County: Body Found in W.O. Was Missing Man

March 29, 2024 |

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

(Photo via Facebook)

The remains discovered in a wooded area of White Oak earlier this month have been positively identified as those of a Duquesne man who had been missing since May 2023.

The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said Friday that a body reported to White Oak police on March 16 was that of 72-year-old Nicholas “Butch” Miljus Jr., formerly of West Mifflin. The cause and manner of death have not yet been released.

An Army veteran, Miljus, who was known around the community as “Cookie Man,” was reported missing to Duquesne police by his daughter in September 2023. According to reports, Miljus had been evicted from his residence in May 2023, and police said the last transaction on his bank account had been reported in June.

Read More

Local Women Made Impact on World History

March 26, 2024 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: History, McKeesport and Region News

(Tube City Almanac photo illustration)

Since 1987, the United States has celebrated March as “Women’s History Month,” and the Mon-Yough area has plenty of local women who have made their own marks on world history.

Some of them have familiar names to local residents — Helen Richey’s name graces a baseball and softball field at Renziehausen Park. Some of them — like Olympian Swin Cash — are known around the world.

Many are less well-known, though no less important or fondly remembered.

Women’s History Month — which is now celebrated around the world — has its origins as “International Women’s Day,” celebrated on March 8. The day was created in 1910 to highlight the struggle for equal rights for women, including the right to vote.

Read More

$1.8M Grant OK’d for Versailles Ave. Span

March 26, 2024 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

(Tube City Almanac file photo)

State and city officials are cheering the announcement Tuesday that $1.8 million in economic development funding has been allocated toward the replacement of the Versailles Avenue Bridge.

The two-lane span, which crosses Ravine Street, has been closed to all traffic since February 2022, when an inspection found that the bridge had become unsafe.

In a joint announcement, state Sen. Jim Brewster and state Rep. Matt Gergely said that a state multimodal transportation grant has been awarded to the city for a new bridge.

The grant was approved Tuesday during a meeting in Harrisburg of the Commonwealth Financing Authority, an independent agency of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community & Economic Development, the legislators said.

Read More

East McKeesport Adds Another Police Cruiser

March 22, 2024 |

By T.J. Martin | Posted in: East McKeesport News

East McKeesport Borough will be able to add a fourth vehicle to its police department after initially believing that an accident earlier this year would leave it stuck with only three.

One of the borough’s 2017 Ford Explorers was traveling to an accident scene with its lights and siren activated when it was broadsided. There were no injuries but the vehicle was totaled.

In February, Council President John Ekiert said due to the age of the vehicle, the insurance payment wouldn’t be enough to purchase a new police vehicle and the borough didn’t have the money in its budget for one.

Read More

MASD, AIU Partner to Address Teacher Shortages

March 22, 2024 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(File photo, “School Supplies,” by Nick Amoscato, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

McKeesport Area School District is responding to a teacher shortage by investing in its staff.

School board members have approved an agreement with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit to participate in the BridgeUP program. Designed in partnership with Point Park University and BloomBoard, the two-year program enables education professionals who currently hold associate’s degrees to earn a bachelor’s degree in special education.

“We have to think outside of the box of ways to recruit and retain teachers,” Superintendent Tia Wanzo said. Participating in BridgeUP will cost the district $16,500 for each person who completes the program.

Across the commonwealth, districts are facing increased teacher shortages. According to Penn State University’s Center for Evaluation & Policy Analysis, during 2022-23, 7.7 percent of teachers — or 9,587 — left their positions across the state.

Read More

Board OK’s Fund Transfer for Repairs, Updates

March 21, 2024 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport Area School District Choir Director Beth Eger leads student vocalists in a performance before the school board. The group performed songs from the high school’s upcoming production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” (Photos by Adam Reinherz for Tube City Almanac)

McKeesport Area School Board has approved a transfer of $2 million from the district’s fund balance to a capital reserve account.

The decision follows an independent audit report presented one week earlier indicating the district had nearly $9.5 million in unassigned funds. A fund balance, in accounting terms, is a surplus of revenue over expenses.

Board member Dave Seropian called the unassigned fund balance a “favorable number.”

Transferring $2 million from the pool to capital reserves will enable the district to address multiple projects, including repairs to parking lots and roadways at the high school, sound and lighting at the high school auditorium, and stadium lighting, he said.

Read More

Mobile Market Begins Service in Duquesne

March 21, 2024 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Shoppers explore the Giant Eagle Mobile Market during its first visit to Duquesne on Sunday. The market will return every Sunday afternoon for 90 minutes, bringing fresh and packaged foods. (Tom Leturgey photo for Tube City Almanac)

Grocery shopping in Duquesne has gotted a little more convenient. Giant Eagle’s Mobile Market made its first stop in the city on Sunday.

On a sunny, 47-degree afternoon, the Mobile Market swung into the Duquesne Plaza Shopping Center just off Route 837. Giant Eagle’s Gwen Johnson and driver Ryan Mancini jumped out of the truck that pulled the trailer, pulled out retractable ramps at designated “Entrance” and “Exit” points and within minutes were ready for residents who stopped in for essentials.

The mobile market is scheduled to return every Sunday afternoon for 90 minutes.

Johnson, who runs the day-to-day operations for the Mobile Market, had just wrapped up its Sunday stop in Rankin Borough. The grocery store on wheels now has 11 stops on its weekly schedule, including outside of the Glen Hazel High Rise and Second Avenue in Hazelwood. Some spots, like Rankin, have about twenty shoppers a week, while others welcome 60 or more.

Read More

Byron Janis, City Native, Piano Virtuoso, Dies at 95

March 18, 2024 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Maria Cooper Janis and Byron Janis. (Photo courtesy the Janis family, via Facebook)

Byron Janis, a child prodigy from McKeesport who rose from poverty to become one of the most celebrated concert pianists of his generation, died Thursday in New York City. He was 95.

His death was announced over the weekend by his wife of 58 years, Maria, who called it “a loss to me and the world.”

“Byron understood that music has many powers, including that of bridging barriers that seem insurmountable, and in today’s fractured world, let us remember and practice this to honor his legacy,” she wrote.

Born March 28, 1928, in McKeesport, Janis was the son of Russian immigrant Hattie Horelick and Polish immigrant Samuel Yankilevitch, who owned a chain of Army and Navy surplus stores.

Read More

Skeletal Remains Found in White Oak

March 17, 2024 |

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

Allegheny County police and the medical examiner’s office are working to identify what appear to be human remains found behind a building in White Oak.

Foul play is not suspected, police said.

In a prepared release, Allegheny County police said that emergency personnel received a call through 9-1-1 at 5:30 p.m. Saturday that remains had been found behind a building in the 700 block of O’Neil Boulevard.

County homicide detectives are investigating and the medical examiner’s office is working to identify the remains.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call the County Police Tip Line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.


EA Board, Police Warn Parents About Vaping

March 17, 2024 |

By T.J. Martin | Posted in: East McKeesport News, North Versailles Twp. News, Wilmerding News

(Source: Pennsylvania Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs)

North Versailles Twp. police and the East Allegheny School Board are warning parents about the dangers children face from vaping.

At this month’s school board meeting, Acting Superintendent Joseph DiLucente told the board that he and Norm Locke, North Versailles assistant police chief, sent letters to parents earlier this month warning of the dangers children face from vaping.

The school district letter, signed by DiLucente, junior high school principal Mark Draskovich and senior high school principal Brian Ferek, notes, “We have noticed an unfortunate upward trend in drug use among our student population and youth in the Mon Valley as a whole.”

“I ask that you address the dangers of drug use, particularly unknown substances in vape devices, with your children. In speaking with Norm Locke, Assistant Chief of NVPD, and reviewing recent confiscations of vaping devices at the high school, this is our chief area of concern,” the letter continues.

Read More

EA Board OK’s Tax Break for Volunteer Firefighters

March 17, 2024 |

By T.J. Martin | Posted in: East McKeesport News, North Versailles Twp. News, Wilmerding News

(File photo courtesy Fire Department of North Versailles via Facebook)

While not as much as originally proposed, some volunteer firefighters in the five fire departments serving the communities in the East Allegheny School District will receive a real estate tax credit of up to $300.

The East Allegheny School Board voted 5-1 at their monthly meeting earlier this week to approve the program, with Board President John Savinda opposed, Merle “Bud” Pusey and Shannon Basa-Sabol abstaining and Macey Kinard absent.

The proposal will give an annual $300 real estate tax credit to qualifying homeowners who are volunteer firefighters in the five fire departments — Crestas, the Fire Department of North Versailles, Wilmerding, West Wilmerding and United, which serves East McKeesport and Wall — within the district. The proposal places an annual cap of $7,000 on the program.

Read More

Duquesne Seeks Grants for Demo, Trail Work

March 14, 2024 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne will seek grants to fund demolition of dangerous abandoned buildings and other improvement projects.

At this month’s council meeting, Councilwoman Denise Brownfield discussed the possibility of using Gaming Economic Development Tourism funds to demolish dangerous properties in the city. Duquesne recently was awarded $75,000 for a demolition project that’s estimated to cost $285,000.

Officials are to prioritize which properties among the 17 listed should be razed first. In Brownfield’s report, it was recommended that the city seek bids to demolish 32, 33 and 125 on South Seventh Street, as well as 733 Klere St., 138 and 151 Auriles St., and add 11 to 31 South 7th Street as alternatives.

Read More

Postal Union Sounds Alarm Over Cuts, Shortages

March 11, 2024 |

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

The McKeesport post office will hold a hiring fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Wednesday. A postal union official says that the U.S. Postal Service is constantly hiring, but does a poor job retaining new employees because of working conditions. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Postal workers from Pennsylvania will head to the nation’s capital in early May for a national rally to raise awareness about the challenges faced by the U.S. Postal Service.

The workers say staff shortages, consolidations and office closures all are affecting mail delivery. The U.S. Postal Service’s goal is 95 percent on-time delivery across its vast network of 167 million addresses nationwide.

Kimberly Miller, president of the American Postal Workers Union Keystone Area Local 1566, said the worker shortage means some post offices close their facilities early and see delays in processing the mail. Miller pointed out rural customers often are hardest hit.

Read More

Gergely Family, Friends Gather to Rededicate Park

March 11, 2024 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Charlene Salvi Gergely, wife of the late Richard J. Gergely, speaks Saturday during a rededication of Gergely Riverfront Park in McKeesport as her children, Ericka, Jason and Chris Gergely, look on. Also shown are Mayor Mike Cherepko (left) and nephew, state Rep. Matt Gergely (rear). (Tube City Almanac photo)

Despite a steady, cold rain, there were many smiles — and a few tears — on Saturday when friends and family of the late Richard J. Gergely gathered to rededicate the city’s Riverfront Park in his memory.

The ceremony was held 40 years to the date of the death of Gergely, a teacher, city council member, youth football coach and father of three who died of cancer March 9, 1984 at the age of 43.

An obituary at the time of his death called him “probably the most popular person in the city.”

Speakers included Gergely’s widow, Charlene Salvi Gergely, and his now-grown children, Jason, Christopher and Ericka Gergely, as well as his nephews, state Rep. Matt Gergely and former state Rep. Mark Gergely, and state Sen. Jim Brewster.

Read More

Duquesne Council Tables Parking Limitations

March 08, 2024 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne City Council on Tuesday night tabled a proposed ordinance to limit parking on a part of Overland Avenue.

For months, officials have talked about the need to discuss upgrades on parking conditions of Overland between Clearview Avenue and Richford Street. Solicitor Myron Sainovich told a resident during public comment that a parking ordinance had been drafted but he “wasn’t happy with it.”

Instead, he floated the idea of Mayor Scott Adams and Police Chief Tom Shaw joining him on a tour of Overland, as well as other streets in the city where parking has been a problem.

“We have to look at some places, and fill in blanks,” he said. “We hope to go out next week.”

In addition to parking, Sainovich and other leaders want to discuss the need for stop signs, sidewalk concerns and the like.

Read More

Finance Report: Mostly Positive Outlook for MASD

March 08, 2024 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Auditor Peter Vancheri delivers his report on the McKeesport Area School District’s finances during a Thursday agenda meeting. (Adam Reinherz photo for Tube City Almanac)

An independent auditor’s report during Thursday’s open agenda meeting provided a source of optimism for the McKeesport Area School District.

For nearly 15 minutes, Peter Vancheri, of Hosack, Specht, Muetzel & Wood LLP, a certified public accounting firm, updated listeners on district finances ending June 30, 2023.

The district’s fund balance is broken into two categories: assigned and unassigned, he said: whereas the former is $7 million, the latter is $9.5 million.

“The unassigned balance is about 11.9 percent of your total budget and expenditures for the year. The assigned has been assigned for future capital purposes and future expenditures provided shortfalls in future budget years,” he said.

Read More

MASD Eyes Public Return to High School Stadium

March 08, 2024 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(McKeesport Area School District official photo)

McKeesport Area School District hopes that the general public can resume using the high school stadium within a few months.

The district is working with a private security company to address concerns at Weigle-Schaeffer Memorial Stadium on Eden Park Boulevard, Superintendent Tia Wanzo said this week.

A message posted to the district’s Facebook page on Feb. 25 stated, “Due to acts of vandalism and misconduct that compromise safety, the stadium will be temporarily closed as we explore ways to ensure safety for the community.”

Police officers have said that groups of kids — some of whom had been dropped off by the parents from neighboring school districts, including Clairton and Duquesne — were gathering at the stadium after hours.

Read More

Fast-Paced Comedy Comes to MLT Stage

March 08, 2024 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Cast members of McKeesport Little Theater's latest production, the comedy "Nana's Naughty Knickers," in front from left, are Terri Davis as Vera Walters, Matt Tracy as Tom O'Grady, Emily Buckel as Bridget Charles, and Lindsey DiBattista as Sylvia Charles, aka Nana. In back are Nate Perrin as Clair Schmidt, Cory Sigler as Gil Schmidt, and Mandy Eckenrode as Heather Van Pree. (Photos by Bonnijean Cooney Adams for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


“Nana’s Naughty Knickers”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.,, (412) 673-1100

When: Friday, March 8, Saturday, March 9, Friday, March 15, and
Saturday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays March 10 and March 17 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $15 for adults, $12 for students, available through the MLT
website or by calling the theater.

Law student Bridget Charles has no idea what awaits her when she moves in with her grandmother in New York City for the summer.

But she soon finds out her Nana is running a questionable business from her apartment, providing sexy lingerie for senior citizens.

Written by Katherine DiSavino , the comedy “Nana’s Naughty Knickers” opens Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. at McKeesport Little Theater.

MLT board members and actors Eddie Kunz and Sierra Mitchell teamed up, under the guidance of executive producer Jan Gerber, to co-produce the theater’s latest show.

Read More

Duquesne Posts Easter Event, Community Day

March 08, 2024 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne will host an Easter egg hunt and — for the first time in nearly two decades — hold a parade on community day.

Officials announced that People Residing in Duquesne Equally (PRIDE), Duquesne PartnerSHIP and the city are sponsoring an Easter egg hunt celebration on March 30 in Polish Hill Park.

Set up begins at 10 a.m. and the event begins at 12 noon, with festivities wrapping up at 2 p.m.

This summer, for the first time in 17 years, Duquesne will hold a parade on community day. The walking parade will begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 3 at the corner of Fourth Street and Grant Avenue, and proceed up to Polish Hill Park, said Mayor R. Scott Adams.


UPMC: Kelly Center Demolition Begins Soon

March 04, 2024 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

Built in the early 1960s to house the hospital’s School of Nursing, the Kelly Center at UPMC McKeesport is being demolished this month. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Demolition of the J. Clarence Kelly Center at UPMC McKeesport will free up space on the hospital campus for future reuse, a spokeswoman for the health system said.

The six-story building, constructed in 1963-64 as a dormitory and classroom building for the former McKeesport Hospital School of Nursing has been completely vacant since 2017 and was used only for meeting space prior to its closure, said Sarah Deist, senior manager of public relations for UPMC McKeesport, UPMC East and other hospitals.

The windows were removed last week. Deist said the demolition is expected to be complete by the end of summer.

No disruption to hospital operations is expected and while there will be temporary parking restrictions near the construction area, no long-term inconveniences are expected, Deist said.

Read More

League: Voters Will See New Mail-In Ballots

March 01, 2024 |

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

This photo from the Bucks County, Pa., elections division shows the new yellow secrecy ballot that will be supplied to all Pennsylvania voters for the April primary. (Bucks County, Pa., official photo)

Learn more about mail-in and absentee ballots in Pennsylvania

With Pennsylvania’s primary election less than 60 days away, a nonpartisan group is stepping up the pace to educate people on voting by mail and by absentee ballot.

A redesigned mail-in ballot will debut statewide in April for more than 8 million registered voters.

The ballot materials are barcoded, so no individual voter can be identified, said Jessica Myers, who co-chairs the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania’s voter services. The new ballot also has graphics and updated instructions to help voters understand the mail-in process.

“The secrecy envelope has a yellow background with sort of a blue-gray colored watermark that says ‘Official Secrecy Ballot,’” Myers said. “There are some additional color coding and instructions on the outside of the envelope, including where the voters declaration is. It’s prefilled with a ‘2-0’ so that we have fewer people writing in their birthdates.”

Read More

Renzie’s Main Pavilion Gets Major Makeover

March 01, 2024 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport city electrician Tom Rosso and Nate Graboski of the public works department replace lighting and wiring in a ceiling at Jacob Woll Pavilion. The heavily used facility is receiving a makeover with the help of Allegheny Regional Asset Funds. (Tube City Almanac photo)

There are no events scheduled at Renziehausen Park’s main pavilion this spring — but it's not for a lack of interest.

The heavily used Jacob Woll Pavilion is closed for a makeover that will include new windows, flooring, lighting, ceiling fans, sidewalks and other improvements. Funding for the $373,300 project is being provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District, which is supported by the county’s 1 percent sales tax.

Work is expected to be complete before the summer, said Tom Rosso, McKeesport city electrician, who is serving as project coordinator.

Read More

Google™ Custom Search

High: +69°

Low: +59°