Film shown to aid understanding of Romas in region

George Eli of Romani Media Initiative speaks in California Borough before the screening of a film about discrimination against Romas in Europe.

A large group of Roma asylum seekers settled this year in California Borough, drawing outrage from many neighbors who claimed they were creating havoc in the college town.

However, the Romas by November had abandoned the borough, owing their landlords thousands of dollars in unpaid rent, local property manager Vito Dentino claimed in court records.

Dentino further alleged that the immigrants left behind other unpaid bills and damages to many of the 32 rental units they shared.

The families did not leave behind forwarding addresses, he said.

The Romas were attracted to the borough by the availability of affordable apartments that were empty because of enrollment declines at California University of Pennsylvania.

Romas are descendants of nomads and are known to travel in groups. They have been persecuted in Europe for decades for a variety of reasons. 

Staff Writer

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley.

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