Crowds Enjoy Labor Day Weekend Rib-Fest, Car Cruise

September 04, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Crowds turned out at Renziehausen Park this weekend for the seventh-annual McKeesport Rib Fest, including a car cruise on Sunday sponsored by the McKeesport Lions Club.

Events conclude this evening with a concert by The Igniters at 7, followed by fireworks. Vickie Babyak took these photos for Tube City Almanac.

Chuck Blasko's Vogues performed at the Lions Bandshell at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Vietnam Veterans: Sam Gallo of North Versailles Twp. served in the Air Force from 1969 to 1971; Chris Tatchel served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1968; and Dan Schlegel of McKeesport, served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1971.

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One Dead in Dravosburg Bus Crash

September 02, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

(Updated with victim's name, 10:28 p.m.)

A 41-year-old woman was killed Saturday morning when the car she was driving collided with a Port Authority bus on Dravosburg Hill, Allegheny County police said.

Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard and Richland Avenue were still closed at 12 noon as county homicide detectives investigated. Traffic was being turned around at Lebanon Church Road and at Sixth Street in Dravosburg.

The victim was identified late Saturday as Jennifer Benjock Sprowls of Dravosburg.

Allegheny County police said the wreck occurred about 8:30 a.m. in the 700 block of Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard when Sprowls' car, which was headed south toward McKeesport, went out of control, striking a guardrail and then colliding with the bus.

The bus was headed toward West Mifflin Garage from McKeesport, said Port Authority spokesman Adam Brandolph. Brandolph said the bus, running on the 61C McKeesport route, was not in service at the time of the crash and no passengers were aboard.

Sprowls was pronounced dead at the scene. County police said she was not wearing a seatbelt and appeared to be talking on the phone with a co-worker at the time of the accident. Port Authority of Allegheny County police also are investigating.

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West Mifflin Veterans, Community To Remember 9/11

September 01, 2017 |

By Mike Mauer | Posted in: Announcements

Above: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 914 Intrepid West Mifflin Chaplain Gene Staudt, left, and Commander Jake Bradich display a Flag of Honor in preparation for a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony to be held at Mitchell Paige Memorial Park 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11. 

The event will feature guest speaker Jimmy Young, a firefighter with the McKeesport Fire Department who was on site at the 9/11 aftermath, as well as other local first responders. (Mike Mauer photo)

West Mifflin Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 914 Intrepid, first responders and civic leaders will be on hand for a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at Mitchell Paige Memorial Park Sept. 11. 

Slated to begin at 6:30 p.m., the event will feature remarks by local officials, music, and a wreath laying in tribute to the more than 3,000 Americans who were killed 16 years ago during the al Qaeda terrorist attacks.  Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Featured guest speaker at the ceremony will be Jimmy Young, a firefighter with the McKeesport Fire Department who was on site at the 9/11 aftermath. 

Other participants and attendees scheduled to attend include West Mifflin Mayor Chris Kelly, members of West Mifflin Borough Council and the West Mifflin Recreation Committee, firefighters from the Homeville #1 VFC Station 293, the Duquesne Annex VFC Station 294, the West Mifflin #3 VFC Station 295, the Skyview VFC Station 296, representatives from the West Mifflin Police Department, and personnel from the Baldwin EMS Station 510.

“We all remember where we were when the September 11, 2001 tragedy took place," said event organizer and VFW Post 914 member David G. Jackel, a retired senior chief petty officer, who was decorated with the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal during his active military service. "We should never forget the sacrifices made and heroism shown by first responders, military personnel and courageous citizens.”

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Two Dead in Early Morning Shooting

September 01, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

(UPDATED with additional information from medical examiner.)

Two people are dead and a third is hospitalized following a shooting this morning in lower 10th Ward.

The victims have been identified by the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office as Kimberly Lesko, 55, and Melodie J. Robb, 52. Both women were pronounced dead at the scene at 3:26 a.m. today, the medical examiner’s office said.

The medical examiner’s office said the incident occured at 3:07 a.m. in a home in the 400 block of Gross Street. Upon arrival, McKeesport police found three people suffering from gunshot wounds, Allegheny County police Lt. Andrew Schurman said in a prepared statement.

The third victim, a man whose name was not released by police, was taken to the hospital. Allegheny County homicide detectives are investigating.

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.


Football Preview: Tigers Look to Keep Momentum Going

August 31, 2017 |

By Josh Rizzo | Posted in: Sports

There’s been one topic of conversation throughout the offseason for McKeesport senior quarterback John Harper and his teammates: How can the Tigers follow their best season in 11 years by taking another stride forward?

McKeesport reached Heinz Field to play in the newly-created WPIAL 5A championship game last December before falling in a heart-wrenching overtime contest, 38-37, to West Allegheny.

“That’s all we’ve been talking about every day, honestly,” said Harper, who will start under center for the first time after playing at running back and defensive back last season.

The Tigers, who finished 9-3 last season and tied for second place in the Big East Conference, won the last of their three WPIAL crowns Class 4A back in 2005.

McKeesport will kick off its run toward another championship at 7 p.m. Friday against Franklin Regional in Murrysville. (Editor's note: The game will be televised on WPNT-TV "The Point" 22.)

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West Newton Library Plans Book Sale

August 30, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

West Newton Public Library will hold its fall book sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 8 and 9 at the historic John Plumer House on South Water Street in the borough.

A spokesman said there are four rooms "packed with books" and that visitors can fill a bag with books for $5.

For more information, contact the library at (724) 633-0798.


Christy Park UM Church Schedules Upcoming Events

August 30, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Christy Park United Methodist Church, 29th Avenue at Beale Street, has scheduled a number of upcoming events, a spokeswoman said.

  • "Kids' Kitchen" will be held at 6 p.m. Sept. 6. All kids are invited to come and help bake cookies for the upcoming pancake breakfast.
  • A pancake breakfast will be held from 8 a.m. to 12 noon Sept. 9, with bake sale. Proceeds benefit the church and its activities. 
  • A barbecue dinner will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 7, featuring sauces prepared by McKeesport's own BBQ Stu Wilson.

For more information, about the church, call (412) 678-3110 or visit the Facebook page.

(Photo courtesy Christy Park United Methodist Church, via Facebook)


West Mifflin Man Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case

August 30, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A West Mifflin man who once ran one of the largest mortgage brokerage businesses in the Pittsburgh area pleaded guilty this week in federal court to conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.

James Nassida, 49, faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, said Soo C. Song, acting U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh, in a prepared statement.

Sentencing before Senior U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose has been scheduled for Jan. 10, a spokeswoman said.

Nassida and his sister, Janna Nassida, were convicted in 2016 of conspiring to submit fraudulent mortgage applications through their business, Century III Home Equity in Baldwin.

But James Nassida was granted a new trial earlier this year after Ambrose concluded that his attorney had fallen asleep numerous times during the first trial, denying him of his right to legal representation.

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Chief: New Fire Engines Will Make City Department More Efficient

August 30, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Above: McKeesport fire Chief Jeff Tomovscik and firefighter Jay Pravdica pose with a new fire engine added to the city's department. The city has also purchased a new ladder truck. Tube City Almanac photo.)

If you're a car buff, a 500-horsepower, 12-liter engine sounds pretty impressive. (That's about 732 cubic inches, for those of us who don't speak metric.)

But when you put it into a 52,000-pound vehicle, such as a fire truck carrying a 78-foot-long steel ladder, "it's working pretty hard," says Jeff Tomovscik, McKeesport fire chief, about one of the two new trucks recently added to the city department.

Purchased with the assistance of the federal Community Development Block Grant program, Tomovcsik says the new ladder truck and fire engine are safer, carry better equipment and are designed to fight fires more efficiently than the 1998-vintage equipment they replace.

"As well as they served the city, (the 1998 trucks) were becoming very problematic mechanically, and getting expensive to service," he says. "These trucks take a beating. We're a busy department with tight roads and a lot of hills."

In theory, better equipment also helps improve the ISO, or Insurance Services Office, fire suppression ratings for the city, which can lower insurance costs for all property owners.

The McKeesport department, whose two stations are staffed 24 hours a day by paid firefighters, answers roughly 1,400 calls per year, including 25 to 40 residential fires, Tomovcsik says.

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'Fun Walk' Benefits Programs for Kane Center Residents

August 25, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The sixth-annual Joan Burns "Fun Walk 4 Kane" gets underway at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 16 at Kane Regional Center in McKeesport, 100 Ninth Ave. at Water Street.

The first 100 people to register get a T-shirt, a spokeswoman said. Prizes will be awarded throughout the day.

All proceeds benefit the Kane Foundation, a non-profit charity which provides special events and extracurricular activities for residents of Allegheny County's four Kane skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers. The other three are in Pittsburgh's Glen Hazel neighborhood, as well as Scott and Ross townships.

The walk is named for retired McKeesport Area teacher Joan Burns, a Kane volunteer and one-time resident who died in 2013 at age 59.

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