NV Twp. Commissioners Envision Park on Donated Land

October 21, 2018 |

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

Build it, and people will come --- at least that's the hope of Sam Juliano, vice president of the North Versailles Twp. commissioners. He wants to see about 90 acres of undeveloped land in the township's Green Valley section turned into a multi-purpose park.

At their October meeting, commissioners voted to enter into an agreement with TARQUINCoRE, LLC of Pittsburgh, which represents the property's owners, to accept the donation of nearly 90 acres of land currently owned by a real estate trust.

Commissioners George Beswick and Daryl Mitchell were absent. The land is located off of Maryland Avenue.

According to Juliano, the issue has been under discussion for several months. ”Now it's back on the table,” he said. ”Our commissioners did an assessment of this generous offer and determined there is an interest in acquiring ownership of five parcels.”

 
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Duquesne Police Chief Notes Improvements to Department

October 21, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Crime and Police News, Duquesne News

Calls to Duquesne police for assistance are up --- but so are arrests.

Duquesne police Chief Tom Dunlevy reported the increases during the Oct. 9 city council meeting.

Through the third quarter of 2018, Dunlevy said, calls for service are up 40 percent compared with the previous period in 2017, while arrests are up 21 percent. Traffic stops are up 56 percent and traffic citations are up 59 percent, but traffic accidents are down 26 percent, he said.

“I’m very proud of the accomplishments of the department so far this year,” said Dunlevy, who became the Duquesne police chief in January.

 
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Duquesne Hires New Solicitor, Will Pursue Ethics Complaint Against Treasurer

October 20, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne City Council has appointed a new solicitor --- the city's fourth this year --- and says it will pursue an state ethics complaint against the city's treasurer.

At its Oct. 9 meeting, council appointed Myron Sainovich to replace John Rushford as the city's solicitor. Rushford was hired in April.

In addition, council voted to file a complaint with the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission against city Treasurer David Bires for what Mayor Nickole Nesby said is a conflict of interest. Bires chairs the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Duquesne, which is currently being sued by the city.

“Council and I believe that his actions need to be investigated," Nesby said. "As chairman of the redevelopment authority, we believe there is a conflict of interest and he should resign from one of the positions.”

 
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Characters From Region's Past Will Be Remembered During 4th Annual Cemetery Tour

October 18, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

(Photo courtesy McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center)


William Sample, one of the soldiers who carried President Lincoln from Ford's Theater on the night he was shot, will receive a new headstone on Saturday morning.

During a ceremony at 11 a.m. at McKeesport and Versailles Cemetery, members of McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center also will dedicate a new headstone at the grave of George Simmons, the city's first African-American policeman.

The ceremonies, which will begin near the old mausoleum, will kick off the heritage center's fourth-annual cemetery tour. Actors will portray 10 prominent McKeesport-area residents of the past who are buried at the cemetery.

 
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New President Named at UPMC McKeesport, East Hospitals

October 17, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(UPMC photo)

Mark O'Hern has been named the new president of UPMC McKeesport and UPMC East hospitals, the health system announced.

He succeeds Mark Sevco, who has been promoted to chief operating officer of UPMC Pinnacle, based in Harrisburg.
 
O'Hern, of Murrysville, had served as vice president of operations for UPMC McKeesport and UPMC East since 2014, when the two hospitals were placed under the same management.

 
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N. Hills Man Charged in Fatal West Mifflin Crash

October 17, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

An Avalon man faces a preliminary hearing Friday in connection with the death of a McKeesport woman in a traffic accident.

Robert L. Darrisaw Jr., 23, is being held in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bond, court records indicate.

Allegheny County police charged Darrisaw on Oct. 12. In a statement, county police Lt. Andrew Schurman said that Darrisaw has been identified as the driver of a car that broadsided another vehicle near the intersection of Lebanon Church Road and Buttermilk Hollow Road in West Mifflin just before 4 a.m. Sept. 23.

 
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Police Believe McKeesport Man Was Shot in Rankin, But Say Witness Isn't Cooperating

October 15, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport man is dead following a drive-by shooting Saturday morning that police believe happened near the Rankin Bridge.

Dijuan Bray, 24, died Sunday afternoon at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, Oakland, of wounds sustained in the incident, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office. His death has been ruled a homicide.

Allegheny County police said Bray was a passenger in a Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck, similar to the one pictured below, when someone shot at him and the driver.

In a prepared statement, county police Lt. Andrew Schurman said Bray and the driver arrived at the emergency room at UPMC McKeesport Hospital at 3:42 a.m. Saturday. Both were suffering gunshot wounds to the head, Schurman said.

 
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McKeesport Lions Raising Money Saturday at Olympia

October 15, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

McKeesport Lions Club will hold a White Cane Day event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 20) in front of the Olympia Shop 'n Save.

A spokeswoman said the Lions will be collecting money for local sight-related charities. Pictured during a similar event in April are Lions Club members Marie Domingo, Milan Washowich and Colin Clarke.

(Submitted photo courtesy McKeesport Lions Club.)

 

Emergency Demolition of Bowman Ave. Building Will Cost $65K

October 14, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

The emergency demolition of a former school building on Bowman Avenue in Highland Grove will cost McKeesport taxpayers about $65,000, Mayor Michael Cherepko said.

The west wall of the building started to collapse on Wednesday, endangering a nearby house and forcing a temporary street closure. No injuries were reported, but residents of the house were evacuated, the mayor said.

Following an inspection of the building by City Engineer James Garvin, Cherepko said McKeesport officials awarded an emergency demolition contract to Lutterman Excavating of Greensburg.

Most of the building had been demolished by Friday night.

 
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Export Firm Relocating to City's Industrial Park

October 11, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: News

Manor III is one of the buildings in RIDC's industrial park in McKeesport. (RIDC photo)


A Westmoreland County distributor and manufacturer of equipment used in the nuclear power and mining industries is relocating to McKeesport.

Ralph A. Hiller Company is leasing Manor III, a 12,500-square-foot building at the Industrial Center of McKeesport, said a spokeswoman for RIDC, which owns the property.

The company specializes in valves, tubes, gauges and other devices used to distribute and control steam as well as water and other fluids.

In a prepared statement, Tom Beck, Hiller's general manager, said the company --- currently located near Export --- wanted to stay in the Pittsburgh area and needs room for possible future growth.

 
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Patton Street Bridge to Close for Repairs Monday

October 11, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The Patton Street Bridge in Wilmerding will close for repairs on Monday morning, the Allegheny County Department of Public Works announced.

The closure, expected to last until 4 p.m. Oct. 22, is required for repairs to the bridge deck, a spokesman said.

The bridge serves as a connection for people traveling between East McKeesport and Monroeville. Traffic will be detoured over Middle Avenue, Route 130, Route 48 (Mosside Boulevard) and Wall Avenue.

The work is being done by Pugliano Construction Co., Inc. of Plum, the county spokesman said.

 

Run/Walk This Weekend Will Benefit Veterans' Organization

October 11, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Photo courtesy Operation Vet NOW, via Facebook.)


A five-kilometer run and one-mile walk in Renziehausen Park this weekend will raise money for veterans suffering from combat stress, traumatic brain injuries and other ailments.

The event, called "Vet Connect," begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday near the tennis courts and is being sponsored by a charity based in White Oak called Operation Vet NOW Inc. The entry fee is $25.

The walk is dedicated to the so-called "McKeesport 23" -- the McKeesport-area soldiers who were killed during the Vietnam War --- and the 5K run is dedicated to Lance Cpl. Abram L. Howard, 21, of Willliamsport, a Marine who was killed in July 2010 in Afghanistan.

 
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Governor Plans Visit to City for Pre-Election Rally Saturday

October 11, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (above) will visit McKeesport on Saturday to take part in a political rally at the Palisades Ballroom, Fifth and Water streets, Downtown.

The "Mass Rally in the Valley" is being sponsored by a group calling itself the Mon-Valley People's Action Committee and begins at 2:30 p.m. A complete list of guests has not been announced.

Wolf, a Democrat, is running for re-election on Nov. 6. Seeking election as lieutenant governor on the same ticket is John Fetterman, mayor of Braddock.

Wolf and Fetterman are being challenged by Republicans Scott Wagner, the gubernatorial candidate and a former state senator from York County; and Jeff Bartos, the candidate for lieutenant governor and a real-estate developer from Montgomery County.

 
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Work on Renzie Pavilions Wrapping Up; More Improvements on Way

October 10, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Renovations to several pavilions at Renziehausen Park are nearing completion, and McKeesport officials are gearing up for more improvements to the park in 2019.

At this month's council meeting, Mayor Michael Cherepko said crews from Plavchak Construction Co. are wrapping up work on pavilions 1, 2, 3 and 7. The $184,750 project was funded through the Allegheny Regional Asset District, or RAD, and included new roofs, signage, benches and accessibiity updates.

In September, the RAD board adopted a preliminary budget that includes another $170,000 for construction of a new pavilion at Renzie, as well as the purchase of new playground equipment.

 
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Duquesne Police, Fire Post Monthly Report

October 10, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Crime and Police News, Duquesne News

Duquesne police Chief Tom Dunlevy reported 564 calls for service for the month of August, resulting in 52 arrests. 

Calls for service included 24 abandoned vehicles, 25 criminal mischief calls, 10 juvenile complaints, 33 domestics, 17 disturbances and 10 thefts. A full list of calls for service can be viewed on the department’s Facebook page or at the police department.

 
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Duquesne Council Getting Tough With Delinquent Water Bills

October 09, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne water customers owed the city nearly $64,000 at the beginning of September --- but city officials said delinquent accounts are not going to be allowed to slide any longer.

At council's Sept. 25 meeting, Councilwoman Elaine Washington said that a review of the city's accounts found that some residents had past-due balances of more than $4,000. In some cases, she said, residents who had unpaid water bills were allowed to open new accounts without paying off the old bills.

That arrangement is no longer acceptable, Washington said, and bills must be paid in full monthly.

 
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McKeesport Campus to Host Regional Business Expo Oct. 18

October 09, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Mon Valley business owners --- and people hoping to start a business --- are being encouraged to attend a free networking event and workshop Oct. 18 at Penn State Greater Allegheny in McKeesport.

The Mon Valley Business Development Expo is being sponsored by PurePenn, the Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce and Penn State, a spokeswoman said. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Ostermayer Room of the campus' Student Community Center. Breakout sessions will follow from 9 to 11:30 a.m., with a procurement fair from 1 to 3 p.m., following a lunch break.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Gina Rosso at gina@purepenn.com.

 
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Penn-McKee Tops Preservation List; Other Valley Sites Noted

October 08, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

Conflict of Interest Note: The editor of Tube City Almanac, Jason Togyer, has a conflict of interest involving this story.


(Photo by Nyttend via Wikimedia Commons)


McKeesport's Penn-McKee Hotel has been named the Number One preservation opportunity in Western Pennsylvania by the group currently studying whether or not the building can be saved and reused.

At a ceremony Friday at Alphabet City on Pittsburgh's North Side, the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh unveiled its annual list of the 10 neglected historic or architectural sites that are most worthy of rescue.

The Penn-McKee was named the number one site because it has both historic and architectural value, the group said.

 
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City Seeking Additional Funds for Trail Upgrades

October 08, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

(Tube City Almanac file photo)


CORRECTION: The grant for which the city is applying from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development is only for trail improvements, a spokeswoman told Tube City Almanac on Oct. 10. This story incorrectly reported that the parking garage also would be included. We apologize for the error.


McKeesport will seek an additional $3 million in funding for improvements to the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail on Lysle Boulevard.

At this month's meeting, council voted 7-0 to pursue a grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development's Multimodal Transportation Fund.

The money --- if allocated by the state --- would be in addition to $2.9 million already awarded on Oct. 2 by the state Department of Transportation from its own multi-modal fund. That grant is also being used to help renovate the 440-space Lysle Boulevard parking garage for use by trail visitors, bus commuters using the McKeesport Transportation Center, and tenants at the former Daily News Building.

The DCED grant for which the city will now be applying is only for improvements to the trail, said Jennifer Vertullo, assistant to McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko.

 
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Duquesne May Pursue Lawsuit Against Non-Profits

October 08, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne officials are planning to take legal action against three non-profit agencies that own vacant properties in the city.

At the Sept. 25 meeting, council authorized the city solicitor to bring a lawsuit against the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Duquesne, the Allegheny County Housing Authority and the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority.

“One-third of the land in Duquesne is owned by one of these three entities and we are actively trying to address the blighted properties in the city,” Mayor Nickole Nesby said. “In total, these three governmental agencies have held properties for over 16 years, denying the city nearly $385,000 in delinquent tax funds.”

Government agencies are typically exempt from local, school district and county real estate taxes.

 
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Underage Driver Charged After Stolen Car Hits Police Cruiser

October 04, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A 14-year-old Duquesne resident faces charges in Allegheny County juvenile court after McKeesport police said he was behind the wheel of a stolen car that hit a police cruiser.

The young man, whose name was not released by police, is charged with receiving stolen property, driving without a license and causing an accident involving an occupied vehicle.

McKeesport police said two officers were on patrol early Saturday morning on Evans Avenue when they saw a black Mercury sedan matching the description of a car that had been reported stolen a few hours earlier in Duquesne.

 
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Condemnation Notices Posted on People's Building; Owners Eager to Sell

October 03, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

(Photo special to Tube City Almanac)


Condemnation notices have been posted on McKeesport's Peoples Building, the landmark 1906 skyscraper at the corner of Walnut Street and Fifth Avenue that a local real estate agent in January called the "Crown Jewel" of the Mon Valley.

Citing health and safety violations, signs dated Aug. 17 were posted on the entrances to the building, the one-time home of People's Union Bank and Trust Co. before it was merged into Union National Bank of Pittsburgh.

No demolition hearing has been scheduled, and demolition is not imminent, Mayor Michael Cherepko said. "It doesn't mean it can't be un-condemned," he said.

An inspection of the interior found numerous violations that can be corrected, Cherepko said, but the public is not in danger.

 
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City Eyes Garage, Trail Improvements With $2.9M State Grant

October 02, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

(Photo special to Tube City Almanac)


The Lysle Boulevard parking garage could be reopened and connected to the former Daily News Building with the assistance of a $2.9 million grant from Pennsylvania's Multimodal Transportation Fund.

And city officials and state Sen. Jim Brewster have bigger plans --- like re-routing the Great Allegheny Passage trail to the edge of the Monongahela River, and possibly elevating a portion of it.

The state Department of Transportation on Tuesday announced the award of $2.9 million in funding to help rehabilitate the parking garage --- closed to the public for almost 20 years --- and improve the trail.

"Obviously, we've very excited," McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko said Tuesday night. The improvements to the garage and the trail have the potential to "jumpstart the Downtown area," he said.

 
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Update: McKeesport Man Found Dead After Shooting

October 01, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

UPDATED: The victim's identity has now been released. 4:30 p.m.


A 26-year-old McKeesport man was found dead in an alley off of Beaver Street on Monday morning.

The Allegheny County medical examiner's office has identified the victim as Andrew J. Jefferson.

In a prepared statement, Allegheny County police Lt. Andrew Schurman said city police and paramedics were dispatched to the 1800 block of Forte Alley at 12:24 a.m. Monday for a report of "shots being fired."

When they arrived, Schurman said, they found a man, later identified as Jefferson, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 
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