Groundhog Band Festival Unites
Musicians from Four Area Schools

February 06, 2020 |

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

If you go...

   

Groundhog Band Festival

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

When: 7 p.m. Monday (Feb. 10) Friday (Feb. 7)

Tickets: $2 for adults, $1 for students

UPDATED: Due to inclement weather and a number of school delays, this event has been moved from Friday (Feb. 7) to Monday (Feb. 10).

Former McKeesport Area Band Director George Lepsch returns as guest conductor when the Groundhog Band Festival continues a tradition now involving four area high school symphonic bands.

On Monday (Feb. 10), musicians from host McKeesport Area will be joined by participants from Serra Catholic, Clairton, and West Mifflin Area following a practice that culminates in a 7 p.m. concert in the high school auditorium.

McKeesport Area Band Director Drew DeCarlo said his predecessor Karen Cole started the festival eight years ago as an opportunity for neighboring band members to join forces performing a variety of pieces and to expand their experience meeting other high school musicians.

 
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Model RR Club Marks 70th With Free Public Event

January 30, 2020 |

By Chris Baumann | Posted in: Announcements, McKeesport and Region News

(Submitted photo courtesy McKeesport Model Railroad Club)

If you go...

   

70th Anniversary Open House

Where: McKeesport Model Railroad Club, 2209 Walnut St.

When: 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: Free

More information: 412-673-1100 or http://www.mckeesportmodelrr.com/

The McKeesport Model Railroad Club will celebrate its 70th anniversary with a free public open house from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday at its headquarters, 2209 Walnut St.

The event will include the presentation of a commemorative plaque from the office of state Sen. Jim Brewster.

“I’m still learning a lot of the history myself,” said George Sharp Jr., club president for the last two years. The original founders “were basically a group of (World War II) veterans with a common interest” in model railroading.

According to the club’s website, the club started with “a small local newspaper ad in December 1949 [that] called for interested persons to meet ... to discuss the formation of a local model railroad club.”

 
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Speaker: MLK’s Legacy Includes Fighting
for Social, Economic Justice

January 25, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Jeff Ballou, Penn State alumnus and news editor at Al Jazeera’s English language channel, speaks to Jacqueline Edmondson, chancellor of the Greater Allegheny campus, following a Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech on Monday. (Tube City Almanac photo)


A speaker at Penn State Greater Allegheny on Martin Luther King Jr. Day challenged students — and the university itself — to take a bigger stand against economic inequality, including the rising cost of a college education.

Jeff Ballou, former president of the National Press Club, a Penn State graduate and a Pittsburgh native, said Monday that modern audiences make a mistake when they “freeze” Martin Luther King Jr. at a single moment in time — his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington in 1963.

“You think everyone celebrates Dr. King,” said Ballou, a former student at the McKeesport campus. “Well, not in 1967.”

 
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Penn State Students Give Up Day Off to Perform Service

January 21, 2020 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Penn State students from five Pittsburgh-area campuses, including Greater Allegheny in McKeesport, volunteered at six Mon-Yough area charitable organizations on Martin Luther King Day, including Auberle. (Vickie Babyak photo, special to Tube City Almanac)


In 1965, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told students at Oberlin College, “The time is always right to do what is right.”

When Penn State Greater Allegheny Campus reached out to the Pauline Auberle Home in McKeesport a couple of weeks ago, to find out of students could work on a service project during Martin Luther King Day 2020, the time was right, said Kayla McGrath, volunteer coordinator at Auberle.

“Penn State and Auberle have worked together before but this is the first time we’ve done this type of activity,” McGrath said. “The university was looking for organizations to plan volunteer service on a larger scale inspired by Martin Luther King Day and asked if we’d like to host volunteers.”

 
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One Displaced in Evans Ave. House Fire

January 15, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The cause of this fire Tuesday afternoon in the 1800 block of Evans Avenue remains under investigation, a fire official said. (Photo courtesy McKeesport Fire Department)


One man was displaced when fire damaged his Evans Avenue home on Tuesday afternoon.

McKeesport fire Chief Jeff Tomovcsik said crews were dispatched at 12:09 p.m. after callers reported smoke and flames coming from the rear of a single-story house at the corner of Evans Avenue and Grant Street.

When police and firefighters arrived, they found the back porch of the house fully engulfed in fire, he said.

A second alarm was sounded and additional fire crews from Allegheny County Airport, Glassport, Liberty Borough, Vigilant Hose (Port Vue) and White Oak No. 1 responded to the scene, Tomovcsik said.

 
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U.S. Steel Promises to Work With
County on Inversion Study, Response

January 14, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

EDITED to remove typo.

U.S. Steel’s Clairton Plant. (Photo by Mark Dixon/Blue Lens, licensed under Creative Commons)


U.S. Steel has promised to help Allegheny County Health Department develop a plan to predict when weather conditions will make air pollution worse, and respond more quickly.

The health department’s proposal was announced in the wake of a so-called “temperature inversion” that left the Mon Valley and much of Allegheny County covered in smog during the Christmas holidays.

“We know from research that inversions are expected to get worse with climate change,” said Ronald Sugar, interim director of the health department. “We’re seeing that first-hand here.”

A local environmental group welcomed U.S. Steel’s participation, but questioned why the corporation didn’t take voluntary steps to reduce its own output during the inversion Dec. 21 to 26, when pollution was thick in the air.

 
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Charity Basketball Game Raises $9K For Scholarships

January 14, 2020 |

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

CORRECTION: Darius Prince was unable to attend Saturday's game. He was replaced by Chris Edmonds.

Bryan Akinkugbe currently plays for the Steel City Yellow Jackets. He also played professionally in Canada and Mexico. He was among the competitors during a charity basketball game at Penn State Greater Allegheny in McKeesport on Saturday. (Richard Finch Jr. photo/special to Tube City Almanac)


Jesús Torres is already working on plans for the third-annual Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Celebrity basketball game, securing commitments from fellow “celebrity” players to return to McKeesport next January.

“I was joking with the players after Saturday's game that we need to sign five-year contracts,” he said. “They all promised to come back here next year to keep this event going.”

Three hundred fans showed up on Saturday for the second-annual game, which raised more than $9,000 for scholarships to support the region’s Hispanic community.

Celebrity players were divided into home and away squads. The unofficial score was 96-90 in favor of the “home” team, but the “official” score was changed to a 96-96 tie, a Penn State spokesman said.

 
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City Trash Pickup Reverts
to Previous 5-Day Schedule

January 10, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

CORRECTION: Edited to clarify that recycling will be collected every other week, on the same day as trash pickup. The next recycling pickups are during the week of Jan. 20. We apologize for the error.


McKeesport homeowners will be going back to their old trash pickup days, beginning Monday.

After one week, the city's new trash collection company, County Hauling of Rostraver Twp., has scrapped its attempt to pickup all of the households in two days and will revert to the schedule used by the previous garbage hauler, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said.

The change comes after a week in which many McKeesport residents complained that their trash and recycling were collected late or not at all. Others expressed confusion over the new schedules.

County Hauling also began collecting trash in North Huntingdon Twp. this week, and according to the Tribune-Review, it’s facing complaints there as well.

 
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Glitches Reported With New Trash Hauler

January 08, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport officials are urging city residents to have patience with their new trash hauler after some homeowners reported their houses were missed, and others expressed confusion over when recycling would be picked up.

The city's contract with its previous trash hauler, Big's Sanitation, expired on Dec. 31, but the new collector, County Hauling of Rostraver Twp., didn't begin service until Jan. 6.

As a result, some residents reported having almost two weeks' worth of trash that needed to be collected.

County Hauling also has not yet released a schedule for recycling collection or explained what items should be put out for recycling. Emails sent by Tube City Almanac to County Hauling spokespersons asking for clarification have not been answered.

 
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Public Asks County Council For
Action on Air, Water Quality

January 07, 2020 |

By Ann Belser | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, Politics & Elections

County Councilman John Palmiere, Democrat from Baldwin Twp., is sworn in by Allegheny County Common  Pleas Judge Dan Regan. Palmiere represents District 6, which also includes Clairton, Elizabeth Borough, Jefferson Hills and Pleasant Hills. Looking on is Common Pleas Judge Kathryn Hens-Greco. (Photo by Ann Belser/Print, special to Tube City Almanac)


If its first meeting was any indication, Allegheny County Council could be in for a contentious new year.

On Jan. 2, the night that all of the new and re-elected members of council were sworn in and Pat Catena of Carnegie was elected as the new council president, a dozen residents availed themselves of the public comment period to talk about the poor quality of the air and water in Allegheny County.

“Of all the issues that come before you, none is more serious than the toxic air that we breathe everyday,” John Detwiler of Squirrel Hill said. “Our county’s air is among the worst in the nation, it affects the health and the very lives of our friends and our neighbors, so all of us should care about our air.”

He called on the new council to reshape the Board of Health through its confirmation process to make the board more responsive to air quality issues.

 
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