10th Ward Ramp Closed for Paving

October 31, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Ramp No. 1 into the city’s 10th Ward will remain closed through Nov. 11 so that crews can pave the surface and perform other repairs.

A district spokesman for the state Department of Transportation said crews from Joseph B. Fay Co. will conduct milling operations where the ramp meets the Jerome Avenue Bridge, conduct concrete repairs, and pave the road.

Ramp No. 1 connects West Fifth Avenue and the Jerome Avenue Bridge to River Road and the lower half of Rebecca Street. Traffic is being detoured around-the-clock while the ramp work occurs.

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MASD Ready for Prime-Time Viewing

October 31, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The stories of McKeesport Area High School’s people will soon appear on TV screens.

At last week’s meeting, the school board voted to approve two projects that will showcase local students, staff and families.

The first, a docuseries titled “The Road to the Ring,” will follow the McKeesport Tigers Varsity Football team and its quest to win a state championship. Produced by Teall Properties Group, LLC, the 10-part series, will chart the end of the Tigers’ season — the team is currently 9-1 — and begin streaming in January on Teall’s YouTube channel.

James Companion, Teall’s EVP, National Sales, told the board the docuseries will provide viewers a perspective from “behind the curtain.”

By focusing on athletes and coaches, “this is a chance to show the country one of the top programs,” Companion said.

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School Board Discusses Achievements, Challenges

October 31, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

In her report to the board during Wednesday’s meeting, McKeesport Area Superintendent Tia Wanzo spotlighted students and staff across the district.  

Wanzo described various acts of kindness undertaken by those at Francis McClure Elementary School and Founders’ Hall Middle School, as well as recent achievements by McKeesport Area High School’s band and color guard.

Wanzo’s presentations culminated in more than 10 students receiving certificates and rounds of applause.

After the final student was celebrated, Board President Mindy Lundberg told the nearly 50 attendees at Wednesday’s meeting, “Ladies and gentlemen, that's what this is all about.”

Apart from celebrating student success, however, board members heard about various challenges in the district.

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Serra Hopes to Rebound After Apollo-Ridge Loss

October 28, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Sports

Serra Catholic’s football team suffered an untimely loss last Friday night at the hands of Apollo-Ridge. The final score was 43–36 in a close game that came right down to the final whistle.

The Eagles are hoping to bounce back tonight (Oct. 28) when they host the 8-0 Steel Valley Ironmen under the lights in Haler Heights. Game time is 7 p.m.

“A loss is never a bad thing. We saw what happened after the North Catholic loss and this needs to be treated the same way. We hope to still have a long season ahead, and the loss doesn't do anything to change that outlook,” said assistant head coach Michael Betler.

Senior quarterback Elijah “Tiger” Ward was 5-8-170 passing with three touchdowns and rushed for 56 yards on 10 carries.

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Local Business Recovering After Explosion

October 27, 2022 |

By Elizabeth Laughlin | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Shalay Williams, founder of Care Heart CPR, conducts a training course. The building and other tenants were displaced when a natural gas explosion heavily damaged a small-business incubator on Ninth Avenue, Downtown. (Submitted photo courtesy Care Heart CPR, via Facebook)

For business owner and licensed nurse Shalay Williams, saving lives is the top priority.

“If I can train one person to save another, I’ve done my job,” Williams said.

Shalay Williams is a practical nurse with 13 years of experience. She graduated from UPMC St. Margaret School of Nursing, located in Pittsburgh. She opened Care Heart CPR, an emergency-training service, in July 2021.

Until Aug. 2, the business was located on Ninth Avenue in McKeesport, at Penn State Greater Allegheny’s small-business incubator, the Mon Valley LaunchBox.

That morning, a devastating natural gas explosion heavily damaged several businesses supported by the LaunchBox, including Care Heart, Painting with Rissa and The Fry Bar.

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New Director Puts Heart, Soul Into MLT’s ‘Rocky’

October 27, 2022 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, the photos on this story were incorrectly credited. They were supplied courtesy of Edward E. Bostedo Jr.

Jacob Hecht as Dr. Frank-N-Furter (center), makes his first appearance to his unexpected visitors Brad and Janet, while members of his household and others look on. His creation Rocky (Ayden Freed), has not yet been revealed at this point in McKeesport Little Theater's production of "The Rocky Horror Show." (Submitted photos courtesy of Edward E. Bostedo Jr.)

If you go...


“The Rocky Horror Show”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater
1614 Coursin St.

When: All shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Oct. 28), Saturday (Oct. 29) and Sunday (Oct. 30).
Tickets: $25 for adults, or $30 with prop bag.

Recommended for ages 18 and older. Ages 17 or younger must be accompanied by an adult over 21.

Once Heather Atkinson found out McKeesport Little Theater had acquired the rights to “The Rocky Horror Show,” she knew she had to be part of it.

“I’ve been an avid ‘Rocky Horror’ fan most of my life,” she said.

That began when she and her father, who also is a big fan of the cult classic, went to a midnight viewing of the 1975 movie “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” She said she was approximately 12 years old at the time.

An avid performer at McKeesport Little Theater and other venues, Atkinson applied to direct “Rocky,” with veteran director Edward E. Bostedo Jr. as her mentor and director.

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Communities Post Halloween Events, Times

October 26, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

“Jack o’Lanterns” by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Mon-Yough area communities have slated times for trick-or-treat and other Halloween activities.

The City of McKeesport will hold trick-or-treat hours from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday (Oct. 31), along with Liberty Borough, North Versailles Twp., Port Vue, Versailles, West Mifflin and White Oak.

Trick-or-treat hours in Dravosburg are 6 to 7:30 p.m.

In the City of Pittsburgh, trick-or-treat will be celebrated from 5 to 7 p.m. for those who participate.

Duquesne will not have door-to-door trick-or-treating. Instead, Duquesne’s Halloween festivities will take place at Memorial Park from 3 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31, Mayor Scott Adams said. In case of inclement weather, activities will be moved to the police garage.

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Duquesne Working to Address Vacant Properties

October 26, 2022 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne officials will seek a state grant to purchase license-plate readers for the police department.

At the October meeting, Mayor Scott Adams said the city is seeking $100,000.

The mayor said he also hopes that the state can obtain funding with the help of state Sen. Jim Brewster to purchase a new pickup truck with snow-plowing and road-salting capabilities for the public works department

In other business, the city is moving forward with programs to address the number of vacant and abandoned properties in Duquesne, Adams said.

The city’s goals include both redeveloping vacant properties and removing abandoned structures, Adams said.

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NAMI McKeesport Sets November Meeting

October 26, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will meet at 6 p.m. Nov. 2 in Room F122, Frable Building, Penn State Greater Allegheny, a spokeswoman said.

The meeting is open to families and friends of loved ones living with mental illness.

A special presentation via Zoom will be given by financial advisor Brian Kelnhofer of 1847 Financial in Conshohocken.

Kelnhofer will provide an overview of government benefit programs as well as strategies for protecting and maximizing eligibility for certain government benefits, the spokeswoman said.

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Bowhunting Near Park Worries NVT Resident

October 26, 2022 |

By Dianne Ribecca | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

A resident told North Versailles Twp. commissioners this month that he’s concerned about people who are hunting deer close to Fairhaven Park.

During the public comment session at the October meeting, the resident said some bowhunters are parking their cars inside the park, near the baseball field, before going into the woods. Some hunters even trespass in the neighbors’ back yards, he said.

On at least one occasion, he said, he found a “gut pile” near the basketball court from someone who had cleaned a freshly killed deer. The resident told commissioners he is worried about the safety of kids playing in the park and people walking their dogs.

Commissioners said a “No Hunting” sign can be placed at the park and said the township could begin locking the gates near the baseball field during the off-season. That way, they said, residents and children would still be able to use the park, but hunters would not be able to use it for parking.

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Teen Dead Following Duquesne Shooting

October 25, 2022 |

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

Allegheny County police are investigating the death of a teen-ager who was found slumped over the wheel of a car on Tuesday morning in Duquesne.

Durobb Johnson, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene in the 900 block of High Street of apparent gunshot wounds, said a spokesperson for the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office.

In a prepared statement, county homicide detectives said a caller to 9-1-1 just before 6 a.m. reported the incident. Police are investigating but have released no other details. Anyone with information concerning the incident is being asked to call the county police tip line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.


It’s Here: Last Day to Register to Vote on Nov. 8

October 24, 2022 |

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

In Pennsylvania, today is the last day to register to vote or update your voter registration before the Nov. 8 midterm election.

You have until midnight to register to vote.

In the 2020 General Election, which included the presidential race, 71 percent of Pennsylvanians cast their ballots. Meg Pierce — executive director of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania — said the state saw a huge surge in participation in the 2020 presidential election.

Then the numbers dipped a little in 2021. But Pierce predicted a high turnout again this November.

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Nominations Being Accepted for Tube City Board

October 19, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

Tube City Community Media Inc., the non-profit publisher of The Tube City Almanac and operator of Tube City Online Radio, is accepting nominations from people interested in serving on its board of directors for 2022-23.

Nominations will be considered at the board's next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 30, and should be received by Oct. 23.

Nominees should be at least 18 years old, be able to pass a background check, and live within a nine-mile radius of McKeesport. Most importantly, they should have a sincere interest in local, non-profit media and in promoting the McKeesport area via the Internet, radio and other means.

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With 5 Conference Wins, Serra’s Eagles Flying High

October 17, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Sports

Serra Catholic’s Eagles are flying high after another regular season football victory.

On Friday, Serra defeated Ligonier Valley 27–18 on the road to run their record to 7–1 overall and 5–0 in the WPIAL AA Allegheny Conference.

On Oct. 7, Yough surprised Serra, and although the Eagles won that matchup 28–14, untimely penalties and poor field position seemed to haunt the team the entire game.

Serra players said they knew they had to come out firing on all cylinders against Ligonier Valley.

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MASD’s Wanzo: ‘It’s My Goal to Be at the Schools’

October 17, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

CORRECTION: This article has been corrected. The wrong figure was given for the number of teachers in the district.

Inside Dr. Tia Wanzo’s office are plants, a few photos and a mounted placard with a quote once uttered by the late basketball hall of famer Kobe Bryant.

The nearby windows in Wanzo’s office allow a fair amount of natural light to enter. The sunshine illuminates a desk, conference table and plenty of places to sit, but McKeesport Area School District’s newest superintendent doesn’t love using the roomy space.

“It's really hard for me to just sit in here and be behind my desk,” Wanzo said. “I am not an office person by any way, shape, stretch or form.”

The self-described “visible leader” would rather be inside a classroom, joining others in a hallway or walking the track.

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Driver Faces Charges in 3-Car Crash

October 17, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Jefferson Hills woman faces formal arraignment Nov. 3 in connection with a three-car accident that sent three people to area hospitals.

Nicole A. Diggs, 22, is charged by McKeesport police with causing an accident involving death or injury and driving without a license. She is free on her own recognizance pending her appearance in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

McKeesport police said Diggs was the driver of a 2004 Mercury sedan that collided with two other vehicles just after 2:30 p.m. March 23 on East Fifth Avenue, near McKeesport & Versailles Cemetery.

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Teen Charged in September Shooting

October 17, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A 14-year-old has been charged with aggravated assault after McKeesport police allege he fired multiple shots into a crowd, sending another teen-ager to the hospital with a neck wound that fortunately missed all vital arteries.

Police said the victim was inside his parent’s apartment at the time of the shooting. A parked car also was struck three times, according to a report.

Both the victim and the alleged shooter live in Harrison Village, police said.

The suspect is charged with recklessly endangering other persons, possession of a firearm by a minor, carrying a firearm without a license, criminal mischief and possession of instruments of crime.

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Report: Local Workers Benefit from Tight Labor Market

October 13, 2022 |

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

The latest research on the “State of Working Pennsylvania” says a tight labor market and new levels of union organizing are offering new opportunities for workers.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate in August was the lowest since June 2000, at 4.2% — and more than six million Pennsylvanians are either working or looking for jobs.

Stephen Herzenberg – executive director of Keystone Research Center and co-author of the report – said with smart and worker-friendly policies, the next several years should see a sense of possibility for those workers.

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Officials Break Ground on Heritage Center Annex

October 13, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Board members and employees of McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center watch as McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko, Heritage Center board chair Matt Gergely and state Sen. Jim Brewster ceremonially break ground on a new annex to the facility in Renziehausen Park. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Local officials and representatives of McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center broke ground Wednesday evening on an annex that will roughly double the amount of exhibit space available at the Renziehausen Park museum and archive.

Construction of the 3,500-square-foot wing is expected to begin within a few weeks and, weather-permitting, will be complete in late spring or early summer 2023, said Branden Kucich, owner of Kucich Construction, general contractor on the project.

The expansion is a reflection that the heritage center has increasingly become a regional asset that serves not just the McKeesport Area School District, but surrounding communities as well, said state Sen. Jim Brewster.

“There is an abundance of items that have been stored that people haven’t been able to see” on display, Brewster said. “The heritage center really has become a destination point, along with the rose garden, here in McKeesport. People come here from all over the country, including people who grew up in McKeesport as well as the surrounding areas.”

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Serra’s Two QBs Say Team is ‘Like a Family’

October 06, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Sports

It’s all in the family with the Serra Catholic football team. Last week’s Homecoming game was celebrated with a huge victory over Derry as the Serra Catholic Eagles defeated the Trojans of Derry 49–7.

The leaders of the (5-1) Serra Catholic football team credit their season-long success to the “family-like” environment developed by Head Coach Jose Regus.

“We have a really good bond with the coaches. They speak to us about football and even just life in general,” said senior quarterback Elijah “Tiger” Ward. “They are role models, and they make it like we are a family.”

Up next for the Eagles is a game tonight versus the 2-4 Yough Cougars. The Eagles will look to build on their 5-1 overall record and 3-0 record within their conference.

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Grant Funds Gear for Duquesne Firefighters

October 06, 2022 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne Fire Chief Frank Cobb told city council Tuesday night that the department has received a nearly $50,000 federal grant for a new compressor that will help keep firefighters' air tanks full.

Cobb explained that when a firefighter is on a call and the air tank on their back is depleted of oxygen, the department gets them filled at the nearby Duquesne Annex station in West Mifflin. With this grant, the department will be more efficient. Out of three bids, the department will spend $48,157.42 to purchase the compressor.

“We’ve been trying to get this for 30 years,” Cobb told council. “Multiple times we have been denied.” He said that the investment is important to stave off bigger expenditures down the road.

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Duquesne Officer Returns, Dep’t Looking For More

October 06, 2022 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne City Council has ratified the return of police officer William Spangler to the full-time active roster.

At this week’s meeting, by a 4-0 vote (with Councilman Tim Caldwell absent), council also approved a motion to interview, test if applicable, and hire part-time police officers.

Recently, Spangler had resigned to take a new position, but he has returned, Duquesne officials said.

Mayor Scott Adams noted that the next round of testing for potential officers is Friday. Act 47 Coordinator George Dougherty also told council that there are police grants available for potential police officers to attend the police academy through Robert Morris University.

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