Community Meeting Postponed, New Date TBA

February 27, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

The third in a series of meetings to discuss the community response to violence has been postponed to give families a chance to cheer on McKeesport Area basketball teams that are competing in the playoffs.

The meetings are being sponsored by the McKeesport unit of the NAACP.

A spokeswoman said that due to both the boys’ and girls’ high school teams competing tonight, the meeting will be rescheduled.

The next meeting will discuss strategies and planners hope to get committees in place. She urged parents and other interested residents to attend. The new date will be announced soon, she said.

The girls’ team is playing in the Class 5A semi-finals against Gateway at 8 p.m. The winner will play for the Class 5A championship on March 4.

The boys’ team is playing in a Class 5A consolation round against Fox Chapel at 8 p.m. The winner will advance to the PIAA playoffs as the WPIAL’s seventh seed.


City Man Held in String of Robberies

February 27, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A city man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail in connection with a string of convenience store robberies in McKeesport and Munhall.

James E. Harrison III, 26, faces preliminary hearings on March 6 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi in McKeesport and on March 8 before Magisterial District Judge Patrick Campbell in Munhall on 18 different charges, including multiple counts of robbery, simple assault, recklessly endangering other persons and theft.

Allegheny County detectives and McKeesport and Munhall police said that Harrison has been connected to five robberies, including a Jan. 17 hold-up at a market in the 900 block of Union Avenue, two hold-ups at a variety store on Lysle Boulevard in February, and two robberies at a deli on Main Street in Munhall.

Read More

Violence Leaves City Grieving, Looking for Answers

February 27, 2023 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

SPECIAL REPORT — © 2023 Tube City Community Media Inc.

( photo via Flickr, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

After a violent three-month period that has seen three young people shot — one fatally — as well as the murder of a police officer, McKeesport residents are searching for answers.

“This was not how we grew up at all,” McKeesport Area School Superintendent Tia Wanzo said in an interview. “We went through 13 years of school and we may have had one student in our class that passed away — whether it was a car accident or something unexpected — but this is way too much. It’s too common.”

The events, she and other community members said, evidence new realities.

Wanzo recalled her actions following the Dec. 13 death of 16-year-old Chance Naylor. In the aftermath of the student’s murder, she began preparing a statement.

Read More

NAMI McKeesport Sets March Meeting

February 27, 2023 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will meet at 6 p.m. March 1 at Penn State Greater Allegheny, Frable Building, Room 122, a spokeswoman said. The meeting is open to families and friends of loved ones living with mental illness.

Through a “care and share” session, members offer understanding and support unique to those who are affected by these conditions. NAMI McKeesport occasionally invites mental health professionals to speak about treatment and resources.

For more information about the McKeesport meeting, call (412) 527-6600. For the NAMI Helpline call (412) 366-3788 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


PA Tasked With School-Funding Revamp

February 25, 2023 |

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

It’s been two weeks since a Commonwealth Court judge ruled Pennsylvania’s system of funding public schools is unconstitutional and must be revamped.

Backers of the ruling are looking toward Gov. Josh Shapiro’s new budget, expected March 7, to address the steps his administration will be taking to move toward compliance with the court decision.

Kristina Moon, senior staff attorney for the Education Law Center, called the victory “historic” for the petitioners: six school districts, parents, the NAACP of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools.

Moon said the judge wrote a “strong” decision, which is 786 pages long.

Read More

Duquesne Officer Injured, Suspect Arrested

February 22, 2023 |

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

A Duquesne police officer received a gunshot wound early Wednesday morning following an altercation in the 600 block of Catherine Street, emergency personnel said.

Allegheny County homicide detectives are investigating.

The incident happened less than three weeks after two McKeesport police officers were shot, one fatally, while attempting to obtain mental-health treatment for a Wilson Street man.

The unidentified Duquesne officer, who was taken to a hospital in stable condition, was wounded in the foot but returned fire, Allegheny County police Lt. Venerando Costa said in a prepared statement.

Read More

Jenny Lind Street Man, 59, Slain

February 21, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A 59-year-old Jenny Lind Street man was found dead Friday evening inside his home of apparent gunshot wounds to the head and torso, police said.

Anthony L. Sayles was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:40 p.m., the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said. His death has been ruled a homicide.

Allegheny County police Sgt. Todd Dolfi said the investigation is active and ongoing, but that no additional details can be made public at this time.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call the county police tip line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.


Few Details Released in Child’s Shooting

February 21, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Allegheny County police are releasing few details in connection with their investigation of a shooting on Friday that sent a 2-year-old to the hospital.

County police Sgt. Todd Dolfi told Tube City Almanac the investigation is “active and ongoing” and detectives do not believe it was a random act of violence.

“This was not a stray bullet,” he said.

Emergency personnel said the incident happened at a home near the intersection of Oliver and North Third streets just after 9 p.m. Duquesne police transported the child to a meeting with paramedics, who rushed the 2-year-old to a hospital with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Read More

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner Planned

February 20, 2023 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Christy Park United Methodist Church campus of McKeesport Area Shared Ministry will host a Shrove Tuesday pancake supper from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in observance of Shrove Tuesday, a spokesperson said.

The dinner is free and open to the neighborhood. The church is located at 29th and Beale streets.

Shrove Tuesday is the final day before the beginning of Lent and is observed by many Christians, including Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans and Roman Catholics. “Shrove” comes from the word shrive, meaning “to absolve.”

On Shrove Tuesday, sometimes called “Fat Tuesday,” Christians traditionally supposed to use up rich and sweet foods, such as pancakes and syrup, before Lent.


W. Newton Churches Mark ‘Day of Prayer’

February 20, 2023 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: West Newton News

First Methodist Church, 106 N. Second St., West Newton, and First Church of God will host a celebration of the World Day of Prayer at 11 a.m. March 3 at the sanctuary of First Methodist, a spokesperson said. The event is sponsored by the women of both congregations.

This year, congregants will be asked to pray for Taiwan. A light luncheon will be served following the service.


Residents Want W. Wilmerding Park Closed

February 20, 2023 |

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

Residents of Kline Avenue in West Wilmerding are asking the North Versailles Twp. commissioners to consider closing a park there following recent gunfire.

At this month’s meeting, neighbors presented the commissioners with a petition signed by 50 homeowners asking the township to convert West Wilmerding Park from basketball courts into something for families with children.

Thursday’s meeting was held one night after shots were reportedly fired during an altercation near the park. No injuries were reported, but residents said they are concerned that neighbors will get caught in the crossfire if violence continues at the park.

Read More

EA Could Benefit From Lawsuit Over Funds

February 20, 2023 |

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

East Allegheny School District could benefit if state lawmakers are forced to revise the way Pennsylvania funds public education.

At this month’s school board meeting, Superintendent Alan Johnson said East Allegheny is in the top 2 percent of districts that are most impacted by funding disparities.

The Pennsylvania Fair Funding Formula, which became law in 2016, is designed to distribute state education funding so that all students receive a high-quality education without discriminating against smaller, poorer districts, Johnson said.

Read More

EA Board Will Not Renew Supt.’s Contract

February 20, 2023 |

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

The East Allegheny School Board has voted not to renew the contract of district Superintendent Alan Johnson.

At this month’s meeting, the board voted 5-4 not to rescind a previous motion to let the contract expire.

Voting against contract renewal were School Directors Merle Pusey, Robert Trout, Cortney Verner, George Yusk and Dan Ziober.

Read More

Duquesne Could Dissolve Redevelopment Authority

February 20, 2023 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne City Council will consider a proposal to dissolve the city’s 28-year-old redevelopment authority and pass its duties over to Allegheny County.

At this month’s council meeting, Duquesne Solicitor Myron Sainovich said the Duquesne Redevelopment Authority was created in 1995 but hasn’t been active in many years. Sainovich noted that Mayor R. Scott Adams could appoint members to the commission, but hasn’t. The agency has “no debts, no contractual obligations,” he said.

The redevelopment authority could have been closed three years after its inception, so there are no other legal obstacles, according to the solicitor.

Read More

Thousands Line Route of Funeral Procession

February 15, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Supporters lined Richland Avenue in Dravosburg to view the funeral procession. (Vickie Babyak photo special to Tube City Almanac)

(Written and reported by Vickie Babyak and Jason Togyer)

Thousands of McKeesport-area residents lined the route of a funeral procession for a city police officer killed in the line of duty.

Many held signs saying “We Support Our Police” or American flags as the hearse carrying Officer Sean Sluganski, 32, passed through Dravosburg and McKeesport on its way to Jefferson Memorial Park in Jefferson Hills.

Sluganski was interred just after 5 p.m. in a private ceremony at Jefferson Memorial Park. An Allegheny County emergency dispatcher broke into police radio traffic and called Sluganski’s call sign, 11-16, three times.

McKeesport police Chief Adam Alfer then responded and declared that Sluganski, McKeesport police Badge 300, “is now off-duty.”

“You have completed your mission here, and may you rest in peace, knowing that your strength and love lives on through your mother, your fiancee, your daughter, your sisters, your family and friends,” the dispatcher replied, “and your honor lives on through us all. Thank you for a job well-done, officer. You will truly be missed.”

Read More

Editorial Cartoon: Neighborhood Watch

February 14, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Editorial Cartoons

Cartoon depicts a group of people surrounding a police officer, who is praying with their head bowed. Title is Neighborhood Watch

“The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”

—Sir Robert Peel, 1788-1850
U.K. prime minister, 1834-35, 1841-46
Founder, London Metropolitan Police Service

. . .

“There is no higher calling than that of a policeman. I would rather be a policeman than President.”

—August Vollmer, 1876-1955
Police chief of Berkeley, Calif.
Professor of police administration, University of California at Berkeley


Private Funeral, Interment for Fallen Officer

February 13, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Map courtesy Allegheny County)

The funeral Mass for a McKeesport police officer killed in the line of duty on Feb. 6 will be restricted to family and invited friends and colleagues, officials have announced.

Officer Sean Sluganski, 32, will be interred Tuesday at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery in Jefferson Hills following a Mass of Christian Burial at 12 noon at St. Albert the Great Church in Baldwin Borough.

Police and county officials are asking residents to respect the wishes of the Sluganski family and not attend the church service, which is closed to the public. Although media will be permitted to cover events outside of the church, photography and video inside will not be permitted, a county spokesperson said.

Read More

Supporters Urged to Line Funeral Route Tuesday

February 12, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A McKeesport patrol car has been decorated with bunting and parked at the city’s war memorial on Lysle Boulevard in honor of Officer Sean Sluganski, 32, who died Feb. 6. A city man has been charged with fatally shooting Sluganski and seriously wounding Officer Chuck Thomas Jr., 35. (Tube City Almanac photo)

After the murder of Brackenridge police Chief Justin McIntire in January, North Hills attorney Ed Kress distributed signs throughout the community saying “We support our police.”

He was hoping not to have to repeat the gesture for a long time.

But Kress and former state Rep. Marc Gergely of White Oak, who were fraternity brothers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, found themselves pressed into service again after McKeesport police Officer Sean Sluganski was shot to death on Feb. 6, and fellow Officer Chuck Thomas Jr. was injured.

This weekend, they've been working hard to get up to 1,500 signs distributed along the planned route of Sluganski’s funeral on Tuesday.

Read More

Two Police Officers Resign in Duquesne

February 10, 2023 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne City Council on Tuesday accepted the resignation of two police officers. Mayor R. Scott Adams thanked officers Joseph Hayes and Brian O’Toole for their service. Adams also wished the duo the best on their future endeavors.

Assistant Police Chief Kara Vance told council she has been working on obtaining an $88,000 grant for department upgrades, according to new City Manager Scott Crawford.

“She does the work,” he said. Vance has made steps to obtain a new police vehicle, and that is to be “rolled over” into a separate grant to increase the department’s fleet by three automobiles. The authorities are looking into the lease for the high-mileage vehicles, and Crawford promises more information as it becomes available.

Read More

EA Board Hears Presentation on Building Upgrades

February 10, 2023 |

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

A company that promises to help school districts control costs by reducing the amount of energy they consume made its pitch this week to the East Allegheny School Board.

At this month’s committee meeting, representatives of American Building Maintenance said engineering upgrades and other improvements could stretch the school district's budget further.

ABM said that an engineering walkthrough of East Allegheny High School and Logan Elementary School saw aging equipment that the school district could upgrade or replace to provide energy savings that will, in turn, offset the costs of upgrades, replacements and repairs.

For example, their recommendations included connecting time controls to exhaust fans in the school buildings and lighting, especially for lighting in the stadium.

Read More

Union Creates Fund for Fallen Officer

February 10, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

The union representing McKeesport police has created a memorial fund to benefit the family of an officer killed Monday in the line of duty.

City police Officer Sean Sluganski, 32, a Baldwin native, died at the emergency room of UPMC McKeesport hospital following an encounter with a suspect on Grandview Avenue. Another officer, Charles Thomas Jr., 35, was seriously wounded and flown to UPMC Mercy Hospital, Uptown. He is now recovering at home.

Carl Bailey, president of Teamsters Local 205, based in White Oak, said the union was “shocked and saddened” by the attack on its members.

“Sean Sluganski served his community because he cared so deeply about it,” Bailey said in a prepared statement. “He was the personification of those values which compose the soul of the badge — honor, courage, loyalty, integrity, selflessness, the confidence of the community and public trust.”

Read More

Reader’s Viewpoint: Better Days Still Ahead

February 09, 2023 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Commentary-Editorial

(Submitted photo courtesy of Jonathan Stark)

Jonathan Stark is the owner of the People’s Bank Building and the Executive Building, Downtown, as well as several other commercial and residential properties around the city. He writes:

I’m not originally from McKeesport. When I try to explain to people why I love McKeesport, they don’t understand. They aren’t from McKeesport.

When my wife Jen and I moved to neighboring White Oak in 2005, I remember being totally impressed with the old architecture, beautiful homes and the stories about what many would agree was the best city in Allegheny County to grow up in at one time.

I was intrigued. I had never seen anything like it where I grew up in Westmoreland County.

I remember introducing myself to a few police officers when I bought my first downtown building in 2008 and asked them what I should expect. They told me that it’s a big city and has all the same problems that any big city has. I got to know those officers and became good friends with many of them and other firefighters, EMS, local politicians and residents.

Read More

Funeral Set for Slain City Police Officer

February 08, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport police officer who was shot by a suspect on Monday afternoon will be laid to rest on Valentine’s Day.

A Mass of Christian burial for Sean Sluganski, 32, is scheduled for Tuesday at St. Albert the Great Church of Blessed Trinity Parish in Baldwin Borough.

Sluganski’s funeral arrangements are in charge of John F. Slater Funeral Home in Brentwood, which announced Wednesday that friends and family will be received from 12 noon to 8 p.m. Sunday and from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday.

Earlier, an Allegheny County spokeswoman asked members of the media to stop contacting the Sluganski family.

Read More

Voters in 35th Choose Gergely as Rep

February 08, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Unofficial returns indicate that Matt Gergely has been elected to the 35th District of the state’s General Assembly, giving Democrats control of the state house. (Submitted photo via Facebook)

Matt Gergely appears to be on track to become the Mon Valley’s next state representative, taking the seat once held by his brother, Marc.

With 97 percent of the vote counted, unofficial results from the Allegheny County Division of Elections show Gergely, a Democrat from McKeesport, with an insurmountable 73 percent to 25 percent lead over Don Nevills, Clairton Republican.

Former McKeesport Councilman Paul Shelly Jr. was running an independent write-in campaign. Write-in votes account for less than 2 percent of the vote, according to county elections officials.

Gergely will fill the unexpired term of former state Rep. Austin Davis, who resigned after being elected Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor.

Read More

Procession Carrying Slain Officer Leaves Pittsburgh

February 07, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A line of McKeesport police, fire and EMS vehicles prepares to leave the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office from Pittsburgh’s Strip District with the remains of slain police Officer Sean Sluganski. (Submitted photo special to Tube City Almanac)

An escort of McKeesport emergency vehicles carried the body of slain police Officer Sean Sluganski to a South Hills funeral home on Tuesday afternoon.

Sluganski, 32, who had served on the McKeesport police department for two years, died Monday following a shooting on Grandview Avenue.

Allegheny County police have charged Johnathan Jermia Morris, 31, with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, assault on a law-enforcement officer and attempted murder of a law-enforcement officer in the first degree in connection with the death of Sluganski and the wounding of fellow McKeesport police officer Charles Thomas Jr., 35.

Morris is in custody at a Pittsburgh hospital, awaiting arraignment.

Sluganski and Thomas were investigating a domestic disturbance at a home on Willow Street shared by Morris and his mother, Candace Tyler. In an affidavit, county detectives said that Tyler called police because Morris was suffering a mental health episode as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Read More

Suspect Charged in Shooting of Two Police Officers

February 07, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

The son of a former McKeesport police officer who was fired in 2021 has been charged in connection with the murder of a current police officer, and with wounding another.

Johnathan Jermia Morris, 31, is awaiting preliminary arraignment on charges of criminal homicide, aggravated assault, assault on a law-enforcement officer and attempted murder of a law-enforcement officer in the first degree.

Morris is accused by Allegheny County police of fatally wounding McKeesport police Officer Sean Sluganski, 32, and injuring Officer Chuck Thomas Jr., 35, after they responded to a domestic dispute at the home of Morris’ mother, Candace Tyler.

Emergency personnel said Morris is currently under police guard at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, Oakland, where he was flown following the incident Monday afternoon.

Read More

Procession Carries Slain Officer to Morgue

February 06, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A mile-long possession of emergency vehicles, led by three motorcycle police officers, escorted an ambulance from UPMC McKeesport hospital to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office on Monday evening.

The McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service vehicle carried the remains of city police Officer Sean Sluganski, 32, who died after being shot Monday afternoon near the intersection of Versailles and Grandview avenues. Sluganski was fatally wounded by a suspect as he and another officer, Charles Thomas Jr., 35, responded to a request for help during a domestic disturbance.

The suspect in Sluganski’s murder, whose name has not yet been officially made public, was shot by a third, unidentified McKeesport police officer near the intersection of Versailles and Patterson avenues.

According to unconfirmed reports, the suspect fired at least 15 rounds at Sluganski and Thomas. Allegheny County police homicide detectives are investigating and said Monday that neighbors and business owners had been “very helpful” in providing witness statements.

Read More

Sheriff’s Office Assisting on City Police Calls

February 06, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

The Allegheny County sheriff’s office is covering some police calls in the City of McKeesport following an incident on Monday afternoon in which one officer was killed and another injured.

Pennsylvania State Police and the Allegheny County police also are assisting, county officials said.

“The City of McKeesport is in many ways the ‘heart’ of the Mon Valley,” the sheriff’s office said in a prepared statement. “Today that heart is broken by senseless violence, and another stark example of the danger that our law enforcement officers face every day, on every shift and on every call.”

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said Monday at a press conference that the city will “continue to do everything we can to collaborate with other law enforcement agencies and use all of the resources available to us.”

A prayer vigil has been scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight (Feb. 6) at the Beulah Park campus of the McKeesport United Methodist Church Shared Ministry, located at 1615 Grandview Ave., just a few blocks from the shootings.

Lt. Gov. Austin Davis, who lives not far from the scene, said his thoughts, and those of his wife, Blayre, are with the officers, their families and the community. “This tragedy hits close to home for me and my family,” Davis said.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. also issued a statement of condolences.

“My condolences are with the family of the officer killed in McKeesport and I’m praying for the recovery of the second officer injured,” Casey said. “My office has been in contact with local officials to offer support.”

“Deepest condolences go out to the family of the McKeesport police officer killed today while serving the community,” State Rep. Nick Pisciottano of West Mifflin said. “My thoughts go out to the second injured officer and his family as we all hope for a swift recovery.”



February 06, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

BREAKING STORY: This is a breaking story and is subject to change.

Mayor: ‘Pray for our city and we’ll get through this’ ...
Suspect in custody following incident

MORE: Sheriff's office assisting on calls, prayer vigil tonight at 7

A city police officer is dead and another was seriously wounded following an incident Monday afternoon near the intersection of Versailles and Grandview avenues.

The area was closed to the public and motorists and pedestrians were advised to avoid the neighborhood. The nearby McKeesport Area High School campus was placed on exterior lockdown, though classes were dismissed at the usual time.

UPMC McKeesport hospital also was closed to everyone except emergency personnel and patients.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko, police Chief Adam Alfer and state Sen. Jim Brewster joined Allegheny County police at a press conference just before 4 p.m.

“Please keep the family in your prayers, and all police officers in your prayers at this time,” Cherepko said, his voice breaking. “Pray for our city and we’ll get through this.”

The names of the officers involved have not yet been made public. It is the first death of a McKeesport police officer in the line of duty since 1993.

Allegheny County police said city officers responded at around 12:30 p.m. to what was described as a “domestic dispute” between a mother and her adult son at a home on Wilson Street, about a block from the intersection of Grandview and Versailles.

Investigators said the suspect walked away as police attempted to question him. A family member warned the officers that the suspect might be armed.

County police Superintendent Christopher Kearns said that as the suspect walked along Grandview Avenue, with the officers behind him, he suddenly turned and fired, striking them.

The suspect then continued on foot to the intersection of Patterson and Versailles avenues, county police said, where he encountered another McKeesport police officer and opened fire. That police officer returned fire, striking the suspect and wounding him.

Read More

Nominating Petitions Due March 7

February 06, 2023 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Persons who want to run for municipal offices this year should submit their nominating petitions no later than March 7, an Allegheny County spokeswoman announced.

The Elections Division today announced that nomination petitions are now available online and in the office for candidates seeking to run in the May 16 municipal primary.

The nomination petitions must be printed or copied as duplex (double-sided, front-to-back, head-to-head) on plain white 8.5” x 11” (letter-size) paper. This requirement cannot be satisfied by printing each side of the nomination petition on a separate sheet of paper and affixing the sheets together, the county said.

Petitions, along with instructions, are available online.

Voters will be electing mayors in some municipalities, including McKeesport, along with members of city and borough councils, township commissioners, school board members and other municipal offices.

Read More

Study: Trace Chemicals Remain Present in Water

February 06, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Source: University of Pittsburgh and Women for a Healthy Environment)

Trace amounts of chemicals used in firefighting foam can still be detected in the water supplies of lower 10th Ward residents, almost two years after a massive fire that destroyed a local auto-repair shop.

However, says Pitt researcher Carla Ng, the amounts of chemicals known as PFAS in the water are so small that they may not be the worst exposure most people face.

“It could be that your drinking water is not your main exposure to PFAS,” says Ng, an assistant professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering who is affiliated with the university’s Pittsburgh Collaboratory for Water Research, Education & Outreach. “You may want to cut the other products out of your life that may have an even bigger impact.”

And compared to the initial samples taken in 2021, Ng says, the level of chemical contamination in the water is substantially lower, which is good news. But traces of PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, and PFOS, or perfluorooctane sulfonate, are still a concern.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also can be found in fast-food wrappers, microwave-popcorn bags, pizza boxes, candy wrappers, plastic water bottles, non-stick cookware, cleaning products, stain-resistant coatings for upholstery and carpets, and even personal care products, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Read More

Three Seek Chance to Represent 35th District

February 05, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

The 35th Legislative District seat has been vacant since December, after former state Rep. Austin Davis of McKeesport won election as Pennsylvania’s first Black lieutenant governor.

Two endorsed candidates and an independent write-in candidate are vying to replace Davis in a special election to be held this Tuesday (Feb. 7). We asked freelance writer Elizabeth Laughlin to interview each of them.

In alphabetical order by last name, they are:

Matt Gergely is the finance director for the City of McKeesport. He previously served in a similar capacity for the McKeesport Area School Board, and as McKeesport’s city administrator. This is his first run for elected office. He is the endorsed Democratic candidate.

Tube City Almanac’s story | Candidate’s website:

Don Nevills is a business owner from Clairton and a retired chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy. He has served as a member of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Clairton and on the Clairton Municipal Authority Board. Nevills previously challenged Davis as a write-in candidate. He is the endorsed Republican candidate.

Tube City Almanac’s storyCandidate’s website:

Paul Shelly Jr. is the owner of Paul Shelly Restorations, a home-remodeling company in McKeesport. He previously served as a McKeesport city councilman and was a volunteer on John Fetterman’s successful U.S. Senate campaign. Shelly is running as an independent write-in candidate.

Tube City Almanac’s story | Candidate’s website:

Read More

35th District: Paul Shelly Jr.

February 05, 2023 |

By Elizabeth Laughlin | Posted in: Politics & Elections


Paul Shelly Jr. is running a write-in campaign for the 35th Legislative District seat. The election is Tuesday (Feb. 7).

Tell me about yourself.

I was born and raised in McKeesport—I’m a Mon Valley boy—and I am committed to the community. I love it here, and I love to see our people prosper. I raised four children, and I would say that’s what I’m most proud of. I started out by working for Westinghouse, and I have a master’s degree in computer science. I mentored and coached kids basketball, football, and baseball at the Boys & Girls Club, as well as at McKeesport High School. I also have my own painting company, Paul Shelly Restorations—we paint houses.

Why is running for state representative so important to you?

Truthfully, I have never wanted that role. I was working for the Fetterman campaign, and someone said, “Why not you?” I wanted to get Mon Valley guys elected. I think we have a lot of career politicians—what have they done? It’s humbling to win an election. I have Democrats, independents, and Republicans backing me up. We need to get new people involved—fresh ideas. Nobody has a monopoly of good ideas. I aspire to be a leader, and I like meeting people and hearing their concerns.

Read More

35th District Candidate: Don Nevills

February 05, 2023 |

By Elizabeth Laughlin | Posted in: Politics & Elections


Don Nevills is the endorsed Republican candidate for the 35th Legislative District. The election is Tuesday (Feb. 7):

Tell me about yourself.

I’m a 14-year Navy veteran and a business owner of 28 years. I’ve owned various tattoo shops, including one in the Southside of Pittsburgh, and a cotton candy store. I was a member of the Clairton Redevelopment Authority Board and the Clairton Municipal Utilities Authority Board. I live in Clairton, and I represent the people—not a party, not an agenda. I believe that in the 35th District, we’re underrepresented [in Harrisburg], if represented at all.

Why is running for state representative so important to you?

I’ve always served the people—I’ve always enjoyed helping others, speaking with them. I’ve done over 20,000 tattoos, and through talking to others, I learned that people just want to live a comfortable life.

I started my political campaign in 2019, when I ran for Congress. But I refocused to my local community and being able to bring change. What can I bring back to the local community? I’m tired of the politicians doing what they want. I take this job like the military—it’s 24/7. I’m always on call.

Read More

35th District Candidate: Matt Gergely

February 05, 2023 |

By Elizabeth Laughlin | Posted in: Politics & Elections


Matt Gergely is the endorsed Democratic candidate for the 35th Legislative District. The election is Tuesday, Feb. 7:

Tell me about yourself.

I was born and raised in McKeesport. I’m a ’98 graduate of McKeesport High School and an IUP college graduate of 2002. I have been involved with politics life-long, such as being a part of political consulting and the city administrative staff for the mayor. I was also business manager of the McKeesport Area School District for three years.

Why is running for state representative so important to you?

I contemplated running for a long time, from the day Austin Davis won his election. And I realized this [position] is something you can’t pass up—it’s what I want to do, and I was a step ahead of everything with my experiences.

But I will say the most important thing I want people to know is that this election is not about me, at all. It’s about the constituents of the 35th District and their issues and concerns.  We are going to do everything in our power to address the addiction to crime and violence that unfortunately plagues our communities at times.

Read More

Pitt Scientists to Discuss 10th Ward Water

February 02, 2023 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh will hold a meeting tonight to discuss the results of a new water testing study in the lower 10th Ward.
Dr. Carla Ng, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Pitt, has been conducting additional testing to determine if chemicals known as PFAs are still present in the water supply and soil after a fire at McKeesport Auto Body on Rebecca Street contaminated the area in July 2021.

PFAs, used in some types of fire-suppressant foam, are believed to have entered the water supply through a fire hydrant.

PFAs are found in a variety of consumer products and also are used in firefighting foam to smother blazes.

However, according to the EPA, PFAs also have been linked to health problems, including low infant birth weights, immune and thyroid disorders and cancers.

The meeting will also provide opportunities for residents to sign-up and get their water tested. Pitt is working with the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County and Women for a Healthy Environment.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at West Side United Methodist Church, 305 Atlantic Ave.


City Council Votes Down Six-Pack License

February 02, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport City Council has rejected the transfer of a liquor license to a proposed sandwich and six-pack shop on Lysle Boulevard near Market Street.

By a 5-1 vote, council voted down a request from Sarabjit & Neelam Holdings for permission to transfer a liquor license into the city from Moon Twp.

Councilman Tim Brown cast the only yes vote. Councilwoman Jill Lape was absent.

At January’s council meeting, company representatives had expressed their intention to open a deli and six-pack shop in a former check-cashing store at the intersection of Market Street and Lysle Boulevard.

Read More

Google™ Custom Search

High: +69°

Low: +59°