Washington Co. Company Helps Preserve Blast Furnace Stack

September 22, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Shown at Carrie Furnaces in Rankin are Songer Services' Joe Meneskie, chief executive officer and president; Paul Songer, chairman and founder; and Gregg Preteroti, chief operating officer.

A Washington County company better known for building and repairing active furnaces and smokestacks has just completed a preservation job on the 110-year-old Carrie Furnaces in Rankin.

Songer Services, based in South Franklin Twp., near Washington, Pa., released a video this week detailing their preservation effort at the national historic site, located at the end of the Rankin Bridge, opposite the Waterfront entertainment complex.

You can watch the video on the company's website.

The project involved removing and capping 75 feet of distressed steel and brick from a vent stack at the furnaces. Songer was awarded the contract by the Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation, the regional non-profit organization that oversees the Carrie Furnaces and other historic industrial sites in eight counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.

"While it's true we're used to working on live furnaces, this project was a chance we just couldn't pass up," said Gregg Preteroti, Songer's chief operating officer, in a prepared statement. "This was about working on a historical site that preserves steel history for future generations. It's a great way to honor our founder."

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Senior Wellness and Safety Expo Slated Sept. 28

September 21, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Free flu shots, health screenings and information for senior citizens and veterans will be available when state Sen. Jim Brewster presents his annual Senior Wellness and Safety Expo at the Palisades Ballroom, Downtown.

The event from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. is open to all Mon-Yough area residents.

“The senior expo is an excellent opportunity for seniors from my district to access services and receive assistance,” Brewster said.  “We have had great success in offering help for seniors.”

In addition to health screenings, Brewster said, the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Mobile Outreach Unit will also be on-site to aid veterans and their families.

The Palisades is located at 100 Fifth Ave. next to the McKees Point Marina. Parking is available on the street or in the adjoining marina lot.

(Submitted photo courtesy state Sen. Jim Brewster)


Second Arrest Made in Fatal Double-Shooting

September 21, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Monroeville man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bond in connection with the fatal shooting Sept. 1 of two sisters inside a home in lower 10th Ward.

McKeesport police said Kylee S. Lankford, 19, was arrested by North Versailles Twp. police on a warrant obtained by Allegheny County in connection with the deaths of Melodie Robb, 52, and Kimberly Lesko, 55.

A third person was seriously wounded in what police said was a burglary turned violent.

Lankford was arraigned early Wednesday morning in Allegheny County night court by Magisterial District Judge Edward Tibbs on charges of homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, conspiracy and burglary.

Miras M. Kelly II, 19, of McKeesport was arrested Sept. 7 and is also charged by Allegheny County police with criminal homicide, burglary, robbery, conspiracy and aggravated assault in connection with the deaths of Robb and Lesko.

A formal arraignment on the charges has not yet been scheduled, according to court officials.


Two W.O. Properties Proposed for Land Bank Acquisition

September 21, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, White Oak News

White Oak officials have identified two properties in the borough for possible acquisition by the Tri-COG Land Bank.

At this week's council meeting, Councilman Dave Pasternak discussed the borough’s participation in the land bank, which allows Allegheny County communities more control over the pace of revitalization within their borders.

Operated by the Steel Rivers and Turtle Creek Valley councils of government, the land bank enables municipalities to acquire tax-delinquent properties, eliminate the back property taxes, and then re-sell the properties to new owners.

“The main purpose of the land bank is to take properties in disrepair that can be (put) back on the tax rolls,” Pasternak said. “The land bank will get a percentage of taxes for the first five years, then after that the school district and municipality receive 100 percent of the taxes.”

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White Oak Council Considers Zoning Changes for Marijuana Clinics, Gas Drilling

September 20, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, White Oak News

White Oak council is considering changes to the borough’s zoning rules to govern how it would handle medical marijuana clinics as well as future oil and gas drilling operations.

At a public hearing Monday at the municipal building, Mike Hammond, filling in for borough Solicitor Krisha DiMascio, gave a brief overview of the purpose of each proposed change.

The borough currently has no zoning regulations governing either medical marijuana or oil and gas drilling.

The proposed medical marijuana zoning ordinance, similar to other ordinances passed across state, outlines where a dispensary could be located and provides penalties for violations.

Under the proposed White Oak ordinance, “the dispensaries (could be) zoned only in commercial and light industrial zones, meaning they (could) not be located near any schools,” Council President Ron Massung said.

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Mon-Yough Catholic Parishes Face Sweeping Realignment

September 19, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

  • Editor's Note: We would appreciate hearing from Mon-Yough area Catholics about their opinions on these proposed church groupings. Opinions can be kept anonymous, upon request. Email tubecitytiger@gmail.com.

Roman Catholic churches in East McKeesport, Elizabeth, Glassport, Liberty, McKeesport and White Oak could be put into a single "parish grouping" as the Diocese of Pittsburgh works to address a shortage of priests.

The realignment of the seven parishes --- many of which were created after church mergers in the 1980s, '90s and 2000s --- are being recommended to Bishop David Zubik by a commission as part of an ongoing initiative called "On Mission for The Church Alive!"

The diocese said no immediate church mergers are planned, and said no church buildings are closing at this time.

The groupings were announced this weekend in the diocesan newspaper, the Pittsburgh Catholic.

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Benny Benack III to Headline Penn State Jazz Benefit

September 19, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

(Perry Bindelglass photo courtesy Benny Benack III.)

Hot on the heels of his first solo album, trumpeter Benny Benack III will headline the 14th annual "All That's Jazz" benefit concert at Penn State Greater Allegheny.
A fundraiser for the campus' scholarship fund, the event will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Student Community Center, a spokeswoman said.

Grandson of jazz trumpeter Benny Benack, a Clairton native who popularized traditional and Dixieland-style jazz in the Pittsburgh area in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, Benack III released his debut solo album, "One of a Kind," on Friday.

Over the past 13 years, more than $1 million has been raised for scholarships at Penn State by "All That's Jazz."

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Jerome Street Bridge Repairs Underway

September 19, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

Repairs to McKeesport's Jerome Street Bridge will cause lane restrictions for an indefinite amount of time, the state Department of Transportation has announced.

Traffic is currently being diverted from the right lane on the westbound side of the bridge, heading from Downtown to 10th Ward.

But PennDOT District 11 spokesman Steve Cowan said crews will be doing repairs on the bridge structure in the opposite, eastbound direction. PennDOT employees will conduct the work.

The bridge, which carries more than 11,000 vehicles daily, is scheduled for a $13 million rehabilitation project in 2019.


Duquesne Council Eyes Improvements to Roads, Business District

September 15, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News

Duquesne officials are looking to improve road conditions in the city --- and encourage shopping in its business district.

With the state Department of Transportation planning to repave portions of Route 837, city council on Wednesday voted to approve a maintenance reimbursement agreement to help maintain their portion of the project.

“As part of the agreement, we’re responsible for the curbs and handicapped accessibility ramps,” said Frank Piccolino, city manager.

The work, which will focus on the stretch of road from the Thompson Run Bridge in Duquesne to the Rankin Bridge in Whitaker, will cost the city around $18,000 and will result in repairs to the existing curbs and the installation of new ramps.

Construction on the project is expected to begin sometime next year.

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Log Jammer, Kennywood Staple Since 1975, to Be Retired

September 14, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

Kennywood Park's first million-dollar ride is getting a last hurrah this weekend, and going out with a splash. (Sorry.)

The venerable West Mifflin amusement park announced Thursday that the Log Jammer is being closed and will be replaced by a different attraction.

"It is a bittersweet decision, but one that in time will create some exciting opportunities for our guests," said Jerome Gibas, Kennywood general manager, in a prepared statement. "While no final decisions have been made regarding what will replace the Log Jammer, Kennywood is committed to enhancing our guests' experiences while preserving our signature balance of modern thrills and traditional family favorites."

Kennywood's summer season ends this Sunday. The park re-opens with Halloween themed attractions for Phantom Fright Nights beginning Sept. 29 and continuing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 29. Holiday light displays begin Nov. 24.

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