Ollie's Outlet Coming to McKeesport in March 2017

September 14, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Nicholas Eckhart photo via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

A growing discount department store chain known for its quirky advertising and its deep selection of books is coming to McKeesport.

Work has begun on an Ollie's Bargain Outlet store in the former Jim Shorkey Ford dealership at Olympia Shopping Center on Walnut Street.

The store represents the first step into Allegheny County by the Harrisburg-based retail chain.

Jerry Altland, vice president of real estate for Harrisburg, Pa., based Ollie's, said the 32,000-square-foot McKeesport store is projected to open in March 2017. Remodeling has already begun.

 
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Filmmaker Explores Jewish Roots, Heritage in McKeesport

September 12, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Documentary filmmaker Sam Zolten has turned his camera lens on a variety of subjects over the past 40 years, many of them as part of the industrial filmmaking company he operates in Bala Cynwyd, outside Philadelphia.

One of his films --- 2002's "Just Call Me Kade," the story of a transgender boy in Tucson, Ariz., has been widely used as a teaching tool around the country.

Now, the McKeesport native and Temple University graduate is focusing on a much more personal subject --- the story of Jewish families, such as his own, who emigrated to McKeesport beginning in the 19th century.

"It's a labor of love," Zolten said.

Zolten has interviewed more than 140 people for his upcoming feature-length documentary, "Missing McKeesport," and has raised more than $17,000 through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

Zolten, who is working with associate editor James T. Rowland, has eight more days to reach the $18,000 goal necessary to complete the movie.

 
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Sewerage System Sale Valued at $156M

September 12, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The company buying McKeesport's sewerage authority and its three wastewater treatment plants has put a value on the sale of $156 million.

In a joint press release, city officials and Pennsylvania American Water Company said the final price is subject to a complete appraisal of the system, which serves 22,000 customers in 12 municipalities.

Last week, the board of the Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport joined McKeesport City Council in voting in favor of the sale of the authority's assets to Pennsylvania American.

The sale is subject to approval by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the state Department of Environmental Protection. Kathy L. Pape, president of Pennsylvania American, said the company expects to close on the sale in the second half of 2017, pending those approvals.

 
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Inspire Christian Music Festival Returns to Renzie Park

September 08, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The 16th annual Inspire Christian Music Festival, sponsored by McKeesport-based The Well Ministries, will return to the Lions Bandshell in Renziehausen Park on Saturday (Sept. 10).

Admission is free. Refreshments will be available but picnic baskets are also welcome, says Kris Rhoades, who organizes the festival with her husband, Lou. Attendees should bring a blanket or a lawn chair to sit on.

Performances begin at 12 noon and are scheduled to include Gospel Illusions, Puppets for the King, Heart-Beat, Daughters of His Grace, The Coddingtons, Ed Lutheran, Tree of Life Open Bible Church, Bob Fagin and God's Grace, Cross Vision, Chalice and Signs of Faith Ministry. The schedule is subject to change.

 
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Police Log: Sept. 8, 2016

September 08, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

  • Arrest records published here were provided by the McKeesport Police Department.
  • Not all arrests are published.
  • 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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Council Moves Forward With Sewerage Authority Sale

September 07, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Correction added, 11:57 a.m. Sept. 8, 2016)

With no controversy, McKeesport City Council on Wednesday took the first step toward selling the city's sewerage authority to Pennsylvania-American Water Company.

By 6-0 vote, with Councilwoman LuEthel Nesbit abstaining, councilors authorized the Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport to enter into a sales agreement with the water company. Nesbit is a member of the municipal authority's board. The authority board will meet on Thursday to consider the deal; Nesbit said Wednesday she will abstain from voting there, as well.

In a separate vote, council also accepted a $5 million advance payment from Penn-American. If for any reason the sale isn't consummated, the city will be required to repay the money, Cherepko said.

Although the final sale price of the sewerage authority isn't yet known, its outstanding debts --- including some $62.5 million spent recently to upgrade and expand the system --- top $90 million, city officials have said.

In a prepared statement, Kathy Pape, president of Penn-American, said Wednesday night that the company was "pleased" with city council's decision and was looking forward to the authority's vote on Thursday.

 
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Tutoring, Afterschool Help Offered By Christy Park Church

September 07, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Christy Park United Methodist Church will offer afterschool tutoring and homework help beginning Tuesday, Sept. 20.

"Cool School Featuring the Homework Helpers" will run from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays throughout the school year.

The program will feature tutoring, a quiet place to do homework, and snacks, and is completely free, a spokeswoman said.

However, all students must get written permission from their parent or guardian, and must have a ride home at 6 p.m. with a parent, guardian or responsible older sibling.

The church is located at the corner of 29th Avenue and Beale Street in the Christy Park section of the city. Call (412) 678-3110 for more information.

 

City Council May Take Steps to Sell Sewerage Authority

September 06, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

In a long expected move, McKeesport City Council on Wednesday night is expected to take the first steps toward selling the city's sewerage authority.

At a council work session on Tuesday, Mayor Michael Cherepko said the city has received two competing proposals to purchase the Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport, which also serves customers in Dravosburg, Duquesne, East McKeesport, Elizabeth Twp., Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln, North Versailles Twp., Port Vue, Versailles and White Oak.

Cherepko has recommended to council that the city accept a proposal from Pennsylvania-American Water Co. The exact sale price has yet to be determined pending an appraisal and an analysis of outstanding debts owed by the sewerage authority, but it will be in excess of $90 million, said J. Jason Elash, city solicitor.

"As a ratepayer and as a taxpayer, I would say there are more pros than cons," Cherepko said. "In fact, I see very few cons."

 
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Off-Duty Police Officer Killed in Dravosburg Crash

September 04, 2016 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Friends and colleagues of a Duquesne police officer who died in a motorcycle crash Saturday night in Dravosburg are setting up a memorial fund for his son.

Duquesne police Officer Robert Gogo Jr., 40, was pronounced dead at the emergency room of UPMC McKeesport hospital about an hour after the crash, said a spokeswoman for the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office.

Allegheny County police said Gogo was off-duty and was traveling south on Richland Avenue on his motorcycle, toward the Mansfield Bridge, when the bike collided with a car headed northbound, toward Dravosburg Hill.

 
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Driver Charged in Crash That Injured Five

September 02, 2016 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Turtle Creek man has been charged by McKeesport police in connection with a four car accident last week in the city's East End that injured him as well as four other people.

Henry J. Robinson Jr., 63, faces a preliminary hearing Oct. 17 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi Jr. on charges of causing an accident involving personal injury and driving with a suspended license.

McKeesport police said officers were dispatched on Aug. 24 during the afternoon rush hour for a report of a multiple vehicle accident on East Fifth Avenue at Hartman Street.

 
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