Event Saturday Will Raise Funds for Proposed Port Vue Dog Park

September 30, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

Cindy McGraw-Davic lost her fight with small-cell lung cancer almost exactly one year ago, at the age of 46.

Her friends and family don't intend to let go of her memory, or her passion for her pets.

On Saturday, they'll gather at Port Vue's Romine Avenue Fields --- on the site of the old Romine Avenue Elementary School --- to raise money for a new dog park in the borough.

"Bark in the Park" will feature 35 vendors, crafters and artists along with a Chinese auction, face painting and games from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dogs, of course, will be welcome.

Also scheduled to attend are the characters "Chase" and "Marshall" from the TV show "PAW Patrol," officers from the McKeesport police K-9 unit, and the Rev. Hyung-Suk Joe of Port Vue United Methodist Church, who will do a blessing for pets.

 
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Workshop Oct. 10 Designed to 'Tackle' Financial Problems

September 30, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Conflict of Interest: See editor's note at the end of this story.)

Mon Valley Initiative will invite local residents to "tackle" their financial goals at a free workshop Oct. 10.

Sponsored by Pittsburgh-based Neighborhood Allies, the event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at MVI's office, 305 E. Eighth Ave., Homestead, and will include refreshments and door prizes.

Pre-registration is requested at (412) 464-4000, ext. 4001, or by emailing gbachy@monvalleyinitiative.com.

Barry Courson of Monroeville-based Waddell & Reed will discuss “mental roadblocks” that prevent people from making smart decisions about how they spend and save money, while Bobby Smith, a financial coach and workforce development specialist at MVI, will lead a trivia game to test participants on their own spending and saving habits.

 
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Walkers Raise Awareness of HIV/AIDS During Saturday Event

September 28, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport Collaborative HIV/AIDS Working Group and its partners are preparing for the 16th Annual HIV/AIDS Walk, set to take place this Saturday.

The walk is now an annual tradition that gathers hundreds of people committed to raising awareness for HIV/AIDS, and is still the only one of its kind in Allegheny County.

The 16th Annual HIV/AIDS Walk will start and end at Bethlehem Baptist Church, 716 Walnut St., Downtown. Registration and a continental breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m.

 
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Concert Raises $150K for McKeesport's Auberle

September 28, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A concert Sept. 20 at Stage AE on Pittsburgh's North Side raised more than $150,000 for McKeesport-based Auberle.

Spokeswoman Deb Hilton said the 12th Annual "Voices Carry" event was the most successful ever for the charity, which provides both in-community and residential services for at-risk children, teen-agers and young adults throughout Western Pennsylvania.

More than 450 people attended the event, which was sponsored in part by Huntington Bank and hosted by Randy Baumann of WDVE-FM (102.5). Entertainers included Donnie Iris, Jeff Jimerson, Scott Blasey of the
Clarks and Etta Cox

Voices Carry was launched to raise awareness and funds for Auberle’s 16 program areas that provide services to over 3,400 at-risk children and families each year, Hilton said. This year's event set records both for attendance and for the amount of money raised, she said.

 

Expert to Discuss Medicare Payment Changes at Free Talk Oct. 12

September 28, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

In an attempt to control rising healthcare costs, the U.S. Congress directed the Department of Health and Human Services to create an "innovation center" that would test new ways of delivering medical treatment --- and new ways of paying for that treatment --- for people on Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

But what do these new "innovation models" mean for senior citizens who are receiving Medicare benefits? Cindy Gensamer, a vice president of Ohio-based Absolute Rehabilitation and Consulting Services Inc., will come to McKeesport to deliver a free talk entitled "Medicare Innovation Payment Models: What does that really mean for the senior with Medicare coverage?"

The talk, at 12 noon Oct. 12, is sponsored by the family council at Kane Regional Center, 101 Ninth Ave., McKeesport, as part of their family education series, a spokeswoman said. Light refreshments will be served.

 
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City Police Officer Fired After Social Media Post

September 27, 2016 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: News

* CORRECTION, NOT PERFECTION: See editor's note.

A probationary police officer who had worked for the City of McKeesport for only a few weeks was fired Tuesday after a photo she posted on social media -- which included a racial slur --- went viral.

The police officer, identified by other sources as Melissa Adamson, was terminated immediately, Mayor Michael Cherepko said.

On Tuesday, a Facebook user shared a photo from the Snapchat online service that apparently originated from Adamson's account. The photo showed Adamson in a Pitcairn police department uniform with the caption, "I'm the law today n---a." *

Adamson is white. The photo spread quickly via Facebook and was picked up by Pittsburgh television stations, as well as national media outlets.

"This post displays a degree of conduct and character that is far different from what I would expect from an officer in this city," Cherepko said Tuesday night. "It is absolutely unacceptable."

 
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White Oak Church Plans 'Races' Night Oct. 15

September 27, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

St. Angela Merici Parish in White Oak will hold its annual "Night at the Races" fundraiser on Oct. 15, a spokeswoman said. The event will be held in the parish's Father Drap Hall and doors open at 6 p.m.

Admission is $10 and includes a buffet meal and beverages. Horses can be purchased for $5 and race winners receive $25. Other events will include a Chinese auction, 50/50 drawing, door prizes and other social games.

For more information, visit the website at www.stangelamericiparish.org or call (412) 672-9641. The church is located at 1640 Fawcett Ave.

 

Christy Park UMC Slates BBQ Dinner

September 22, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Christy Park United Methodist Church will hold a barbecue dinner from 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 1, a spokeswoman said. The dinner will feature sauces from McKeesport's "BBQ Stu" Wilson as well as a bake sale.

The church is located at 29th and Beale streets in McKeesport.

 

Winning Cash 5 Ticket Sold in Elizabeth Twp.

September 22, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A winning Cash 5 ticket from the Sept. 20 drawing was sold at the Giant Eagle on McKeesport Road in Elizabeth Twp., a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Lottery said.

The ticket correctly matched all five balls drawn --- 02-04-05-07-19 --- to win $125,000, minus taxes. The retailer will receive a $500 bonus for selling this winning ticket.

Prizes must be claimed and tickets validated before winners can be identified. Cash 5 winners have one year from the drawing date to claim prizes.

 
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West Mifflin Man Charged in Rape Case

September 21, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A West Mifflin man is in Allegheny County Jail after being arrested for what police described as "multiple sex offenses against children."

Andrew Demeri, 24, formerly of Pitcairn, is charged by Allegheny County Police with two counts each of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with minors, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors and indecent exposure.

Demeri was arraigned Tuesday, according to court records. He is being held in lieu of $100,000 cash bond pending a preliminary hearing at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 28 before Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning.

 
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McKeesport Cemetery 'History' Tour Returns Oct. 2

September 19, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center brings back the popular Living History Tour of the McKeesport and Versailles Cemetery from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 1 and Oct. 2. This self-guided tour features some of our area's most intriguing, famous and infamous figures.
 
From a Civil War hero to the victim who brought about local lore, our talented actors bring to life ten interesting characters whilst highlighting the nuance that “everybody has a story”.  The beautiful grounds of this historic cemetery provide the perfect backdrop for these alluring tales of the past.
 
For those unable to walk the tour a special encore presentation will be provided at the MRHHC on Saturday, October 15 at 2 pm. Admission for both programs is $10 in advance, $12 day of event and $5 12 and under. All proceeds benefit the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center a non-profit Mon-Valley area museum and research facility. We are dedicated to preserving the rich past of our region through education, programs and outreach.
 
 
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Health Care Aide Charged in Dravosburg Thefts

September 16, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A home health care aide is in jail, pending a preliminary hearing, after being charged with stealing jewelry valued at thousands of dollars from an elderly Dravosburg woman of whom she was taking care.

Tamika Hill, 31, of Monroeville was arrested Tuesday by McKeesport police on charges of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and dealing in the proceeds of illegal activity.

Police said the total value of the missing items is nearly $36,000.

Court records indicate that Hill is being held in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bond pending a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday before Magisterial District Judge Richard D. Olasz Jr. in Dravosburg.

 
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Local All-Stars Headline Benefit for McKeesport-based Auberle

September 16, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The late B.E. Taylor will be the honored on Tuesday when more than 500 people gather at a benefit for McKeesport-based Auberle.

The 12th annual Voices Carry concert and fundraiser at Stage AE on Pittsburgh's North Side is sponsored in part by Huntington Bank, said Deb Hilton, spokeswoman for the charitable organization, located on Hartman Street, that serves at-risk children and young adults and their families.

A singer and songwriter from Aliquippa whose group's 1983 single, "Vitamin L," cracked the Billboard Hot 100, Taylor was a frequent guest at previous Voices Carry concert. Taylor died Aug. 7 of complications from an inoperable brain tumor.

The concert begins at 6 p.m. and includes local performers Donnie Iris, Joe Grushecky, Chris Higbee, Etta Cox and Scott Blasey of The Clarks, Hilton said.

 
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Participants Still Needed for 5th Annual Kane Fun Walk

September 15, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Registrations are still being accepted for the fifth annual Joan Burns Fun Walk 4 Kane, to be held this Saturday (Sept. 17) along the McKeesport waterfront area.

The walk, which benefits residents at Kane Regional Center in McKeesport, is sponsored by the non-profit Kane Foundation, a spokeswoman said. The foundation raises money to support improvements to Allegheny County's four Kane centers and activities for residents.

A donation of at least $20 is requested, and all donations are tax-deductible.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Kane center in McKeesport, located at 100 Ninth Ave. near the McKees Point Marina and the bike trail, and the walk begins at 9:30, with a picnic immediately following.

For more information, call (412) 292-8069 or visit the Kane Foundation's website at www.kanecare.com.

You can also download a printable donation form here. (PDF file)

 

Building Owner Pappan: 'I Love This Area'

September 15, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

The new owner of a building next to McKeesport's Olympia Shopping Center said last night he's excited about redeveloping the former site of Jim Shorkey Ford.

"My father had a restaurant in McKeesport many years ago,” said Spiro Pappan, son of former restauranteur Lou Pappan, who founded Pappan's Family Restaurants, in a prepared statement. “When I told him about my project here, he was very excited. He plans to be here for the opening.”

A company led by Spiro Pappan purchased the former Jim Shorkey Ford on Walnut Street for $1.9 million and is renovating the building for Ollie's Bargain Outlet and two other new tenants. The Ollie's store, which will take up about 32,000-square-feet, will be the first in Allegheny County and is expected to open in March 2017.

Pappan's building, which once housed a Zayre Department Store and later an Ames, is on a separate parcel from the rest of the Olympia Shopping Center, which is technically located in Versailles Borough.

The rest of the center is operated by Pittsburgh's Union Real Estate and includes a Shop 'n Save, a Save-a-Lot, a state wine and spirits store, a dry cleaner, a PNC Bank branch, a Dollar Tree and other retailers.

 
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Croatian Club Accepting Lamb Orders Through Sunday

September 14, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Croatian Fraternal Union Lodge 432 in Westmoreland County is taking orders for barbecued lamb prepared by Mike and Carol Mezick, a spokeswoman said.

Call in orders to 724-872-7495 by this Sunday (Sept. 18), for pickup on Sunday, Sept. 25 at the Yukon Croatian Club beginning at 12:30 pm.

Also on Sept. 25 is the lodge’s indoor picnic. Those picking up lamb are welcome to stay for an afternoon of music and dancing. Sarena, from Cleveland, Ohio, will play 2 to 6 p.m.

The club is located at 109 Union St. in Yukon, exit 53 on I-70. For more information, call the club at 724-722-4100.

 

Ollie's Outlet Coming to McKeesport in March 2017

September 14, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Nicholas Eckhart photo via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

A growing discount department store chain known for its quirky advertising and its deep selection of books is coming to McKeesport.

Work has begun on an Ollie's Bargain Outlet store in the former Jim Shorkey Ford dealership at Olympia Shopping Center on Walnut Street.

The store represents the first step into Allegheny County by the Harrisburg-based retail chain.

Jerry Altland, vice president of real estate for Harrisburg, Pa., based Ollie's, said the 32,000-square-foot McKeesport store is projected to open in March 2017. Remodeling has already begun.

 
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Filmmaker Explores Jewish Roots, Heritage in McKeesport

September 12, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Documentary filmmaker Sam Zolten has turned his camera lens on a variety of subjects over the past 40 years, many of them as part of the industrial filmmaking company he operates in Bala Cynwyd, outside Philadelphia.

One of his films --- 2002's "Just Call Me Kade," the story of a transgender boy in Tucson, Ariz., has been widely used as a teaching tool around the country.

Now, the McKeesport native and Temple University graduate is focusing on a much more personal subject --- the story of Jewish families, such as his own, who emigrated to McKeesport beginning in the 19th century.

"It's a labor of love," Zolten said.

Zolten has interviewed more than 140 people for his upcoming feature-length documentary, "Missing McKeesport," and has raised more than $17,000 through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

Zolten, who is working with associate editor James T. Rowland, has eight more days to reach the $18,000 goal necessary to complete the movie.

 
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Sewerage System Sale Valued at $156M

September 12, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

The company buying McKeesport's sewerage authority and its three wastewater treatment plants has put a value on the sale of $156 million.

In a joint press release, city officials and Pennsylvania American Water Company said the final price is subject to a complete appraisal of the system, which serves 22,000 customers in 12 municipalities.

Last week, the board of the Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport joined McKeesport City Council in voting in favor of the sale of the authority's assets to Pennsylvania American.

The sale is subject to approval by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the state Department of Environmental Protection. Kathy L. Pape, president of Pennsylvania American, said the company expects to close on the sale in the second half of 2017, pending those approvals.

 
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Inspire Christian Music Festival Returns to Renzie Park

September 08, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The 16th annual Inspire Christian Music Festival, sponsored by McKeesport-based The Well Ministries, will return to the Lions Bandshell in Renziehausen Park on Saturday (Sept. 10).

Admission is free. Refreshments will be available but picnic baskets are also welcome, says Kris Rhoades, who organizes the festival with her husband, Lou. Attendees should bring a blanket or a lawn chair to sit on.

Performances begin at 12 noon and are scheduled to include Gospel Illusions, Puppets for the King, Heart-Beat, Daughters of His Grace, The Coddingtons, Ed Lutheran, Tree of Life Open Bible Church, Bob Fagin and God's Grace, Cross Vision, Chalice and Signs of Faith Ministry. The schedule is subject to change.

 
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Police Log: Sept. 8, 2016

September 08, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

  • Arrest records published here were provided by the McKeesport Police Department.
  • Not all arrests are published.
  • 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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Council Moves Forward With Sewerage Authority Sale

September 07, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

(Correction added, 11:57 a.m. Sept. 8, 2016)

With no controversy, McKeesport City Council on Wednesday took the first step toward selling the city's sewerage authority to Pennsylvania-American Water Company.

By 6-0 vote, with Councilwoman LuEthel Nesbit abstaining, councilors authorized the Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport to enter into a sales agreement with the water company. Nesbit is a member of the municipal authority's board. The authority board will meet on Thursday to consider the deal; Nesbit said Wednesday she will abstain from voting there, as well.

In a separate vote, council also accepted a $5 million advance payment from Penn-American. If for any reason the sale isn't consummated, the city will be required to repay the money, Cherepko said.

Although the final sale price of the sewerage authority isn't yet known, its outstanding debts --- including some $62.5 million spent recently to upgrade and expand the system --- top $90 million, city officials have said.

In a prepared statement, Kathy Pape, president of Penn-American, said Wednesday night that the company was "pleased" with city council's decision and was looking forward to the authority's vote on Thursday.

 
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Tutoring, Afterschool Help Offered By Christy Park Church

September 07, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Christy Park United Methodist Church will offer afterschool tutoring and homework help beginning Tuesday, Sept. 20.

"Cool School Featuring the Homework Helpers" will run from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays throughout the school year.

The program will feature tutoring, a quiet place to do homework, and snacks, and is completely free, a spokeswoman said.

However, all students must get written permission from their parent or guardian, and must have a ride home at 6 p.m. with a parent, guardian or responsible older sibling.

The church is located at the corner of 29th Avenue and Beale Street in the Christy Park section of the city. Call (412) 678-3110 for more information.

 

City Council May Take Steps to Sell Sewerage Authority

September 06, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

In a long expected move, McKeesport City Council on Wednesday night is expected to take the first steps toward selling the city's sewerage authority.

At a council work session on Tuesday, Mayor Michael Cherepko said the city has received two competing proposals to purchase the Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport, which also serves customers in Dravosburg, Duquesne, East McKeesport, Elizabeth Twp., Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln, North Versailles Twp., Port Vue, Versailles and White Oak.

Cherepko has recommended to council that the city accept a proposal from Pennsylvania-American Water Co. The exact sale price has yet to be determined pending an appraisal and an analysis of outstanding debts owed by the sewerage authority, but it will be in excess of $90 million, said J. Jason Elash, city solicitor.

"As a ratepayer and as a taxpayer, I would say there are more pros than cons," Cherepko said. "In fact, I see very few cons."

 
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Off-Duty Police Officer Killed in Dravosburg Crash

September 04, 2016 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Friends and colleagues of a Duquesne police officer who died in a motorcycle crash Saturday night in Dravosburg are setting up a memorial fund for his son.

Duquesne police Officer Robert Gogo Jr., 40, was pronounced dead at the emergency room of UPMC McKeesport hospital about an hour after the crash, said a spokeswoman for the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office.

Allegheny County police said Gogo was off-duty and was traveling south on Richland Avenue on his motorcycle, toward the Mansfield Bridge, when the bike collided with a car headed northbound, toward Dravosburg Hill.

 
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Driver Charged in Crash That Injured Five

September 02, 2016 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Turtle Creek man has been charged by McKeesport police in connection with a four car accident last week in the city's East End that injured him as well as four other people.

Henry J. Robinson Jr., 63, faces a preliminary hearing Oct. 17 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi Jr. on charges of causing an accident involving personal injury and driving with a suspended license.

McKeesport police said officers were dispatched on Aug. 24 during the afternoon rush hour for a report of a multiple vehicle accident on East Fifth Avenue at Hartman Street.

 
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Visitors Can Work With Iron, Glass at Event Tomorrow in Rankin

September 02, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Adam Taylor photo, submitted by Rivers of Steel Arts

A family-friendly event Saturday afternoon in Rankin will allow adults and kids to create art and learn how metal and glass are made.

The second-annual Festival of Combustion is being held from 12 to 8 p.m. at the Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark site near the Rankin Bridge.

Children and teen-agers 18 and under are admitted free. Adult tickets are $15 and are available at Showclix.com.

Spokeswoman Stacy Drane said visitors will get to experience "hot art making processes" with booths dedicated to glass flame working, Raku ceramics, metal fabrication, aluminum casting and cast iron.

 
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Local Penn State Students Donate Time to Renovate Houses

September 01, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: News

The vision of Penn State Greater Allegheny is to always care for and advance the success of its students and communities. 

Each year, on several early Saturday mornings, students from the McKeesport-based campus have helped their community by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh. The tradition of students helping to build houses will continue this year as students gear up to volunteer three days this fall. 

Glenn Beech, director of student affairs, takes the students on these trips, and he has been impressed with the enthusiasm the students show when helping their local community.

“I am so proud of each of the students who, unselfishly, gives up entire Saturdays to participate in a community service project for a community in which they are a part of, only because they are studying here," Beech said. "This act of kindness, on their part, demonstrates to me that they are members of a caring and compassionate generation that is striving for a better future for all of us.”

 
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