When it came to animal advocacy, Cindy McGraw-Davic believed in doing things in a big way. One Christmas, remembers her sister, Holly Turkovic, McGraw-Davic bought about $2,000 worth of dog bones and drove around the Pittsburgh area, delivering them to animal shelters.
"Every Saturday morning, sometimes before I was awake, she would come to my house and pick up my dogs, and then go to my mother's house and pick up her dogs, and then take them somewhere to go and play," Turkovic says. "She dedicated her life to animals."
It's only appropriate that the second-annual "Bark in the Park" fundraiser, to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Romine Avenue Field in Port Vue in McGraw-Davic's memory, is three times as big as last year's event.
"We've tripled everything we did last year," Turkovic said. "We have 70 vendors, ranging from dog-related items and dog treats, to wreaths, perfumes, essential oils, all kinds of makers and artists, you name it."
The event, which is free and open to the public, is raising money to develop a 3.5-acre dog park at the end of Portsmouth Drive, off of Washington Boulevard near South Allegheny Elementary School.
A suspect wanted in connection with a murder in Penn Hills was arrested this morning in McKeesport after firefighters helped police and sheriff's deputies break into an attic to reach him.
Steven L. Sparrow Jr., 20, of Verona is charged by Allegheny County police with homicide, robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with what Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen described as the "execution-style murder" of Andre Williams, 26.
In a prepared statement, Mullen said that even after breaking into the crawlspace of a home on Bridge Street where Sparrow was hiding, it took pepper spray and 45 minutes of negotiations with McKeesport police and sheriff's deputies before Sparrow surrendered.
Mullen thanked city police and firefighters for what he called "their amazing support and teamwork."
Penn State Greater Allegheny Campus will open an outreach center in the heart of Downtown to offer computer literacy classes, homebuyer counseling and other services.
Jacqueline Edmundson, Greater Allegheny chancellor, said the university is preparing a space on the third floor of the former YWCA building on Ninth Avenue in an effort to re-connect with the Mon-Yough community.
The building is also home to the Ninth Street Clinic and a temporary office for medical cannabis company PurePenn. Those tenants are expected to remain.
The Ninth Avenue location is "an opportunity for us to engage the community in a number of different opportunties, and we'll have students involved in that outreach as well," Edmundson said in an interview.
While Pittsburgh political leaders are encouraging Amazon.com to locate its new headquarters in the Steel City, a state senator representing the Steel Valley wants to make sure his constituents aren't left out.
State Sen. Jim Brewster said that he has suggested former industrial sites in Braddock, Clairton, Duquesne, East Pittsburgh and McKeesport as possible locations for an Amazon campus, as well as another former industrial site in New Kensington, Westmoreland County.
“We have to be collaborative and work cohesively so that Amazon gets a full understanding of the array of sites that are available in our region,” Brewster, a Democrat from McKeesport, said. “There are plenty of locations in Southwestern Pennsylvania that are excellent sites and I am certain that the region’s application will be inclusive and strong.”
Amazon.com, the world's largest Internet retailer, is based in Seattle. But in September the company announced that it was looking to create a second headquarters campus somewhere in North America, and that it was prepared to spend up to $5 billion to do so.
The company expects the second headquarters to include "as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs" and claims it will create "tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment" in the surrounding region.
Amazon, which reported nearly $136 billion in revenue last year and employs more than 268,000 people worldwide, contends that it contributed $38 billion to the economy of the Seattle region between 2010 and 2016.
First United Methodist Church will hold a fall concert at 4 p.m. Oct. 22, a spokesperson said.
Scheduled performers include Angel Redwood of Zion Baptist Church and Gena Wells of Judah Ministries International Worship Center, as well as other local musicians.
The concert is free but "love offerings" will be accepted. Refreshments will be served following the concert.
For more information, call (412) 664-9349. The church is located at 1406 Cornell St., near Twin Rivers Elementary School and the Carnegie Library of McKeesport. The event is co-chaired by Della Meekins and Sandra Christian.
UPMC McKeesport will offer free flu vaccinations, cholesterol screenings, giveaways and more at "Fall Into Wellness" this Saturday (Oct. 7).
The health fair will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on the ground floor of the hospital's Kelly Building, 1500 Fifth Ave. Parking in the hospital garage for the event will be free. Call (412) 664-2306.
A spokeswoman said that free screenings to be offered also will include blood pressure and blood sugar tests and lung function tests. Free giveaways will include "cold and flu survival kits," refreshments and other items. Health professionals will be available to answer questions.
The flu vaccinations will not be given to children under age 18, and a nine-hour fast is recommended for anyone who wants to get a cholesterol screening. No appointments are necessary and the event is open to the public.
In case you missed it: This week on "Two Rivers, 30 Minutes," we talked to Jacqueline Edmondson, the new chancellor of Penn State University Greater Allegheny, about the students, the programs and role of the McKeesport campus in the region and across the state.
(CSX workers assess the damage following a derailment Wednesday in Downtown McKeesport. Almanac photo.)
The Federal Railway Administration has joined CSX Railroad in trying to determine the cause of a coal train derailment Wednesday afternoon in Downtown McKeesport.
Warren Flatau, a public affairs officer with the FRA in Washington, D.C., said investigators from the agency's Region 2 are looking into the accident, which derailed more than two dozen loaded coal cars, including three that flipped over on the ground behind the McKeesport public safety building.
It may be some time before the final cause of the wreck is determined, Flatau said, but a preliminary report based on the railroad's findings will likely be available for the public in about two months.
Train service was restored Wednesday night on one track through the derailment site, with the first train passing through at approximately 11 p.m., said Rob Doolittle, a CSX spokesman.
Trains will continue to operate while the recovery effort is underway, he said.