Rally Organizers Seek Answers in Woman’s Death

June 11, 2020 |

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

Clarification: An organizer of the event says the vigil and march will start at the Jerome Avenue Bridge, Downtown, not the 15th Avenue Bridge as was originally reported, and will end near the victim’s apartment on Sinclair Street. The march will not proceed to O’Neil Boulevard. Updated June 11, 2 p.m.

Friends and family of a woman who died May 26 in a fall from a Downtown apartment building plan to march on Friday to call attention to the circumstances surrounding her death.

Organizers claim that Allegheny County police have not adequately investigated the death of Aaliyah Denise Johnson, 32, who was pronounced dead after her body was found on a sidewalk in the 500 block of Sinclair Street.

County police told Tube City Almanac that Johnson is believed to have fallen or jumped from her ninth-floor window at Midtown Towers and that surveillance cameras showed that no one entered or left her apartment before or after the incident.

But Johnson, who was an MC at local events and clubs, and also worked as a hairstylist and makeup artist, had a large social media following. Her friends said she was targeted for harassment and abuse because she was Black and transgender.

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Heritage Center Preparing to Re-Open

June 05, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Submitted photo via Facebook)

With Allegheny County moving from the “yellow” phase of COVID-19 restrictions to the “green” phase, McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center has announced plans to reopen to the public.

The geneaology center and history museum, located in Renziehausen Park, has been closed since March.

A spokesperson said the center is planning to reopen to visitors at 10 a.m. June 11 with modifications.

Visitors will be asked to wear masks at all time and to practice social distancing and the schoolhouse will temporarily be closed to the public.

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Route 837 R.R. Crossing Repairs Planned

June 04, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Traffic will be stopped Thursday on Route 837 at the Boswell Oil railroad crossing in Dravosburg so that Norfolk Southern railroad crews can make repairs.

A district spokesman for the state Department of Transportation said the work will occur between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., weather-permitting. The traffic stoppages will be brief and flag crews will be on hand to help motorists, the spokesman said.

The work is not being done by PennDOT but the agency is announcing it as a public service, he said.


Local Catholic Churches Part of Next Merger Phase

May 29, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements, Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News

Roman Catholic churches in Duquesne and Wilmerding are among more than 60 in Western Pennsylvania that will merge into new parishes on July 1, Bishop David Zubik announced this week.

The mergers, which affect every part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, will create 15 new parishes, the diocese said in a press release.

They are among the latest changes that began in 2015 under the program the diocese calls “On Mission for The Church Alive.”

In a letter to parishioners released Wednesday, Zubik said the parishes to be merged had already been working closely together since October 2018 in regional church groupings to share clergy and resources.

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Vigil Planned for City Woman Who Died in Fall

May 29, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

A vigil will be held Saturday in Pittsburgh for the McKeesport woman who died after falling from the ninth floor of Midtown Towers, Downtown.

Central Outreach Wellness Center, a medical practice which specializes in treating members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, will host the vigil for Aaliyah Johnson, 32, beginning at 2 p.m. at its location on Pittsburgh’s North Side, 127 Anderson St.

Johnson was found dead Tuesday morning along the 500 block of Sinclair Street. County homicide detectives are investigating her death and said they believe she fell or jumped from her apartment window.

Foul play is not suspected, police said this week, but the cause and manner of Johnson’s death remain under investigation.

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Heritage Center Plans Summer Speaker Series

May 28, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Judith Sutton presents a history lesson to a group of young visitors at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. (Photo courtesy Sen. John Heinz History Center)

McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center will kick off its summer speaker series with a discussion of how women fought — and won — the right to vote in 1920.

Judith Sutton will present “Suffrage: The Road to the Vote for American Women” at 7 p.m. June 18. The event will be free and Sutton’s presentation also will be streamed live on Facebook, and available on Zoom.

Advance registration is required and will open during the first week of June, a spokesperson said.

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Free COVID-19 Tests Available Countywide

May 28, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

Five sites in the Mon Valley have begun offering free tests for COVID-19, including clinics in McKeesport, Braddock and Homestead.

Allegheny County spokeswoman Amie Downs said the tests are being offered at no charge, and patients do not need a doctor’s referral. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested.

Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat and loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

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Paving Continues Tuesday on Route 30 in NVT

May 22, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, North Versailles Twp. News

Portions of Route 30 in North Versailles Twp. and East McKeesport will be reduced to a single lane of traffic in each direction Tuesday (May 26) as crews continue a $13.6 million improvement project.

The milling and paving work was to have been completed Thursday (May 21), but was rained out, said Steve Cowan, district spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

The highway is being upgraded between Lenox Avenue in Forest Hills and Route 48 in North Versailles. The project includes milling and resurfacing, drainage improvements, installation of wheelchair accessible ramps at crosswalks, new guide rails, traffic signal upgrades and improved pavement markings.

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Mon Valley Gets Yellow Light —
Restrictions Begin Easing May 15

May 08, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

Although Allegheny County continues to record new cases of COVID-19, there were only five presumed or confirmed cases reported Friday — one of the lowest numbers yet. (Source: Allegheny County Health Department)

Local officials expressed relief Friday after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement that 13 counties — including Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland — will be moved from “red” to “yellow” status and can begin relaxing some social distancing requirements.

The news means that many types of businesses in the Mon-Yough area, including retail stores, real estate agencies and child-care centers, can begin reopening on May 15, if they follow state and federal health guidelines.

“Our small business community has been struggling in the last eight weeks, but this news marks a light at the end of this scary tunnel,” State Sen. Jay Costa Jr. of Forest Hills, Democratic leader of the senate, said on Twitter. “Moving to yellow is one step (on) a long road to recovery.”

But state officials are cautioning that telecommuting for office workers “must continue where feasible” and that schools will remain closed. And businesses that provide “personal care services,” such as gyms, spas, hair salons and massage therapists must remain closed for the time being.

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LifeSpan Services Continue, Buildings Closed

May 07, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Diane Cole is a site coordinator at LifeSpan. (Submitted photo via Facebook)

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all LifeSpan’s buildings are closed to the public until further notice, a spokeswoman said.

However, LifeSpan services are continuing as usual, said Joyce Asmonga, agency support assistant.

LifeSpan’s Community Resource Centers for Older Adults, including facilities in Olympia Shopping Center and Homestead, are closed, she said, but center staff are currently performing check-in calls with center participants.

The centers will re-open as soon as conditions permit, Asmonga said.

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