Four Hurt as Fire Guts Grandview Home

November 30, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Editor's Note: This story will be updated with additional details, when available. Corrected at 5 p.m. Updated, 11 p.m. with comments from the Allegheny County Fire Marshal's Office.


Four people, including a McKeesport police officer, were hurt Thursday morning when fire swept through a house in the 2700 block of Grandview Avenue.

None of the injuries are believed to be serious, said McKeesport fire Chief Jeff Tomovcsik, but the house is "likely a total loss." The family that lives there --- two adults and two children --- is presently homeless, according to rescue workers.

Allegheny County Chief Fire Marshal Matt Brown said the cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Neighbors called 9-1-1 at 6:46 a.m. to report the blaze in a two-story wood frame house at the corner of Grandview and York streets.

 
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#TBT: Daily News Building, Circa 1953

November 30, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History

With the Daily News Building making some news of its own this month, we thought we'd reach into the Tube City Online archives to show you what the building originally looked like.

As constructed in the 1930s, the Daily News building was about half of its present size. Visible in this photo is the original three-story portion of the building constructed at the corner of Lysle Boulevard (originally called Jerome Avenue) and Walnut Street.

Based on the cars, this photo was probably taken about 1953 or 1954.

 
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Veteran's Exhibit at Heritage Center is a Community Effort

November 29, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

It's a permanent exhibit that's constantly changing.

"To Honor Those Who Served," unveiled this month at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center, is a video tribute to veterans from throughout the Mon-Yough area that also includes stories and thank-you messages from local schoolchildren.

More than 70 veterans' names and photos are currently featured, says Robyn Tedesco, executive director of the museum and historical society located in Renziehausen Park, and she's hopeful that new ones will be added every month. Already, another 20 are ready to be included in the next update, she says.

 
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City Takes Ownership of Former Daily News Building

November 28, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

The plywood is coming off of the windows as soon as possible, McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko promises.

After that, city officials will begin the job of cleaning up the former headquarters of the McKeesport Daily News and readying it for tenants. "Then we start lining up what we want to do," Cherepko said Tuesday. "We don't want to close any windows of opportunity."

Ownership of the building was transferred Tuesday from the parent company of the Tribune-Review to the city's Redevelopment Authority. The possible sale of the building by Trib Total Media to the city was first reported Nov. 1.

The building was donated, said state Sen. Jim Brewster, who has been negotiating with the Tribune-Review for months.

"I think it's wonderful on their part," Brewster said Tuesday night. "We're excited, and very thankful to Trib Total Media and (the company's CEO) Jennifer Bertetto for giving this back to the city."

A formal ribbon-cutting has not yet been scheduled.

 
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One Teen Dead, Another Wounded in Turtle Creek Shooting

November 28, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A 16-year-old from Turtle Creek died Monday night following a shooting in that borough, Allegheny County police said, and a 13-year-old was wounded.

Homicide detectives said the motive for the shooting is "not exceptionally clear" and did not release the identity of any suspect or suspects.

County police said the shooting happened just before 11 p.m. in the 400 block of George Street. When Turtle Creek police arrived, they found the first victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

 
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Foul Play Not Suspected in Liberty Man's Death

November 27, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Liberty Borough man was found dead under the Mansfield Bridge in Dravosburg on Sunday night, the Allegheny County medical examiner's office reports.

James P. McFadden, 21, was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:49 p.m., the office said in a statement.

Foul play is not suspected in McFadden's death, but the Allegheny County police are investigating, a spokeswoman said.

 

Pleasant Hills Resident Wins Charity's T-Shirt Contest

November 27, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A Pleasant Hills resident won a T-shirt design contest sponsored by a Clairton-based charity.

Kirsten Scott's entry was judged the best by voters in an online Google poll run by The Crew Missions, said Judi Robbins, founder and president of the group.

Scott received a $25 gift card and a framed copy of her design in the contest, run earlier this month.

 
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Health Insurance Sign-Up Help Available Dec. 4

November 27, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Mon Valley Initiative and YWCA Greater Pittsburgh will hold a health insurance enrollment event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 4 at MVI's offices, 305 E. Eighth Ave., Homestead.

A spokesman said healthcare "navigators" from YWCA will provide free, one-on-one assistance to help with enrollment. Navigators can also provide advice about the Medicaid and CHIP programs.

Enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act ends Dec. 15, an earlier deadline than in previous years. In addition, the federal government has been closing the healthcare.gov website on Sundays during the enrollment period in what critics of the Trump administration are calling an attempt to discourage people from purchasing health insurance on the federal marketplace.

 
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Two Holiday Concerts Scheduled By Mon Yough Chorale

November 27, 2017 |

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

The Mon Yough Chorale will bring Christmas music to the area with two concerts in December.

A spokeswoman said the chorale will perform with the East Winds Symphonic Band at St. Angela Merici Church, 1698 Fawcett Ave., White Oak at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 10. A cookie reception will follow. Admission is free.

On Dec. 17, the chorale will perform again with an afternoon of song at Sampson's Mills Presbyterian Church, 1665 Lincoln Way, White Oak. Tickets are $7 and will be sold at the door. A cookie reception will follow.

 
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Local Men Held on Drug Charges After Motel Bust

November 26, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Two area men face drug charges after being arrested Wednesday morning at a motel in Plum.

Jamar Mosby, 44, of McKeesport, and Terrance Banks, 49, of East Pittsburgh, are charged by the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of controlled substances and possession with intent to deliver.

Mosby also is charged in connection with a rape in East Pittsburgh, court records indicate.

Mosby is currently being held in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bond, while Banks is jailed in lieu of $5,000. They face a hearing on the drug charges Dec. 6 before Magisterial District Judge Linda Zucco in Plum.

 
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Duquesne Woman Faces Federal Prison in Drug Case

November 26, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News, Duquesne News

A Duquesne woman has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for her role in a heroin trafficking ring.

Brianna Timber, 23, was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer, said a spokeswoman for acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song.

Federal prosecutors said that Timber was recorded on federal Drug Enforcement Agency wiretaps conspiring with others to distribute heroin and launder the proceeds.

 
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We Ask a Pastor: What Do We Have to Be Thankful For?

November 26, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

Above: The Revs. Chandler Wolf, Michele Nagle and William Meekins Jr. were named in July to lead the McKeesport Charge Shared Ministry of the United Methodist Church. (Courtesy Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church)


The McKeesport Charge Shared Ministry is a newly created effort by six local United Methodist churches --- Beulah Park, Calvary, Christy Park, First, Kephart and Wesley --- to share resources and ideas.

Rev. William B. Meekins Jr., based at First United Methodist near Carnegie Library, is lead pastor of the McKeesport Charge, which was created in July. Meekins also has primary responsibility for Beulah Park church.

His fellow pastors in the McKeesport Charge include the Rev. Michele A. Nagle, who is primarily at Christy Park and Wesley, and the Rev. Chandler Wolf, primarily at Kephart and Calvary.

Meekins served for eight years as superintendent of the Greensburg District of the United Methodists' Western Pennsylvania Conference. The son of a Methodist pastor, Meekins is a McKeesport native who served for eight years as pastor of Garden City United Methodist Church in Monroeville.

He previously served as a full-time chaplain in the Veterans Administration health care system for nearly 10 years, as well as at churches on Pittsburgh's North Side.

Meekins was our guest this week on our weekly podcast, "Two Rivers, 30 Minutes," to talk about the McKeesport Charge Shared Ministry. We also asked him: What do we have to be thankful for on Thanksgiving weekend, when times often seem difficult?

"Two Rivers, 30 Minutes" airs at 8 a.m. Sundays on WEDO (810) and WZUM (1550), and is available as a free podcast from various podcast directories, including Stitcher and iTunes. You can also download it from our website.

 

White Oak Legion Slates Oldies Dance Dec. 9

November 26, 2017 |

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

Gen. Smedley D. Butler American Legion Post 701, 2813 Capitol St., White Oak, will hold an oldies dance at 7 p.m. Dec. 9, a spokesman said.
 
DJs Candy and Mike will provide music from the 1950s and early 1960s. Admission is $5. For more information, call (724) 984-6611.
 

Mayor Recognizes White Oak Secretary on Retirement

November 26, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: White Oak News

Nancy Greenland will retire as White Oak's secretary and open records officer after 46 years of service to the borough.

At this month's council meeting, Mayor Ina Jean Marton recognized Greenland for her dedication to the residents of White Oak Borough. Greenland will retire at the end of the month.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with the elected officials, both past and present, and I hope that in the future everyone continues to work together to keep White Oak a great community and keeps us growing,” Greenland said.
 
In other business, Councilman David Pasternak reported that a committee of council members are working on rental and usage agreements and fees for the White Oak Community Center, which is expected to open soon.

 
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Seats Available for State Capital Holiday Tour With Kortz

November 22, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Seats are still available for the annual Harrisburg holiday bus tour sponsored by state Rep. Bill Kortz.

A spokeswoman said the tour, which includes the Governor's Mansion and the State Capitol Building, leaves at 6:45 a.m. Dec. 4 from the parking lot of the former Macy's (Kaufmann's) at Century III Mall and is designed to give local constituents a chance to see the Christmas decorations.

The cost of the trip is $35 and all seats are first come, first served. Seats are not secured until payment is made.

Lunch is included in the price of the ticket.

For more information, call Sherry Butler at (412) 466-1940.

 
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Mobile Food Pantry Posts Schedule Changes

November 22, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The mobile food pantries at Beulah Park United Methodist Church and Christy Park United Methodist Church will shift their schedules for December, January and February, a spokeswoman said.

Beginning in December, the mobile food pantries will only visit on the third Thursday of each month, Dec. 21, Jan. 18 and Feb. 15.

In March 2018, the food pantries will resume visits on the first and third Thursdays of the month, beginning March 1.

Times will remain the same for all months, the spokeswoman added --- 11:30 a.m. to  12:30 p.m. at Beulah Park and 1 to 2 p.m. at Christy Park.

 

White Oak Residents Reminded to Keep Sidewalks Clear

November 22, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: White Oak News

As cold weather returns to Western Pennsylvania, White Oak officials are reminding residents of their responsibility to keep any public sidewalks adjoining their property clear of snow and ice.
 
At Monday's council meeting, borough solicitor Krisha DiMascio said a letter about snow removal will be sent to residents and property owners soon.

Many sections of Lincoln Way didn't have sidewalks until the road was widened and reconstructed by the state Department of Transportation.

Under borough ordinance and an agreement with PennDOT, White Oak owns the sidewalks, but owners of adjoining properties need to remove snow and ice from them, DiMascio said.

 
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Police Log: Nov. 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | 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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North Versailles Twp. Man Found Dead in Wilkins Twp.

November 21, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A North Versailles Twp. man was found shot to death Monday in a wooded area just off business Route 22 in Wilkins Twp., Allegheny County police said.

The victim has been identified as Shawn M. Havaran, 44, the Allegheny County medical examiner's office said. He was pronounced dead at the scene off of Lougeay Road, near the Wilkins border with Penn Hills.

An autopsy is pending, officials said.

In a prepared statement, county homicide detectives said Wilkins police and Woodland Hills EMS paramedics were called at 2:10 p.m. Monday when a passing motorist reported a man was unresponsive and lying in a creek.

Police said Havaran had multiple gunshot wounds. Police have no information about posssible suspects or motives in Havaran's death.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Allegheny County Police Tipline at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477). Callers may remain anonymous.

 

Mon River Lions Host 'Frozen'-Themed Pancake Breakfast

November 21, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Kids of all ages are invited to a pancake breakfast themed around the Disney movie "Frozen."

The Mon River Fleet Lions Club will hold its "Frozen" Winter Wonderland breakfast from 9 a.m. to 12 noon Dec. 2 at Jacob Woll Pavilion in Renziehausen Park, a spokesman said.

Entertainment begins promptly at 10 a.m. with an hour-long show featuring the Ice Queen, Ice Princess and their snowman friend Olaf.

The breakfast will include pancakes (including siliver-dollar pancakes for small children) and sausages, beverages and a topping bar. Waffles also will be available for adults, the spokesman said.

Children also will be invited to make Christmas crafts.

Tickets are $3 for children age 3 and under, $4 for children ages 4 to 10, and $8 for adults and children 11 and up. For more information, call (412) 398-1256.

 
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Ministerium Offers Prayers for City During Thanksgiving Service

November 21, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Clergy and residents gather in a prayer circle Sunday afternoon during the McKeesport Area Ministerium's annual Thanksgiving prayer service.

The Rev. William B. Meekins Jr. of the United Methodist Church's McKeesport Charge Shared Ministry gave the message, "Giving Thanks," during the service at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Downtown.

Mimi Bandola Langer and Cheryl Myers Cotter were honored with the ministerium's Community Servant Awards for sharing local news stories on their Facebook pages, McKeesport and Neighboring Communities Newswatch and All Things McKeesport.

 
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Tigers Look to 2018-19 Following 8-3 Football Season

November 20, 2017 |

By Josh Rizzo | Posted in: Sports

When the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association released enrollment numbers last week, McKeesport Area School District was on the list to bump down in classifications from 5A to 4A.

The Tigers were listed as having 335 boys enrolled, down from 439 two years ago.

McKeesport Athletic Director Charley Kiss said via email the district hasn't yet made a decision if the Tigers’ football program will accept a move to Class 4A for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.

Tigers second-year coach Matt Miller wouldn’t mind staying put.

“We’ve always played Woodland Hills and Penn Hills and Gateway,” Miller said. “It’s hard to give that up. You have those built-in rivalries and healthy competition. I foresee us probably sticking in 5A. It hasn’t been finalized yet, but it’s hard to give up those rivalries. The kids get fired up for those games. I think the rivalries will make it hard to move to a lower division.”

 
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Campus' 'Free Store' Offers Helping Hand --- No Price Tag Attached

November 19, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News, White Oak News

(Brooke Doerfler photo courtesy Penn State Greater Allegheny)


A new store opened on the McKeesport-White Oak border last week and attracted nearly 40 customers on its first day. And yet it didn't bring in a dime in sales.

Of course, it wasn't supposed to.

The new "Free Store" on the campus of Penn State Greater Allegheny is an outgrowth of the five-year-old Free Store 15104 in Braddock, which takes surplus and donated items and redistributes them to people in need. In 2015, a similar "Free Store" opened in Wilkinsburg.

The Greater Allegheny store, located at the rear of the Frable Building, is totally student-run and is the first on a college campus, says Erin O'Malley, interim director of student affairs.

O'Malley is from North Braddock and is involved with Braddock's Partnership for a Better Community, so she's seen that borough's Free Store up-close and personal.

Shortly after new Chancellor Jacqueline Edmondson arrived in McKeesport, O'Malley introduced her to Giselle Fetterman, founder of the Free Store 15104.

 
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Liberty Boro Man Killed in Route 51 Bus Crash

November 17, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Liberty Borough man died after the truck he was driving collided Thursday with a Port Authority bus on Route 51 in Jefferson Hills.

The Allegheny County medical examiner's office said Timothy J. Minkus, 57, died at Jefferson Regional Medical Center of injuries sustained in the crash. His death has been ruled an accident.

Port Authority Transit police are investigating. Witnesses told police that Minkus' truck appeared to be traveling north in the southbound lanes of Route 51 when it collided head-on with the bus just before 4 p.m.

The bus was empty at the time, except for the driver, police said. No further details were available.

 

Friends Salute Dedication of 91-Year-Old Meals Volunteer

November 17, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News, White Oak News

Helen Stratigos, treasurer for McKeesport Meals-on-Wheels, talks with longtime volunteer Lou Zell before a tribute luncheon on Friday as fellow volunteer Chuck Jarrell looks on. (Photo special to Tube City Almanac)


For 34 years, neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor gloom of night stayed Lou Zell from his appointed rounds as a letter carrier in McKeesport and White Oak.

And when he retired in 1983, he just kept on delivering --- "Meals-on-Wheels" to elderly residents of McKeesport, White Oak, Port Vue and the surrounding area, every day, five days a week, for another 33 years.

On Friday, White Oak Mayor Ina Jean Marton and Zell's fellow Meals-on-Wheels volunteers saluted his dedication during a luncheon at the Point Pleasant Retirement Community in North Versailles Twp.

"We do meals on wheels so people like you don't have to live here!" Zell, now 91, joked with residents, before sheepishly apologizing to the retirement community's staff, standing nearby.

 
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Parade Lineup Announced for City's Salute to Santa

November 17, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Tube City Almanac file photo by John Barna)

More than 60 parade units are scheduled to participate on Saturday morning when McKeesport's 53rd annual Salute to Santa gets underway on Fifth Avenue, Downtown.

Events begin at 11 a.m. at the McKees Point Marina and the parade proceeds up Fifth Avenue to McKeesport City Hall, 500 Fifth Ave. at Ringgold Street. The reviewing stand will be located near the intersection of Fifth and Walnut.

Last year's princess and queen, Caleah Wright and Dalana Gebis, will escort this year's princess candidates,  Mackenzie MacDonald of White Oak Athletic Association and Cassie Ward of Mary of Nazareth Catholic School, and queen candidates, Cassie Ward, Grace Shelly, Madeline Hawkins and Cheyenne Burns, all of McKeesport Area High School.

  • The parade will be broadcast over the Internet on Tube City Almanac's Internet radio station, WMCK.FM, beginning at 11 a.m.
  • Weather permitting, a live video stream also will be provided on the Tube City Online Facebook page.

The lineup also will include fire units from Clairton, Dravosburg, East McKeesport, Liberty, North Versailles Twp. and Port Vue, as well as McKeesport, as well as the McKeesport Area High School and Serra Catholic High School bands.

Following the parade, Santa Claus will meet and greet children during a luncheon at the Palisades, corner of Fifth Avenue and Water Street.

 
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Residents Urged to Pitch In During America Recycles Day

November 15, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Above: Seasonal public works employees Myselo King, left, and Austin Fagan and load recycle bins for delivery to McKeesport residents. Bins are available in 95-gallon and 32-gallon sizes by contacting the City of McKeesport’s Public Works Department at 412-675-5020, ext. 631. (Submitted photo by Jennifer Vertullo, City of McKeesport.)


On "America Recycles Day," McKeesport officials are asking residents to do their part and boost the city’s recycling program.

With the help of a $216,934 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the city has purchased more than 4,000 new recycling bins, as well as a leaf collection machine. The city matched about 10 percent of the program's cost.

Every item recycled reduces the amount of trash hauled to a landfill, which is environmentally responsible and also reduces the city's trash-collection costs, Mayor Mike Cherepko said.

“This is a great opportunity to teach McKeesport residents about the value of recycling from both budgetary and environmental perspectives,” Cherepko said.

For several years, McKeesport has offered single stream recycling, which allows paper, cardboard, most kinds of plastics (numbers 1 through 7), glass bottles, and aluminum and bi-metal cans to be mixed into the same recycling bin or bag.

But the last bins purchased by the city were smaller, meaning residents had to purchase their own larger bins or use bags.

 
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Duquesne City Manager 'Will Be Missed,' Officials Say

November 15, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne City Manager Frank Piccolino announced his resignation at last week’s city council meeting.

“Thirteen and a half years ago, the city of Duquesne took a chance on a young man to guide operations for the next few years and I thoroughly embraced the opportunity,” Piccolino said. “After many years of growth and accomplishments, my time as city manager has come to an end.”

Piccolino thanked his family, staff, past and present council members, city employees, Mayor Philip Krivacek and others for their care and support over the years.

“The employees of the city of Duquesne are top of the line and I appreciate their efforts,” said Piccolino, who has taken a new job as municipal manager in Robinson Twp.

 
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Christmas Season Kicks Off Saturday in Mon-Yough Area

November 14, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Announcements, Duquesne News, White Oak News

The countdown to Christmas has begun and Mon Valley communities --- including McKeesport, White Oak and Duquesne --- are getting ready.

Events begin Saturday (Nov. 18) with McKeesport's 53rd annual Salute to Santa Parade and White Oak's Season of Lights Celebration.

  • Editor's Note: Weather permitting, our Internet radio station, WMCK.FM, will broadcast the Salute to Santa Parade beginning at 11 a.m.

Thousands of spectators are expected to line Fifth Avenue to collect candy while watching local bands, emergency vehicles, businesses, nonprofit organizations and student groups parade up the street from McKees Point Marina to City Hall.

Lineup for parade units begins at 10 a.m. at the Palisades, Fifth Avenue at Water Street, with the parade kicking off promptly at 11 a.m.

 
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'Multiple' Pollution Violations at Braddock's E.T., Say Health Dept., EPA

November 14, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

(Photo: "Edgar Thomson looms" by Dan Buczynski via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.)


U.S. Steel is in violation of what health department officials called "multiple" air quality regulations at its Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock and North Braddock, an Allegheny County official said Tuesday.

The violations stretch back to February 2016 and continued into 2017, said Dr. Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department.

"These violations must stop," Hacker said in a prepared statement. "U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson Plant must come into compliance to improve the air quality for the health of all county residents. The health of our county is paramount."

The department, in a joint effort with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, has served the company with a Notice of Violation, she said.

 
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| News

Versailles Fire Chief Removed After Marina Incident

November 13, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Versailles Volunteer Fire Co. has removed the department's chief after McKeesport police charged him with open lewdness and corrupting the morals of minors.

According to an Allegheny County court docket, Aaron "Buster" Powell, 46, was arrested by McKeesport police on Sunday night at McKees Point Marina with an underage girl.

McKeesport police were not immediately available for comment Monday afternoon.

The arrest was first reported by WTAE-TV (4) in Pittsburgh on their 12 p.m. news Monday. WTAE reported that Powell was found by McKeesport police engaged in sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl.

 
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Lovedale Road Delays Likely in Lincoln, Elizabeth Twp.

November 13, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Traffic delays are likely this week as crews from Golden Triangle Construction replace waterlines on Lovedale Road in Lincoln Borough and Elizabeth Twp., a spokesperson has announced.

Single-lane alternating traffic will occur on Lovedale Road weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. between McKeesport Road and Mill Hill Road, said a district spokesperson for the state Department of Transportation. The restrictions are likely through Dec. 15, weather permitting.

Motorists should use caution when driving through the area, the PennDOT spokesperson said.

 

County Police Seek Leads in Sunday Morning Shooting

November 12, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A 22-year-old man is in critical condition at a Pittsburgh hospital after a shooting Sunday morning in the Third Ward.

Allegheny County police Lt. Andrew Schurman said in a prepared statement that McKeesport police and paramedics responded to the 1100 block of Walnut Street at 2:45 a.m. after 9-1-1 callers reported a shooting.

There, they found the victim, whose name has not been released, suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Allegheny County police homicide detectives are investigating, Schurman said.

Anyone who heard or saw any of the events leading up to the shooting is asked to call the Allegheny County Police tip line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477). Schurman said callers can remain anonymous.

 

Duquesne Seeks New Tax Agency, Reports Demolition Progress

November 12, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne officials will seek a new collector for delinquent taxes as Mayor Phil Krivacek said the city and the existing agency were finding it difficult to work together.

At last week's meeting, city council voted 4-0 to terminate an agreement with Keystone Collections Group. Krivacek recommended that council find a new agency to perform the service.

In other business: Duquesne resident Steve Vasy was hired into the public works department on a 4-0 vote. Councilman John Gyure said there are presently two vacant positions after one public works employee retired and another is out on workers compensation with an injury.

Two vacant properties were secured and four street signs in the city were replaced by the Street Department, Gyure reported.

 
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Veterans Day Events Planned in City

November 10, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Two services will be held in the city on Saturday in honor of Veterans Day, spokespersons said.

At 11 a.m., veterans groups will gather at Memorial Park on Lysle Boulevard at Market Street for a ceremony recognizing local residents who served in the armed forces.

At 12 noon, the LaRosa Boys and Girls Club, 901 Ravine St., will hold its 51st annual Veterans Day Program.

Master of Ceremonies will be Walt Yager, assisted by City Administrator Tom Maglicco and Councilman Jim Barry.

 
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Three People Charged in Convenience Store Robberies

November 10, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

From left: Damon Gergely, Lindsay Vasko and Bennie Carter. (Photos courtesy McKeesport and West Mifflin police.)


Three people face charges in connection with convenience store robberies in Dravosburg and West Mifflin.

And police say at least seven similar holdups in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties are being investigated.

"We anticipate additional robbery charges will be filed," West Mifflin police Chief Kenneth Davies said in a prepared statement.

Damon M. Gergely, 24, of North Huntingdon Twp. is charged by McKeesport police with robbery, theft by unlawful taking, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy in connection with the Oct. 22 holdup at the Spee-D Mart on Richland Avenue, police said.

In a prepared statement, McKeesport police said Lindsay S. Vasko, 25, of Duquesne also faces charges of criminal conspiracy in connection with the Dravosburg robbery.

 
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No Tax Increase Planned in '18 for Duquesne Residents

November 10, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

There will be no property or wage tax increases in 2018 for Duquesne residents.

At Wednesday's city council meeting, City Manager Frank Piccolino said the Act 47 oversight board will review the city's proposed budget and make any final recommendations.

Council is scheduled to adopt the budget Dec. 13.

City Solicitor Patricia McGrail asked council for a motion to advertise the 2018 earned income tax rate of 1.15 percent for residents and 1.3 percent for non-residents. Council approved the motion 4-0.

The city will borrow $450,000 on a tax-anticipation note from First Commonwealth Bank. City Manager Frank Piccolino said First Commonwealth's bid was the only one received. Council approved the bid by 4-0 vote.

The rate on the tax anticipation note has increased slightly from last year, to 2.15 percent, Piccolino said.

 
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City's Carnegie Library Schedules November Events

November 09, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Lee Paxton photo via Wikimedia Commons. Used under GNU Free Documentation License.)

A discussion with a local author, a driving refresher course for senior citizens, craft parties and movies are on the schedule at the Carnegie Library of McKeesport, 1507 Library Ave., a spokeswoman has announced.

Local Author: Craig Stephan, author of "Riding On Empty," will discuss the process of writing and getting his book published at 7 p.m. Nov. 14. The book, released in 2010, is Stephan's chronicle of a cross-country motorcycle trip he took with his wife on their honeymoon, set against the story of his mother's fight against cancer. The event is free and open to the public, but is recommended for adults age 18 and up. Registration is recommended.

 
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Six Held in Drug Bust Involving Heroin, Tranquilizers

November 09, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Six suspected narcotics dealers have been charged with selling a substance that state Attorney General Josh Shapiro described as "literally a drug used to tranquilize elephants."

The case centers on an alleged drug ring, operated out of the Braddock and Homestead areas, that sold $750,000 in suspected narcotics in 2016 and 2017.

It resulted in the first known seizure in Allegheny County of carfentanil, said a spokesman for Shapiro's office.

“It is outrageous criminal conduct, we won’t allow it, and with strong law enforcement collaboration, we’ve shut down a drug ring that sold three-quarters of a million dollars of poison in towns across Allegheny County," Shapiro said Thursday in a prepared statement.

Carfentanil is marketed under the trade name "Wildnil" and is intended as a tranquilizer for large animals, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The drug is about 10,000 times more potent than morphine, the FDA has said.

 
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Ministerium Slates Annual Thanksgiving Celebration Nov. 19

November 08, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The Rev. William B. Meekins Jr. will deliver the keynote message on Nov. 19 when the McKeesport Area Ministerium holds its annual community Thanksgiving service.

The service will be held at 4 p.m. at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 220 Eighth Ave. at Walnut Street, Downtown.

The ministerium is an interfaith group of clergy from McKeesport-area churches and religious organizations.

 
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Boil-Water Order Lifted for Mon Valley, South Hills

November 08, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: News

About 100,000 people in the Mon Valley, South Hills and Washington County can drink up --- water, of course.

Pennsylvania-American Water Co. has lifted a boil-water advisory that affected customers in 55 municipalities, including Clairton, Dravosburg, Elizabeth, Elizabeth Twp., Forward Twp., Glassport, Jefferson Hills, Liberty, Lincoln and West Elizabeth, as well as Finleyville, Union Twp., Monongahela and New Eagle.

"Acceptable test results were obtained from samples collected on (Monday and Tuesday), and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has authorized lifting of the advisory," said Melissa Walters, a spokeswoman for the utility.

The boil-water advisory was issued Monday evening after PAWC technicians noticed that water samples had become "turbid," or cloudy. Water company officials said that turbidity in water can allow dangerous bacteria, viruses or other harmful organisms to flourish.

The cause of the problem has not yet been announced.

 
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Water Company Hopeful That Boil Order Can Be Lifted Soon

November 07, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Above: Clairton city officials have put a water buffalo with fresh drinking water at the municipal building. (Photo courtesy Mayor Rich Lattanzi, via Facebook.)


Officials at Pennsylvania-American Water Co. are hopeful that a boil-water advisory affecting 100,000 customers in the Mon Valley, South Hills and Washington County can be lifted within the next 24 hours.

Melissa Walters, a spokeswoman for the water company, said Tuesday afternoon that the turbidity --- cloudiness --- in the water that caused the advisory to be issued has been fixed.

"The actual issue was resolved last night, but after any boil advisory we are required by the (state Department of Environmental Protection) to have two clean water samples 24 hours apart," Walters said, "which means the earliest we can lift the advisory is tomorrow afternoon."

Some PAWC customers were urged Monday evening to either use bottled water for cooking, drinking and brushing their teeth, or to bring water to a boil, boil it for at least one minute, and then let it cool before using it.

Mon-Yough communities affected include Clairton, Dravosburg, Elizabeth, Elizabeth Twp., Forward Twp., Glassport, Jefferson Hills, Liberty, Lincoln and West Elizabeth, as well as Finleyville, Union Twp., Monongahela and New Eagle.

 
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Sentencing Rescheduled for Former State Rep Caught in Gambling Ring

November 07, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: News

Sentencing for a former state representative caught in an investigation of video poker and illegal gambling has been rescheduled.

Former state Rep. Marc Gergely was to be sentenced on Monday by Allegheny County Judge Ed Borkowski, but court officials said a continuance was granted, and sentencing is now scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 11.

Last week, Gergely resigned from his 35th Legislative District seat, effective Monday.

In August, Gergely, 48, a Democrat from White Oak, pleaded guilty 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.

 
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PAWC Customers Get Precautionary Boil Water Order

November 06, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Above: Areas in red are affected by Monday's boil-water advisory. (Source: Pennsylvania-American Water Co.)


About 100,000 customers of Pennsylvania-American Water Co. in the Mon Valley, South Hills and Washington County were told Monday evening to boil their water before drinking or cooking with it.

Melissa Walters, a spokeswoman for the water company, said that technicians had noticed during routine testing that the water was unusually "turbid" --- cloudy or hazy-looking --- and were concerned that harmful bacteria might be present.

Turbidity is a key measurement of water safety, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In a prepared release, Jefferson Hills police said Monday afternoon the cloudiness was related to "a serious (water) main break in Jefferson Hills late last week" causing a loss of water pressure in the system, but PAWC did not confirm that detail.

Jefferson Hills was one of the communities affected, along with Clairton, Dravosburg, Elizabeth, Elizabeth Twp., Forward Twp., Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln, and West Elizabeth, and much of Washington County.

South Allegheny School District has cancelled classes for Tuesday due to the water problem, a spokesperson said Monday night, though "12 month employees" should report for work as usual.

 
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Hearing Slated For Man Charged in Attempted Homicide

November 06, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

TW: Domestic violence


A McKeesport man is charged by city police with attempted homicide in connection with a violent domestic dispute.

Andre Taylor, 44, faces a preliminary hearing Nov. 20 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, unlawful restraint and simple assault.

Court officials said Taylor is being held in Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $7,000 cash bond.

McKeesport police said officers were dispatched to a home on Baldwin Avenue early on the morning of Sept. 26 when callers reported a domestic dispute in progress.

 
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Police Log: Nov. 6, 2017

November 06, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | 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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National Works Remembered: Bill Copper

November 03, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History

This year, the 30th anniversary of the closing of U.S. Steel's National Works, I'm continuing to look through items that we collected in 1997 at the McKeesport Daily News on the 10th anniversary --- but for, whatever reason, were never published.

William J. Copper was born in 1914 in McKeesport and was a third-generation National Tube employee --- both his grandfather and father came to McKeesport from West Bromwich, England, to work in the mill.

 
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Free Training for Dementia Caregivers Available Nov. 15

November 03, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Kane McKeesport will present a session on caring for people with dementia on Nov. 15, a spokeswoman said.

Presented by Kane McKeesport Family Council, the event will include a discussion led by Nancy Ehrman, chief nursing officer at Allegheny County's four Kane regional centers.

Ehrman will discuss the signs of "normal aging" versus "not-normal aging," symptoms of decline in sensory and processing systems, and physical techniques for helping dementia patients.

 
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Tamburitzan-Style Dance Classes Offered at Croatian Club

November 03, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A Croatian club in Westmoreland County is bringing Eastern European style dance lessons to young people ages 7 to 16.

A spokeswoman says the classes will be offered on six consecutive Wednesdays, beginning Nov. 8, at the Croatian Fraternal Union Lodge 432, 109 Union St., Yukon. Adults are welcome to participate, though instruction will be directed to the youth, says Caroline Kalich, recording secretary.

"The instruction is in dancing like a 'Tamburitzan,' also known as kolo or circle dancing, which has not been locally available until now," she says.

 
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Lions Slate Toys for Tots Drive at Palisades

November 03, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport Lions Club will hold a "Toys for Tots" Collection Drive from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 26, a spokeswoman said.

The drive will be at the McKee's Point Cafe, first floor of the Palisades Ballroom, corner Fifth Avenue and Water Street, Downtown.

The breakfast buffet will be open at a cost of $8. Anyone bringing a new, unwrapped toy for donation will receive free cookies.

All proceeds raised from the breakfast will benefit Toys for Tots, the spokeswoman said.

 

National Works Remembered: Ed Brush's Poem

November 02, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History

In 1997, while working at the McKeesport Daily News, I realized that it had been exactly 10 years since U.S. Steel's National Works had closed --- actually, I think I noticed an item under "This Day in History."

Business editor Sue Simkovic, photographer John Barna and I decided to do something we called "The National Works Project," and we asked readers to send us their memories of working in the mill.

For a variety of reasons, none of which I remember (probably lack of space), we didn't use everything we collected. One item I particularly regretted not using was a poem that came to us from a retiree named Ed Brush.

 
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State Regulators OK Sale of City's Sewerage Authority to PAWC

November 02, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

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


Details:

  • Pennsylvania-American to pay McKeesport $159 million for the assets of its sewer system
  • All existing McKeesport authority employees will be offered comparable jobs at PAWC
  • Rates will be frozen for one year
  • PAWC will begin $62.7 million worth of improvements to the McKeesport system
  • State will require PAWC to do "ongoing, targeted outreach" to low-income customers about utility bill assistance

The state Public Utility Commission has voted unanimously to approve the sale of McKeesport's sewerage system to Pennsylvania-American Water Company.

The transaction, valued at $159 million in PUC documents, will affect nearly 13,000 customers in McKeesport, Duquesne, Dravosburg, and Port Vue, as well as thousands of additional customers in Elizabeth Twp., North Versailles Twp., Liberty, Lincoln, Glassport, Versailles, White Oak and East McKeesport whose wastewater is treated by McKeesport's sewage treatment plant, located in lower 10th Ward.

About 64,000 people are affected by the switch.

At their regular meeting Wednesday, McKeesport council voted 7-0 to authorize city officals to formally dissolve the Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport, which was created in 1949 to build and operate the sewer system.

Mayor Michael Cherepko said Wednesday the city hopes to close the sale by Nov. 30.

 
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Mayor: City Acquiring Daily News Building, Plans Digital Media Center

November 01, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

The city of McKeesport is acquiring the former Daily News building and is exploring the creation of a digital media center there, in cooperation with Point Park University, Mayor Mike Cherepko said Wednesday.

Cherepko told city council that officials are close to a deal with the parent company of the Tribune-Review and TribLive.com to purchase the building for what he described as "an unbelievably good price."

Details are expected within a few weeks, he said. "The Trib has truly been working with us to make this a reality," Cherepko said.

There are hopes that part of the building will be used by students in Point Park's Center for Media Innovation, which was launched in 2015 with help from a $2.5 million grant from the Allegheny Foundation. The foundation was created by the late Richard Mellon Scaife, publisher of the Tribune-Review.

"We've got a lot of ideas at this point, but to be honest with you, we don't want to close any windows of opportunity," Cherepko said in an interview Wednesday night.

 
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Police Still Seeking Dravosburg Convenience Store Bandit

November 01, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

McKeesport police are still seeking the public's help in identifying the man who robbed a Dravosburg convenience store.

McKeesport police Chief Bryan Washowich said the suspect entered the store on Richland Avenue just after 9 p.m. Oct. 22 and demanded money.

Although he did not display a weapon, Washowich said, the suspect did threaten the clerk. He was given cash and fled, on foot, toward Euclid Avenue, the chief said.

No vehicle was seen leaving the scene, Washowich said.

 
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National Works Closed 30 Years Ago This Year

November 01, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History

This year marked the 30th anniversary of an event that most people in the McKeesport area would probably rather not remember.

On Aug. 29, 1987, the final workers at U.S. Steel's National Plant --- 21 in all --- left work for the last time.

The plant, built by the National Tube Company, beginning in 1872, had once employed 9,000 people, and operated the largest pipe-making mill in the world.

But by 1981, National Plant was reeling. The Texas and Louisiana oil and gas drilling boom of the 1970s had collapsed. Foreign steel mills were exporting products to the United States --- often below the cost to produce them, a practice called "dumping."

Then, in the summer of 1981, the U.S. economy went into recession.

 
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