Heritage Center Program to Highlight 'Women in Sports'

February 29, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center will host its annual Women's History Month program on Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 2 pm. "Women in Sports." Jodi Gill, Marianne MacBeth and Elizabeth Jones will discuss the history of women in sports and how Title IX changed their access to sports.

This program will be held at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center at 1832 Arboretum Drive, McKeesport PA 15132. The program is free and open to the public. Please call 412-678-1832 for more information.

 

Reader's Viewpoint: Why Don't Customers Count?

February 24, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Letters to the Editor

To the editor:

The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County is planning a 25 percent rate hike, with more to follow.

An online petition fell on deaf ears. I thought there was a law which prevents utility hikes beyond a certain percentage? And this is the second one to do the same work the last hike was approved for.

Where is the water authority's responsibility to budget for ongoing repairs to their own systems?  Why don't its customers' objections count?  Who can afford this increase, especially in McKeesport? 

Is there anything citizens can do to try to prevent this astronomical increase?

—Philip Haughey and Susan Linders, McKeesport

 
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City Man Jailed After Miles-Long Police Chase

February 24, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail on $100,000 cash bond after leading police on a wild chase through the Mon Valley that ended with a crash on the Parkway East.

According to court officials, Andre Lamont Johnson, 27, faces a preliminary hearing at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 29 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi on an array of charges, including driving under the influence, aggravated assault and multiple moving violations.

McKeesport police Chief Bryan Washowich said officers on routine patrol Friday night near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Lysle Boulevard pulled alongside a car and smelled a "strong odor" of burnt marijuana.

 
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Public Meeting Planned on Possible Route 30 Improvements

February 18, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Doug Kerr photo via Flickr; licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

Residents, business owners and commuters who use U.S. Route 30 in the Mon-Yough area are being invited to discuss possible improvements to the road in Irwin and North Versailles Twp.

The first in a series of public meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. March 2 in the cafeteria of Norwin High School, 251 McMahon Drive, North Huntingdon Twp., said a district spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

In addition, PennDOT has created an online survey for the public at www.Route30projects.com.

 
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New McKeesport Campus Chancellor Begins Work

February 18, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The new chancellor of Penn State University's Greater Allegheny campus in McKeesport began work this week. Andrew Egan took office on Monday.

Formerly dean of the Faculty of Science and acting associate vice president for research at Brandon University in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, Egan has ties to Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh: He's a 1993 Penn State graduate, while his wife grew up in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Ingomar.

Above, on his first day on the job, Egan greets students at the Accepted Student Program.

(Penn State Greater Allegheny photo)

 

Glenwood Interchange Work Resumes Next Week

February 17, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

If you use the Glenwood Bridge to get from the Mon Valley to Oakland or downtown Pittsburgh, beware --- Phase 3 of work on the busy commuter route begins on Monday, Feb. 22.

The work will include the closure of the northbound lanes of Route 837 --- heading from West Homestead to Pittsburgh's South Side --- and the restriction of traffic in the southbound lanes near the WHEMCO building.

And that's not the only closure on the route --- beginning this Friday, Feb. 19, and continuing through Feb. 22, Second Avenue in the Greenfield section of the city will be closed entirely in the area around the railroad overpass. (The two projects are not related.)

The restrictions near the Glenwood Bridge are necessary so that crews from J. F. Shea Construction, Inc., can conduct deck replacement work on Route 837 and the associated ramps as part of a $16.9 million upgrade around the interchange at the south end of the Glenwood Bridge.

 
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Mon Valley Man Sentenced in Social Security Case

February 17, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A resident of Carroll Twp., Washington County, has been sentenced in federal court to two years of probation on his conviction of theft of government property, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone in Pittsburgh imposed the sentence on 68-year-old Gregory Kavalec.

Prosecutors said that between October 2013 and September 2014, Kavalec collected Social Security benefits to which he wasn't entitled amounting to nearly $18,000.

 
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McKeesport Art Group Begins 2016 Meetings

February 16, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport Art Group is holding its first regular business meeting of 2016 in a new location.

A spokeswoman said the Feb. 22 meeting will be held at 1 p.m. at Jacob Woll Pavilion in Renziehausen Park. The meeting is open to both members and non-members.

The agenda includes a short business meeting, a recap of the past year's activities, an announcement of upcoming speakers and demonstrations, and updates from members on projects and accomplishments.

MAG holds a spring art show at Jacob Woll each May and has also begun hosting a fall "Art in the Park" event. For more information, call (412) 469-2710 or visit www.mckeesportartgroup.com.

 
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Mt. Vernon Cemetery Plans Cleanup March 15

February 16, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Mt. Vernon Cemetery in Elizabeth Twp. will conduct a seasonal cleanup on March 15, a spokeswoman said. Anyone wishing to save Christmas decorations placed on a memorial should do so before March 15, or call the cemetery office at (412) 751-7683.

 

Police Log: Feb. 11, 2016

February 11, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

  • Arrest records published here were provided by the McKeesport Police Department.
  • A report of an arrest does not mean the person identified has been convicted of a crime.
  • All people arrested are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
 
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PennDOT Slates Restrictions on 837 Near Hays

February 11, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

State Route 837, southbound toward Homestead, will be restricted to one lane next week so that crews can repair a bridge, said a district spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The restrictions on the bridge that passes the WHEMCO building in West Homestead will begin at 7 a.m. Feb. 15 and continue around-the-clock, weather permitting, through Feb. 19 at 5 p.m., the PennDOT spokesman said. The work was originally scheduled to begin Feb. 8 but was postponed due to inclement weather.

Crews from J.F. Shea Construction Inc. will repair the bridge. The work is being done in preparation for major improvements that are planned for this year on the Glenwood Bridge interchange at the south side of the Monongahela River.

Six structures in the interchange are scheduled to be rehabbed this year, including deck replacement and concrete repairs. Work is expected to begin Feb. 22, PennDOT said.

 

FBI, Police Sweep Nets Guns, Drugs

February 11, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A sweep Tuesday by McKeesport police, the county sheriff's office, FBI agents and other law enforcement agents netted 21 arrests, three firearms and pre-packaged heroin with an estimated street value of $20,000.

The so-called "Impact Initiative" in what an FBI agent referred to as "the most troubled areas" of the city was made public Thursday morning.

Scott Bernazzoli of the FBI's Pittsburgh field office said the McKeesport operation could become a model for similar joint federal-local sweeps in other parts of Allegheny County.

"The operation shows the impact (that) coordinated efforts can have on communities," said Gregory Nelsen, assistant special-agent-in-charge of the FBI's Pittsburgh field office.

Names of the persons arrested have not yet been released.

 
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Black History Month Program Traces Evolution of American Music

February 10, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Noted artist, musician, lecturer and teacher Elizabeth "Betty" Asche Douglas will trace the evolution of the signature African-American musical contributions from their origins to the present duringthe annual Black History Month program at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center.

Asche's talk, "From Spirituals to Jazz: From Folk Art to High Art," will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 20 at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center, 1832 Arboretum Drive, Renziehausen Park.

The program is free and open to the public. Call (412) 678-1832 for more information.

 

Monessen-Area Group Will Launch New Newspaper May 2, 'If Not Sooner'

February 10, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A group of Monessen-area business leaders says its newspaper will begin operations May 2, "if not sooner."

At a chamber of commerce event Tuesday in Monessen, Mid Mon Valley Publishing LLC announced that The Mon Valley Independent will be a six-day-a-week, afternoon newspaper.

The Mon Valley Independent is the first new newspaper launched in the wake of the closing on Dec. 31 of Monessen's Valley Independent and the McKeesport Daily News by their parent company, Trib Total Media.

Mid Mon Valley Publishing has announced plans to circulate the new newspaper in Mon-Yough communities such as Elizabeth, Sutersville and West Newton, but McKeesport is not part of its current coverage plans.

“When Trib Total Media closed our newspaper, it was a sad day for our area,” said Keith Bassi, a Charleroi attorney and one of the investors behind Mid Mon Valley Publishing.

“There are a lot of people who want to have a newspaper to read," he said. "They want to follow the news and sports of the area. They want to know what is going on in their community, who dies, and anything else that is pertinent."

John Eckert, a North Charleroi resident who previously worked for Trib Total Media, was named the general manager. The managing editor will be Jeff Oliver, who worked for The Valley Independent for over 33 years writing news and sports, while the advertising director will be Linda Schaum, who also has over 30 years with The Valley Independent in advertising.

 
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Project Prom Gets Underway at Century III

February 10, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Photo by Salt of the Earth, via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

The county's annual Project Prom will hold a gown giveaway from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 5 at Century III Mall in West Mifflin, a spokesman said.

Sponsored by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Project Prom provides new and gently used formal gowns for local teen-agers who want to attend a spring formal celebration, but may not be able to afford to purchase them.

The gown giveaway continues from 3 to 6 p.m. March 7 to 11 and March 15 to 17.

An assortment of free, beautiful gowns of all colors and styles will be distributed to teens who meet the eligibility requirements. The teens will have plenty of options in brand new and gently used prom gowns. There will also be a selection of accessories, such as purses and jewelry, to accompany the gowns. Volunteers will be available to assist during the shopping experience. Preregistration is not required.

 
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City, County Seek Public Input in Community Development Process

February 09, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

McKeesport officials are encouraging all area residents --- including those who don't live within the city --- to participate in an online survey hosted by Allegheny County.

The survey will help determine where county and municipal officials will invest federal grant funds to address housing, economic development and community development needs from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017.

The city of McKeesport, the municipality of Penn Hills and Allegheny County each receive funding from the Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG program, run through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"It's very important for needs of not just McKeesport, but the entire region to be assessed and prioritized," said A.J. Tedesco Jr., McKeesport community development director.  The results of the survey will help "ensure that money available can go to where it is needed," he said.

 
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Police Log: Feb. 9, 2016

February 09, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

  • Arrest records published here were provided by the Southwest Regional Police Department.
  • A report of an arrest does not mean the person identified has been convicted of a crime.
  • All people arrested are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
 
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West Mifflin Firm Acquired by Michigan Company

February 04, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A West Mifflin company providing computer and network support for major corporations in the Pittsburgh area has been acquired by a firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Compu-Fix, located on Thompson Run Road, has been purchased by Service Express Inc., it was announced last week. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Both companies are privately held.

Founded in 1980, Compu-Fix provides maintenance and repairs on computing systems for more than 300 customers, ranging from small local businesses to Fortune 500 companies, a spokesman said.

The company has 22 employees.

Compu-Fix's founder and CEO, David Babcock, said the two companies are "very complementary" in terms of the services and products they offer. "We are confident that we will be able to provide immediate incremental value to our customers out of the gate as a result,” he said in a statement.

SEI maintains servers and computer networks for hospitals, manufacturing plants, universities, banks, financial institutions, government agencies and other clients across 33 offices in 15 states, a company spokesman said.

Those offices include one in Bridgeville. Neither company said whether the West Mifflin location will remain open.

 
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Penn State Campus Radio Station Comes Back

February 03, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The radio station at Penn State's Greater Allegheny campus in McKeesport has returned after an absence of several years.

On Monday, WMKP Radio resumed a regular schedule from 12 noon to 6 p.m., a spokesperson said. The station, available at www.wmkpradio.org, operates Monday through Friday.

“We are interested in students who are enthusiastic about radio, eager to learn, able to attend training sessions this winter, and willing to make a commitment to the station,” said Zack Furness, assistant professor of communications and WMKP general manager.  

WMKP originally began in 1971 in a makeshift studio made from a simple desk that held equipment with repurposed microphones, used turntables, and egg cartons on the walls to enhance the acoustics.

In 2006, James “Jay” M. Weitzel Jr., a 1974 graduate, donated $25,000 and this allowed the campus to create the station booth in the Student Community Center, which was named in his honor. Weitzel has fond memories of the days he spent at the station.

 
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Police Log: Feb. 3, 2016

February 03, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

  • Arrest records published here were provided by the McKeesport Police Department.
  • A report of an arrest does not mean the person identified has been convicted of a crime.
  • All people arrested are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
 
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Cash, Drugs Recovered Following Traffic Stop

February 03, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Left to right: Caudill, Joseph, Staton. Photos supplied by McKeesport Police Department.

. . .

More than a pound of marijuana and $6,000 in cash were confiscated by McKeesport police following a traffic stop Tuesday night on Park Street.

Now, three people face charges in the incident, which also netted prescription painkillers and muscle relaxants.

McKeesport police said city officers, along with the Allegheny County police department, noticed a strong odor of marijuana after pulling over a car driven by Michael A. Caudill, 22, of North Versailles Twp. for a traffic violation.

 
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Robbery Suspect Held in Purse-Snatching

February 03, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A 19-year-old man was arrested Jan. 28 on charges that he robbed a resident of the McKeesport Towers apartment building, Downtown.

Anthony L. Payne-Stinson, of no fixed address, is being held in Allegheny County Jail pending a formal arraignment March 11 at the Allegheny County Courthouse.

McKeesport police said an elderly woman reported that on the morning of Dec. 1, she got onto the elevator in the building's lobby. A man got onto the elevator behind her and rode with her to the 12th floor.

When the doors opened, the man knocked the victim to the ground, stole her purse, and fled the building, police said. Payne-Stinson was identified from video surveillance and witness statements, police said, and a warrant was obtained for his arrest. He was arrested Jan. 25 and arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi in McKeesport.

 
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Police Seek Suspects, Leads in Fatal Shooting

February 01, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

One person is dead and another is in a Pittsburgh hospital after a shooting overnight near Evans Avenue.

McKeesport police say they were called just before 8 p.m. Sunday to a report of "shots fired" in the 1800 block of Fern Alley.

Upon arrival, police said, they found several people standing around a white Jeep, trying to help the occupants, who had been shot.

Police said the driver was pronounced dead at the scene, while the passenger was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital for treatment. Their names have not yet been released.

The Allegheny County police homicide unit is leading the investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call McKeesport police at (412) 675-5015 or 9-1-1. Callers may remain anonymous.

 

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