School Director, Resident Exchange Angry Words

September 28, 2023 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Related story: School Board Meeting Marked By Heated Rhetoric

A McKeesport Area School Director apologized on social media following an angry exchange with a member of the public at the end of Tuesday night’s board meeting.

During the meeting, School Director Jim Brown had referred to the lengthy, tense proceedings as “a sh-t show.”

Following the meeting, as Brown was speaking to a reporter from Tube City Almanac, a resident accosted Brown and told him, “You’re the cause of the sh-t show, just by the way you conduct yourselves. Tone it down, tone it down, tone it down.”

Brown responded with profanity and an offensive word, telling the resident, “Hey, you better get away from me. What’s wrong with this dude?”

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School Board Meeting Marked By Heated Rhetoric

September 28, 2023 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Related story: School Director, Resident Exchange Angry Words

A lengthy McKeesport Area School Board meeting on Tuesday was marked by contentious remarks and explosive rhetoric that was lamented by several participants.

The meeting was rescheduled from Sept. 20 after an accident that morning claimed the life of a student from Serra Catholic High School. Board members opened the meeting with a moment of silence for Samantha Kalkbrenner, 15, of Dravosburg, who died in that collision, which also injured three other students and two adults.

During the citizen’s comments portion of the meeting, several community members raised concerns about student safety and district accountability.

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City Seeks $3M for New Versailles Ave. Bridge

September 26, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Tube City Almanac file photo)

McKeesport officials are hoping that the replacement of the Versailles Avenue Viaduct can be expedited with help and funding from the state Department of Transportation.

Council this month authorized PennDOT to act on the city’s behalf to perform the necessary work begin the process of replacing the nearly 300-foot-long bridge, which was closed to all traffic in February 2022 after an inspection determined it was no longer safe.

City council also have asked PennDOT for $3 million in funding toward the project from the state’s Multimodal Transportation Fund.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said the city is hopeful that funding from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission and the federal government will help make up the remainder of the cost, estimated at approximately $10 million.

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White Oak Readies for Oktoberfest at WOAA

September 26, 2023 |

By T.J. Martin | Posted in: White Oak News

White Oak Borough is making final preparations for this weekend’s Oktoberfest to celebrate the community’s 75th anniversary.

At this month’s council meeting, fun was on the agenda — in the short-term, with plans for this Friday’s event at the White Oak Athletic Association, and in the long term with a project designed to provide residents with new recreational opportunities.

Councilor Julie Opferman, who chairs the borough’s Parks and Recreation committee, said the Oktoberfest begins at 6 p.m. Sept. 29 at the WOAA, 1798 Lower Hickman Rd.

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Council OK’s Renovations to Lysle Garage

September 26, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Tube City Almanac file photo)

Renovating the Lysle Boulevard parking garage is another important step toward turning around the decline of the Downtown business district, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said.

City council this month awarded a $2.3 million contract to Kucich Construction Co. of McKeesport for work that will include new safety lighting, electrical upgrades, elevators, concrete deck repairs and other improvements.

The work will be paid for through a state Department of Transportation multi-modal grant awarded to the city in 2018.

“I think it’s a key component to attracting businesses, not just to the Daily News Building, but to the People’s Building and the Executive Building as well,” Cherepko said. “Barring any major setbacks due to obtaining material, I would expect the work to last approximately a year.”

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Editorial Cartoon: On Eagle’s Wings

September 25, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Editorial Cartoons

Cartoon shows an eagle flying over Serra Catholic High School

For the family and friends of Samantha Kalkbrenner and the Serra Catholic High School community, and everyone impacted by Wednesday’s tragedy.

And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand

hymn by the Rev. Michael Joncas


Serra Student Remembered at Prayer Service

September 22, 2023 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Students, teachers and members of the McKeesport-area community hold candles during a prayer service Thursday night for Samantha Kalkbrenner. (Photo by Adam Reinherz for Tube City Almanac)

A Thursday evening prayer service in memory of Samantha Kalkbrenner brought hundreds to McKeesport’s Serra Catholic High School.

As hymns were sung and candles held, mourners recalled Kalkbrenner, a 15-year-old sophomore from Dravosburg who died tragically Sept. 20 following a crash between a car and a Serra school van at the intersection of Richland and Third avenues in Dravosburg. Kalkbrenner was a passenger in the van.

Five other people, including three other students, were injured in the collision.

A crowd of perhaps 400 people, including students, teachers, staff and members of the McKeesport community attended the vigil, held at the football stadium on the Haler Heights campus.

“Although she is no longer with us, her life will never be extinguished,” Serra Catholic Principal Robert Childs said. “When our lives are difficult and seem unbearable we will remember her smiling face and her kind words.”

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Student, 15, Dead Following Van, Car Collision

September 20, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

BREAKING: This is a developing story and will be updated. It is subject to change.
Updated with statements from Serra Catholic High School, Bishop David Zubik and State Sen. Jim Brewster.

A 15-year-old student from Serra Catholic High School died Wednesday morning following a crash in Dravosburg, emergency personnel said.

Samantha Lee Kalkbrenner of Dravosburg was pronounced dead at the scene just before 8 a.m., the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said. She was a passenger in a school van operated by Serra that collided with a car at the intersection of Richland and Third avenues, witnesses said.

Three other students and the drivers of the van and the car also were injured, officials said.

All school activities were cancelled Wednesday and remain cancelled through Sunday, the high school announced on Wednesday afternoon. Teachers will be available on the school’s Haler Heights campus on Thursday to counsel students who are grieving, a spokesperson said.

A prayer service on campus is being planned at 7 p.m. Thursday. All are welcome to attend, the school said.

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Truck Crash in 3rd Ward Under Investigation

September 20, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

CORRECTION: This story was corrected after publication to remove a sentence speculating about the cause of the crash. We apologize for the error.

McKeesport police and state safety investigators are probing a crash Monday afternoon that injured two sanitation workers and two bystanders and damaged a half-dozen parked cars in the city’s Third Ward.

Rob Smith, president of Big’s Sanitation in Rostraver Twp., said a truck that was working a route in the area of Jenny Lind Street lost its brakes and rolled down the hill, collding with several cars in the parking lot of Ryco Inc. along 13th Avenue at Walnut Street.

The company collects residential trash in the city under contract.

The truck stopped just short of the Ryco building, Smith said.

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Pedestrian Killed By Truck in Wilmerding

September 20, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Duquesne man died Tuesday morning after being struck by a tri-axle dump truck in Wilmerding, Allegheny County police said.

The medical examiner’s office said Jerome Prysock, 65, was pronounced dead at the scene just after 5 a.m.

The accident happened before sunrise. County police said Pitcairn police were dispatched to the area of the Tri-Boro Expressway just above Maple Avenue and that the driver of the truck, who was not identified, remained with the victim.

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Local Mom Organizes Walk to Raise Awareness

September 19, 2023 |

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

Family and friends of Quanisha Ball, 31, want her death to bring more awareness to the need for pedestrian safety. Ball’s mother, Courtney Thompkins, has distributed flyers near the intersection in DeKalb County, Ga., where her daughter died. (Photo left, courtesy Thompkins family; at right, Dan Whisenhunt photo for Decaturish)

A McKeesport woman has organized a walk on Wednesday (Sept. 20) to bring attention to her daughter’s death while crossing the street in Georgia.

More than 100 family members and friends will gather at 10 a.m. at the trailhead for the Great Allegheny Passage under the Boston Bridge in Elizabeth Twp. in memory of Quanisha Ball, 31, and then walk two miles.

That’s the distance, her mother alleges, that the driver who struck Ball continued on his way before returning to the accident scene outside of Atlanta.

The driver was never charged. Wednesday would have been Ball’s 32nd birthday, said her mother, Courtney Thompkins.

“It’s the first birthday since my baby isn’t here,” Thompkins said. “Quanisha was an amazing sister, daughter, a leader and we all admired her 31 years on this earth. And we miss her so much.”

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Election Officials Need 40,000 to Work Polls

September 19, 2023 |

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

Election Day is less than two months away, and for the process to go smoothly, Pennsylvania needs a lot more poll workers. Many of the 8.7 million registered voters in the state would be eligible to work at the polls for the November 7th municipal elections.

Lauren Cristella, League of Women Voters board member and president and CEO of the Committee of 70, a voter education group, said 40,000 Pennsylvanians are needed twice a year to ensure elections happen.

The state is also recruiting 17-year-olds to serve as poll workers, if they get permission from their school principal and a parent or guardian.

“Poll workers are our first, best defense against election fraud, anything that would cause disenfranchisement of voters,” Cristella said. “Fully-staffed, well-trained poll workers make voting easier for everyone. So, we took that as an important part of our mission, to make sure that these important roles are filled.”

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Alumni, Students Enjoy PSUGA 75th Celebration

September 19, 2023 |

By Yousuf Lachhab Ibrahim | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Penn State University Greater Allegheny celebrated its 75th anniversary on Saturday with a “Blue & White Watch Party.”

Visitors went to the campus in McKeesport to eat free food and watch the Penn State Nittany Lions play the Illinois Fighting Illini on television.

Only 30 feet from the cafeteria where the watch party was held, the PSUGA men’s soccer team faced off against the Christendom College Crusaders from Front Royal, Va.

“We really wanted to celebrate the campus’ 75th anniversary in a way that honored our connection to the community,” said Megan Nagel, interim chancellor and chief academic officer. “Our alumni, our current faculty, staff, employees — We just wanted to make sure we had an event where anybody knew they were welcome to attend for free, eat for free, bring their kids. And I think we've achieved that today.”

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Motorists Get Peeling Plates Replaced at Free Event

September 17, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Julian Calabro of McKeesport gets help with a form from State Rep. Matt Gergely. (Tube City Almanac photo)

More than four dozen motorists signed up for free replacement license plates Saturday afternoon at McKeesport Area High School.

State Rep. Matt Gergely, who organized the event along with McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko, said many Pennsylvania motorists have complained in recent years that the paint is peeling from the license plates on their cars, making them unreadable.

Officials have been unable to identify what, exactly, caused certain plates to fail, he said, but it seems to relate to a change in the way the license tags were manufactured several years ago.

Although Pennsylvania will issue new license plates, free of charge, for anyone who has an illegible plate, Gergely said the process is inconvenient, in part because the form must be witnessed by a law-enforcement officer and notarized.

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Districts Unite to Support Community, Students

September 17, 2023 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News

Community members recruited to be part of “The Village” recently greeted students as they arrived for the first day of school in Duquesne. (Submitted photo courtesy Allegheny Intermediate Unit)

Superintendents from the Clairton City, Duquesne City and McKeesport Area School Districts are spearheading efforts for greater communal support.

Through a newly formed program titled “The Village,” local school leaders are encouraging community members to help educate and mentor local children.

McKeesport Area Superintendent Tia Wanzo said she conceived of the idea in July.  At the time, Wanzo was thinking about the African proverb, that it “takes a village to raise a child,” she said.

Wanzo reached out to Clairton City Superintendent Tamara Allen-Thomas and Duquesne City Superintendent Sue Mariani about gathering a group of villagers — business owners, clergy, school board members and retirees — to dedicate their time and wisdom to today’s youth.

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One Dead Following Route 30 Crash

September 17, 2023 |

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

A Monroeville woman died Saturday following a two-car crash on Route 30 in North Versailles Twp.

Darlene Fairfull, 78, was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital emergency room less than an hour after the accident, the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said.

In a prepared statement, the Allegheny County police homicide unit said a Buick Verano collided with a Subaru Imprezza in the 1400 block of Lincoln Highway, near the intersection with Broad Street.

The driver of the Subaru, later identified as Fairfull, was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said. The driver of the Buick, a woman whose name was not released, was treated at the scene, police said.

Accident reconstruction experts from the county police are investigating.

Route 30 was closed between Luehm Avenue and Broad Street for approximately three hours, North Versailles police announced on social media.

Anyone who may have witnessed the accident is asked to call the Allegheny County police tip line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.


Authority, Tenants Grateful for Help After Fire

September 16, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

All but 15 residents of McKeesport Towers have returned to their homes following a fire Sept. 8 that gutted a seventh-floor apartment and forced the evacation of the senior-citizen complex.

One resident remained hospitalized Friday in critical condition, authorities said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Allegheny County fire marshal’s office, a spokeswoman said.

Diane Raible, deputy director of McKeesport Housing Authority, which owns the complex, said repairs have been estimated at up to $2.5 million, and repairing the damaged units will likely take up to 18 months.

The fire broke out just after 2:30 p.m. in an apartment on the Coursin Street side of McKeesport Towers, a 12-story complex consisting of two buildings, joined at the center.

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Pa. Expands Property Tax, Rent Rebate Program

September 13, 2023 |

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

During a ceremony at a senior-citizen center in Philadelphia in August, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro ceremonially signed legislation which expands the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program to nearly 175,000 more Pennsylvania seniors and doubles rebates for many of the 400,000 Pennsylvanians who already qualify. (Submitted photo courtesy office of Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro)

Older Pennsylvanians will soon see some financial relief with their property taxes and rent.

Gov. Josh Shapiro recently signed House Bill 1100 into law, expanding the state’s existing property tax and rent rebate program.

Bill Johnston-Walsh, state director for AARP Pennsylvania, said the expansion of the program will significantly boost property tax rebates for older adults, alleviating the financial burden for homeowners and renters. He said the yearly maximum standard will increase from $650 to $1,000 for individuals.

It is the first expansion of the program in nearly 20 years, Johnston-Walsh said. “Both property taxes across the state, and rents, have been increasing year after year. And that’s why AARP Pennsylvania fought so hard to expand the property tax rebate program.”

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MLT Takes on Ambitious ‘SpongeBob’ Musical

September 13, 2023 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

From left, Nyjair Wilkerson hones his skills as Squidward Q. Tentacles, with Michael Stanley and Dylan Stramaski, who play dual roles in the show. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


“The SpongeBob Musical”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.,

When: Sept. 15-17 and Sept. 22-24. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2 p.m

Admission: $20 for adults, $12 for students. Tickets available through the MLT website or by calling the theater at (412) 673-1100

The show that director Will Dixon calls “the hardest show I’ve ever done” is about a sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea.

“The SpongeBob Musical” opens Friday at McKeesport Little Theater and runs for two weekends. Rehearsals started in June. Dixon said the musical’s intense choreography, music and dancing makes it an ambitious show for a small community theater.

The beloved children’s cartoon show — which held plenty of humor for parents as well — was adapted to a musical for all ages that opened on Broadway in 2017. That’s when Dixon and a few others who eventually became part of the MLT cast decided to take a road trip and headed to New York City to see it.

“I had not slept for 36 hours,” he said. “Still, I was on the edge of my seat. After that, I knew I wanted to direct it.”

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Penn State Celebrating 75 Years With Party

September 13, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

Penn State’s “McKeesport Center” — predecessor of today’s Greater Allegheny Campus — opened in 1948. The campus will host a community party this Saturday. (Photo courtesy Penn State Greater Allegheny)

Penn State University will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its McKeesport campus with a community party this Saturday on the lawn of the student union.

Spokeswoman Victoria Garwood said the “Blue & White Watch Party” will begin at 12 noon outside of the Student Community Center and will include both a free play area for families and a special ticketed event for guests 21 and over.

Visitors will be able to see the Penn State Nittany Lions football team take on the University of Illinois on either indoor or outdoor big-screen TVs, Garwood said.

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Oh, What a Show: EA Band Revisits Four Seasons

September 13, 2023 |

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

Brennen Runt, Aiden Geary, Landon Kieler and Zachary Meredith belt out the ’60s juke box hits during practice for East Allegheny High School’s new band show. (Kristen Keleschenyi photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


East Allegheny Marching Band home show competition

Also featuring Serra, Penn Trafford and Woodland Hills high school bands

Where: Churchman Stadium, East Allegheny High School, 1150 Jacks Run Road, North Versailles Twp.

When: 6 p.m. Sept. 16

Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors

The East Allegheny Marching Band is taking audiences back in time this year with its 2023 field show featuring the music of “Jersey Boys.”

The musical, which debuted on Broadway in 2005 and ran for 12 years, is inspired by the 1960s rock group The Four Seasons.

Senior band member and co-drum major Daniel Cipcic says the show is certainly something to see. “They may be older songs, but you’ll still know them,” he says. “They’re very recognizable and we put on a good show.”

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Authority Hopes Residents Can Return Soon

September 09, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Damage to the east wing of McKeesport Towers may affect 26 to 30 units, MHA says. (Tube City Almanac photo)

• Related story: Officials praise response, evacuation efforts at high-rise

Residents of McKeesport Towers should begin to know by Sunday afternoon when they can return to their apartments.

On Friday, 180 people were forced to evacuate after fire broke out in a seventh-floor apartment on the Coursin Street side of the 12-story high-rise complex. Although the fire was extinguished in less than 30 minutes, damage to that portion of the building was extensive, said Diane Raible, deputy director of the McKeesport Housing Authority.

“I’ve seen a lot of fires and I’ve never seen anything of this magnitude,” she said.

Raible spent all night at the scene along with other MHA employees. She said her thoughts — and theirs — were with two residents who remained hospitalized in critical condition on Saturday. “Property is nothing compared to life,” Raible said.

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180 People Displaced Following High-Rise Fire

September 09, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

• Related Story: Residents should learn soon when they can return to their homes

Four people were injured during a fire at a McKeesport high-rise that involved the rescue and evacuation of nearly 200 elderly residents on Friday afternoon.

At least two people remained hospitalized, reportedly in critical condition, on Saturday.

The blaze broke out in a seventh-floor apartment on the Coursin Street side of the McKeesport Towers, a 12-story apartment building owned and operated by McKeesport Housing Authority.

McKeesport Deputy Fire Chief Gene Esken said the resident of the unit where the fire was first reported was home at the time of the fire and was in a wheelchair. The resident, whose name is not being released, was able to escape into the hallway and was evacuated by fire crews, Esken said.

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Residents Evacuated from High-Rise Fire

September 08, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News


The Allegheny County fire marshal's office and multiple fire departments were on the scene of a blaze at the McKeesport Towers high-rise on Friday afternoon that forced the evacuation of its senior-citizen residents.

The fire was reported just after 2:30 p.m. and quickly raised to three alarms, emergency personnel said. Flames could be seen pouring from the windows of a seventh-floor unit, and smoke was visible throughout the city.

The 192-unit building is a senior-citizen apartment building along Sixth Avenue at Huey Street and is owned and operated by McKeesport Housing Authority.

Emergency personnel were evacuating the building and several ambulances were on the scene. There were unconfirmed reports that three people were injured.

Due to the number of ambulances required to evacuate residents, a mass-casualty incident was declared, emergency personnel said. Rescue crews from as far away as Robinson Twp. and McCandless were sent to the scene. Motorists and onlookers were being asked to avoid the area.

Residents were temporarily taken to an emergency shelter at the McKees Point Palisades. Preliminary reports indicated that the fire may have begun in a mattress.

In addition to McKeesport fire department, crews from Allegheny County Airport, Dravosburg, Glassport, Homestead, Liberty Borough, Munhall No. 1, Port Vue, Swissvale No. 1, Homeville, Duquesne Annex, West Mifflin No. 3, White Oak No. 1, Rainbow and Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory were on the scene Friday afternoon.


Report: State Lags in Access to Pre-K Education

September 07, 2023 |

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

File photo: “Day 100 in Kindergarten” by Meriwether Lewis Elementary School, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

The Keystone State has some work to do to provide more access to quality pre-Kindergarten programs for the youngest Pennsylvanians.

Only 43 percent of eligible 3- and-4-year-olds are in high-quality, publicly funded pre-K, leaving more than 87,000 without access, according to a new report entitled, “State of Early Care and Education in Pennsylvania.”

Maggie Livelsberger, policy director for Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, said young children need access to programs preparing them to start Kindergarten. But she said inadequate funding for child care has led to issues of supply and demand, affecting a family's ability to find care they can afford.

“It also impacts child care providers, and their ability to be compensated fairly, to pay their teachers and maintain their business expenses,” Livelsberger said. “We are living in a world where there is a very historic workforce shortage within the child care system, and a lot of that is due to unlivable wages.”

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Suspect in Clairton Shooting Arrested in City

September 07, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A man wanted in connection with the killing of a well-known Pittsburgh business owner following a football game in Clairton was arrested in McKeesport following a brief standoff.

Allegheny County police said Edwin Gregory Wylie-Biggs, 42, of Clairton was hiding inside a residence on Strawberry Alley, Downtown, and refused to surrender to officers who had a warrant for his arrest.

The Allegheny County police special weapons and tactics team was called to the scene and Wylie-Biggs surrendered without further incident, police said.

Wylie-Biggs is the suspect in the Aug. 25 shooting of Victor G. Musgrove Sr., 51, of Pittsburgh’s Stanton Heights neighborhood. Police said Musgrove attended a football game between Clairton High School and Westinghouse High School, and afterward, visited the Village Inn tavern on Miller Avenue in Clairton.

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City Man Charged in Flagler St. Slaying

September 07, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A city man is charged with homicide in connection with a fatal shooting Wednesday night at a home on Flagler Street. Robbery appears to have been the motive, detectives said.

The victim, Reginald A. Hall, 48, was shot in the torso and left leg just after 10 p.m. and died a short time later in the emergency room at UPMC McKeesport hospital, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

Jeffrey W. Robinson, 53, is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bond pending a preliminary hearing at 8 a.m. Sept. 22 before Magisterial District Judge Kim Berkeley Clark.

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W.O. Marks 75th With Octoberfest

September 06, 2023 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: Announcements, White Oak News

Download the White Oak Oktoberfest flyer

White Oak Borough will celebrate its 75th anniversary during an Oktoberfest on Sept. 29 at the White Oak Athletic Association, 1798 Lower Heckman Road, a spokeswoman said.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Adult tickets are $30 and tickets for children 12 years old and under, are $15. Tickets must be purchased by Sept. 22.

Oktoberfest is a German folk festival that originated from the southeastern state of Germany called Bavaria and is celebrated annually. A number of U.S. cities celebrate with beer and German food.

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‘Taste of Serbia’ Returns Sept. 29 & 30

September 06, 2023 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Members of Orkestar Pobeda will perform Sept. 30 during the “Taste of Serbia” festival at St. Sava church on Hartman Street. (Submitted photo via Facebook)

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church of McKeesport-Duquesne will hold its 2023 edition of “A Taste of Serbia” Sept. 29 and 30 in the parish social hall and courtyard, 901 Hartman St., McKeesport.

Festival hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Sept. 29 and 12 to 7 p.m. Sept. 30, said Dottie Ikach, a parish spokeswoman.

“Since the public grew to love Serbian foods and flavors over the years from past church events and McKeesport’s International Village, the fourth-annual ‘Taste of Serbia’ festival incorporates Serbian hospitality and culture,” Ikach said.

Rain or shine, patrons may dine inside the church hall or outside under the courtyard tent. Other options include walkup orders, take-out orders or pre-orders.

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Suspect in Standoff Jailed Without Bond

September 06, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A city man accused of shooting his girlfriend and then keeping police at bay during an hours-long standoff is being held in the Allegheny County Jail pending a preliminary hearing.

Michael P. Plopi, 42, of Pirl Street is charged by Allegheny County police with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with the incident, which began Monday evening and continued into the early hours Tuesday morning.

Plopi faces a hearing Sept. 18 before Magisterial District Justice Eugene Riazzi. He was denied bail Tuesday following arraignment by Magisterial District Judge Jehosha Wright.

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Serra Band Corrals Western-Themed Show

September 05, 2023 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Serra musicians and color guard fine tune the drill during summer evening band camp. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


Serra Catholic Marching Band presents “Wanted”

Tournament of Bands Region 8
Preview of Champions Show

Where: Penn-Trafford High School, 3381 Route 130, Harrison City

When: Saturday, Sept. 9. Gates open at 5 p.m. Serra Catholic performs at 6 p.m., followed by local bands East Allegheny at 7:15 and McKeesport Area at 8:15. Awards begin at 8:50.

Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens

Serra Catholic High School's band director said fans and audiences can expect a “lighthearted, very upbeat show” when the official competition season kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Penn-Trafford High School.

Jesse Bush described “Wanted” as a “cowboy-inspired show” with musicians and color guard featured in duets, solos, and even a vocal selection.

Music includes several songs by Randall Standridge, the Eagles, Johnny Cash, and others, Bush said.

Drum major Vincent Brown said he taught himself how to play the harmonica, which is featured at the very beginning of the production. His character is the protagonist cowboy searching for antagonist wanted man Michael Aland.

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Shooting Suspect in Custody Following Standoff

September 05, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

This is a developing story and is subject to change

A city man is in custody after an hours-long standoff with police at his home on Pirl Street.

Michael P. Plopi, 42, is charged by Allegheny County police with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a firearm and was awaiting arraignment on Tuesday morning, court officials said.

Plopi surrended to police early Tuesday morning following a standoff that began about 7:30 p.m. Monday after officers allege that he shot his girlfriend during an argument, then fired on first responders who were called to the scene. The victim's name has not yet been released by police.

Emergency personnel said McKeesport police were dispatched to Plopi's home in the 1200 block of Pirl Street near Versailles Avenue on Monday evening after a ShotSpotter device detected gunshots in the area.

Police arrived to find a woman outside of a home, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Officers came to her aid, police said, only to have someone inside the house begin firing at them. Officers pulled the woman to safety and she was taken to UPMC Presbyterian hospital. Her condition was not immediately available but she was said to be “conscious and alert” at the scene.

Emergency responders said the victim suffered wounds to her leg, hands and torso.

Plopi is accused of barricading himself in the house with another person and refusing to come outside, police said.

The Allegheny County police special weapons and tactics team responded along with police from surrounding jurisdictions, emergency personnel said. Police determined that the suspect in the shooting was barricaded inside the home with another adult.

After repeated calls for the suspect to surrender went unanswered, witnesses said SWAT officers used smoke grenades, tear gas and so-called “flash-bang” devices to force the shooter to surrender.

Dozens of police officers were present on the scene, including law enforcement from surrounding municipalities as well as county police and state troopers.

Versailles Avenue was closed for several blocks around the shooting scene. Residents were asked to avoid the area if at all possible.

Police said Plopi surrendered at approximately 3 a.m. Tuesday.


It’s Open: NV Twp. Amazon Facility Up, Running

September 02, 2023 |

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

(Kristen Keleschenyi photo for Tube City Almanac)

Without fanfare, the new Amazon distribution facility at the site of the former Eastland Mall has opened.

“While there was no formal announcement sent out, I can confirm the site is now operational,” says Sam Fisher, public relations specialist for Amazon.

Blue-gray Amazon delivery vans can now be seen driving in and out of the site on East Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard. Freshly painted parking spaces are starting to fill up with employee vehicles.

Not much has been shared officially from Amazon about the day-to-day operations at the facility, which first got the green light by township Commissioners back in December 2020.

It has been a long time coming for this opening, which was hampered not only by the pandemic but also major delays in the supply chain.

Read More

Renzie Ribfest Continues Through Monday

September 02, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

Orlando Carter of Straight Out of the Kitchen tends the grill Saturday morning at Renziehausen Park. The McKeesport Ribfest continues through Monday, when fireworks will close the weekend. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Good crowds and pleasant weather greeted attendees Friday for the opening night of McKeesport’s annual Labor Day Weekend ribfest.

Organized by the City of McKeesport and the McKeesport Lions Club, the event is free and open to the public. Booths are arranged near the Lions Bandshell at Renziehausen Park, near the corner of Eden Park Boulevard and Jimmy Beaumont Boulevard.

Live music is being provided today by Pendulum — a Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band — 4:45, while the Nashville sound of Dozzi takes the stage at 7 p.m.

The Clintones arrive at 4:45 p.m. Sunday — when a car show is also scheduled — while Jimmie Ross & The Jaggerz begin at 7 p.m. A car show is also scheduled for Sunday.

On Monday, the Blues Brothers tribute show “The Booze Brothers” begin performing at 7 p.m., followed by fireworks.

Varange Cabil of Robbie’s Ribs was among the workers helping owner Roberta Williams at the Renzie Rib Fest. (Tube City Almanac photo)


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