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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Turnpike to Display Mon-Fayette Plans, Discuss Route

March 16, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements, Duquesne News

Residents of communities that are in the path of the Mon-Fayette Expressway are being encouraged to attend one of three information sessions where the plans will be displayed.

Renee Vid Colborn, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, says the open houses will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. April 3, 4 and 5 at the Georgetown Centre, 526 E. Bruceton Road, Pleasant Hills.

The information will focus on Jefferson Hills, West Mifflin, Clairton, Dravosburg and Duquesne.

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Duquesne Partnering With Auberle to Clean Up Blighted Properties

March 15, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Correction: A story on Feb. 19 had the spelling of Jade Burleigh's name incorrect. The original story has been corrected and we apologize for the error. 

Duquesne is partnering with McKeesport-based Auberle this summer to provide employment to young adults and clean up blighted and abandoned properties.

Auberle will offer work for up to 100 participants between ages 14 and 24 clearing blight, Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby said this week.

Those interested should sign up with Tim Kelly at (412) 673-5800 or contact the city. The deadline to register is March 31.

The program is part of the administration’s effort to address blighted properties in Duquesne.

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Duquesne Council Reviews Reports, Citizen Comments

February 23, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Applications for the new Duke City Youth Council are due to Duquesne City Hall no later than March 1.

At city council's most recent meeting, Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby also reported that the city's Redevelopment Authority has up to $160,000 in one of its funds that may be available for community and economic improvements, such as street reconstruction.

In other business, Police Chief Tom Dunlevy reported a total of 559 calls to the Duquesne Police Department last month, which resulted in 43 arrests and 75 citations.

Council by 4-0 vote approved the hiring of Andrew Carter as a new police officer, pending completion of a background check, which was approved 4-0.

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Duquesne Mayor Swears in New City Controller

February 19, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

CORRECTION: This story as originally published Jade Burleigh's name spelled incorrectly. The spelling was incorrect on paperwork supplied by a city official. We apologize for the error.

(Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby swears in newly appointed city Controller Jade Burleigh. Cami DiBattista photo, special to Tube City Almanac)

Jade Burleigh was sworn in as the new Duquesne City Controller at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Burleigh has a bachelor’s degree from Duquesne University and a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Phoenix. A vice president at BNY Mellon, he will fill the term of former city Controller Beth Kracinovsky, who resigned last month.

Council also appointed Duquesne resident Tammy Pratt to serve as the emergency management coordinator for the city.

“After attending the local government academy, we realized the emergency plan for Duquesne hasn’t been updated in the last 25 years,” Mayor Nickole Nesby said. “Tammy has volunteered to work with us and the local 9-1-1 (center) to update our plan.”

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