a million people celebrated Light Up Night.