Residents Evacuated from High-Rise Fire

September 08, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News


The Allegheny County fire marshal's office and multiple fire departments were on the scene of a blaze at the McKeesport Towers high-rise on Friday afternoon that forced the evacuation of its senior-citizen residents.

The fire was reported just after 2:30 p.m. and quickly raised to three alarms, emergency personnel said. Flames could be seen pouring from the windows of a seventh-floor unit, and smoke was visible throughout the city.

The 192-unit building is a senior-citizen apartment building along Sixth Avenue at Huey Street and is owned and operated by McKeesport Housing Authority.

Emergency personnel were evacuating the building and several ambulances were on the scene. There were unconfirmed reports that three people were injured.

Due to the number of ambulances required to evacuate residents, a mass-casualty incident was declared, emergency personnel said. Rescue crews from as far away as Robinson Twp. and McCandless were sent to the scene. Motorists and onlookers were being asked to avoid the area.

Residents were temporarily taken to an emergency shelter at the McKees Point Palisades. Preliminary reports indicated that the fire may have begun in a mattress.

In addition to McKeesport fire department, crews from Allegheny County Airport, Dravosburg, Glassport, Homestead, Liberty Borough, Munhall No. 1, Port Vue, Swissvale No. 1, Homeville, Duquesne Annex, West Mifflin No. 3, White Oak No. 1, Rainbow and Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory were on the scene Friday afternoon.


Report: State Lags in Access to Pre-K Education

September 07, 2023 |

By Danielle M. Smith - Public News Service | Posted in: State & Region

File photo: “Day 100 in Kindergarten” by Meriwether Lewis Elementary School, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

The Keystone State has some work to do to provide more access to quality pre-Kindergarten programs for the youngest Pennsylvanians.

Only 43 percent of eligible 3- and-4-year-olds are in high-quality, publicly funded pre-K, leaving more than 87,000 without access, according to a new report entitled, “State of Early Care and Education in Pennsylvania.”

Maggie Livelsberger, policy director for Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, said young children need access to programs preparing them to start Kindergarten. But she said inadequate funding for child care has led to issues of supply and demand, affecting a family's ability to find care they can afford.

“It also impacts child care providers, and their ability to be compensated fairly, to pay their teachers and maintain their business expenses,” Livelsberger said. “We are living in a world where there is a very historic workforce shortage within the child care system, and a lot of that is due to unlivable wages.”

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Suspect in Clairton Shooting Arrested in City

September 07, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A man wanted in connection with the killing of a well-known Pittsburgh business owner following a football game in Clairton was arrested in McKeesport following a brief standoff.

Allegheny County police said Edwin Gregory Wylie-Biggs, 42, of Clairton was hiding inside a residence on Strawberry Alley, Downtown, and refused to surrender to officers who had a warrant for his arrest.

The Allegheny County police special weapons and tactics team was called to the scene and Wylie-Biggs surrendered without further incident, police said.

Wylie-Biggs is the suspect in the Aug. 25 shooting of Victor G. Musgrove Sr., 51, of Pittsburgh’s Stanton Heights neighborhood. Police said Musgrove attended a football game between Clairton High School and Westinghouse High School, and afterward, visited the Village Inn tavern on Miller Avenue in Clairton.

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City Man Charged in Flagler St. Slaying

September 07, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A city man is charged with homicide in connection with a fatal shooting Wednesday night at a home on Flagler Street. Robbery appears to have been the motive, detectives said.

The victim, Reginald A. Hall, 48, was shot in the torso and left leg just after 10 p.m. and died a short time later in the emergency room at UPMC McKeesport hospital, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

Jeffrey W. Robinson, 53, is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bond pending a preliminary hearing at 8 a.m. Sept. 22 before Magisterial District Judge Kim Berkeley Clark.

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W.O. Marks 75th With Octoberfest

September 06, 2023 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: Announcements, White Oak News

Download the White Oak Oktoberfest flyer

White Oak Borough will celebrate its 75th anniversary during an Oktoberfest on Sept. 29 at the White Oak Athletic Association, 1798 Lower Heckman Road, a spokeswoman said.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Adult tickets are $30 and tickets for children 12 years old and under, are $15. Tickets must be purchased by Sept. 22.

Oktoberfest is a German folk festival that originated from the southeastern state of Germany called Bavaria and is celebrated annually. A number of U.S. cities celebrate with beer and German food.

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‘Taste of Serbia’ Returns Sept. 29 & 30

September 06, 2023 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Members of Orkestar Pobeda will perform Sept. 30 during the “Taste of Serbia” festival at St. Sava church on Hartman Street. (Submitted photo via Facebook)

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church of McKeesport-Duquesne will hold its 2023 edition of “A Taste of Serbia” Sept. 29 and 30 in the parish social hall and courtyard, 901 Hartman St., McKeesport.

Festival hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Sept. 29 and 12 to 7 p.m. Sept. 30, said Dottie Ikach, a parish spokeswoman.

“Since the public grew to love Serbian foods and flavors over the years from past church events and McKeesport’s International Village, the fourth-annual ‘Taste of Serbia’ festival incorporates Serbian hospitality and culture,” Ikach said.

Rain or shine, patrons may dine inside the church hall or outside under the courtyard tent. Other options include walkup orders, take-out orders or pre-orders.

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Suspect in Standoff Jailed Without Bond

September 06, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A city man accused of shooting his girlfriend and then keeping police at bay during an hours-long standoff is being held in the Allegheny County Jail pending a preliminary hearing.

Michael P. Plopi, 42, of Pirl Street is charged by Allegheny County police with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with the incident, which began Monday evening and continued into the early hours Tuesday morning.

Plopi faces a hearing Sept. 18 before Magisterial District Justice Eugene Riazzi. He was denied bail Tuesday following arraignment by Magisterial District Judge Jehosha Wright.

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Serra Band Corrals Western-Themed Show

September 05, 2023 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Serra musicians and color guard fine tune the drill during summer evening band camp. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


Serra Catholic Marching Band presents “Wanted”

Tournament of Bands Region 8
Preview of Champions Show

Where: Penn-Trafford High School, 3381 Route 130, Harrison City

When: Saturday, Sept. 9. Gates open at 5 p.m. Serra Catholic performs at 6 p.m., followed by local bands East Allegheny at 7:15 and McKeesport Area at 8:15. Awards begin at 8:50.

Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens

Serra Catholic High School's band director said fans and audiences can expect a “lighthearted, very upbeat show” when the official competition season kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Penn-Trafford High School.

Jesse Bush described “Wanted” as a “cowboy-inspired show” with musicians and color guard featured in duets, solos, and even a vocal selection.

Music includes several songs by Randall Standridge, the Eagles, Johnny Cash, and others, Bush said.

Drum major Vincent Brown said he taught himself how to play the harmonica, which is featured at the very beginning of the production. His character is the protagonist cowboy searching for antagonist wanted man Michael Aland.

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Shooting Suspect in Custody Following Standoff

September 05, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

This is a developing story and is subject to change

A city man is in custody after an hours-long standoff with police at his home on Pirl Street.

Michael P. Plopi, 42, is charged by Allegheny County police with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a firearm and was awaiting arraignment on Tuesday morning, court officials said.

Plopi surrended to police early Tuesday morning following a standoff that began about 7:30 p.m. Monday after officers allege that he shot his girlfriend during an argument, then fired on first responders who were called to the scene. The victim's name has not yet been released by police.

Emergency personnel said McKeesport police were dispatched to Plopi's home in the 1200 block of Pirl Street near Versailles Avenue on Monday evening after a ShotSpotter device detected gunshots in the area.

Police arrived to find a woman outside of a home, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Officers came to her aid, police said, only to have someone inside the house begin firing at them. Officers pulled the woman to safety and she was taken to UPMC Presbyterian hospital. Her condition was not immediately available but she was said to be “conscious and alert” at the scene.

Emergency responders said the victim suffered wounds to her leg, hands and torso.

Plopi is accused of barricading himself in the house with another person and refusing to come outside, police said.

The Allegheny County police special weapons and tactics team responded along with police from surrounding jurisdictions, emergency personnel said. Police determined that the suspect in the shooting was barricaded inside the home with another adult.

After repeated calls for the suspect to surrender went unanswered, witnesses said SWAT officers used smoke grenades, tear gas and so-called “flash-bang” devices to force the shooter to surrender.

Dozens of police officers were present on the scene, including law enforcement from surrounding municipalities as well as county police and state troopers.

Versailles Avenue was closed for several blocks around the shooting scene. Residents were asked to avoid the area if at all possible.

Police said Plopi surrendered at approximately 3 a.m. Tuesday.


It’s Open: NV Twp. Amazon Facility Up, Running

September 02, 2023 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

(Kristen Keleschenyi photo for Tube City Almanac)

Without fanfare, the new Amazon distribution facility at the site of the former Eastland Mall has opened.

“While there was no formal announcement sent out, I can confirm the site is now operational,” says Sam Fisher, public relations specialist for Amazon.

Blue-gray Amazon delivery vans can now be seen driving in and out of the site on East Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard. Freshly painted parking spaces are starting to fill up with employee vehicles.

Not much has been shared officially from Amazon about the day-to-day operations at the facility, which first got the green light by township Commissioners back in December 2020.

It has been a long time coming for this opening, which was hampered not only by the pandemic but also major delays in the supply chain.

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