Allegheny Intermediate Unit unveils its 20-foot mural in the lobby of its Central Office as students who helped make the mural gather around artist Laura Jean McLaughlin on Monday evening. Funded through the Grable Foundation, the mural was created in part by 748 children from the 42 suburban school districts in Allegheny County.
Justin Merriman, an award-winning photojournalist with the Tribune-Review, has spent more than a decade traveling the world to cover politics, wars, natural disasters and civil unrest. His work has appeared in leading national and international publications and he has received numerous top journalism awards. After covering the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks – including the crash of United Flight 93 in Shanksville – Merriman committed to chronicling the U.S. military and its War on Terror. He has followed this story across the US and into the war zones of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. He also has covered life in Fidel Castro’s Cuba in 2002, India’s efforts to eradicate polio, the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and most recently, Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Cuba in 2012. In 2011, Merriman was honored with the top photography award from the Military Reporters and Editors Assoc. for his work in Iraq & Haiti. Merriman graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 2000 with a degree in English Writing. In 2009, the university awarded him its prestigious Alumnus of Distinction award. Merriman lives in Oakmont with his fiancé, Stephanie Strasburg.