West Newton Posts Upcoming Events

June 02, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, West Newton News

West Newton Borough has posted upcoming events for June and beyond:

Vacation Bible School Scheduled

First Church of God, 157 N. Second St., will hold Vacation Bible School entitled “Food Truck Party” from June 12 to 16. Ages 3 through adult. Please register to attend by telephoning (724) 872-7467. All are welcome to attend Sunday morning worship at 10:30 a.m., including junior church for youth. The worship service is live streamed on Facebook each week.

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Famed Artist Plans Project in Hometown

June 02, 2022 |

By Alisha Tarver | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Matt Gergely, president of the board of McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center; Duane Michals; and McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko during their recent meeting. (Tube City Almanac photo)

McKeesport native and world-renowned artist Duane Michals recently celebrated his 90th birthday. But he’s the one who wants to offer a gift.

A photographer and storyteller whose portraits are on display in galleries and museums around the world, Michals, who now lives in New York City, has created a proposal for what he calls the “McKeesport Pipe Palace.”

Last week, Michals met with McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko to discuss his plans and possible locations for the sculpture.

A child of steelworkers, Michals closely relates to the industrial history of the Mon Valley and the citizens who contributed to it.

“If you go to Pittsburgh, you have the Carnegie Museum and the Frick Museum. There’s no kind of salute to the people who did all the work in the mills for decades,” Michals says. “I want to remind everyone what once happened there (McKeesport), who those people were, and how hard they worked.”

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EA Food Program Fuels Future Wildcats

May 31, 2022 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

Logan Elementary School teachers Angela Turkowski and Jennifer Kolodychak volunteer to help during the Wednesday Fueling Future Wildcats food bag assembly. (Kristen Keleschenyi photo for Tube City Almanac)

Reading, writing and arithmetic. These are the cornerstones of elementary school learning. But in some cases, there is another component needed: Food.

At Logan Elementary School, in the East Allegheny School District, a program called Fueling Future Wildcats helps fill a need that can oftentimes go unnoticed.

“There are some kids that are almost flying under the radar, because they come to school looking like they are doing OK, but we never really know if the family is really struggling,” says program coordinator Kaitlyn Gida.

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Charter School Tuition Gets Statewide Attention

May 31, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, State & Region

With charter school tuition payments rising faster than enrollments, public school districts are asking the Pennsylvania state legislature for relief.

According to Pennsylvania’s quarter-century-old law, charter schools do not charge students tuition. Instead, the majority of charter school funding comes from each student’s district of residence.

But local charter school officials said that their facilities serve poor students and fill vital educational needs in the communities where they operate. One local charter administrator who asked not to be identified by name said their school and others like it are getting “a bad rap.”

McKeesport Area School District Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. is one of the local officials who have been calling attention to the expense that public school systems incur from charters.

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MASD Board Praises Student Achievements

May 26, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport Area School District board members continued their commitment to highlighting student achievement during this month’s meeting.

After asking attendees to observe 30 seconds of silence for those impacted by the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas, Board President Mindy Lundberg recalled recent board efforts to showcase student success and said, “We're going to continually try to highlight students every month.”

Charley Kiss, athletic and activities director, reported on the accomplishments of student athletes Kanye Thompson and Aaron Elm, calling the seniors “two of the hardest workers — the kids are on campus always running on that track and preparing.”

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Superintendent Resigns, Acting Head Named

May 26, 2022 |

By Adam Reinherz | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Less than a year after being signed to a new five-year contract, the superintendent of McKeesport Area School District has resigned to take a job in another district.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the school board accepted the resignation of Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr., effective June 30. Tia M. Wanzo was named acting superintendent, effective July 1.

Wanzo will receive an additional monthly stipend of $1,250 in addition to her present salary.

Beaver Area School District in Beaver County announced that Holtzman has been hired as its superintendent. Holtzman introduced himself to the district in a letter dated May 23.

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Local Officials Bid Farewell to GA Chancellor

May 25, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Penn State Greater Allegheny Chancellor Jacqueline Edmondson, state Sen. Jim Brewster, former Penn State University President Eric Barron and McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko during the 2019 ribbon-cutting for the Mon Valley LaunchBox, located at the former YWCA on Ninth Avenue. (Submitted photo courtesy state Sen. Jim Brewster)

Local officials are praising the chancellor of Penn State’s McKeesport campus following the announcement that she will step down June 30.

Jacqueline Edmondson has been named president of the University of Southern Maine in Portland. Edmondson has served as chancellor and chief academic officer of Penn State Greater Alllegheny since 2017. She begins her new role July 1.

Additional details about the leadership transition for Penn State Greater Allegheny will be shared soon, a spokesperson said.

Under Edmondson’s leadership, the McKeesport campus launched its “Crossing Bridges” summit series to explore racial and cultural divides in the region, completed a $14.7 million renovation of the Ostermayer Laboratory and created the “Mon Valley LaunchBox” to help small and start-up businesses.

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Advocates Urge Family, Friends: ‘Be There’ for Vets

May 25, 2022 |

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

May marks both Mental Health Awareness Month and Military Appreciation Month. In Pennsylvania, officials want to ensure that veterans know mental-health and substance-use resources are available.

Pennsylvania is home to nearly 800,000 military veterans, the fourth-largest veteran population in the country.

Rick Hamp, special assistant to the deputy adjutant general for veteran affairs at the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, leads military suicide-prevention efforts in the state.

He said veterans sometimes can face stigma if they speak openly about struggles with anxiety or depression. Knowing a loved one supports them can help, Hamp said.

“Always be there for your family members and for those around you,” he said. “You know what’s normal for a person, and if they don’t look normal, don’t be afraid to ask the question, ‘Are you OK?’ That is the start of helping a person. And be ready when they reply, ‘No, I’m not.’”

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Heritage Center Hosts Flea-Tique This Weekend

May 24, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Submitted photo courtesy McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center)

McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center will hold a “flea-tique” antique sale and flea market this Saturday and Sunday (May 28 and 29), a spokesperson said.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 12 noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the center, 1832 Arboretum Drive.

The sale is being organized by the center volunteers and proceeds benefit center activities. Items are being accepted for sale as well during regular business hours at the center, located in Renziehausen Park.

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W. Newton Library Hosts Summer Program

May 24, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: West Newton News

West Newton Public Library will hold its summer reading program from 10 to 11 a.m. June 15, 22 and 29 at the Lions Field Pavilion, 511 Pittsburgh St., a spokesperson said.

Each day there will be a snack, guest reader and a craft, rain or shine. The event is being coordinated by Lori Luppold. Parents or guardians must accompany smaller children.

Participants must register at WNPL by calling (724) 633-0798 or emailing westnewton@wlnonline.org.

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