Valedictorian Has ‘Commitment to Education’

June 06, 2020 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Rohaan Wasim, this year’s valedictorian, poses with some of the accolades he’s been given by his classmates. (Richard Finch Jr. photo for Tube City Almanac)


Hamida Wasim says she raised her three sons to be “obedient, hard-working, sensible and focused.”

“I like my boys to be well educated and do well in their lives,” she says. “They know what they want in life and how to get it.”

It must be working. All three sons have succeeded academically at McKeesport Area High School. In 2018, her son Zohais was named salutatorian and son Ashar graduated with honors.

This year, her youngest son, Rohaan Wasim, was named valedictorian for the class of 2020. He plans to attend the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing & Information Sciences in the fall.

 
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New City Councilwoman Takes Oath

June 05, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Jill Lape takes the oath of office Wednesday night from Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi. (Tube City Almanac photo)


A McKeesport Area School District teacher has been appointed to fill a vacant seat on city council formerly held by her late sister.

At Wednesday’s council meeting, Jill Lape was nominated by Councilman Keith Soles and approved by a 5-0 vote of council to complete the term of her sister, Councilwoman Jamie Brewster-Filotei, who died May 12 after battling cancer for nearly three years.

Brewster-Filotei was elected in November 2017 to a four-year term that ends Jan. 1, 2022.

 
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MAHS Seniors Celebrate With Procession

June 04, 2020 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Richard Finch Jr. photo special to Tube City Almanac)


Parents, grandparents and neighbors lined Eden Park Boulevard on Wednesday night to celebrate graduating seniors from McKeesport Area High School.

In lieu of the regularly scheduled commencement, district officials encouraged students to participate in the “senior procession” of cars, trucks and motorcycles from the high school. McKeesport fire and police vehicles led the parade through Renziehausen Park and Penn State Greater Allegheny and back to the corner of Hartman Street and O’Neil Boulevard.

McKeesport Area and other school districts were forced to cancel all in-person classes and activities on March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With some restrictions in Allegheny County being lifted this week, district officials said last month they are still hopeful that a graduation ceremony can be held for seniors on June 30.

More photos follow the jump.

 
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A Family Farm Grows in Haler Heights

June 04, 2020 |

By Emily Pidgeon | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Megan Resnik, sons Carter and Cole, and husband Kevin are the proprietors of CCR Gardens, an urban farm located in the city’s Haler Heights section. (Emily Pidgeon photo for Tube City Almanac)


“Most people have no idea where their food comes from,” says Kevin Resnik of Haler Heights.

But he and his wife, Megan, do. So do their sons, Carter, 7, and Cole, 3.

The Resniks operate CCR Gardens, which is entering its second year of providing McKeesport and surrounding areas with homegrown, organic produce fresh from the Resniks’ hoop-style greenhouses. The garden is named for Carter and Cole Resnik.

Longtime residents and graduates of McKeesport Area School District, the Resniks presently farm about one half-acre of their property and follow the bio-intensive method of gardening.

 
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Board Holds Moment of Silence for Brewster-Filotei, Pupich

May 31, 2020 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport Area School Board held a moment of silence at the start of the May 27 meeting to honor retired educators Jamie Brewster-Filotei and Robert J. Pupich Jr. 

Brewster-Filotei, 46, was a teacher in the MASD for more than 20 years. Pupich, 63, was a coach and teacher in MASD and the Thomas Jefferson School District.

Both succumbed to illness and passed in recent weeks.

 
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Local Catholic Churches Part of Next Merger Phase

May 29, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements, Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News

Roman Catholic churches in Duquesne and Wilmerding are among more than 60 in Western Pennsylvania that will merge into new parishes on July 1, Bishop David Zubik announced this week.

The mergers, which affect every part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, will create 15 new parishes, the diocese said in a press release.

They are among the latest changes that began in 2015 under the program the diocese calls “On Mission for The Church Alive.”

In a letter to parishioners released Wednesday, Zubik said the parishes to be merged had already been working closely together since October 2018 in regional church groupings to share clergy and resources.

 
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‘Parade Atmosphere’ Planned for MAHS Seniors

May 29, 2020 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

As school districts grapple with restrictions on large gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancelations or postponements of graduations, senior celebration days and the prom, many districts have planned alternative events to comply with social-distance requirements.

In the McKeesport Area School District, officials began looking at creative ways to connect with students, according to Mark Holtzman Jr., district superintendent.

One of the options they considered is a “senior procession,” to be held on June 3, the day seniors would have graduated. Holtzman announced the senior procession at the board’s meeting on Wednesday.

 
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Holtzman Defends $71.2 M Proposed Budget:
‘We Need Every Dollar’

May 29, 2020 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport Area School Board has approved a $71.2 million preliminary budget that includes a 0.80-mill property tax increase.

At Wednesday’s meeting, school directors voted 6-2 to approve the preliminary spending plan for the 2020-21 fiscal year. School board members James Brown and David Donato voted against the budget.

The tax increase will take the district's millage from 20.16 mills to 20.96 mills and represents a $40 increase on a house assessed at $50,000. It will be the third year in a row that MASD has raised its property tax rate. School property taxes increased 2.11 mills in 2018 and increased 0.68 mills in 2019.

 
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As Pandemic Keeps Folks Close
to Home, Victory Gardens Bloom

May 24, 2020 |

By Emily Pidgeon | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The author’s garden in McKeesport. (Emily Pidgeon photo)


Since news of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States broke earlier this year, most people are spending their time close to home — and many of them appear to have turned to gardening.

Local greenhouses and nurseries as well as big box stores say they’re low on stock or, in some cases, completely sold out of starter plants, seeds, annual and perennial flowers, and herbs and gardening supplies, including soil and mulch.

It seems like “victory gardens” have come back in a big way during the COVID-19 pandemic, but what exactly are they?

 
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$119K Federal Grant Supports City Police

May 22, 2020 |

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

A U.S. Department of Justice grant will provide more than $119,000 to McKeesport to help support police operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant from the federal Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program was announced this week by U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady in Pittsburgh.

The public safety funds can be used for the most pressing needs of state and local law-enforcement agencies, including new hiring and overtime pay, training, personal protective equipment and supplies and medical needs of prisoners.

 
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