Four Face Charges in Search for Suspect

December 26, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Four people face criminal charges in connection with the escape of a McKeesport man accused of shooting a police officer outside the Public Safety Building, Downtown.

Jasmyn Henderson-Bracey, 25, and Gesiah N. Grigsby, 21, both of McKeesport, are charged by the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office with multiple counts of hindering apprehension or prosecution.

They were arrested Wednesday and are each free on $10,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing Jan. 4 before Magisterial District Judge Beth S. Mills.

 
Read More

Worst Christmas Movie Ever? Filmed in McKeesport

December 24, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History

(This article originally appeared in Tube City Almanac on Dec. 22, 2008.)

Longtime friend, mentor and Alert Reader Clarke Ingram emailed me over the weekend. He's addicted to Turner Classic Movies --- and when it comes to addictions, that’s not a bad one to have.

If you ever watch TCM, you know that between the features, the network fills time with “short subjects” such as newsreels, “trailers,” and advertising and public domain films.

“So I’m sitting here watching a short film on TCM, entitled ‘A Visit to Santa (1963),’” Clarke writes. “I wasn’t paying much attention until I noticed Santa was on the Gateway Clipper. A few minutes later, he's on a Christmas float going past the Penn-McKee.”

A quick dash around the Internet tubes turned up a copy at the Internet Archive, where you can download your very own copy of “A Visit to Santa.” Some Internet critics call it, unkindly, “the worst Christmas film ever produced.”

 
Read More

From 2019: Local Christmas Tree Lots
Keep Tradition Alive

December 24, 2020 |

By Emily Pidgeon | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Something was missing from the Christmas season this year.

McKeesport’s “Tree Man,” Don Spang, passed away July 30 at UPMC McKeesport Hospital. Spang was the owner and operator of Spang’s Landscaping and Tree Farms for more than 54 years.

For more than a half-century, beginning each November, Spang could be found along Hartman Street in the city, helping local residents pick out the perfect Christmas tree.

Writer Emily Pidgeon talked to Spang last Christmas. Our deepest sympathies to his family and many, many friends.


Herb Spang and an employee prepare to bale a customer’s tree at the family’s lot on Hartman Street in McKeesport. The Spangs have been selling Christmas trees at the location for nearly 60 years. (Emily Pidgeon photo special to Tube City Almanac)


(Originally published Dec. 20, 2019)

Selling Christmas trees during the holidays may seem like a fun and easy way to make a buck, but after talking to some local tree lot owners, you may think differently.

“We have to fight snakes, spiders, the sun, the weather — everything, you know,” said Don Spang, 88, of White Oak, owner of Spang’s Trees on Hartman Street in McKeesport.

Spang and his brother Herb, 79, along with other family members and employees, are celebrating 59 years of selling Christmas trees in the very same location.

Spang said he’s sold as many as 5,000 trees in one season. These days, the lot sells closer to 500 trees.

 
Read More

Search Continues for Suspect in Officer’s Shooting

December 23, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

The search continues for a man accused of shooting a McKeesport police officer on Sunday afternoon.

On Wednesday, a federal agency and a Pittsburgh-area business owner both announced that they would offer rewards for information leading to the apprehension of Koby Lee Francis, 22, of McKeesport.

Francis is accused of shooting city police Officer Gerasimos “Jerry” Athans, 32, on Fourth Avenue outside the Public Safety Building and then fleeing the scene, still handcuffed from an earlier arrest.

He has been charged by Allegheny County police with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, escape, flight to avoid apprehension and violating the uniform firearms act.

Police have urged Francis to surrender himself to authorities.

 
Read More

Groups Criticize Sunday’s Searches, Checkpoints

December 23, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Residents and some civil-rights groups have criticized checkpoints and searches that were conducted Sunday night in the wake of the shooting of a McKeesport police officer.

But Allegheny County police Superintendent Coleman McDonough said this week that officers wanted to get an armed and dangerous suspect off of the streets as quickly as possible before any additional violence took place.

“We wanted it to end right here,” McDonough said at a press conference Monday. “We want this to be the last harm inflicted by that individual ... that’s our primary concern.”

 
Read More

Some Parents Frustrated By COVID Response

December 21, 2020 |

By Siana Emery | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Correction: This story was corrected after publication. See editor’s note.

As students gear up for winter break, some McKeesport Area parents are left wondering in what form school will resume in January.

While cases of COVID-19 continue to be confirmed in students and faculty across the district, in-person classes are expected to resume on Jan. 4.

All classes are virtual this week.

As of Dec. 22, McKeesport Area School District has had 77 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students and faculty since the school year began on Sept. 2. Most of those cases have been reported since November.

 
Read More

Wounded Officer Recovering,
Search for Suspect Continues

December 21, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

McKeesport police Officer Jerry Athans, 32, prepares to return fire Sunday after being shot three times by a suspect identified as Koby Lee Francis, 22. Francis is charged by Allegheny County police with attempted homicide. (Submitted photo via Allegheny County police)


Holiday decorations in Kennedy Park on Lysle Boulevard spell out the words, “PEACE ON EARTH.”

The scene captured by surveillance cameras on Sunday afternoon along Fourth Avenue — just behind those words — is anything but peaceful.

Footage released by Allegheny County police on Monday shows a suspect identified as Koby Lee Francis, 22, of McKeesport, firing several shots at city police Officer Gerasimos “Jerry” Athans, 32, from the back seat of a McKeesport police cruiser.

Athans takes cover at the front of the car, turns, aims and returns fire as Francis — still handcuffed from his arrest a few minutes earlier — flees on foot. The entire sequence plays out in about 20 seconds.

“We strongly urge members of the community who can see that this was an egregious violation to cooperate with our investigation and provide us with his whereabouts,” said county police Superintendent Coleman McDonough at a press conference Monday.

 
Read More

Duquesne Slates Zoning Hearing

December 21, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Duquesne News

The City of Duquesne will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday concerning a development proposed by the McDonalds Corp., a spokesperson said. The hearing will be held via Zoom and an invitation will be posted on the city’s website, http://duquesnepa.us.

Any owner, agent, lessor, lessee, mortgage holder, person or persons with a property interest may appear and be heard.

 

City Police Officer Shot, Suspect at Large

December 20, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Koby Lee Francis, 22, is wanted by Allegheny County police in connection with the shooting of a McKeesport police officer on Sunday outside the Public Safety Building. (Courtesy Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office)


A suspect who was arrested Sunday afternoon for violating a protection-from-abuse order shot a McKeesport police officer outside of the Public Safety Building, sparking a massive lockdown and search.

The 32-year-old officer, whose name has not been officially released, was in critical but stable condition at UPMC Presbyterian hospital, Oakland, Sunday night.

The suspect, identified by police as Koby Lee Francis, 22, of the city is wanted by Allegheny County police on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, escape, flight to avoid apprehension, and violating the uniform firearms act.

The incident happened just after 4 p.m. outside the Fourth Avenue entrance to the police station. A dragnet fell over the Downtown area and Third Ward following the shooting, as police from multiple jurisdictions — including local, county and state agencies and federal agents — cordoned off a large section of the city.

 
Read More

City Police Officer Shot, Manhunt Underway

December 20, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Please see the updated story.

 

Google™ Custom Search
McKeesport booked.net
+69°F

High: +69°

Low: +59°