Water Plant Back in Operation;
Boil-Water Advisory Remains

October 13, 2019 |

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

(This story will be updated with new information periodically)

Volunteer firefighters from White Oak No. 1 and Rainbow handed out cases of bottled water at the borough’s municipal complex on Sunday afternoon. (Photo courtesy White Oak Office of Emergency Management, via Facebook)

The McKeesport water treatment plant is back in production, but is pumping slowly to purge air from the distribution system.

Authority spokesman Matthew Junker said the plant went back into operation at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. The plant shut down Saturday night when a pump failed.

However, a boil-water advisory will remain in effect until further notice for the city, Port Vue, Versailles and White Oak. Some customers at higher elevations in Port Vue and McKeesport were reporting a complete lack of water on Sunday.

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All Communities Served by McKeesport Water Plant Under Boil Advisory

October 13, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, White Oak News

Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County has now added White Oak to a precautionary boil water advisory that McKeesport and Versailles were placed on last night.

Port Vue was added earlier today. Issues with a repair to the raw water pump caused White Oak to be added as well, said Matt Junker, spokesman for the water authority.

Water tankers are available in White Oak at the municipal building, 2280 Lincoln Way, and PNC Bank, 1612 Lincoln Way, Junker said.

Water tankers also are available at 238 Atlantic Ave. in lower 10th Ward; Walnut and 12th streets, Third Ward; Walnut and Juniper streets, Versailles; and at UPMC McKeesport Hospital.

Additional water tankers are stationed in Port Vue at American Legion Post 447, 304 Gumbert St.; and the shopping center at 1515 Washington Blvd.

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Water Treatment Plant Shut Down; McKeesport Area Under Boil Water, Conservation Orders

October 12, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

An equipment failure at the McKeesport Water Treatment Plant has some customers under a mandatory conservation order, and others being advised to boil their water as a precaution.

The orders were issued by Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County on Saturday night. More than 16,000 customers are affected.

Customers in McKeesport and Versailles Borough are being advised to boil their water for at least one minute before drinking or cooking with it, while customers in Port Vue and White Oak have been ordered to conserve water.

Water tankers have been placed at 238 Atlantic Ave. in lower 10th Ward; UPMC McKeesport hospital; the intersection of Walnut and 12th streets in Third Ward; and Walnut and Juniper streets in Versailles, said Matthew Junker, spokesman for the water authority.

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State A.G. Claims ‘Rent-to-Own’ Company Deceived Local Residents

October 11, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News

This house on Duquesne Avenue in McKeesport is listed in a “lease with option to buy” deal for $1,500 down and $378 per month by a South Carolina company, Vision Property Management. Pennsylvania’s attorney general alleges the company’s sales tactics violate state law. (Photo via Zillow.)

A South Carolina company that has heavily marketed its “rent-to-own” homes in McKeesport, Glassport, Braddock and other parts of the Mon Valley is being sued by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, claims that Vision Property Management of Columbia, S.C, and more than 50 affiliated companies used deceptive business practices to market homes that had serious problems that were concealed or never disclosed, including missing plumbing, insect infestations, defective wiring and leaky roofs.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro brought the lawsuit on behalf of 650 families.

As of Friday, according to the company’s website, Vision Property had 14 houses available in Allegheny County, including one on Duquesne Avenue in McKeesport and others on Maryland Avenue in Glassport and Zimmer Lane in Greenock, Elizabeth Twp.

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Grandview Fire Displaces 3; Cause Under Investigation

October 11, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A two-alarm fire on Grandview Avenue that displaced two adults and one child is under investigation by the Allegheny County Fire Marshal's office.

But McKeesport fire Chief Jeff Tomovcsik said the blaze at 1804 Grandview is not believed to be suspicious in nature.

A 9-1-1 caller reported seeing smoke outside the house at 4:11 p.m. Saturday. The residents were not home at the time, Tomovcsik said.

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Signs Will Start Sending Safety Message at Crosswalks, Bus Stops

October 10, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport public works employees George Bell and Dave Cuadrado install the first sign promoting "Aly's Rules" at the intersection of Eden Park Boulevard, O'Neil Boulevard and Hartman Street. Similar signs will be going up at more than 30 bus stops around the city. (Tube City Almanac photo)

The first of what will likely be dozens of signs encouraging pedestrians to cross streets safely was installed Thursday morning near McKeesport's Founders Hall Middle School.

The signs promote "Aly's Rules," a safety campaign created by the family of Alyson Higdon, a Founders Hall student who died in 2014 after being struck by a truck at the intersection of O'Neil Boulevard, Hartman Street and Eden Park Boulevard.

Alyson's mother, Cindi Higdon; grandparents Sharon and Rick Tarsala; and siblings Caleb, Haylie and Jonah were on hand to see the first sign installed.

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Old G.C. Murphy Property Donated to City Redevelopment Authority

October 09, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Tube City Almanac file photo by John Barna)

(The author has a conflict of interest. See editor's note.)

The former G.C. Murphy Co. home office complex at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Sheridan Street has been donated to the city's redevelopment authority.

Allegheny County deed records show that the five-building complex at 521-531 Fifth Ave., located on four separate lots, was sold to the Redevelopment Authority of the City of McKeesport on Sept. 23 for the nominal cost of $1 for each parcel.

The seller was Exclusive Services Inc., which owns and operates Don Farr Moving & Storage in West Mifflin. The company had owned the buildings since 1993.

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Four Honored For Living ‘McKeesport Message’ of Respect, Dignity, Hope, Love

October 09, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Earnest Oatneal of the McKeesport Recreation Board and Mayor Michael Cherepko at the Oct. 2 council meeting. (Tube City Almanac photo)

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko and city council on Oct. 2 honored four people for “Living the McKeesport Message” of Respect, Dignity, Hope and Love.

“Living the Message” awards are presented quarterly by the McKeesport Message Committee, a subgroup of the mayor’s Select Committee on Crime and Violence.
Honored were Ernie Oatneal (respect), Barbara Williams (dignity), Jonathan Stark (hope) and Helene Moux (love). The following biographies of the award recipients were submitted by the committee.

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Mother of Columbine Shooter Reflects on Pain, Loss During City Visit

October 07, 2019 |

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

Sue Klebold spoke at Penn State Greater Allegheny Campus in McKeesport on Wednesday. (Richard Finch Jr. photo)

Twenty years ago, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 12 students and one teacher and wounded 21 others at Columbine High School in Colorado, before taking their own lives.

At the time — April 20, 1999 — it was the deadliest school shooting in American history.

Klebold’s mother, Sue, struggled with humiliation and devastating grief following the tragedy. She kept out of the public eye and spent years volunteering for suicide prevention organizations and talking with fellow survivors of loss.

“I never forget for a moment that my son, not only lost his life, but hurt other people,” she said.

Now, as the debate over gun violence and mental health takes center stage, Klebold is speaking out. She was in McKeesport on Wednesday to speak at the Wunderley Gymnasium at Penn State Greater Allegheny campus.

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USS Manager: $1.2B Investment Will Keep Mon Valley Plants Competitive

October 05, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Guests watch a video depicting a new “endless caster” to be built at U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock and North Braddock. (Photo courtesy Maury Burgwin, Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce)

Listen: An edited version of this discussion can be heard on our podcast, Two Rivers, 30 Minutes

U.S. Steel’s planned $1.2 billion investment in its three Mon Valley plants will open them to new markets, reduce pollution and energy consumption and keep them competitive well into the 21st century.

That's what Kurt Barshick, general manager of the Mon Valley Works, said Friday during a luncheon held by the Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce to mark National Manufacturing Day.

“This is going to make Pittsburgh — and the Mon Valley in particular — the epicenter for automotive steel production,” Barshick told about 125 people during the event, held at the Sunset Room in Elizabeth Twp. “Mills in Detroit will not be able to compete with us ... we plan on keeping that job base in Pittsburgh forever.”

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