Grants Will Aid Online Learning in Local Districts

May 18, 2020 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News

McKeesport Area School District and six others will benefit from $350,000 in grants awarded to Allegheny Intermediate Unit.

The money includes a $200,000 grant from the Heinz Endowments to be used to purchase Chromebooks and Google licenses and an additional $150,000 from the Grable Foundation for electronic devices, as well as professional development for teachers and administrative professionals.

More than 1,700 devices will be distributed between McKeesport, Duquesne City, Penn Hills, East Allegheny, Highlands, Cornell and Wilkinsburg school districts, AIU said.

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Councilor, Teacher Remembered for Love of City

May 13, 2020 |

By Jennifer Sopko | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport City Council Vice President Jamie Brewster-Filotei, fourth from left, was one of five local residents honored with “Living the Message” awards at the Feb. 5 council meeting. (Nick Zurawsky photo for Tube City Almanac)

Obituary: Jamie Lyn Brewster Filotei

Jamie Brewster-Filotei, McKeesport City Council vice president and longtime fourth-grade teacher at Francis McClure Elementary School, died May 12 after a nearly three-year battle with non-small cell lung carcinoma. She was 46.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko announced Brewster-Filotei’s passing Tuesday evening on his office’s Facebook page.

“Jamie was a dedicated civic leader, a dynamic educator, and a loving wife, mother, daughter and sister,” Cherepko’s office said. “She played many roles in our community and in the hearts of those she loved, and for that, we will miss her dearly. The impact she had on the City of McKeesport will never be forgotten.”

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Police Thank Public With Free Pizza Party

May 11, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Tube City Almanac photos)

Nearly 800 families in McKeesport received a free hot meal on Saturday afternoon with the help of city and Allegheny County police.

About 40 volunteers, including uniformed McKeesport and county police officers and their family members, employees of state Sen. Jim Brewster’s office, and Mayor Michael Cherepko and city hall employees, handed out pizzas and bottles of water along Industry Drive in the RIDC Industrial Park and at the Harrison Village and Crawford Village housing complexes.

Volunteers also were delivering pizzas to shut-ins and people unable to drive, McKeesport police Chief Adam Alfer said.

Officers were planning to distribute 775 pizzas, with any leftovers donated to local food pantries.

Allegheny County police Sgt. Jason Binder said the effort was designed to recognize the public’s support of first-responders during the coronavirus pandemic, and to acknowledge that many Mon-Yough residents are out of work and stuck at home during the crisis.

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Mobile Dance Party Rocks, Rolls Mon-Yough Valley

May 10, 2020 |

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

Sarah Colon holds Javoni Hancharik and Nikki Hancharik holds Natalia Hancharik on Fawcett Avenue in McKeesport as they enjoying the dance party parade mix by DJ Jess. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

With entertainment venues closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pittsburghers have been unable to go to any dances for almost two months.

So on Saturday, the dances came to Pittsburghers.

Disc jockeys from throughout the region participated in the first-ever Pittsburgh Mobile Dance Party, climbing aboard trucks and into vans to spread music and fun for a few hours.

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Visiting Restrictions Remain at Kane Centers

May 09, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Allegheny County’s four Kane Community Living Centers remain closed to almost all visitors and will stay that way, even after some restrictions on travel and business are lifted May 15.

“We will be following guidance from the state Health Department,” said Dr. Mario Fatigati, chief medical officer, at a news conference Friday. Although the county is scheduled to move from “red” status to “yellow” next week, none of the Kane skilled-nursing centers will be permitting visitors “until we’re moved to ‘green,’” he said.

Even then, Fatigati said, there will be additional precautions in place.

“This is not going to go away overnight,” he said. “I'm sure that we will be taking other measures to make sure that additional screening is going to be in place ... even in the green phase.”

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Pandemic Puts City’s Summer Plans on Hold

May 09, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic means the city will likely not have a normal International Village this August, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko is warning. (Tube City Almanac file photo/Denise L. Ritter)

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko is “not ready to cancel events yet” but he and other city officials are acknowledging that the coronavirus pandemic is causing a lot of uncertainty in the spring and summer schedule.

“We offer so many highlights in this city that no one else can come close to,” Cherepko told council on Wednesday night. “The variety of things we do helps make McKeesport unique for a smaller city.”

Independence Day fireworks will take place on July 4, the mayor said, and there will be a Memorial Day ceremony on May 25, though it will likely be small.

But other summer events, such as the Sunday night concert series in Renziehausen Park, presented by the McKeesport Lions Club, and even the three-day International Village ethnic food festival held in mid-August, are still up in the air, Cherepko said.

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Virtual Tutoring Available for MAHS Students

May 08, 2020 |

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

A partnership between Penn State Greater Allegheny and McKeesport’s Healthy Village Learning Institute will provide tutoring sessions for McKeesport Area School District students in grades 10, 11 and 12 and personal development sessions for up to 40 parents.

Professional and peer tutors with the PSGA’s Gruskin Learning Center and Continuing Education Department will work with students to further develop their study skills, while offering virtual tutoring sessions in math, science, English, French and Spanish. Students can request virtual tutoring through PSGA's Gruskin Learning Center.

The “virtual” personal development programs for parents is designed to assist with understanding individual strengths, joys, needs, stressors, creating a positive work environment and “seeing yourself as others see you,” according to Victoria Garwood, spokesperson for PSGA.

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City Officials Eying COVID-19 Aid Warily

May 07, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport officials will have difficult choices to make in the months ahead as the coronavirus pandemic strains the city’s already-tight budget.

Following Wednesday’s city council meeting, Mayor Michael Cherepko said that although federal officials have promised relief for municipalities with pandemic-related expenses, the aid packages in most cases don’t cover wages and salaries.

“We’re all dealing with COVID-19 and the impact it’s having, but I’m very concerned about the economy and I’m very concerned about the deficits we’re already seeing,” Cherepko said.

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Rainbow Kitchen Still Serving, Despite Pandemic

May 06, 2020 |

By Nick Zurawsky | Posted in: Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News

Rainbow Kitchen is falling into a comfortable routine, despite the chaos of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Executive Director Donna Little.

The iconic Homestead community food service was affected on all fronts by the quarantine measures put into effect after the national emergency declaration on March 13.

Almost every aspect of Rainbow Kitchen’s operation has changed. For example, it went from serving people daily in their cafeteria to packaging and handing out meals from the curbside.

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Effort By W.O. Family is Feeding Hundreds

May 05, 2020 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, White Oak News

(Submitted photo)

Kelly and Mike Doyle never could have imagined that they would be feeding 100 different families when they started a small community Facebook page called, “What’s Happening in White Oak & Surrounding Areas.

The Doyles live in White Oak with their five children, where they also own and operate the privately held White Oak Post Office.

“We are just a normal middle-class family,” Kelly Doyle said.

About six years ago, Kelly started the “What’s Happening in White Oak & Surrounding Areas” Facebook page, hoping to keep the community up-to-date on current events.

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