Mon-Yough Communities Post Halloween Activity Schedules

October 23, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements, Duquesne News, White Oak News

(Compiled by Cami DiBattista and Jason Togyer)

Local communities, including McKeesport, Duquesne and White Oak, have posted their Halloween activity schedules.


McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko invites children 12 and younger to take part in the city’s annual Halloween Parade and Party in Renziehausen Park on Saturday (Oct. 28). Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Tennis Courts and the parade travels to the Jacob Woll Pavilion for an indoor party featuring seasonal crafts, storytime and hot dog lunch. This event is co-sponsored by the Carnegie Library of McKeesport.

Trick or treat hours in the city are 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31.


White Oak also will have trick or treat from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31.

In addition, White Oak's "Truck-or-Treat" will take place on Saturday (Oct. 28) at the White Oak American Legion,, 2813 Capitol St. The event will include a parade and after party, where attendees are invited to explore a variety of service vehicles such as fire trucks, tow trucks, garbage trucks and ambulances.

 
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Serra Boys Take on Springdale Soccer in Playoffs Today

October 21, 2017 |

By Josh Rizzo | Posted in: Sports

Serra Catholic goalkeeper Teddy Almeter slides to try and block a shot by a teammate Thursday at East Allegheny High School. The Eagles open the WPIAL Class A playoffs against Springdale today at North Allegheny. (Photo by Josh Rizzo, special to Tube City Almanac)


When things go wrong, the Serra Catholic boys' soccer team tries to find the right attack.

The Eagles (9-7-1, 7-5) think that's the proper mindset for this afternoon, when they take on seventh-seeded Springdale (12-4-1) in the first round of the Class A playoffs. Game time at North Allegheny is 1 p.m.

The 10th-seeded Serra High team didn’t point to a signature victory as a point of confidence. Heading into the playoffs, the Eagles are ecstatic about a scoreless draw that capped a 1-4-1 slide to end the regular season.

Serra Catholic stayed together on Oct. 17 on the road and tied a Keystone Oaks’ team, which finished 12-5-1 and is headed to the WPIAL Class AA postseason.

 
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White Oak Council Prepares For Community Center Opening

October 18, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: White Oak News

Another step has been taken toward the opening of the White Oak Community Center.

At Monday's council meeting, borough Council President Ron Massung said the center has received its official occupancy permit and the building is being cleaned and prepared with supplies.

The official public opening will hopefully happen in December, Massung said, but a so-called "soft opening" will happen next month when White Oak hosts a Steel Rivers Council of Governments meeting at the facility.

In other business:

  • Council approved the borough's application for a community-development block grant in the amount of $49,000 to demolish houses at 736 O’Neil Blvd., 608 Osborne St., 606 New Jersey St., 700 New Jersey St., 907 Coulter Road, 2420 O’Neil Blvd. and 1828 California St.
 
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Scout Troop Attends White Oak Council Meeting

October 18, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: White Oak News

Boy Scout Troop 1640 attended Monday's White Oak borough council meeting to observe the actions of local government.

The visit was a requirement for the Boy Scouts' "Citizenship in the Community" merit badge, according to Scout Master Bill Klimek.

(Photo by Cami DiBattista, special to Tube City Almanac)

 

Residents Voice Objections to County's Bus Rapid Transit Plan

October 16, 2017 |

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

Above: Port Authority senior analyst Amy Silbermann and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald greet an audience Monday night at the Palisades ballroom in McKeesport. (Tube City Almanac photo)


Port Authority officials and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald came to McKeesport on Monday night to explain a "bus rapid transit" system that they said would relieve overcrowding and late buses between downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland.

But what residents heard was that McKeesport, Duquesne and Homestead could soon be getting 45 percent less service from the heavily traveled 61C route --- and they don't like it.

At times, the atmosphere in the Palisades ballroom was tense, with arguments breaking out at one table between residents and Port Authority board members, and Fitzgerald exchanging sharp remarks with transit advocates in the audience.

"I chose to live in McKeesport because I saw that the bus service would be beneficial to me," said Dan Beyerlein, who said the 61C is his lifeline to doctors in Squirrel Hill and Oakland, and provides a connection to his church in Wilkinsburg.

Eliminating 45 percent of the 61C's daily runs to McKeesport, Beyerlein said, would make him unable to get his connecting buses. "Then I'm late to my doctor's appointments and there's nothing I can do about it," he said.

 
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Volunteers, Students Break Ground on Grandview Greenspace

October 16, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Vickie Babyak photo special to Tube City Almanac

(Photos by Vickie Babyak, special to Tube City Almanac)


Volunteers and students from McKeesport's Youth CAST along with staff from GTECH Strategies broke ground Saturday morning for improvements to a greenspace at the corner of Grandview Avenue and Auburn Street.

GTECH, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit, has been working in the city since 2015 to reclaim and re-use vacant lots for community purposes, while Youth CAST, which stands for Communities and Schools Together, is a McKeesport-based leadership development program for young adults in grades 6 through 12.

Last year, in cooperation with students and several other local organizations, GTECH and Youth CAST developed a playground and greenspace --- called a "Green Playce" --- at the corner of Jenny Lind and Butler streets.

Above are Youth CAST members, seated, Ajayla Johnson, Calise Johnson, Paul Francis and Isaiah Johnson, and standing, Nyiana Watson, Youth CAST program coordinator Aaron Johnson, Deja Newby, Skylar Palmer, Nicora Watson, Zekeil Palmer, Denaja Newby, Sontee Peterson, Dajere Newby and Savanah Still.

More photos below the jump.

 
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Attorney, Newspaper Co-Owner Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case

October 16, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A suspended attorney pleaded guilty on Monday to charges he embezzled funds from one of his clients, then used the money to support the Mon Valley Independent newspaper.

Keith A. Bassi, 61, of Jefferson Twp., Fayette County, will be sentenced on three counts of mail fraud March 14 by U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab, said a spokeswoman for Acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song. Bassi faces up to 60 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both.

Bassi's license to practice law has been suspended, the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania announced on Aug. 16.

Prosecutors said that Bassi had power of attorney over the estate of an elderly client suffering from dementia. They accuse him of engaging in "a series of financial transactions" in which he diverted the estate's assets into his own accounts at CFS Bank and PNC Bank.

 
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One Dead in Jenny Lind Shooting; City Man Charged With Homicide

October 14, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Updated Oct. 15 with victim's name and arrest details.

Updated Oct. 16 with bond and arraignment information.

Above: Damien L. Ashley. (Photo courtesy Allegheny County Police.)


A shooting Saturday afternoon in the 1600 block of Jenny Lind Street has left one man dead and another man hospitalized and facing charges.

Allegheny County police said the shooting stemmed from an argument between the two victims. McKeesport police were dispatched to the area at 1:20 p.m. and found two people suffering from gunshot wounds.

One victim was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He was identified by the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office as Wyatt L. Gaza, 28, of Pittsburgh.

Minutes later, McKeesport police were called to UPMC McKeesport hospital where a man was reportedly being treated for gunshot wounds. County police said that man has been identified as Damien L. Ashley, 28, of McKeesport.

In a prepared release Sunday afternoon, Allegheny County detectives alleged that Ashley and Gaza were arguing and that they believe Ashley began shooting at Gaza, who returned fire. Police allege that Ashley fled after being shot and said he was driven to the hospital in a private vehicle.

Ashley was later flown to a Pittsburgh hospital's trauma center for treatment, police said.

According to court records, Ashley has been charged with homicide, unauthorized possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license and tampering with evidence.

He was arraigned Monday and is currently being held without bond in the Allegheny County Jail pending a preliminary hearing at 11 a.m. Oct. 27 before Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning.

 
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Library Homeowners Urged to Apply for Rehab Grants

October 13, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Cornell Street is part of the city's Library and Cultural District. (Tube City Almanac file photo.)


If you live in the city's Library and Cultural District and own your home, Joe Costa at ACTION-Housing wants to hear from you as soon as possible.

Costa, a housing associate with the non-profit agency, is putting together a grant request to the state's housing trust fund and is seeking homeowners whose houses need remodeling or rehabilitation work.

"We have one candidate signed up already," he said. "We need 10 candidates altogether. These could be safety upgrades, structural repairs, roof, wiring, plumbing repairs --- anything needed to keep a house up to code."

People who are interested should call Costa at (412) 281-2102, extension 2053, or email jcosta@actionhousing.org.

Interested residents who want to learn more about the program are being urged to attend a meeting at 7 p.m. Oct 17 at McKeesport Presbyterian Church, corner of Versailles and Union avenues.

 
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New Police Officer Joins Duquesne Force

October 13, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne has added a new police officer.

During Wednesday's city council meeting, Mayor Phillip Krivacek reported that Thomas Cranmer was hired Sept. 15 at the recommendation of police Chief Richard Adams.

“Our great department now has 12 officers, which is the highest we have had in some time,” Krivacek said.

In other business:

  • Councilwoman June Wilson announced that water rates will be increasing 1.8 percent next year. The rate increase was imposed by the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County, which supplies Duquesne's water.

  • Councilman Timothy Caldwell announced that the city has acquired a house at 32 S. Sixth St. in lieu of back taxes following a 10-year court case.

    He recommended council survey the property and obtain quotes for demolishing it.
 
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