I wanted to write a quick note about the audio feed of Wednesday’s council meeting, and apologize and take responsibility for some technical problems.
I know there was intense interest in the meeting because of the lawsuit filed over access, and because residents wanted to address the Dec. 20 manhunt for a suspect accused of shooting a police officer.
We did hear from several people during the meeting that they were having trouble hearing, or that the audio was dropping out, and I apologize.
There was no intention to censor anyone’s remarks. We worked as quickly as we could to rectify the problems in real time.
Accepting this year’s $100,000 payment toward the city’s neighborhood assistance program are Melissa Ernst, secretary of the McKeesport redevelopment authority; city Councilman Jim Barry; A.J. Tedesco, community development director and executive director of the redevelopment authority; McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko; Evan Zuverink, community reinvestment act officer for First Commonwealth Bank; Scott Vidovich, market leader for First Commonwealth Bank; Kristen Lupari, White Oak branch manager; Paul Sturgess, member of the redevelopment authority; and Stu Wilson, president of the redevelopment authority. (Submitted photo)
First Commonwealth Bank has donated its former Downtown location to the city’s redevelopment authority.
Jonathan Longwill, vice president and media relations specialist for the Indiana, Pa., based bank, said the building at 225 Fifth Ave. has been donated to facilitate ongoing redevelopment work in McKeesport’s central business district.
Opinions expressed in editorials and commentaries are those of their authors, and are not those of Tube City Community Media Inc., its board of directors, volunteers, contributors or donors. Responsible replies are welcome.
Eastland Mall in North Versailles Twp., located on a hill overlooking McKeesport and Duquesne, was demolished more than a decade ago. The mall is rumored to become the site of a new Amazon.com distribution center. (Photo by Jacob via Flickr, used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)
More than a decade after the demolition of Eastland Mall in North Versailles Twp., a developer is planning to build a distribution center on the property, reportedly for Amazon.com.
Most people in this area can probably remember Eastland Mall, which closed permanently in 2005. When the mall first opened in 1963, its major tenants were department stores such as Gimbels and J.C. Penney Co.
Some might even remember that the North Versailles Library was in that mall. I recall regularly going to the library with my mother and sister to pick out books.
Infrastructure projects in the city, Clairton, Duquesne and Munhall are the latest recipients of funding from Allegheny County’s Community Infrastructure & Tourism Fund.
Projects awarded funds in the most recent round of grants include $250,000 for renovations to the People’s Building, Downtown McKeesport, including replacement of the heating system; and $100,000 for replacement of a water line on South Fifth Street, Duquesne, between Kennedy and Priscilla avenues.
CITF grants provide financial assistance to municipalities, councils of government, non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses to facilitate economic development projects in Allegheny County.
White Oak Mayor Ina Jean Marton enjoys the company of Luke and Chewie during a 2019 fundraiser for the White Oak Animal Safe Haven. Marton has retired as director of the shelter after 18 years. (Tube City Almanac file photo by Cami DiBattista)
After 18 years and 16,000 dogs and cats rescued, Ina Jean Marton has retired from her role as director of the White Oak Animal Safe Haven.
“I’d been planning it for six to eight months. After 18 years, I felt like it was time to enjoy my life,” said Marton, who also serves as White Oak borough mayor.
Shelter vice president Laura Massie has taken over as director. She expressed optimism about the shelter’s future.
“We’re building a catio (cat exercise area) and renovating our office,” she said. “We’re also bringing in new volunteers and brainstorming ideas for fundraisers. I just want to do whatever I can to make the shelter successful — especially with kitten season coming up.”
Editor’s Note: The writer has a conflict of interest. Branden Kucich is the writer’s second cousin. This article was written after initial interviews with Branden and Heather Kucich in April 2018 and follow-ups in March and April 2021 once the Centennial School project broke ground.
The former Centennial School opened for the 1921-22 term at the corner of Beaver Street and Union Avenue. The building is being turned into senior citizen apartments. (Submitted photo courtesy Kucich Construction)
Nearly a century after the new Centennial School in McKeesport opened its doors to local students in the fall of 1921, the historic building will soon welcome a new class of seniors.
Branden Kucich, 38, and his wife Heather, 37, of North Huntingdon Twp., have added to their growing portfolio of rental properties in McKeesport and White Oak by purchasing the defunct elementary school and transforming its empty classrooms into senior living apartments.
The Kuciches’ project will not only return a longtime tax-exempt property to the city’s tax rolls but also add to a recent trend of building restorations in McKeesport.
Where: East Allegheny High School courtyard, 1150 Jacks Run Road, North Versailles Twp.
When: 8 p.m. April 15 and 16, 2 p.m. April 17
Tickets: Must be purchased in advance at easd.booktix.com. No tickets will be sold at the door.
Nate Perez, Bryce Schmeltz, Kalei Getsy, Passion Paillett and Madison Rucker are “Walking Like An Egyptian” in “The Awesome ’80s Prom.” (Kristen Keleschenyi photo for Tube City Almanac)
Crimp that hair and grab some pink eyeshadow.
East Allegheny High School is going back to the ’80s with its spring musical, “The Awesome ’80s Prom.” The show aims to give audiences the experience of living in a classic John Hughes style movie.
"Take some ‘Ferris Bueller,’ and some ‘Breakfast Club,’ some ‘16 Candles’ and ‘Pretty in Pink’ with little bits of ‘The Wedding Singer,’ in a high school kind of way, and throw it all together. There are lots of stereotypical 80s characters. I think everybody is going to find something they recognize especially if you are familiar with that era," says director Amanda Rosco.
The audience are supposed to be guests at a prom. The storyline revolves around the nominees for prom king and prom queen and who is going to end up winning.
The audience will actually get to vote when they are at the show. "We will not know who wins,” says Rosco. "It could be a different winner every single time. We are preparing multiple endings."
In spite of climbing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the region, McKeesport Area School District officials are hoping to ensure that major spring events — including prom and commencement — will occur this year, if possible.
At the school board meeting, district officials discussed plans for remainder of the year and began looking ahead to fall.
Board President Joseph Lopretto and District Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. said they are keeping an eye on virus cases, and will move forward with plans as possible.
Prom and commencement were canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Martin Luther King East Busway connects Pittsburgh to Rankin and Swissvale. Local lawmakers are urging the federal government to include funds for extending the busway in the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan, to be announced Wednesday in Pittsburgh. (National Association of City Transportation Officials photo via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC 2.0)
Ahead of President Biden’s visit to the Pittsburgh area to talk about infrastructure investment, area legislators are asking the federal government to make sure the Mon Valley is included.
According to published reports, Biden on Wednesday is expected to unveil a $3 trillion proposal to invest in roads, bridges, public transit, railroads and waterways, as well as the country’s electrical grid and other utilities.
The speech will be made at the Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center in Collier Twp. and representatives of other Pittsburgh-area labor unions are expected to attend as well.
Last week, Mon-Yough area state legislators wrote to Pennsylvania’s federal congressional delegation, urging them to include funding for high-priority projects such as the extension of the East Busway and the completion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway.