Duquesne Seeks New Tax Agency, Reports Demolition Progress

November 12, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne officials will seek a new collector for delinquent taxes as Mayor Phil Krivacek said the city and the existing agency were finding it difficult to work together.

At last week's meeting, city council voted 4-0 to terminate an agreement with Keystone Collections Group. Krivacek recommended that council find a new agency to perform the service.

In other business: Duquesne resident Steve Vasy was hired into the public works department on a 4-0 vote. Councilman John Gyure said there are presently two vacant positions after one public works employee retired and another is out on workers compensation with an injury.

Two vacant properties were secured and four street signs in the city were replaced by the Street Department, Gyure reported.

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Veterans Day Events Planned in City

November 10, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Two services will be held in the city on Saturday in honor of Veterans Day, spokespersons said.

At 11 a.m., veterans groups will gather at Memorial Park on Lysle Boulevard at Market Street for a ceremony recognizing local residents who served in the armed forces.

At 12 noon, the LaRosa Boys and Girls Club, 901 Ravine St., will hold its 51st annual Veterans Day Program.

Master of Ceremonies will be Walt Yager, assisted by City Administrator Tom Maglicco and Councilman Jim Barry.

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Three People Charged in Convenience Store Robberies

November 10, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

From left: Damon Gergely, Lindsay Vasko and Bennie Carter. (Photos courtesy McKeesport and West Mifflin police.)

Three people face charges in connection with convenience store robberies in Dravosburg and West Mifflin.

And police say at least seven similar holdups in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties are being investigated.

"We anticipate additional robbery charges will be filed," West Mifflin police Chief Kenneth Davies said in a prepared statement.

Damon M. Gergely, 24, of North Huntingdon Twp. is charged by McKeesport police with robbery, theft by unlawful taking, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy in connection with the Oct. 22 holdup at the Spee-D Mart on Richland Avenue, police said.

In a prepared statement, McKeesport police said Lindsay S. Vasko, 25, of Duquesne also faces charges of criminal conspiracy in connection with the Dravosburg robbery.

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No Tax Increase Planned in '18 for Duquesne Residents

November 10, 2017 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

There will be no property or wage tax increases in 2018 for Duquesne residents.

At Wednesday's city council meeting, City Manager Frank Piccolino said the Act 47 oversight board will review the city's proposed budget and make any final recommendations.

Council is scheduled to adopt the budget Dec. 13.

City Solicitor Patricia McGrail asked council for a motion to advertise the 2018 earned income tax rate of 1.15 percent for residents and 1.3 percent for non-residents. Council approved the motion 4-0.

The city will borrow $450,000 on a tax-anticipation note from First Commonwealth Bank. City Manager Frank Piccolino said First Commonwealth's bid was the only one received. Council approved the bid by 4-0 vote.

The rate on the tax anticipation note has increased slightly from last year, to 2.15 percent, Piccolino said.

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City's Carnegie Library Schedules November Events

November 09, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Lee Paxton photo via Wikimedia Commons. Used under GNU Free Documentation License.)

A discussion with a local author, a driving refresher course for senior citizens, craft parties and movies are on the schedule at the Carnegie Library of McKeesport, 1507 Library Ave., a spokeswoman has announced.

Local Author: Craig Stephan, author of "Riding On Empty," will discuss the process of writing and getting his book published at 7 p.m. Nov. 14. The book, released in 2010, is Stephan's chronicle of a cross-country motorcycle trip he took with his wife on their honeymoon, set against the story of his mother's fight against cancer. The event is free and open to the public, but is recommended for adults age 18 and up. Registration is recommended.

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Six Held in Drug Bust Involving Heroin, Tranquilizers

November 09, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Six suspected narcotics dealers have been charged with selling a substance that state Attorney General Josh Shapiro described as "literally a drug used to tranquilize elephants."

The case centers on an alleged drug ring, operated out of the Braddock and Homestead areas, that sold $750,000 in suspected narcotics in 2016 and 2017.

It resulted in the first known seizure in Allegheny County of carfentanil, said a spokesman for Shapiro's office.

“It is outrageous criminal conduct, we won’t allow it, and with strong law enforcement collaboration, we’ve shut down a drug ring that sold three-quarters of a million dollars of poison in towns across Allegheny County," Shapiro said Thursday in a prepared statement.

Carfentanil is marketed under the trade name "Wildnil" and is intended as a tranquilizer for large animals, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The drug is about 10,000 times more potent than morphine, the FDA has said.

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Ministerium Slates Annual Thanksgiving Celebration Nov. 19

November 08, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The Rev. William B. Meekins Jr. will deliver the keynote message on Nov. 19 when the McKeesport Area Ministerium holds its annual community Thanksgiving service.

The service will be held at 4 p.m. at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 220 Eighth Ave. at Walnut Street, Downtown.

The ministerium is an interfaith group of clergy from McKeesport-area churches and religious organizations.

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Boil-Water Order Lifted for Mon Valley, South Hills

November 08, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

About 100,000 people in the Mon Valley, South Hills and Washington County can drink up --- water, of course.

Pennsylvania-American Water Co. has lifted a boil-water advisory that affected customers in 55 municipalities, including Clairton, Dravosburg, Elizabeth, Elizabeth Twp., Forward Twp., Glassport, Jefferson Hills, Liberty, Lincoln and West Elizabeth, as well as Finleyville, Union Twp., Monongahela and New Eagle.

"Acceptable test results were obtained from samples collected on (Monday and Tuesday), and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has authorized lifting of the advisory," said Melissa Walters, a spokeswoman for the utility.

The boil-water advisory was issued Monday evening after PAWC technicians noticed that water samples had become "turbid," or cloudy. Water company officials said that turbidity in water can allow dangerous bacteria, viruses or other harmful organisms to flourish.

The cause of the problem has not yet been announced.

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Water Company Hopeful That Boil Order Can Be Lifted Soon

November 07, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Above: Clairton city officials have put a water buffalo with fresh drinking water at the municipal building. (Photo courtesy Mayor Rich Lattanzi, via Facebook.)

Officials at Pennsylvania-American Water Co. are hopeful that a boil-water advisory affecting 100,000 customers in the Mon Valley, South Hills and Washington County can be lifted within the next 24 hours.

Melissa Walters, a spokeswoman for the water company, said Tuesday afternoon that the turbidity --- cloudiness --- in the water that caused the advisory to be issued has been fixed.

"The actual issue was resolved last night, but after any boil advisory we are required by the (state Department of Environmental Protection) to have two clean water samples 24 hours apart," Walters said, "which means the earliest we can lift the advisory is tomorrow afternoon."

Some PAWC customers were urged Monday evening to either use bottled water for cooking, drinking and brushing their teeth, or to bring water to a boil, boil it for at least one minute, and then let it cool before using it.

Mon-Yough communities affected include Clairton, Dravosburg, Elizabeth, Elizabeth Twp., Forward Twp., Glassport, Jefferson Hills, Liberty, Lincoln and West Elizabeth, as well as Finleyville, Union Twp., Monongahela and New Eagle.

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Sentencing Rescheduled for Former State Rep Caught in Gambling Ring

November 07, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Sentencing for a former state representative caught in an investigation of video poker and illegal gambling has been rescheduled.

Former state Rep. Marc Gergely was to be sentenced on Monday by Allegheny County Judge Ed Borkowski, but court officials said a continuance was granted, and sentencing is now scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 11.

Last week, Gergely resigned from his 35th Legislative District seat, effective Monday.

In August, Gergely, 48, a Democrat from White Oak, pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy and violating state election laws by accepting cash contributions in excess of $100.

Both charges are first-degree misdemeanors carrying penalties of not more than $10,000 in fines or five years' prison or probation.

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