Rep. Gergely Charged With Corruption in Gambling Case

March 01, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Above: State Rep. Marc Gergely meets a constituent during an open house at his office. Official Pennsylvania state House of Representatives photo.)

Editor's Note: The author, and Tube City Community Media Inc., have conflicts of interest regarding this story. Please see the editor's note at the end of this story. UPDATED: Added information from the Uniontown Herald-Standard. UPDATED: Added information about donations to Gergely's re-election committee. UPDATED: Added information from The Associated Press.

. . .

State Rep. Marc Gergely has been charged with felony corruption and other offenses in connection with the investigation of a Mon Valley video poker ring that implicated a former McKeesport city councilman and other local officials, including the former Forward Twp. police chief.

The charges were announced today by state Attorney General Kathleen Kane in Harrisburg. Gergely is expected to appear tomorrow for a preliminary arraignment, Kane said.

Kane said the investigation is "ongoing" and that additional charges may yet be filed.

In a prepared statement, Kane said Gergely, 46, a Democrat from White Oak and former president of the McKeesport Area School Board, actively tried to promote and protect the illegal gambling business of Ronald "Porky" Melocchi.

In at least two cases, the attorney general's office claims, Gergely personally met with business owners and tried to convince them to allow Melocchi to put poker machines in their businesses.

"This is an unfortunate case in which the players traded political capital and favors to advance their own agendas and illicit business," Kane said. "The evidence clearly shows that Mr. Melocchi relied heavily on his relationships --- including with Mr. Gergely --- to conduct his illegal business."


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Heritage Center Program to Highlight 'Women in Sports'

February 29, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center will host its annual Women's History Month program on Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 2 pm. "Women in Sports." Jodi Gill, Marianne MacBeth and Elizabeth Jones will discuss the history of women in sports and how Title IX changed their access to sports.

This program will be held at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center at 1832 Arboretum Drive, McKeesport PA 15132. The program is free and open to the public. Please call 412-678-1832 for more information.


Reader's Viewpoint: Why Don't Customers Count?

February 24, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Letters to the Editor

To the editor:

The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County is planning a 25 percent rate hike, with more to follow.

An online petition fell on deaf ears. I thought there was a law which prevents utility hikes beyond a certain percentage? And this is the second one to do the same work the last hike was approved for.

Where is the water authority's responsibility to budget for ongoing repairs to their own systems?  Why don't its customers' objections count?  Who can afford this increase, especially in McKeesport? 

Is there anything citizens can do to try to prevent this astronomical increase?

—Philip Haughey and Susan Linders, McKeesport

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City Man Jailed After Miles-Long Police Chase

February 24, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail on $100,000 cash bond after leading police on a wild chase through the Mon Valley that ended with a crash on the Parkway East.

According to court officials, Andre Lamont Johnson, 27, faces a preliminary hearing at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 29 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi on an array of charges, including driving under the influence, aggravated assault and multiple moving violations.

McKeesport police Chief Bryan Washowich said officers on routine patrol Friday night near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Lysle Boulevard pulled alongside a car and smelled a "strong odor" of burnt marijuana.

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Public Meeting Planned on Possible Route 30 Improvements

February 18, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Doug Kerr photo via Flickr; licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

Residents, business owners and commuters who use U.S. Route 30 in the Mon-Yough area are being invited to discuss possible improvements to the road in Irwin and North Versailles Twp.

The first in a series of public meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. March 2 in the cafeteria of Norwin High School, 251 McMahon Drive, North Huntingdon Twp., said a district spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

In addition, PennDOT has created an online survey for the public at

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New McKeesport Campus Chancellor Begins Work

February 18, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The new chancellor of Penn State University's Greater Allegheny campus in McKeesport began work this week. Andrew Egan took office on Monday.

Formerly dean of the Faculty of Science and acting associate vice president for research at Brandon University in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, Egan has ties to Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh: He's a 1993 Penn State graduate, while his wife grew up in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Ingomar.

Above, on his first day on the job, Egan greets students at the Accepted Student Program.

(Penn State Greater Allegheny photo)


Glenwood Interchange Work Resumes Next Week

February 17, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

If you use the Glenwood Bridge to get from the Mon Valley to Oakland or downtown Pittsburgh, beware --- Phase 3 of work on the busy commuter route begins on Monday, Feb. 22.

The work will include the closure of the northbound lanes of Route 837 --- heading from West Homestead to Pittsburgh's South Side --- and the restriction of traffic in the southbound lanes near the WHEMCO building.

And that's not the only closure on the route --- beginning this Friday, Feb. 19, and continuing through Feb. 22, Second Avenue in the Greenfield section of the city will be closed entirely in the area around the railroad overpass. (The two projects are not related.)

The restrictions near the Glenwood Bridge are necessary so that crews from J. F. Shea Construction, Inc., can conduct deck replacement work on Route 837 and the associated ramps as part of a $16.9 million upgrade around the interchange at the south end of the Glenwood Bridge.

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Mon Valley Man Sentenced in Social Security Case

February 17, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A resident of Carroll Twp., Washington County, has been sentenced in federal court to two years of probation on his conviction of theft of government property, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone in Pittsburgh imposed the sentence on 68-year-old Gregory Kavalec.

Prosecutors said that between October 2013 and September 2014, Kavalec collected Social Security benefits to which he wasn't entitled amounting to nearly $18,000.

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McKeesport Art Group Begins 2016 Meetings

February 16, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport Art Group is holding its first regular business meeting of 2016 in a new location.

A spokeswoman said the Feb. 22 meeting will be held at 1 p.m. at Jacob Woll Pavilion in Renziehausen Park. The meeting is open to both members and non-members.

The agenda includes a short business meeting, a recap of the past year's activities, an announcement of upcoming speakers and demonstrations, and updates from members on projects and accomplishments.

MAG holds a spring art show at Jacob Woll each May and has also begun hosting a fall "Art in the Park" event. For more information, call (412) 469-2710 or visit

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Mt. Vernon Cemetery Plans Cleanup March 15

February 16, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Mt. Vernon Cemetery in Elizabeth Twp. will conduct a seasonal cleanup on March 15, a spokeswoman said. Anyone wishing to save Christmas decorations placed on a memorial should do so before March 15, or call the cemetery office at (412) 751-7683.


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