Comcast Gift Helps Level Playing Field for Students

September 21, 2020 |

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

A truckload of computers donated by Comcast is unveiled Friday morning during a live broadcast of NBC’s “Today” from McKeesport Area High School. (Richard Finch Jr. photo for Tube City Almanac)

Students, parents and staff were speculating about the news cameras — and a large truck parked in the middle of McKeesport Area High School’s football field on Friday morning when they entered the stadium for what they thought was a pep rally.

What they got instead were 2,500 laptop computers for students and staff at McKeesport Senior High School and Founders’ Hall Middle School — a donation from Comcast Corp., the region’s dominant cable TV and Internet provider.

The “Today” show, a production of NBC, a Comcast subsidiary, was on hand to show the surprised students.

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St. Sava Offers ‘Taste of Serbia’ in October

September 17, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Shown getting ready for the upcoming “Taste of Serbia” food festival are Very Rev. Stavrophor Stevan Rocknage, pastor of St. Sava’s, and church members. (Submitted photo)

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church will hold a food festival featuring a “small taste of Serbia” on Oct. 2 and 3, a spokeswoman said.

All foods will be available for takeout only both days from 3 to 7 p.m. Selections will be similar to those usually sold by St. Sava’s during McKeesport International Village.

Selections will include a lamb sandwich on a hard roll; sarma (Serbian-style stuffed cabbage); grah i kupas (traditional soup made of sauerkraut and red kidney beans); halushki (sauteed sliced cabbage and onions mixed with egg noodles); and Spanish rice (white rice slow simmered with tomatoes, onions, peppers and spices.

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Beaver County Woman Arrested in Abduction

September 17, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Beaver County woman accused of luring a 15-year-old boy from northern Illinois last month was arrested Wednesday night at a home on Versailles Avenue in McKeesport.

Lilandra L. Redman, 20, of Rochester was arrested by the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office on a warrant from McHenry County, Ill., said Tony Griffith, spokesman for Sheriff William Mullen.

Police in Illinois allege that Redman met the teen-ager on social media and carried on a relationship for more than a year, at times using a disposable cell phone that she bought for him.

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‘Today’ Show Spotlighting High School This Friday

September 16, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

NBC’s “Today” show will feature students from McKeesport Area High School during a Friday morning broadcast.

Details of the segments are being kept under wraps, but spokespersons for both NBCUniversal’s parent company as well as McKeesport Area School District confirmed rumors circulating on Facebook that crews have conducted several interviews.

The segments are tentatively scheduled to air during the 8 a.m. hour.

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This Year’s HIV/AIDS Walk Goes Virtual

September 16, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The 20th annual Mon Valley HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk will take place Oct. 3 — but virtually.

The walk is organized each year by the HIV/AIDS Working Group of the Human Services Center Corp. in Turtle Creek, and continues to be the only HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk in Southwestern Pennsylvania, said Abbie Godollei, outreach coordinator.

The event is usually held on a Saturday on the streets of Downtown McKeesport, but due to COVID-19, the walk will instead be held that day beginning at 9 a.m. on Zoom.

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EA Student Tests Positive for COVID-19

September 16, 2020 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News

A student-athlete at East Allegheny High School tested positive over the weekend for COVID-19, school officials said.

The student is a member of the girls’ volleyball team and the cheerleading squad. Both activities have been suspended for 14 days, the district said.

Superintendent Alan Johnson told the East Allegheny School Board that all health and safety protocols are being followed. Contact has been made with all the families involved to make them aware of the situation, he said.

Because the district is operating in virtual mode, no classrooms or office spaces have been compromised, Johnson said.

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EA OK’s Spectator Plan for Outdoor Athletic Events

September 16, 2020 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

East Allegheny School Board has approved an spectator attendance plan for outdoor events just in time for the first home football game.

In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and state guidelines limiting gatherings to 250 people or less, each student participant — including players, cheerleaders and members of the band — will be allowed to have two members of their family attend games.

“We wouldn't be able to accommodate additional spectators beyond that,” Superintendent Alan Johnson said at this week’s school board meeting.

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‘Murf the Surf,’ One-Time City Resident
Turned Celebrity Thief, is Dead

September 15, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History, McKeesport and Region News

Jack Roland Murphy, better known as “Murf the Surf,” is shown here during a 2016 interview on the Christian Television Network program, “Homekeepers.” Murphy died Saturday in Florida at age 83. (Screenshot via YouTube)

One of McKeesport’s most notorious former residents — Jack Roland Murphy — has died in Florida at age 83.

Known as “Murf the Surf,” Murphy was born in California but lived in the city as a teen-ager and was a stand-out athlete and musician at McKeesport High School.

But it was after leaving Western Pennsylvania that Murphy achieved international infamy as a jewel thief — and murderer.

After spending 19 years in a Florida prison, Murphy was paroled and launched a ministry to jails and prisoners, becoming a frequent guest on Christian radio and television shows. He was the subject of a lengthy profile in Sports Illustrated this past May.

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Living History Tour Brings City’s Past to Life

September 15, 2020 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: Entertainment, McKeesport and Region News

“We are an odd lot. Old and young, men and women, heroes and derelicts, rich and poor, all once living souls,” says Anna Marie Colecchi as “The Widow” during McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center’s Living History Tour on Sunday. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

There are 44,000 people buried in McKeesport & Versailles Cemetery, which was dedicated in 1855. On Saturday and Sunday, a handful of their stories were brought to life by local actors during McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center’s sixth-annual Living History Tour.

Visitors were greeted by Anna Marie Colecchi playing “the widow,” who laid the framework for the list of characters on the tour.

Groups of people ranging in size from three to 15 walked along paths and around tombstones to hear the tales of this year’s cast.

They represented a wide range of notable McKeesporters, including Laura Painter, widow of People’s Bank President Robert Painter, who was blackmailed in an effort to get part of the fortune he left behind; U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Thomas Sweeney, one of the “McKeesport 23” who died during the Vietnam War; and George McClure, general store owner, who was shot in what is now known as Dead Man’s Hollow when he tried to stop a robbery.

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West Newton Library Hosts Ham Dinner

September 14, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: West Newton News

West Newton Public Library will hold a ham dinner fundraiser from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 24, a spokeswoman said.

Cost is $15 and dinners will be take-out only from Gary's Chuck Wagon Restaurant, 109 South Second St.

Dinners include a slice of baked ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, cole slaw, roll and butter and dessert. Tickets may be purchased at Gary's Chuck Wagon or the library. For more information, call (724) 633-0798 or email


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