MAHS Tiger Band ‘Glitters’ in 2022 Show

August 31, 2022 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport Area High School Tiger Marching Band 2022 leaders and seniors are, clockwise from right, Luciano Lanz, Zachary Manfredo, Nicole Upperman, Makayla Elash, Shyaire Flohr, Connor McGrew, Cooper Kuchma, Tina Wos, Brianna Schmidt and Savanna Auckerman. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

From the theme of this year’s McKeesport Area Tiger Band Show, the audience may expect to see a lot of glitz and sparkle.

But “All That Glitters,” according to those who collaborated on its production, refers to way more than  outward appearances.

“I have always liked the ‘positive,’ uplifting concept/style shows,” band director Drew DeCarlo said during summer camp when describing what can be found in the finished product.

“This season's show portrays that we all shine in our own unique ways,” he added. “Throughout the season we will be talking about how each student in the ensemble has that unique talent that needs to be uncovered.”

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NV Twp. Man Killed in Saturday Shooting

August 30, 2022 |

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

A North Versailles Twp. man died Saturday evening after a shooting in the Crestas neighborhood.

Lyndale Irish-Knight, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene just after 5 p.m., the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said.

Allegheny County police said in a prepared statement that police and paramedics were dispatched to a business in the 400 block of Porter Street at approximately 4:47 p.m. when a caller to 9-1-1 reported a shooting. There, police found the victim, later identified as Irish-Knight, suffering from a gunshot wound to the torso, officials said.

County homicide detectives are investigating but few details have been released. Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call the county police tip line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.


Reader’s Viewpoint: Native Plants Key to Area

August 30, 2022 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: Commentary-Editorial

Vickie Babyak is a photographer and freelance writer from Dravosburg:

Bee balm (Monarda), native to eastern North America, and black-eyed Susans (Rudbekia hirta), native to eastern and central North America, naturalized in the western part; both plants are perennials attracting hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

The end of summer is near and the first day of autumn arrives on Sept. 22. In reaction to the shorter length of days, seasonal changes can be observed in surrounding trees and plants.

Each season displays its own beauty with growth that is attractive to humans and supportive to the environment.

Native plants are particularly important to nature and some bloom throughout autumn before winter arrives, providing necessary nourishment for a wide-range of diverse wildlife.

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W.N. Library Accepting Book, Jewelry Donations

August 30, 2022 |

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

West Newton Public Library is accepting donations of gently used books and old jewelry for upcoming sales.

A spokesperson said that following the recent successful used book sale, the library needs to replenish its book sale room. The library is seeking newer adult fiction hardcover, paperback, biographies, non-fiction, children’s books, DVDs and audio tapes.

The library is not currently accepting used cookbooks, Bibles, encyclopedias or textbooks for resale.

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Serra Band’s Fall Show Sets Sail

August 30, 2022 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment, McKeesport and Region News

Director Jesse Bush (with back to camera) provides input as band members get familiar with the music and drill for “X Marks the Spot” during the first week of camp. (Photo by Bonnijean Cooney Adams for Tube City Almanac)

Serra Catholic Marching Band will transport its audiences on a search across the Seven Seas in pursuit of buried treasure through the pirate-themed “X Marks the Spot.”

Director Jesse Bush said while exploring options for the band’s competition season, he was drawn to music written and arranged by Randall D. Standridge, whose work has been featured in previous years.

He said he and the students liked the music, so created a theme through “Setting Sail,” “The Mysteries of the Sea” and “Battle for the Gold.”

With a preview show under their belt, the band is looking forward to the Sept. 10 start of their Tournament of Bands competition season as the performance evolves, is tweaked, and finishing touches added.

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Turnovers Decide Clash Between Serra, N. Catholic

August 27, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Sports

Turnovers decided the clash between two defending WPIAL football champions on Friday night in Haler Heights, as North Catholic defeated McKeesport’s Serra Catholic 37-14 in a non-conference game.

North Catholic begins this season as the reigning WPIAL AAA champions, but has moved up to WPIAL AAAA for this upcoming season.

Serra Catholic won the WPIAL Class AA championship last year and will continue play in WPIAL AA. Friday night was Serra’s first game defending their title.

“North Catholic played a great game,” said Mike Anitori, longtime statistician for Serra Catholic. “I’m not taking anything away from them. However, the game could be summed up as a battle of poor field position and turnovers by Serra Catholic.”

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W. Newton Library Holds Tea Party Sept. 25

August 27, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: West Newton News

West Newton Public Library’s annual “You, Me and A Cup of Tea” fundraiser will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Le Grande Ballroom, South Second Street, West Newton.

Tickets are $20 and are on sale now at Gary’s Chuckwagon Restaurant and at the library, 124 N. Water St.

Participants also can mail a check to West Newton Public Library, P.O. Box 221, West Newton, PA 15089. Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Tickets are a limited supply. Call (724) 633-0798 for more information.


New Esports Arena Puts Focus on STEM

August 26, 2022 |

By Elizabeth Laughlin | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne City School District has opened a new esports arena for its students. It is the first in the Pittsburgh area specifically designed for middle school students.

The arena, which includes Xboxes and vibrant-colored chairs, is in the K-8 building and was previously a school board meeting room.

It officially opened on Thursday at 1 p.m. with a grand opening and ribbon cutting.

The esports arena was funded by Robert Morris University, the Penn State Readiness Institute and the Heinz Endowments, as well as federal COVID-19 relief funding.

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Man Charged in Connection With Fire

August 26, 2022 |

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

A city man has been charged in connection with a Thursday morning fire that destroyed a vacant home on Ridge Street.

Darryl E. Chapman, 37, no address available, is charged by McKeesport police with arson, recklessly endangering other persons, causing a catastrophe and criminal mischief, according to documents filed in Allegheny County Night Court.

Chapman was awaiting a preliminary hearing on Friday evening, court officials said.

The fire is being investigated by the Allegheny County fire marshal’s office.

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Mon Yough Chorale Seeks New Members

August 24, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A local community choir is seeking new members for the fall season.

“If you sang in high school, college, church, or even the shower, come and see what we’re all about,” said Donna Dineen, president of the Mon Yough Chorale.

The group will be preparing for the Christmas concert season, Dineen said. No auditions are necessary and there is no obligation, she said.

Created in 2001 following the merger of the McKeesport Choraliers and the White Oak Community Singers, the Mon Yough Chorale will meet for its first rehearsal of the season at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at Sampson’s Mills Presbyterian Church, 1665 Lincoln Way, White Oak. Parking is available behind the church.

For more information, visit


NAMI McKeesport Sets September Meeting

August 23, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will meet at 6 p.m. Sept. 7 at Penn State Greater Allegheny in the Frable Building, Room F122, a spokeswoman said. The meeting is open to families and friends of loved ones living with mental illness.

The chairperson will present statistics on finding the right diagnosis and help for those with mental illness. She will also pass out information about resources.  Plans will be reviewed for the annual NAMI Walk on Oct. 2 at Monroeville Park.

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Job Fair Sept. 1 at Carnegie Library

August 20, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Carnegie Library of McKeesport and PA CareerLink’s Pittsburgh office will hold a job fair from 4 to 6 p.m. Sept. 1 at the main library, 1507 Library Ave.

A spokesperson said the event will be a “low-pressure” affair where people looking for a new or better job can meet with employers, training providers and supportive services agencies.

The event will be held outdoors, weather-permitting. Registration is recommended but not required.

Participants should bring copies of their resumes. Anyone who does not have a resume but needs one should contact CareerLink at (412) 436-2225 for help preparing one.

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One Dead Following Thursday Shooting

August 19, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Duquesne man died following a shooting Thursday night just off Versailles Avenue in McKeesport.

Maricco Randolph, 32, was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour after the incident, the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said. Randolph had been shot several times in the chest and legs, the office said.

Allegheny County police said McKeesport officers were dispatched just before 10 p.m. for a report of shots fired in the area of the 600 block of Versailles Avenue. When they arrived, they found shell casings but no victim, county police said.

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Police: Driver in Fatal Wreck Topped 90 MPH

August 18, 2022 |

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

A Glassport man accused of causing a fatal car wreck in North Versailles Twp. in March was driving at speeds above 90 mph just before the crash, police said.

Allegheny County police allege that Shamar A. Roach, 24, also was legally intoxicated and driving under the influence of marijuana before the collision on March 2 that fatally injured John D. Semenko, 59, of White Oak.

Police said Roach was arrested Monday without incident after surrendering to officers. He is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bond pending an Aug. 26 hearing before Magisterial District Judge Kim Berkeley Clark.

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Duquesne City Finances Continue To Improve

August 18, 2022 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Before Duquesne City Manager Kelly Robertson left the municipality for a different job, she noted that helping to improve finances was one of her biggest accomplishments. According to city leaders, making finances more efficient is progressing.

While delivering the finance report at this week’s city council meeting, City Councilman Derek Artim noted that new budget forms are coming and spending policies will change.

He said that all receipts will be accounted for at the end of each month, and receipts, such as gasoline purchases for city automobiles, will have to include the vehicle used. “This will assure the validity of charges,” Artim said.

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Duquesne City Unions OK Contract Proposal

August 18, 2022 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Some Duquesne officials seemed surprised that the city’s clerical and public works departments had quickly accepted a four-year contract extension without so much as a fight.

The news was reported this week at the city council meeting by Acting City Manager George Newsome.

Councilwoman Elaine Washington asked “who approved” the proposal, and a somewhat surprised Mayor Scott Adams commented that with his “30 years in city government, I have never seen it approved the first time. Kudos to those involved.”

City Solicitor Myron Sainovich noted that while clerical and public works employees of Teamsters Local 205 accepted the proposal, it still must be ratified by a vote of council, which can reject the pact if it doesn’t work for Duquesne.

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Church Plans ‘Taste of Serbia’ Sept. 30, Oct. 1

August 18, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church of McKeesport-Duquesne will add new features to its annual “A Taste of Serbia” festival, along with perennial menu favorites.

The two-day event at the church, located at 901 Hartman St., is slated for Sept. 30 from 3 to 7 p.m. and Oct. 1 from 12 noon to 7 p.m., a spokeswoman said. In addition to pre-orders, walk-up orders will be taken while supplies last. A new courtyard festival tent provides protection for outdoor seating rain or shine. Also this year a Kafana bar will offer beer, wine, slivo, soda and water.

The church’s boneless slow-roasted sliced lamb sandwiches and award-winning 12-ounce haddock filet fish sandwiches again top the menu. Fish sandwiches and pierogies are available on Friday only, while lamb sandwiches may be ordered both days.

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Tenants Await Answers in Ninth Ave. Blast

August 17, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

More than two weeks after a natural gas explosion caused heavy damage to the former YWCA of McKeesport, tenants of the building are wondering when they can resume operations.

On Aug. 2, a blast that emergency officials believe was triggered by construction work shattered windows and broke the walls of the Common Ground Building on Ninth Avenue. Two workers who were excavating in preparation for a wheelchair ramp were seriously injured.

The cause and origin of the explosion remain under investigation by the Allegheny County fire marshal’s office, a spokeswoman said. The building was sold to the city in 2017 for $1 by its previous owner, the Center for Victims.

In addition to the Ninth Street Clinic, a free medical facility for people without health insurance, the building also was home to the Mon Valley LaunchBox, a business incubator operated by Penn State University’s Greater Allegheny campus.

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School Funding Lawsuit Still Unresolved

August 16, 2022 |

By Danielle M. Smith - Public News Service | Posted in: State & Region

School buses sit in a garage during the summer vacation. (File photo by Jason Morrison via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-2.0.)

After eight years, the Pennsylvania school-funding lawsuit is in the hands of a judge, creating a waiting game heading into the new school year.

Oral argument ended in July.

In 2014, six Pennsylvania school districts sued state legislative officials, state education officials and Gov. Tom Wolf, alleging that the state’s school funding system violates the clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution that promises to provide a “thorough and efficient” system of public education.

The Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools, the NAACP-Pennsylvania State Conference and a group of public school parents are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

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Sup’t Calls Duquesne Schools ‘A Comeback Story’

August 16, 2022 |

By Amy George | Posted in: Duquesne News

After 20 turbulent years, Duquesne City School District leaders say they’re positioning the district for success.

“DCSD is a comeback story in the making,” district Superintendent Sue Mariani said. “Like a phoenix, (we are) rising from the ashes.”

After improvements carried out over three years, in fall 2021, seventh-graders, who were being bused to neighboring districts, returned to school in Duquesne — the first time that’s happened in Pennsylvania. Eighth graders will return on Aug. 29 for the fall 2022 semester.

To date, 50 students and counting have enrolled in eighth grade, adding to the 430 and counting enrolled in kindergarten through seventh grades. All students will have the option of attending class in person or through the Duquesne Virtual Academy.

The expansion of services was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in early 2022.

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Food Truck Attracts Diners from City, Beyond

August 16, 2022 |

By Elizabeth Laughlin | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

On a rainy day, customers wait outside Hi Eatery with umbrellas and paper bags.

“Sometimes people get here at 10 a.m.,” owner Keith Colecchi said, “which is before we open.”

Hi Eatery, a food truck, opened last year in July on a vacant lot along Walnut Street, Downtown. It has become a hit for McKeesport residents—and even beyond.

“I’ve had customers from the other side of the state,” Colecchi said. “You never know who is going to show up.”

After working almost 20 years for Duquesne Light, Colecchi decided that he wanted a change.

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Munhall Man Held in City Shooting

August 08, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Munhall man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bail in connection with a shooting Saturday morning on Hamilton Street in McKeesport.

County police allege the shooting happened after the suspect attempted to rob someone from whom he had arranged to buy marijuana.

Police said the victim is in critical condition after being flown to a Pittsburgh hospital by medical helicopter.

Davon Blue, 20, is charged by Allegheny County police with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, carrying a firearm without a license, possession of a firearm by a minor, recklessly endangering another person, obstructing administration of law and giving false information to law enforcement.

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Pipeline Co. Convicted of Criminal Charges

August 05, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: State & Region

The companies behind the construction of a controversial natural gas pipeline that crosses through the Mon-Yough area have been convicted of criminal charges related to the project.

On Friday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that Sunoco Pipeline LP and ETC Northeast Pipeline LLC have pleaded no contest to charges related to contamination of lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater during the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline.

The Mariner East 2 pipeline, which goes through 17 southern Pennsylvania counties, crosses Forward Twp. and passes near communities such as Sutersville, West Newton and Finleyville. It parallels an older gasoline pipeline built in the 1930s.

Homeowners who live in the pipeline’s path and want to have their water tested have until Aug. 19 to file a request.

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PA Court: ‘No-Excuse’ Mail Voting Can Continue

August 05, 2022 |

By Danielle M. Smith - Public News Service | Posted in: Politics & Elections, State & Region

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled this week that so-called “no excuse” mail-in voting in the state is constitutional.

The ruling is seen as a setback to 14 Republican lawmakers who challenged the expansion of absentee ballots in court.

Meg Pierce, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, said mail-in ballots are important to ensure elections are accessible to everyone.

“Voting by mail is convenient and secure, and has resulted in an incredible boost in voter turnout in Pennsylvania's recent election,” Pierce said. “About 170,000 (additional) registered voters voted in Pennsylvania elections when they were allowed to vote by mail.”

Until 2019, Pennsylvania voters could only use an absentee ballot under certain conditions, such as illness, disability or being out of town on Election Day. That year, the Pennsylvania General Assembly voted to implement “no excuse” mail-in ballots for anyone who requests them.

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PennDOT: Bridge Inspection Could Cause Delays

August 05, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News

Bridge inspection work could cause delays on several area roadways.

A district spokesman for the state Department of Transportation said Friday that crews will be inspecting several local bridges, beginning Aug. 8. The work will continue through most of the month, weather-permitting, on the following roadways:

McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge — A traffic shift will occur on the bridge

Northbound Route 837 ramp at the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge — Shoulder restrictions will occur on northbound Route 837 under the bridge

Union Railroad bridge on Route 837 in Clairton between Mulberry Avenue and Mendelssohn Street — Single-lane alternating traffic will occur

Railroad viaduct inspection on the Tri-Boro Expressway in Turtle Creek between Electric Avenue and Ramp B — Single-lane restrictions in the southbound right lane

Crews from HDR and the Sofis Rigging Company will conduct the work, the PennDOT spokesman said. Motorists should be prepared for changing traffic patterns. Please use caution when driving through the area.


Ninth Ave. Explosion Still Under Investigation

August 03, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

City officials hope to have an answer soon whether or not it will be possible to salvage a building that was damaged Tuesday morning by an apparent natural gas explosion.

An Allegheny County spokeswoman said Wednesday that investigators are still working to determine the cause of the blast that caused severe damage to The Common Grounds Building.

Emergency personnel believe the explosion was triggered after two contractors installing a wheelchair ramp at the rear of the building struck a gas line just before 8 a.m.

The contractors, whose names have not been officially released, were hospitalized.

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Bonus Payment Coming for Some Older Residents

August 03, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Older Pennsylvanians and those with disabilities who have been approved for state tax or rent rebates will be receiving a one-time bonus payment in the coming weeks, officials have announced.

The Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income eligibility limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

Approximately $140 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding, allocated by the 2022-23 state budget, will be used to fund the supplemental payments, said state Rep. Austin Davis of McKeesport.

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City Woman to Head Jefferson Foundation

August 03, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

(Submitted photo courtesy Jefferson Regional Foundation)

A McKeesport resident and former school director has been named the new chief executive officer of the Jefferson Regional Foundation.

The appointment of Trisha M. Gadson was announced Tuesday by Richard Talarico, chair of the foundation board.

Gadson, who has served as the CEO of the Macedonia Family and Community Enrichment Center in Pittsburgh since 2010, will replace Mary Phan-Gruber, who is retiring after serving as the Jefferson foundation’s CEO since 2013.

The Jefferson Regional Foundation was created upon the merger of Jefferson Regional Medical Center with Allegheny Health Network and invests in health and wellness projects in the Mon Valley and South Hills.

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Dukes Poised to Rebuild Athletic Tradition

August 02, 2022 |

By Amy George | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne City School District’s “Dukes” are a comeback story in the making.

Once known for their athletic prowess in the mill town’s glory days, the Dukes were forced to leave the playing field in 2012 due to serious financial challenges, which ultimately caused the closure of both DCSD’s middle school and high school.

However, this fall marks their triumphant reappearance. For the first time in 10 years, DCSD will sponsor school athletics in conjunction with the recent return of seventh-graders — which happened in the fall 2021 — and upcoming return of eighth-graders, which is happening this fall.

All in all, Superintendent Sue Mariani sees a bright future ahead for the Dukes and the district as a whole.

“As DCSD works to restore equity in the classroom and provide students the opportunities and access they deserve, they stay diligent in their efforts to restore athletic facilities, to help restore the pride, excitement and community support that comes with rebuilding team sports,” Mariani said.

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Explosion Causes Heavy Damage at Former YWCA

August 02, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

An explosion ripped through the former YWCA on Ninth Avenue on Tuesday morning, seriously damaging the building, which houses Penn State’s Mon Valley LaunchBox as well as the Ninth Street Clinic and other offices. The Allegheny County fire marshal is investigating. (City of McKeesport official photo via Facebook)

BREAKING: This is a developing story and will be updated with new information.

Investigators are combing through the debris at the former YWCA on Ninth Avenue to determine what caused an explosion Tuesday morning that sent two people to the hospital.

Emergency personnel believe that a contractor excavating in a parking lot to build a wheelchair accessible ramp may have struck a gas line, triggering the blast at about 8 a.m.

The building, owned by the city, is home to a small-business incubator run by Penn State Greater Allegheny as well as the Ninth Street Clinic, a free medical clinic for people without health insurance.

The two-story office building, constructed in the 1950s, was heavily damaged in the blast and an engineer has determined it is unsafe for occupancy, said a spokesperson for McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko.

None of the offices were occupied at the time of the blast.

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