Crime Stoppers Seeks Help in Solving January Murder

May 26, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help in finding the person or persons responsible for the killing of Eric Johnson Jr. of McKeesport.

Johnson was one of two people shot on the evening of Jan. 30 --- a Saturday --- in the 1800 block of Evans Avenue. The other shooting victim was taken to the hospital and survived, but Johnson, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police received a call at 7:52 p.m. reporting that two people had been shot. When they arrived, they found two people --- including Johnson --- in a 2004 Jeep Cherokee, suffering from gunshot wounds.

Detectives recovered 20 spent shell casings at the scene, a spokeswoman for Crime Stoppers said.

Johnson, a McKeesport Area High School graduate, worked at the Salvation Army of McKeesport and left behind his parents, Eric Johnson Sr. and Darlene Stuvaints, along with brothers, a sister, a grandmother, and a great-grandfather, along with nieces and nephews.

Anyone with information concerning Johnson's shooting is asked to call Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers at (412) 255-TIPS. A reward of up to $1,000 is offered for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of individuals wanted for featured crimes. Callers may remain anonymous.


Art Group Opens Annual Show, Awards Prizes

May 13, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

McKeesport Art Group opened its 58th annual Spring Art Show Friday night at Renziehausen Park's Jacob Woll Pavilion.

The show continues from 12 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, and original art, print and other items ranging from pottery to fabric art will be available for purchase.

For more information, visit the group's website or call (412) 469-2710.

In conjunction with the art show, the Garden Club of McKeesport will hold a "flea-tique" flea market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The event will be held at the Garden Club building next to the rose garden in Renzie.

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Local Letter Carriers Collecting Food Donations Tomorrow

May 13, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

McKeesport-area letter carriers and volunteers are gearing up to do their part during the 24th annual nationwide "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive.

Organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers, the union representing nearly 280,000 active and retired U.S. Postal Service employees, the food drive last year collected 71 million pounds of food across the United States.

Residents are asked to place non-perishable food items into bags at their mailboxes for collection on Saturday.

In the McKeesport area, the collection will begin early Saturday morning, said Chuck Jarrell, food drive coordinator for Letter Carriers Branch 332.

The food collected stays in the areas where it's collected, he said.

"A big chunk goes to Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank -- about two trucks' worth," Jarrell said. "But to help with logistics we keep a lot as local as possible. White Oak's food is taken to Sampson's Mills Presbyterian Church food pantry, and food collected in the Boston area is collected for McKeesport's Salvation Army."

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Heritage Center Event Remembers 1976 Fire

May 11, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Forty years ago this month, a massive fire swept through Downtown McKeesport, destroying the former Famous Department Store, the Elks Lodge, the old Market Street School and several other buildings, and heavily damaging the Memorial Theater, which never re-opened.

On Sunday (May 15), retired firefighters and other residents will discuss their memories of the May 21, 1976, blaze that caused $5 million in damage --- roughly $20.9 million in 2016 dollars --- to the city's business district. More than 40 fire departments from throughout western Pennsylvania fought the fire.

The event begins at 2 p.m. at the McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center, 1832 Arboretum Drive, Renziehausen Park, and will be moderated by Jason Togyer, executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc., and a heritage center board member.

Admission is free and refreshments will be provided by Local Union 10 of the International Association of Firefighters, representing McKeesport firefighters.

For more information, call (412) 678-1832 or visit the center's website.


Liberty Boro. Hosts Community Yard Sale

May 11, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Liberty Borough will hold a community-wide yard sale this Saturday (May 14) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sale will go on "rain or shine."

Nearly 80 houses are expected to participate in the sale, which spans 30 borough streets. For more information, visit the event's Facebook page.

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Police Log: May 11, 2016

May 11, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

  • Arrest records published here were provided by the McKeesport Police Department.
  • A report of an arrest does not mean the person identified has been convicted of a crime.
  • All people arrested are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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City Woman Indicted in Social Security Case

May 05, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport woman was indicted this week and charged with theft of U.S. government property.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said that Social Security benefits for a deceased person was deposited into a bank account held by Karen Bosnak, 52, after that person's death.

The one-count indictment alleges that $13,970 in benefits were deposited between November 2013 and September 2014.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both, Hickton said. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Hull is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Social Security Administration.


City Making Progress on Demolition Backlog

May 04, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

The city is making progress on tearing down abandoned houses and is getting cooperation from at least one of the country's largest banks.

At last night's work session, McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko told council that at least a dozen vacant houses have been torn down by city public works employees since Jan. 1, and said likely "40 to 50" have been demolished in the past two years, when McKeesport purchased a piece of heavy equipment known as an excavator.

Paying an outside contractor to demolish a house can cost $8,000 to $10,000. At those rates, Cherepko said, the city's excavator "is more than paid for."

In at least one case, he said, the home mortgage division of Wells Fargo & Co. transferred an abandoned house to the city, along with $10,000 to pay for its demolition. The bank had taken ownership of the house in a foreclosure when the previous owner defaulted on their mortgage.

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Valley Men Plead Guilty in Cocaine Ring

May 02, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Two Mon Valley men pleaded guilty in federal court to charges they helped traffic cocaine into the Homewood section of Pittsburgh.

Tracey Yancey, 53, of East Pittsburgh pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to drug possession with intent to distribute and unlawful possession of a firearm, while David Irwin, 43, of White Oak pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney David Hickton said today.

Both pleas were entered before U.S. District Judge Mark R. Hornak in federal court in Pittsburgh.

Yancey and Irwin were both arrested following a joint investigation by the FBI and local police that began in December 2013 after a wave of drug-related violence in Homewood.

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1-Adam-12: Your Cars Are Ready

April 29, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

A sharp-eyed reader who would prefer to remain anonymous spotted these vintage 1970s Plymouths and AMC Matadors being turned into police cars at a shop on Lebanon Road, near the West Mifflin municipal building, and sent us this photo.
"Is the West Mifflin police department going retro?" our reader asked. Maybe. Or else Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane of "The Dukes of Hazzard" is in town --- he did wreck an awful lot of similar police cars on that show.
We don't know for sure, but it seems more likely that they're being prepared for the new Netflix series "Mindhunters," which starts filming in Pittsburgh in May. In March, Pittsburgh's Nancy Mosser Casting put out a request asking owners of cars from the 1960s through early 1980s if they were interested in participating.
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