Children's Author, Garden Expert Highlight National Library Week

April 09, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements, Duquesne News, White Oak News

It's National Library Week, but next week also promises to be exciting at Carnegie Library of McKeesport. On April 19, the library board, staff and local elected officials will break ground on a new parking lot next to the main building at 1507 Library Ave.

The long-awaited $81,000 parking lot, being funded through grants and donations, will add 30 sorely needed spaces for library patrons.

"We were sending out invitations, and someone said, 'Do you think I should put on there that we have limited parking?'" says Colleen Denne, library director.

This week promises to be busy --- even if parking is limited at times --- with events that include "Patron Appreciation Day" on Wednesday, a visit by local children's author Sydelle Pearl on Thursday and a keynote lecture by gardening expert Doug Oster on Friday.

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New Duquesne Fire Chief Says Service 'Gets In Your Blood'

April 09, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

New Duquesne fire Chief Frank Cobb (Cami DiBattista photo, special to Tube City Almanac)

Around 40 hardworking volunteers make up the Duquesne Fire Department, according to Frank Cobb, who became fire chief in January.

“We are a family and we are committed to the safety of the community,” said the lifelong Duquesne resident.

A 22-year veteran volunteer, Cobb has devoted his life to serving Duquesne, both as a firefighter and also as the city’s constable. Prior to becoming chief, he served as assistant chief for the Duquesne Fire Department.

“The adrenaline you get from being a firefighter is indescribable,” he said. “It gets in your blood.”

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New Public Meetings Scheduled to Discuss Transit Changes

April 04, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements, Duquesne News

Stung by criticism from Mon Valley riders over proposed cuts to service, Port Authority of Allegheny County will hold new public meetings to get community input.

A meeting will be held at 6 p.m. April 12 at Rankin Christian Center, 230 Third Ave., in Rankin to discuss bus routes serving Rankin, Braddock, North Braddock, Edgewood, Swissvale, Regent Square and Wilkinsburg, state Rep. Austin Davis said Tuesday in a prepared statement.

Another meeting will be held in McKeesport at 6 p.m. May 10 at the Palisades, corner of Fifth Avenue and Water Street, Downtown.

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Duquesne Officials Working to Clear Up City Accounts

April 03, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne officials are working to clear up delinquent and overdue accounts --- both those owed to the city and those owed by the city.

At council's March 27 meeting, Mayor Nickole Nesby reported that she received a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development regarding a tax obligation for the city of Duquesne.

After contacting the state Department of Revenue, Nesby learned that Duquesne did not file its fourth-quarter 2017 withholding tax return, which was due Jan. 31.

Nesby said a lock has been temporarily placed on the city's account until the return is filed, making Duquesne ineligible for state grant funding. The problem, she told city council, is that some records from the fourth quarter of 2017 were not available.

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Duquesne Mayor, Manager Complete Course for Newly Elected Officials

April 03, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

(Cami DiBattista photo for Tube City Almanac)

With the help of a donation from a local congressman, Duquesne's mayor and city manager recently completed the Local Government Academy's Newly Elected Officials Course.

Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby said the tuition for her and Manager Cha Sayles was donated by U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle.

According to the academy's website, more than 1,000 local officials have completed the course over the past 30 years.

“This was a learning experience I will never forget,” Nesby said. “It was a great opportunity to learn about how our local government functions. I met some outstanding individuals and built relationships that I may have never had. Personally, I feel this course should be mandatory for every elected official.”

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Duquesne Council Votes to Terminate Longtime Employee

April 02, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

(Updated to clarify suspension versus termination.)

Duquesne City Council has voted to fire a longtime police secretary in a move that upset some residents.

At its March 27 meeting, council voted unanimously to terminate city employee Lori Achtzehn, who had worked for Duquesne for more than 40 years. Achtzehn was suspended at the time of the vote.

Mayor Nickole Nesby said that an investigation revealed Achtzehn violated Pennsylvania Justice Network and PennDOT Driver License Information System policies.

Nesby said Achtzehn accessed records and files from the system without cause and accused Achtzehn of 21 violations over a two-year timeframe.

But Achtzehn said Nesby's comments at the council meeting were slanderous and that the mayor is attacking employees held over from former Mayor Phil Krivacek's administration.

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Duquesne Man Indicted on Drug, Firearm Charges

March 28, 2018 |

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

A Duquesne man has been indicted by a federal grand jury after prosecutors said he was caught with quantities of heroin and so-called "designer drugs" related to the tranquilizer fentanyl.

Marquis Brown, 29, also is charged with violating federal firearms laws, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said in a prepared release.

Brown is currently being held in Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bond after being arrested Monday by Duquesne police on charges of possession of controlled substances with intent to deliver, tampering with evidence and resisting arrest.

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Route 837 Work Begins, With More to Come

March 27, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Duquesne News

Crews from Gulisek Construction of Mt. Pleasant Twp. begin repairs on Route 837 in Duquesne. Work also will begin soon on the ramp leading to the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge from Dravosburg. (Photo special to Tube City Almanac)

Rainy weather hasn't deterred construction crews from beginning work on a pothole-strewn section of Route 837 near Kennywood Park.

And more work is planned on Route 837 near the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge, with a ramp expected to close in April.

Steve Cowan, district spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said Gulisek Construction of Mt. Pleasant Twp., Westmoreland County, was awarded a $7.08 million contract to repair concrete, replacing curbs, and upgrading signage, traffic signals and drainage.

Lane restrictions began on Monday between North Second Street in Duquesne and Hoffman Boulevard in West Mifflin. The work will eventually continue from Hoffman Boulevard to the Rankin Bridge in Whitaker.

The repairs were planned before the 2.5-mile stretch of Route 837 sprouted a bumper crop of deep potholes, but Cowan said area roads took a beating this winter.

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Citizens Encouraged to Participate on New Duquesne Committees

March 20, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne's mayor and city council have established eight committees to provide advice about municipal operations, and they're asking for representatives from each of the city's three wards to participate.

“We decided to initiate these committees so that we can function better as a community,” Mayor Nickole Nesby said. “We’re aiming to change the whole outlook of the city of Duquesne. We want people to feel safe here and be proud of their community.”

In addition, council has established a Civilian Police Review Board, to be overseen by Councilman John Guyer. The board will investigate citizen complaints about any improper police conduct, Nesby said.

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Duquesne Police Officers Promoted

March 16, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Three Duquesne police officers were promoted to sergeant at the recommendation of Police Chief Thomas Dunlevy.

This week, city council approved a motion 5-0 to promote officers Melissa Kuks, James Foster and Nick Manday.

Kuks is a 14-year veteran of the department. Dunlevy said she "excels at community relations and has an excellent rapport with the community." She will be taking on the responsibilities of police administrator.

Foster, who currently serves as a field training officer, has a master’s degree in the administration of criminal justice and will be in charge of patrol, Dunlevy said.

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