172 Houses Head to Demolition; At Least 50 More to Be Added

July 13, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

McKeesport City Council this week added another 172 vacant buildings to its demolition list. The houses will be torn down using a mix of local and federal funds. Click the map to explore the locations.


From approximately "coast to coast" --- including both Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Avenue --- 172 additional vacant houses and commercial buildings have been approved for demolition by McKeesport City Council.

At least 50 more are expected to be scheduled for demolition in the next round, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko promised city council this week. Virtually every neighborhood in the city will be touched this year, he said.

"Nothing's perfect, but overall, I think we did a good job when you talk about preserving the neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, as well as those on the main thoroughfares," Cherepko said.

 
Read More
| News

Grandview Residents Demand Action From Water Authority

July 12, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

The water authority serving McKeesport says it has no record of any complaints about fire hydrants in the Grandview section of the city.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko and angry city residents disagree.

And they want the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County to run a new water line to a neighborhood that has been plagued by fires, including a blaze on June 16 that leveled one family's home, heavily damaged a neighbor's home, and caused severe damage to at least four nearby houses.

Residents and city firefighters say lack of sufficient water at nearby hydrants hampered efforts to battle that fire, and other blazes.

"I have not been able to sleep," Norma Kwiecinski, who lives near the site of the June fire, told city council on Tuesday. "I'm really scared in our neighborhood and I want to know what's going to be done about this."

 
Read More
| News

City Council OK's Assessment of Penn-McKee Hotel

July 10, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Conflict-of-Interest Note: The writer of this article has a conflict of interest. See editor's note.

(Photo by Nyttend via Wikimedia Commons)


McKeesport will partner with a Pittsburgh-based preservation society to determine whether the city's landmark Penn-McKee Hotel can be saved and reused for other purposes.

At Wednesday's meeting, council by 7-0 vote approved an agreement with the Young Preservationists Association to conduct an environmental assessment of the long-vacant hotel as well as an architectural and feasibility study.

Matthew Craig, executive director of the YPA, said the study will consider historic reuse of the entire block of Fifth Avenue between Strawberry and Mulberry alleys, which includes a former Moose lodge and several pre-Civil War houses.

YPA intends to work closely with city officials and volunteers throughout the process, Craig told council.

 
Read More
| News

Wilmerding YMCA to Close in August

July 10, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

The Wilmerding YMCA was expanded in 2006 at a cost of $750,000. The renovations, designed by Penner & Associates architects, added a two-story wellness center and family locker room and reconfigured the existing lobby and administrative area. (Photo copyright Penner & Associates.)


The YMCA in Wilmerding will close Aug. 31, a spokeswoman for the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh has announced.

The closure of the facility on Ice Plant Hill Road is related to the Greater Pittsburgh Y's reorganization in federal bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy proceedings began May 8.

More than 1,100 Y members will be affected, along with six full-time employees and 70 part-time employees.

The Wilmerding Y was the last remaining facility in the Mon-Yough area, absorbing memberships of people who had belonged to the McKeesport YMCA. Closing the facility will save the Greater Pittsburgh Y about $163,000 per year.

 
Read More
| News

Message of Hope Carries Prayer Walk Through City's Downtown

July 09, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

* Correction appended. Rev. Truss' name was misspelled. We apologize for the error.

Rev. Earlene Coleman of Bethlehem Baptist Church charges up participants prior to a prayer walk Friday in Downtown McKeesport. (Vickie Babyak photo special to Tube City Almanac.)


Participants in a prayer walk through Downtown McKeesport on Friday carried with them a message of hope.

"We will not see our city destroyed," said the Rev. Earlene Coleman, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, before about 80 walkers set off from the McKees Point Marina. "We will not see McKeesport die, but it will live again."

The event was organized by the McKeesport Unit of the NAACP. Brenda Sawyer, unit president, said the walk --- up Fifth Avenue to UPMC McKeesport hospital, then back down Lysle Boulevard to the marina --- was "beautiful."

Participants included members of McKeesport city council and McKeesport Area school board, McKeesport Area School Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr., state Rep. Austin Davis and state Sen. Jim Brewster.

 
Read More
| News

After 20 Years, Teen-Ager's Unsolved Death Still Haunts, Hurts

July 04, 2018 |

By Lynne Glover | Posted in: Crime and Police News, News

Engraved on Kimmie Krimm’s marker: “When you look up into the evening sky and see the brightest star shining down on earth, pause for a moment and remember that star’s name is Kimberlie Rose Krimm.” (Lynne Glover photo, special to Tube City Almanac)


Having recently been released from the hospital, Jeanie Krimm said it was simply too much for her to plan a 20-year anniversary remembrance for her daughter, Kimberlie Rose Krimm.

Fourteen-year-old Kimberlie Krimm's body was found 20 years ago this week, on July 6, 1998, on a hillside at McKeesport & Versailles Cemetery by a utility worker.    

“People talk about pain,” said Jeanie Krimm, two decades after her daughter’s death. “They don’t know pain until they lose a child. I’ll never be the same. Never.”

Part of the suffering is not really knowing what happened to Kimberlie, and how and why she died. The cause and manner of Kimmie’s death were ruled “undetermined” by the Allegheny County Coroner's Office—and it was never officially declared a homicide.

 
Read More

Work Begins on Renzie Pavilion Renovations; Contract OK'd for Amphitheater

July 03, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: News

Work began this week on renovations to the first of five pavilions at Renziehausen Park.

And, in a separate development, McKeesport officials have given a contractor orders to proceed with construction of a new amphitheater at Gergely Park on the Youghiogheny River waterfront.

General contractor on the $184,750 project to repair four pavilions at Renzie is Plavchak Construction Co. of Jefferson Hills. The work will include new roofs, signage, benches and other updates to four pavilions.

McKeesport officials had hoped the renovations would be completed in the spring. But A.J. Tedesco, city community development director, told The Almanac the city decided to plan the work around pavilion rentals to minimize inconvenience to park visitors.

 
Read More
| News

County Hits Clairton Works With $1M Fine, Threatens Further Action

June 29, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Editor's note: The author of this story has a conflict of interest. See the note at the end of the story.


U.S. Steel's Clairton Works in a 2010 photo by Patrick Cain. (Via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0)


An air-quality monitor across the river from U.S. Steel's Clairton Coke Works is the only one where pollution levels are out of compliance with federal standards, Allegheny County officials said Thursday.

As a result, the Allegheny County Health Department has fined U.S. Steel $1 million and has given the company 60 days to submit information about how it intends to clean up emissions from the facility.

If the company doesn't improve its performance within a six-month time period, a county health department spokesman said, the county will order two of Clairton Works' coke batteries to be shut down.

Meghan Cox, a spokeswoman for U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh, told Tube City Almanac on Friday the company is "reviewing the document at this time" but had no further comment.

 
Read More
| News

Warm Homecoming for 'Missing McKeesport,' Filmmaker

June 24, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Sam Zolten (third from left) greets visitors following a screening of his documentary "Missing McKeesport" on Sunday afternoon at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center. (Photo special to Tube City Almanac)


Sam Zolten was worried that "maybe about 10 people" would attend a screening of his documentary, "Missing McKeesport," on Sunday afternoon at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center.

In fact, about 100 people filled the seats of the center's Boycott Room and stood in the lobby to see the 90-minute film, comprised of interviews with local residents, past and present, telling stories of McKeesport's Jewish community ---  and therefore, the city's history --- from the 1900s to the present.

"I didn't know what to expect," said Zolten, a McKeesport High School graduate who moved away in 1967 and now lives near Philadelphia. "I'm overwhelmed to see so many people I don't know, who aren't Jewish, but who can relate to the experience."

 
Read More
| News

Right-to-Know Request Seeks Information on Fire Hydrants

June 24, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: News

Tube City Community Media Inc. has filed an official request under the state's Right-to-Know law seeking records related to the condition of fire hydrants in McKeesport's Grandview and Hall Park neighborhoods.

The request, dated June 22, was sent to the city's water provider, Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County.

The Greensburg-based authority is a public entity but is managed by a private business, Resource Development & Management of Forest Hills, and serves 120,000 customers in five counties. It purchased McKeesport's water system in 1987.

A fire on June 16 on Cleveland Street in McKeesport destroyed one house, heavily damaged a neighboring house, and caused heat damage to four additional houses. Firefighters said that low water volume from nearby fire hydrants, which are supplied and maintained by the Westmoreland water authority, hampered their efforts to battle the blaze.

 
Read More
| News

Google™ Custom Search
McKeesport booked.net
+69°F

High: +69°

Low: +59°