Heritage Center Event Remembers 1976 Fire

May 11, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Forty years ago this month, a massive fire swept through Downtown McKeesport, destroying the former Famous Department Store, the Elks Lodge, the old Market Street School and several other buildings, and heavily damaging the Memorial Theater, which never re-opened.

On Sunday (May 15), retired firefighters and other residents will discuss their memories of the May 21, 1976, blaze that caused $5 million in damage --- roughly $20.9 million in 2016 dollars --- to the city's business district. More than 40 fire departments from throughout western Pennsylvania fought the fire.

The event begins at 2 p.m. at the McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center, 1832 Arboretum Drive, Renziehausen Park, and will be moderated by Jason Togyer, executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc., and a heritage center board member.

Admission is free and refreshments will be provided by Local Union 10 of the International Association of Firefighters, representing McKeesport firefighters.

For more information, call (412) 678-1832 or visit the center's website.


Liberty Boro. Hosts Community Yard Sale

May 11, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Liberty Borough will hold a community-wide yard sale this Saturday (May 14) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sale will go on "rain or shine."

Nearly 80 houses are expected to participate in the sale, which spans 30 borough streets. For more information, visit the event's Facebook page.

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Police Log: May 11, 2016

May 11, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

  • Arrest records published here were provided by the McKeesport Police Department.
  • A report of an arrest does not mean the person identified has been convicted of a crime.
  • All people arrested are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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City Woman Indicted in Social Security Case

May 05, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport woman was indicted this week and charged with theft of U.S. government property.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said that Social Security benefits for a deceased person was deposited into a bank account held by Karen Bosnak, 52, after that person's death.

The one-count indictment alleges that $13,970 in benefits were deposited between November 2013 and September 2014.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both, Hickton said. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Hull is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Social Security Administration.


City Making Progress on Demolition Backlog

May 04, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The city is making progress on tearing down abandoned houses and is getting cooperation from at least one of the country's largest banks.

At last night's work session, McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko told council that at least a dozen vacant houses have been torn down by city public works employees since Jan. 1, and said likely "40 to 50" have been demolished in the past two years, when McKeesport purchased a piece of heavy equipment known as an excavator.

Paying an outside contractor to demolish a house can cost $8,000 to $10,000. At those rates, Cherepko said, the city's excavator "is more than paid for."

In at least one case, he said, the home mortgage division of Wells Fargo & Co. transferred an abandoned house to the city, along with $10,000 to pay for its demolition. The bank had taken ownership of the house in a foreclosure when the previous owner defaulted on their mortgage.

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Valley Men Plead Guilty in Cocaine Ring

May 02, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Two Mon Valley men pleaded guilty in federal court to charges they helped traffic cocaine into the Homewood section of Pittsburgh.

Tracey Yancey, 53, of East Pittsburgh pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to drug possession with intent to distribute and unlawful possession of a firearm, while David Irwin, 43, of White Oak pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney David Hickton said today.

Both pleas were entered before U.S. District Judge Mark R. Hornak in federal court in Pittsburgh.

Yancey and Irwin were both arrested following a joint investigation by the FBI and local police that began in December 2013 after a wave of drug-related violence in Homewood.

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1-Adam-12: Your Cars Are Ready

April 29, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A sharp-eyed reader who would prefer to remain anonymous spotted these vintage 1970s Plymouths and AMC Matadors being turned into police cars at a shop on Lebanon Road, near the West Mifflin municipal building, and sent us this photo.
"Is the West Mifflin police department going retro?" our reader asked. Maybe. Or else Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane of "The Dukes of Hazzard" is in town --- he did wreck an awful lot of similar police cars on that show.
We don't know for sure, but it seems more likely that they're being prepared for the new Netflix series "Mindhunters," which starts filming in Pittsburgh in May. In March, Pittsburgh's Nancy Mosser Casting put out a request asking owners of cars from the 1960s through early 1980s if they were interested in participating.
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Greater Allegheny Prof Wins Teaching Award

April 28, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

A professor at Penn State's Greater Allegheny Campus in McKeesport is one of six statewide honored with the university's award for excellence in teaching.

Megan L. Nagel, professor of chemistry, was named on April 22 one of the recipients of the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2016.

The award is named after Penn State’s seventh president.

Nagel says she views learning as a "two-way street."

“A classroom that allows for students’ questions, a lack of judgment, and a call to think critically contributes to an environment that’s ripe for learning,” she says.

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Local Student to Give TEDx Talk

April 28, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Diwas Timsina has come a long way. Now studying information sciences and technology at Penn State Greater Allegheny in McKeesport, he is originally from Bhutan, and was raised for 14 years in Jhapa, Nepal, in a refugee camp.  His family and 70,000 other Bhutanese were forced to leave the country due to the interethnic conflict that occurred in the 1990’s.

“We faced so many struggles and challenges like discrimination, crowdedness, floods, fire, hurricane and diseases. The list goes on and on,” Diwas says. In 2008, the Timsinas first arrived in the United States, settling in Atlanta, Georgia, where they stayed for three years before moving to Pittsburgh. Timsina has since founded a nonprofit organization, Children of Shangri-Lost.

On May 22, Timsina will be a featured speaker at TEDx Pittsburgh. He is going to share the story of his journey from Bhutan to the refugee camps in Nepal and to the United States.

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Church Plans Election Day Bake Sale, Soup Drive

April 18, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Christy Park United Methodist Church will sell homemade soup and baked goods on Election Day (April 26), a spokesperson said.

The sale will run all day while the polls are open and will include multiple different kinds of soup at $3 per bowl or $6 per quart. Baked goods also will be sold.

Items may be eaten at the church or taken "to go." The church is at 436 29th St. in Christy Park.


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