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Parents Tell Board of Busing, Student Hardships

January 27, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Transportation remains a source of strife for parents and educators in McKeesport Area School District.

Since September, four bus runs have been canceled on a regular basis, leaving hundreds of students without rides to school.

At Wednesday’s board meeting, school Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. said he’s made clear to the bus company that its actions are affecting numerous students.

Holtzman said that during a recent meeting with an Allegheny County judge and representatives of the district’s bus provider, Pennsylvania Coach Lines, reports indicated that 147 buses were canceled this year, disrupting nearly 50,000 rides.

“If you’re frustrated or disgusted or you’re mad at me I get it. I understand. I’ll take whatever responsibility for it,” Holtzman told parents. “Unfortunately, we have no control over the decisions that the bus company was making to not run four buses consistently.”

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NAMI McKeesport Sets February Meeting

January 26, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will meet at 6 p.m. Feb. 2 at Penn State Greater Allegheny, Frable Building, Room 122. The meeting is open to families and friends of loved ones living with mental illness.

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness, a spokeswoman said. The group offers understanding and support unique to those who are affected by these conditions.

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Phony ‘Sheriff’ Scams Local Woman for $18K

January 25, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A 33-year-old woman provided $18,000 to scam artists pretending to be an Allegheny County sheriff’s deputy and an FBI agent.

Officials are warning residents that government agencies will never ask for gift cards to pay off a fine or post bond.

The suspects, who have not yet been identified, spoofed the sheriff’s office number on caller ID to make the scam seem more convincing, said Tony Griffith, spokesman for Allegheny County Sheriff Kevin Kraus.

Investigators said the victim was convinced that she had to pay off fines and fees by purchasing gift cards from Giant Eagle, Rite Aid and other merchants, and then reading the numbers over the phone to the phony law-enforcement officers.

“The sheriff’s office cannot stress enough that this is not how we conduct business involving warrants,” Griffith said. “We never ask for payment in the form of gift cards for anything involving the judicial system or any other aspect of our office.”

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EA Principal Moves to New Position

January 24, 2022 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

After 18 years of serving as an elementary school principal within the East Allegheny School District, Sean Gildea has been named the new director of education.

Along with coordinating a comprehensive overview of the school’s curriculum, this new position will be dedicated to curriculum development and implementation, professional development and assessment, school officials said.

The school board voted unanimously to promote Gildea at the January school board meeting.

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White Oak Council OK’s ’22 Budget

January 24, 2022 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: Announcements

White Oak’s 2022 budget has been approved by the new borough council.

At the Jan. 17 meeting, council OK’d the spending plan by a 6-1 vote, with Council Members Chuck Davis, Lou Bender, Julie Opferman, Joelle Harbert, Jason Russell and Loree Scharritter voting yes, and Council Member George Pambacas.

Borough officials said the new budget has $30,000 set aside for athletic field improvements, but is otherwise the same as the one rejected by the previous borough council in December.

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MAHS Senior Awarded ROTC Scholarship

January 21, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A McKeesport Area High School senior has been awarded one of the nation’s most competitive scholarships, the U.S. Marine Corps has announced.

At a ceremony Friday evening, Aaron Elm received the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Marine Option Scholarship. Elm, of White Oak, is the son of Aaron and Julie Elm.

The NROTC Marine Option Scholarship is one of the most competitive in the country, said Marine Capt. Noah Andersen, executive officer for Marine Recruiting Station Pittsburgh.

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Local Doctor Named to Health Department Post

January 21, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

A local physician has been named deputy director of clinical services for the Allegheny County Health Department, a spokeswoman announced.

In her new role, Dr. Barbara S. Nightingale will oversee clinics for tuberculosis, immunization, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, as well as dental services and the health department’s emergency preparedness program.

Nightingale assumed her duties with the county earlier this month, county spokeswoman Amie Downs said.

Nightingale formerly served as medical director of Latterman Family Health Center in McKeesport’s East End, where she treated patients for both medical and psychiatric conditions.

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Man Charged in Versailles Shooting

January 21, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Wilkinsburg man is free on bond after being charged by Allegheny County police with aggravated assault in connection with a shooting on Sunday night in Versailles Borough.

Dondre A. Grisom, 27, was released Thursday on $20,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing Jan. 31 before Magisterial District Judge Thomas Miller Jr.

Allegheny County police allege that Grisom shot an unnamed juvenile just before 9 p.m. during an incident in the 900 block of Center Street. The youth was taken to the hospital by private vehicle, police said. His condition was not released.

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Pedestrian Dies After Being Struck By Car

January 19, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News, White Oak News

A White Oak man died Tuesday night after being hit by a car on Route 48, police said, and the driver of the car that struck him did not stop.

Craig Peden, 81, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Allegheny County police said Peden was walking along Jacks Run Road just north of the entrance to White Oak Park when the collision occurred just before 7:30 p.m.

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Demolition Begins On Former Jaison’s Store

January 14, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Demolition of the former Jaison’s Department Store on Fifth Avenue, Downtown, began Friday. (Tube City Almanac photo)

For Jaison’s Department Store in McKeesport, the doorbuster sale to end all doorbuster sales began on Friday.

Crews from Unis Demolition of Aliquippa, Beaver County, are demolishing the building at 215 Fifth Ave., Downtown.

Jaison’s was most recently used for bingo games by a charitable organization, but had sat vacant for at least a decade.

Pittsburgh real-estate developer Barry L. Stein, whose company purchased the building in 2014, said he had hoped to find a tenant, but the structure proved impossible to rent.

“The roof was no good when I bought it,” he said Friday. “Second and third floors have little value without an elevator, and in that building, the elevator is in the middle of the building. That means you couldn’t have a lobby.”

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