One Displaced in Evans Ave. House Fire

January 15, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The cause of this fire Tuesday afternoon in the 1800 block of Evans Avenue remains under investigation, a fire official said. (Photo courtesy McKeesport Fire Department)


One man was displaced when fire damaged his Evans Avenue home on Tuesday afternoon.

McKeesport fire Chief Jeff Tomovcsik said crews were dispatched at 12:09 p.m. after callers reported smoke and flames coming from the rear of a single-story house at the corner of Evans Avenue and Grant Street.

When police and firefighters arrived, they found the back porch of the house fully engulfed in fire, he said.

A second alarm was sounded and additional fire crews from Allegheny County Airport, Glassport, Liberty Borough, Vigilant Hose (Port Vue) and White Oak No. 1 responded to the scene, Tomovcsik said.

 
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U.S. Steel Promises to Work With
County on Inversion Study, Response

January 14, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

EDITED to remove typo.

U.S. Steel’s Clairton Plant. (Photo by Mark Dixon/Blue Lens, licensed under Creative Commons)


U.S. Steel has promised to help Allegheny County Health Department develop a plan to predict when weather conditions will make air pollution worse, and respond more quickly.

The health department’s proposal was announced in the wake of a so-called “temperature inversion” that left the Mon Valley and much of Allegheny County covered in smog during the Christmas holidays.

“We know from research that inversions are expected to get worse with climate change,” said Ronald Sugar, interim director of the health department. “We’re seeing that first-hand here.”

A local environmental group welcomed U.S. Steel’s participation, but questioned why the corporation didn’t take voluntary steps to reduce its own output during the inversion Dec. 21 to 26, when pollution was thick in the air.

 
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Charity Basketball Game Raises $9K For Scholarships

January 14, 2020 |

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

CORRECTION: Darius Prince was unable to attend Saturday's game. He was replaced by Chris Edmonds.

Bryan Akinkugbe currently plays for the Steel City Yellow Jackets. He also played professionally in Canada and Mexico. He was among the competitors during a charity basketball game at Penn State Greater Allegheny in McKeesport on Saturday. (Richard Finch Jr. photo/special to Tube City Almanac)


Jesús Torres is already working on plans for the third-annual Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Celebrity basketball game, securing commitments from fellow “celebrity” players to return to McKeesport next January.

“I was joking with the players after Saturday's game that we need to sign five-year contracts,” he said. “They all promised to come back here next year to keep this event going.”

Three hundred fans showed up on Saturday for the second-annual game, which raised more than $9,000 for scholarships to support the region’s Hispanic community.

Celebrity players were divided into home and away squads. The unofficial score was 96-90 in favor of the “home” team, but the “official” score was changed to a 96-96 tie, a Penn State spokesman said.

 
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SWAT Raids Duquesne Home in
Search of Shooting Suspect

January 10, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News, Duquesne News, North Versailles Twp. News

The Allegheny County SWAT team raided a Duquesne home on Thursday night, looking for a man wanted in connection with a North Versailles Twp. homicide.

Although the wanted man wasn't found, county police arrested a woman after they said they found suspected drugs, a loaded handgun and ammunition inside the house.

Police said Erik Desean Addison, 23, of Pittsburgh remains at large and is considered armed and dangerous.

 
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City Trash Pickup Reverts
to Previous 5-Day Schedule

January 10, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

CORRECTION: Edited to clarify that recycling will be collected every other week, on the same day as trash pickup. The next recycling pickups are during the week of Jan. 20. We apologize for the error.


McKeesport homeowners will be going back to their old trash pickup days, beginning Monday.

After one week, the city's new trash collection company, County Hauling of Rostraver Twp., has scrapped its attempt to pickup all of the households in two days and will revert to the schedule used by the previous garbage hauler, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said.

The change comes after a week in which many McKeesport residents complained that their trash and recycling were collected late or not at all. Others expressed confusion over the new schedules.

County Hauling also began collecting trash in North Huntingdon Twp. this week, and according to the Tribune-Review, it’s facing complaints there as well.

 
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Celebrity Basketball Game Will Benefit Scholarships

January 09, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, Sports

(Photo courtesy Penn State Greater Allegheny)


Pittsburgh Pirates’ third-base coach Joey Cora, Arena Football champion and former West Mifflin Area standout Darius Prince, former WNBA point guard Carla Cortijo and others will take the court Saturday in a charity basketball game to raise money for college scholarships.

The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will host its second-annual Celebrity Basketball Game at Penn State Greater Allegheny’s Wunderley Gymnasium in McKeesport, a spokesman said.

The family friendly event begins at 2:30 p.m. and will include activities, giveaways and a visit by the Penn State Nittany Lion and other costumed mascots and characters from local teams and businesses.

 
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Young Performers Bring Fairy Tales to Life at MLT

January 09, 2020 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Colleen Boatright as Jack's mother tells Connor McGrew as Jack that they must sell Milky White, the family cow. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo/special to Tube City Almanac)

If you go...

   

“Into the Woods” presented by MLT Juniors

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.

When: Jan. 10-19, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $12*

Reservations or more information: 412-673-1100 or through the website.

(* — Correction: Ticket price corrected, Jan. 9)

A multi-talented cast of young performers has been rehearsing since October to bring some well-known fairy tale characters to the McKeesport Little Theater stage when the Juniors present “Into the Woods.”

The show opens Friday (Jan. 10) and continues through Jan. 19. Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for the sometimes-complicated and challenging songs – even for seasoned adult professionals.

Characters such as Cinderella (Kaitlyn Majewski), Little Red (Autumn Tavaglione), Rapunzel (Grace Mackowiak), Jack (Connor McGrew), his mother (Colleen Boatright), and a baker (Jonah Higdon) and his wife (Nariah Washington), are joined by a mysterious Witch (Sierra Mitchell) as they journey in and out of the woods.

With more than 20 performers delivering lines, singing, and dancing, producer Jan Gerber explained how the cast was selected.

 
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W. Newton Center Slates Upcoming Activities

January 08, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: West Newton News

(Photo courtesy West Newton Center for Active Adults, via Facebook)


The West Newton Center for Active Adults, 103 E. Main St., has posted several upcoming activities.

Exercise Classes: Join the West Newton Center for free Healthy Steps in Motion exercise classes from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 29.

HSIM is a fall-prevention group exercise program designed to accommodate beginners, intermediates and experts alike.

 
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Financial Aid Seminars Planned in City, W.M.

January 08, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(File photo courtesy State Sen. Jim Brewster)

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency will hold two financial aid seminars for high school students and their families.

The sessions at Penn State Greater Allegheny in McKeesport and Community College of Allegheny County South Campus in West Mifflin are being hosted by state Sen. Jim Brewster.

“Higher education has an essential role in the lives of students preparing to enter the workforce,” Brewster said. “It is important that students are financially prepared for this step in their lives.”

 
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Three Injured in Crash Following Shooting

January 08, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

UPDATED with comments from McKeesport Area School District.


A 16-year-old girl is reportedly in critical condition following a crash Tuesday night near McKeesport Area High School.

Allegheny County police said the accident on Washington Street, which injured two other people, happened after someone shot at the vehicle in which the girl was a passenger.

It was the second such shooting in the city in less than a week. On Friday night, police said a 23-year-old man was shot as he was getting into his car on Soles Street. The victim crashed into a utility pole as he fled the scene.

 
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Glitches Reported With New Trash Hauler

January 08, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport officials are urging city residents to have patience with their new trash hauler after some homeowners reported their houses were missed, and others expressed confusion over when recycling would be picked up.

The city's contract with its previous trash hauler, Big's Sanitation, expired on Dec. 31, but the new collector, County Hauling of Rostraver Twp., didn't begin service until Jan. 6.

As a result, some residents reported having almost two weeks' worth of trash that needed to be collected.

County Hauling also has not yet released a schedule for recycling collection or explained what items should be put out for recycling. Emails sent by Tube City Almanac to County Hauling spokespersons asking for clarification have not been answered.

 
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Public Asks County Council For
Action on Air, Water Quality

January 07, 2020 |

By Ann Belser | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, Politics & Elections

County Councilman John Palmiere, Democrat from Baldwin Twp., is sworn in by Allegheny County Common  Pleas Judge Dan Regan. Palmiere represents District 6, which also includes Clairton, Elizabeth Borough, Jefferson Hills and Pleasant Hills. Looking on is Common Pleas Judge Kathryn Hens-Greco. (Photo by Ann Belser/Print, special to Tube City Almanac)


If its first meeting was any indication, Allegheny County Council could be in for a contentious new year.

On Jan. 2, the night that all of the new and re-elected members of council were sworn in and Pat Catena of Carnegie was elected as the new council president, a dozen residents availed themselves of the public comment period to talk about the poor quality of the air and water in Allegheny County.

“Of all the issues that come before you, none is more serious than the toxic air that we breathe everyday,” John Detwiler of Squirrel Hill said. “Our county’s air is among the worst in the nation, it affects the health and the very lives of our friends and our neighbors, so all of us should care about our air.”

He called on the new council to reshape the Board of Health through its confirmation process to make the board more responsive to air quality issues.

 
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One Wounded in Shooting; Suspects Sought

January 06, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Allegheny County police are asking for the public's help in solving the shooting Friday night of a 23-year-old man on Soles Street.

In a prepared release, county police said McKeesport police were dispatched just after 10 p.m. to the intersection of Soles and Colfax streets when callers to 9-1-1 reported hearing shots fired, and that a car had collided with a utility pole.

The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to the hospital by private vehicle with a grazing wound to the head, county police Inspector Andrew Schurman said. The man's injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, he said.

 
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Health Department, Police Issue
Rabies Warning in W.O.

January 06, 2020 |

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

White Oak police and the Allegheny County Health Department are warning residents to avoid and report any animals that appear to be unusually aggressive or lethargic.

The warnings were issued after the health department reported that a sick raccoon captured on Route 48 near White Oak Park tested positive for rabies.

Residents are reminded to watch for unusual behavior in animals, make sure their pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations, and notify their local animal control service, the police or the Pennsylvania Game Commission immediately if any animal appears to be acting strange or becomes threatening, said Ryan Scarpino, a spokesman for the health department.

 
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Driver Charged in Connection
With Christmas Eve Hit-Run

January 02, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A driver accused of rear-ending a woman's car in Christy Park on Christmas Eve, and then fleeing the scene, has been charged by McKeesport police.

Jason Brakeall, 24, of North Versailles Twp. faces a preliminary hearing Feb. 3 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi in McKeesport on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident, and driving a vehicle without valid registration and insurance.

McKeesport police said the victim was headed north on Walnut Street and had stopped in traffic near the corner of 31st Avenue just before 6 p.m. Dec. 24 when her car was struck from behind by a red Kia sedan.

 
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10 Guns Seized in Arrest; City Man Jailed

January 02, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport man who was on probation is being held without bond in the Allegheny County Jail after police said they recovered suspected heroin, suspected crack cocaine and 10 firearms from his home in the Seventh Ward.

Jermaine Pawlik-Curry Sr., 35, faces formal arraignment Feb. 19 in Allegheny County Court on more than a dozen charges, including drug and weapons violations. On Monday, Pawlik-Curry waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi in McKeesport.

According to a police report, Allegheny County probation officers asked for McKeesport police department's help on Dec. 18 to verify that Pawlik-Curry was complying with the terms of his release.

 
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In McKeesport, 1920 Was a Gas

January 01, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History

The last time McKeesport entered the “twenties,” the boom was on — the gas boom, that is.

In August 1919, two men, Samuel J. Brendel of West Newton and David Foster of McKeesport, began drilling a well near present-day Renziehausen Park on what Brendel later called “a hunch.”

Their well, in what was then called “Snake Hollow,” struck natural gas. A lot of it — 40 million to 60 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, at first.

By the end of 1919, the famous “McKeesport Gas Boom” had begun. From across the United States, people moved to McKeesport to get jobs drilling wells. Many more people bought shares of stock in hundreds of drilling companies — most of which would turn out to be worthless.

 
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