Advocates Praise New Strategy to Tackle Hate

June 30, 2023 |

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

Local groups are working to counter a rise in anti-semitism in Pennsylvania and across the country.

Anti-semitic incidents in the United States reached a new high in 2022, with a total of 6,751 cases of racist, anti-semitic and other hateful messages reported by the Anti-Defamation League.

Advocates say that the trial of Robert Bowers — the man convicted of killing 11 people inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2018 — is a reminder of the danger that anti-semitism and other racial- and religious-based hate groups present.

Hilary Levine, associate director for the American Jewish Committee’s regional office in Philadelphia, said the U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, a plan announced in May by the Biden administration, is a step in the right direction.

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UPMC Closes 2 CCU Beds in McKeesport

June 30, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Two critical-care beds have been eliminated at UPMC McKeesport hospital, but a spokesperson for the health system says the shift was done to better utilize resources, not as a prelude to downsizing.

Sarah Deist, a spokeswoman for UPMC Health System, said the critical care unit has been transitioned to what’s called a “high-acuity” unit to support patients who need additional care beyond a typical medical-surgical floor.

The National Institutes of Health define a “high-acuity” unit as a hospital unit that provides “more acute care and closer monitoring than a general hospital ward,” but not as resource-intensive as intensive-care or critical-care units.

No staff positions were eliminated, Deist said. An intensive-care unit is offered at UPMC East in Monroeville, she said.

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New Renzie Market Adds ‘Festival’ Atmosphere

June 30, 2023 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Submitted photo courtesy City of McKeesport Mayor’s Office via Facebook)

A new “festival-type atmosphere” is designed to attract visitors to the farmer’s market at Renziehausen Park this summer.

The relaunched Renzie Market is now being held on the first Thursday of each month through September from 5:30 to 8 p.m. behind Fire Station No. 2 on Eden Park Boulevard. The next market is Thursday (July 6).

“We wanted to try something different. It allows us to have food trucks, entertainment and it creates a festival-type atmosphere,” said Kelly Doyle, director of the Renzie Market and co-founder of the McKeesport Agape Center. “Each month there is different food, vendors, and entertainment. There’s even stuff for the kids.”

The new Thursday night market launched in June, replacing the previous market that operated on Saturday mornings. “Last month, Mayor Cherepko’s office provided free face painting for the kids,” Doyle said.

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NAMI McKeesport Slates July Meeting

June 30, 2023 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The McKeesport chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will meet at 6 p.m. July 5 in Room 122 of the Frable Building at Penn State Greater Allegheny, a spokeswoman said. The meeting is open to families and friends of loved ones living with mental illness.

NAMI McKeesport is a support group. 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.


Locals Cheer Grads During Broadway Awards

June 27, 2023 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Students who have performed with Kaitlyn Majewski in high school or at McKeesport Little Theater joined the watch party for the 2023 Jimmy Awards to show their support. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

An enthusiastic group of friends, family and fellow performers gathered at McKeesport Area High School’s auditorium on Monday night to view a live stream of the 2023 Jimmy Awards.

The collaborative effort between McKeesport Little Theater and McKeesport Area School District enabled those who could not travel to New York City to support 2023 grad Kaitlyn Majewski to cheer her on as she performed as part of the competition that recognizes excellence in high school musical theatre.

Majewski and Elizabeth Forward High School student Tyler Guinto-Brody qualified for the Jimmys after being named best actress and best actor, respectively, during Pittsburgh’s Gene Kelly Awards in May.

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LaRosa Club Marks 2nd Year With New Signs

June 27, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

*Correction: This story misstated the number. We regret the error.

Beau Yauch and Jesse Whitt of Tri-State Signs position the LaRosa Youth Club’s new sign over the main entrance on Ravine Street. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Almost two years to the day since taking ownership of its Ravine Street facility, the LaRosa Youth Club has new signage.

Workers from Tri-State Signs & Reprographics of Pittsburgh’s Strip District recently installed new signs over the main clubhouse as well as the adjacent gymnasium.

“This is a big day for us,” said Jim Barry Jr., a member of the board of the LaRosa Youth Development Foundation, the club’s parent organization. “We finally have our name on the building. That makes it permanent.”

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New City Manager Named in Duquesne

June 27, 2023 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Correction: Samuel Sulkosky’s name was misspelled in earlier versions of this story. We apologize for the error. -JT

Duquesne has another new city manager. Samuel Sulkosky has been hired by the city, but was not officially appointed at the June 6 general meeting.

A vote to appoint him was tabled, because other members of the newly-configured city administration were unable to attend the monthly meeting. The official designation will take place at July’s general meeting.

Council did, however, vote to give Sulkosky signator powers on city checking accounts.

Former City Manager Kelly Robertson left the city for another job late last year. George Newsome, who had worked under Robertson, was tapped interim city manager until January, when Scott Crawford was hired.

Crawford’s tenure ended by March, and Mary Lou Bittner served as interim until Sulkosky was tapped. Bittner remains with the city, but was not at the meeting.

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Tougher Code Enforcement Eyed by Duke Officials

June 27, 2023 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne officials are working on ways to make absentee landlords and other property owners more responsible for blighted and neglected land.

“Some properties are not being taken care of,” Mayor R. Scott Adams said at this month’s council meeting. “The city is cutting grass. We have to find a way to bill (property owners).”

Solicitor Myron Sainovich said the city has ordinances in its municipal planning code for such measures. Property owners could be sent leaders threatening to send invoices for services rendered, he said, adding that some property owners — such as banks — provide crews to do some of the work.

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City Native Attracting National Spotlight, Interest

June 26, 2023 |

By Elizabeth Laughlin | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Joey Young, 21, of McKeesport, shown here with Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, is attracting a national following for his dynamic mix of soul and pop. “Watch out for Joey Young,” a family friend says. (Submitted photo courtesy Joey Young, via Instagram)

A city native has been grabbing the national spotlight as an in-demand entertainer at events around the country.

Joey Young's newest single, "Spectacle," dropped June 2, one day before he was introduced by Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro at the three-day Pittsburgh Pride celebration on the North Side.

One week later, Young was a featured soloist during two concerts with the Renaissance City Choir at East Liberty Presbyterian Church. 

That’s after a run of performances during which Young, 21, also headlined Pride Month events in Miami Beach and Hollywood, Fla.

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Driver Held in Hit-Run Death of City Woman

June 22, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A man from Pittsburgh’s West End is being held by Allegheny County police after they allege he was driving a vehicle that killed a 39-year-old McKeesport woman.

Allegheny County police allege that Brandon K. Pendleton, 31, deliberately ran down the victim following an argument.

Pendleton was arrested Thursday afternoon and is charged by county police with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, making terroristic threats and attempted homicide.

In a prepared statement, county homicide detectives said that McKeesport police and paramedics were dispatched just after 1 a.m. Thursday to the 2600 block of Jenny Lind Street for a report of a vehicle that had struck three people, and then fled the scene.

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Future of Angora Gardens Remains Unclear

June 17, 2023 |

By Elizabeth Laughlin | Posted in: White Oak News

More than a month after an announcement that Angora Gardens in White Oak will close on July 31, the future of the facility and its programs remains unclear.

In an email to supporters of the facility, UPMC announced in May that Angora Gardens — which provides community health and wellness programming, including for people with disabilities and mental health challenges — will be closing due to “steadily declining” funding and will be turned over to the Allegheny County Parks Department.

White Oak Mayor Ina Jean Marton expressed her disappointment in the closure.

“Angora Gardens is an asset to White Oak,” she said. “They do everything they can.”

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Lions Dedicate New Fountain at Renzie

June 17, 2023 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Submitted photo courtesy McKeesport Lions)

Members of the McKeesport Lions Club unveiled their new drinking fountain at the Lions Bandshell in Renziehausen Park just in time for the Summer Concert Series to begin on Sunday (June 18).

Performing this Sunday are The Skyliners, while next week’s concert (June 25) features the ABBA tribute band Dancing Queen.

Upcoming weeks include Chuck Blasko’s Vogues (July 4, followed by fireworks), Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band Pendulum (July 9), and Jeff Jimerson and Airborne (July 16).

All performances begin at 7 p.m. A full schedule is available at

Concerts continue through Labor Day weekend. Support is provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District, the McKeesport Lions Club and the City of McKeesport.

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McKeesport Area Welcomes New Nature Initiative

June 16, 2023 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

From back to front, AnnaLisa Haughwout of McKeesport, Sarah Koenig, ASWP conservation director, and Brian Shema, ASWP operations director, discuss the benefits of bird-watching. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania recently celebrated its launch of an environmental collaborative initiative with municipalities, community partners, local organizations, schools and residents throughout the region of the McKeesport Area School District.

City and borough officials, organization leaders, Mon Valley residents and bird lovers gathered in Renziehausen Park recently for the Mon Valley Bird-Friendly Community Project Kickoff and certified backyard habitat enrollment.

Community programming will include a master birder program, birdwatching walks and habitat gardening classes. ASWP will collaborate with area plant nurseries to reduce invasive plant sales while expanding the offer of pollinator and bird-friendly plants to customers. A transformation of a vacant lot into a bird and pollinator-friendly habitat will be established in partnership with Tri-COG Land Bank.

ASWP executive director Jim Bonner is originally from the Mon Valley and has a special bond with the area. Bonner said, “Creating bird-friendly communities is at the heart of what we do,” he said.

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Local Schools Are Welcoming International Pupils

June 16, 2023 |

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

Logan Elementary kindergarten teacher Cathy Maloney with current ESL students and their siblings at the annual ESL Community Night held in May. (Submitted photo courtesy of East Allegheny Education Association)

As students eagerly begin their summer vacation, teachers and staff of Logan Elementary School in North Versailles Twp. are reflecting on an unusual school year. Enrollment in an English as a Second Language, or ESL, program tripled during the school year, from eight pupils in 2021-22 to 23 students in 2022-23.

Twelve countries are represented within the Logan community, according to East Allegheny School District. Many of the students are from Spanish-speaking countries but there also is representation from Afghanistan, Ghana, Iran and Latvia.

In one kindergarten classroom, taught by teacher Cathy Maloney, seven out of 23 students were in the ESL program.

“Four out of seven we knew about. The other three came in later,” says Maloney, who offered to take the additional three students who arrived after the school year had begun to help maximize ESL resources.

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Woman Charged in E. McKeesport Man’s Death

June 07, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A woman accused of shooting to death an East McKeesport man bound his body with plastic and duct tape and left it in her Evans Avenue apartment for several days, Allegheny County detectives allege.

Lindsey S. Jackson, 37, of McKeesport is being held without bond in the Allegheny County Jail in connection with the murder of Donte Lee “Chiefy’” Glover, 36, whose body was discovered May 1.

Glover had been reported missing the previous day and had last been seen alive on April 27, according to police.

Detectives said that Glover’s cell phone was last used for an outgoing call on the morning of April 28. That same day, police said, a security camera captured video of Glover going into Jackson’s apartment at around 7:30 a.m.

He never emerged, although Jackson was recorded coming and going from the apartment on multiple occasions, police said.

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Former Gang Member Sentenced to Federal Prison

June 07, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A former Duquesne man who was charged in 2019 with drug trafficking as an alleged member of the Braddock-based SCO gang has been sentenced to five years in federal prison.

The sentence was imposed May 17 on Delbert Pate, 30, by Senior U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab in Pittsburgh, and also includes four years’ probation following release.

Prosecutors said that Pate pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin-laced substances.

More than 30 members of SCO were indicted in 2019 following a lengthy local, state and federal investigation conducted by the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force. Prosecutors allege that Pate’s half-brother, Howard McFadden, was the leader of SCO.

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Duquesne Residents Praised for Clean-Up Push

June 06, 2023 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

CORRECTION: The name of Denise Brownfield was incorrect in the earlier version of this story. We apologize to Ms Brownfield for the mistake.

Several Duquesne residents have been recognized by city council for their efforts to improve their neighborhoods.

At a recent meeting, City Councilwoman Elaine Washington pointed out a number of residents who have gone above and beyond their civic responsibility and helped clean up and beautify the community.

One of those spotlighted by Washington was longtime resident Catherine M. Scharding.

Scharding said she suspected that Duquesne might now have more landlords than homeowners who occupy their properties. So she met with officials and other residents who wanted to make a difference.

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Artim Ready for Full Term on Duquesne Council

June 06, 2023 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

For Duquesne City Councilman Derek Artim, the second time running for office was the charm.

On May 16, the Duquesne native ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and with no Republicans running, Artim — barring a successful write-in campaign by a challenger — is expected to win a full four-year term in November.

A corporate operations officer for Dollar Bank, Artim said he wanted to put his 21 years’ worth of retail banking experience to work in his hometown, which is preparing to exit Act 47 state financial oversight. The city has been under financially distressed status since 1991.

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NAMI McKeesport Sets June Meeting

June 06, 2023 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

National Alliance on Mental Illness McKeesport support group will meet at 6 p.m. June 7 at Penn State Greater Allegheny in 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.


Spring Demolition Projects Underway

June 05, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The vacant Frank Mikell barber shop on Walnut Street is being demolished under a contract awarded to West Mifflin-based Minniefield Demolition Services. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Four contractors are simultaneously working together to demolish approximately 300 vacant and abandoned buildings in the city this spring and summer, officials said.

A.J. Tedesco, city community development director, said some of the buildings currently being targeted are under contracts that were awarded in 2022.

Among the buildings currently being demolished is the former Frank Mikell’s Barber Shop on Walnut Street in the Third Ward. Contrary to rumors, the building did not collapse, but it is being demolished by hand, slowly, to avoid damage to neighboring structures, Tedesco said.

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