McKeesport Art Group Begins 2016 Meetings

February 16, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport Art Group is holding its first regular business meeting of 2016 in a new location.

A spokeswoman said the Feb. 22 meeting will be held at 1 p.m. at Jacob Woll Pavilion in Renziehausen Park. The meeting is open to both members and non-members.

The agenda includes a short business meeting, a recap of the past year's activities, an announcement of upcoming speakers and demonstrations, and updates from members on projects and accomplishments.

MAG holds a spring art show at Jacob Woll each May and has also begun hosting a fall "Art in the Park" event. For more information, call (412) 469-2710 or visit

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Mt. Vernon Cemetery Plans Cleanup March 15

February 16, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Mt. Vernon Cemetery in Elizabeth Twp. will conduct a seasonal cleanup on March 15, a spokeswoman said. Anyone wishing to save Christmas decorations placed on a memorial should do so before March 15, or call the cemetery office at (412) 751-7683.


PennDOT Slates Restrictions on 837 Near Hays

February 11, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

State Route 837, southbound toward Homestead, will be restricted to one lane next week so that crews can repair a bridge, said a district spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The restrictions on the bridge that passes the WHEMCO building in West Homestead will begin at 7 a.m. Feb. 15 and continue around-the-clock, weather permitting, through Feb. 19 at 5 p.m., the PennDOT spokesman said. The work was originally scheduled to begin Feb. 8 but was postponed due to inclement weather.

Crews from J.F. Shea Construction Inc. will repair the bridge. The work is being done in preparation for major improvements that are planned for this year on the Glenwood Bridge interchange at the south side of the Monongahela River.

Six structures in the interchange are scheduled to be rehabbed this year, including deck replacement and concrete repairs. Work is expected to begin Feb. 22, PennDOT said.


Black History Month Program Traces Evolution of American Music

February 10, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Noted artist, musician, lecturer and teacher Elizabeth "Betty" Asche Douglas will trace the evolution of the signature African-American musical contributions from their origins to the present duringthe annual Black History Month program at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center.

Asche's talk, "From Spirituals to Jazz: From Folk Art to High Art," will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 20 at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center, 1832 Arboretum Drive, Renziehausen Park.

The program is free and open to the public. Call (412) 678-1832 for more information.


Monessen-Area Group Will Launch New Newspaper May 2, 'If Not Sooner'

February 10, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A group of Monessen-area business leaders says its newspaper will begin operations May 2, "if not sooner."

At a chamber of commerce event Tuesday in Monessen, Mid Mon Valley Publishing LLC announced that The Mon Valley Independent will be a six-day-a-week, afternoon newspaper.

The Mon Valley Independent is the first new newspaper launched in the wake of the closing on Dec. 31 of Monessen's Valley Independent and the McKeesport Daily News by their parent company, Trib Total Media.

Mid Mon Valley Publishing has announced plans to circulate the new newspaper in Mon-Yough communities such as Elizabeth, Sutersville and West Newton, but McKeesport is not part of its current coverage plans.

“When Trib Total Media closed our newspaper, it was a sad day for our area,” said Keith Bassi, a Charleroi attorney and one of the investors behind Mid Mon Valley Publishing.

“There are a lot of people who want to have a newspaper to read," he said. "They want to follow the news and sports of the area. They want to know what is going on in their community, who dies, and anything else that is pertinent."

John Eckert, a North Charleroi resident who previously worked for Trib Total Media, was named the general manager. The managing editor will be Jeff Oliver, who worked for The Valley Independent for over 33 years writing news and sports, while the advertising director will be Linda Schaum, who also has over 30 years with The Valley Independent in advertising.

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Project Prom Gets Underway at Century III

February 10, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Photo by Salt of the Earth, via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

The county's annual Project Prom will hold a gown giveaway from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 5 at Century III Mall in West Mifflin, a spokesman said.

Sponsored by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Project Prom provides new and gently used formal gowns for local teen-agers who want to attend a spring formal celebration, but may not be able to afford to purchase them.

The gown giveaway continues from 3 to 6 p.m. March 7 to 11 and March 15 to 17.

An assortment of free, beautiful gowns of all colors and styles will be distributed to teens who meet the eligibility requirements. The teens will have plenty of options in brand new and gently used prom gowns. There will also be a selection of accessories, such as purses and jewelry, to accompany the gowns. Volunteers will be available to assist during the shopping experience. Preregistration is not required.

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City, County Seek Public Input in Community Development Process

February 09, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

McKeesport officials are encouraging all area residents --- including those who don't live within the city --- to participate in an online survey hosted by Allegheny County.

The survey will help determine where county and municipal officials will invest federal grant funds to address housing, economic development and community development needs from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017.

The city of McKeesport, the municipality of Penn Hills and Allegheny County each receive funding from the Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG program, run through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"It's very important for needs of not just McKeesport, but the entire region to be assessed and prioritized," said A.J. Tedesco Jr., McKeesport community development director.  The results of the survey will help "ensure that money available can go to where it is needed," he said.

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West Mifflin Firm Acquired by Michigan Company

February 04, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A West Mifflin company providing computer and network support for major corporations in the Pittsburgh area has been acquired by a firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Compu-Fix, located on Thompson Run Road, has been purchased by Service Express Inc., it was announced last week. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Both companies are privately held.

Founded in 1980, Compu-Fix provides maintenance and repairs on computing systems for more than 300 customers, ranging from small local businesses to Fortune 500 companies, a spokesman said.

The company has 22 employees.

Compu-Fix's founder and CEO, David Babcock, said the two companies are "very complementary" in terms of the services and products they offer. "We are confident that we will be able to provide immediate incremental value to our customers out of the gate as a result,” he said in a statement.

SEI maintains servers and computer networks for hospitals, manufacturing plants, universities, banks, financial institutions, government agencies and other clients across 33 offices in 15 states, a company spokesman said.

Those offices include one in Bridgeville. Neither company said whether the West Mifflin location will remain open.

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Penn State Campus Radio Station Comes Back

February 03, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The radio station at Penn State's Greater Allegheny campus in McKeesport has returned after an absence of several years.

On Monday, WMKP Radio resumed a regular schedule from 12 noon to 6 p.m., a spokesperson said. The station, available at, operates Monday through Friday.

“We are interested in students who are enthusiastic about radio, eager to learn, able to attend training sessions this winter, and willing to make a commitment to the station,” said Zack Furness, assistant professor of communications and WMKP general manager.  

WMKP originally began in 1971 in a makeshift studio made from a simple desk that held equipment with repurposed microphones, used turntables, and egg cartons on the walls to enhance the acoustics.

In 2006, James “Jay” M. Weitzel Jr., a 1974 graduate, donated $25,000 and this allowed the campus to create the station booth in the Student Community Center, which was named in his honor. Weitzel has fond memories of the days he spent at the station.

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TV Program Will Explore Unsolved Murders in African-American Community

January 26, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A group of investigative reporters will examine on TV why so many homicides go unsolved --- particularly in the African-American community.

"Aftermath: Unsolved Murders in the Black Community" is a one-hour discussion program that will be hosted by longtime TV and radio personality Chris Moore. The program will air at 8 p.m. Feb. 4 on Pittsburgh's WQED-TV (13) and be re-broadcast at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 7.

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