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Resale Shop Offers Outfits for Any Occasion

September 28, 2022 |

By Elizabeth Laughlin | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Courtesy YOUnique Boutique (Via Facebook)

For owner Stephanie Smalls, opening a business in McKeesport was unexpected.

“Even I was shocked to be there,” Smalls said. “But I asked, ‘Which way should I go, Lord?’ And that’s where I ended up.”

In 2013, Stephanie Smalls decided to leave her job in the corporate world and start her own business. That’s when she and her daughter, Jazmine, opened YOUnique Boutique, located in the Masonic Building at 522 Walnut St. They are not originally from the McKeesport area, but the location was affordable.

Whether YOUnique Boutique can survive much longer, however, is a question. Smalls said the store took a big financial hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I worked for 25 years in the corporate world,” Smalls said. “But this is what I always wanted to do. I’ve always appreciated thrift shopping.”

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Blast at Former YWCA Still Under Investigation

September 28, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A team of investigators is still working to determine the cause of an Aug. 2 blast that heavily damaged the former YWCA of McKeesport on Ninth Avenue.

Allegheny County spokeswoman Amie M. Downs said Tuesday that city officials and the county fire marshal’s office will arrange a meeting at the scene with building tenants, the state Public Utility Commission and representatives of Peoples Gas to examine the structure and determine what parts are safe to enter.

According to witnesses and emergency officials, a contractor was using heavy equipment at the rear of the building to dig up a portion of the parking lot shortly before an explosion occurred.

The contractor, who has not been publicly identified, was working to construct a wheelchair-accessible ramp.

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McKeesport NAACP Marks 60 Years at Dinner

September 28, 2022 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

State Rep. Summer Lee, who represents the 34th Legislative District was the keynote speaker for the McKeesport Unit NAACP’s 60th Anniversary celebration. (Photo by Vickie Babyak for Tube City Almanac)

A race riot in Abraham Lincoln’s hometown in 1908 led to the organization of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

In Springfield, Ill., during the summer of 1908, a white woman alleged a Black man had attacked her. The woman later admitted before a special grand jury that, in fact, she actually was beaten by a white man but wouldn’t disclose his name.

But in the meantime, an angry mob of around 5,000 surged through the streets in violence. Eight Black men were killed, more than 50 men, women and children were beaten, and their homes and businesses were burned down forcing 2,000 Black residents to abandon their city, losing their livelihoods and wealth.

Remembering that history — and celebrating the hard work done over the past century to overcome racial discrimination and prejudice — members of the McKeesport Unit of the NAACP came together this month to celebrate their own 60th anniversary at the group’s annual Freedom Dinner.

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Family, Officials Re-Dedicate Marina Lighthouse

September 26, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Family of the late McKeesport Mayor Joe Bendel gathered Sunday morning with Mayor Michael Cherepko, state Sen. Jim Brewster and others to re-dedicate the Bendel Lighthouse at McKees Point Marina. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Family and friends of the late Joe Bendel gathered Sunday morning to re-dedicate a lighthouse at McKees Point Marina to the former mayor’s memory.

First erected in 2008 following a fundraising drive, the Bendel Lighthouse was heavily damaged in a storm two years ago. McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said repairs to the lighthouse — which is a scaled-down version of a full-size coastal lighthouse — were completed by Vegely Welding in the city’s Third Ward and paid for by insurance.

Bendel, who served on city council and then as mayor from 1995 to 2000, died in 2003. Cherepko and others credited Bendel with working to slow a long period of decline in the city that began in the 1980s with the loss of U.S. Steel, G.C. Murphy Co. and other large employers.

The lighthouse symbolizes the “vision that Joe Bendel had of the marina and bike trail,” Cherepko said. “He saw all of this happening long before we ever imagined it.”

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Bus Co. Head Asks for Patience from MASD Parents

September 23, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Krise Transportation says it has been aggressively recruiting drivers to fill its new contract with McKeesport Area School District, using TV and Internet ads like this one. (YouTube)

Tim Krise understands that McKeesport area parents are frustrated, but the president of Krise Transportation is asking for patience.

Since entering into agreement with McKeesport Area School District this summer, Krise Transportation has sought to remedy a difficult situation.

Krise noted that families and students experienced days last year “where routes were not covered, were delayed or were canceled within an hour or two of when students were supposed to be picked up.”

Krise Transportation’s objective, he said, “is communication — whether it's good or bad — with the school district and the parents.”

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MAHS Junior Recognized for College Board Honor

September 22, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Chemay Smith, a junior at McKeesport Area High School, was recognized during Wednesday's school board meeting for receiving an academic honor from the College Board through its National African American Recognition program. She is shown here with her mother, Priscilla Carter-Smith. (Adam Reinherz photo for Tube City Almanac)

A McKeesport Area High School 11th-grader has received a national academic honor from the College Board.

At Wednesday’s meeting, district Superintendent Tia Wanzo congratulated Chemay Smith for receiving an award from the National African American Recognition program for her high test scores.

“These national recognition programs grant underrepresented students with academic honors that can be included on college, school and scholarship applications, and connect students with universities across the country, helping them stand out during the admissions process,” Wanzo said.

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MASD Drops Live Streams of Meetings

September 22, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Future sessions of the McKeesport Area School Board will not be streamed on the Internet, a decision which dismayed some residents at Wednesday’s meeting.

In addition, board President Mindy Lundberg said, the school board has decided to cut back to just one meeting per month.

“I just want that to be transparent,” Lundberg said. “If you have concerns I welcome people to come and speak at the next meeting.”

Lundberg noted the decisions, which represent the majority wishes of the board, follow her own reflections on past meetings and the fracases that have ensued between sitting members and the public.

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Lively Tunes, Dance Shine in MLT’s ‘Newsies’

September 15, 2022 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment, McKeesport and Region News

From left, Anderson Miller as Les, Ayden Freed as Davey, Dylan Pal as Jack Kelly, and Camryn Hall as Katherine Plumber, rehearse a musical number from “Newsies.” (Photo by Bonnijean Cooney Adams for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


Disney’s “Newsies: The Broadway Musical”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater
1614 Coursin St.

When: 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays Sept. 16, Sept. 17, Sept. 23, Sept. 24, and matinees at 2 p.m. on Sundays Sept. 18 and Sept. 25
Tickets: $20 for adults and $12 for students, available through the website or by leaving reservation information at the theater

When Disney’s “Newsies: the Broadway Musical” opens at McKeesport Little Theater on Friday, Sept. 16, audiences will get to see the results of transforming a huge production to a community stage for an up-close-and-personal experience.

The Broadway version evolved from the 1992 film of the same name featuring a young Christian Bale as newsboy leader Jack Kelly. It is based on real events and people involved in the famous 1899 newsboys strike in New York.

The newsies peddled papers produced by media moguls Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. The strike occurred when the publishers tried to change the way the young workers were compensated.

The show features lots of catchy tunes, likeable characters, and lively dance numbers. It’s been portrayed on the big movie screen, Broadway stages and national tours.

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Fire Station, LaRosa Club Improvements OK’d

September 11, 2022 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport City Council approved a resolution to enter into a grant agreement for improvements to Fire Station No. 2 in Renziehausen Park.

At this month’s meeting, council by 6-0 vote approved an application for the Keystone Communities Program Grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The application for the $25,000 grant is being facilitated through state Senator Jim Brewster’s office, city officials said. Councilman James Barry Jr. was absent.

Community Development Director A.J. Tedesco and City Administrator Thomas Maglicco are working on the grant proposal. Garvin Consulting is donating some engineering services toward the project.

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Tense Exchange at Council Between Mayor, Rival

September 11, 2022 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko and resident Corry Sanders exchanged tense words Wednesday night at the city council meeting when a discussion over speeding turned tense.

The debate could be a preview of things to come, since Sanders — who was elected to city council in 2015 but was unable to take his seat — has discussed the possibility of running against Cherepko in a future election.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Sanders asked the mayor about road patching and resurfacing on Jenny Lind Street. Cherepko said the public works crews do the best they can with strategization and available resources.

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