Trick-or-Treat Times, Safety Suggestions Posted

October 30, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements, Duquesne News, Liberty Borough News, McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News, White Oak News

With Halloween on Saturday, you’ve hopefully already made a plan for a costume. But have you considered the safest way to trick-or-treat this year?

Most local communities — McKeesport, North Versailles Twp., White Oak, Port Vue, and Liberty Borough — will observe Halloween with trick-or-treating during the hours of 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Duquesne will observe trick-or-treating from 5 to 7 p.m. and will have a costume contest, with “grab-and-go” treats, from 4 to 5 p.m. at Memorial Park on Grant Avenue. To comply with COVID-19 safety recommendations, participants should enter via South Second Street and exit via South Third Street. The event is made possible by city officials, Duquesne PRIDE and the Duquesne PartnerSHIP.

Dravosburg will observe trick-or-treating from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, with a Halloween costume parade at the borough’s ballfields at 4:30 p.m. Social distancing rules will be in place and attendees are asked to wear face masks.

Prizes will be given to the prettiest costume, ugliest/scariest costume and most original costume. Children ages 0 to 13 are allowed to participate.

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W.N. Library Plans Pie Sale

October 29, 2020 |

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

The West Newton Library will be selling pies to raise money. Order forms are available at Gary Johnson’s Gingerbread Bakery, 111 South Second St., or inside the library, 124 North Water St., or may be obtained by sending email to

Pie orders must be received by Nov. 21 and may be picked up between 12 noon and 6 p.m. Nov. 24, at the bakery.

Available pies include pumpkin, apple, sugar-free apple, Dutch apple, cherry, Dutch cherry, peach, blueberry and coconut cream. Each pie is $12. Pumpkin roll also is available for $10.

Payment with forms can be dropped off at the bakery or mailed to West Newton Library, P.O. Box 221, West Newton, PA 15089.


38th Legislative District: Linda Book (Republican)

October 29, 2020 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Politics & Elections

• See Also: Nick Pisciottano wants to close loopholes, support police

When state Rep. Bill Kortz announced his retirement in January, Linda Book had to quickly make her decision whether to run for the 38th Legislative District seat.

“Sam DeMarco (chairman of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County) called me and asked me to run,” said Book, a member of Whitehall Borough council.

She also serves on the board of directors and the board of trustees of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and was out of town when DeMarco called, so she wasn’t able to get the petition signatures necessary in time to run in the Republican primary.

Instead, she earned the Republican nomination as a write-in candidate.

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38th Legislative District: Nick Pisciottano (Democrat)

October 29, 2020 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Politics & Elections

• See Also: Linda Book sees places to trim state budget

Nick Pisciottano, Democratic nominee in the 38th Legislative District, has family roots in Pittsburgh that date back to before the Civil War.

“I really care about the people in my area,” said Pisciottano. “I want them to know that I’m invested here. I’m here to stay. I want these people to be able to succeed. I want to see them get good jobs and support their families and send their kids to good schools.”

Pisciottano credits family members for his desire to work in public service.

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35th Legislative District: Austin Davis (Democrat)

October 29, 2020 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Politics & Elections

• See also: Don Nevills says ‘I wanted to step up (and) make a difference’

State Rep. Austin Davis has served the 35th District for the last two years and says he has much more that he’d like to get accomplished.

“I think we’ve done a lot in a short amount of time,” Davis said. “Most recently, I was involved in securing the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency tax credit that will finance an $18 million revitalization project in Clairton.”

“I initially decided to run for office two years ago because I grew up in the Mon Valley,” Davis said. “I went to McKeesport High School. I wanted to use my experience to help my community. I want to make the Mon Valley the best place that it can be. I want to find ways for disadvantaged children to have more opportunities.”

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35th Legislative District: Don Nevills (Write-In)

October 29, 2020 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Politics & Elections

• See also: Austin Davis says ‘I’ve proven I can deliver’

In the state House District 35 race, incumbent Austin Davis is facing off against write-in candidate and independent Don Nevills of Clairton.

Don Nevills is a 14-year Navy veteran and small business owner.

“I’m sick and tired of all the corruption and lies,” Nevills said. “I used to complain about it but now I wanted to step up and actually try to make a difference.”

Nevills is running as a write-in candidate because he joined the race after the primary. Nevills also considered a bid at a U.S. House of Representatives seat, but would have needed to get 5,000 signatures on petitions to be placed on the ballot as an independent.

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Local Second-Grader Surprises City Police

October 25, 2020 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: Crime and Police News, McKeesport and Region News

Devin Brown, 7, of McKeesport is introduced to K9 Officer Ryco by his handler, police Sgt. Fran Angert, as his mom, Heather Nelson, looks on. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

A second-grader at Propel McKeesport surprised city police on Saturday morning with 47 custom-ordered face masks.

Devin Brown, 7, of McKeesport, has admired police officers since an incident at a Greensburg diner, said his mother, Heather Nelson.

A Pennsylvania state trooper stopped in to eat lunch and gave Devin a “junior trooper” sticker badge. “Ever since then, he’s wanted to be a policeman when he grows up,” Nelson said. Devin has plastic handcuffs and plays with his pretend police toys all the time, she said.

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Water Authority OK’s City Treatment Plant Upgrade

October 24, 2020 |

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

The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County has approved an upgrade project designed to make the McKeesport water treatment plant, shown here, more reliable. A small mechanical equipment building, shown at lower left, will be replaced by a new facility with room for expansion. (Submitted photo)

The water authority that serves McKeesport, Port Vue, Versailles and White Oak has approved a $7.8 million project to replace the intake structure at the city’s water treatment plant.

That could prevent a repeat of an incident in August that caused an overnight water outage for some local residents served by the facility, and a more serious problem last year that resulted in a boil-water advisory.

At a meeting this month, the board of directors of the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County authorized the upgrades, which will improve water supply reliability for customers supplied by the plant, said Matthew Junker, authority spokesman.

The McKeesport plant draws water from the Youghiogheny River and treats it for its own customers, as well as for residents of Duquesne, which buys water in bulk from MAWC.

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Commentary: Legalize Cannabis,
Reform Criminal Justice System

October 23, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Commentary-Editorial

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Gov. Tom Wolf and Pardons Board Secretary Brandon Flood (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania file photo from November 2019)

Opinions expressed in editorials and commentaries are those of their authors, and are not those of Tube City Community Media Inc., its board of directors, volunteers, contributors or donors. Responsible replies are welcome.

By Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, State Rep. Jake Wheatley and Brandon Flood

Earlier this year, House Bill 2050 was introduced — a measure to allow for the legal sale of adult-use cannabis (marijuana) through a permitting structure for growers, processors and dispensaries.

There are several great components contained in this bill, including provisions to help our youth, support affordable housing, and provide resources to help minority and women-owned businesses. In addition, it would provide a much-needed influx of revenue to our state at a time when we face significant economic challenges.

Unfortunately, one component of the bill that got lost in the media attention following its introduction is the Cannabis Clean Slate initiative, which would provide for the expungement of cannabis-related offenses for non-violent drug offenders.

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Local Groups Offer Rides to Polling Places

October 22, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, Politics & Elections

“#298” by Kelley Minars, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Take Action Mon Valley is one of several groups that is offering free transportation to polling places on Election Day.

A spokeswoman said the non-profit group will provide Allegheny County voters in McKeesport, Duquesne, Clairton, Braddock, Rankin, West Mifflin and nearby communities with free rides via Lyft, Uber or in a volunteer’s vehicle.

That includes transportation Sunday (Oct. 25) to the county’s satellite polling place at CCAC South Campus in West Mifflin, where absentee and vote-by-mail ballots may be deposited in person, or to the polls on Nov. 3.

To request a ride in from TAMV, call or text (412) 440-8268.

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Trash Complaints Still Vex City Leaders, Residents

October 21, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport officials remain unhappy with service from County Hauling and may go “in a different direction” when the current contract expires.

At this month’s council meeting, Mayor Michael Cherepko said service from the company has improved from a few months ago, when he and other city officials were accompanying trash trucks on their routes and picking up missed garbage.

“They definitely have gotten better,” he said. “Am I happy? No. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we go in a different direction.”

In response to questions from Tube City Almanac, a spokesman for the Rostraver Twp. based company said they “apologize for any inconvenience to residents” and urged them to “reach out to us directly so we can resolve isolated issues.”

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NV Twp. Sets Clean-Up Day, Drug Take-Back

October 21, 2020 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

There will be a prescription drug take-back day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 24) at the North Versailles Twp. police station, 1401 Greensburg Ave., officials said.

In addition, a township-wide clean-up will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 noon Oct. 24. Anyone who would like to participate is asked to meet at the township building.

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Events, New Businesses Top NV Twp. Agenda

October 21, 2020 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

Upcoming events and news of several new businesses topped the agenda at this month’s meeting of the North Versailles Twp. commissioners.

Commissioner Allen Wagner said there will be an open house at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 25 for Walkers Pet HoTail’s new location at 1751 Lincoln Highway.

In addition, a slag reclamation plant is being developed near the George Westinghouse Bridge and has received all of the necessary permits. The business will take slag and convert it into road construction material that can be used in concrete and asphalt, officials said.

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County: 26K Ballots Returned in Person So Far

October 21, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Allegheny County elections officials are reminding voters who plan to use an absentee or “vote-by-mail” ballot that they must put their ballot into a secrecy envelope and sign the voter’s declaration before mailing or depositing it. Sample envelopes are shown. (Allegheny County photos)

Over the past two weekends, nearly 27,000 absentee ballots have been returned in-person at temporary Allegheny County elections offices, a county spokeswoman said.

Last weekend, 12,675 ballots were returned at five locations, including CCAC South Campus in West Mifflin, where 1,950 ballots were returned during the two-day period, said Amie Downs, county spokeswoman.

During the weekend of Oct. 10 and 11, approximately 13,950 ballots were returned to five temporary elections offices, Downs said.

Although Pennsylvania does not allow early in-person voting, absentee or “vote-by-mail” ballots may be returned by voters, in-person, to a county election office.

Allegheny County is opening temporary, satellite elections offices at locations throughout the Pittsburgh area to accommodate voters who do not want to wait in lines on Nov. 3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Texas Man Jailed Following Chase, Crash

October 21, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Texas man remains in Allegheny County Jail on charges that he led officers on a chase through McKeesport, then bailed out of his vehicle following a crash in Dravosburg.

City police used an aerial drone and a tracking dog to help locate Kendall L. Mikell, 33, of Fort Worth, who remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing Nov. 23 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

City and Allegheny County police were working a crime suppression detail on Walnut Street, Downtown, on the evening of Sept. 18 when a black Toyota sedan with Texas license plates turned onto Shaw Avenue, traveling at a high rate of speed.

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Tube City Media Announces New Officers, Board

October 21, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

The non-profit corporation that oversees Tube City Almanac, McKeesport Obituaries and WMCK Internet Radio has elected its board of directors and officers for 2020-2021.

The board also announced its plans to transition all of Tube City’s online content to the trademarked “Tube City Online” name during 2021.

At its annual meeting, the board re-elected for one-year terms current directors Alycia Bencloski, Andrea Luketic Cartwright, Dan Dougherty, Daniel C. Malesky, William C. Phillips, Dianne Ribecca, Judy Rosenfeld, Rev. Chris Stillwell, Thomas Schroll Jr., Jennifer Sopko and Jason Togyer.

The board also elected William Phillips as chair, Alycia Bencloski as treasurer and Jennifer Sopko as secretary.

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Christmas Parade Canceled, But Trees Will Go On

October 21, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport’s 35th annual Festival of Trees is expected to continue as scheduled, but this year’s Christmas parade has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Tube City Almanac file photo from 2019)

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused yet another cancellation — this time, of McKeesport’s Christmas parade.

However, the 35th annual Festival of Trees is expected to be held, though with social distancing rules in place and probably without food service.

“You’ll probably agree with me that this year has been a really tough year for many reasons,” Mayor Michael Cherepko said. “It’s disheartening to not have the events — the concerts, the ribfest, the Easter egg hunt, International Village, I could go on and on. That’s made this year a lot worse because that’s where (McKeesport) gets to shine.”

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In Unannounced Visit, HUD Secretary Stops in City

October 18, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Ben Carson, U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development, visited McKeesport on Thursday to discuss the federal Financial Opportunity Zone program. The meeting with city officials and local business owners was closed to the public. (HUD photo via Twitter)

The federal secretary of Housing & Urban Development made an unannounced visit to McKeesport on Thursday to meet with city officials and local business owners.

Neither media nor the public were invited to the event with HUD Secretary Ben Carson, described as a roundtable discussion of the federal Opportunity Zone program with local business owners and developers.

It is the third time in as many months that HUD officials have visited McKeesport to discuss the Financial Opportunity Zone program, which provides tax incentives to people who invest in economically distressed areas.

Joseph J. DeFelice, Region III administrator for HUD, visited the city in both August and September.

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Town Hall for EA Parents Scheduled Tuesday

October 18, 2020 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

East Allegheny School District will hold a virtual town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday to discuss plans to move to a mix of in-person and online education.

At the board’s Oct. 12 meeting, school directors said the town hall will break down the proposed plan and allow time for questions and discussion.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the district began the school year with most students taking classes remotely, except for those who required face-to-face instruction due to special learning needs.

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Deputies, Walmart Donate to McKeesport Schools

October 18, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

(Submitted photos)

Allegheny County sheriff’s deputies and the North Versailles Twp. Walmart teamed up Friday to donate nearly $5,000 of school supplies to McKeesport Area School District.

“Our agency is once again extremely grateful to support local families in need during this challenging time when community support is needed most,” said Tony Griffith, communications director for the sheriff’s office.


WN Church Collecting ‘Toys for Tots’

October 18, 2020 |

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

West Newton First Church of God, 157 North Second St., has three mission projects for the month of November.

A church spokesperson said the congregation is collecting “Toys for Tots,” collecting Kleenex and pump hand sanitizers for teachers at West Newton Elementary School, and collecting items to be sent to people serving in the armed forces.

Anyone wishing to participate is welcome, the spokesperson said. Items can be dropped off at the church. Call (724) 872-7467.

In December, the church is holding its second-annual Cookie Walk fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 12. Masks and social distancing will be in place, and cookies will be sold by the pound.


Seeking End to Dumping, Council Increases Fines

October 08, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Workers from Allegheny CleanWays cleared debris from an illegal dumping site in the city in September. CleanWays crews and city officials also picked up garbage dumped along the Youghiogheny River. (Submitted photo)

Frustrated by dozens of illegal dump sites throughout McKeesport, council has voted to drastically increase the fines and the city will soon post cameras in target areas.

Council on Wednesday voted 7-0 to amend the city’s illegal dumping ordinance to set a minimum fine of $2,500 and a maximum of $10,000, or up to 180 days in the Allegheny County Jail.

The previous fine was $300.

Mayor Michael Cherepko said the city has been working with Allegheny CleanWays’ “DumpBusters” program to identify illegal dumping spots.

City Administrator Tom Maglicco said 48 sites have been identified so far.

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City Detective Recovering After Motorcycle Crash

October 08, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News, McKeesport and Region News, White Oak News

A longtime city police officer is recovering at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, Oakland, after being injured in a serious motorcycle crash on Route 48.

McKeesport police Chief Adam Alfer said Detective Joseph Osinski was southbound at Ripple Road at around 3 p.m. Monday when his motorcycle collided with a car pulling out onto the highway.

White Oak police are investigating. Chief Mark Sargent could not be reached for comment.

Osinski and his wife, Brenda, are the owners of Puzzlers’ Restaurant & Lounge in Christy Park and founders of the Joey-O Foundation for Autism Awareness, and are frequent contributors to charitable causes around the region.

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Youth Leadership Program Seeks New Students

October 08, 2020 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News

East Allegheny High School is one of five locally that participates in the Emerging Leaders Program, run by the Human Services Center Corp. in Turtle Creek. The program is having trouble recruiting students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted photo)

A program that prepares local high school seniors for college and the workforce is having trouble recruiting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Emerging Leaders Program, run by the Human Services Center Corp. in Turtle Creek, still has nearly 40 spots available for seniors attending East Allegheny, McKeesport Area, Penn Hills, West Mifflin Area and Woodland Hills high schools, said Leah O’Reilly, director of programs at HSCC.

“One of the complications that we are having with the pandemic is recruitment,” she said. “Normally we have staff on-site in each one of the school districts so they are able to see the students every day and identify potential candidates.”

That hasn’t been possible this year due to the pandemic, O’Reilly said.

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W.N. Library Seeks Book Donations

October 07, 2020 |

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

The West Newton Library is accepting donations of books for its back room book sale, a spokesperson said.

Books should be no older than 10 years. Hardcover, paperback, children’s books, biographies, non-fiction and DVDs are accepted. No cookbooks, encyclopedias or textbooks can be accepted.

Books may be dropped off at the library, 124 N. Water St. West Newton, 12 noon to 5 p.m. Monday and Thursday, 12 noon to 7 on Wednesdays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call (724) 633-0798.



October 06, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

Posting has been somewhat slow here as the editor has taken care of some other deadlines. We’ll be back on track soon.

In the meantime, remember that you can check out Tube City Community Media’s two podcasts, “Consumer Review Report” with Dianne Ribecca, and “Two Rivers, 30 Minutes,” which also airs on Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. on McKeesport’s WEDO (810) and at 9:30 a.m. on Braddock’s WZUM (1550/101.1).

This past Sunday on “Two Rivers,” we talked to Jacqueline Smith, executive director of Greater Valley Community Services.

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MASD Board Thanks Staff for Pandemic Response

October 03, 2020 |

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

McKeesport Area School Directors expressed their appreciation for the way teachers and administrators have handled the academic year so far.

At September’s meeting, school board President Joe Lopretto thanked Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. and other district officials for “diligently working to keep this district on track throughout the ups and down since mid-March.”

Lopretto also praised students who participated in the Sept. 18 NBC “Today” show episode that featured McKeesport Area students. During a live broadcast, Comcast, NBC’s parent company, gave away 2,500 laptops as well as Internet access to help students and teachers work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Let me tell everybody, what you saw on the Today Show segment was real,” Lopretto said. “Nothing was staged. A lot of people like to give McKeesport a bad rap about our community and our school district. I couldn’t be more proud of how our kids handled themselves in the national media spotlight.”

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