Casino Night Will Benefit Port Vue 'Bark Park'

March 30, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Supporters of Cindy's Memorial Bark Park will hold a "Casino Night" Saturday (April 1) to raise money for the new dog-friendly facility on Romine Avenue in Port Vue.

The event will be held at the Vigilant Hose Co. hall, 1800 Romine Ave., a spokeswoman said. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, and proceeds benefit Cindy's Memorial Bark Park.

Food, beer and mixers are included, but visitors should bring their own wine or spirits. A cash prize will be awarded based on the tickets.

For more information, call Kelsey at (412) 328-4805.

 

Our Proposal for the New Mt. Washington Sign

March 30, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Editorial Cartoons

"A Pittsburgh nonprofit wants to replace the controversial black and yellow Sprint sign on Mt. Washington with a Hollywood-style letter sign.

Scenic Pittsburgh sent a letter to Louisiana-based Lamar Advertising, which owns the 7,200-square-foot billboard, asking them to donate or sell the property to the organization. Lamar is in a legal battle with the city of Pittsburgh, which claims the company is violating zoning regulations.

One option for the sign’s future could be something akin to Hollywood’s iconic hillside sign, according to Scenic Pittsburgh executive director Mike Dawida." -- WESA-FM Radio

Our humble opinion: Why does Pittsburgh need a sign telling people in Pittsburgh that they're in Pittsburgh? They already know that. Let's give people some useful information.

 

School Board Unanimous; Appoints Holtzman as MASD Superintendent

March 30, 2017 |

By Mary Shelly | Posted in: News

(Photo by Mary Shelly/Special to Tube City Almanac)

Dr. Mark Holtzman Jr. is the new superintendent of the McKeesport Area School District.

At a special meeting Wednesday night, school directors voted unanimously, with all nine members present, to appoint Holtzman to the position.
 
Holtzman's position is effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2022 including a salary of $140,000, subject to the terms and conditions upon execution of a written agreement between the parties.
 
Holtzman's work experience includes serving as MASD's Director of Secondary-Education and Teacher Evaluation from July 2015 to the present, McKeesport Area High School's Building Principal from July 2010 to June 2015, and as Dean of Students at West Mifflin Area High School from August 2007 to July 2010.

Holtzman also worked as a behavioral specialist for both MAHS and the UPMC's Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.

School Director Patricia Maksin was very vocal in her strong support for Holtzman. She said she did not originally vote for Holtzman seven years ago because of issues she had with his appointment, and because she also felt he wasn't ready. "You proved me wrong," Maksin said. "I learned to never vote against Mark Holtzman, because what Mark Holtzman says, he's going to do."

 
Read More
| News

Students Shine During School Board Presentations

March 29, 2017 |

By Mary Shelly | Posted in: News

Above: Shia Ethridge, 7, a student at Francis McClure, reads "Wake Me in Spring" by James Preller to School Director Ivan Hampton. (Photo by Mary Shelly, special to Tube City Almanac)


Fourteen first-graders from throughout McKeesport Area School District attended the March 22 board meeting in celebration of "Read Across America Day."

Introduced as "fluent readers" by Pamela Gordon, coordinator of elementary curriculum/instruction, each student read one-on-one with a board director as a slideshow of the students played for the crowd to see.

All of the students were wearing a handmade hat resembling the one in "The Cat in the Hat."

Board President Joseph Lopretto filled the room with laughter as he asked the first graders, "Where's my hat at?"

 
Read More
| News

McKeesport School Board Expected to Name New Superintendent Tonight

March 29, 2017 |

By Mary Shelly | Posted in: News

A new superintendent of schools is expected to be named tonight at a special meeting of McKeesport Area School Board.

Superintendent Dr. Rula Skezas is retiring June 30, and the new superintendent is expected to take over the following day.

At the regular board meeting on March 22, parents expressed their hopes and concerns about Skezas' replacement.

"You need to make sure the new superintendent is aggressive in promoting achievement and proficiency," said resident Keith Murphy, who is concerned about low test scores in the district.

Murphy said certain strategies, such as setting the expectation bar at a higher level, need to be implemented in order for scores to increase.

 
Read More
| News

Please Welcome New Correspondent Mary Shelly

March 29, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

Please welcome our newest correspondent, Mary Shelly, who will be covering McKeesport Area School Board for Tube City Almanac.

Mary is a junior at McKeesport Area High School, and a member of the school newspaper the Red and Blue. A member of the National Speech and Debate Association, Mary last month qualified to attend the state tournament at Bloomsburg University.

She also works on the production staff for McKeesport Area High School’s broadcast news show “The Port Report." In addition to covering monthly School Board meetings, Mary will also cover small feature stories around the district.

 

Route 30 Work Planned in N. Huntingdon Twp.

March 27, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Traffic will be restricted on part of U.S. Route 30 near the Irwin exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike so that crews can construct a new storm sewer.

A district spokesperson for the state Department of Transportation said that work will begin, weather permitting, at 6 p.m. April 3 in the westbound lanes of Route 30 in front of North Huntingdon Square shopping plaza.

When the sewer and associated inlets are complete, the spokesperson said, the road will be repaved. All work will be done between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. and is expected to be complete by May 12.

Traffic will be unrestricted during non-working hours daily, according to PennDOT.

 

Volunteers Gathering Saturday to Replant Hollow's Native Trees

March 24, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

More than 40 volunteers will gather Saturday morning in Dead Man's Hollow to help plant seedlings that should improve the environment for resident and migratory birds.

The effort is being organized by the Allegheny Land Trust, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Volunteers should meet at 9 a.m. at the parking lot off Scene Ridge Road in Liberty Borough, said Keri Rouse, community coordinator for the land trust, which owns Dead Man's Hollow.

Dead Man's Hollow is a 450-acre nature preserve, created in 1994, that spans parts of Liberty and Lincoln as well as Elizabeth Twp. More than six miles of trails through the preserve connect it to the Great Allegheny Passage hiking and biking trail just north of Boston, Elizabeth Twp.

 
Read More

Turnpike Halts Work on Mon-Fayette Expressway Extension

March 22, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Map: Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission illustration via Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission


The long-delayed, controversial extension of the Mon-Fayette Expressway through West Mifflin, Dravosburg, Duquesne and Turtle Creek appears to be cancelled --- again.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced Wednesday afternoon that it will stop engineering and design activities on the planned 14-mile stretch between Route 51 and the Parkway East after the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission on Monday declined to endorse the project.

“The (Pennsylvania) Turnpike has a legislative mandate to develop the Mon-Fayette Expressway, but our role is not to serve as an advocate for the project,” said Mark Compton, chief executive officer of the Turnpike Commission, in a prepared statement.

“This is a regional project, and the decision as to whether it is of value to the region should be made by those who live there," he said. "If the region does not want to move forward with the expressway, we will certainly respect their decision.”

 
Read More
| News

$30M Elizabeth Bridge Project Begins in July

March 21, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

By Canadian2006 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16539245

A $30 million to $32 million rehabilitation of the Elizabeth Bridge is part of an estimated $220 million that state officials will invest in bridge improvement projects in Allegheny County in 2017. The rehabilitation project on the 434 foot structure, built in 1948, is expected to begin in July of this year, district officials for the state Department of Transportation announced yesterday. “We are pleased to begin major improvements to our roadway and bridge infrastructure in the greater Pittsburgh region,” said Dan Cessna, executive in charge of PennDOT District 11, adding that work also will continue on existing projects, such as Pittsburgh’s Liberty Bridge. Formally known as the Regis R. Malady Bridge, the Elizabeth Bridge carries state Route 51 and connects Elizabeth and West Elizabeth boroughs. An estimated 26,000 vehicles use the bridge every day.
 
Read More

Terry Lee Tribute Dance Planned May 20

March 21, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Friends and family of the late Terry Lee Trunzo will hold their third-annual tribute dance in his memory on May 20 at American Legion General Smedley D. Butler Post 701, 2813 Capital St., White Oak.

"Remembering Terry Lee" is sponsored by T.L. Sound Co.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and dancing begins at 7, with music provided by D.J. Joe Parknavy. Tickets are $10 from the T.L. Sound website, or $15 at the door. Food, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages will be on sale, a spokesman said, but no outside food or beverages are allowed.

Proceeds from the dance will benefit local veterans, the spokesman said.

For more information, call Post 701 at (412) 672-7994 or visit the T.L. Sound website.

 

Veterans, Family Members Invited to Learn About Benefits

March 21, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(U.S. State Department photo)

All Mon-Yough area military veterans are invited to attend a free briefing to learn more about what benefits --- including health care, home loans and housing --- may be available to them and their families.

The Veterans' Benefit Briefing will be held at 7 p.m. March 30 at the Thompson Run Athletic Association, 4901 Ball Ave., West Mifflin, and is being hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 914 Intrepid and the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania.

All veterans are encouraged to bring their DD Form 214 discharge papers and learn about what benefits may be available for themselves and their family members.

 
Read More

If Cannabis License is OK'd, Company Sees Room to Grow in McKeesport

March 20, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Above: Pittsburgh-based PurePenn LLC has received conditional use approval from McKeesport City Council to erect a facility to grow and process medicinal cannabis on this five-acre site in the industrial park along the Monongahela River. The company is hoping to be awarded a license by state regulators. (Tube City Almanac photo)

. . .

A group of investors applying for a license to cultivate cannabis --- medicinal marijuana --- in McKeesport sees room to grow on the Monongahela River waterfront.

PurePenn LLC is applying today for one of only two licenses that Pennsylvania expects to award in southwestern Pennsylvania. A different group with ties to former Steelers great Franco Harris is applying for a license in nearby Braddock.

The competition is serious, said Gabe Perlow, chief executive officer of PurePenn, and many groups who are applying in the Pittsburgh area are doing so quietly to fly "under the radar."

PurePenn had hoped to do the same, he said, but needed to go public after their application for a conditional use permit required approval from McKeesport City Council. Council approved it unanimously at its March 1 meeting.

McKeesport officials have a good feeling about Perlow and the other PurePenn partners, Mayor Mike Cherepko said.

 
Read More
| News

Female WWII Pilots Are Subject of Women's History Program

March 17, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The life and legacy of women pilots from World War II --- including McKeesport's own Helen Richey (above) --- is the topic of an upcoming program at McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center.

Presented in recognition of Women's History Month, the public program begins at 1 p.m. March 25. Admission to the program is $5 for non-members and free for members.

Novelist, screenwriter and WWII aficionado Denise Deems will be the featured speaker, a spokeswoman said.

Deems will discuss the history of female pilots and their impact during WWII, set the stage for the discriminatory policies they faced both before and after the war, and explain both Helen Richey’s life as well as the death of her friend Amelia Earhart.

 
Read More

Doyle Plans Town Hall on Health Care Legislation

March 17, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Photo courtesy U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle

The state insurance commissioner, a representative of the AARP and others will join U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (above) at a town hall meeting on Saturday (March 18) to talk about the proposed American Health Care Act.

The meeting starts at 2 p.m. at Pittsburgh's Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland and is open to the public.

Proposed and endorsed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, the AHCA would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in 2010. Repealing the ACA was the number one goal of President Trump.

In addition to Doyle, a Democrat from Forest Hills who represents Pittsburgh and much of the Mon-Yough area, speakers at Saturday's event will include Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa D. Miller; Ray Landis, advocacy manager for AARP of Pennsylvania; Ali Shapiro, a business owner who purchases health insurance through the ACA; and Janice Nathan who is self-employed and also purchases health insurance through the ACA.

 
Read More

Mayor Supports Landlord Ordinance; Property Owners Plan Organization

March 15, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

* Corrections made, 6 p.m.

In the wake of new city regulations that will require rental properties to be inspected every two years, a group of McKeesport-area landlords is forming a trade association to make sure their voices are heard before future laws are passed.

Damian Trujillo, who moved to McKeesport from California seven years ago and now owns five properties in the city, says he and other landlords feel as if they're being singled out unfairly.

"We're investors --- not slumlords," Trujillo says. "We're worried about all of the abandoned houses in the city, too, because we're worried about our investments."

But Mayor Mike Cherepko says the new property regulations, which require rentals to be registered with the city and inspected regularly for fire and safety code violations, are necessary and aren't burdensome.

"Responsible landlords shouldn't be upset about anything, if they're keeping their buildings in good condition," Cherepko says. "The ones who don't take any responsibility are the ones who should be more concerned."

 
Read More
| News

Police Log: March 7, 2017

March 07, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: 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.
 
Read More

Can Colon Cancer Be Avoided? UPMC McKeesport Discussion Will Highlight Prevention, Treatment

March 07, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Diseases of the colon and rectum are frightening --- but they can often be prevented or minimized, and when caught early, can be treatable.

That's the message that doctors from UPMC McKeesport hospital hope to deliver at an upcoming, free discussion.

Dr. Steven Gribar, general surgeon, and Dr. Vikrant Rachakonda, gastroenterologist will conduct the discussion on March 31, titled "How Colorectal Care Can Help You Avoid Cancer," as part of UPMC's ongoing "Alive and Well" series.

The event at the hospital, 1500 Fifth Ave., begins at 4 p.m. with screenings and a meal, and then includes a presentation from 5 to 6.

 
Read More

Two Dead After Possible Murder-Suicide in Turtle Creek

March 07, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Police News

Two people are dead following a shooting this morning in Turtle Creek. Police believe it may have been a murder-suicide.

A spokesman for the Allegheny County police said Turtle Creek police and paramedics were dispatched to the Electric Heights Housing Association complex off of Harper Drive at 5:10 a.m. when a caller to 9-1-1 reported two people had been shot.

Emergency workers found a man and woman inside a residence in the 100 block of Watson Drive, suffering from gunshot wounds to the head, police said. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the victims as Sarah Villarreal, 34, and Daniel Connelly, 43.

 
Read More

Dobra Komedia i Dramat: 'Polish Joke' Opens at MLT

March 06, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

"Polish Joke," David Ives' semi-autobiographical play about growing up Polish, opens this weekend at the McKeesport Little Theater.

Described by Variety as sometimes "wildly funny" and at other times somber, the 2001 play is the story of a young man, Jasiu. Somewhat embarrassed about growing up in a Polish neighborhood, Jasiu tries to abandon his roots by turning to different vocations and careers, only to find that his past keeps catching up with him.

The play premieres at 8 p.m. Friday (March 10) and runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through March 26.

 
Read More

Local Churches Plan Lunchtime Lenten Services

March 06, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

McKeesport Area Ministerium will again hold a series of inter-denominational lunchtime services on Wednesdays during Lent, a spokeswoman said.

Each service will begin at 12 noon at a different area church or location, and will include a light lunch. A donation will be accepted to help defray the cost of the meals.

The first service is this Wednesday at 12 noon at Rainbow Temple, 536 Shaw Ave.

 
Read More

Medical Examiner, Police Probe Child's Death

March 05, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Police News

Allegheny County police homicide detectives and the medical examiner's office are investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl at a home on Evans Avenue in the city.

However, officials said there were no signs of foul play or neglect.

A spokeswoman said in a prepared statement that McKeesport police and McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service were dispatched at 7:20 a.m. Sunday to a house in the 500 block of Evans Avenue when a 9-1-1 caller reported the little girl was not moving or breathing. The child was pronounced dead at the scene by McKeesport paramedics, the spokeswoman said.

Homicide detectives were requested to assist and conducted several interviews. The investigation continues and cause and manner of death will be released pending an autopsy, the spokeswoman said.

 

Fundraiser April 22 Will Benefit Local PSU Scholarship Fund

March 02, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Editor's Note: From a press release written by Christina Newmyer)

Every year, the Penn State Greater Allegheny Alumni Society plans events that help them raise money for their alumni scholarship. This year a purse bash will be added to the list of fundraising events and is scheduled for 5 p.m. April 22 in the Wunderley Gymnasium on the Greater Allegheny campus.

“I was involved with another community organization that raised funds from a purse bash and it was very successful," said Dave Pasternak, president of the Penn State Greater Allegheny Alumni Society. "I thought ‘Why not hold one for the alumni society?’ and the board agreed.”

Tickets to the event are $25 to enter and include two, three-digit numbers to win Dooney & Bourke, Coach, Michael Kors, and Kate Spade purses. The cost of the ticket includes food and refreshments. Winners do not need to be present except for early bird drawing that will take place at 6:15 p.m.

 
Read More

CFU Lodge Slates Tambura Dance March 19

March 02, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Sv. Nikola Brodar CFU Lodge 432 will have an afternoon of tamburitza music and dancing as Radost entertains from 2 to 6 p.m. March 19. Cover charge is $7. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. with ethnic food and desserts for purchase. The event is open to the public.

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.

In addition, pre-orders for barbecued lamb will be taken through March 12 for pick up on March 19. Call (724) 872-7495.

 

Two Local Postal Workers Indicted in Mail Theft Cases

March 02, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Police News

Two Mon Valley postal workers were indicted by federal grand juries in Pittsburgh this week on charges they stole from envelopes they were supposed to be delivering.

In the first case, federal prosecutors have accused former U.S. Postal Service employee Gregory M. Schur, 36, of 211 Harden Ave., Duquesne, of stealing prescription medication that was sent to customers of the VA Healthcare System, as well as first-class letters containing U.S. currency.

The alleged thefts occured between May and August 2016, said a spokeswoman for Soo C. Song, acting U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh.

 
Read More

N. Versailles Twp. Road Work Posted

March 02, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Work crews will begin installing curb cuts --- wheelchair-accessible sidewalk ramps --- on East Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard in North Versailles Twp. on Monday (March 6), said a district spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

The construction work between Westinghouse Avenue and Maryland Avenue (the old Eastland Mall) will require occasional lane restrictions weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through April 28.  Lane restrictions will occur in each direction. At least a single-lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction during work hours. No restrictions will occur non-working hours.  Flaggers may be used to control traffic.

Crews from M&B Services LLC will conduct the work, the PennDOT spokesman said.

 

On Vacation

March 02, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

I'm taking a few days off, which is why posting is light. The obituaries site is being updated. We'll resume normal service shortly.  -- Jason

 

Click for McKeesport, Pennsylvania Forecast