Dinsmore St. House Fire Displaces Family of 5

January 22, 2024 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Related story: Three Hurt in Car-Ambulance Collision

A family of five was displaced Sunday evening when fire swept through their Dinsmore Street home.

Crews were dispatched to the 2700 block just before 7:30 p.m. and arrived to find smoke visible and flames emerging from the left side of the house, McKeesport deputy fire chief Ed Harmon said.

The occupants of the home — a mother and four children, ages 7 to 18 — were able to escape safely and called 9-1-1, Harmon said.

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District Drops Firm That Employed Security Guard

January 12, 2024 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Members of the McKeesport Little Theater’s Juniors Program performed selections from Disney’s Aladdin Jr. at Thursday’s school board meeting. The show opens tonight (Friday). (Adam Reinherz photo for Tube City Almanac)

McKeesport Area School Board has accepted the resignation of the firm that was providing security in district buildings and will retain a new company within 60 days.

The move comes after a guard for Homeland Intelligence & Protective Services LLC of McDonald was arrested and charged this week with having a sexual relationship with a now 17-year-old student.

The guard, Alexis Brown, 24, of McKeesport is charged by Allegheny County police with unlawful sexual contact with a student, corrupting the morals of minors and unlawful contact with a minor. She is awaiting a preliminary hearing Jan. 29 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

Board members and staff spent Thursday’s monthly meeting reiterating that student safety remains paramount.

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McKeesport Credit Union Members OK Merger

January 08, 2024 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Members of a city-based credit union have approved its merger with a larger thrift in Moon Twp.

At a meeting Thursday at McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center, shareholders of Parkview Community Federal Credit Union OK’d a merger with Clearview Federal Credit Union by a vote of 336 to 74, according to accountants from McKeever, Varga & Senko, who oversaw the ballotting.

The merger is expected to take effect July 1. The agreement has already been approved by federal regulators.

Lisa Florian, president and chief executive officer of Clearview, said there are no plans to close either of Parkview’s offices in McKeesport or North Huntingdon Twp.

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MASD Board Meetings Return to Livestream

January 06, 2024 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Although McKeesport Area School Board meetings have returned to the Internet, board president Mark Holtzman said he hopes that residents will still attend in person when they are able.

“We encourage the public to come,” he said.

Monthly meetings are a chance for citizens to voice concern, however, if a “major issue” arises in the district Holtzman hopes interested parties won’t wait weeks to articulate the problem.

“Please see the superintendent,” he said. “I'm sure she'll address it and take care of it accordingly.”

At Thursday’s agenda meeting, board members extended wishes for a happy new year, and also welcomed new school district police chief Brenda Sawyer

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McKeesport C.U. Seeks Merger With Larger Thrift

December 31, 2023 |

By Yousuf Lachhab Ibrahim | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Citing a lack of applicants for key jobs as well as new data-processing requirements, city-based Parkview Community Federal Credit Union is asking its members to vote to approve a merger with a larger Moon Twp.-based financial institution.

A meeting is planned for Parkview credit union members at 6 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 4) at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center in Renziehausen Park.

Comments also may be filed online at the National Credit Union Administration website.

The merger would end Parkview’s 88-year existence and close one of the last McKeesport-based financial institutions. Another city-based credit union — McKeesport Bell — is also considering a merger with another thrift. Several smaller credit unions are chartered by area churches and McKeesport Area School District employees.

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New Chancellor Named at GA Campus

December 21, 2023 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Submitted photo by Penn State Greater Allegheny)

Megan Nagel has been named chancellor and chief academic officer of Penn State’s Greater Allegheny Campus in McKeesport, effective Jan. 1, a spokeswoman announced.

Nagel has served in the role in an interim capacity since June 2022, when then-Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Jacqueline Edmondson left to assume the presidency at the University of Southern Maine.

“I am pleased Megan will serve the Greater Allegheny campus in a permanent capacity,” said Margo DelliCarpini, vice president for Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor, in a prepared release.

“She has a deep appreciation for the role our campuses play in fulfilling Penn State’s land-grant mission,” DelliCarpini said. “While serving in the interim role, she established collaborative relationships with regional leaders and businesses.

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City Council OK’s Property Tax Increase

December 07, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Click to Download McKeesport’s 2024 Budget

Read Mayor Michael Cherepko’s budget message

Listen to the budget message

City council has approved a 3-mill property tax increase for 2024 that McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said is directed toward salary increases for police officers and additional personnel for the police and fire departments.

The increase from 8.26 to 11.26 mills will only impact the value of buildings, not land.

The 2024 budget otherwise holds overall spending to 2023 levels and cuts expenses in several areas, Cherepko said following Wednesday night’s 5-0 vote. Council members Tim Brown and Brian Evans were absent.

Separately, council by 5-0 vote approved a four-year contract with members of the city’s police union that includes a 15.5 percent increase for 2024 and additional 3 percent increases in 2025, 2026 and 2027.

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Festival of Trees Sparks Excitement for the Holidays

December 07, 2023 |

By Elizabeth Laughlin | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Kerri Bryer, English teacher at McKeesport Senior High School, works with student Brianna Mignogna of White Oak add finishing touches to their Acts of Kindness tree. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


McKeesport’s 38th Festival of Trees

Where: Jacob Woll Pavilion, Renziehausen Park, 201 Sycamore Drive

When: 12 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7-11

More information: https://www.facebook.com/mckeesportfestivaloftrees

McKeesport’s 38th annual Festival of Trees is shaping up as one of the city’s largest ever.

Almost 100 community groups, organizations and businesses are participating in the event, which opened its doors at 12 noon today and continues through Monday (Dec. 11).

Organizations throughout the McKeesport area have been anticipating this yearly event. McKeesport Community Gardens will be taking part in the festival for the first time, said Laura Bosnak Thompson, who has been involved with the group since 1996.

“We’ll be setting up a tree with decorative garden shovels, garden tools and little seed packets,” Bosnak Thompson said.

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Lawsuit Alleges Excessive Force in ’20 Search

December 06, 2023 |

By Yousuf Lachhab Ibrahim | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Searches that took place in McKeesport in 2020 after the shooting of a city police officer amounted to “martial law,” said a community activist on Monday during a press conference announcing a wide-reaching lawsuit against the city and Allegheny County.

Fawn Walker Montgomery, founder of Take Action Advocacy Group, was joined by plaintiffs and the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. Together, they allege that police violated residents’ civil rights in December 2020 while searching for the suspect in the shooting of McKeesport police Officer Gerry Athans.

In the complaint filed this week in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, three McKeesport residents — Courtney Thompkins, Ezra Dixon and Kim Neal — name as defendants the city of McKeesport, Allegheny County, city and county police, and more than three dozen police officers. Most of the police officers are listed only as “John Does” and “Jane Does.”

The complaint accuses police of unfairly targeting Black and African-American residents, using excessive force, and violating constitutional provisions against unlawful search and seizure during the hunt for Athans’ shooter. The lawsuit demands both compensation and punitive damages.

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MASD to Resume Streaming Board Meetings

December 06, 2023 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Founders Hall Middle School choir members perform during the MASD meeting on Dec. 4. (Adam Reinherz photo for Tube City Almanac)

McKeesport Area School District will resume streaming its meetings online, the newly reconstituted school board announced on Monday.

In addition, the board will add another meeting each month.

Both decisions should increase transparency, said newly named board President Mark Holtzman. “We think it’s advantageous to the public,” he said.

Beginning in January, district meetings will occur the first and second Thursday of each month. The first meeting will enable the public to hear proposed business; the second meeting will afford time for board members to vote.

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