W.O. Makes Plans for New Year

September 23, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

The borough building will be ready in time for Election Day, White Oak council announced Monday.

Borough engineer Kenneth Hillman told council that renovations are nearly complete.

“Flat roof work on the borough building will start tomorrow, Sep. 21. The insulation should arrive by mid-November. Signs are being constructed, the sidewalks and lighting are in…it’s just around the corner,” Hillman said.

In related news, plans for the borough’s 2022 street paving program are underway, and various properties are being surveyed, he said.

 
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Reward Offered for Capture of Woman’s Killer

September 23, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

“I don’t know if I can ever find peace” if the murderer of Karli Short (right) isn’t brought to justice, said her father, Brandon Short. A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of her killer. (Submitted photo courtesy Short family)


The family of a pregnant woman found shot to death at her Christy Park home are hoping that a reward will entice someone to come forward with information that leads to the arrest of her killer.

At a memorial service Thursday morning at Renziehausen Park attended by friends, local officials and police, the family of Karli Short, 26, announced the $20,000 reward had been put up by Richard Bazzy, owner of Shults Ford.

Short’s body was found Sept. 13. Short was pregnant with a boy — her first child — at the time of her death, according to the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office. She was due to give birth in February 2022.

“We know the narrative,” said Short’s cousin, Troy Blackwell, a coach at McKeesport Area High School. “We know the first things that were in people’s heads. That wasn’t the case at all with her.

“That completely wasn’t her,” he said. “There wasn’t any underhanded stuff that she was involved in.”

 
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Three Charged in Renzie Incident

September 22, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Three men face charges following an incident Monday afternoon in Renziehausen Park that resulted in the recovery of drugs and a stolen handgun.

Two of the suspects were apprehended after they fled police and crashed their car into a metal barrier along Eden Park Boulevard, McKeesport police said.

No injuries to bystanders were reported, but police said multiple people and children were in the park area at the time of this incident, thus putting them in danger.

McKeesport police said officers were dispatched to the Jakomas Blue-Top Pavilion just before 4 p.m. after 9-1-1 callers reported a fight was in progress. While en route, police said, a caller reported hearing what might have been a gun shot.

 
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Heritage Center Plans 7th Annual History Tour

September 20, 2021 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Paul Fields portrays McKeesport's first Black police officer, George W. Simmons, during the 2016 Living History Tour. (Submitted photo courtesy McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center)


Tickets are on sale now for McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center’s seventh-annual Living History Tour, 12 noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 2 and 3.

A spokesperson said guests will to enjoy a walking tour while learning stories of some of the notable, famous and infamous McKeesporters who were laid to rest at historic McKeesport & Versailles Cemetery. To ensure social distancing protocols can be maintained, tours will be limited in size.

Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for students.

“The Living History Tour has become a signature event for the Heritage Center,” event chair Andi Cartwright said. “It’s a unique opportunity for folks from McKeesport and surrounding communities to learn about McKeesport’s past by taking a glimpse into the lives of some really intriguing characters.

 
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Mon Valley HIV/AIDS Walk Virtual This Year

September 20, 2021 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The 21st annual Mon Valley HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk will be held Oct. 2, a spokeswoman said.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 walk will be a virtual event for the second consecutive year.

The event will start with a Zoom kick-off event at 9 a.m., said Abbie Godollei, outreach coordinator for the Turtle Creek-based Human Services Center Corp. After the virtual event, participants will be encouraged to go out in their neighborhood or local park to walk in solidarity with other walk participants in Allegheny County, she said.

The walk is organized by the Human Services Center Corp.’s HIV/AIDS Working Group and continues to be the only HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Godollei said.

 
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‘Tour de Mon’ Returns for 10th Anniversary Oct. 30

September 16, 2021 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Submitted photo)


The 10th anniversary Tour de Mon bike ride will return to the Great Allegheny Passage on Oct. 30.

U.S. Steel has returned as the presenting sponsor, said the Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the annual trek. The ride begins and ends at the historic “Pump House” near the Waterfront in Munhall.

“Tour de Mon” is a pleasure ride, not a race. Riders have their choice of going a full 20 miles to Boston and back; 15 miles to McKeesport and back; 10 miles to Pittsburgh's Hot Metal Bridge and back, or eight miles to Duquesne and back.

 
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September 16, 2021 |

By Advertising | Posted in: Paid Advertisement

HELP WANTED: Development Manager

The McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center is seeking a fiscal-minded individual with experience in corporate giving, fundraising, and/or grant writing. Position responsible for seeking sponsorships for monthly programs and special events, foundation support and grant monies, corporate sponsors for exhibits, and underwriting support/advertisers for the newsletter. Position also requires ability to increase and track membership, and to work alongside the Finance Committee to develop an annual budget. Estimated 20 hours per week. Wages negotiable based on training and experience.

To apply, send cover letter and resume to Development Manager, Box TCA, McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center, 1832 Arboretum Drive, McKeesport, PA 15132, or email info@mckeesportheritage.org. Equal opportunity employer.

9/16/2021–10/1/2021

 

September 16, 2021 |

By Advertising | Posted in: Paid Advertisement

HELP WANTED: Community Outreach Coordinator

The McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center is seeking a friendly, outgoing person who can commit 15 hours per week to promoting the Center through web presence, social media, and community events. Position also requires the planning and attendance of monthly programs at the Center. Wages negotiable based on training and experience.

To apply, send cover letter and resume to Community Outreach Coordinator, Box TCA, McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center, 1832 Arboretum Drive, McKeesport, PA 15132, or email info@mckeesportheritage.org. Equal opportunity employer.

9/16/2021–10/1/2021

 

‘DumpBusters’ Tackle Trash at Vacant Properties

September 16, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Dani Kramer, land-based program coordinator for Allegheny CleanWays, gives direction to a crew of “DumpBusters” cleaning up illegally dumped trash along Federal Street in the city. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)


In just three hours last week, a team of “DumpBusters” removed more than 7,000 pounds of junk and 21 old tires from an abandoned home on Federal Street in McKeesport.

How did the team — including 13 volunteers from Compass AmeriCorps — keep from getting overwhelmed when confronted with all of that trash on Sept. 10?

Lexi Garcia, a native of Ann Arbor, Mich., said it helped to remember they were changing a community, a little bit at a time.

“It’s easy to feel hopeless about how one person can make a difference,” Garcia said. “But you have to keep that passion going.”

 
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Judicial Candidates Face Voters at Sept. 20 Forum

September 16, 2021 |

By © Public News Service | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Five of seven judges’ seats in the Supreme Court chamber in the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. (Ruhrfisch photo via Wikimedia Commons. Used under CC BY-SA 4.0, Link.)


Emily Scott, Public News Service:

Pennsylvanians will vote this November to elect judges in the state’s three appellate courts, and a virtual candidate forum next week will allow voters to get to know those running for the Commonwealth, Superior and Supreme Court positions who will make influential decisions.

Two seats are up for grabs in Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court, and one each in its Superior and Supreme courts. Pennsylvania differs from some states in that it votes for judges in partisan elections, rather than by merit selection.

Debbie Gross, chief executive officer of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, said it limits the information voters can gather from candidates as they are expected to remain impartial in light of issues that could arise on the bench.

 
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W.O. Building Projects Nearly Complete

September 15, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

Renovations on White Oak’s municipal and maintenance buildings are nearly complete, the borough’s engineer told council on Monday.

“Work on the borough building is 85 percent done, and the maintenance building is 80 percent done,” Borough Engineer Ken Hillman said at this week’s workshop meeting. “We’re just waiting on the approval of the rubber roof for the borough building, and we still need to do some gutter and flat roof work on the borough building.”

Hillman also announced that electrical work at Heritage Hill Pool has been in progress since after Labor Day.

 
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Downtown’s Newest Store Promises Light Treats

September 14, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Sheree Kegley uses cake decorating tools to finish one of her “dessert candles.” Kegley’s store, Bleuu Candles, is the newest business in Downtown’s re-opened Executive Building. (Tube City Almanac photo)


The sundaes, cupcakes, parfaits and birthday cakes at Bleuu Candles look good enough to eat — but you’d probably just better sniff them instead.

Everything — including the icing, the sprinkles and the cherries on top — are made of wax. Proprietor Sheree Kegley taught herself to make and decorate scented candles, in varieties such as tropical fruit, cinnamon, birthday cake, chocolate and peach, as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

“It was COVID-borne,” she says. “I lost both of my jobs during COVID, so I taught myself. I’ve been making candles for about a year now.”

 
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Few Details Released in City Woman’s Death

September 14, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A city woman was found dead Monday morning outside her home on 25th Avenue in Christy Park.

Karli Short, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said. Her father told Pittsburgh’s WTAE-TV his daughter was five months pregnant at the time of her death.

“The pain that I feel is indescribable,” said Brandon Short, a McKeesport native, Penn State University trustee and former All-American linebacker. “A parent shouldn’t lose a child. That’s not the way that the world is supposed to work.”

In a prepared statement, Allegheny County police said first responders were dispatched to the home when a caller to 9-1-1 reported a woman was “down.” They arrived to find Short suffering from a single gunshot wound to the head, police said.

Short’s body was found at the rear of the home, the medical examiner’s office said.

 
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Organizers: Hayride Will Continue

September 13, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

The organizers of a North Versailles Twp. hayride announced Monday they are committed to continuing the event following a shooting on Saturday in which one teen-ager was killed and another one seriously wounded.

In a statement released via social media, Haunted Hills Hayride said “our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims associated with the senseless act of violence that occurred at our facility.”

According to Allegheny County police, a teen-ager from Penn Hills who was attempting to intervene in an altercation near the event’s ticket booth was shot and killed by another youth, who then fled the scene.

 
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Police Seek Leads in Hayride Shooting

September 13, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Updated with comment from Central Catholic High School.


The teen-ager who was shot and killed outside of a hayride in North Versailles Twp. on Saturday night was trying to intervene in an argument, Allegheny County police said.

Now, homicide detectives are asking for the public’s help to identify the person responsible for the death of Steven Eason, 15, of Wilmerding, and who injured another teen-ager from Penn Hills whose name has not been released by police.

Meanwhile, East Allegheny School District is offering grief counseling to students who may have been present at Haunted Hills Hayride on Saturday night, or who may have known one of the two victims.

As many as 100 people may have been present at the time of the shooting, police said, which took place near a ticket booth, according to witnesses.

 
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Teen Dead, Another Hurt in NV Twp. Shooting

September 12, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Wilmerding teen-ager died, and another youth is in critical condition, following a shooting outside of a North Versailles Twp. attraction on Saturday night.

Steven Eason, 15, was pronounced dead at a hospital emergency room at 8:49 p.m., the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said. His assailant is still at large, Allegheny County police said.

Few details were available, but witnesses said the shooting happened just after 8 p.m. near the ticket booth at Haunted Hills Hayride on Route 48. They described the aftermath as chaotic.

 
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EA Band Finds Out ‘Love is the Answer’

September 10, 2021 |

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

East Allegheny High School band members Sophia Scuilli, Jacob Ankney, Wayne Burnam, Daniel Cipcic and Austin Phelan turn up the brass. (Kristen Keleschenyi photo for Tube City Almanac)


The theme of this year’s show for the East Allegheny High School marching band is love. “Love is the Answer” had a sneak preview for friends and family at Churchman Stadium on Aug. 28 and debuted to the public at Sept. 4’s football game at Serra Catholic High School.

The three songs featured include “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “After The Love Has Gone.” The show’s message is something band director Justin Rosco says wasn’t an accident.

“We wanted something positive and fun,” he says.

This year’s band is one of the smallest Rosco has worked with during his career at EA, with just 40 members, 12 of whom are in the color guard.

 
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Route 837 Delays Possible Near Dravosburg

September 10, 2021 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

​Traffic restrictions are possible next week while crews do survey work on Route 837 between Clairton and Dravosburg.

A spokesman for the state Department of Transportation said workers from JMT Inc. and Monaloh Basin Engineering will be marking utlities and surveying the road between New England Road and Lebanon School Road, beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, weather permitting.

Lane restrictions will occur in various locations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays through Sept. 20, the PennDOT spokesman said.

Flaggers will assist motorists through the work zone.

 

Remade Lab Called Commitment to Region, Future

September 10, 2021 |

By Siana Emery | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Penn State Greater Allegheny students discuss their research with University President Eric J. Barron at the Ostermayer Laboratory on the McKeesport campus during Thursday’s open house. (Penn State University photo via Facebook)


Three years, one pandemic and $14 million later, a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday marked the official completion of the renovated Ostermayer Laboratory at Penn State Greater Allegheny Campus.

The largest construction project in the history of the McKeesport campus, the renovation brings brand-new laboratory and safety equipment, modernized teaching and research spaces, improved classroom and collaboration spaces and an enhanced entrance and lobby space to the building, which was originally constructed in 1973.

Penn State President Eric J. Barron and Jacqueline Edmondson, Greater Allegheny chancellor and chief academic officer, presided over the ceremony. They were joined by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko, State Rep. Austin Davis and state Sen. Jim Brewster.

 
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State Adds $587K to Violence Prevention Programs

September 10, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The state Commission on Crime & Delinquency has added more than a half-million dollars to programs designed to curb gun violence and substance abuse in the Mon Valley.

Grants announced this week to the city of McKeesport and three local agencies will build on already successful programs, said state and local officials.

Officials said the city is currently in year three of the McKeesport Gun Violence Reduction Program, a five-year plan that includes community outreach, early intervention programs for youth and teen-agers, and additional resources for police and other law-enforcement agencies.

“The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency has been extremely supportive of the efforts taking place in McKeesport to curb the addiction to crime and violence,” McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said.

“This additional funding announced (Wednesday) continues the city of McKeesport’s program through June 2022,” he said. “Our hope is that these initiatives that PCCD is funding will continue for years to come.”

 
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Plans for Former Port Vue Church Unclear

September 09, 2021 |

By Siana Emery | Posted in: Port Vue News

(Tube City Almanac photo)

What appears to be cleanup work has gotten underway at the former St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church and School in Port Vue, but development plans for the site haven’t yet been revealed.

Port Vue officials have scheduled a zoning hearing for Friday morning to consider a request from the property owner, Yarborough Development Inc., to erect a six-foot fence around the property.

But after Wednesday’s council meeting, borough officials said the company has not yet made public what it intends to do with the site at 1125 Romine Ave.

 
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New LaRosa Club Welcomes Kids, Looks to Future

September 09, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Don Michel, grandson of McKeesport Boys Club founder Samuel LaRosa, and McKeesport city Administrator Tom Maglicco look over a scrapbook of photos and letters — including several from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover — related to the organization’s founding. (Tube City Almanac photo)


About 60 McKeesport-area kids are already signed up as members of the new LaRosa Youth Club, and by the time the doors officially open at 2:30 p.m. Monday, organizers expect they will have 80 to 100 members.

It’s a promising start for the former LaRosa Boys & Girls Club on Ravine Street, which was closed in November by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania.

“I’m not going to lie — it’s an expensive venture,” said Jim Barry Jr., city councilman and former Boys & Girls Club executive, who is now on the board of the new LaRosa Youth Development Foundation. “But I think every kid’s worth it, and what kinds of affordable after-school programs you have shouldn’t be dictated based on which community you live, or the ZIP code you were born into.”

Barry joined a large, happy group of parents, local officials and LaRosa family members for a ribbon-cutting on Wednesday afternoon. The event, attended by more than 100 people, included a DJ, refreshments and games.

 
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Library Welcomes Boilermaker Band on Sunday

September 08, 2021 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Photo courtesy Boilermaker Jazz Band)

Carnegie Library of McKeesport and the McKeesport Music Club will host a free concert by the Boilermaker Jazz Band at 3 p.m. Sunday, a spokesman said.

The concert will be held outside on the lawn of the library, 1507 Library Ave.

Other upcoming events at the Carnegie Library include:

Sep. 15, 4 p.m. — Did you know that Pittsburgh’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is going to be in September this year? Celebrate with us at the library! We will be making fun St. Patrick’s Day crafts and having St. Patty's snacks.

 
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$1.9M in County Aid for Blight Removal Projects

September 07, 2021 |

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

Demolition crews made short work of this abandoned building in Downtown McKeesport in 2018. (Tube City Almanac file photo for illustration only)


More than $1.9 million in economic development funding has been awarded across Allegheny County to demolish blighted, abandoned and unsafe structures, a county spokeswoman said, including 10 in the city and two each in White Oak and North Versailles Twp.

The grants, averaging $62,000, were awarded both to municipal governments as well as councils of government, county officials said.

Emphasis was placed on neighborhoods where clusters of vacant properties were in close proximity.

The funds are provided under Act 152, a 2016 state law that allows each Pennsylvania county to collect a fee for “blight removal” each time a deed or mortgage is recorded at the courthouse.

 
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NV Twp. Crash Claims Life of Liberty Man

September 07, 2021 |

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

Allegheny County police are investigating a motorcycle crash in North Versailles Twp. that claimed the life of a Liberty Borough man.

Ryan E. Kushner, 37, died Saturday at UPMC Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh, Uptown, said the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office.

County police said Kushner was riding his motorcycle on Route 30 near the Walmart just before 1 p.m. when his bike was struck by a Chevrolet SUV driven by a 62-year-old man.

Kushner was pronounced dead at the hospital about an hour later, officials said.

Allegheny County homicide detectives and the department’s collision reconstruction team are investigating.

The medical examiner’s office said Kushner died of injuries to the head and torso caused by the wreck. His death has been ruled an accident.

Anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident is asked to call the county police tip line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous, police said.

 

Cash Named One of League’s 25 All-Time Best

September 07, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Sports

New Orleans Pelicans submitted photo

Swin Cash, McKeesport native, Olympic gold medalist and hall-of-fame basketball player, greets New Orleans Pelicans fans in 2019. Cash, who played 15 seasons in the WNBA, has been named one of the 25 greatest and most influential players in the league’s history. (New Orleans Pelicans photo)


City native and Olympic champion Swin Cash has been named one of the top 25 players in the history of the WNBA — and is eligible to be named the league’s “greatest of all time” during the upcoming finals.

On Sunday, the league commemorated its 25th season by naming “The W25,” a list of the “25 greatest and most influential players” in WNBA history, and announced a contest where fans can “Vote for the GOAT,” the greatest WNBA player of all time.

A McKeesport Area High School and University of Connecticut graduate, Cash, 41, played for the Detroit Shock, Seattle Storm, Chicago Sky, Atlanta Dream and New York Liberty during her 15-year professional basketball career.

 
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City Council OK’s Demolition Contract

September 03, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The effort to clear blighted buildings from the city’s Downtown continues.

At Wednesday’s meeting, McKeesport City Council unanimously awarded a $264,000 contract to Advanced Builders, Inc., to demolish commercial buildings at 903, 907 and 911 Fifth Ave., and 1013 and 1017 Fifth Ave.; 328 Sixth Ave.; and 422 Shaw Ave.

City officials said the demolition is part of Phase I of the McKeesport Downtown Blight Remediation Program.

Work will include asbestos removal, demolition, disposal and excavation “to provide a cleared and mowable lot.”

 
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