Rain Didn't Stop Families, Fans from Attending Village

August 18, 2018 |

By Charlotte Hopkins | Posted in: News

Above: Chuck Bray was born and raised in McKeesport and said he's never missed attending International Village. (Charlotte Hopkins photo special to Tube City Almanac)

McKeesport's 59th International Village got off to a rocky start this year due to a string of rain showers on the first day.

The muddy grounds at Renziehausen Park's Stephen Barry Field showed the aftereffects of the storm, but it didn't stop fans of the annual festival from joining in the festivities on days two and three.

The three-day event, which began in 1960, is run completely by volunteers, the majority of which are the array of churches playing tribute to the rich history of ethnic groups in America.

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After Near-Fatal Heart Attack, Man Returns to Thank Hospital

August 14, 2018 |

By Charlotte Hopkins | Posted in: News

Paul Glover (third from left) stands with a few of the staff members that oversaw his care at UPMC McKeesport hospital, including Robyn Stawinski; Rani Kumar, emergency department medical director; and David Courson, emergency department unit director. (Charlotte Hopkins photo special to Tube City Almanac)

Paul Glover was watching a basketball game with his girlfriend, Deanna Shannon, and eating Chinese food when he started to experience an uncomfortable feeling in his chest.

He told her he was going to lie down in bed. "No," Shannon said: We're going to the hospital.

Glover was having a heart attack. Moments after he arrived at the emergency room at UPMC McKeesport, his heart stopped. Doctors and nurses had to restart it three times, he said.

On Friday, two months after the incident, Glover came back to the hospital to meet with the doctors, nurses and staff. “I owe you guys my life, I appreciate you from the bottom of my healed heart,” he said.

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NAACP Presses School Board on Hiring Policies for Basketball Coach

August 13, 2018 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: News

The McKeesport NAACP has asked the McKeesport Area School Board to explain specific details of the hiring process in place to select the next head basketball coach. 

Their concerns were raised Wednesday during the public comment portion of the board's monthly meeting. 

Brenda D. Sawyer, McKeesport NAACP president, asked the board to explain the process used to determine which applicant should receive an interview and to describe the specific categories used to make that determination.  

Additionally, Sawyer asked for information on how the interview questions are scored and if the person who is being considered for the position scored more points than the other applicants.

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Former Daily News Building to Welcome Tenants in October

August 08, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

The former McKeesport Daily News building at the corner of Walnut Street and Lysle Boulevard will likely welcome its first new tenants in October.

At a meeting Wednesday, council by 6-0 vote awarded a $195,000 contract for renovations to the building to Kucich Construction of McKeesport. Council President Richard Dellapenna Jr. was absent.

Mayor Michael Cherepko said Kucich Construction's was the lowest of two bids received on the renovations, which will be made to the first floor of the building in the former advertising department. That area will be used by the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office for training and meetings between prosecutors and police, Cherepko said.

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PurePenn CEO: Company Ahead of Schedule, Next Phase Underway

August 07, 2018 |

By Lynne Glover | Posted in: News

Above: Gabe Perlow, CEO of PurePenn, gives an interview to a reporter during a celebration July 24 in McKeesport. (Lynne Glover photo)

You could say that PurePenn is on a roll. The McKeesport-based medical marijuana grower plans to expand its facility by 40 percent and increase its employee count from 26 to 50.

In fact, the company's growth trajectory is ahead of schedule by almost two years, according to CEO Gabe Perlow. Still to come is a $1 million investment that will include an addition of a greenhouse and will allow PurePenn to double its growing space for the "Moxie by PurePenn" brand of medical marijuana extracts.

“The industry has grown much faster than we anticipated,” Perlow said.

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Motorcade Will Escort Vietnam Wall Into City

August 06, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

(Above: The mobile wall on display in Portland, Texas, earlier this year. Photo courtesy Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.)

A three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will arrive in McKeesport on Tuesday afternoon, and the community is being encouraged to welcome it to the city.

A procession of more than 200 motorcycles and emergency vehicles will escort the mobile "Wall That Heals" from Olympia Shopping Center on Walnut Street beginning at approximately 4:45 p.m., circling the city and arriving at Renziehausen Park shortly after 5 p.m.

Then, on Wednesday morning, a crew of 20 to 25 volunteers will meet at Renzie's Jimmy Long Field to begin assembling more than 140 panels into the 375-foot-long wall during what Tim Tetz, director of outreach for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in Arlington, Va., calls "the largest game of 'Tetris' you've ever played."

The wall will open to visitors Wednesday evening, Tetz said, and remain open at Renzie, around the clock, through 11 a.m. Aug. 12. A formal opening, including a special ceremony recognizing 40 local veterans, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a spokesman for state Sen. Jim Brewster.

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Fox Found in North Versailles Was Rabid; Baits Being Set

July 30, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: News, North Versailles Twp. News

A fox discovered on Fifth Avenue in North Versailles Twp. has tested positive for rabies, the Allegheny County Health Department said Monday.

The fox was found last week in the 3300 block, just past Westinghouse Avenue, according to Ryan Scarpino, health department spokesman.

Meanwhile, East McKeesport police announced Monday night that volunteers from the health department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be spreading baits laced with rabies vaccine in the area beginning Aug. 3 and continuing through Aug. 17.

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Work Continues to Rehab Renzie Park Pavilions

July 25, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, News

Work continues on the rehabilitation of five pavilions at Renziehausen Park in McKeesport.

The general contractor for four of the pavilions is Plavchak Construction Co. of Jefferson Hills. The work includes new roofs, signage, benches and other updates to pavilions 1, 2, 3 and 7 at a cost of $184,750.

Funding is being provided through a special allocation from the Allegheny Regional Asset District, which is supported by Allegheny County's 1 percent sales tax.

A fifth pavilion is scheduled to be renovated with the help of the McKeesport Lions Club.

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School Taxes Increasing for McKeesport Area Property Owners

July 13, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Related Story: School taxes may be paid at discount through Sept. 14

Many property owners in the McKeesport Area School District will be unhappy when their tax bills begin arriving next week.

School property taxes for the 2018-19 school year are increasing 2.11 mills this year, to 19.48 mills. The increase represents an addition $2.11 in taxes on each $1,000 of value of a property.

The increase, and the district's $67 million budget, were approved by an 8-1 vote at the district's June 27 meeting, with school director David Donato dissenting.

According to the real estate tracking website Zillow, the median home value in McKeesport is $55,300, while the median home value in White Oak is about twice as high, at $104,500. The taxes on a home valued at $55,300 will increase $116.68, while the taxes on a home valued at $104,500 will increase $220.50.

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172 Houses Head to Demolition; At Least 50 More to Be Added

July 13, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

McKeesport City Council this week added another 172 vacant buildings to its demolition list. The houses will be torn down using a mix of local and federal funds. Click the map to explore the locations.

From approximately "coast to coast" --- including both Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Avenue --- 172 additional vacant houses and commercial buildings have been approved for demolition by McKeesport City Council.

At least 50 more are expected to be scheduled for demolition in the next round, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko promised city council this week. Virtually every neighborhood in the city will be touched this year, he said.

"Nothing's perfect, but overall, I think we did a good job when you talk about preserving the neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, as well as those on the main thoroughfares," Cherepko said.

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