EA Board Asks Legislators for Charter Reform

March 15, 2023 |

By Dianne Ribecca | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

East Allegheny School Board will add its voices to those of other school districts asking the Pennsylvania General Assembly to reform its charter-school funding formula.

The school board by 9-0 vote this week approved a resolution to be sent to the state legislature. School directors said they regard as unfair the method used to calculate how much districts must pay for charter school tuition.

At a committee meeting earlier this month, school directors said the current formulas require school districts to send more money to charter schools than they need to operate their programs, significantly burdening each district’s resources and taxpayers.

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Ex-City Man Pleads Guilty in Drug Case

March 14, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A former city man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday in connection with drug and firearms charges.

Raymar McKenzie, 34, faces a possible life sentence and up to a $2 million fine, said a spokeswoman for acting U.S. Attorney Troy Rivetti. Sentencing before U.S. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan is scheduled for June 26.

Court records also list an address for McKenzie in Duquesne.

Prosecutors allege that on three separate occasions in August and September 2020, McKenzie sold fentanyl and crack cocaine to an undercover Allegheny County police officer.

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County Offers Residents New Air-Quality Tool

March 14, 2023 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: State & Region

In an effort to improve transparency and provide residents more information about the region’s air quality, the Allegheny County Health Department has launched a new dashboard dedicated to tracking hydrogen sulfide.

The dashboard, which was created in partnership with CountyStat, displays up-to-date information from the county’s two hydrogen sulfide monitoring sites located in North Braddock and Liberty Borough, a spokesman said.

Other information on the webpage explains the state’s hydrogen sulfide regulations and what the health department’s Air Quality Program is doing to monitor and enforce Pennsylvania’s standards.

The Allegheny County Hydrogen Sulfide Dashboard is available on the county’s website.

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League Urges Turnout for Local Elections

March 14, 2023 |

By Danielle M. Smith - Public News Service | Posted in: Politics & Elections

As the municipal primary election fast approaches, there is an urgent push for more voter education in Pennsylvania.

More than 8.7 million Pennsylvania voters could participate in the local municipal primaries on May 16.

Meghan Pierce, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, said every ballot will look a little different, depending on where you live. LWV is encouraging people to do some research before casting their ballot, to determine how the races could affect their lives.

“Whether or not you have a kid in school, you probably care about how your public school education system is funded,” Pierce said. “If you have a lot of potholes in your street, and you want to know why that is, you know, maybe look into what's going on with your city council. In Philadelphia, for example, there's going to be a mayor’s rac — very active election, lots of candidates running.”

She said Pennsylvania does not have same-day voter registration. You have to register before the strict deadline of May 1 to vote in the primary. The last day to request a mail-in or absentee ballot is May 9.

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Council OK’s Mon-Fayette Name for Duquesne

March 10, 2023 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

After months of consideration, Duquesne officials announced that they have chosen names for their portion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway.

The main stretch of expressway that is set to travel through the city will be dubbed, “The Duquesne Veterans Memorial Highway,” while the connector to Route 837 will be named in memory of longtime municipal leaders Carl and Rosemary Denne. “It’s a way to show appreciation and gratitude to our veterans,” said Mayor R. Scott Adams.

In related Mon-Fayette Expressway construction news, council discussed having a crossover on the roadway at Oakmont Street and Route 837. There’s expected to be a crosswalk there for a bus stop and Duquesne would be charged with painting and maintaining the walk way. Council voted 4-0 to accept those responsibilities.

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Duquesne City Manager Out, Deputy Mayor Added

March 10, 2023 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne’s city manager has resigned after less than three months on the job.

At this week’s meeting, officials voted 4-0 to accept accept the resignation of Scott Crawford. Councilman Timothy Caldwell was absent.

Council approved the hiring of Mary Lou Bittner as the new Interim City Manager.

Crawford, 54, had started the job Dec. 19, after Kelly Robertson left the post. George Newsome served as interim city manager before changing jobs to administrative assistant. Since Crawford’s hiring, Newsome has left the city altogether.

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MLT’s ‘Deathtrap’ Worth More Than One Look

March 10, 2023 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

The cast of McKeesport Little Theater’s production of “Deathtrap,” from left in front, are Amy Melissen as Myra Bruhl and Andrew Lasswell as Sidney Bruhl. In back are Craig Soich as Porter Milgrim, Gavin Calgaro as Clifford Anderson, and Mandy Eckenrode as Helga ten Dorp. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac.)

If you go...



Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.

When: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m., through March 19.

Tickets: Available through the MLT website, by calling the theater at 412-673-1100, or via onthestage.com.

McKeesport Little Theater’s upcoming production of “Deathtrap” definitely is a show-within-a-show thriller, but has so many twists and turns that even the most astute audience member easily could go see it a second time just to enjoy all the nuances.

There are only five characters in the whole play. As cast, they are Andrew Lasswell as Sidney Bruhl, Amy Melissen as his wife Myra Bruhl, Gavin Calgaro as Sidney’s student, Clifford Anderson, Mandy Eckenrode as psychic Helga ten Dorp, and Craig Soich as Porter Milgrim, Sidney’s friend and attorney.

Here’s a mini-synopsis, but if you plan to attend, don’t go looking up an official full synopsis and spoil the experience.

The entire two-act play is set in the Connecticut home of Sidney, a successful playwright. While he’s not completely down on his luck, he is experiencing a bit of writer’s block, which he is eager to overcome and move on to his next hit following a string of flops.

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Food Services Director Updates School Board

March 06, 2023 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Fifth-grade students from Francis McClure Elementary School delighted board members and school leaders when describing the process of creating a Black History Month gallery walk at a recent school board meeting. (Adam Reinherz photo for Tube City Almanac)

Participation in breakfast and lunch programs at McKeesport Area School District is up across the board, but so are expenses.

Ryan Grados, food services director, told the school board at its most recent meeting that the department is making a profit this year, to the tune of $278,198.

“The reimbursement rate that we received was $2.46 for breakfast, and $4.31 for lunch,” Grados said. “Everybody knows that inflation is hitting us pretty hard, so the state has been generous enough to offer us a higher reimbursement rate; therefore, this year we’re receiving $2.77 for breakfast and $4.51 for watch.”

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Bus Company Sues District, Local Officials

March 06, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A local bus company that lost a contract to transport McKeesport Area School District students is suing the city, the district and several area officials, claiming its problems were caused by political manipulations.

Pennsylvania Coach Lines has filed suit in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court against the City of McKeesport, the school district, state Sen. Jim Brewster, Mayor Michael Cherepko, school director and mayoral candidate Joe Lopretto, former school Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr., and city administrator Tom Maglicco.

The company, based on Rebecca Street in the city, was replaced prior to the 2022-23 school year by Krise Transportation after parents repeatedly complained that Pennsylvania Coach Lines was canceling buses without warning, stranding students and forcing them to miss classes.

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City Has Fourth Homicide This Week

March 04, 2023 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

UPDATED with additional details

A brutal week in McKeesport now includes four homicides.

Few details have yet been released about a fatal shooting Friday evening that claimed the life of an unidentified man. Allegheny County police said 9-1-1 dispatchers were notified of a shooting in the 1200 block of Park Street just before 6 p.m. Officers arrived to find an adult male suffering from gunshot wounds.

The victim was identified by the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office as Robert Moore, 58, of the city. He was pronounced dead at the emergency room of UPMC McKeesport hospital, the office said.

No further details are being released by police.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call the county police tip line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.

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