Work Resumes on Lincoln Way; Other PennDOT Projects Announced

March 09, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Work will resume later this month on the nearly $7 million project to expand and improve Lincoln Way in White Oak.

The project, expected to be complete in June, is one of $189 million in total improvements to state-owned roads and bridges planned for Allegheny County in 2016, according to the state Department of Transportation.

“We are pleased to be completing some major projects while initiating news ones,” said Dan Cessna, district executive for PennDOT. “We are proud to be delivering much needed infrastructure enhancements to the Pittsburgh region.”

Lincoln Way has been undergoing extensive reconstruction since 2013 under a long-awaited project to widen the road, add left turning lanes, and improve curbs, sidewalks and drainage. A PennDOT spokesman said the project will be wrapping up this spring when new curbs and sidewalks are completed between Henderson Road and Auld Street in the White Oak business district.

About 16,000 vehicles per day use Lincoln Way, according to PennDOT traffic volume maps.

Other projects that will impact Mon-Yough area motorists and bicyclists include the previously announced Phase 3 of improvements to the interchange on the West Homestead side of the Glenwood Bridge. Work began in late February and will include replacement of the bridge deck on northbound Route 837 --- near the Whemco plant --- and four associated ramps at the interchange.

 
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Whitaker Man Indicted By Feds; Charged in Fentanyl Death

March 09, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Whitaker man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh in connection with the death of a drug user.

Justin Thornton, 32, is accused of distributing acetylfentanyl and fentanyl in August 2015 that killed a user, says a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton.

The indictment also charges Thornton with possession with intent to distribute heroin, acetylfentanyl, fentanyl, crack cocaine and cocaine.

Fentanyl is a prescription narcotic used to control severe pain. Widely abused, the drug is sold illegally under street names such as "china girl" and "china white." According to published reports, nearly 100 people in Allegheny County died last year from abusing fentanyl.

Acetylfentanyl is a so-called designer drug that is similar to fentanyl.

Thornton is currently being held in Allegheny County Jail awaiting a trial April 20 before Common Pleas Court Judge Edward J. Borkowski on drug trafficking charges filed by Allegheny County Police.

 
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Police Log: March 7, 2016

March 07, 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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Reader's Viewpoint: New Norwin High School Club Has Inappropriate Political, Religious Agenda

March 04, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Commentary-Editorial

Opinions expressed in editorials and commentaries are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Tube City Community Media Inc. or its directors. Responsible replies are welcomed.

Nicole Noll is a senior at Norwin High School:

Recently, it’s come to my attention that a new student club titled “Knights for Life” has been formed to raise awareness of and promote a pro-life viewpoint amongst the student body. To me, this club has sparked several concerns.

I’d like to start by noting that it seems as if this club has been founded upon political or potentially religious grounds. At Norwin, we have a club for the Christian members of our student body titled “Knights of Faith,” but they’ve never sparked any controversy or publicly shared their views during normal school hours. They’ve been respectful while still honoring their faith.

In order to start a club at Norwin, students involved must first get approval for the idea of their club from the school board and then get a member of the school’s faculty to sign off as the club’s moderator and to help run the meetings. With the case of the Christian “Knights of Faith,” the teacher in charge of the club has never shown or said anything expressing his Christian views during the normal hours of his job.

“Knights for Life,” however, in my opinion, hasn’t shown the same amount of courtesy for students that don’t share those views.

 
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Police, Borough Officials Warn of Unlicensed Peddlers

March 04, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Dravosburg officials and McKeesport police are warning residents not to open their doors to salespeople unless they have a "hawker's permit" from the borough.

An email sent Wednesday by the borough said that if someone comes door-to-door, residents should feel free to ask to see the permit, and that if they "cannot produce their permit, please call 911."

On Tuesday, McKeesport police arrested a Florida man after a resident of Scott Drive in Dravosburg reported someone had come to their door selling books on behalf of a charity. James A. Gundrum, 30, of Riviera, Fla., is charged by McKeesport police with theft by deception.

 
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Pastor Denies Claims That Versailles Ave. Church is a 'Cult'

March 04, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Photo courtesy KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh) Correction appended, 1 p.m.

A Florida-based charity that investigates suspected cults says a McKeesport church manipulates and shames members of its congregation into doing what its pastor tells them to do, including tithing 10 percent of their income to the church.

Citing former members of the congregation, the charity claims those who disobey or attempt to leave the church are shunned.

An attorney has denied the accusations, calling them "specious and unfortunate," and that any misbehavior was done by people no longer affliated with Guy Miller Ministries, while the pastor attributed them to "misunderstandings."

But Families Against Cult Teachings, located in Aventura, Fla., near Miami Beach, claims that based on its own investigation, The Church of Life in Christ on Versailles Avenue, also known as Guy Miller Ministries, shows signs of being a cult.

A four-part expose on FACT's website attracted the attention of Pittsburgh KDKA-TV reporter Andy Sheehan, who aired a report during Wednesday's newscast.

On Thursday, Sheehan interviewed additional former members of the church, one of whom told Sheehan, "Absolutely. Absolutely, 110 percent it is a full-blown cult."

 
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East Liberty Man Charged in White Oak, Wilmerding Bank Robberies

March 03, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A man from Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood has been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with the robbery of the First Commonwealth Bank in White Oak and Compass Federal Savings Bank in Wilmerding.

Leonard D. Gibbons, 55, of Station Street was indicted Tuesday on five counts, including bank robbery and violations of federal firearms laws, U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said yesterday.

Gibbons is currently being held in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond, court officials said.

Investigators said that on July 17, 2015, Gibbons held up Compass Bank, fleeing with $7,828. Four months later, on Nov. 19, 2015, Gibbons used a firearm and held up First Commonwealth, netting $3,971, Hickton said.

According to a published report, the robber was spotted fleeing First Commonwealth by a worker at a nearby store, who gave police a description of his getaway car. When the car was seen in McKeesport a short time later, city police and the Allegheny County sheriff's office gave chase and ultimately arrested the driver, identified as Gibbons.

 
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Three Indicted for Firearms Violations

March 02, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Three Allegheny County residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury for violating firearms laws.

In a 13-count indictment returned on Tuesday, Joshua Bristo, 23, and James Pamplin Jr., 21, both of Clairton, along with Richard Van Holt Jr., 27, of Mt. Oliver, were charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, tampering with a witness by threat of physical force, and brandishing, using, carrying, and possessing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, said U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton.

Prosecutors said that the three men were not eligible to own firearms due to past felony convictions. Instead, Hickton said, the men falsified purchase forms so that they could buy weapons.

The indictment also charges that in March 2015, Bristo pointed a gun at a witness and threatened to kill him.

“Individuals who illegally sell guns end up arming violent criminals, who time and again pull the trigger on our streets and put the public’s safety at risk,” said Sam Rabadi, a special agent-in-charge in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.and prosecute gun crimes.

 
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$1M Cash 5 Winner Sold in West Newton

March 01, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

One jackpot-winning Pennsylvania Lottery Cash 5 ticket worth $1 million from the Feb. 27 drawing was sold at the Giant Eagle in West Newton, Westmoreland County, a lottery spokesperson said.

The ticket correctly matched all five balls drawn, 04-08-20-27-37, to win $1 million, less withholding tax. The retailer will receive a $5,000 bonus for selling this winning ticket.

Cash 5 winners have one year from the drawing date to claim prizes. Prizes must be claimed and tickets validated before winners can be identified.

More than 84,500 other Cash 5 tickets won prizes of various amounts in the drawing, the spokesperson said.

 

Tube City (Not That One) Changes Its Name

March 01, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Glassport-based Tube City IMS Corp. announced today that it is changing its name to TMS International Corp.

The name change reflects the company's growing global presence, a spokesman said.

The new name is effective immediately and is being implemented across all of the company's products and subsidiaries. The company's website address has changed to www.tmsinternational.com.

"Our former name, Tube City IMS, represented a consolidation of different organizations, including Tube City Iron and Metal and International Mill Service," said Raymond Kalouche, President and CEO. "Their proud legacies are the foundation of our current success. But as we move into our tenth decade of operations, we believe TMS International better reflects the company's integrated operations and global status."

Tube City IMS provides a wide range of services to the steel and metals industries, including processing, recovering and brokering the sale of precious metals and alloys; engineering and logistics support; slag handling and processing; and recycling and disposing of waste.

 
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