West Newton Church Plans Christmas ‘Cookie Walk’

November 15, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, West Newton News

First Church of God, 157 N. Second St., West Newton, will hold a “cookie walk” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 14 at the church.

A spokesperson said more than 20 varieties of homemade cookies will be for sale on tables. Visitors will be invited to walk through the church hall with a box that they can fill with whichever cookies they want.

 
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Minor Chlorine Leak Sends Hazmat to Water Plant; Operations Normal

November 15, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport firefighters and Allegheny County hazardous materials teams responded to a chlorine leak Thursday morning at the McKeesport Water Treatment Plant.

Matthew Junker, spokesman for the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County, said the chlorine was isolated to a single building and water treatment operations at the plant were not affected.

Emergency crews were notified when workers detected a “slight chlorine smell” in the room where the tanks are housed, Junker said.

 
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Fire Destroys Vacant House; Cause Unknown

November 14, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The Allegheny County fire marshal's office is investigating a blaze on Tuesday afternoon that destroyed a vacant house on Stewart Street.

McKeesport fire Chief Jeff Tomovcsik said callers reported the fire at 3:21 p.m. in the two-story wood frame structure at 2910 Stewart.

Initial reports indicated that someone may have been inside, but those proved to be incorrect, Tomovcsik said.

 
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Woman Charged After Incident that Mobilized SWAT Teams

November 14, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A city woman has been charged following an incident late Tuesday night that involved police from multiple jurisdictions, including Allegheny County and City of Pittsburgh special weapons and tactics teams.

McKeesport police Chief Adam Alfer said Thursday that despite initial media reports, no police officers were fired upon. No injuries were reported in the incident that stretched into Wednesday morning.

Jasmine A. Mosby, 29, is charged by McKeesport police with recklessly endangering another person and receiving stolen property in connection with the incident. She is being held in Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing Nov. 18 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

 
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Chamber Hosting Networking Luncheon, Craft Fair

November 14, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a women's networking luncheon and craft fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 20 at Dave & Buster's, 180 E. Waterfront Drive, Homestead. Tickets cost $20 for members and $25 for non-members, and registration in advance is required.

The event will include open shopping from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a buffet lunch from 12 noon to 1 p.m.

The deadline to register is Nov. 15. To purchase tickets online, visit the website.

 
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Chef With Soul Sees Kitchen as a Healing Place

November 08, 2019 |

By Emily Pidgeon | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Michael Kennedy and Vickey Giddens-Kennedy have opened Vickey’s Soul Grill Takeout & Catering with help from Penn State’s Mon Valley Launchbox. (Photo by Emily Pidgeon, special to Tube City Almanac)


Vickey Giddens-Kennedy wants to change how people think and feel about Southern cooking.

“Just let me get into a kitchen," says the owner of Vickey’s Soul Grill Takeout & Catering. Giddens-Kennedy says she found her own personal healing through food and wants to pass that gift onto others in the community.

Sometimes, Giddens-Kennedy says, she would pray, “Lord if you heal me, I’ll give this healing to others.”

"Food is my cure,” she says.

Vickey's Soul Grill is one of the first busineses to receive guidance and assistance from the Mon Valley Launchbox, a business incubator program of Penn State University’s Greater Allegheny Campus.

 
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Public Invited to Veterans’ Day Program at MAHS

November 08, 2019 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: Announcements, McKeesport and Region News

Students perform during McKeesport Area High School’s 2013 Veterans’ Day program. (Photo courtesy McKeesport High School Tiger Band.)


McKeesport Area students will perform a one-hour concert, “A Tribute to Veterans,” at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the high school in honor of Veterans Day.

The event will begin with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the Presentation of Colors by the McKeesport Area High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.

The program will feature the district’s symphonic and jazz bands, directed by Mark DeCarlo; the concert and a capella choirs; and the string orchestra directed by Sarah Persin, as well as a multimedia presentation including “Tribute to Apollo 11,” “75th Anniversary of D-Day” and Toby Keith's “American Soldier,” and conclude with an audience sing along with the a capella and concert choirs.

“The students are very excited to present their hard work to the veterans,” said Beth Eger, choral director at Founders Hall Middle School.  “This is one of our favorite programs, we get to show our appreciation to the men and women who fought for our country.”

 
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Upcoming Film Shooting Some Scenes in City

November 07, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan is co-producing “I’m Your Woman,” an upcoming Amazon Studios release which is filming some scenes in McKeesport this month. (Submitted photo)


Hollywood is back in McKeesport: Amazon Studios is using locations in the city for scenes in an upcoming movie starring Rachel Brosnahan.

Film crews used The Elbow Room restaurant on West Fifth Avenue this week, as well as the former Weinberg's Texaco station on the opposite side of Rebecca Street.

Brosnahan, who recently won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in Amazon Studio's series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” is the lead in a movie titled “I’m Your Woman,” according to the Pittsburgh Film Office.

 
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City Officials Reverse Decision on Trash-Hauling; Will Contract Services

November 07, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Want to buy a garbage truck?

McKeesport officials have reversed their decision to bring trash collection in-house and will instead contract for services in 2020 with County Hauling of Rostraver Twp., Westmoreland County.

At Wednesday's meeting, council by 7-0 vote approved a contract with the trash collector, a division of Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill, to pick up waste and recycling citywide beginning Jan. 1 at a cost of $79.75 per ton. The company will replace Big's Hauling as McKeesport's residential trash collector.

Big's was charging $112 per ton, City Administrator Tom Maglicco said.

 
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Last Call for Allegheny's Current Voting Machines

November 06, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Across the Mon-Yough area, few polling places reported any serious problems on Tuesday, during what is expected to be the last hurrah for Allegheny County's current voting machines.

About 29 percent of the county's registered voters cast ballots, according to the Elections Division.

Spokeswoman Amie Downs said problems at Allegheny County's more than 1,300 polling places were generally minor. Polling hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Locally, a polling place on Maplewood Street in McKeesport's 12th Ward reported opening late --- about 8:30 a.m. --- after the judge of elections had car trouble, Downs said. In West Mifflin, voters at Lebanon Presbyterian Church reported that the judge of elections did not arrive until 7:10 a.m. and voting did not begin until 7:20 a.m.

 
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New Faces Headed to White Oak Council

November 06, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Liberty Borough News, Politics & Elections, White Oak News

New faces are apparently headed to White Oak council after election returns show two incumbents trailing in their bids to retain their seats.

Six candidates --- three Republicans, three Democrats --- were running for three four-year terms on borough council.

According to complete but unofficial results from the Allegheny County Elections Division, incumbents Charles Davis and Lou Bender, both Republicans, were the top vote getters, followed by Democrat George Pambacas.

 
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Cherepko Wins Third Term;
Few Surprises in Local Races

November 06, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Politics & Elections

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko is headed for a third term after winning Tuesday's election by a 2-1 margin.

According to complete but unofficial results from the Allegheny County Elections Division, Cherepko, a Democrat, defeated former city councilwoman Fawn Walker-Montgomery, running as an independent, 2,058 to 1,056 votes. There were 13 write-ins.

Across the region, there were few surprises on Tuesday, despite insurgent campaigns run, in some cases, by well-funded independents. Voters across Pennsylvania gave their overwhelming support to a proposed constitutional amendment dubbed "Marsy's Law," though it is unclear if their votes will be counted.

In McKeesport, Cherepko was running on his record as well as the strength of his "McKeesport Rising" program to address blight, infrastructure upgrades and crime. The former McKeesport Area teacher and McKeesport city council president had the endorsement of the Democratic Party as well as state Sen. Jim Brewster and state Rep. Austin Davis.

 
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Politicians Endorse 'Marsy's Law,' But
Some Worry it Goes Too Far

November 04, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Other stories:

County DA Race Adds Excitement to Municipal Elections

City Voters Choosing Mayor, School Board on Tuesday


One of the highest profile election initiatives in recent years is an effort to add a "victims' rights" amendment to the Pennsylvania State Constitution.

On Tuesday, voters statewide will be asked to consider a proposed "Crime Victims' Rights" amendment.

The ballot initiative has been dubbed "Marsy's Law" and is part of a nationwide campaign being supported by a California billionaire philanthropist.

Supporters say "Marsy's Law" ensures that crime victims understand their rights and have a voice when someone who committed a crime against them is eligible for parole or pardon.

But opponents have called the proposed constitutional amendment "unnecessary" and some argue it undermines the American justice system.

 
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City Voters Choosing Mayor,
School Board on Tuesday

November 04, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, Politics & Elections, White Oak News

Other stories:

Politicians Endorse 'Marsy's Law,' But Some Worry it Goes Too Far

County DA Race Adds Excitement to Municipal Elections


Some of the excitement over the hotly contested race for Allegheny County district attorney has spilled into local politics.

Lisa Middleman, an independent who is challenging incumbent District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr., has lent her support to Fawn Walker-Montgomery, who is running for mayor of McKeesport.

A former city councilwoman, Walker-Montgomery is challenging Mayor Michael Cherepko, who has said he's running on the strength of the "McKeesport Rising" initiative that his administration launched two years ago.

Cherepko, a former city council president and McKeesport Area school teacher, is seeking his third term as mayor. The Democrat is asking voters to keep together the team responsible for "McKeesport Rising."

"McKeesport Rising" has targeted neighborhoods throughout the city for removal of blighted buildings, street paving and infrastructure improvements, as well as expansion of facilities at Renziehausen Park and along the city's waterfront.

 
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County DA Race Adds Excitement
to Municipal Elections

November 04, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Other stories:

Politicians Endorse 'Marsy's Law,' But Some Worry it Goes Too Far

City Voters Choosing Mayor, School Board on Tuesday


Voters across Allegheny County are being asked to "skip the straight ticket" and cast ballots on Tuesday for independent candidates.

Countywide, the highest-profile race is for Allegheny County district attorney, where independent Lisa Middleman is challenging five-term incumbent Stephen Zappala Jr.

No federal or statewide offices are on the ballot this year, but voters also are being asked whether the state constitution should be amended to add a so-called "victim's rights" clause known as "Marsy's Law."

The race for Allegheny County District Attorney has caused rifts in the local Democratic party, where longtime incumbent Zappala, 62, is being challenged by former public defender and defense attorney Middleman, 57.

 
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Local Firefighter Remembered for Efforts After 9/11

November 01, 2019 |

By Chris Baumann | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, White Oak News

Versailles volunteer firefighter Nick Ursta, then a volunteer from White Oak, responded to New York City following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (Submitted photo)


When the towers of the World Trade Center fell on Sept. 11, 2001, volunteer firefighter Nick Ursta didn't wait, says his friend Perry Gricar.

“He didn’t even think twice about going, just beelined and was right out there,” says Gricar, chief of the Versailles Volunteer Fire Co., who served alongside Ursta for 14 years. “He was a very selfless person, the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back, who you could call at 3 a.m. Just an all around genuine, great person.”

Ursta died Tuesday --- on his 52nd birthday --- of complications of mesothelioma. Family and friends believe he developed the form of cancer after a week of breathing the toxins in the air at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

 
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