31st Annual Festival of Trees Opens Thursday

November 30, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

In another sure sign that Christmas is just around the corner, McKeesport's 31st annual Festival of Trees opens Thursday at Renziehausen Park's Jacob Woll Pavilion.

Hours are 12 noon to 9 p.m. Thursday through Monday (Dec. 5). Admission is $2 for adults and free for children 12 and under who bring a canned good for donation to local food pantries.

Refreshments will be provided by culinary arts students from McKeesport Area High School, while the city's Semper Fidelis Club will operate a bake sale.

Also open during the Festival of Trees are the nearby McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center and the Garden Club of McKeesport with special Christmas themed events.

 
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10 Charged By State in Child Sex Sting Operation

November 30, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Ten men, including three from the Mon Valley, were arrested by the state Attorney General's Office and accused of attempting to solicit children for sex.

The arrests were announced this morning by state Attorney General Bruce Beemer in what he dubbed "Operation e-Traffic."

The investigation was conducted by the Attorney General's Child Predator Section and McKeesport police, with assistance from Bethel Park police.

 
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McKeesport Presbyterian Plans Light-Up Celebration Friday

November 30, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements



McKeesport Presbyterian Church, the Seventh Ward Community Group and Carnegie Library of McKeesport will host a Christmas event at 7 p.m. Friday (Dec. 2) at the church, corner of Versailles and Union avenues.

Called "A Light Up Celebration," everyone is welcome, Pastor Jim Leuenberger said.

There will be a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, followed by a carol sing, crafts for kids, and Christmas cookies and hot chocolate. For more information, visit the church's website.

(Photo courtesy McKeesport Presbyterian Church)

 

Portion of AIDS Quilt On Display in McKeesport

November 30, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: News

By Christina Newmyer, Penn State Greater Allegheny

Jon Lutes loved pizza, his Italian mother, and having fun. He had a passion for working with children, travel, and his friends and family. His life, full of love and laughter, was cut short at the age of just 42.

The Monessen native died of AIDS on May 2, 1994.

Now through Dec. 2, a 12-by-12 portion of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, including a panel dedicated to Lutes, is on display in the concourse of the Penn State Greater Allegheny Student Community Center, to commemorate World AIDS Day.

The day also coincides with Jon Lutes’ birthday --- Dec. 1.

Penn State Greater Allegheny Director of Student Affairs Glenn Beech was a friend of Lutes’. They met while attending college at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. The two had several classes together and became friends, as Beech said, due to Lutes’ likeable nature.

 
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West Mifflin Bridge Re-Opens One Day Early

November 23, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: News

West Mifflin and Duquesne residents got an early holiday present from Allegheny County when the Homeville Bridge re-opened to traffic on Monday --- one day earlier than expected.

The 781-foot-long viaduct, built in the mid-1950s, closed in August 2015 for a $10 million reconstruction project that included replacement and widening of the concrete deck from 26 to 29 feet, a new five-foot wide sidewalk, replacement of the existing hand rail with an 8-foot-tall protective fence, new lighting, structural streel repairs and re-painting of the entire structure.

It was the first major rehabilitation of the bridge since 1981, county officials said.

The bridge is owned by Allegheny County and carries two lanes of traffic and pedestrians over Lower Bull Run, Thompson Run Creek, the Union Railroad and Grant Avenue Extension. About 10,000 vehicles per day used the bridge before the closure, including emergency vehicles, school buses and 400 commercial vehicles.

 
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Local Hardware Store Schedules Santa Visit

November 23, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

"Santa and Mrs. Claus" will visit Able Home Center in Great Valley Shopping Center, North Versailles Twp., from 12 to 2 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 26), a spokesperson said.

Visitors can get a free photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as a free gift, a spokesperson said.

 

Dravosburg Slates 'Holly Jolly' Celebration Dec. 2

November 23, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Dravosburg will light up the holiday season beginning at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 when the borough holds its seventh-annual "Holly Jolly Christmas Celebration," a spokesperson said.

The event is at the municipal building, 226 Maple Ave. near the Mansfield Bridge.

Children who won the borough coloring contest will get to help light the borough's Christmas tree.

 
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Clairton Man Held in Connection With Homicide

November 23, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Clairton man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail in connection with the death of a man whose body was found in the closet of a home on Jenny Lind Street on Tuesday.

Shawn Maurice Thomas Jr., 24, was charged by Allegheny County police with criminal homicide, access device fraud and abuse of a corpse, and arraigned Wednesday morning before Magisterial District Judge Robert Ravenstahl Jr.

Court officials said he is being held without bond pending a preliminary hearing at 8 a.m. Dec. 2 before Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Manning.

 
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'12 Angry Men' Wraps This Weekend at MLT

November 18, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

McKeesport Little Theater's production of "12 Angry Men" wraps up its three-week run this weekend with performances at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Written in 1954 by Reginald Rose, the play was originally presented on the CBS television anthology series, "Westinghouse Studio One," and won three Emmy Awards. It was then adapted for the movies in 1957 by director Sidney Lumet, with a powerhouse cast including Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley Sr., Jack Warden and Jack Klugman.

Set in the early 1950s, the play takes place entirely inside the jury room at a courthouse. A 19-year-old man has just been put on trial for the murder of his father. The case seems to be open and shut until one juror begins pestering the 11 other jurors with questions.

 
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City Train Club Hosts Annual Open House

November 18, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

In one of McKeesport's surest signs that the holidays are just around the corner, McKeesport Model Railroad Club has begun its annual train show and open house.

Hours are 1 to 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 6:30 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 18, a spokesperson said. The club also will be open to visitors on Friday, Nov. 25 from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

A donation of $4 from adults and $2 from children ages 5 to 17 is requested. Boy and Girl Scouts in uniform and active members of the U.S. Armed Forces, with valid ID, are admitted free of charge.

The club is located at 2209 Walnut St. in the Christy Park section of the city. For more information, call (412) 664-LOCO or visit www.mckeesportmodelrr.com.

 
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Community Thanksgiving Service Slated Sunday

November 17, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Lt. John Esker, commanding officer of the McKeesport Corps of the Salvation Army, will be the featured speaker on Sunday when the McKeesport Area Ministerium holds a community-wide Thanksgiving service.

The non-denominational, ecumenical service will be held at 4:30 p.m. at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, corner Walnut Street and Eighth Avenue. A light meal will be served following the service, a spokesperson said.

Everyone is welcome.

For more information, visit the ministerium's Facebook page or call (412) 672-8490.

 

Drug Charges Filed After Traffic Stop

November 17, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A traffic stop on Bowman Avenue in McKeesport left city police with more than two pounds of marijuana, and left a Wilkinsburg man facing charges.

Justin R. Gant, 31, is free on bond pending a preliminary hearing at 1 p.m. Nov. 21 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene F. Riazzi Jr.

According to a police report, city police Sgt. Steve Kondrosky was on traffic duty on Bowman Avenue near the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge just after 1 a.m. Tuesday when a car went through the posted 25 mph zone at 40 mph.

 
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'Santa' Parade Kicks Off Saturday at 11 A.M.

November 15, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(File photo by John Barna for Tube City Almanac)

One of the largest Christmas parades in Western Pennsylvania gets underway at 11 a.m. Saturday (Nov. 19) on Fifth Avenue in Downtown McKeesport.

The 52nd annual "Salute to Santa" parade begins at the Palisades Ballroom, Fifth Avenue and Water Street, and ends at McKeesport City Hall at the corner of Fifth and Sinclair.

Master of ceremonies this year will be "Mikey Dee" Dorich, who serves a similar role at McKeesport's International Village, and weather permitting, live video of the parade will be streamed by Tube City Online's Internet radio station, WMCK.FM.

The grand marshal of this year's parade is Gerald "Puddin" Grayson, varsity boys' basketball coach and former girls' basketball coach at McKeesport Area High School. Grayson is a lifelong city resident who was a standout running back at McKeesport High and Boise State University in the 1960s.

"The Salute to Santa parade is a great kickoff to the holiday season for the entire Mon Valley," McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said. "For 52 years, McKeesport has welcomed spectators from across the region to be a part of our community as we kindle our Christmas spirit for the season ahead."

 
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Port Authority to Demolish McKeesport Bus Station

November 14, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

 

Port Authority of Allegheny County's board is expected to vote this week to demolish the dilapidated bus station on Lysle Boulevard.

It's the first step toward building a new transportation center in McKeesport, and possibly expanding the park-and-ride lot.

The directors of the region's largest transit authority will decide on Friday whether to award a $1.2 million contract to Terra Works Inc. to demolish the McKeesport Transportation Center, build a new restroom facility for bus operators, and repair and replace sidewalks and paving.

The price also includes work to be done at a park-and-ride facility in Ross Twp., north of Pittsburgh.

Port Authority's near-term plans do include construction of a new bus station in McKeesport, but the timetable is unclear, spokesman Adam Brandolph said. "We're definitely getting onto that path, but it's still early," he said.

 
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Internet Radio WMCK.FM Celebrates 1st Anniversary

November 14, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

Here's an ad from 1952 for the original WMCK.

Just a few weeks ago, our new WMCK.FM, an Internet station serving the McKeesport area, marked its one-year anniversary. Doug Goffus, a member of the Tube City Community Media board of directors, signed on the station with his show, "Goffus Golden Oldies," a mix of rock and roll, pop, jazz, and country from the late 1940s through the 1970s.

He's still going strong and a new episode airs every Tuesday morning at 6 a.m., and repeats on Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons.

We recently marked our first anniversary as an Internet station serving the McKeesport area. Many people have asked if we have plans to create an over-the-air AM or FM radio station. We would love to! But there are no open frequencies.

In the meantime, McKeesport's 1360 --- formerly known as WMCK, WIXZ, WMNY and now WGBN --- has been off the air for almost a year. If it stays off the air until Dec. 8, 2016, the FCC will delete its license permanently.

McKeesport's 1360 is owned by East Liberty's Pentecostal Temple. We have written to the owners of 1360 three times asking if we can help --- but they have not written us back.

So we have no idea what their plans might be for the station. It would be a shame if the station stays "dark," as they say in the radio business, permanently.

 
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Pennsylvania AG Sues Nursing Facilities in McKeesport, 10 Other Cities

November 04, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Riverside Care Center in McKeesport at times was so understaffed, a "confidential witness" told investigators from the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, that incontinent residents who needed to be changed were left to lie in their own waste for up to four hours.

When the witness --- a certified nursing assistant, or CNA, who worked at the facility from 2009 to 2012 --- complained to management, she told investigators, she was disciplined.

Those are among the allegations in a 115-page lawsuit filed Thursday in state Commonwealth Court against Pittsburgh-based Grane Healthcare Co. and 11 of its 12 affiliated nursing homes, which include Riverside in McKeesport and Woodhaven Care Center in Monroeville.

Attorney General Bruce Beemer on Friday said the nursing homes failed to provide basic needs --- including hot food --- to elderly and ill residents, made misleading claims in marketing materials, and billed customers for services that were never provided.

"These alleged misrepresentations not only deceived the residents of these facilities, but Grane’s business practices also degraded residents and increased the risk of negative health consequences," Beemer said. "We believe there is ample evidence that these facilities fell far short when it came to providing essential services."

The lawsuit alleges that Grane violated the state's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law and asks the court to assess penalties against Grane and the nursing homes, and for Grane and the homes to refund money paid to the nursing homes by the state for services which Beemer claims were never provided.

Grane's Pittsburgh office did not respond Friday afternoon to an email from Tube City Almanac seeking comment.

 
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Kane Resident Ill With Legionella; Water Use Restricted

November 03, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Allegheny County officials have restricted water use at Kane Regional Center in McKeesport after a resident tested positive for Legionella bacteria.

Letters have been sent to families of all residents and a new water purification system has been installed at the 360-bed facility, which cares for the elderly and for patients suffering serious debilitating illnesses.

County spokeswoman Amie Downs said Thursday that a resident of Kane McKeesport was taken to an area hospital on Oct. 24 and tested positive for Legionella, a water-borne bacteria that can cause a serious respiratory disease called Legionnaires' Disease.

 
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Father Also Charged Now in Connection With Toddler's Death

November 03, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

The father of a 17-month-old boy who died in Hi View Gardens on Tuesday night has now been charged in connection with the death.

Andre Price Jr., 23, of McKeesport was arrested by Allegheny County Police detectives on Thursday and charged with two felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Police previously charged his estranged girlfriend, Christian Clark, 21, with smothering to death their child, Andre Price III, and attempting to smother their 2-year-old daughter.

Andre Price Jr. is currently being held in Allegheny County Jail pending formal arraignment, said Allegheny County police Lt. Andrew Schurman. A preliminary hearing on the charges is scheduled for 1 p.m. Nov. 14 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi Jr. in McKeesport.

 
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Craig Street Neighbors Beg for Relief from 'Terrorism'

November 03, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Neighbors from the Craig Street area --- some afraid of being identified for fear of retaliation --- came to McKeesport City Council Wednesday night to beg for relief from what one called "domestic terrorism."

They say that gun play centered around one house in the 1400 block has become a common occurrence, both at night and in broad daylight, including this past Sunday afternoon.

"We're being held hostage in our own houses," said one neighbor, "B." (Editor's note: Tube City Almanac is voluntarily withholding the names of the people who spoke to protect them and their families.) "It's like domestic terrorism --- it's bad. There are bullet holes everywhere. If you guys can't do something about this, I've got to move."

The shootings were the topic of a news story Tuesday on Pittsburgh's WPXI-TV (11).

Both neighbors and McKeesport police say the shootings are targeting one particular house on the block, where a tenant's boyfriend is suspected of criminal activity. Police Chief Bryan Washowich said he was not at liberty to identify the house, or the suspected activity.

 
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Federal Grand Jury Indicts McKeesport Man in Drug Case

November 03, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport man has been indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with illegally selling heroin and a powerful painkiller that led to an overdose death.

Henry "Bundles" Little-Proctor, 26, is charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl and possession with intent to deliver, U.S. Attorney David Hickton announced today in Pittsburgh.

The five-count indictment charges Little with distributing heroin and fentanyl, a painkiller 80 times more powerful than morphine, from October 2015 to July 2016, a spokeswoman for Hickton said.

In addition, the indictment further alleges that on July 13, Little-Proctor sold fentanyl that resulted in an overdose death, and further accuses Little-Proctor of illegal possession of .233 and .22 caliber ammunition.

Little-Proctor is not allowed to possess weapons or ammunition because of previous felony convictions for heroin distribution, Hickton's office said.

 
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Local Mother Charged in Death of 17-Month-Old Boy

November 02, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A 21-year-old McKeesport woman is being held in Allegheny County Jail after being arrested in connection with the death of her 17-month-old child.

Allegheny County Police said Christian Clark is charged with homicide and attempted homicide.

County police Lt. Andrew Schurman said McKeesport police and first responders were dispatched at 11:13 p.m. Tuesday to the Hi View Gardens apartment complex for a 9-1-1 call reporting that the young boy was "unresponsive."

The boy, whose name was not released, was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Police said they determined that Clark was responsible for the child's death. Additional information is expected this afternoon at a news conference at Allegheny County police headquarters in Pittsburgh's Point Breeze section. (Allegheny County police photo)

 

Police Log: Nov. 1, 2016

November 01, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

  • Arrest records published here were provided by the McKeesport Police Department.
  • Not all arrest records 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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Penn Hills Man Held for Trial in Pursuit, Crash

November 01, 2016 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Penn Hills man faces formal arraignment Dec. 14 in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court in connection with a police pursuit that began in McKeesport and ended, on foot, several miles away under the George Westinghouse Bridge in East Pittsburgh.

On Monday, Paul Snoe II, 21, waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi Jr. in McKeesport. He is currently free on recognizance bond, court records indicate.

According to a criminal complaint filed by city police Lt. Robert Eastman, Snoe was the driver of a Ford Flex that had been reported stolen from Dormont. Eastman spotted the vehicle just after 9 a.m. Oct. 14 near the intersection of Grandview and Versailles avenues and notified other police units to stop the car.

 
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