Duquesne Police Add Three New Officers

August 30, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

With new officers Nathan Calabro, Kevin Diamond and Ian Clinton-Layton being hired in Duquesne, the city once again has a fully staffed department, Police Chief Tom Dunlevy announced at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The hiring of the new officers filled a gap created when several officers retired and several more relocated earlier this year.

“It will be nice to have our force back to a full staff,” Dunlevy said. “We will be able to focus more on some of the issues we are aware of concerning juvenile problems in the area.”

 
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Police Allege Man Set Crawford Village Fire Following Dispute

August 30, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Pittsburgh man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail after McKeesport police said he deliberately set a fire at the Crawford Village housing complex to retaliate against his former girlfriend.

Willie McKinnon, 58, no fixed address given, is charged by McKeesport police with aggravated arson, arson, endangering other persons, endangering property, causing or risking a catastrophe, making terroristic threats, stalking, recklessly endangering other persons, defiant trespassing and criminal mischief in connection with the Aug. 16 incident.

According to court records, McKinnon is jailed in lieu of $50,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing Sept. 10 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

 
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Dravosburg Celebrates 115th Birthday -- With a Bang

August 29, 2018 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: Entertainment

(All photos: Vickie Babyak, special to Tube City Almanac)


Dravosburg Borough celebrated its 115th anniversary on Saturday with daylong festivities, including a parade, a carnival, a lantern launch at dusk, and fireworks.

Above, the Syria Shrine Highlanders Pipes and Drums from Pittsburgh.

Doug Baxter served as event coordinator. More photos after the jump.

 
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MLT Stages One-Act Drama During New Works Festival

August 29, 2018 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Darrin Mosley as graduate student James Stevens exchanges heated remarks with Andy Pivarnik as Holocaust denier William Whitehead during a rehearsal of "The Survivor," McKeesport Little Theater's entry in Pittsburgh New Works Festival. (David Adams photo special to Tube City Almanac)


If you go

What: “The Survivor,” produced by McKeesport Little Theater for Pittsburgh New Works Festival
When: 8 p.m. Aug. 30, 4 p.m. Sept. 1, 2 p.m. Sept. 2, 8 p.m. Sept. 7, 8 p.m. Sept. 8
Where: Carnegie Stage, 25 W. Main St., Carnegie
Tickets: Single tickets available for $17 online or $20 at the door; $15 for students with valid ID. Festival passes and other ticket options available online


At the helm as director of “The Survivor,” McKeesport Little Theater’s production for Pittsburgh New Works Festival, Ed Bostedo is pleased with how his luck of the draw turned out.

The festival, in its 28th year, is an opportunity for regional theater companies to introduce a series of new, one-act plays. The catch? After directors review available scripts and get a chance to see actors complete generic auditions, is they have to bid on the play, then the cast, of their choice.

“I was second to last to bid (on the play) and got the show, then was second for the cast and got my first choice both times,” Bostedo said.

 
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Pittsburgh Man Arrested in Duquesne Bar Shooting

August 29, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News, Duquesne News

A Hill District man has been arrested and charged in connection with a shooting in a Duquesne bar that led to another man's death.

Carl Jones, 27, was arrested on Tuesday by Allegheny County sheriff's deputies, a spokesman said. He is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bond on charges of homicide and a firearms violation pending a preliminary hearing Sept. 9 before Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning.

Jones was wanted by county police in connection with the death of Donnell Demery, 54, on Aug. 13.

 
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Serra Band Has Big Plans For 2018-19 Season

August 24, 2018 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Members of Serra Catholic High School's colorguard practice their moves during band camp. (David Adams photo special to Tube City Almanac)


(* -- Correction made, Aug. 25. See editor's note.)

With most of his students in choir and musicals, in addition to playing instruments, Serra Catholic High School marching band director Jesse Bush said he was looking for something different and unique to match their skillset when selecting a theme for the season.

“I wanted to do a Latin-themed show,” he said. “I watched the Disney movie ‘Coco’ last year and thought the Day of the Dead holiday was something that could work.”

Following their appearance in Kennywood’s Fall Fantasy Parade on Aug. 18, the band kicks off its season tonight when the Eagles open their football season at Yough in a non-conference game starting at 6 p.m.

 
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Community Day, Recycling Event Successes Praised in W.O.

August 23, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: White Oak News

White Oak Borough Community Day was a successful, well-attended event, Councilman Lou Bender said at Monday’s borough council meeting.

The annual event, which included an exotic animal show, performance by a local dance group, several musical sets and fireworks, drew many residents from White Oak and neighboring communities.

“Council sends a big thank you to Michelle Gessner and the White Oak Recreation Board for organizing the event,” Council President David Pasternak said.

A community–wide yard sale is slated for Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. throughout the borough. A rain date is set for Aug. 26.

 
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EA Starts Football Season With Two Tough Tests

August 22, 2018 |

By Josh Rizzo | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News, Sports

Easing into the 2018 football season won’t be an option for East Allegheny.

In what promises to be a schedule with plenty of obstacles, the Wildcats may face their two toughest tests before Labor Day.

East Allegheny opens the season at 7 p.m. Friday by taking on defending Class 1A PIAA champion Jeannette. The following week the Wildcats will go on the road to Steel Valley -- which is ranked in the top five in the PIAA in Class 2A -- for their Allegheny Conference opener.

“You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone in the state that has a tougher first two games of the season than us,” East Allegheny coach Dom Pecora said. “But we’ll show up every Friday ready to play.”

 
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Reprieve Extended to Structures on W.O. Demolition List

August 22, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: White Oak News

Several structures targeted for demolition in White Oak as blighted and unsafe are receiving 120 day reprieves before council takes further action.

Of the six properties discussed at a hearing this week, five owners came forward and asked council for an extension.

Councilman Ken Robb said the owners of the following properties were granted the extension to bring their structures up to code: 606 New Jersey St., 738 O’Neil Blvd., 2420 O’Neil Blvd., 608 Osborne St., and 1828 California Ave.

Another property at 700 New Jersey St. was approved for demolition, but Borough Manager John Palyo said he believes council will hold off until the 120 days pass for the other properties.

 
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Tigers Prepared For Opening Game Against Erie High

August 21, 2018 |

By Josh Rizzo | Posted in: Sports

Dylan Vaniel wants the fresh faces on McKeesport’s football team to settle comfortably into their new roles.

Seeing an across-the-board transition at the skill positions on offense has the 6-foot-2, 246-pound senior motivated to keep the new Tigers off their backs.

Helping McKeesport’s option attack move in the right direction -- and protecting quarterback Konota Gaskins -- isn’t something Vaniel will have to go at alone.

When the Tigers open the season Saturday afternoon against Erie High School at the Wolvarena in Turtle Creek, Vaniel will be flanked by center Brandon Brooks, a first-team all-conference selection, and junior guard Andy Mellinger, who was chosen for the second team.

 
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McKeesport Area Schools Ready For New Year, New Challenges

August 21, 2018 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: News

Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. is excited about the school year and said the McKeesport Area School District will hit the ground running when classes begin Wednesday.

Among new initiatives this year is a pilot program where all third graders will have one-on-one access to an iPad electronic tablet in their classrooms.

Besides enhancing the classroom experience, Holtzman said, the pilot program will help the district decide whether experiments with electronic tablets should be expanded.

“It will be costly,” he said. Because of the expense, deciding when and where to expand access to technology “is not always easy,” Holtzman said.

 
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District OK's Advanced Placement Agreement With Mt. Aloysius

August 20, 2018 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: News

McKeesport Area School District has approved a dual-enrollment agreement with Mount Aloysius College to provide advanced placement courses for high school students.

The agreement with the four-year liberal arts school, based in Cambria County near Johnstown and Altoona, was OK'd by the school board last week.

While the district has AP college credit agreements with other schools as well, Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. said the Mount Aloysius agreement is an opportunity for students to earn college credits at a lower cost.

 
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Senior Wellness & Safety Expo Slated for Sept. 27

August 20, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Local legislators will team up to offer free flu vaccinations, safety and health information, and outreach for veterans at an event Sept. 27 at the Palisades ballroom, Fifth Avenue at Water Street, Downtown.

The Senior Wellness & Safety Expo is sponsored by state Sen. Jim Brewster and state Rep. Austin Davis, both of McKeesport.

A spokeswoman said the free event begins at 10:30 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m., and will include door prizes and refreshments. A Mobile Veteran Outreach Van is scheduled to be onsite.

For more information, call Brewster's office at (412) 664-5200 or Davis' office at (412) 664-0035.

 

NV Twp. Commissioners Planning Ahead for 150th Anniversary

August 20, 2018 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

Planning is underway for next year’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of North Versailles Twp.

At their monthly meeting, township commissioners announced that the event will be a week-long celebration beginning in late July 2019.

“We're looking for people to come and help us form a committee so we can start planning, so spread the word,” Commissioner Tracy Yusko said. “We’re hoping to get the community involved because it’s a pretty big deal --- it will be like a carnival.”

 
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School Board Hires Kovach as Boys' Varsity Basketball Coach

August 19, 2018 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: News

Ending weeks of rumors and speculation, McKeesport firefighter Kevin Kovach has been named the coach of the boys' varsity basketball team at McKeesport Area High School.

The appointment of Kovach, 39, came at Wednesday's school board meeting by a 7-1-1 vote.

“I had some sweaty-palm moments,” Kovach said after the meeting. “I didn’t know anything coming into the meeting today. I don’t know what happened behind closed doors.”
 
Board member Ivan Hampton voted against hiring Kovach, with Steve Kondrosky abstaining. Kovach will be paid an annual salary of $7,100 for the 2018-19 school year, replacing Gerald "Puddin" Grayson, who retired in June.

 
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Rain Didn't Stop Families, Fans from Attending Village

August 18, 2018 |

By Charlotte Hopkins | Posted in: News

Above: Chuck Bray was born and raised in McKeesport and said he's never missed attending International Village. (Charlotte Hopkins photo special to Tube City Almanac)


McKeesport's 59th International Village got off to a rocky start this year due to a string of rain showers on the first day.

The muddy grounds at Renziehausen Park's Stephen Barry Field showed the aftereffects of the storm, but it didn't stop fans of the annual festival from joining in the festivities on days two and three.

The three-day event, which began in 1960, is run completely by volunteers, the majority of which are the array of churches playing tribute to the rich history of ethnic groups in America.

 
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Duquesne to Pursue Ethics Complaints Against Former Councilman, Employees

August 18, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne officials said they will pursue state ethics complaints against a former city manager, a former councilman and a police secretary.

Council voted unanimously this week to file the complaints against Frank Piccolino, John Gyure and Lori Achtzehn.

At council's meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Nickole Nesby alleged that Gyure, a former city councilman, removed playground equipment without authorization, while Nesby accused Achtzehn, a police department secretary who was terminated in March, with misuse of a city computer system to remove a citation.

 
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New Council Members Take Seats in Duquesne

August 17, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Two new council members were sworn in at Tuesday’s Duquesne city council meeting.

Terra Henderson-Murphy (above) and Elaine Washington were sworn in by Magisterial District Judge Scott Schricker after motions were passed unanimously to name them to council.

Additionally, a motion was passed naming Sidney Walker as the city’s new zoning officer.

 
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Church Hosts Flea Market Saturday

August 17, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 220 Eighth Ave. at Market Street, Downtown, will host a flea market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 18), a spokeswoman said.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit a local animal shelter and the church and refreshments will be available. Tables cost $10.

 

After Near-Fatal Heart Attack, Man Returns to Thank Hospital

August 14, 2018 |

By Charlotte Hopkins | Posted in: News

Paul Glover (third from left) stands with a few of the staff members that oversaw his care at UPMC McKeesport hospital, including Robyn Stawinski; Rani Kumar, emergency department medical director; and David Courson, emergency department unit director. (Charlotte Hopkins photo special to Tube City Almanac)


Paul Glover was watching a basketball game with his girlfriend, Deanna Shannon, and eating Chinese food when he started to experience an uncomfortable feeling in his chest.

He told her he was going to lie down in bed. "No," Shannon said: We're going to the hospital.

Glover was having a heart attack. Moments after he arrived at the emergency room at UPMC McKeesport, his heart stopped. Doctors and nurses had to restart it three times, he said.

On Friday, two months after the incident, Glover came back to the hospital to meet with the doctors, nurses and staff. “I owe you guys my life, I appreciate you from the bottom of my healed heart,” he said.

 
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Rain Dampens Opening Night at 59th International Village

August 14, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

The first night of McKeesport's 59th International Village was a rain-out.

Severe weather forced the cancellation of most of the main stage entertainment, although the Pittsburgh Firefighters Memorial Pipe Band and "American Idol" contestant Aubrey Burchell did perform during an opening ceremony.

Fireworks scheduled for tonight will be presented on Wednesday, instead.

 
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Duquesne Man Dead Following Shooting

August 13, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News, Duquesne News

A Duquesne man died Monday morning following a shooting inside a bar on Kennedy Avenue.

Donnell Demery, 54, died of gunshot wounds to the torso and left leg, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said. His death has been ruled a homicide.

Duquesne police said they were called to the shooting around midnight on Monday at the 1313 Bar. Officers and paramedics arrived and found the victim, identified as Demery, bleeding badly.

 
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NAACP Presses School Board on Hiring Policies for Basketball Coach

August 13, 2018 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: News

The McKeesport NAACP has asked the McKeesport Area School Board to explain specific details of the hiring process in place to select the next head basketball coach. 

Their concerns were raised Wednesday during the public comment portion of the board's monthly meeting. 

Brenda D. Sawyer, McKeesport NAACP president, asked the board to explain the process used to determine which applicant should receive an interview and to describe the specific categories used to make that determination.  

Additionally, Sawyer asked for information on how the interview questions are scored and if the person who is being considered for the position scored more points than the other applicants.

 
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Former Daily News Building to Welcome Tenants in October

August 08, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

The former McKeesport Daily News building at the corner of Walnut Street and Lysle Boulevard will likely welcome its first new tenants in October.

At a meeting Wednesday, council by 6-0 vote awarded a $195,000 contract for renovations to the building to Kucich Construction of McKeesport. Council President Richard Dellapenna Jr. was absent.

Mayor Michael Cherepko said Kucich Construction's was the lowest of two bids received on the renovations, which will be made to the first floor of the building in the former advertising department. That area will be used by the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office for training and meetings between prosecutors and police, Cherepko said.

 
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PurePenn CEO: Company Ahead of Schedule, Next Phase Underway

August 07, 2018 |

By Lynne Glover | Posted in: News

Above: Gabe Perlow, CEO of PurePenn, gives an interview to a reporter during a celebration July 24 in McKeesport. (Lynne Glover photo)


You could say that PurePenn is on a roll. The McKeesport-based medical marijuana grower plans to expand its facility by 40 percent and increase its employee count from 26 to 50.

In fact, the company's growth trajectory is ahead of schedule by almost two years, according to CEO Gabe Perlow. Still to come is a $1 million investment that will include an addition of a greenhouse and will allow PurePenn to double its growing space for the "Moxie by PurePenn" brand of medical marijuana extracts.

“The industry has grown much faster than we anticipated,” Perlow said.

 
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Motorcade Will Escort Vietnam Wall Into City

August 06, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

(Above: The mobile wall on display in Portland, Texas, earlier this year. Photo courtesy Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.)


A three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will arrive in McKeesport on Tuesday afternoon, and the community is being encouraged to welcome it to the city.

A procession of more than 200 motorcycles and emergency vehicles will escort the mobile "Wall That Heals" from Olympia Shopping Center on Walnut Street beginning at approximately 4:45 p.m., circling the city and arriving at Renziehausen Park shortly after 5 p.m.

Then, on Wednesday morning, a crew of 20 to 25 volunteers will meet at Renzie's Jimmy Long Field to begin assembling more than 140 panels into the 375-foot-long wall during what Tim Tetz, director of outreach for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in Arlington, Va., calls "the largest game of 'Tetris' you've ever played."

The wall will open to visitors Wednesday evening, Tetz said, and remain open at Renzie, around the clock, through 11 a.m. Aug. 12. A formal opening, including a special ceremony recognizing 40 local veterans, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a spokesman for state Sen. Jim Brewster.

 
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Dravosburg Plans Birthday Bash for Borough's 115th

August 02, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

"Dravosburgh," as depicted in a portion of an 1877 lithograph by Eli L. Hayes and published by Titus, Simmons and Titus of Philadelphia. Courtesy of David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford University.


Dravosburg Borough will celebrate its 115th anniversary with fireworks, a petting zoo, picnic and parade.

Festivities start Aug. 24 at Butler's Golf Course in Elizabeth Twp., followed by the parade and picnic on Aug. 25, said Jan Catalogna of the Dravosburg Community Archives. Doug Baxter serves as the group's president.

"If anyone is looking for some old-fashioned summer fun, then the place to be is Dravosburg, beginning at noon Aug. 25," Catalogna said.

 
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Duquesne Man Shot; Police Seek Suspect

August 02, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News, Duquesne News

Submitted photo: City of Duquesne Police, via Facebook


Allegheny County and Duquesne police are looking for a suspect in the shooting of a Duquesne man.

In a statement released on Facebook, Duquesne police said officers and paramedics were dispatched at 4:25 p.m. Wednesday to a home at the corner of Edith and Clark streets when callers reported a man in his late 20s who had been shot.

The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to a trauma hospital, where he was in stable condition, a county police spokesman said. Duquesne police said the victim's wounds are not expected to be fatal.

 
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White Oak, Duquesne Prepare for Community Day Events

August 01, 2018 |

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

(Above: White Oak Community Day will feature a train ride around the grounds. White Oak Recreation Board, via Facebook.)


Residents of Duquesne and White Oak will be celebrating all the great things that make up their communities this Saturday during their annual community day events.

Sponsored by the White Oak Borough and the White Oak Recreation Board, White Oak Community Day will be held at the Heritage Hill Park and Pool Complex.

Duquesne residents are sure to enjoy the 27th annual Duquesne Community Day. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Duquesne Athletic Field on Commonwealth Avenue.

 
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