New Effort Focuses on Improving Health in Mon Valley

September 14, 2015 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The Allegheny County Health Department has been awarded a $150,000 two-year grant from the Jefferson Foundation to launch the Live Well Allegheny Mon Valley Initiative. 

The funding will aid the ACHD and its partners to increase the number of people in the Mon Valley with access to smoke-free and tobacco-free environments, access to healthy food and beverage options, and access to physical activity opportunities.

"We are so excited to be able to work with partners in the Mon Valley to address disparities in chronic disease outcomes," said health department director Dr. Karen Hacker. "The Jefferson Foundation is providing us with the resources but our partners are the real drivers of this collaboration."

The municipalities of the Mon Valley were greatly impacted by the collapse of the steel industry in the 1970s. Despite proximity to Pittsburgh, the communities of the Mon Valley have a disproportionate burden of chronic disease --- including cancer, heart disease, obesity and smoking --- compared to the county as a whole.

Many of Allegheny County’s neediest residents, about 64,000, live in the municipalities of the Monongahela River Valley, particularly in communities with the highest poverty rates.

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White Oak Authors Remember 'Old Versailles Twp.'

September 11, 2015 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History, Podcast

White Oak Park

(White Oak Park photo courtesy Allegheny County Parks Foundation)

The communities that now include White Oak, East McKeesport, North Versailles Twp., Wilmerding, Wall, South Versailles Twp., Versailles and much of McKeesport were part of one large township until the 1800s.

"Versailles Twp." was one of seven original communities created when Allegheny County was formed in 1788, and stretched from the mouth of Turtle Creek, down the south bank of the Monongahela River to the Youghiogheny River.

Over the years, though, as white settlers moved into the region and established towns and industries, communities were carved away from Versailles Twp., beginning with the "borough" (not city) of McKeesport in 1842 and continuing until 1948, when the remaining seven square miles of Versailles Twp. became White Oak Borough.

Local authors (and brothers) Frank Kordalski Jr. and Mike Kordalski have written a book called Old Versailles Township. They were our guests last week on "Two Rivers, 30 Minutes." We asked them how they became interested in the subject, and about some of the colorful events and places that shaped more than 200 years of history.

"Two Rivers, 30 Minutes" airs at 8:30 a.m. Fridays on WEDO (810) and at 8 a.m. Sundays on WZUM (1550), and is also available as a free podcast from Stitcher and iTunes.

. . .

ADVERTISEMENT: Support for "Two Rivers, 30 Minutes" comes in part from the McKeesport Hospital Foundation. Since 1976, the foundation has addressed key concerns that affect our good health, as well as our education, social needs, recreation, and safety and security. The foundation partners with UPMC McKeesport and other agencies to eliminate barriers to all services for all residents of the Mon Valley. Visit, or call (412) 664-2590.


New Aldi Sets Grand Opening Sept. 24

September 11, 2015 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Aldi's McKeesport location will open to the public on Sept. 24, a spokeswoman said.

The new supermarket at the corner of Eden Park Boulevard and Walnut Street in Christy Park is part of a wave of stores being opened by the German-based discount chain as it reportedly plans to go head-to-head with Wal-Mart and other U.S. retailing giants.

The Consumerist website reported today that Aldi is in the middle of "a large-scale expansion" that it hopes will "make it a dominant player in the U.S."

Citing reports in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, the Consumerist says Aldi intends to become a major competitor to U.S. chains including Kroger, Safeway and SuperValu. SuperValu supplies Pittsburgh-area Shop'n Saves.

McKeesport's Aldi will be located in a building constructed in 2012 by the now-defunct Bottom Dollar Foods chain.

A subsidiary of a German company, Aldi purchased more than 30 Pennsylvania and New Jersey locations from Bottom Dollar when that chain was closed by its parent company at the beginning of 2015.

Aldi is also renovating a former Bottom Dollar market in Homestead and will re-open it as an Aldi as well.

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NHT Police Set Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

September 10, 2015 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

North Huntingdon Twp. police will accept unused or expired prescription drugs for disposal from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Sep. 12), a spokesperson said.

No needles can be accepted.

The take-back program is at the police station, 11279 Center Highway. For more information, call (724) 863-8800.


Route 88 to Close for Repairs Near Finleyville

September 10, 2015 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A section of state Route 88 will be closed between Ginger Hill Road and Patterson Road beginning Sept. 21 and continuing through late October, a district spokesman for the state Department of Transportation said.

The closure will be in place to allow crews to remove and replace a retaining wall that has failed between Route 88 and Froman Run.

The posted detour uses Route 837 and Finleyville-Elrama Road. The contractor on this $522,500 project is Allison Park Contracting, the spokesman said.


District Proposes Safety Improvements in Wake of Student's Death

September 09, 2015 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: News

Local, school and state officials will make several changes to the intersection of O'Neil Boulevard and Eden Park Boulevard after a student died there last week while trying to cross the street.

The changes will include posting crossing guards, putting railings along the sidewalks to discourage students from jaywalking, staggering school bus departures to improve visibility, and additional safety education for students, said Kristen Davis, spokeswoman for McKeesport Area School District.

Deonte Cobbs, 15, was struck by a school bus on the afternoon of Sept. 3 as he crossed Eden Park Boulevard near the high school and middle school campus. He died at UPMC McKeesport hospital of his injuries.

District resident Kelly Sickels has created an online fundraiser to collect money to defray the cost of a funeral. The GoFundMe page had collected almost $2,000 as of Wednesday night.

Cobbs was hit not far from where one of his classmates, 14-year-old Alyson Higdon, was struck and killed in March 2014 when she stepped into the path of a truck.

The two deaths in less than two years spurred parents to stage a vigil and a protest. Over the past few school days, parents and grandparents have volunteered to help students cross the street safely.

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Sept. 22 Rock Concert Will Benefit City's Auberle

September 03, 2015 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Thirteen Pittsburgh-area musicians and WDVE morning show host Randy Baumann will donate their talent and time on Sept. 22 at a rock concert to benefit McKeesport-based Auberle.

The 11th annual Voices Carry concert at Stage AE on Pittsburgh's North Side will begin at 6:30 p.m. and continue with live music until 10:30 p.m. The concert is sponsored in part by Huntington Bank.

Performers scheduled to appear include Donnie Iris, Joe Grushecky, Chris Higbee, Melinda Collaizzi, Tony Janflone Jr., Sandy Dowe, Scott Blasey of The Clarks and others.

"Voices Carry is our largest event of the year and it's been one of the most exciting events in the city for the last 11 years," Auberle CEO John Lydon said.

"We are grateful that Pittsburgh's finest musicians and Randy Baumann donate their time each year to raise awareness about the work that Auberle does. It's a fun opportunity to celebrate with our supporters and introduce new people to Auberle."

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Car Show Sept. 20 at McKees Point Marina

August 27, 2015 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport Trail Commission and McKee's Point Marina will host a car show from 12 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 20 along the Youghiogheny River.

Registration is $7 per vehicle.

This annual event is sponsored by the Trail Commission with all proceeds benefiting the McKeesport section of the Great Allegheny Passage.

The first 100 cars will be awarded a commemorative dashboard plaque and trophies will be awarded in categories that include "Best of Show." The trophies are being donated by state Sen. Jim Brewster.

For more information or to register, call (412) 523-2972 or email

Genealogy Program Sept. 12 at Heritage Center

August 26, 2015 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center will host its annual genealogy program at 2 p.m. Sept. 12.

Kenneth White from the Archives and Records Center of the Diocese of Pittsburgh will be at the center to describe information about doing genealogical research at the Roman Catholic diocese, including the types of information found there and how to access it. This program is free and open to the public.

The Heritage Center is located at 1832 Arboretum Drive in Renziehausen Park. For more information, call (412) 678-1832 or visit the center's website.


Mon-Yough Community-Business Expo to be Held Sept. 8

August 26, 2015 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The Mon-Yough Area Chamber of Commerce will hold the 2015 "Community-Business Expo and Career Fair" from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 8 at West Mifflin Area High School, a spokesman said.

Dubbed "Where Education, Business and Community Meet," the expo will include demonstrations and information from area businesses and educational institutions aimed at residents of the Mon Valley as well as students and their parents.

Organizations interested in participating may reserve a table for $75 (Mon-Yough chamber of commerce members) or $100 (non-members). Non-members who pay the $100 fee will receive membership in the chamber for the remainder of 2015.

For more information, call Maury Burgwin at (412) 678-2450.


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