In a Hospital Room in McKeesport, a Story of Resilience

June 30, 2017 |

By David Stephens | Posted in: Commentary-Editorial

(Kim Ursta and Jason Mollard exchange vows in the chapel at UPMC McKeesport hospital on June 13. UPMC McKeesport photo)

I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into UPMC McKeesport hospital recently to meet Jason Mollard, and his new wife, Kim Ursta.

In late November 2016, Jason was diagnosed with two inoperable brain tumors that caused him to lose his vision.

Jason grew up in McKeesport, and Kim grew up in White Oak. They’ve lived their entire lives in the area, both attending McKeesport High School, although not knowing each other at the time. The community around them has been a pillar of strength for the family in their time of need. Friends, family, and neighbors have raised funds, extended sympathies, prepared meals, and offered support in every way they can.

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Prosecutors: Agency Defrauded By Former Manager

June 30, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A North Huntingdon Twp. woman was indicted Tuesday in federal court on charges she defrauded the Steel Valley Authority by writing checks to herself, and her creditors, over a six-year period.

Nicolette Gizzi, 44, is charged with five counts of bank fraud and mail fraud, Acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song said.

Founded during the economic slowdown of the 1980s and based in Swissvale, Steel Valley Authority is a non-profit agency that arranges financing and grants to support manufacturing in 12 municipalities, including Clairton, Duquesne, East Pittsburgh, Glassport, Homestead, McKeesport, Munhall, Pittsburgh, Rankin, Swissvale, Turtle Creek and West Homestead.

SVA also operates a statewide program designed to help manufacturers restructure their businesses to avoid layoffs. The authority is funded primarily through federal grants.

Gizzi was the financial manager for SVA, prosecutors said. They allege that beginning in December 2009 and continuing through June 2016, Gizzi issued checks to herself and her credit card company from SVA's account, forging the required signatures.

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Two Charged in Wrestleplex Burglary

June 30, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Two McKeesport residents face formal arraignment Aug. 25 in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court in connection with a burglary at the PWX Wrestleplex on Beacon Street.

Larry D. Bryan, 39, and Brian L. Kellum, 38, are charged by McKeesport police with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary and theft by unlawful taking. Bryan is currently free on $5,000 percentage bond, court officials said, while Kellum is free on his own recognizance.

Police said they are still seeking a possible accomplice in the break-in.

The Wrestleplex is a venue for professional wrestling which also broadcasts events on the Internet. According to a police report, McKeesport police were dispatched to the facility off Evans Avenue just before 8 a.m. June 10.

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Local Reps Praise Decision on Mon-Fayette Expressway

June 30, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Two McKeesport-area state representatives are praising the decision by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission to recommend completion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway through the Mon-Yough area.

The commission, which oversees infrastructure planning for 10 counties, including Allegheny, voted 48 to 4 on Monday to include the 14-mile extension of the toll road into the region's transportation master plan.

The extension would take the highway, also known as Pennsylvania Route 43, from its current northern end in Jefferson Hills through West Mifflin, Dravosburg, Duquesne, East Pittsburgh, Turtle Creek and Wilkins Twp. to the Parkway East in Monroeville.

“We would like to publicly acknowledge the members of the (SPC) and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald for their hard work and willingness to work together in taking the next step toward bringing this important transportation project closer to reality," said state Reps. Bill Kortz of Dravosburg and Marc Gergely of White Oak, in a joint statement.

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Crime Stoppers Seeks Help in May Homicide

June 30, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in connection with the investigation of a murder on Wesley Street in May.

McKeesport police were called to a home in the 1800 block of Wesley Street just after 10 p.m. May 27 after receiving reports that a man had been shot there. Police found Antonio Wallace, 31, lying on the living room floor and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the back.

Wallace was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

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Community Shredding Event in Norwin July 15

June 27, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Parkview Community Federal Credit Union will hold a community-wide shredding event at 10 a.m. July 15 in the parking lot of Norwin Middle School, 10870 Mockingbird Drive, North Huntingdon Twp., a spokeswoman said.

Although the event is free, the McKeesport-based credit union is asking all participants to make a donation to benefit Jamie's Dream Team.

The event will end at 1 p.m. or when the truck is full.

Personal unwanted documents will be shredded on site by the same company the credit union uses, the spokewoman said.

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Storm Damage Tops Discussion for White Oak Council

June 27, 2017 |

By David Stephens | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Two major thunderstorms that rocked the Mon Valley took their toll on White Oak, officials and residents said at the June 19 council meeting.

James Eiben, a resident of Ohio Street, told borough council that following the storms, his basement had two feet of water, and that the new storm drains are constantly flooding onto the street.

Meanwhile, the borough is looking for a replacement for the traffic light in front of Busy Beaver on Lincoln Way, which was damaged by a falling tree during one storm.

The damage was extensive and a new pole is needed, officials said. The problem is that the pole is an older, four-bolt model, but newer poles use three bolts. Borough officials said that if White Oak crews can find a replacement four-bolt pole they can have the light repaired in a couple weeks; if they can't find one, it could take a few months to put the signal back into service.

A temporary all-way stop sign was placed at the intersection pending the signal's repair.

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After 130 Years, Church Gives Thanks Before Closing its Doors

June 26, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Above: Rev. Warren Smith, pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in McKeesport, brings Communion to a worshipper on Sunday, along with Allie Tyler and Bob Katko. The church on Ninth Avenue will close this Friday. (Tube City Almanac photo)

In the summer of 1887, when McKeesport had about 20,000 residents, "25 to 30" English-speaking Lutherans gathered under the leadership of William Passavant and Elmer Crouse to found the congregation that became known as St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Church attendance boomed as the city's population grew to 55,000, said the Rev. Kurt F. Kusserow, Bishop of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod.

Now, 130 years later, McKeesport has about the same number of residents and about the same number of congregants at St. John's, which will permanently close its doors this Friday. A final worship service was held Sunday at the church on Ninth Avenue, with about 50 people --- twice the usual number of congregants --- in attendance.

"If today's closing is a dark time, if it feels like an ending or a failure, then open your eyes, because the light of Christ is shining all around you," Kusserow told worshippers on Sunday.

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Games, Ethnic Food Among Highlights at St. Angela Church Festival

June 26, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

St. Angela Merici Church, 1640 Fawcett Ave., White Oak, will celebrate its Family Festival from 6 to 10 p.m. July 6, 7, and 8.

Nightly attractions will include a huge flea market, super basket raffle, Kiddie Kingdom, gaming area, midway games, bake sale, bingo and more, a spokeswoman said. New this year is the “Bottle Flip” game.

The main food booth will include ethnic favorites such as stuffed cabbage, haluski, pierogies, grilled foods, Italian Booth (with homemade pizza and hot sausage) and other refreshments.

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Medical Marijuana Company Prepares to Start Hiring in McKeesport

June 20, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Above: Pure Penn CEO Gabe Perlow and McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko (foreground) address members of the media at Tuesday's announcement at RIDC's industrial park on the former U.S. Steel National Works site. (Photo special to Tube City Almanac.)

Local residents will soon have a chance to apply for jobs at McKeesport's newest employer --- a facility that will grow and process medical marijuana.

Gabe Perlow, chief executive officer of PurePenn LLC, said Tuesday the company will announce a hiring fair "in about two weeks" now that it's been granted one of only two licenses in the Pittsburgh region to grow and process cannabis plants for treatment of chronic pain, glaucoma and other ailments.

The announcement will be posted on the company's Facebook page, he said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Tuesday awarded 12 manufacturing licenses statewide after sorting through more than 500 applications. The other Pittsburgh-area license was awarded to a company in Carmichaels, Greene County, between Waynesburg and Uniontown.

Perlow, a Pittsburgh real estate developer, said Tuesday was a day to "celebrate the city of McKeesport."

"From a readiness standpoint, from a community engagement standpoint, the city of McKeesport has been behind us 100 percent and we really couldn't have done it without them," he said.

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Versailles Ave. Group Wants to Get Fit and 'Have Fun'

June 20, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

"Have as much fun as possible" is the motto of a new fitness group that meets Saturday mornings on Versailles Avenue to go on fitness walks.

"United Familes and Friends in Training," or "U.F.F.I.T.," meets at 11 a.m. on the first and third Saturdays at McKeesport Presbyterian Church, 1510 Versailles Ave. at Union Avenue. The next meeting is July 1.

At group meetings, runners and walkers learn the best methods for getting into condition, and then go on walks their own pace, a spokesperson said. They can also meet with other runners or walkers to train during the week.

For more information, call (724) 691-8440.


Ohiopyle, Keystone Parks Open to Deer Hunters With Permits

June 16, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources photo)

Ohiopyle and Keystone state parks will allow deer hunters to participate in a program designed to limit the number of white-tailed deer in conservation areas.

Permits go on sale Monday for the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Deer Management Assistance Program, or DMAP, which allows landowners to apply for permits to encourage hunters to harvest antlerless deer.

DMAP tags go on sale June 19, when state hunting licenses also go on sale. Hunters obtain permits directly from license issuing agents or the Game Commission website,

Too many deer concentrated in an area can cause damage to forests and crops, according to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

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Blighted, Vacant Properties Can Be Acquired Through County Program

June 15, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Applications are now being accepted from homeowners, businesses and others who want to acquire vacant lots and blighted structures in 69 municipalities in Allegheny County.
The county's Side Yard and Blighted Structure Program enables property owners to acquire abandoned buildings and lots at a discounted cost.

It's available in 50 municipalities, including --- in the Mon-Yough Area --- Braddock Hills, Dravosburg, East McKeesport, Elizabeth Twp., Forward Twp., Liberty Borough, Munhall, North Versailles Twp., South Versailles Twp. (Coulter), Turtle Creek, Versailles, West Homestead, West Mifflin, White Oak and Wilkins Twp.

Applications must be postmarked no later than Aug. 31. Up to 60 applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis with only five applications accepted per municipality in order to ensure that all may participate.

Funding for the program is provided through federal Community Development Block Grant funds, county general funds and applicant payments towards acquisition costs.

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Corpus Christi Gets Ready for Annual Church Festival

June 15, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Above: Corpus Christi Parish volunteers Marlene Rusinko is shown above operating a dough sheeter, which produces pierogi dough for cutting by John Germack and Michelle Rusinko. Vanessa Halaszynski carries the tray to the other volunteers who will stuff and pinch the pierogies into shape. The church is getting ready for its annual festival June 22 to 24. (Submitted photo courtesy Karen Check.)

Thousands of homemade stuffed cabbages and pierogies are being made right now by volunteers at Corpus Christi Parish as they get ready for the church's annual festival.

The event --- at the parish hall, 803 Market St., Downtown McKeesport --- will be held June 22 to 24. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. June 22 and 23 and 5 to 10 p.m. June 24.

On Saturday, Jack Tady and the Tady Bears will perform during a 4 p.m. polka Mass, then will stick around to perform at the festival from 6 to 8 p.m.

Volunteers have been working on the traditional favorites during both day and evening sessions over the past month, says Karen Check, a parish member.

Another popular item on this year’s festival menu are the fish sandwiches --- the same fish sandwiches that were served during the parish’s Lenten fish fry earlier this year, and which won Corpus Christi a place among the final four of the Ultimate Fish Fry contest sponsored by The Incline website.

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Many Still Without Power After Storms; Mon-Yough Area Bore Brunt

June 14, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Almost 300 homes and businesses in the Mon-Yough area remain without power after powerful thunderstorms ripped through the area on Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday morning, Duquesne Light reported 721 customers without electric service, with 268 located in West Mifflin, McKeesport, North Versailles Twp., Port Vue, Pittsburgh's Hazelwood neighborhood, White Oak, Liberty Borough and Duquesne.

A National Weather Service map shows that the heaviest rainfall yesterday was centered almost perfectly on McKeesport, with the city and surrounding communities receiving 1.5 to 3 inches of rain.

Yet only a few miles away, areas such as Finleyville, South Park and Pleasant Hills received less than a half-inch. Moon Twp. reported only a "trace" of precipitaton yesterday, and Pittsburgh International Airport in Findlay Twp. reported none at all.

Unofficial observations in White Oak and Port Vue measured 3 to 5 inches of rain on Tuesday afternoon.

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'Like Being in a Hurricane': Area Cleans Up After Powerful Storms

June 13, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

UPDATE: The Mansfield Bridge ramps from Dravosburg to McKeesport are still closed Wednesday morning.

Above: McKeesport crews work to clear mud and debris at the end of the Mansfield Bridge after a slow-moving thunderstorm dropped up to 5 inches of rain on the Mon-Yough area Tuesday afternoon. (Tube City Almanac photo)

"It was like being in a hurricane," said one witness in Port Vue, after two powerful storms Tuesday afternoon dumped 3 to 5 inches of rain on the McKeesport area, uprooting trees, causing mudslides and flooding several area roadways.

The National Weather Service in Moon Twp. issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Mon-Yough area just before 4 p.m., warning that an approaching storm was packing 60 mph winds, large hail and torrential rains.

By 4:15 p.m., rain was falling in sheets on West Mifflin, Dravosburg, McKeesport, Liberty and Port Vue.

"We watched this hailstorm come through, and there was a pause, and then it was like it re-generated," McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko said, as he observed city public works crews trying to clear the flooded ramps at the southern end of the Mansfield Bridge.

"The first storm was already bad," he said. "The second one was crippling."

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Former Versailles Gun Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Firearms Charges

June 13, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

The outspoken owner of a Versailles gun shop that closed abruptly a few months ago has pleaded guilty in federal court to possession of illegal firearms, tampering with evidence and witness tampering.

Erik D. Lowry, 37, former owner of Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms on Walnut Street, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, Acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song said today in a prepared statement.

In conjunction with Lowry's guilty plea, a guilty plea to a charge of illegally selling firearms also was entered on behalf of Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms.

Prosecutors allege that Lowry sold firearms at his store and through gun shows on what he called a "cash-and-carry" basis in which he failed to determine whether or not his customers had a criminal record.

In addition, they claim, Lowry acquired what federal officials classified as a "destructive device" --- a 12-gauge shotgun with a high-capacity drum magazine --- but failed to register it, as required, with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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Christy Park UM Church Slates BBQ Dinner

June 13, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Christy Park United Methodist Church will hold a barbecue dinner from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday (June 17), a spokeswoman said.

Barbecue will be cooked by McKeesport's own "BBQ Stu" Wilson. Meals will include a rib dinner for $22, a half-rib dinner for $12, a half-chicken dinner for $9 and a pork dinner for $8. All dinners include "tailgater beans," Lexington slaw and a biscuit.

The beans are the same recipe that Wilson made during his appearance with Chris Fennimore on WQED-TV.

The church is located at the corner of 29th Avenue and Beale Street, two blocks from Walnut Street. For more information, call (412) 678-3110.


Two Sentenced For Role in Cocaine Trafficking Ring

June 13, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Two city residents were sentenced to three years in federal prison for their role in a drug trafficking ring that also snared the former postmaster of West Newton.

Jeffrey Turner, 35, and April Racan, 37, also will face five years' probation following their release under the sentence handed down last week by U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab in Pittsburgh.

Federal prosecutors said that from 2011 and 2015, Racan and Turner acted as the local contact persons for an alleged drug dealer in Brownsville, Texas, Dante Lozano. Investigators allege that Lozano mailed dozens of packages of cocaine, weighing about 18 pounds total, to Racan and Turner in Elizabeth and McKeesport.

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Farmer's Market Has Room to Grow at Renzie

June 12, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Tony Kennon and daughter Maggie, age 7, of North Versailles Twp. inspect fabric art on sale Saturday at the first Renzie Farmer's Market. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Saturday morning's rain dampened --- but only slightly --- the first of 26 planned weekly farmer's markets behind fire station No. 2 at Renziehausen Park.

About 16 vendors selling fresh fruit and vegetables, flowering plants, crafts and jewelry greeted visitors from 9 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, said two of the organizers, Joelle Harbert and Andi Cartwright, both of White Oak.

"Not everyone who planned to be here came out this morning, but I think this is a great turnout for the first day and I'm excited to see what comes in the next few weeks," Cartwright said.

This is the second year for the farmer's market, which was organized by Kelly Doyle and held last year at Heritage Hills Park in White Oak, Harbert said.

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McKeesport Knitters Pick Library Lawn for Saturday Celebration

June 08, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

It only takes a set of needles and "the ability to chatter" to participate in the worldwide event coming to McKeesport this Saturday.

That's the advice of Susan Paoletti of Glassport, one of the people planning to participate this weekend in "World Wide Knit in Public Day" on the lawn of the Carnegie Library of McKeesport. The event begins at 11 a.m. and will include a potluck lunch, and the public is welcome to attend, says Mary Rose Bendel, director of adult education and outreach for the library.

Number 10 or 11 needles --- available for $3 or $4 per pair at most craft stores --- are best, Paoletti says. Otherwise, she says, little else is needed to join in the fun.

"We have patterns and we have the yarn," says Paoletti, who learned to knit as a young girl and picked the hobby up again 10 years ago, when she retired from a career at Gimbels, Horne's, Lazarus and Macy's.

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City Events to Go Smoke Free in 2017

June 08, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport City Council has banned smoking, except in designated areas, at all organized events on public-owned property.

The measured passed Wednesday night by a 4-1 vote amends a previous ordinance that banned smoking at public playgrounds.

Council President Richard Dellapenna Jr. was absent due to a death in his family, while Councilwoman Jamie Brewster-Filotei was attending McKeesport Area High School's graduation ceremonies. Councilman Tim Brown participated in the meeting by phone.

Mayor Mike Cherepko said there have been complaints at McKeesport's Summer Concert Series about attendees smoking in the audience.

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Mayor Says Sewerage Authority Sale On Track, Value Up $6M

June 08, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Photo by Jeff Tomovcsik via Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport website.)

The sale of the sewerage authority serving McKeesport and 11 other municipalities is "on track," city Mayor Mike Cherepko said, despite rumors to the country.

In fact, the appraised value of the system has gone up from $156 million to $162 million. City Council last night by 5-0 vote approved an amended sales agreement at the new, higher value, and extending by 180 days the deadline for the deal to be completed.

In September, Pennsylvania-American Water Co. announced plans to purchase the Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport, which serves 22,000 customers in southeastern Allegheny County and operates sewage treatment plants in the city's lower 10th Ward, Duquesne and Dravosburg.

The purchase is one of the first in Pennsylvania to be affected by Act 12, a law passed by the state General Assembly in 2016, that governs the takeover of publicly owned utilities --- such as sewerage authorities --- by private utility companies regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

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New Store Closings Spare (So Far) Mon-Yough Kmarts

June 07, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The Mon-Yough area's two remaining Kmarts are so far spared from the store closings being planned by their parent company.

Kmart stores at the corner of Route 30 and Route 48 in North Versailles Twp. and on Route 51 in Pleasant Hills are not on the list of closures sent Tuesday to employees of Sears Holdings Corp., which is declining comment to the media.

But Kmart stores in Rostraver Twp., Westmoreland County, and near Indiana and Butler, Pa., are being closed this year, likely before September, according to published reports.

The list obtained by media outlets indicates that Sears Holdings will close 16 Sears, Roebuck & Co. locations and 49 Kmart stores, including those three in Pennsylvania.

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Mistakes: I Made a Few

June 05, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Commentary-Editorial

When I make mistakes, I try not to waste my time with little ones. I try to make sure they're really dumb ones.

On Friday, I received a press release from the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus about a letter, sent to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, urging the SPC and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to prioritize construction of the Southern Beltway over the northern leg of the Mon-Fayette Expressway.

I quickly wrote up a story and posted it Friday night.

On Saturday, I got a text message: "You have state Rep. Brandon Neuman listed as a Republican. He's a Democrat." I was at a wedding reception (congratulations Kelly and Nick!) but whipped out my phone and checked.

Well, I had assumed that because the Republican Caucus sent the press release, all of the people signing the letters were Republicans. Nope: Sure enough, Rep. Neuman is a Democrat. That was dumb of me.

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Suspect Wanted in Connection With Homestead Bank Robbery

June 02, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Mt. Oliver man is wanted in connection with the robbery of the PNC Bank at the Waterfront in Homestead.

Allegheny County police on Friday obtained a warrant for the arrest of David Payo, 52, on charges of robbery, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.

Police said that the PNC Bank located inside the Giant Eagle was robbed on May 27. After surveillance photos of the robbery suspect were posted on Facebook, police said, tips from the public identified Payo as a suspect.

Payo is described as white, 5-feet-9, weighing 205 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call Allegheny County Police at (412) 473-3000.

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County, Local Officials to Cut Ribbon on New White Oak Playground

June 02, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, White Oak News

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald will join other county and local officials on Saturday morning to cut the ribbon at a new playground in White Oak Park.

Located at the corner of Route 48 (Jacks Run Road) and McClintock Road, the new playground replaces an existing facility that was "antiquated," said a county spokeswoman.

The new playground includes updated equipment suitable for small children as well as teen-agers, plus new benches and waste recycling receptacles, and a new, shaded picnic area.

The ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. is open to the public. White Oak Park is an 810-acre county-owned facility bordered by Lincoln Way and Route 48.


State Reps Urge Turnpike to Drop MFX Construction

June 02, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Above: The representatives who signed the letter are urging the Turnpike Commission to complete the unfinished sections of the Southern Beltway —- shown in purple and orange —- before completing the northern extension of the Mon-Fayette Expressway, shown in yellow. (Map courtesy Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission)

Correction: This story incorrectly stated the party affiliation of state Rep. Brandon Neuman and state Rep. Pam Snyder. They are Democrats. I apologize for the error.

A group of state representatives —- including Elizabeth’s Rick Saccone —- have written to the Greater Pittsburgh area’s regional planning commission urging it not to recommend completion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway.

Instead, the representatives —-9 Republicans, two Democrats --- say the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission should intensify its efforts to complete the so-called Southern Beltway (state Route 576) between Interstate 79 and Finleyville as quickly as possible.

About 6.5 miles of Route 576 in Findlay and Robinson townships, near Pittsburgh International Airport, is open, while another 13 miles is now under construction.

The letter to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, signed by 11 members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, refers to the proposed 14 mile segment of Pennsylvania Route 43 from Jefferson Hills to Monroeville as a “road to nowhere.” It argues that completing the Mon-Fayette through West Mifflin, Duquesne, East Pittsburgh and Turtle Creek will do little to open old factory sites to redevelopment.

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A Slow Email From China

June 01, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Commentary-Editorial

The following is a commentary. Commentaries represent the viewpoints of individual authors and are not those of Tube City Community Media Inc. or its directors.

Some people are skeptical of claims by American steel companies that Chinese companies are dumping steel pipe on the U.S. market. I've heard them say it's just American companies making excuses for being uncompetitive.

Would you believe that we here at Tube City Community Media get offers to buy steel pipe from China a couple of times per week? Here's one we got just this morning. The smiley face is a nice touch.

Notice that they're selling large-diameter, electric-resistance weld pipe --- exactly the kind of pipe that U.S. Steel was making in McKeesport, and which Dura-Bond Industries is soon going to start making again.

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