West End Man Held in Homestead Bank Robbery

September 07, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Police News

A man from Pittsburgh's West End is being held in Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bond after police charged him in connection with a bank robbery in Homestead.

Christian Moore, 27, faces a preliminary hearing Sept. 13 before Magisterial District Judge Thomas Torkowsky in Munhall.

Allegheny County police said a man entered the First National Bank branch at 116 W. Eighth Ave. in Homestead at 1:40 p.m. Tueaday and gave a bank teller a note demanding money. The note said the man was armed.

Police said the bank robber was given "an unknown amount of money" and then fled on foot.

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Mayor, Police: City Needs Help to End a 'Sad Year' of Violence

September 07, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Saying "even one homicide is too many," McKeesport officials on Wednesday expressed frustration about the number of fatal shootings in the city so far this year.
There have been 10 murders in McKeesport in 2017, including the shootings last week of Kimberly Lesko, 55, and Melodie Robb, 52, in a home in lower 10th Ward.

Allegheny County police are investigating the Lesko and Robb killings, though they have released few details. The women, who were sisters, were buried Tuesday in Richland Cemetery in Dravosburg following a funeral Mass at St. Mary's Romanian Church in Christy Park.

The shootings have not officially been ruled homicides by the medical examiner's office. Lesko, of Versailles, was an overnight guest at Robb's home when she, Robb and a third person were shot just after 3 a.m. Sept. 1.

McKeesport police Chief Bryan Washowich told city council on Wednesday that he's reluctant to speculate in public on why homicides have increased this year. There were four homicides in McKeesport in 2016, including two from gun violence.

"We're making every effort possible to solve these murders," Washowich said. "If you ask me what the common denominator is, I have to be respectful of victims and their families, so my comments have to be limited."

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20 Fugitives Arrested in City-Wide Warrant Sweep

September 06, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Police News

Allegheny County sheriff's deputies arrested 20 people with outstanding warrants during a sweep of city neighborhoods Thursday.

Chief Deputy Kevin Kraus said the sweep was conducted with the assistance of FBI agents and McKeesport police. Suspects were wanted both on criminal charges and for failing to pay child support, Kraus said.

In addition, while executing a bench warrant at residence in the 1700 block of Abraham Street, deputies saw a firearm and suspected heroin. A search warrant was obtained, Kraus said, and deputies recovered two full loaded 9mm handguns and 75 bricks of suspected heroin from the home.

Deputies also seized a .380 caliber handgun and suspected crack cocaine while executing an arrest warrant at a home in the 1300 block of Maple Street, Kraus said.

Names of the people arrested were not released by the sheriff's office.


Christmas Parade Planning Underway; Princess, Queen Nominees Sought

September 06, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Planning is underway for McKeesport's 53rd annual Salute to Santa parade, and nominations are being sought from district students who want to be nominated as the Christmas event's queen and princess.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Michael Cherepko said the parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Nov. 18 at the McKee's Point Marina, Fifth Avenue at Water Street, Downtown, and proceed up Fifth Avenue to City Hall.

A Christmas party is held following the event at the Palisades.

"The Salute to Santa parade and children's party have established a longstanding tradition in McKeesport," Cherepko said in a statement. "Each year, thousands of spectators from across the Mon Valley line Fifth Avenue in downtown McKeesport to watch a procession of holiday floats, marching bands, dance troupes, fire trucks and more."

Participation in the parade is open to community groups, student organizations, churches, businesses and local officials, the spokeswoman said.

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Seven Bands Benefit Six Charities at Sept. 16 Event

September 06, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Seven bands, plus the Rankin Junior Tamburitzans, will take the stage on Sept. 16 at a concert to benefit seven local charities.

The first-ever "Mon Valley Sizzles" music and food festival is being held at the Carrie Furnaces national historic site in Rankin and Swissvale. Gates open at 3 p.m. and live music continues until 10 p.m., a spokeswoman said.

Groups scheduled to appear include Brownie Mary, The Gathering Field, Billy Price Band, House of Soul, Brass Roots, Velcro Shoes and Pillow Project.

The event is being organized by the Mon-Yough Area Chamber of Commerce as a benefit for the Carnegie Library of Homestead, McKeesport Hospital Foundation, Mifflin Township Historical Society, Rainbow Kitchen Community Services, Mon Yough Community Services and the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, which administers the Carrie Furnaces site and the Bost Building in Homestead.

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Croatian Club Schedules Picnic and 'Paint and Sip' Night

September 05, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

An "indoor picnic" and a paint-and-sip night are on the schedule at the Yukon Croatian Club during the month of September.

Barbecued lamb and tamburitza music of Stari Prijatelji will highlight the Sept. 17 indoor picnic at the Yukon Croatian Club, a spokeswoman said.

The lamb, prepared by Mike and Carol Mezick, must be pre-ordered by Sept. 10. Call (724) 872-7459 to order. Lamb may be picked up on Sept. 17 starting at 12:30 p.m. when the club doors open.

Stari Prijatelji will play songs and kolos for dancing from 2 to 6 p.m. There is a $7 cover charge.

The Paint & Sip Night will take place at 6 p.m. Sept. 19 under the direction of Denise Maughan. Participants will finish a canvas pre-stamped with a 12 inch by 12 inch image.

A $35 fee covers the canvas and all supplies needed to complete the painting. The event is open to the public and limited to 12 to 15 people, the spokeswoman said.

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Crowds Enjoy Labor Day Weekend Rib-Fest, Car Cruise

September 04, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: 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: 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: 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.


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