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McKeesport Housing Authority Maintenance/Section 3 Program is now accepting applications for:
Maintenance Technician – Full Time & Part Time

Minimum requirements: PA Drivers License; High School Diploma or GED; and minimum of 2 years' building trade (carpentry, electrical, HVAC, plumbing) high school or vocational training - or - associate's degree from accredited union/trade apprentice program in building trades -or - a minimum of 5 years of actual trade experience with a trade company or self-employment (this must be documented and verified).

Other requirements: Must be a City of McKeesport resident; must pass pre-employment testing and evaluation; must pass pre-employment drug testing and background check; and must have valid ID.

Apply at: McKeesport Housing Authority, 2901 Brownlee Ave., McKeesport, PA 15132. Hours are 8:30-4:30. Closed 12-1 for lunch

4-11-2018

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Funds Sought to Rehab Railroad Roundhouse as Museum

April 19, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Editor's Note: The author has a conflict of interest. See conflict of interest note, below.

(Photo courtesy Regional Industrial Development Corp.)


Two groups have announced an effort to preserve the McKeesport Connecting Railroad roundhouse at the former U.S. Steel National Works site.

In a press release, the recently formed Steel City Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, Inc., and the McKeesport Preservation Society said they will hold a fundraiser at Teutonia Mannechor on Pittsburgh's North Side at 5 p.m. June 16 to kick off their effort.

Tickets are $50 for members of the railway society and $75 for non-members.

The groups envision reusing the building, which once serviced steam and diesel locomotives for the railroad, as the "Western Pennsylvania Railroad and Transportation Museum."

 
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Healthy Village Marks 5th Anniversary of Education, Outreach

April 17, 2018 |

By Tyler Pack | Posted in: News

(Photo courtesy Healthy Village Learning Institute)

History tells us much. But the past is just one part of the story. The present and future are equally important. Organizations that understand this and build upon it are able to most successfully serve their communities.

The Healthy Village Learning Institute in McKeesport is an example of an organization that takes a holistic approach to lifting up its members and the entire community.

Located in the former St. Pius V. Catholic School on Versailles Avenue, the building overlooks much of the community. It also shares the lower level with a fitness organization called Akwaaba Fitness. Akwaaba is the Ghanaian word for “welcome.” 

The Healthy Village Learning Institute has just celebrated a milestone fifth anniversary. But the concept and the work to create it began long ago. The founder, Keith Murphy, has made it a nearly two-decade labor of love.

 
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State Agency Awards $300K for Housing Upgrades in Library District

April 13, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

A state agency has awarded $300,000 to construct two new homes in the city's Library and Cultural District, and make improvements to 10 existing owner-occupied homes.

The award was one of 137, totalling $26.6 million statewide, announced Thursday by the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund.

"PHARE" money comes from a variety of sources, including real estate transfer taxes and marcellus shale gas drilling fees, and supports housing and community development initiatives in low and moderate income communities.

In addition to the Carnegie Library of McKeesport, the Seventh Ward neighborhood is also home to several churches, Twin Rivers Elementary School, the McKeesport Little Theater and other assets.

“Providing affordable homes is essential in helping our families and communities thrive,” state Rep. Austin Davis said. “Not only will this grant truly help those in need, but it will also sustain the pride of our artistic corridor.”

 
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Water Authority Meeting With Property Owners After Leak

April 13, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

An employee of the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County is meeting today with property owners who were affected by a water main leak near Renziehausen Park.

Matt Junker, authority spokesman, said most of the damage seemed to be to external landscaping.

"We will have a contractor out there to clean up the yards and make landscape repairs as the weather permits," Junker said Friday.

MAWC crews were replacing a valve on a 16-inch water main on Palm Street Thursday morning when a nearby 12-inch line began to leak, the authority said.

 
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Water Main Leak Near Renzie Floods Homes, Closes Roads

April 12, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: News

A water main near Renziehausen Park began leaking Thursday morning, flooding several homes and leaving parts of Haler Heights, the 11th Ward and Versailles Borough with low or no water pressure.

The incident happened just before 10:30 a.m. in the 700 block of Palm Street as crews from Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County worked to install a new valve on a 16-inch water main, said Matt Junker, authority spokesman.

"When the new valve was installed, a sleeve that holds it to the pipe shifted, causing a leak" in a nearby 12-inch pipe, Junker said.

The leak was isolated at about 2 p.m. Thursday, he said.

Homes in the area of Palm and King streets were flooded by the initial leak, and debris washed down onto Eden Park Boulevard, said Steve Kondrosky, McKeesport public works director.

 
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Route 30 Closed in Both Directions as Collapse Continues

April 06, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: News

Route 30 is now completely closed in East Pittsburgh after state highway officials said the ground underneath the road has continued to shift.

Westbound lanes --- from East Pittsburgh toward Forest Hills --- were closed Wednesday after officials said the roadway was settling and cracking, but one eastbound lane remained open.

At 1 p.m. Friday, the state Department of Transportation closed the remaining lane so that excavation work could begin. A PennDOT spokesman said it's too soon to say how long the closure will last, or how the road will be repaired.

The closure will be a headache for motorists; according to PennDOT traffic volume maps, about 22,000 cars use that stretch of Route 30 every day.

 
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Rental Property Ordinance Seems Destined for Court Fight

April 05, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

McKeesport's ordinance requiring rental properties to be registered with the city and inspected for safety violations appears to be headed to court again --- and it's a fight officials seem to relish.

City resident Alan Wakefield on Wednesday attended McKeesport's city council meeting to call the ordinance "unconstitutional" and demand officials produce evidence that it's necessary.

It's the second month in a row that Wakefield has challenged city officials over the Regulated Rental Ordinance, which was passed by council in March 2017 on a 4-3 vote.

The ordinance requires rental properties to be registered with the city once per year at a fee of $50. It also requires every apartment or rented house to be inspected by the fire department every two years to ensure that smoke detectors are in place and that fire exits are not blocked.

 
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City Hopes Renzie Pavilion Renovations Will Be Complete By Memorial Day

April 04, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Renovations will begin soon to five pavilions at Renziehausen Park, in hopes that work will be complete by Memorial Day weekend.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko also confirmed that the dates for the city's annual International Village ethnic festival --- held at Renzie's Stephen Barry Field --- have been set for Aug. 14, 15 and 16.

At Wednesday's meeting, McKeesport City Council by 7-0 vote awarded a $184,750 contract to the lowest responsible bidder, Plavchak Construction Co. of Jefferson Hills, to paint and repair four pavilions and replace their roofs and signage.

In addition, two of the pavilions also will receive new LED lighting, benches and other updates. Funding for the work will come from the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

 
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Kitchen Fire Forces Midtown Apts. Evacuation; No Injuries

March 29, 2018 |

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

A fire on top of a kitchen stove forced the evacuation Wednesday night of the Midtown Plaza Apartments.

All 131 apartments in the building had to be evacuated and all off-duty McKeesport firefighters were called to the scene, along with volunteers from Glassport and Duquesne Annex.

McKeesport deputy fire Chief Tom Perciavalle said crews were finishing up at a call in the 500 block of Walnut Street just after 10 p.m. when they were dispatched to the senior-citizen high rise.

Firefighters forced entry to a locked second-floor apartment and found it filled with thick, black smoke, Perciavalle said. The residents were not home at the time of the fire.

 
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Local Residents Participated in Saturday's Anti-Gun Violence March

March 26, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: News

(All photos: Vickie Babyak, special to Tube City Almanac)


Mon Valley residents joined a crowd estimated at more than 30,000 who took to the streets of downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday to protest gun violence.

The rally was one of dozens held Saturday in cities across the United States --- one source says as many as 450 events were held --- under the banner "March for Our Lives," and organized in the wake of a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., in which 17 people died and another 17 were injured.

All 50 states hosted at least one March for Our Lives rally, with at least 1.2 million people believed to have participated nationwide. A March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., attracted upwards of 200,000 people, according to crowd estimates made from digital photos.

Tube City Almanac correspondent Vickie Babyak attended the Pittsburgh event with a friend from the Mon Valley. "Both of us work with students and have children --- and I have grandchildren," she says. "We are concerned with the violence and the lockdown drills schools put students through because of mass shootings."

 
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