Time Capsule Hunt Unites Past, Present Students

April 29, 2022 |

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

Logan Elementary School sixth-graders were armed with shovels last week to help find a time capsule buried in Wilmerding more than 20 years ago. (Photos courtesy Kim Reno)

When you think of places for an archeological dig, Wilmerding probably doesn’t stand out as a prime location. But for a group of current and former East Allegheny students, the grounds of Westinghouse Arts Academy this month provided an exciting locale for an excursion 23 years in the making.

Back in 1999, students in Kim Bollinger’s sixth-grade science class at Westinghouse Elementary School, then part of the EA school district, put together a time capsule as the final part of their ongoing recycling project.

Westinghouse Elementary School closed in 2009 and now is home to the Westinghouse Arts Academy Charter School.

“At the time we didn’t have paper recycling bins [in the school],” says Kim Reno, formerly Kim Bollinger. “We put boxes in everyone’s room and had all of the teachers put their used paper in the box. My students once a month would load it into the back of my trunk and I would take it to the South Side and they paid you for the paper.”

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District Thanks Community Members for Service

April 29, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A series of presentations at Wednesday’s meeting of McKeesport Area School Board congratulated community members.

Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. dedicated his initial comments to honoring former McKeesport Mayor Louis Washowich and presenting Washowich’s family with a plaque highlighting the late civil servant’s contributions to communal betterment.

The honorary gesture, Holtzman explained, was the suggestion of School Director Dave Donato, who in February said that Washowich should be recognized in the McKeesport High School Hall of Fame.

Washowich’s son Michael accepted the award and thanked the group before recounting the late mayor’s childhood, time at McKeesport High School and efforts to serve the city.

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Superintendent Warns of Budgetary Pressures

April 29, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport Area School District is facing budgetary pressures from charter school tuition, salaries and employee benefits, Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. told the board this week.

Holtzman dedicated a portion of Wednesday’s meeting to informing school board members of the budgetary pressures facing the district.

The projected preliminary budget for 2022-23, Holtzman said, is $79,772,968, a 1.68 percent decrease from the previous year.

Holtzman noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, taxes were not raised — “for good reason,” he said — though that decision did mean the loss of $1.7 million in revenue for the district.

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Highly Requested ‘Beast’ Comes to Serra Stage

April 27, 2022 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Members of the cast of Serra Catholic’s “Beauty and the Beast” rehearse the entertaining “Gaston” dance scene. (Photo courtesy Serra Catholic High School)

If you go...


Serra Catholic High School presents:
“Beauty and the Beast”

Where: School gymnasium, 200 Hershey Drive, McKeesport

When: Friday, April 29 at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 30 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 1 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $8 for adults, $5 for students, available from any cast or crew member, in the main office, at the door, or by contacting fedorc@serrahs.org.

With the available talent of this year’s Serra Catholic High School musical cast, director Jesse Bush said it seemed appropriate to grant a request.

“‘Beauty and the Beast’ has been highly requested over the years,” Bush said. “This seems like the right year to perform it.”

A full house is anticipated for each performance of the family-friendly show, which opens at 7 p.m. this Friday (April 29) at the school along Hershey Drive in McKeesport. It continues at 1 and 7 p.m. April 30, with a concluding matinee at 2 p.m. May 1.

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Hazelwood Man Wanted in Downtown Shooting

April 25, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

An argument in a liquor store led to the gunfire on Friday afternoon that left a city man dying in a Downtown street, according to Allegheny County police.

At least five shots were fired, including one that struck a car two blocks away and forced the driver to flee for their life, a criminal complaint states.

County detectives have charged Vernon D. “Vern Loc” Eutsey, 25, of Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood with criminal homicide, reckless endangerment, tampering with physical evidence and unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with the death of 22-year-old Michael Gunter of McKeesport.

Police allege that Eutsey shot Gunter in broad daylight on a busy street, and then fled the scene. Gunter died about an hour later at UPMC Mercy hospital, Pittsburgh.

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Man Dead Following Downtown Shooting

April 23, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A city man died Friday afternoon following a shooting on a Downtown street in broad daylight.

Michael Gunter, 22, of McKeesport was pronounced dead at UPMC Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh about an hour after the incident, the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said.

Allegheny County police said Gunter was shot at about 1:35 p.m. near the corner of Fifth Avenue and Market Street. His assailant then fled the area, police said.

Witnesses described multiple shots being fired. Police closed the intersection and re-routed traffic as the investigation continued on Friday. Officers searched the area around the Jerome Avenue Bridge following the incident.

Anyone with information concerning the shooting is asked to call the Allegheny County Police Tip Line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS. Callers may remain anonymous.


W.O. Gives Sonic Green Light

April 22, 2022 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

The White Oak Planning Commission has approved a lot consolidation for the building of a Sonic restaurant, White Oak council announced Monday.

Council Member Joelle Harbert, who chairs the planning and zoning committee, said the Sonic Drive-In will be located at 1160 Long Run Road in White Oak.

In other business, council outlined several upcoming recreational events for the spring and summer.

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Gas Co. Volunteers Pitch In at Trail Shelter

April 21, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Mike Huwar, Peoples Gas president; Linda Brewster of the McKeesport Trail Commission; Jacqueline Ziemianski, Peoples Gas manager of corporate giving and community relations; and McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Drizzle didn’t deter more than two dozen volunteers from Peoples Gas who volunteered to paint, clean and pull weeds around the overnight shelter on the McKeesport section of the Great Allegheny Passage.

Peoples on Thursday also presented the McKeesport Trail Commission with a check for $10,000 for capital equipment purchases, upkeep to the trail hostel and summer programming.

The McKeesport stop — tied to the annual celebration of Earth Day — is one of more than 20 volunteer events being held by Peoples employees throughout the company’s service area, said Jacqueline Ziemianski, Peoples manager of corporate giving and community relations.

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Families Brave Weather for Easter Egg Hunt

April 20, 2022 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Kaylie Waugaman, daughter of Chaz and Charlize Waugaman of Dravosburg, found a special golden egg at Saturday’s Easter egg hunt and couldn’t contain her excitement as she showed it off to her dad. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

Despite gray skies and rainy weather, local families gathered in Dravosburg Saturday to enjoy Easter festivities.

Residents met at the Dravosburg Masonic Hall on Duquesne Avenue at 11 a.m. for an exciting day of activities as Omni Masonic Lodge No 582 and Harry S. Truman Masonic Lodge No. 765 held their second annual Easter egg hunt.

The event was free to residents and registration was not required to attend.

Even with cool weather and scattered showers, the children were delighted to find Easter eggs hidden in piles of hay spread out on the lodge grounds. The egg hunt was divided into age groups, zero to 2, 3 to 5, 6 to 8 and 9 to 10.

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Jerome Bridge Restrictions Return in May

April 20, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

Lane restrictions, like these shown during August 2021, will return to the city’s Jerome Avenue Bridge in a few weeks as a reconstruction project continues. (Tube City Almanac file photo)

Lane restrictions will return to the Jerome Avenue Bridge in May as crews work to complete a $15.44 million reconstruction project.

Steve Cowan, district spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said one eastbound lane will remain open but the westbound lanes — from Downtown to 10th Ward — will be closed beginning in early May, and remain closed for two months.

The structure is in the midst of an $15.44 million rehabilitation project that includes a new concrete deck and sidewalk, barrier repairs, full painting, structural steel repairs, concrete substructure repairs, bearing replacement, and new expansion dams. The Joseph B. Fay Co. of Tarentum is the prime contractor.

Built in 1937 by Allegheny County, the bridge connects West Fifth Avenue and Lysle Boulevard over the CSX Railroad tracks and the Youghiogheny River. Up to 11,000 vehicles per day cross the span.


U.S. Ukrainian Bishop Returns from European Visit

April 20, 2022 |

By Emily Scott © Public News Service | Posted in: State & Region

The Most Rev. Bohdan Danylo, Ukrainian Catholic bishop of the Eparchy of St. Josaphat, visited the Polish-Ukrainian border earlier this month. (Photo courtesy Eparchy of St. Josaphat)

Ahead of the Easter holiday, a Ukrainian Catholic bishop based in the U.S. visited the country’s border.

The Most Rev. Bohdan Danylo of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat, which includes St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on Eden Park Boulevard and other western Pennsylvania parishes, was at the Poland-Ukraine border for a week.

He visited the Polish border city of Przemysl, his childhood home, which has become a major entry point for displaced Ukrainians.

Danylo said along with sharing donations and meeting with clergy and volunteers, he wanted to bring back to the U.S. the realities of what Ukrainians are facing.

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W.O. Looks Forward to Summer

April 18, 2022 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

Street paving and storm sewer repairs should be finished by mid to late May, White Oak council announced at Monday’s workshop meeting.

Borough engineer Ken Hillman provided updates on the borough’s ongoing infrastructure projects.

“The street paving and storm sewer projects are 65 percent done – should be finished by mid to late May,” Hillman said. “We will also reapply for grants for our streambank stabilization project and Heritage Hill Park.”

In related news, solicitor Pat McGrail announced that the status of the potential Sonic restaurant on Long Run Road depends on the approval of PennDOT.

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One Dead in Duquesne Crash

April 18, 2022 |

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

A West Mifflin man died following an Easter Sunday crash on Route 837 in Duquesne.

David Judy, 56, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

Allegheny County police said the accident occurred just before 11 a.m. on the Thompson Run Bridge. Police Inspector Chris Kearns said Judy’s vehicle was traveling north on Route 837 and crossed into the southbound lanes.

The car, described as a 2016 Toyota SUV, went off the bridge on the southbound side, then landed under the bridge, adjacent to the Union Railroad yard, police said.

The driver, identified as Judy, was ejected from the vehicle, police said.

Duquesne police and firefighters responded to the scene. Allegheny County police are investigating the cause of the accident.


City Native, Rock Pioneer Rupe Dies at 104

April 18, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

City native Art Rupe, shown outside his Specialty Records office in Los Angeles in the 1950s. A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Rupe died Friday at age 104. (Courtesy Arthur N. Rupe Foundation)

Arthur N. Rupe—McKeesport native, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame record producer, oil and gas entrepreneur, and philanthropist—died Friday at his home in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 104.

Born Arthur N. Goldberg on Sept. 5, 1917, to a Jewish working-class family in Greensburg, Art Rupe grew up in nearby McKeesport.

Growing up in an ethnically and racially diverse neighborhood in McKeesport, Rupe developed a keen interest in rhythm & blues and gospel music.

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County Police Investigating Duquesne Shooting

April 13, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Allegheny County police are investigating a disturbance in Duquesne that left a 30-year-old man dead and a 27-year-old woman wounded.

Police said Tyree Young, 30, of McKees Rocks died at a hospital following the incident, which occurred just after 8 a.m. Wednesday at a home in the 1000 block of Orchard Park Drive. Young was suffering from several gunshot wounds to the torso, police said.

The woman, who was not identified, was suffering from facial injuries, police said.

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Spring Programs Underway at McKeesport Library

April 13, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Carnegie Library of McKeesport photo via Facebook)

Springtime programming at Carnegie Library of McKeesport is in full swing, says library director Vincent D’Alesio.

“Other big news is the return of Wise Walks at Renzie Park, a neighborhood cleanup for Earth Day, Kite-Making, and the installation of a new projector screen in our Children’s Room, making movie days possible again,” he says. “We’d like to thank the Gismondi Family Foundation for the funds needed to make this needed purchase.”

The library’s summer reading program is also just around the corner, D’Alesio says.

“Be on the lookout for information on how to register — we’ll have an official registration party in early June — and remember that you can participate online as well through www.beanstack.com once the program is made public,” he says. “We’re also looking forward to welcoming the Carnegie Science Center to our library this summer for some summer STEM programs, so we’ll keep you all posted on that as well.”

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W. Newton Church Schedules May Events

April 13, 2022 |

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

An election day luncheon and a strawberry festival are planned in May by the First Church of God, 157 North Second St., West Newton.

The luncheon will be held the day of the primary election, May 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The menu includes a sandwich (chicken salad, ham barbecue or hot dog with sauerkraut), soup (chili, broccoli and cheese or chicken noodle), a side of potato or macaroni salad, and pie or cake. Call (724) 872-7467.

The strawberry festival will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. May 26 at the Sewickley Grange hall on Route 136. The menu includes hot dogs with sauerkraut, sloppy joes, pulled pork, baked beans, macaroni and potato salad, and strawberry desserts. For take out on the day of the event, call (724) 875-7738.


LaRosa Club Plans Summer Camp

April 13, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Tube City Almanac file photo)

LaRosa Youth Club will hold a summer camp for students ages 5 to 14 beginning June 13, a spokesman said.

The camp runs for 10 weeks, from June 13 to Aug. 19, and will include a variety of activities, including physical education, games, arts and crafts and science and technology projects.

Registration is now open and is limited to the first 60 kids enrolled. Students are enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis. Breakfast, lunch and a snack will be served each day.

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More Vacant Houses Face Wrecking Crews

April 12, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Another 200 to 250 vacant homes in McKeesport will face the wrecking ball soon, Mayor Michael Cherepko has announced.

City council this month awarded a $174,600 contract to Betters Company Inc. of Lincoln Borough to demolish 30 structures under Phase 6 of the “McKeesport Rising” program, and the mayor promised that contracts on 100 to 110 houses are expected at the May and June meetings.

Betters was the lowest responsible bidder, officials said.

The city’s Seventh Ward is receiving particular attention, Cherepko said.

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Dura-Bond Purchases Former U.S. Steel Facility

April 11, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Tube City Almanac photo)

Dura-Bond Industries has purchased U.S. Steel’s former electric-resistance weld pipe mill, one of the last remaining vestiges of the industry that made McKeesport “the Tube City.”

Along with the 317,000-square-foot McKeesport Tubular Operations building, the Westmoreland County-based company also purchased the 34 acres of land on which the plant is located. Sale price was $715,000, a spokeswoman said.

The deal includes an easement for the Great Allegheny Passage biking trail, which city and state officials have been working to re-route along the Monongahela River waterfront.

“Tubular products have been part of McKeesport’s history for over 120 years, and we are proud to continue the tradition,” said Jason Norris, president of Dura-Bond. “Our country desperately needs pipeline infrastructure to transport domestic natural gas to fuel our future. We are also exploring opportunities that may exist in hydrogen transport and pipelines used for carbon sequestration.”

Dura-Bond has been leasing the facility since 2017 and made substantial investments updating the production lines.

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Hospital Honors Local Organ Donors, Recipients

April 07, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Jeffrey Alvarez, nursing director at UPMC McKeesport, liver transplant recipient Gene Wagner and Leslie Lash of the Center for Organ Recovery & Education display a flag for “National Donate Life Month.” In 2021, the hospital facilitated transplants of four life-saving organs, 32 corneas and more than 1,000 tissues. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Gene Wagner of North Huntingdon Twp. isn’t sure how he contracted non-alcoholic cirrhosis, which began destroying his liver.

But he’s sure of one thing: He must have had a guardian angel looking out for him.

Wagner, who received a partial liver transplant from a living donor in 2021 at UPMC Montefiore hospital in Oakland, said the entire process had too many strange coincidences to be merely fate.

Wagner joined UPMC McKeesport staff on Thursday for a celebration to mark the beginning of National Donate Life Month.

Last year, UPMC McKeesport facilitated the transplant of four life-saving organs, 32 corneas and more than 1,000 tissues, said Leslie Lash, who serves as the hospital’s liaison to the O’Hara Twp.-based Center for Organ Recovery & Education.

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Mon Yough Chamber Slates July 15 Golf Outing

April 07, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual golf outing July 15 at Youghiogheny Country Club, a spokesperson said. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit the Healthy Food Center.

Events will include sign-in at 9 a.m., shot-gun start at 10 a.m., hors d’oeuvres in dining room at 3 p.m. and a banquet and awards ceremony at 3:30 p.m.

The club is located at 901 Greenock-Buena Vista Road in Elizabeth Twp. Individual packages start at $30 for dinner and reservations must be received by July 1. For more information, visit the chamber’s website.


One Man Charged in Burglary, Second Sought

April 07, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Penn Hills man has been arrested and charged in connection with a burglary at a Dravosburg vape shop, and McKeesport police are searching for a second possible suspect.

Officers responded Tuesday night to the Richland Avenue business when callers to Allegheny County 9-1-1 reported a burglary was in progress. According to a police report, upon arriving at the scene, officers observed a man dressed in all black clothing in the alley behind the store.

Police said the man matched a description provided to 9-1-1 of one of the burglars. When the man could not adequately explain why he was in the vicinity, he was detained for questioning, police said.

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City Man Held Following Foot Chase

April 07, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A city man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $25,000 following a foot chase through Downtown streets on Tuesday evening.

Vincent W. Pinkney, 46, is charged by McKeesport police with unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license and resisting arrest. He faces a preliminary hearing April 18 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

McKeesport police said two officers were eating dinner at a restaurant on Lysle Boulevard when they observed several people behaving suspiciously in the parking lot of a business across the street.

As the officers exited the restaurant to investigate, they heard a gunshot in the vicinity of May Street, at which point the individuals ran, according to a police report.

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Port Vue Police Targeting Abandoned Vehicles

April 06, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News, Port Vue News

Port Vue police will be targeting abandoned, unlicensed and inoperative cars and trucks marked on borough streets, Chief David Petruski has announced.

“We are striving to maintain a healthly, neat and visually pleasant community here in Port Vue,” he said. Officers are looking for vehicles that have expired inspection stickers, expired registration plates, no license plates, or that are in junk condition, including heavily damaged, rusted out, missing tires and other major components.

Police will be tagging abandoned and junk vehicles with a so-called orange tag and they will be subject to removal, Petruski said. The borough’s junk car ordinance applies to vehicles kept on private property as well as public streets, he said.

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Bank Presents Check for Redevelopment Effort

April 06, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

First Commonwealth Bank recently presented city officials and the McKees Point Development Group with a $100,000 check. The bank is one of four partners that are together funding a six-year program to reuse the Penn-McKee Hotel, renovate homes and remove blight in the Downtown area, including the buildings seen in the background. (Submitted photo)

First Commonwealth Bank recently presented the McKees Point Development Group with a $100,000 check to help fund another year of a six-year Neighborhood Assistance Program.

The non-profit group is working to redevelop the Penn-McKee Hotel for reuse, demolish blighted buildings in the city’s Downtown area and help provide home repairs to city residents.

Partners include Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh and ACTION-Housing. Additional funding is being provided by Duquesne Light, Noble Energy and UPMC Health System, who are utilizing state tax credits.

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New Play Has Strong McKeesport Ties

April 04, 2022 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Frances Dell Bendert as Mom and Bailey Lee as herself rehearse a scene from "Papa." (Coleman Ray Clark photo courtesy New Hazlett Theater)

If you go...


‘Papa’ by Bailey Lee

Where: New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, Pittsburgh

When: 8 p.m. April 7; 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. April 8

Tickets: General admission $25, artists $15 with promo code, students $15 with valid ID. (412) 320-4610 or at www.newhazletttheater.org

An original play with strong ties to the McKeesport area is making its world debut this Thursday at the New Hazlett Theater in Pittsburgh.

Papa” is the story of Hall Lee, who came to the United States from the farmlands of China when he was approximately 15 years old, settling and living most of his life along Jenny Lind Street in McKeesport.

Bailey Lee, his granddaughter, wrote the play, created the concept, and stars as herself in the production. It’s about things her grandfather suppressed to protect the family and assimilate into American culture, plus the sometimes complicated relationship among three generations of Asian Americans, Lee said.

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