Family Pets Perish in Main St. Blaze

December 07, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A fire on Tuesday afternoon that heavily damaged a home near Renziehausen Park is under investigation by the Allegheny County fire marshal.

Although the two residents were not present at the time of the blaze, five dogs were located on the second floor of the house, said Jeff Tomovcsik, McKeesport fire chief. Firefighters, McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service and a UPMC paramedic administered oxygen in an attempt to revive the animals, but were not successful, he said.

The blaze at 3917 Main St. was reported just after 3 p.m. when neighbors reported seeing smoke from a window.

When crews arrived, Tomovcsik said, smoke was present from multiple windows on the first and second floors of the two-story wood frame house.

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McKeesport Band Takes Home State Title

December 01, 2022 |

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

McKeesport Tiger Marching Band musicians and color guard at Mansion Field in Altoona, where they placed first in the Class 2 Open category in the first state Tournament of Bands competition. (Submitted photo courtesy McKeesport Area Tiger Marching Band)

McKeesport Area Tiger Marching Band sparkled and shined through a successful season, garnering the top score and taking home the title in the Group 2 Open category at the first Tournament of Bands state competition.

They earned a coveted 90-plus score with a 90.30, plus awards for High Auxiliary and Percussion for “All That Glitters” at the end of October at Mansion Park in Altoona.

Band director Drew DeCarlo said “All That Glitters” is an original competition, featuring uplifting concepts and show styles.

“We all shine in our unique ways,” he said.

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Tiny Margin Gives Serra Band First-Place Victory

December 01, 2022 |

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

Members of the Serra Catholic Eagles Marching Band gather on the field to celebrate with their championship banner. (All photos courtesy of Serra Catholic Marching Band)

In the closest competition of his career, band director Jesse Bush said he thinks everyone at Mansion Field in Altoona heard him yell when Serra Catholic was announced in first place – by a mere two hundredths of a point (0.02) – to win the Tournament of Bands 1-A state championships.

Serra received a 91.75, edging out Tyrone with a 91.73, and followed closely by East Allegheny with a 91.13.

  • See Also: McKeesport Area High School Tiger Marching Band, which also competes in the Tournament of Bands Region 8 but in a different category of Group 2 Open, took home that state title with a score of 90.30 and awards for High Auxiliary and Percussion. Read More

The state competition on Oct. 29 capped a season showing steady improvement in the pirate-themed “X Marks the Spot” since the Serra Eagles placed second in their category with a score of 76.18 in the TOB Preview Show on Sept. 10 at Penn-Trafford.

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Bitter Cold Doesn’t Deter Santa Parade Crowd

November 22, 2022 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

State Rep. Austin Davis, accompanied by his wife Blayre, served as grand marshal of McKeesport’s Salute to Santa Parade. In January he will be sworn in as Pennsylvania’s first Black lieutenant governor. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

Cold weather didn’t stop Mon Valley families from attending the Salute to Santa Parade on Saturday. Adults and children were bundled up along the streets in downtown, McKeesport, to view the parade and welcome Santa Claus for the upcoming holidays.

Austin Davis, incoming lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, served as grand marshal of the 57th Salute to Santa Parade and was accompanied by his wife, Blayre Holmes Davis.

Davis is a McKeesport native and has served as the state representative for the 35th Legislative District since 2018. He is the first millennial elected to statewide office in the commonwealth and the first Black lieutenant governor of the state. He will be sworn in on Jan. 17.

Despite the cold weather, Mon Valley families lined the streets to watch the Salute to Santa parade. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

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RIDC Donates Land for Trail Re-Routing

November 18, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Regional Industrial Development Corp. has donated 2.25 acres with a value of approximately $200,000 to the City of McKeesport for future relocation of a piece of trail that is part of the Great Allegheny Passage. The trail currently traverses through RIDC’s Industrial Center of McKeesport. (Submitted photo)

The owner of McKeesport’s industrial park has donated a right-of-way along the Monongahela River waterfront to allow for the re-routing of the Great Allegheny Passage biking-and-hiking trail to the mouth of the Youghiogheny River.

The donation of 2.25 acres, valued at $200,000, was announced this week by Regional Industrial Development Corp. It will enable trail users to see the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers while they also avoid the current, confusing routing that uses surface streets through the city’s Downtown business district.

“We’re in a unique opportunity here in that we have our own point” where the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers meet, said McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko.

“When we run the bike trail through there, it’s going to become a destination for cyclists,” he said. “Being able to ride around the point and tour our beautiful marina will really enhance the experience.”

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LaRosa Club Marks 1st Anniversary of Rebirth

November 17, 2022 |

By Elizabeth Laughlin | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Staff members of the LaRosa Youth Club include Jim Barry III, Amber Brooks and Jim Barry Jr. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Trust, respect, integrity, and love—these are the four pillars of the LaRosa Youth Club.

“The love in this building is palpable,” said Jim Barry Jr., chief executive officer of the LaRosa Youth Development Foundation.

Barry Jr. has been involved with the club since his childhood. He emphasized how much the organization fostered his personal development.

The LaRosa Youth Club, located on Ravine Street and formerly known as the LaRosa Boys & Girls Club, provides a safe space for children in the community. The organization offers tutoring services, recreational sports, computers and hot meals during after-school hours.

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Salute to Santa Parade Kicks Off Saturday

November 16, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Submitted photo courtesy of State Rep. Austin Davis)

McKeesport resident and incoming lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania Austin Davis will serve as grand marshal of the city’s 57th Salute to Santa parade this Saturday.

Weather-permitting, Tube City Online will broadcast the parade live beginning at 11 a.m. on its YouTube channel.

One of the largest Christmas parades in Western Pennsylvania, bands, community groups and fire and police units will stage at the McKees Point Marina on Water Street and proceed up Fifth Avenue, Downtown, past McKeesport City Hall at Fifth and Sinclair avenues.

“As always, we’re very excited about the Salute to Santa parade,” McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said. “We know it kicks off the holiday season for a lot of people in the City of McKeesport, and it’s always great to see so many different organizations that participate. Hopefully, we get a good crowd this year.”

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Serra Faces Wash High in Playoff’s First Round

November 04, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News, Sports

Serra Catholic’s Eagles will take on the Washington High School Prexies in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs tonight at the Norwin High School stadium.

The 7-3 Eagles are coming off of a 28-0 loss last week to the Steel Valley Ironmen (9-0). Tonight’s game is a rematch of the third game of the season, when Serra Catholic defeated Wash High (6-4) in a very close game, 35-34. 

“It is always difficult to beat a team twice,” said Michael Betler, assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Serra Catholic. “They have the added motivation of beating us since we won the last game. We have some film on them from last time, so we can see what they did against us, but I am sure they will make adjustments, just like we will.”

In other matchups of local interest, the 9-1 McKeesport Area Tigers were defeated by (7-3) Thomas Jefferson High School on Oct. 28 by a score of 20-10. McKeesport (5-1 in conference play) will have a home playoff game in the first round of the AAAA WPIAL football playoffs, and are hosting (6-4) Mars High School at 7 p.m.

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MASD Ready for Prime-Time Viewing

October 31, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The stories of McKeesport Area High School’s people will soon appear on TV screens.

At last week’s meeting, the school board voted to approve two projects that will showcase local students, staff and families.

The first, a docuseries titled “The Road to the Ring,” will follow the McKeesport Tigers Varsity Football team and its quest to win a state championship. Produced by Teall Properties Group, LLC, the 10-part series, will chart the end of the Tigers’ season — the team is currently 9-1 — and begin streaming in January on Teall’s YouTube channel.

James Companion, Teall’s EVP, National Sales, told the board the docuseries will provide viewers a perspective from “behind the curtain.”

By focusing on athletes and coaches, “this is a chance to show the country one of the top programs,” Companion said.

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School Board Discusses Achievements, Challenges

October 31, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

In her report to the board during Wednesday’s meeting, McKeesport Area Superintendent Tia Wanzo spotlighted students and staff across the district.  

Wanzo described various acts of kindness undertaken by those at Francis McClure Elementary School and Founders’ Hall Middle School, as well as recent achievements by McKeesport Area High School’s band and color guard.

Wanzo’s presentations culminated in more than 10 students receiving certificates and rounds of applause.

After the final student was celebrated, Board President Mindy Lundberg told the nearly 50 attendees at Wednesday’s meeting, “Ladies and gentlemen, that's what this is all about.”

Apart from celebrating student success, however, board members heard about various challenges in the district.

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