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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