Guard Flees For Safety as Coal Train Derails

September 27, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Above: A CSX police officer guards the scene of a train derailment in Downtown McKeesport on Wednesday. Photo special to Tube City Almanac)

(Updated with comments from CSX Transportation.)
(Updated with comments from Amtrak.)

No injuries were reported Wednesday afternoon when a CSX coal train derailed behind McKeesport's public safety building on Lysle Boulevard.

Ten loaded 100-ton coal cars were toppled in the derailment, with three overturned in the parking lot of Dura-Bond Industries' electric resistance weld mill.

Witnesses said that the derailing cars narrowly missed the guard shack at Dura-Bond --- the former U.S. Steel McKeesport Tubular Operations plant --- forcing a security guard inside to flee to safety. A utility pole near the guard shack was knocked over.

"It sounded like an earthquake in the building," said McKeesport firefighter John Munsie, who watched the derailment just before 12:30 p.m. from the entrance to the fire station.

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Library Offers Free Flu Shots Oct. 10

September 26, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Free flu vaccine shots will be available from 9 to 11 a.m. Oct. 10 at the Carnegie Library of McKeesport, 1507 Library Ave., a spokeswoman said.

The shots will be administered by paramedics and will be available to anyone age 18 and over. Refreshments will be provided.

The event is free and open to the public and no registration is necessary. For more information, call (412) 672-0625.

In other programs announced by the library:

  • Daytime Movies: October's featured movies are "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" at 10 a.m. Oct. 3 and the Alfred Hitchcock classic "Rear Window" at 10 a.m. Oct. 31. Movies are intended for adults and are free, but attendees should bring a pillow to sit on.
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Croatian Club Slates Christmas Craft Fair Nov. 4

September 26, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Calling all crafters, artisans and vendors --- the Yukon Croatian Club will hold a Christmas Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 4.

A spokeswoman for the Westmoreland County club said that Oct. 23 is the deadline to reserve a table. The cost is $10 per table.

The club kitchen will be open to serve refreshments on the day of the event.

For more information, call (724) 872-7495. The club is located at 109 Union St. in Yukon, exit 53 off of Interstate 70.


Open House Planned Oct. 5 to Discuss Route 30 Rehab

September 26, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The public is being asked to provide opinions next month regarding the planned reconstruction of U.S. Route 30 between Irwin and North Versailles Twp.

Nancy Kolenc, project manager for the state Department of Transportation's District 12 office, said in a prepared release that an open house will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 5 in the cafeteria of Norwin Senior High School, 251 McMahon Drive, North Huntingdon Twp.

Information on the proposed master plan for the corridor will be available for review, and a brief presentation will be made at 6:30, Kolenc said.

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Road Work Planned in McKeesport, East Pittsburgh

September 26, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Motorists can expect restrictions on roadways in McKeesport and East Pittsburgh this week as crews begin road repairs.

Beginning Wednesday (Sept. 27), one lane of East Fifth Avenue will be restricted near the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge so that crews can make concrete repairs to one of the bridge ramps, said a district spokesperson for the state Department of Transportation.

The closure will affect one of the two lanes heading westbound (from East End to Downtown) between Queen Street and Pirl Street beginning at 7 a.m. Wednesday and continuing through Oct. 20, PennDOT said.

Separately, a major repaving project is slated to begin tonight in East Pittsburgh and North Braddock.

The PennDOT spokesperson said Electric Avenue will be closed nightly from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. through mid-October so that crews can repair and repave the street and improve drainage.

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Washington Co. Company Helps Preserve Blast Furnace Stack

September 22, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Shown at Carrie Furnaces in Rankin are Songer Services' Joe Meneskie, chief executive officer and president; Paul Songer, chairman and founder; and Gregg Preteroti, chief operating officer.

A Washington County company better known for building and repairing active furnaces and smokestacks has just completed a preservation job on the 110-year-old Carrie Furnaces in Rankin.

Songer Services, based in South Franklin Twp., near Washington, Pa., released a video this week detailing their preservation effort at the national historic site, located at the end of the Rankin Bridge, opposite the Waterfront entertainment complex.

You can watch the video on the company's website.

The project involved removing and capping 75 feet of distressed steel and brick from a vent stack at the furnaces. Songer was awarded the contract by the Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation, the regional non-profit organization that oversees the Carrie Furnaces and other historic industrial sites in eight counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.

"While it's true we're used to working on live furnaces, this project was a chance we just couldn't pass up," said Gregg Preteroti, Songer's chief operating officer, in a prepared statement. "This was about working on a historical site that preserves steel history for future generations. It's a great way to honor our founder."

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Senior Wellness and Safety Expo Slated Sept. 28

September 21, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Free flu shots, health screenings and information for senior citizens and veterans will be available when state Sen. Jim Brewster presents his annual Senior Wellness and Safety Expo at the Palisades Ballroom, Downtown.

The event from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. is open to all Mon-Yough area residents.

“The senior expo is an excellent opportunity for seniors from my district to access services and receive assistance,” Brewster said.  “We have had great success in offering help for seniors.”

In addition to health screenings, Brewster said, the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Mobile Outreach Unit will also be on-site to aid veterans and their families.

The Palisades is located at 100 Fifth Ave. next to the McKees Point Marina. Parking is available on the street or in the adjoining marina lot.

(Submitted photo courtesy state Sen. Jim Brewster)


Second Arrest Made in Fatal Double-Shooting

September 21, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Monroeville man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bond in connection with the fatal shooting Sept. 1 of two sisters inside a home in lower 10th Ward.

McKeesport police said Kylee S. Lankford, 19, was arrested by North Versailles Twp. police on a warrant obtained by Allegheny County in connection with the deaths of Melodie Robb, 52, and Kimberly Lesko, 55.

A third person was seriously wounded in what police said was a burglary turned violent.

Lankford was arraigned early Wednesday morning in Allegheny County night court by Magisterial District Judge Edward Tibbs on charges of homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, conspiracy and burglary.

Miras M. Kelly II, 19, of McKeesport was arrested Sept. 7 and is also charged by Allegheny County police with criminal homicide, burglary, robbery, conspiracy and aggravated assault in connection with the deaths of Robb and Lesko.

A formal arraignment on the charges has not yet been scheduled, according to court officials.


Two W.O. Properties Proposed for Land Bank Acquisition

September 21, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, White Oak News

White Oak officials have identified two properties in the borough for possible acquisition by the Tri-COG Land Bank.

At this week's council meeting, Councilman Dave Pasternak discussed the borough’s participation in the land bank, which allows Allegheny County communities more control over the pace of revitalization within their borders.

Operated by the Steel Rivers and Turtle Creek Valley councils of government, the land bank enables municipalities to acquire tax-delinquent properties, eliminate the back property taxes, and then re-sell the properties to new owners.

“The main purpose of the land bank is to take properties in disrepair that can be (put) back on the tax rolls,” Pasternak said. “The land bank will get a percentage of taxes for the first five years, then after that the school district and municipality receive 100 percent of the taxes.”

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White Oak Council Considers Zoning Changes for Marijuana Clinics, Gas Drilling

September 20, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, White Oak News

White Oak council is considering changes to the borough’s zoning rules to govern how it would handle medical marijuana clinics as well as future oil and gas drilling operations.

At a public hearing Monday at the municipal building, Mike Hammond, filling in for borough Solicitor Krisha DiMascio, gave a brief overview of the purpose of each proposed change.

The borough currently has no zoning regulations governing either medical marijuana or oil and gas drilling.

The proposed medical marijuana zoning ordinance, similar to other ordinances passed across state, outlines where a dispensary could be located and provides penalties for violations.

Under the proposed White Oak ordinance, “the dispensaries (could be) zoned only in commercial and light industrial zones, meaning they (could) not be located near any schools,” Council President Ron Massung said.

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