Serra Brings to Life Creepy, Kooky, Funny ‘Addams’

April 19, 2024 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Sometimes a little drink can make people do strange things, as can be seen when Taylor Betzner as Alice Beineke imbibes during a dinner party to introduce her family to the Addams family. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


“The Addams Family”

Where: Serra Catholic High School gymnasium, 200 Hershey Drive

When: Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 20 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m

Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for students and anyone under 18, available from any cast or crew member, at the door, or at

Boy and girl meet and fall in love. Seems like a normal theme for a musical, right?

But when the boy is from a normal suburban Ohio family and his girlfriend happens to be Wednesday from the Addams family, both seek just “One Normal Night” when their parents meet for the first time.

Serra Catholic High School presents “The Addams Family” for its spring musical, which opens Friday, April 19.

Through music and dance, it tells the story of what happens when the Addams family hosts a dinner party for grownup Wednesday’s boyfriend and his parents.

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Altrusa Slates Mystery Dinner at Rose

April 19, 2024 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

(Photo courtesy Altrusa Club of McKeesport)

The Altrusa Club of McKeesport will hold a mystery dinner fundraiser at The Rose Bar & Grille, 2811 Lincoln Way, in White Oak on May 4, a spokeswoman said.

The event, titled “Murder on the High Seas,” will raise money to support outreach from Altrusa, including donations to local charities such as the Salvation Army, The Intersection and animal-rescue organizations.

Tickets are $50. Reservations are limited to 100 people and sales will continue through this weekend, said Diane Kolesar, club treasurer and a member for more than 20 years.

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Film Looks at Dementia’s Toll on Black Residents

April 19, 2024 |

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

Documentary filmmaker C. Nathaniel Brown, right, with the late Louis Gossett, who talks about his own family’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in the new movie, “Remember Me,” which has its Pittsburgh debut on Saturday. (Photo courtesy C. Nathaniel Brown via Facebook)

Alzheimer’s disease is the eighth-leading cause of death in Pennsylvania, but takes an disproportionate toll on Black and African-American patients.

A documentary on the topic debuts Saturday in Pittsburgh. “Remember Me: Dementia in the African American Community” features individuals and families who are dealing with memory loss.

C. Nathaniel Brown, founder and CEO of Expected End Entertainment and a former Pittsburgh resident, said his aunt lives with dementia, which sparked his interest in talking with others to find out more about the disease and how it affects communities of color.

“The first thing I found out was that there are over 100 types of dementia,” said Brown, who began his career as a writer and photographer for the New Pittsburgh Courier. “And the more I learned, the more I realized how much it was impacting the African American community disproportionately. We’re twice as likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or some other progressive type of dementia.”

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Editorial Cartoon: Pennies From Heaven

April 19, 2024 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Editorial Cartoons

Reporter asks couple if April showers really bring May flowers. In the background, a Mayflower moving van can be seen. Couple says, yep, we're moving someplace that's dry.

Plan Suggests Improvements for City Streets

April 17, 2024 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

City residents Regis Mellinger and Cheryl Cotter discuss a transportation map with Carla Lukehart, a landscape architect at Environmental Planning & Design LLC. (Tube City Almanac photo)

A plan that envisions safer, smoother pedestrian corridors throughout the city is being unveiled for public comment this month.

City residents and property owners can see the proposal — and ask questions — at 6 p.m. April 22 during a meeting at the Calvary-First United Methodist Church campus at the corner of Versailles and Cornell avenues.

Prepared by Environmental Planning & Design LLC, the plan is the product of nearly two years of research, including surveys of city residents. It calls for replacing sidewalks and wheelchair ramps along two main throughfares between the Youghiogheny River waterfront and Renziehausen Park.

It also recommends improved signage and pavement markings for bicycle lanes, as well as replacing street trees in many areas.

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Vacant House Fire Under Investigation

April 17, 2024 |

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

(Tube City Almanac photo)

McKeesport police and the Allegheny County fire marshal’s office are investigating a blaze that caused extensive damage Tuesday afternoon to a vacant house in the 500 block of Olive Street.

Emergency personnel were dispatched at 5:40 p.m. when passersby reported smoke coming from the two-story wood frame structure. McKeesport fire Chief Jeff Tomovcsik said the call was raised to a second alarm, bringing in additional volunteer firefighters from Dravosburg, Glassport, Liberty, Munhall No. 4, Port Vue and White Oak No. 1 as well as a crew from Allegheny County Airport.

The Salvation Army also assisted.

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Lady Tigers Recognized By School Board

April 15, 2024 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

After a historic run, members of the McKeesport Area High School girls basketball team were honored at Thursday’s school board meeting. Several senior players were presented certificates and basketballs in recognition of their achievements.

“This team has accomplished many historical moments and it has been exciting to be a spectator of their journey over the last four years,” MASD Superintendent Tia Wanzo said.

Board member Jason Pavlecic agreed: “This is a special group of young athletes.”

During the past four years the Lady Tigers have amassed an 86-22 record, gone 37-8 in sectional games, and finished 18-7 in the playoffs.

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Wilmerding Council Plans Future for Park

April 15, 2024 |

By T.J. Martin | Posted in: Wilmerding News

(T.J. Martin photo for Tube City Almanac)

Wilmerding Borough Council learned last month that the borough had received a $70,000 grant to renovate Wilmerding Park. At the April meeting, council heard the borough engineer’s plan for how they can spend that money.

Borough Engineer Brad Branthoover of Glenn Engineering & Associates Ltd. said the borough received a Community Development Block Grant earmarked for the park renovation through a program administered by the Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments.

Bordered by Herman Avenue, Westinghouse Avenue and Commerce Street, the park is located just across the street from the former Westinghouse Memorial High School.

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Few Details Released in Shooting Death

April 13, 2024 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

UPDATE: The name of the victim was released Monday, April 15. This story has been updated.

More than a week after a man was found shot to death just off Evans Avenue, Allegheny County investigators have released few details.

After multiple requests for comment, the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office on Monday (April 15) confirmed that the victim was Yancey Felder, 26, who died in the emergency room of UPMC Presbyterian hospital, Oakland, just before 7:30 p.m. April 5.

Court records show addresses for Felder in the Penn Hills area.

In a prepared statement, Allegheny County police said 9-1-1 received a call just before 6:30 p.m. April 5 that a shooting had occurred near the southern entrance to UPMC McKeesport hospital.

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Air, Water Groups Rally Ahead of U.S. Steel Merger

April 12, 2024 |

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

(Photo courtesy Breathe Project via Keystone State News Connection)

People working for environmental justice are rallying today at the downtown Pittsburgh headquarters of U.S. Steel, voicing their concerns to company shareholders about creating a healthier future in the Monongahela Valley region.

Japan's Nippon Steel is buying U.S. Steel for more than $14 billion.

Former Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby, an environmental-justice organizer with the group 412Justice, said the asthma rate in the Mon Valley is four to five times higher than the national average. She pointed out they're being left out of important conversations about the sale and are urging better health protections.

“We are actually gathering to demand a seat at the table,” she said. "We — the communities which have been impacted by the pollutants for decades — have not had a seat at the table. Our voice needs to be heard.”

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Roads Closed After Another Record-Setting Storm

April 12, 2024 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: State & Region

Thursday’s storms were another record-setting day for the Pittsburgh area.

The National Weather Service in Moon Twp. said that 2.77 inches of rain measured at Pittsburgh International Airport nearly doubled the previous record for April 11, set in 1933.

It also was the 25th-wettest day on record in Pittsburgh, NWS forecasters said. Records go back to 1871.

So far, April’s rainfall has been 6.11 inches above normal and the month is now the third-wettest April on record, the weather services said Friday. By month’s end, April 2024 will probably be the wettest April in Pittsburgh, ever.

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All-Singing ‘Dreamcoat’ Brightens MAHS Stage

April 12, 2024 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment, McKeesport and Region News

During a rehearsal, Anastasia Bakaturski as Pharoah has a heart-to-heart talk with Lucas Sotereanos as Joseph about the importance of correctly interpreting certain dreams. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

Where:  McKeesport Area High School Auditorium, 1960 Eden Park Blvd.

When: Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13 at 7 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13

Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens. Available at

McKeesport Area High School’s spring musical is a story about jealousy, betrayal, revenge, and forgiveness — with plenty of lighter moments, too — all in a setting “way, way back many centuries ago.”

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” opened Thursday night with a stellar cast of high school and younger students singing and dancing their way through a show with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice.

It is based on the story of Jacob and his 12 sons, including his favorite, Joseph.

What makes this musical so different and challenging is the story is told almost exclusively through song from beginning to end.

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More Flooding as Rain Swamps Region Again

April 11, 2024 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: State & Region

BREAKING: This is a developing story and will be updated as necessary.

Another week, another flood: Just days after Western Pennsylvania cleaned up from record-setting rains that sent local rivers and streams over their banks, rainstorms again drenched the region on Thursday.

A flash-flood warning for the entire area is in effect until 2:30 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service in Moon Twp. McKeesport, Clairton, Liberty and the neighboring communities are all in the path of the current line of storms.

Route 48 (Long Run Road) was closed Thursday night in both directions between Cool Springs Road and Lou Washowich Way (Marshall Drive Extension) due to flooding, White Oak emergency management announced.

Forecasters and emergency personnel on Thursday night warned motorists to stay off of local roads unless absolutely necessary, adding that most flood deaths occur when drivers are trapped in stalled cars due to high water.

Emergency crews throughout southern Allegheny County were responding to literally dozens of calls for assistance on Thursday night after 2 to 3 inches of rain fell throughout the day, the NWS said.

Another 1 to 1.5 inches of rain are possible overnight, forecasters said.

Local streams are rising, including Thompson Run at Turtle Creek, which was at 4 feet and climbing on Thursday night. Normal flow is 1 foot.

Some of the worst flash-flooding was reported in Washington County and south and west of Pittsburgh, with emergency rescues reported in communities such as Oakdale, North Fayette Twp. and South Park Twp., and roads closed in Jefferson Hills, Brentwood, Baldwin and surrounding municipalities.

All lanes of the Parkway West (Interstate 376) were closed at the junction of Business Route 376 at approximately 7 p.m. due to flooding, emergency officials said.

But low-lying roads in the Mon-Yough area were again hard-hit, with emergency personnel reporting just after 8 p.m. that cars were stuck on Route 837 under the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge.

Munhall and Forward Twp. also were reporting localized flooding.


‘Wedding Singer’ Takes Audiences Back to the ’80s

April 10, 2024 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: Entertainment

Daniel Cipcic (Robbie Hart) and the cast of “The Wedding Singer” are ready to rock the house.

If you go...


“The Wedding Singer”

Where: East Allegheny High School Auditorium, 1150 Jacks Run Road (Route 48), North Versailles Twp.

When: Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. and two shows on Saturday, April 13 at 2:00 p.m. and at 8:00 p.m. The show does have a PG-13 rating for mild language, sexual references and drinking scenes.

Tickets: Tickets can be purchased online at or at the box office before the show.

Break out the Aqua Net and your jelly bracelets, because “The Wedding Singer” is about to open at East Allegheny High School. The musical will take audiences back to 1985 and tells the story of Robbie Hart, a wedding singer, and how sometimes true love is right in front of your eyes.

Amanda Rosco, EA’s musical director, said the cast they had to work with this year is quite diverse with a variety of skill sets. It was time to take a break, she said, from the “Disney-esque” productions of the past few years and do something a little bit different.

“This is not a year where we looked at them (the cast) and went ‘Wow, we need to do something really serious,’” Rosco said.

Senior Alauna Carter plays one of the female leads, Holly, and she was excited to change things up after doing the musical “Anastasia” last year and “Newsies” the year before. “I feel like with it being a comedy it gives more freedom and there is less pressure on everybody,” Carter said.

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Hospital to Mark ‘National Donate Life Month’

April 09, 2024 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

During the 2022 flag-raising ceremony, Jeffrey Alvarez, nursing director at UPMC McKeesport, liver transplant recipient Gene Wagner and Leslie Lash of the Center for Organ Recovery & Education displayed a flag for “National Donate Life Month.” (Tube City Almanac file photo)

UPMC McKeesport will join doctors, nurses, professional staff and patients for a flag-raising ceremony to celebrate April as “National Donate Life Month.

The event will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the courtyard of the hospital, near the Prescott Building, a spokeswoman said.

National Donate Life Month, recognized each April, is an annual commemoration of organ donors and the recipients they have helped. A UPMC spokeswoman said more than 100,000 people in the United States are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, and at least 17 will die each day waiting to receive an organ.

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AARP, VITA Have Last-Minute Tax Help Available

April 09, 2024 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: State & Region

Spalding County, Ga., resident Dan Garvin was receiving free tax preparation help from University of Georgia students and Spalding County Extension Agent Cindee Sweeda in this file photo. (File photo by Sharon Dowdy/University of Georgia via Twitter. Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0 Deed)

With less than a week to go before the deadline for most federal and state income tax and municipal wage tax forms, Pennsylvania residents who need assistance in filing their returns can use the free services of the AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program. You don’t have to be an AARP member or a senior citizen to get help.

Francis Tremel, Pennsylvania state coordinator for the program, said that while Tax-Aide volunteers assist people of all ages, their main focus is on serving individuals with low to moderate incomes.

“Last year, over 1.5 million Tax-Aide participants nationwide saved more than $1.1 million in refunds and credits. I work also at the Indiana office,” Tremel said. “And we will do 1,200 returns this year, which is a very significant number for individuals that really need the assistance.”

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Duquesne Officials Offer Parking Update

April 09, 2024 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

City officials recently took a tour of Duquesne streets to identify problem parking areas, including cars blocking emergency vehicles and parked on sidewalks.

The group included Mayor R. Scott Adams, Police Chief Tom Shaw, Solicitor Myron Sainovich and Public Works Director Steve Arbasak.

Among other issues, Sainovich said, “we wanted to see if fire trucks could make turns.”

Many of the concerns are centered around the area of Overland and Clearview avenues and Richford Street. In some areas, officials said, are forced to walk in the middle of streets because so many cars are pared on sidewalks.

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Duquesne Moves On Some Blighted Properties

April 09, 2024 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne City Council unanimously approved the disposal of three blighted properties through the Allegheny County Vacant Property Recovery Program.

At April’s meeting, council approved a resolution authorizing the acquisition and subsequent disposition of 122 Overland Ave. to Jamie Gatewood of Duquesne.

County tax records indicate that the property includes a one-story 768 square foot home listed in “Grade D” condition. According to an online obituary, the previous owner passed away in 2017.

Two vacant parcels of land on Viola Street only identified by lot and block numbers were obtained by Mustard Seeds and Soil Properties of Glassport. According to its website, the company does property flips and other services.

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Local Residents Prepare to Watch Eclipse

April 05, 2024 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

High school teacher Gerald McGrew, from Dravosburg, poses with his student, Nie’Zhay Jefferson, 16 years old, from McKeesport, as he explains the importance of using solar eclipse glasses while looking at the sun. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

On Monday, millions of people will observe a historic total solar eclipse as the moon’s shadow sweeps across the United States.

Mon Valley communities will begin to see the moon’s shadow slowly creep across the sun around 2 p.m. Between 3:15 to 3:20 p.m., viewers will see 97 percent “totality” with some darkness in the sky, and at approximately 4:30 p.m., phases of the eclipse will conclude.

Scientists say this year’s eclipse will be different from the 2017 solar eclipse.

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MASD Will Approve New Budget Next Week

April 05, 2024 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Adam Reinherz photo)

McKeesport Area School District will vote to adopt a preliminary budget for 2024-25 during next week’s school board meeting. Business manager Joseph Villella presented the report at the district’s open agenda meeting Thursday.

MASD’s budget for the 2024-25 is projected to be $82.8 million, a $3.28 million decrease from the 2023-24 budget.

Total revenue is expected to be $82.47 million, a decrease of $9.9 million from the 2023-24 budget.

Revenue decline is due to the end of funding from the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Relief program, Villella said.

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Home-Rule Study Going on Ballot in Duke City

April 04, 2024 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne City Council will ask residents to serve on a committee that will study the adoption of a home-rule charter.

By a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Aaron Adams dissenting, council voted to approve a referendum to create a seven-member Government Study Commission.

Duquesne is currently governed by the state’s third-class city code, which can only be changed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. A home-rule charter would give the city more flexibility to adopt new ordinances, codes and bylaws.

Braddock, McKeesport and Monroeville are among the local home-rule communities in our area. Braddock created its government study commisison in 2018 and approved its home-rule charter in 2019.

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Penn-McKee’s Fate Could Be Decided Soon

April 04, 2024 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Editor’s Note: The writer of this story sits on the board of directors of the McKees Point Development Group, a non-profit corporation that has been coordinating demolition and remediation efforts in the Downtown area. This is a conflict of interest. See previous explanations of this issue.

(Tube City Almanac file photo)

The fate of the long-vacant Penn-McKee Hotel could become clearer after next month’s city council meeting.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said the city has been meeting with potential developers and they will present proposals for the site of the historic — but severely deteriorated — building near the McKees’ Point Marina and the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail.

In 2022, engineers concluded that much of the hotel was probably too far gone to save.

“We are looking for things that can make us a destination point,” Cherepko told council Wednesday. “There are all kinds of things we can capitalize on, and we are most certainly are doing everything we can to make sure we don’t miss the boat.”

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Landslide Closes Street, Blocks CSX Tracks

April 03, 2024 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Crews work to clear a landslide that blocked CSX Railroad tracks and closed Arlington Avenue in the upper 10th Ward. (Tube City Almanac photo)

A landslide triggered by torrential rains closed a street in the city’s upper 10th Ward and temporarily blocked the CSX Railroad’s mainline through McKeesport.

Meanwhile, rising flood waters on Wednesday evening forced the closure of Water Street between Kane Regional Center and the Palisades Ballroom.

The landslide below the 600 block of Arlington Street was reported at around 12 noon on Wednesday, emergency officials said. River Road between 10th Ward and Port Vue is currently closed due to slide repair work and flooding under the Jerome Avenue Bridge.

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Flooding Hits Area After Record Rainfalls

April 03, 2024 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: State & Region

This is a developing story and will be updated as necessary.

Water topped the end of Ninth Avenue near Kane Regional Center on Wednesday afternoon. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Roads remain closed throughout the Mon-Yough area after record rainfalls dropped up to 4 inches of rain on parts of Western Pennsylvania.

The Youghiogheny River is overflowing its banks in Elizabeth Twp. and water was lapping at the edge of the parking lot at McKees Point Marina.

City officials reported that the West Fifth Avenue end of the Mansfield Bridge was closed Wednesday morning due to flooding, while in White Oak, Route 48 was closed between Cool Springs Road and Lincoln Way; and Lincoln Way was closed between Route 48 and Coulterville Road.

White Oak police reported that Lincoln Way had reopened at noon Wednesday, but that part of Route 48 remained closed while crews removed debris from the road.

The stretch of River Road between lower 10th Ward and Port Vue was closed Wednesday afternoon due to flooding and a landslide, the McKeesport Fire Department reported.

The state Department of Transportation reported that Route 837 was closed between the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge and Dravosburg due to flooding. A section of Route 837 in West Mifflin also was closed, borough police said.

A strong storm system that arrived in California last weekend — causing parts of that state’s fabled Highway 1 to fall down a cliff into the Pacific Ocean — made its way across the United States on Tuesday, triggering blizzards and floods in the western part of the country, tornadoes in Indiana, and heavy thunderstorms in Ohio and West Virginia.

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New Police Initiatives Include School, Park Details

April 01, 2024 |

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

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko, at right with police Chief Mark Steele, swears in new police officers (from left) Dale McGlaughlin, Seth Taylor and Jodi Leitzell at the March council meeting. (Tube City Almanac photo)

McKeesport police have created a floating school detail that is checking in with each of the city’s public, parochial and private schools on a weekly basis, Chief Mark Steele said recently.

In addition, new officers, new equipment and new tactics are being developed in an effort to improve community relations and bolster public safety, he said.

The two-person school detail is visiting buildings at least three days each week and has the flexibility to go where they can provide the most help, Steele said. “They can go to Twin Rivers, Founders Hall, South Hall, the high school, or Propel or Serra Catholic,” he said. “It’s up to them — whatever they feel is necessary.”

Steele said he met with principals of each of the schools recently to assess their needs and gauge whether they would appreciate an increased police presence. The principals welcomed the idea, he said.

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Braddock Woman Charged in Duquesne Shooting

April 01, 2024 |

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

A Braddock woman faces homicide charges in connection with the death on Saturday night of an East Hills man.

Latiya D. Hicks, 24, is being held in the Allegheny County Jail pending a preliminary hearing April 12 in Pittsburgh Muncipal Court. She is charged with fatally shooting Lamont Nichols, 30, of Pittsburgh inside an apartment on North Second Street in Duquesne.

Allegheny County police said that Hicks was arrested at the scene.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Allegheny County Night Court, when Duquesne police officers asked “where is the shooter?” Hicks identified herself and directed them to her handbag, where a 9-mm handgun was found.

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