LifeSpan Services Continue, Buildings Closed

May 07, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Diane Cole is a site coordinator at LifeSpan. (Submitted photo via Facebook)

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all LifeSpan’s buildings are closed to the public until further notice, a spokeswoman said.

However, LifeSpan services are continuing as usual, said Joyce Asmonga, agency support assistant.

LifeSpan’s Community Resource Centers for Older Adults, including facilities in Olympia Shopping Center and Homestead, are closed, she said, but center staff are currently performing check-in calls with center participants.

The centers will re-open as soon as conditions permit, Asmonga said.

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Rainbow Kitchen Still Serving, Despite Pandemic

May 06, 2020 |

By Nick Zurawsky | Posted in: Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News

Rainbow Kitchen is falling into a comfortable routine, despite the chaos of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Executive Director Donna Little.

The iconic Homestead community food service was affected on all fronts by the quarantine measures put into effect after the national emergency declaration on March 13.

Almost every aspect of Rainbow Kitchen’s operation has changed. For example, it went from serving people daily in their cafeteria to packaging and handing out meals from the curbside.

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Serra Director Showcases Students on YouTube

May 05, 2020 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Serra Catholic High School was less than two weeks away from opening night of the musical “Mary Poppins” when schools were shut down March 13 to combat spread of the coronavirus.

“When they first announced the two-week closure, I tried to take a positive approach and thought it would be a good break for everyone,” director Jesse Bush said. “It would give us extra time to build props and costumes. I had hoped we would perform the show possibly sometime in May.”

Initially, students continued to rehearse online, he said, and choreographer Cassie Fedor created videos of all the dance routines so they could practice at home.

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Effort By W.O. Family is Feeding Hundreds

May 05, 2020 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, White Oak News

(Submitted photo)

Kelly and Mike Doyle never could have imagined that they would be feeding 100 different families when they started a small community Facebook page called, “What’s Happening in White Oak & Surrounding Areas.

The Doyles live in White Oak with their five children, where they also own and operate the privately held White Oak Post Office.

“We are just a normal middle-class family,” Kelly Doyle said.

About six years ago, Kelly started the “What’s Happening in White Oak & Surrounding Areas” Facebook page, hoping to keep the community up-to-date on current events.

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Viewpoint: Take Time to Tiptoe Through the Tulips

May 05, 2020 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: Commentary-Editorial

(All photos: Courtesy Vickie Babyak)

I was on a car ride with my camera exploring the neighborhood to photograph scenery. In an empty parking lot of a local office building in Dravosburg, I noticed tulips surrounding the area and I wanted to capture the beauty of their vivid cup-shaped flowers with photography.

Tulips are bulbous spring-flowering plants of the lily family and are perfect for bouquets or floral gardens. I was curious about the flowers’ origin and what they symbolize. I started searching Google and was surprised to find information unknown to me about the flowers.

They come in a variety of colors and like many flowers; the different colors have their own significant meaning.

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Residents Seek Answers on Jobs, COVID-19 Testing

May 04, 2020 |

By Emily Pidgeon | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Residents of Allegheny County want to know about coronavirus testing, and during a recent telephone town hall with local elected officials, they made that known in a big way.

During the April 22 phone call, organized by the Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition, U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, Democrat of Forest Hills, said legislators wanted residents to be able to ask questions about “unemployment, COVID-19 testing, funding, stimulus payments and other pandemic-related issues.”

Testing quickly topped the list of questions. Callers asked Dr. Debra Bogen, director of the Allegheny County Health Department, about a lack of testing in local communities — specifically in predominantly Black neighborhoods in the East End and Mon Valley.

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MASD Expects Property Tax Increase for ’20-’21

May 04, 2020 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

On April 21, McKeesport Area School District administrators distributed electronic devices to students and parents so that they could do schoolwork from home during the coronavirus pandemic. Above, Joan Wehmer, district business manager, and below, Mark Holtzman Jr., district superintendent. (Both photos: Richard Finch Jr. for Tube City Almanac)

School board members in McKeesport Area School District expect to be considering a property tax increase for the 2020-21 academic year.

At April’s board meeting, Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. told school directors that the administration is working on a preliminary budget to determine “what the deficit is, and how we can manage that based on our current fund balance and expenses.”

Some of the expenses were predictable, including debt service, increases in pension costs and tuition for charter school students, Holtzman said, but others are related to the COVID-19 crisis that forced schools statewide to cancel all in-person classes on March 13.

Holtzman said the district is “still working on trying to (keep) the numbers down.”

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City Marina Reopens, With Precautions

May 04, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The docks are in and McKees Point Marina is welcoming boaters again, but with social-distancing restrictions in place. (Tube City Almanac photo)

In a small sign of normality returning amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the McKees Point Marina opened for the season on May 1.

“We’re ready to go — we’re excited for another boating season, for the boaters especially,” McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said. “We’re just hoping everyone can enjoy their boating season.”

But the mayor cautioned there will likely be changes to other city activities, including the summer concert series and McKeesport’s premier annual event, the three-day International Village ethnic food and music festival, which is set to celebrate its 60th anniversary.

Along with golf courses, privately operated campgrounds and guided fishing trips, marinas were among the outdoor facilities that Pennsylvania officials last week said could resume operations.

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Two Teens Wounded in Craig St. Shooting

April 30, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Two teen-agers were reportedly in critical condition after a shooting near Yester Square on Tuesday night.

Allegheny County police said the male victims, both 15, were taken to an area hospital. Their names were not released.

The incident happened just after 9 p.m. in the 900 block of Craig Street. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that a bronze Chevrolet Malibu with Wisconsin license plates fled the scene and that the vehicle was located in Whitaker on Wednesday afternoon.

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Few Details Released in Woman’s Death

April 30, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Editor’s Note: This story was edited following publication.

Allegheny County police have released few details in connection with the shooting death of a woman whose body was found near Myer Park on Sunday morning.

On Thursday, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that the victim was Amber Rose Dolby, 38, also known as Amber Bailey.

In a prepared statement, county homicide detectives said McKeesport police and paramedics were dispatched to the corner of Rogena Street and Riverview Avenue just before 5:30 a.m. Sunday when a caller to 9-1-1 reported that a woman was lying in the intersection.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene of an apparent gunshot wound to the head, county police said.

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