Federal Grand Jury Indicts City Man on Heroin, Fentanyl Charges

August 23, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Police News

A McKeesport man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of violating federal drug laws.

The one-count indictment, returned Tuesday in Pittsburgh, charges Michael Henry, 35, with conspiracy to distribute heroin and the prescription drug fentanyl, a narcotic pain reliever.

In a prepared statement, acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song said that the indictment is a product of a 12-month investigation into drug trafficking in Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties conducted by the FBI's Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force, which includes officers from the Allegheny County, Pittsburgh and Wilkinsburg police departments, the Allegheny County sheriff's department  and state agencies.

 
Read More

Renzie Expansion Underway as Officials Make Pitch for RAD Money

August 23, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

(Lake Emilie in Renziehausen Park. Tube City Almanac file photo)


McKeesport officials went to Allegheny County's Regional Asset District this week to plead their case for additional funding for Renziehausen Park.

On Monday, city Administrator Tom Maglicco and Jen Vertullo, assistant to Mayor Mike Cherepko, requested from the RAD board approximately $724,000 toward operating expenses at the park, as well as $225,000 toward capital improvements to parking areas and repairs at the park's seven pavilions.

The operating expense request is a 3 percent increase over the current Allegheny County RAD allocation of $703,000. Maglicco said the city requested the increase to cover inflationary expenses.

"We try to stress to the RAD board that Renzie is a regional asset for all of the Mon Valley in Allegheny County," he said. "We want people to use our facilities and draw people into our city and our community."

Separately, the city has received $200,000 to expand Renzie into the so-called Palkovitz property on Eden Park Boulevard behind the Pennsylvania Coach Lines school bus garage.

The money, from the county's Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund, will be used to extend Renzie's fitness trail and to add a dog park, said A.J. Tedesco, McKeesport community development director.

 
Read More
| News

Detours Planned in 2019 When Jerome Bridge Gets $13M Rehabilitation

August 22, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Tube City Almanac photo © Tube City Community Media

Work will begin in 2019 on a $13 million, year-long rehabilitation of the Jerome Street Bridge.

Yasmeen Manyisha, a spokeswoman for state Department of Transportation District 11, said rehabilitation of the 761-foot-long, four-lane bridge will be paid for with a combination of state and federal funding.

PennDOT and Federal Highway Administration officials offered an overview of rehabilitation plans for the bridge last week during a public hearing at the Palisades Ballroom.

The Jerome Street Bridge serves as the main entry to Downtown McKeesport from the west and connects West Fifth Avenue with Lysle Boulevard. It crosses the Youghiogheny River, the CSX Railroad and River Road, as well as the McKees Point Marina and the Great Allegheny Passage hiking-biking trail.

At this time, detour plans call for one lane of eastbound traffic into Downtown to be maintained throughout construction, Manyisha said, but westbound traffic --- toward 10th Ward --- will be detoured. One sidewalk on the bridge will remain open at all times, she said.

 
Read More
| News

Gergely Park Pier, Amphitheater to Receive Makeovers

August 21, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Concerts and other forms of live entertainment may return someday to the Youghiogheny River waterfront after a long absence.

But first, the dilapidated pier and amphitheater in Gergely Park will need to be replaced. That work is expected to begin soon.

In June, McKeesport city council awarded a $173,200 contract to Lutterman Excavating of Westmoreland County to demolish and reconstruct the pier, which sits along Water Street near the Kane Regional Center at the end of Ninth Avenue. The pier, designed to accommodate fishing, and a neighboring amphitheater were constructed in the early 1980s.

The work is being planned by City Engineer James Garvin, said A.J. Tedesco, McKeesport community development director, and funding is being provided through federal Community Development Block Grant money awarded in 2016.

With money from 2017 community development funding, Tedesco said, the city is hoping to reconstruct the amphitheater as well. Concerts were held along the riverfront in the '80s and '90s, including shows by the River City Brass Band, nationally known artists such as Buddy Morrow, and even events that were part of the former Mellon Jazz Festival.

But the pier in Gergely Park has fallen into disuse and disrepair and is in "deplorable condition," Mayor Michael Cherepko told council recently. Besides wear and tear, serious damage was inflicted two years ago by an ice jam on the Youghiogheny River, he said.

 
Read More
| News

Correspondents Wanted to Cover Duquesne, White Oak

August 21, 2017 |

By Advertising | Posted in: Announcements

We are still looking for writers to cover White Oak and the City of Duquesne. Writers are paid for assignments on a per-assignment basis.

The positions currently to be filled are:

  • Duquesne City correspondent
  • White Oak borough correspondent

Writers will be expected to, at minimum, attend the monthly council meetings in either Duquesne or White Oak and write a story for Tube City Almanac within 24 hours. Other topics may, from time to time, be assigned.

High school and college students seeking work experience are encouraged to apply! Tube City Community Media is willing to work with students who need credit toward class assignments.

Previous experience as a writer on a high school or college newspaper, or non-fiction blog, is helpful.

 
Read More

Police Log: Aug. 18, 2017

August 18, 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

Eclipse Events Planned in McKeesport, West Mifflin; Caution Urged

August 18, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

NASA illustration

If you're a Mon-Yough resident and you want to experience a total eclipse of the sun on Monday, you'd better get a good night's sleep on Sunday.

Based on Google Maps, the closest community to McKeesport that will see the sun fully blocked by the moon appears to be Niota, Tenn., just off Interstate 75 between Chattanooga and Knoxville. If you want to go, plan to hit the road by 5 a.m. Monday --- Niota is about 8 hours and 37 minutes away, and the maximum eclipse will hit the community of 723 people at approximately 2:32 p.m. Eastern daylight time.

(And if you are hitting the road, the Federal Highway Administration has a list of tips and travel warnings you should read first.)

In our area, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory, the eclipse will begin to become visible at 1:10 p.m. McKeesport time and reach its maximum --- about 81 percent from our perspective --- at 2:35 p.m. The eclipse will end about 3:55.

Locally, the Carnegie Library of McKeesport will have an eclipse party on the lawn of the main library, 1507 Library Ave., on Monday afternoon, with light refreshments served and glasses provided. For more information, call (412) 672-0625.

West Mifflin's recreation department will host an eclipse party at the borough's main park just off Bettis Road and eclipse glasses will be provided.

 
Read More
| News

Church Plans Flea Market Saturday

August 18, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church will host a flea market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 19) to benefit a local animal shelter and the church's activities.

A spokeswoman said tables may be purchased by vendors for $10. The table fee will benefit the church. In addition, refreshments will be available.

The church is located at 220 Eighth Ave. at Market Street, Downtown McKeesport.

 

'Lego Batman' Screening Cancelled

August 18, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

McKeesport officials have cancelled tonight's planned screening of "The Lego Batman Movie" at Renziehausen Park because of inclement weather.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Mike Cherepko said the screening, part of the city's "Movies in the Park" series, will be re-scheduled for sometime after the start of the school year.

 

Filmmaker: 'In My Heart, I've Never Left McKeesport'

August 17, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

(Submitted photo courtesy Heinz History Center)

Sam Zolten was at the beach in North Wildwood, N.J., last week when he spotted someone wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers hat. So he walked over to say hello.

"He turned out to be a teacher at McKeesport High School," Zolten says. "In my heart, I've never left McKeesport. I'm still an 18-year-old, going to the White Elephant on Saturday nights. It's the town that grew me and the town that I fondly reminisce about."

Thanks to his new documentary, many more McKeesporters --- including those, like Zolten, who moved away long ago --- will likely be reminiscing as well. "Missing McKeesport" has yet to be screened and is already creating enormous buzz among past and present Mon-Yough residents.

More than seven years in the making, the movie will have its world premiere at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh's Strip District.

"There's a lot of buzz in the community about it and it's a film I'm very proud of," Zolten says.

 
Read More
| News

International Village Coverage from Day 1

August 16, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

Warm weather and plenty of sunshine greeted visitors to McKeesport's 58th International Village, which opened its gates at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Renziehausen Park and wrapped up at 9 p.m. with fireworks. Carol Waterloo Frazier has recapped the day's events at her website, Mon Valley Happenings.

Master of ceremonies Mike "Mikey Dee" Dorich noted that entertainment on the main stage ran ahead of schedule, joking that it was "the first time in 58 years that happened."

The entertainment on Tuesday included performances by the William Penn Magyar Folk Dancers, local church group Women of Worship, Trafford Junior Tamburitzans, the Grecian Odessey Dancers, the St. Nicholas Junior Tamburitzans and belly dancer Sara Deroy.

Tonight's schedule will include the Alpine Duo, the ABC Dancers, the Rankin Junior Tamburitzans, clarinetist Melissa Ishtar Murphy and the Otets Paiisi Bulgarian dancers, beginning at 6 p.m. Johnny Koenig's polka band will perform in the Jakomas Blue-Top Pavilion beginning at 5 p.m.

Live video coverage of International Village is presented by Tube City Online each day, beginning at 5 p.m., with the support of Carriage Inn Restaurant and Catering; Creenan & Baczkowski, P.C.; Kane Regional Centers; the White Oak Rotary Club and Ziebart of McKeesport.

(We had some audio problems during parts of the broadcast, almost like another signal was interfering --- probably from a wi-fi router or something. We're going to try to work around the problem today.)

Day 1, Part 1:

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/106930512

Day 1, Part 2:

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/106934158

 

History Program on Saturday Will Explore U.S., Pa. Roles in WWI

August 16, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

In November 1916, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected President of the United States, in part on his promise to keep the United States out of the first World War.

Five months later, Wilson asked the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war against Germany.

Why did the United States switch its policy so quickly? And how did the Pittsburgh area mobilize both manpower and material to enter the conflict on the side of the Allies, led by the British and French?

A program on Saturday at McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center will explore those questions and how they resonate today. Retired Army Major Gen. John Stevens, a 1964 McKeesport High School graduate, will present "The United States Joins the Great War: The First Industrial War."

The event at 1 p.m. is free for members of the heritage center and $5 for non-members. For more information, call (412) 678-1832 or visit www.mckeesportheritage.org.

 
Read More

Sentencing Scheduled for State Representative Caught in Gambling Ring

August 16, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

State Rep. Marc Gergely will be sentenced Nov. 6 for his connections to a gambling ring that was broken up by investigators in 2012.

Gergely, 47, of White Oak, on Tuesday pleaded guilty before Allegheny County Judge Ed Borkowski to criminal conspiracy and violating state election laws by accepting cash contributions in excess of $100. Both charges are first-degree misdemeanors carrying penalties of not more than $10,000 in fines or five years' prison or probation.

Related charges of participating in a corrupt organization, conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, dealing in proceeds of illegal activity and criminal attempt to operate illegal gambling devices were withdrawn by prosecutors.

Gergely represents the 35th Legislative District, which includes Clairton, Duquesne, Lincoln, McKeesport, Munhall, South Versailles Twp., Versailles, Whitaker, White Oak and part of West Mifflin. He was first elected to the seat in 2002 and was re-elected last year after defeating McKeesport City Councilwoman Fawn Walker-Montgomery, who was running as a Republican.

 
Read More
| News

PennDOT, FHWA to Discuss Jerome Bridge Work at Meeting Wednesday

August 15, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

(Photo by Lee Paxton via Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.)

The city's iconic Jerome Street Bridge is getting a makeover, and the public is invited to learn more at a public meeting on Wednesday.

The Federal Highway Administration and representatives of District 11 of the state Department of Transportation will hold an open house and public meeting from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the McKees Point Marina, corner of Fifth Avenue and Water Street, Downtown.

A district spokesperson for PennDOT said members of the team working on the project will be on hand to provide project details, information about traffic restrictions and detours, and answer questions and gather feedback.

 
Read More

Jewelry, Purse Donations Needed for Library Sale

August 11, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Photo by Mia3Mom at Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Donations of gently used jewelry, purses, scarves and other accessories are now being accepted by Carnegie Library of McKeesport as it prepares for a sale in September.

A spokeswoman says that proceeds of the sale, part of the "Love Your Library" campaign, will be matched by the Buncher Foundation throughout September.

Items may be donated at the circulation desk in the main library, 1507 Library Ave., McKeesport. For more information, call (412) 672-0625 or visit www.mckeesportlibrary.org.

In other upcoming programs announced by the Carnegie Library of McKeesport:

  • An adult crafting session will be held on the library grounds at 10 a.m. Aug. 23. Participants will paint and decorate rocks. The event is free but participants should register in advance at (412) 672-0625.

 
Read More

Crafts From Around the World Represented at Village

August 11, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

Crafts representing South America, Europe and Native Americans will be on sale when McKeesport's 58th International Village opens Tuesday.

The lineup of vendors in the global marketplace will include Eveleen Coope with Irish and Celtic crafts, Herminia Lees with Peruvian crafts, Angie Lipchick with assorted ethnic items, Preston Maruska with soy candles, Chris Miller and Laraine Kuchma with Austrian crystals, Richard Maldonado with Native American crafts and pan flutes, Ilona Ralston with Polish glass painting and face painting, Joe Rodkey with cutting boards and Hugo Maldonado with Ecuadorian and Inca crafts.

A spokeswoman says a popular kids' area featuring inflatables and other amusements also makes a return appearance when the village gates open at 3 p.m. Tuesday for the start of the three-day ethnic food and music festival in Renziehausen Park. Admission remains $2 and entertainment ends at 9 p.m. nightly.

Fireworks, sponsored by the McKeesport Lions Club and funded through sales of Turner Dairy iced tea, are scheduled for Tuesday night, weather permitting.

 
Read More

Local Students Benefit From PNC, Salvation Army Backpack Program

August 08, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

More than 800 children throughout Western Pennsylvania, including 30 from the Mon-Yough area, will receive backpacks full of school supplies this month through the efforts of PNC Bank and the Salvation Army.
    
On Thursday, PNC Bank employees will distribute the backpacks to 113 of those students, including 10 each from McKeesport, Braddock and Homestead during an event at the Salvation Army’s Homewood Worship and Service Center on Frankstown Road in Pittsburgh, a spokeswoman said.

Other students at Thursday’s event from Pittsburgh’s Homewood, West End and North Side areas and from the South Hills also will receive backpacks with school supplies, according to the Salvation Army.

This is the second year that PNC has supported the Salvation Army’s back-to-school backpack program. The backpacks, containing a variety of necessary items, are being distributed by the Salvation Army for needy pupils in kindergarten through eighth grade.

 
Read More

Truck Driver Injured in Highland Grove Wreck

August 08, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Police News

A truck driver was injured Tuesday morning when the trailer-load of stainless steel scrap he was hauling flipped over on Bowman Avenue in the city's Highland Grove neighborhood.

McKeesport police said the driver was taken to a local hospital by McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service. His name and condition were not immediately available and the cause of the accident remains under investigation, police said.

Police said the accident was reported at 8:12 a.m. when the southbound rig, bound for ELG Metals in Port Vue, overturned between Highland Avenue and Fairmont Street.

 
Read More

See a Sleazy Ad Here? Please Tell Us

August 08, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

Readers: Most of the ads you see on this website are served to us by Google. We don't have a lot of control, although I do block some types of advertisers from running.

This morning, I noticed a number of ads --- like this one --- that seemed a little sleazy:

I clicked on them, and sure enough, they were both scam artists. One of them was selling a diet pill that's not approved by the FDA, and the other was trying to install viruses on people's computers. I reported them to Google and tried to block the ads from appearing again on any of our websites.

If you see an ad that seems sleazy, please alert me as soon as possible at tubecitytiger@gmail.com. We can't catch all of them, but I do try. And thanks for reading Tube City Online.

 

Mayor's Committee Honors Four for Living City's Message

August 08, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Above: Keith Murphy was one of four people honored at Monday night's special city council meeting for living the "McKeesport Message." Tube City Almanac photo: Jason Togyer)


Four city residents were presented with proclamations on Monday night for living the "McKeesport Message" of Respect, Dignity, Hope and Love.

McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko made the presentations before a special meeting of city council.

The recipients were nominated by the McKeesport Message Committee, a subgroup of the mayor's Select Committee on Crime and Violence.

Honored were Regis Mellinger for the value of "Respect," Keenon Mikell for "Dignity," Keith Murphy for "Hope" and Dee Connor for "Love." Biographies of the awardees are below.

 
Read More

County Workers Placing Rabies Vaccine in Region

August 07, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Photo by user "yeimaya" via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

For the 16th consecutive year, workers from the Allegheny County Health Department are placing rabies vaccine baits in an attempt to curb the spread of the disease.

Now through Aug. 11, more than 300,000 of the baits are being distributed across the county by health department employees on foot and in vehicles, said Melissa Wade, health department spokeswoman.

The baits are specifically designed to be eaten by raccoons and inoculate them with the rabies vaccine, Wade said. Residents should confine their pets to their property or keep them on leashes, she said. Although the rabies baits are not harmful to dogs and cats, county officials want them to be eaten by raccoons --- not pets.

The department is also asking the public to make a special effort to bring any food indoors that raccoons might eat, and to make sure that garbage containers kept outdoors have secure lids.

 
Read More

Community Media Board Elects Directors, Officers

August 07, 2017 |

By Advertising | Posted in: Announcements

Tube City Community Media Inc. has elected its board of directors and officers for 2017-18.

The non-profit corporation held its annual meeting on Sunday at White Oak Park. Tube City Community Media owns and operates the websites Tube City Online, Tube City Almanac and McKeesport and Mon-Yough Obituaries, as well as Internet radio station WMCK.FM.

It also produces a weekly 30-minute podcast, "Two Rivers, 30 Minutes," available from iTunes and other services, and which is heard Sunday morning on WEDO (810) in McKeesport and WZUM (1550) radio in Braddock.

Members of the board of directors for 2017-18 are Alycia Bencloski, Andi Cartwright, Doug Goffus, Bob Janis, Dan Malesky, Mike Mauer, Judy Rosenfeld, Tom Schroll Jr., Jennifer Sopko, Chris Stillwell and Jason Togyer.

Goffus was elected chair of the board, Sopko was elected secretary and Bencloski was elected treasurer, said Togyer, who also serves as executive director.

 

Nominations Extended for Annual 'Women of Achievement' Award

August 07, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Nominations are still being accepted for the annual "Women of Achievement" Awards, presented by the Mon River Fleet.

A spokesperson said that the deadline for the awards has been extended until Aug. 11.

The annual Mon River Fleet Women of Achievement Awards Dinner recognizes and honors Women of Excellence in their field for outstanding contributions that have impacted the Mon Valley region through their integrity and compassion for all, the spokesperson said.

All proceeds benefit the State Health Improvement Plan, or "SHIP," initiatives in Braddock, Clairton, Duquesne, McKeesport and surrounding communities within the Mon Valley.

The fleet partners with more than 300 member agencies located in the Mon Valley to offer programs and services that concentrate on the well-being and needs of residents.

Nominations should be sent to Eliana Latterman, director of development, McKeesport Hospital Foundation, 1500 Fifth Ave., McKeesport 15132, or emailed to lattermaner2@upmc.edu.

 
Read More

Police Log: Aug. 2, 2017

August 02, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | 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

County Program Urges Residents to 'Get the Lead Out'

August 02, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Mon-Yough area residents --- especially those who care for small children and who live in homes or apartments built before 1978 --- are being encouraged to get their homes inspected for lead paint hazards under a free program being offered by ACTION-Housing.

Lu Ethel Nesbit, who administers ACTION's McKeesport Weatherization office, said the Lead-Safe Homes program will help up to 175 families in Allegheny County identify and cope with lead paint hazards in their homes.

For more information, call (412) 227-5700; visit the program website; or email alleghenylead@actionhousing.org. This program is only dealing with lead paint, not with lead-based plumbing fixtures, according to ACTION-Housing.

Lead was commonly used as a pigment in residential paints. Although lead paint has been banned for residential use since 1978, more than 90 percent of the houses in McKeesport were built before that ban took effect, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

 
Read More

City Police Seek Shooter in Washington Street Incident

August 02, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Police News

McKeesport police are seeking the person or persons who shot two young men Tuesday night in the 1100 block of Washington Street.

The shooting happened not far from where residents were marking "National Night Out," a yearly event designed to improve cooperation between police and the community.

Police said in a prepared statement that officers were called at 7:30 p.m. for a report of "several shots fired" and two victims, ages 17 and 20, were found wounded. Neither is suffering life-threatening injuries.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (412) 675-5015.

 

Click for McKeesport, Pennsylvania Forecast