#BHM: Child Care Center Enters 21st Year

February 28, 2021 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Editor’s Note: During the final week of Black History Month 2021, Vickie Babyak is taking a look at some local community leaders and entrepreneurs.

Employees and children at A Developmental Journey Christian Childcare enjoy an after-school game of bingo. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

Anica Jones-Paige will celebrate a milestone soon: A Developmental Journey Christian Childcare, the group site she founded and owns, will mark its 21st year in business in June.

That means she’ll soon be serving a second generation of children and their families in McKeesport.

Jones-Paige started with family care, then moved into center care, and presently provides group site care. ADJ is at full enrollment with 12 children, and some of them have been with the center since they were infants.

In the past, Ms. Paige’s child care center included infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school age children. More recently, her facility is limited to school age children.

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#BHM: Business Owner Says World Needs Healing

February 28, 2021 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Editor’s Note: During the final week of Black History Month 2021, Vickie Babyak is taking a look at some local community leaders and entrepreneurs.

Kellee Turner, owner of Soulll Connections displays her holistic products at home. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

The word holistic was introduced in the 1970s. It gained popularity as a catchphrase for providing personalized treatment of a person’s psyche and soul as well as body.

Kellee Turner is the owner of Soulll Connections and believes the world needs an enormous amount of healing. She uses a holistic approach to bring love and balance into people’s lives. Her slogan is, “Help me, help you, balance you! Changing energy, one soul at a time.”

During the COVID-19 quarantine, Turner realized she needed a change. She worked two jobs, had two school age children and a baby. Turner said her baby was the inspiration. She wrote down a list of goals and decided to start her business, which she called Soulll Connections.

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W.M. Man Hurt in Dravosburg Crash

February 26, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Nick Janosek of C&D Towing & Recovery looks over the damage as crews prepare to remove a vehicle that crashed into a building in Dravosburg on Thursday. (Photo courtesy C&D Towing & Recovery)

A 52-year-old West Mifflin man was injured Thursday when his SUV went off of Richland Avenue and crashed into a storefront in Dravosburg.

Residents of the apartments above the building at the corner of Fourth Street and Richland have been evacuated until an engineer determines whether the structure is safe, officials said. That determination is expected some time next week.

The Salvation Army was at the scene Thursday helping the residents. Fourth Avenue is currently closed.

McKeesport police Capt. Chris Halaszynski said the driver, whose name has not been released, was northbound, heading up Dravosburg Hill just before 12 noon when the SUV left the road and went through the front of the building, winding up almost against the back wall.

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Crowd Questions W.O. Feral Cat Ordinance

February 23, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

A large crowd attended Monday’s White Oak borough council meeting to raise concerns over an recently enacted feral cat ordinance.

More than two dozen people, some of whom had to stand for lack of chairs, attended to discuss the impact of the ordinance, enacted by council in December.

The ordinance requires cat owners to vaccinate their own anials against rabies, as well as to have their cats neutered or spayed and tipped. The ordinance also makes it unlawful to continue feeding or keeping feral cats if it causes a nuisance to neighbors.

Several people on Monday questioned whether the ordinance was legal or could withstand a court challenge.

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#BHM: Local Artist Balances Work, Family

February 23, 2021 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Editor’s Note: During the final week of Black History Month 2021, Vickie Babyak is taking a look at some local community leaders and entrepreneurs.

Emmau Crosby holding up two of her hand-crafted, custom ordered trays. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

Emmau Crosby is a McKeesport business owner, a mom, an artist, entrepreneur and the CEO of Sour Puff Girls LLC. “I love my diverse roles and consider it a win-win situation, even though everything is a balancing act,” Crosby says.

Crosby finds herself extremely busy with three children, ages 10, 6 and 8 months old. She manages her home, creates art, and markets her merchandise at trade shows.

“Other women have told me that I’m an inspiration,” says Crosby. “It gives me a sense of pride to know I can encourage others.” She stays focused and her motto is “Powerful Women with High Standards.”

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All-Faiths Prayer Service Scheduled March 3

February 22, 2021 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

McKeesport Area Ministerium will host a ecumenical prayer service to pray for “healing for our nation” from 12 noon to 1 p.m. March 3 at Zion Baptist Church, 1300 Locust St.

A spokesperson said participants are invited to worship in person, with COVID-19 safety measures in place, or virtually via Zoom or Facebook.

To participate on Facebook, visit Zion Baptist’s Facebook page, zion.baptist.9883. On Zoom, use meeting ID 987 1990 4323, passcode 044730. To participate via phone, call (978) 990-5000 and enter code 145613, and identify yourself as “Zion Baptist Church.”


#BHM: TAMV Fights Violence at Every Level

February 22, 2021 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Editor’s Note: During the final week of Black History Month 2021, Vickie Babyak is taking a look at some local community leaders and entrepreneurs.

Fawn Walker Montgomery working from her home office. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

Take Action Mon Valley (TAMV) is a nonprofit organization located in McKeesport, and its mission is to combat all forms of community violence, activism and organizing. The nonprofit was originated in 2014.

“My cousin’s son, Carlos Hudson Jr. was murdered,” said Fawn Walker Montgomery, Co-Founder and Executive Director of TAMV. “He wasn’t the first or last relative I’ve lost to violence, so my cousin, Mae Herriott Hudson, and I decided to do something about solving homicides in our community. Since then, we have developed into a social justice organization that reaches out to surrounding communities.”

Montgomery takes complaints on violence throughout Allegheny County and focuses on generating solutions for local communities. Any individual, organization or group can make a complaint.

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EA Senior Swims to New Records

February 20, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News, Sports

When Autumn Christner was trying out different sports growing up, she wasn’t expecting to fall in love with swimming. Thirteen years on, she’s setting new records.

“I did all types of different sports growing up, and I didn’t really like any of it. My sister did swimming — that’s what got me into it,” Christner said.

The East Allegheny senior broke a 39-year-old record for the 100-meter breaststroke in a swim meet against North Catholic on Feb. 9.

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Weather Impacts EA Students’ Return to School

February 17, 2021 |

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

East Allegheny students continue returning for in-person instruction.

At this month’s school board meeting, Superintendent Alan Johnson reported the gradual process began Jan. 25 with special education students. Each week following has ushered in the return of select grades and will conclude on Feb. 22 with the remaining grades 9, 10, and 11 to make the transition complete.

The students are assigned to color coded cohorts (blue on Mondays and Tuesdays, gold on Thursdays and Fridays). Wednesday is a remote day in order to give custodial staff a chance to clean the buildings between cohorts. The recent winter weather advisories have caused disruptions in the return process as some of the in-person days were moved to remote due to travel concerns.

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County Police Probe Fatal Dravosburg Wreck

February 16, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Allegheny County police are investigating a one-car crash in Dravosburg late Friday night that led to the death of a Clairton man.

Alex K.A. Brown Jr., 41, was pronounced dead at a hospital early Saturday morning, the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said.

Emergency personnel said one person was ejected from the car, which rolled over.

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W.N. Lions Slate Ash Wednesday Fish Fry

February 15, 2021 |

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

The West Newton Lions Club, 511 Pittsburgh St., will hold an Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17) fish fry to raise money to support its programs.

The menu includes Alaskan pollock deep-fried fish sandwich platter, baked macaroni & cheese or haluski, and cole slaw for $12, or a fish sandwich only for $6.75.

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St. Sava Slates Lenten Fish Fries

February 15, 2021 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 901 Hartman St., will hold lenten fish fries on Fridays, beginning Feb. 19 and continuing through March 12.

All meals are take-out only and must be pre-ordered.

Pre-orders are being taken Sundays through Wednesdays by calling (412) 469-2955. Payment must be made by credit card, a spokeswoman said.

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Growing Agape Center Looks at W.O. School

February 14, 2021 |

By Siana Emery | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The McKeesport Agape Center may relocate to the former White Oak Elementary School on California Avenue, which closed in 2014. (Tube City Almanac photo)

In 2019, Kelly and Mike Doyle began providing food delivery services to neighbors they knew needed aid. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, demand from food insecure community members skyrocketed. Thus, the McKeesport Agape Center was born.

As the center’s services continue to grow, so does their need for a large enough space to operate out of. One building that the Doyles are looking to purchase is the former White Oak Elementary School, which the McKeesport Area School District has confirmed is a possibility.

“The important thing to get across is that people that need food the most often don’t have vehicles to get to food banks. It’s important to have people to drive food to them,” said Kelly Doyle, who along with her husband, Mike, owns “Doyle Mails It,” the White Oak contract post office. “We really want to help our neighbors in need, and eradicate the food desert in the McKeesport area.”

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WOAA Work Complete, Other Plans Move Forward

February 11, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

Improvements at White Oak Athletic Association are complete, pending the receipt of certain documents.

At Monday’s council work session, borough engineer Ken Hillman said White Oak’s next big project is tackling repairs to the municipal building on Lincoln Way.

“We’ve completed specification plans for the roof, electrical and HVAC systems at the borough building. Our street paving project has been sent out to bid, and those bids are due Feb. 23,” Hillman said.

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Black Baseball Has Strong Connection to Region

February 10, 2021 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: History, Sports

The 1930-31 Homestead Grays, considered by baseball experts the best Negro Leagues team of all time. Five of the people in this photo — owner Cumberland Posey, pitcher “Smokey” Joe Williams, catcher Josh Gibson, center fielder Oscar Charleston and infielder Jud Wilson — are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Hank Aaron’s death on Feb. 5, during Black History Month, resonated with many baseball fans — especially those who remember the Negro major leagues, where Aaron began his professional career in 1951.

Other than Kansas City, perhaps no city has a stronger connection than Pittsburgh to baseball’s Negro major leagues, where Black athletes competed in the days before Major League Baseball was integrated.

The Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords — named after the Crawford Bath House in Pittsburgh’s Hill District — were cornerstones of the Negro National League, which was created in 1933 and lasted until 1948.

“Some of the greatest players to ever play in the Negro Leagues and the Major Leagues once played right here in Pittsburgh,” said Dave Moore, museum director at the McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center.

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Clarification Issued

February 10, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

I’ve gotten a number of inquiries about the “Tube City Writers” program being advertised on Facebook and Twitter.

“Tube City Writers” is a program of Point Park University and is not affiliated with Tube City Community Media Inc. When the program was created, our board asked them to consider changing their name, because we felt it would be confusing. They declined.

If you are interested in “Tube City Writers,” you will need to contact them at the address listed in their advertisements.

Along the same lines, we are not “McKeesport Community Newsroom,” which is also a Point Park University program.

We do accept opinion pieces and commentary submitted by local authors, and we pay, upon publication, for news stories of interest to McKeesport, Duquesne, North Versailles Twp., White Oak and the surrounding area.

We are especially interested in recruiting people to help us cover Duquesne. If you are interested, let me know.


Jason Togyer
Executive Director
Tube City Community Media Inc.


City Woman Dead in Pittsburgh Shooting

February 09, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport woman was found dead of a gunshot wound following a car crash in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood.

Pittsburgh police believe Katara L. Bray, 22, was targeted and that her shooting was not random, said Maurice Matthews II, assistant public information officer, but the investigation is still ongoing.

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No Injuries in Duquesne Apartment Fire

February 09, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Duquesne News

No one was injured during a fire Monday night at Grant Towers Apartments in Duquesne.

City fire Chief Frank Cobb said an automatic fire alarm was activated just before 9 p.m. When crews arrived, smoke was showing from a seventh-story window on the front of the building at 100 Grant Ave.

A deputy fire chief turned in a second alarm and crews began battling the blaze using the standpipe system in the building, Cobb said.

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Nominating Petitions Available for May Primary

February 08, 2021 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Voters in local communities will be electing mayors, council members and school directors in 2021.

On Monday, the Allegheny County Elections Division announced that nominating petitions for the 2021 primary election are now available.

The first day to circulate nominating petitions is Feb. 16 and the last day to file nominating petitions is March 9.

Among those communities voting for mayors will be Duquesne and White Oak. Three McKeesport city council seats and four White Oak borough council seats are up for election, as are commissioners’ seats in Wards 2, 4 and 6 of North Versailles Twp.

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Fish Fries Reminded to Secure County Health OK

February 05, 2021 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The Allegheny County Health Department is reminding fish fry sponsors that they must have a valid health permit to operate.

A spokesman said churches, fire departments or other organizations that do not already have a valid health permit will need to complete a temporary permit application and provide the permit fee to the Health Department.

All fish fries allowing in-person dining must follow COVID-19 safety requirements and guidance for restaurants from the state.

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Board Thanks MASD Students, Teachers

February 01, 2021 |

By Siana Emery | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Gratitude was the theme of the McKeesport Area School District Board’s January meeting.

Joseph Lopretto, board president, commended the work of students, teachers and administrators during the 2020-21 school year, saying the “school year has been a challenge for everybody. I compliment our administrators for doing what they do to keep it going, and we can only hope and pray we get through the school year.”

Mark Holtzman, superintendent, then praised the ways in which the district has been able to succeed during the pandemic, as well as thanking the all-volunteer school board.

“We’re giving [the students] the best possible education that we can under our current circumstances, and we are trying our best to think of new, creative ways to engage our students online,” said Holtzman. “We are very lucky to be leaders in the McKeesport Area School District and will remain as long as they have us. We truly believe in our school system.”

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County: All Eight Air Monitors in Compliance

February 01, 2021 |

By Denise L. Ritter | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

For the first time in history, the air quality at all eight of the Allegheny County Health Department’s monitors has met federal standards.

Officials last week announced that the county has met federal air-quality standards for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, ozone and small particles of soot and other contaminants.

“This achievement comes after years of hard work by the health department, federal and state agencies and local industry to clean up the air in Allegheny County,” said Dr. Debra Bogen, health department director. “But we have more work to do, and the health department is committed to ensuring everyone in Allegheny County has clean air to breathe.”

The health department has eight air-quality monitors, including three in the Mon-Yough area at Liberty Borough, Clairton and North Braddock, as well as locations in Avalon, Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood, South Fayette and Harrison townships and along the Parkway East.

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City Council Meeting Canceled

February 01, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

McKeesport City Council will not meet this week, said a spokesperson for Mayor Michael Cherepko. The next scheduled meeting is March 3.

In an announcement posted on the front page of the city’s website, the mayor’s office said there are no actionable agenda items for consideration this month.

Council meetings will be closed to in-person public participation until further notice in light of COVID-19 mitigation efforts currently in place, the mayor’s office said.

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