Scouts Add Shine to City’s Kennedy Park

May 18, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Larry Goughnour, a Boy Scout from North Huntingdon Twp., shows off one of the decayed boards that was replaced on a bench in McKeesport’s Kennedy Park. Goughnour organized a work day at the park as part of a service project for earning his Eagle Scout rank. (Tube City Almanac photo)

If Kennedy Park on Lysle Boulevard is looking a little shinier these days, thank a group of Boy Scouts from North Huntingdon Twp.

Members of Troop 251, attached to St. John's United Church of Christ in the township’s Larimer section, spent Saturday performing a variety of fix-up chores, including replacing wooden benches, trimming and shoring shrubbery and bushes, pressure washing a wall and painting about half of the 50-foot flagpole at the site.

The work was organized by Larry Goughnour, a member of Troop 251 and a student at Norwin High School. Goughnour arranged the project — with permission from McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko and city council — as part of his effort to earn a promotion to Eagle Scout.

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Humane Society Honors Local Natives

May 18, 2022 |

By Amy George | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Carol Whaley (above) and Tara Czekaj have been honored with the Pennsylvania Humane Policy Leader of the Year Award from the Humane Society of the United States. (Submitted photos)

Two Mon Valley natives have been honored with the Pennsylvania Humane Policy Leader of the Year award by the Humane Society of the United States.

The award, presented to Carol Whaley and Tara Czekaj, honors outstanding work in advancing high-priority federal, state and local animal protection policies.

Whaley and Czekaj were selected because of their partnership with Pittsburgh City Councilman Bobby Wilson, which resulted in a historic, city-wide ban on the declawing of cats.

“We are fortunate to have volunteers like Carol and Tara on our team,” said Kristen Tullo, HSUS Pennsylvania State Director, in a press release. “Their practical field knowledge, skills and experience are invaluable in animal policy making.”

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Sic Transit Gloria Murphy’s: Demolition Begins

May 16, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Tube City Almanac photos)

Demolition began Monday on the former G.C. Murphy Co. home office complex at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Sheridan Way, Downtown.

The complex includes the former Cumberland Presbyterian Church, a building along Lysle Boulevard once used as the Wernke Carriage Works, a three-story building once used as a shoe store, and two five-story structures, the Hartman and Ruben buildings. It was used as the headquarters for the G.C. Murphy Co. between 1906 and 1989.

The site also was the home of the first five-and-10 cent variety store ever opened by George C. Murphy, an Indiana County, Pa., native who relocated to McKeesport in 1899. Following Murphy’s death, the G.C. Murphy Co. grew to a chain of more than 500 stores in 24 states and Washington, D.C.

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McKeesport, EA Baseball Teams Savor Success

May 14, 2022 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News, Sports

McKeesport Tigers varsity baseball players include, first row, Brady Boyle, Colin Scharritter, Duston Strom, Brayden Kovach, Jason Peterson and Ryan Tucker, and second row, Jaden Smith, Jake Miller, Logan Shiffler, Noah Marcic, Austin Riggs, Alex Reigh and Ricky Heyz. (Submitted photo)

For fans disappointed in the Pittsburgh Pirates, high school baseball is an exciting alternative in the Mon-Yough area.

For the first time in 23 years, East Allegheny High School’s Wildcats are section champs (WPIAL Division 3A) as they advance to the playoffs and for the first time in 21 years, McKeesport Area High School’s Tigers (WPIAL Division 5A) have earned a playoff spot in their conference.

But why has it been so long since these teams have had something big to celebrate? According to Ron Bishop, head coach of McKeesport’s varsity team for the past nine years, it takes a long time to create a competitive team. Sometimes his players are coming together, for the first time, at the high school level.

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Council OK’s Renzie Park Improvements

May 12, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A new roof and restrooms will be installed at the Lions Bandshell in Renziehausen Park this summer.

City council this month awarded a $175,000 contract to Kucich Construction of McKeesport for several projects in the park, including replacement of the roof on the bandshell at a cost of $47,000, replacement of the restrooms at a cost of $52,000, a new roof on the concession stand at Jamie Brewster-Filotei Field at a cost of $35,000.

Kucich also will be replacing the deck and steps at Brewster-Filotei Field, as well as the siding on the concession stand.

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37 to Receive Degrees at GA Commencement

May 02, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements, McKeesport and Region News

UPDATED Monday night with news that David Newell’s appearance has been postponed.

The spring commencement for Penn State University’s Greater Allegheny Campus will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Wunderley Gymnasium. Jacqueline Edmondson, chancellor and chief academic officer, will preside over the ceremony and recognize 37 candidates with degrees.

Namy-Paul Kihonia Makiese will deliver the student commencement address. Makiese, who is earning a bachelor’s in information sciences & technology from PSGA, is a student athlete who has captained the men’s soccer team for the past three seasons.

He also set the Penn State Greater Allegheny school record for the 200-meter and 60-meter track events. An active member of the Pan-African Union, Makiese is the son of Samuel Kihonia Makiese and Nancy Manzeke Nzasa.

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Stopped Trains Vex 10th Ward Neighbors

May 01, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Editor’s Note: The writer has a conflict of interest. See note at the end of this story.

“Try to sleep,” said Alvin Decker of this CSX Railroad train that was parked — engines still running — behind his home for 72 hours last week. A federal spokeswoman said there are no regulations about how long a train can idle. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Alvin Decker has lived in the city’s 10th Ward since 1950 — long enough ago to remember when steam engines pounded the rails on the tracks behind his Pacific Avenue home.

But the noise, he said, was nothing like the racket created by CSX Railroad’s diesel engines when they park — still running — for hours, and sometimes days, at a time.

It happens several times a month, said Decker and other neighbors.

Last week, a CSX freight train stopped Wednesday morning with its diesel engines running. It didn’t leave until Friday afternoon — more than 72 hours later.

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District Thanks Community Members for Service

April 29, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A series of presentations at Wednesday’s meeting of McKeesport Area School Board congratulated community members.

Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. dedicated his initial comments to honoring former McKeesport Mayor Louis Washowich and presenting Washowich’s family with a plaque highlighting the late civil servant’s contributions to communal betterment.

The honorary gesture, Holtzman explained, was the suggestion of School Director Dave Donato, who in February said that Washowich should be recognized in the McKeesport High School Hall of Fame.

Washowich’s son Michael accepted the award and thanked the group before recounting the late mayor’s childhood, time at McKeesport High School and efforts to serve the city.

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Superintendent Warns of Budgetary Pressures

April 29, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport Area School District is facing budgetary pressures from charter school tuition, salaries and employee benefits, Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. told the board this week.

Holtzman dedicated a portion of Wednesday’s meeting to informing school board members of the budgetary pressures facing the district.

The projected preliminary budget for 2022-23, Holtzman said, is $79,772,968, a 1.68 percent decrease from the previous year.

Holtzman noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, taxes were not raised — “for good reason,” he said — though that decision did mean the loss of $1.7 million in revenue for the district.

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Gas Co. Volunteers Pitch In at Trail Shelter

April 21, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Mike Huwar, Peoples Gas president; Linda Brewster of the McKeesport Trail Commission; Jacqueline Ziemianski, Peoples Gas manager of corporate giving and community relations; and McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Drizzle didn’t deter more than two dozen volunteers from Peoples Gas who volunteered to paint, clean and pull weeds around the overnight shelter on the McKeesport section of the Great Allegheny Passage.

Peoples on Thursday also presented the McKeesport Trail Commission with a check for $10,000 for capital equipment purchases, upkeep to the trail hostel and summer programming.

The McKeesport stop — tied to the annual celebration of Earth Day — is one of more than 20 volunteer events being held by Peoples employees throughout the company’s service area, said Jacqueline Ziemianski, Peoples manager of corporate giving and community relations.

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