Drive-Through COVID-19 Test Site Opens Tuesday

September 11, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements, McKeesport and Region News

Beginning Monday, appointments can be made at a new drive-up COVID-19 testing site scheduled to open in the city.

Persons with valid email addresses will be able to schedule their appointment by going to the county’s website, a county spokeswoman said.

People without email access may call (412) 209-2262 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday) to schedule a next-day appointment.

The testing center is being created inside a vacant portion of the Industrial Center of McKeesport, along Industry Road, near the building once occupied by EchoStar. It is scheduled to begin operations at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

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Serra Suspends In-Person Classes
After Two COVID-19 Cases

September 11, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Serra Catholic High School moved all students to online learning Friday and suspended sports activities through the weekend after two students tested positive for COVID-19.

An announcement from the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said the move was made “out of an abundance of caution” and that neither student was experiencing symptoms of the disease, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

The school in Haler Heights is expected to remain closed through Monday, the diocese said.

The announcement came as state officials reported more than a thousand new cases of coronavirus across Pennsylvania. State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said many of the new cases are among college students who have returned to campuses.

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History Tour Designed to Stir Hometown Pride

September 11, 2020 |

By Emily Pidgeon | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Now in its sixth year, McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center’s Living History Tour features live actors recounting some of our area’s memorable figures and events.

The tour takes place this weekend at McKeesport & Versailles Cemetery, just off Fifth Avenue near UPMC McKeesport hospital. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tickets are timed and should be purchased in advance.

Dave Moore, museum manager for the center, said this year’s tour is designed to entice the community with interesting and “really juicy stories” from McKeesport’s past. “Everyone is into true crime right now.”

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COVID-19’s Toll Remains High For Black Residents

September 09, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Source: Allegheny County Health Department)

COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect Black residents, according to statistics from the Allegheny County Health Department.

And bars and restaurants remain the number one location visited by people who have tested positive for COVID-19, the health department said in a report released Wednesday. Weddings, funerals and parties also are among the events that sufferers reported attending before their diagnoses.

Although only 14 percent of county residents are Black, they represent 25 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County, the latest health department statistics indicate.

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Drive-Through COVID Testing Coming to City

September 09, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A drive-through COVID-19 testing center will open in the city next week, the Allegheny County Health Department announced Wednesday.

Build-out of the site, located in the Industrial Center of McKeesport, began Tuesday, said Amie Downs, county spokeswoman.

Tests will be free but appointments will be required, she said. Funding for the site is being provided by the federal coronavirus stimulus program and the money has been allocated by state officials, Downs said.

The site will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, beginning Sept. 15.

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Cornerstone Finds New Home In Cleveland

September 09, 2020 |

By Chris Baumann | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The cornerstone of a now-demolished McKeesport church has made its way to a new home in Cleveland, Ohio.

After months of persistence, Cleveland resident and historian Nicholas Boros secured the cornerstone of the former St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church on Beacon Street and moved it to his own church, St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

“It was all very last minute,” said Boros, who had assumed his efforts to preserve the cornerstone had been unsuccessful. “I didn’t know I was getting it until three days before leaving for Cleveland.”

St. Stephen’s closed in 2002 following the death of its longtime pastor, the Rev. Stephen Kato.

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Equipment from Local Plastics Plant to Be Sold

September 08, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

This is one of the injection-molding machines from Magic Creations Inc. that’s being sold, according to a Connecticut-based auctioneer. (Photo courtesy The Branford Group)

A Connecticut-based auctioneer is selling off plastic-molding equipment from a Christy Park company that manufactures ice-cube trays, food storage bins, laundry baskets, trash cans and other items.

More than 250 molds and eight plastic injection-molding machines used by Magic Creations Inc. are being sold to the highest bidder beginning this week by The Branford Group, according to Ali Wade, marketing director for the auctioneer.

Magic Creations is located in the former G.C. Murphy Co. and Ames Department Stores distribution center between 28th and 31st avenues.

Although the equipment is being auctioned, the company is not going out of business, said an employee at the office who would not give his name or any other information to a reporter.

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Unions Celebrate Labor Day Sprucing Up Renzie

September 07, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

James J. Blatnik, AFL-CIO community services liaison for the Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council, paints park bench metal frames before the wood is replaced on the bench. (Tube City Almanac photo by Vickie Babyak)

McKeesport city officials, the Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council, local union members and their families worked together on Saturday morning to participate in a beautification day at Renziehausen Park.

Because the annual Pittsburgh Labor Day Parade, picnics and other celebrations were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, union members instead organized “Labor’s Weekend of Service” at several locations in the Pittsburgh area.

Darrin Kelly, a Pittsburgh firefighter and president of the labor council, said it was an opportunity to highlight the commitment of union members to serving the communities where they live.

“We are embracing this opportunity to honor the frontline workers who are helping usget through this pandemic and to show what organized labor is all about,” Kelly said. “We are all in this together, and it’s never been more important that we all take care of one another.”

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Water Authority Explains Recent Outages

September 04, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A pump failure at the McKeesport water treatment plant caused a lengthy outage on Friday night, a spokesman for the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County said.

But it wasn’t just a lack of water that had some city residents frustrated — they said a lack of information from the water authority also left them high and dry.

Authority spokesman Matthew Junker told Tube City Almanac an electric motor that drives one of the pumps at the plant failed at about 7:30 p.m.

Crews had difficulty getting a second pump into operation, which caused water pressure to fall, he said.

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Feds Urge City Residents to Become
‘Cheerleaders’ For Investment

September 04, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A.J. Tedesco, McKeesport community development director, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko, HUD Pittsburgh Office Field Director Michael Horvath and HUD Region III Administrator Joe DeFelice talk following a visit to the vacant Penn-McKee Hotel, Downtown. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Less than a month after visiting McKeesport to encourage the city to take advantage of the Financial Opportunity Zone program, a federal official returned with two colleagues to help him make his case.

McKeesport needs a team of “cheerleaders” to sell the city’s advantages to prospective investors, said Joseph J. DeFelice, Region III administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

“You have proximity” to Pittsburgh, DeFelice said during a roundtable discussion Thursday morning with business owners, elected officials and community leaders at the Palisades Ballroom, Downtown.

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