Local Penn State Historian Discusses MLK's Work and Ongoing Legacy

January 18, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News, Podcast

Many universities --- including Penn State's Greater Allegheny Campus in McKeesport --- were closed today for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

But instead of taking the holiday as a day off, about 90 students from the McKeesport campus and six other Penn State campuses in Beaver, Altoona, Behrend, DuBois, Fayette and New Kensington gathered in McKeesport, and then fanned out through the Pittsburgh area to volunteer at charities such as McKeesport Little Theatre, Auberle,  Braddock Carnegie Library and Braddock Free Store, and for public spaces such as White Oak Park.

The event is a tradition that began eight years ago, in an effort to use Penn State Pride to give back to the community, a campus spokeswoman said.

To kick off the event, history instructor Johnathan White gave a keynote address to students before they headed out to their volunteer sites.

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County Police Seek Public's Help in Two Shootings

January 17, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Allegheny County police are asking for the public's help in solving two shootings in the Turtle Creek valley area, less than an hour apart, on Saturday afternoon.

The motives in the shootings --- in Turtle Creek and then about two miles away in North Braddock --- are not clear, police said. Police did not indicate that the shootings were connected in any way.

The first incident happened at about 3:25 p.m. Saturday in the Penn Plaza shopping mall along Route 130. Turtle Creek police were dispatched in response to 9-1-1 calls about a shooting.

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Braddock Radio Station Purchased By Local Public Media Group

January 14, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

The Pittsburgh area will soon have a jazz radio station again after nearly five years without one.

Pittsburgh Public Media announced today the acquisition of WZUM (1550), an AM station licensed to Braddock, for $75,000. (WZUM airs Tube City Community Media's weekly talk show, "Two Rivers, 30 Minutes.")

A letter of intent and asset purchase agreement was signed by WZUM’s owners, AM Guys LLC, and by Chuck Leavens, president of Pittsburgh Public Media.

The sale is pending approval by the Federal Communications Commission, a process that could take several months, Leavens said. When the sale is complete, PPM intends to add jazz programming to WZUM along with other public-interest features, Leavens said.

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| News

NAMI McKeesport Area to Meet

January 13, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

NAMI McKeesport Area affiliate will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 122 of the Frable Building on the  Penn State Greater Allegheny Campus. 

Speaker  Layla Banihashemi will discuss a new study at the University of Pittsburgh focusing on young adults with mental illness, age 18 to middle age.  A care and share session will follow the talk.  The meeting is free and open to the public.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a support, advocacy and education group for family members and friends of people with mental illness.  For more information, call 412-373-7977.


Police Log: Jan. 13, 2016

January 13, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Provided by the Southwest Regional Police Department:

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Police Log: Jan. 12, 2016

January 12, 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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Police Make Arrests in Connection With Local Fires

January 12, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

McKeesport police have made arrests in connection with two fires they say were deliberately set.

City police said Sean Michael Gray, 27, of Ohio Avenue, Glassport was stopped by officers Thursday on Perry Street, near the scene of a fire in a vacant house in the 300 block of Atlantic Avenue in the city's lower 10th Ward. Gray has been arrested and charged with two counts of arson.

In a separate incident, McKeesport police have charged David Whatley, 21, of the 1000 block of McCleary Street with multiple counts of arson in connection with a New Year's Day fire on Cleveland Street.

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January 08, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News, Podcast

As many of you know, I do a weekly talk show --- "Two Rivers, 30 Minutes" --- that's heard on McKeesport's WEDO (810) and Braddock's WZUM (1550), as well as on our Internet radio station, www.WMCK.FM.

You can also get it as a podcast on your smartphone, computer or iPod --- or, at least you can, when I remember to upload the files. With the holidays, I did a poor job of that! Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Well, I've rectified that. There are three (count 'em! three!) new episodes of "Two Rivers" available for download from Stitcher and iTunes.

For our most recent episode, airing this weekend, I talked to Carol Frazier, news editor of the Daily News, and Terri Pollock, an ad sales rep and page designer for the paper, about the paper's closing on Dec. 31.

How did the newspaper bind together more than two dozen Mon-Yough communities? What impact will the loss of the newspaper have on the McKeesport and Steel Valley areas? What are the problems the loss of a local newspaper poses for democracy?

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Clairton Man Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Trafficking Charge

January 07, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Clairton man pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of sex trafficking of a child, U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Robert Allen Middlebrook, 41, pleaded guilty to one count before U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab in Pittsburgh.

Prosecutors say that in February 2015, Middlebrook "knowingly recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided and obtained a female minor" to engage in commercial sex acts. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation, a spokeswoman said.

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Local Fire Service Vet Tapped for County Post

January 07, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A local man who currently serves with the Liberty Borough Volunteer Fire Department has been named interim director of Allegheny County Emergency Services.

Matthew J. Brown was promoted today by Allegheny County Manager William D. McKain, a county spokeswoman announced. Brown had been serving as the county's deputy director of operations and training and previously served as director of protection services and manager of corporate fire protection for U.S. Steel.

He holds professional certifications from the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Fire Protection Association, and in 2014 was named executive director of the Pittsburgh Regional Business Coalition for Homeland Security.

A life member of Munhall Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, Brown is a graduate of Steel Valley High School and has a bachelor's degree from the University of Phoenix and more than 30 years of experience in emergency services, emergency management, and industrial safety and hazardous materials.

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