Families Brave Weather for Easter Egg Hunt

April 20, 2022 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Kaylie Waugaman, daughter of Chaz and Charlize Waugaman of Dravosburg, found a special golden egg at Saturday’s Easter egg hunt and couldn’t contain her excitement as she showed it off to her dad. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

Despite gray skies and rainy weather, local families gathered in Dravosburg Saturday to enjoy Easter festivities.

Residents met at the Dravosburg Masonic Hall on Duquesne Avenue at 11 a.m. for an exciting day of activities as Omni Masonic Lodge No 582 and Harry S. Truman Masonic Lodge No. 765 held their second annual Easter egg hunt.

The event was free to residents and registration was not required to attend.

Even with cool weather and scattered showers, the children were delighted to find Easter eggs hidden in piles of hay spread out on the lodge grounds. The egg hunt was divided into age groups, zero to 2, 3 to 5, 6 to 8 and 9 to 10.

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City Native, Rock Pioneer Rupe Dies at 104

April 18, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

City native Art Rupe, shown outside his Specialty Records office in Los Angeles in the 1950s. A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Rupe died Friday at age 104. (Courtesy Arthur N. Rupe Foundation)

Arthur N. Rupe—McKeesport native, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame record producer, oil and gas entrepreneur, and philanthropist—died Friday at his home in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 104.

Born Arthur N. Goldberg on Sept. 5, 1917, to a Jewish working-class family in Greensburg, Art Rupe grew up in nearby McKeesport.

Growing up in an ethnically and racially diverse neighborhood in McKeesport, Rupe developed a keen interest in rhythm & blues and gospel music.

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More Vacant Houses Face Wrecking Crews

April 12, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Another 200 to 250 vacant homes in McKeesport will face the wrecking ball soon, Mayor Michael Cherepko has announced.

City council this month awarded a $174,600 contract to Betters Company Inc. of Lincoln Borough to demolish 30 structures under Phase 6 of the “McKeesport Rising” program, and the mayor promised that contracts on 100 to 110 houses are expected at the May and June meetings.

Betters was the lowest responsible bidder, officials said.

The city’s Seventh Ward is receiving particular attention, Cherepko said.

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Dura-Bond Purchases Former U.S. Steel Facility

April 11, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Tube City Almanac photo)

Dura-Bond Industries has purchased U.S. Steel’s former electric-resistance weld pipe mill, one of the last remaining vestiges of the industry that made McKeesport “the Tube City.”

Along with the 317,000-square-foot McKeesport Tubular Operations building, the Westmoreland County-based company also purchased the 34 acres of land on which the plant is located. Sale price was $715,000, a spokeswoman said.

The deal includes an easement for the Great Allegheny Passage biking trail, which city and state officials have been working to re-route along the Monongahela River waterfront.

“Tubular products have been part of McKeesport’s history for over 120 years, and we are proud to continue the tradition,” said Jason Norris, president of Dura-Bond. “Our country desperately needs pipeline infrastructure to transport domestic natural gas to fuel our future. We are also exploring opportunities that may exist in hydrogen transport and pipelines used for carbon sequestration.”

Dura-Bond has been leasing the facility since 2017 and made substantial investments updating the production lines.

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Hospital Honors Local Organ Donors, Recipients

April 07, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Jeffrey Alvarez, nursing director at UPMC McKeesport, liver transplant recipient Gene Wagner and Leslie Lash of the Center for Organ Recovery & Education display a flag for “National Donate Life Month.” In 2021, the hospital facilitated transplants of four life-saving organs, 32 corneas and more than 1,000 tissues. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Gene Wagner of North Huntingdon Twp. isn’t sure how he contracted non-alcoholic cirrhosis, which began destroying his liver.

But he’s sure of one thing: He must have had a guardian angel looking out for him.

Wagner, who received a partial liver transplant from a living donor in 2021 at UPMC Montefiore hospital in Oakland, said the entire process had too many strange coincidences to be merely fate.

Wagner joined UPMC McKeesport staff on Thursday for a celebration to mark the beginning of National Donate Life Month.

Last year, UPMC McKeesport facilitated the transplant of four life-saving organs, 32 corneas and more than 1,000 tissues, said Leslie Lash, who serves as the hospital’s liaison to the O’Hara Twp.-based Center for Organ Recovery & Education.

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‘Mamma Mia!’ at MAHS a Fun, Upbeat Show

March 29, 2022 |

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

Sharing their perspectives on their roles in "Mamma Mia!", seated, are Kaitlyn Majewski as Donna Sheridan and Cooper Kuchma, who plays bass guitar. Standing, from left, are Nya O'Neil as Tanya, Collin Klein as Bill Austin, Leila Wertz from the ensemble, Jonah Higdon as Sky, and Autumn Tavaglione as Sophie Sheridan. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


‘Mamma Mia!’

Where: McKeesport Area High School Auditorium, 1960 Eden Park Blvd.

When: Opens Thursday, March 31 and continues Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m., with a Saturday, April 2 matinee at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens. Available via mckmusical@gmail.com, or presale at the high school through Friday from 8:30 to 10:30 and noon to 1:30, and Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m.

“Mamma Mia,” McKeesport Area High School’s spring musical, was selected as a fun, upbeat experience for students and audience alike.

“The team chose this show before auditions,” co-producer Sarah Persin said. “We knew we wanted to do something really fun and really upbeat. COVID interfered with our shows for the last two years, so we wanted to be sure this year’s show was a real hit.”

The musical is based on songs by ABBA, woven into a storyline set on a Greek island as 20-year-old Sophie Sheridan and her mother Donna Sheridan are making final preparations for her wedding.

Sophie, on a quest to find her father so he can walk her down the aisle, stumbles upon her mother’s diary from the year she was born. In it are details suggesting three possibilities, so she invites them all, without telling Donna.

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Brevity, Budget Focus of MASD Board

March 23, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

In contrast to recent meetings, where heated confrontations took center stage, Tuesday’s meeting of the McKeesport Area School Board was brief, on time and student-focused.

After congratulating students and coaches on athletic achievements, including postseason success for McKeesport’s Color Guard and Girls Basketball and Bowling teams, School Board President Mindy Lundberg humorously commented on the board’s punctuality by saying, “We’re out on time today, so that’s even a bigger accomplishment.”

Highlighting the 40-minute combined open agenda and school board meeting was an audit presentation by Peter J. Vancheri, of Hosack, Specht, Muetzel & Wood LLP.

Vancheri’s report noted that during the school year ending June 30, 2021, the district’s expenditures exceeded its revenues by about $1.1 million — revenues for the year were $71 million, with approximately $61 million in expenditures and almost $10.6 million in other uses.

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Habitat Program Connects Residents to Nature

March 19, 2022 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A bumble bee gathers pollen from a rosemallow (hibiscus moscheutos) flower. Bumble bees are natural pollinators and are generally docile. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

Residents of McKeesport, Glassport and other local communities are learning more about the wildlife in their own backyards with the help of the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.

In 2018, the Audubon Society created its Certified Backyard Habitat program, which connects residents of southwestern Pennsylvania with resources to make their yards and patios into a natural habitat for birds, pollinators and wildlife. Since then, over 650 households have enrolled in the CBH program.

Audubon is currently working with four local community groups to create Certified Backyard Habitats in McKeesport, Glassport, Wilkinsburg and Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood.

“We selected these communities based on the local community organizations’ interest in partnering on the project and opportunities to make positive impacts,” said Conservation Director Sarah Koenig.

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Parking Garage Rehab Awaits Additional Funding

March 08, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

City officials estimate that repairs to the Lysle Boulevard parking garage, closed since 1999, will cost about $900,000 more than previously believed. (Tube City Almanac file photo)

The rehabilitation of the Lysle Boulevard parking garage is temporarily on hold while McKeesport seeks additional funding for the project, city officials said.

City council has approved an application to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for $1 million to pay for masonry and concrete work, painting, drainage improvements and other repairs on the facility at the corner of Lysle and Locust streets.

The garage, built in 1959, has a capacity for more than 400 cars, but has been closed to the public since 1999, when pieces of its concrete decks began crumbling. The garage has been used for storage since then.

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City Council OK’s $1M Paving Contracts

March 08, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport City Council has awarded contracts totalling more than $1 million for an extensive street paving program this spring and summer.

At Wednesday’s meeting, council voted 6-0 to award two contracts to El Grande Industries of Donora, Washington County. El Grande was the lowest of three bids, city officials said. Council Vice President Lu Ethel Nesbit was absent.

Mayor Michael Cherepko said the paving project will complete repaving on Versailles Avenue — with the exception of the viaduct over Ravine Street — and also will include portions of Ohio, Pirl, Evans, Bailie, Jenny Lind, Grandview and Fawcett streets.

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