Voters: Money Has Too Much Influence in Politics

June 18, 2022 |

By Emily Scott © Public News Service | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race is garnering national attention, with Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz running to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. A new report examines how outside spending from political action committees (PACs) and national donors affects voters.

The report from American Promise includes recent survey results that say more than 70 percent of Pennsylvanians think big donors have too much political influence.

As they can expect to see hundreds of millions of dollars poured into political ads for the Senate race, Bill Cortese of American Promise said “dark money” can create a sense of mistrust among voters.

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City Man Jailed in Duquesne Shooting

June 16, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport man is being held without bond in the Allegheny County Jail on charges connected to a shooting Saturday morning in Duquesne.

Deandre Hawkins, 28, faces a preliminary hearing June 23 before Magisterial District Judge Richard D. Olasz Jr. after being charged by Allegheny County police with aggravated assault, simple assault, strangulation and reckless endangerment.

Police said the incident happened near the intersection of Viola Avenue and South Fifth Street, where first-responders responded to reports of a shooting. They found evidence at the scene, but no victim, police said.

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Woman in Wheelchair Hurt in Accident

June 16, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Allegheny County police are investigating an accident that injured a woman in a wheelchair on Monday afternoon.

Witnesses said the victim was crossing Lysle Boulevard near Coursin Street just after 3 p.m. when she was struck by Cadillac Escalade SUV.

According to bystanders, the woman and her wheelchair were pinned by the vehicle. She was extricated by McKeesport firefighters and McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service, witnesses said, and was taken to the hospital.

Police said she was listed in critical condition. Her name was not released by police.

The county police Homicide Unit and Collision Reconstruction Unit responded to the scene to assist McKeesport police.

Investigators said the driver of the Cadillac remained on the scene and is cooperating with 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.


Rent, Tax Rebate Program Deadline Extended

June 15, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The deadline for older adults and residents with disabilities to apply for rent or property tax rebates has been extended until Dec. 31, the state Department of Revenue has announced.

The state’s Property Tax & Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 or older, widows and widowers age 50 or older, and people with disabilities age 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded.

The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975.

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Two Hurt in Car-Bus Collision

June 09, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Police are investigating a crash between a Pittsburgh Regional Transit bus and a car that temporarily closed the Mansfield Bridge on Wednesday night and sent two people to the hospital.

Transit agency spokesman Adam Brandolph said a 61C McKeesport bus in-bound to the city collided with a car as it exited the bridge onto West Fifth Avenue. The wreck happened just after 9 p.m.

The bus operator was taken by ambulance to UPMC McKeesport hospital for treatment after suffering chest and head injuries, Brandolph said. The operator’s name and condition were not available on Thursday.

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Search Begins for New McKeesport Campus Head

June 08, 2022 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Megan Nagel, an associate professor of chemistry and associate chief academic officer, will serve as interim chancellor of Penn State Greater Allegheny Campus, the university has announced. (Submitted photo courtesy Penn State University)

A national search has begun for a new chancellor of Penn State’s McKeesport campus.

Megan Nagel, an associate professor of chemistry and a member of the faculty since 2010, will serve as the interim chancellor of Penn State Greater Allegheny through June 30, 2023.

Nagel succeeds Penn State Greater Allegheny Chancellor Jacqueline Edmondson, who has stepped down to become the president of the University of Southern Maine.

“Penn State Greater Allegheny is an exceptional and diverse community of motivated students, faculty scholars and dedicated staff,” Nagel said in a prepared release. “I am honored to serve the campus in this interim role.”

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Christy Park Bike Shop Keeps Rolling Along

June 08, 2022 |

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

The two Mikes — Jones and Kostyzak — behind the counter at Zak’s Bicycle Sales and Repair in Christy Park. The shop has become a landmark for cyclists using the Great Allegheny Passage between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Md. (Jason Mignanelli photo for Tube City Almanac)

What started out as a tiny bicycle repair shop in a 900 square foot basement of an apartment building has grown into a successful landmark for cyclists just off the Great Allegheny Passage Trail in McKeesport at mile 132.5.

Glassport native Mike Kostyzak opened Zak’s Bicycle Sales and Repair on October 31, 2009, with only $2,800 to his name.

“I guess the way it worked was, I had been getting laid off at different jobs and it was getting frustrating. I thought to myself, ‘Geez, I can fail on my own. I might as well give something a try on my own,’” said Kostyzak.

“I decided on the bike shop because I had always been into cycling. My older brother Bill taught me how to work on bikes out behind our house as kids. We’d work on the old Schwinn’s and stuff like that,” he said.

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Report: Pa. Funding for Disabled Students Lacking

June 06, 2022 |

By Emily Scott © Public News Service | Posted in: State & Region

As the number of Pennsylvania students with disabilities rises, a new report says the share of state education funding has declined. Education advocates say state lawmakers can use this year’s budget surplus to support the students.

In 2008, Pennsylvania contributed close to one-third of the total cost of special education, but by 2020 that amount dropped to 22 percent.

And meanwhile, costs have gone up for every school district, according to Sharon Ward, senior policy advisor with the Education Law Center, which published the report.

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Concert Saturday Set for MLT

June 04, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, Entertainment

The Little Wretches will give a benefit concert Saturday (June 4) to support the McKeesport Little Theater Juniors.

A spokesman said the concert also will showcase the folk-rock group’s album, “Red Beets & Horseradish.”

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.

“Red Beets & Horseradish” is named after a relish or side-dish usually served around the holidays of Easter or Passover by various ethnicities of Eastern Europe. The Little Wretches are an acoustic ensemble whose songs tell stories of their Mon Valley roots.

The songs on the album involve vignettes and portraits of people who’ve suffered—old people, sick people, crazy people, people who are alone—but the heart of the songs lies not in the suffering of the characters but in the indomitable faith and humor that sustains them.

For more information about The Little Wretches, visit their website or find them on Facebook.


City Lions Club Makes Year-End Donations

June 02, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Vincent D’Alesio, director of Carnegie Library of McKeesport, accepts a $200 donation from Ernie Oatneal, president of the McKeesport Lions Club, during an event last week at McKees Point Cafe. (Submitted photo)

McKeesport Lions Club has made donations to seven local charities, many of them with vision-related missions.

A spokeswoman said $200 donations were made to Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind, Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh, Leader Dogs for the Blind, Carnegie Free Library of McKeesport, Beacon Lodge Camp near Mt. Union, Lions Club International Foundation and Pennsylvania Lions Sight Conservation & Eye Research Foundation.

The money is excess generated from Lions Club activities over the past 12 months and each club is asked to donate any “profit” to other groups at the end of the Lions Club International year, the spokeswoman said.

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