Authority, Tenants Grateful for Help After Fire

September 16, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

All but 15 residents of McKeesport Towers have returned to their homes following a fire Sept. 8 that gutted a seventh-floor apartment and forced the evacation of the senior-citizen complex.

One resident remained hospitalized Friday in critical condition, authorities said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Allegheny County fire marshal’s office, a spokeswoman said.

Diane Raible, deputy director of McKeesport Housing Authority, which owns the complex, said repairs have been estimated at up to $2.5 million, and repairing the damaged units will likely take up to 18 months.

The fire broke out just after 2:30 p.m. in an apartment on the Coursin Street side of McKeesport Towers, a 12-story complex consisting of two buildings, joined at the center.

Read More

Authority Hopes Residents Can Return Soon

September 09, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Damage to the east wing of McKeesport Towers may affect 26 to 30 units, MHA says. (Tube City Almanac photo)

• Related story: Officials praise response, evacuation efforts at high-rise

Residents of McKeesport Towers should begin to know by Sunday afternoon when they can return to their apartments.

On Friday, 180 people were forced to evacuate after fire broke out in a seventh-floor apartment on the Coursin Street side of the 12-story high-rise complex. Although the fire was extinguished in less than 30 minutes, damage to that portion of the building was extensive, said Diane Raible, deputy director of the McKeesport Housing Authority.

“I’ve seen a lot of fires and I’ve never seen anything of this magnitude,” she said.

Raible spent all night at the scene along with other MHA employees. She said her thoughts — and theirs — were with two residents who remained hospitalized in critical condition on Saturday. “Property is nothing compared to life,” Raible said.

Read More

180 People Displaced Following High-Rise Fire

September 09, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

• Related Story: Residents should learn soon when they can return to their homes

Four people were injured during a fire at a McKeesport high-rise that involved the rescue and evacuation of nearly 200 elderly residents on Friday afternoon.

At least two people remained hospitalized, reportedly in critical condition, on Saturday.

The blaze broke out in a seventh-floor apartment on the Coursin Street side of the McKeesport Towers, a 12-story apartment building owned and operated by McKeesport Housing Authority.

McKeesport Deputy Fire Chief Gene Esken said the resident of the unit where the fire was first reported was home at the time of the fire and was in a wheelchair. The resident, whose name is not being released, was able to escape into the hallway and was evacuated by fire crews, Esken said.

Read More

Residents Evacuated from High-Rise Fire

September 08, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News


The Allegheny County fire marshal's office and multiple fire departments were on the scene of a blaze at the McKeesport Towers high-rise on Friday afternoon that forced the evacuation of its senior-citizen residents.

The fire was reported just after 2:30 p.m. and quickly raised to three alarms, emergency personnel said. Flames could be seen pouring from the windows of a seventh-floor unit, and smoke was visible throughout the city.

The 192-unit building is a senior-citizen apartment building along Sixth Avenue at Huey Street and is owned and operated by McKeesport Housing Authority.

Emergency personnel were evacuating the building and several ambulances were on the scene. There were unconfirmed reports that three people were injured.

Due to the number of ambulances required to evacuate residents, a mass-casualty incident was declared, emergency personnel said. Rescue crews from as far away as Robinson Twp. and McCandless were sent to the scene. Motorists and onlookers were being asked to avoid the area.

Residents were temporarily taken to an emergency shelter at the McKees Point Palisades. Preliminary reports indicated that the fire may have begun in a mattress.

In addition to McKeesport fire department, crews from Allegheny County Airport, Dravosburg, Glassport, Homestead, Liberty Borough, Munhall No. 1, Port Vue, Swissvale No. 1, Homeville, Duquesne Annex, West Mifflin No. 3, White Oak No. 1, Rainbow and Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory were on the scene Friday afternoon.


Controversial Rapper Could Be Headed to City

August 30, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Rapper Taurus Bartlett, 24, better known as Polo G, has released three albums, each of which have sold more than 2 million copies. He’s scheduled to appear in McKeesport ahead of the Sept. 15 release of his fourth album. (Photo at left by Lou Wop via Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons 3.0. Photos at right courtesy Columbia Records.)

A controversial — and highly successful — rap artist currently facing criminal charges in Los Angeles could be coming to McKeesport to perform.

According to advertisements posted on Eventbrite, Taurus Bartlett, 24, better known as Polo G, is scheduled to appear at “Club IKON” — formerly “Tube City Brew House” — on Route 48 near Olympia Shopping Center.

City officials said Wednesday they are aware of the situation and will take action, but said they could not speak further. “We are handling it,” an official said, speaking on background.

“We have a lot of security — we don’t compromise on that — and we’re definitely looking to work with the local police to ensure our guests’ safety,” said real estate developer Prasad Margabandhu, co-owner of Club IKON through the company, Maya Restaurants Inc., he controls with his brother, Sivram M. Bandhu.

“We’ve never had any problems since we’ve been in McKeesport,” Margabandhu said.

A ticket sale listing posted on Eventbrite advertises “an epic night of music and vibes ... get ready to groove to the beats of one of the hottest artists in the game right now ... Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to experience Polo G’s electrifying performance live!” Tickets range from $60 to $85.

Read More

Union President Finds Reasons for Optimism

August 30, 2023 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

With only one day remaining until teachers’ contracts expire on Aug. 31, there’s uncertainty — but optimism — at McKeesport Area School District.

Gerald McGrew Jr., head of the teachers’ union, said negotiations are “moving forward” but didn’t offer a date when parents, students and district members could expect the potential labor crisis to resolve.

“I don't personally see it dragging on too long. But I can’t answer for any factual ending,” he said.

The school board and members of the McKeesport Area Education Association have been negotiating a new contract since January. McGrew said the early stages of the process began “very professionally,” and with positive input from both sides.

Read More

Florida Man Makes $10K Heritage Center Gift

August 17, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A medallion of William Shakespeare that once decorated the front of White’s Opera House in McKeesport is now displayed on the lawn of McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Staff at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center thought it was a fraud, or an accident, when they were notified of a $10,000 donation that had been received through the organization’s website.

“It came through on PayPal,” said Meagan Donnelly, community outreach coordinator for the museum and historical society in Renziehausen Park. “We thought it was a scam at first, then we were worried that maybe someone meant to send us $10 or $100 and typed in too many zeroes.”

A quick call to Terry Merlin of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., a former White Oak resident and McKeesport Area High School graduate, confirmed the donation was very real and made intentionally.

“Our average donation is more like $5 to $20,” Donnelly said. “For a program or a big event like our golf outing, we may occassionally get a hundred dollars. This was a very pleasant surprise, to say the least.”

Read More

Crowds Enjoy Traditions, Fun at 63rd Village

August 17, 2023 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Chris Starry from McKeesport and Norma Kwiecinski from Irwin with her grandson, 5-year-old Liam. Starry and Kwiecinski have been friends for a long time and both have attended International Village for years. Kwiecinski said, “I’m introducing my grandson to International Village for the first time.” “I really like the halushki from the Croatian booth,” said Liam. (Vickie Babyak photos for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


McKeesport’s 63rd International Village

Where: Stephen Barry Field, Renziehausen Park (Eden Park Boulevard)

When: 3 to 9 p.m. today (Aug. 17)

Admission: $2 for adults


Families of all generations have been enjoying one of the area’s biggest events since 1960 and have honored their roots while learning about other cultures.

The City of McKeesport is wrapping up its 63rd annual International Village at Stephen Barry Field in Renziehausen Park today. The ethnic heritage celebration ran from Tuesday through Thursday. Food, live entertainment and polka music are a huge attraction for many people of all backgrounds.

Live coverage will be available beginning at 5 p.m. on YouTube via Tube City Community Media Inc.

When International Village began, it was held as part of a larger event called “Old Home Week” on Market Street, Downtown. Many of the traditions started at the first “village” has carried over to the modern day International Village.

Read More

Excitement ‘In the Air’ for MAHS Band Show

August 16, 2023 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Drum major Tina Wos conducts one of the movements from “All Up in the Air,” brass players sound off during band camp. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photos for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


McKeesport Tiger Band Preview Show

Where: McKeesport Area High School Stadium, 1960 Eden Park Blvd.

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 17)

Tickets: Admission is free

There’s lots of excitement — not just in the air, but “All Up in the Air” — from staff and students involved in producing and performing McKeesport Area High School Tiger Marching Band’s 2023 show.
In addition to performing at football games and competitions, the group already was hard at work perfecting skills during band camp on Aug. 4 for an additional event this year.

That is the Bands of America competition on Oct. 7 in Toledo, Ohio, band director Drew DeCarlo confirmed.

“Bands of America is a really big deal,” DeCarlo said. “We will be competing with the top bands in the country. Bands of America boasts that it is life-changing experiences for students,” he said. “It is a memory from their high school years that they will never forget and will carry with them through their lifetime.”

Planning for the 2023 show began in early January as a staff effort, DeCarlo said.

Read More

Village Will Cap Summer for Local Residents

August 02, 2023 |

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

Members of the Rankin Junior Tamburitzans perform during International Village in 2021. The group is scheduled to return this year and perform Aug. 16. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


McKeesport International Village

Where: Renziehausen Park, Eden Park Boulevard

When: 3 to 9 p.m. Aug. 15, 16, 17, 2023

Admission: $2 at the gate

Parking: Available in the park or nearby

More information: or Facebook

The first McKeesport International Village took place in 1960 and has been a source of summer fun ever since.

What was once part of a 10-day long celebration known as “Old Home Week,” has emerged as a three-day celebration of McKeesport’s heritage and history, and 63 years after its inception, Greater Pittsburgh’s longest-running celebration of traditional food, music and dancing is about to kick off again.

This year’s festival will run from 3 to 9 p.m. Aug. 15 to 17 at Stephen Barry Field in Renziehausen Park.

For Mikey Dee, a native of McKeesport and the entertainment director for the festival, International Village each year brings back many fond memories from his childhood. “I remember coming with my parents and grandparents and tasting the food and hearing the music, it was special,” said Dee.

Read More

Google™ Custom Search

High: +69°

Low: +59°