City Council Meeting Moved

December 31, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

McKeesport City Council will hold its first meeting of 2020 on Monday at the public safety building, corner of Lysle Boulevard and Market Street, a city spokeswoman said.

Although council usually meets on the first Wednesday of each month, that falls on New Year’s Day.

Monday’s meeting will include the swearing-in of Mayor Michael Cherepko and re-elected city council members at 5:45 p.m., a workshop meeting at 6 p.m. and the council meeting at 6:15 p.m. All events take place on the second floor and are open to the public.


Year-End Reflection: A Chaotic Journey of Love

December 31, 2019 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: Commentary-Editorial

Tube City Almanac contributor Vickie Babyak has been participating in the Tube City Writers’ workshop, a program of Point Park University that’s being led by freelance photographer Martha Rial. The group meets on alternate Tuesdays at the Tube City Center for Business and Innovation (former Daily News Building).

Vickie has graciously shared this piece, which she wrote as part of her work with the writers’ workshop.

My daughter added me to a Facebook group that focuses on growing in spiritual logic and how to master your reconstruction.

Every day there’s a question to reflect on, and this question was something I wanted to answer:

“When do you feel most like yourself and do you embrace that every day, or is it the last thing you think of and are there certain times of the day or things that trigger this remembrance? It’s weird how little things can trigger pain, and we will succumb to the sadness, but when it comes to triggering ourselves to be our better selves, what do we do? How do we find a path to forgiveness?”

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New Trash Hauler in City,
NHT Beginning Jan. 1

December 30, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements, McKeesport and Region News

A new provider will be collecting trash and recyclables in McKeesport and North Huntingdon Twp. beginning Jan. 1.

Rostraver Twp.-based County Hauling was awarded a four-year contract by North Huntingdon commissioners on Sept. 18, replacing Waste Management, and a one-year contract by McKeesport city council on Nov. 6, replacing Big's Sanitation.

In both cases, officials from the municipalities said County Hauling was the lowest responsible bidder. The company is a subsidiary of Noble Environmental Inc. of Pittsburgh, which also owns the Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill near Monessen. Noble purchased the landfill in 2016 from Tervita, a Canadian company.

“We are a growing, locally owned company,” County Hauling spokeswoman Ro Rozier said in a prepared release. “We are thrilled to be able to provide service to McKeesport and many other communities in Allegheny, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties.”

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County Offices, Courts Closed
for New Year’s Holiday

December 28, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Allegheny County parks, including Boyce Park, shown here, will have special holiday hours for outdoor activities — weather-permitting, of course. (Photo courtesy Allegheny County Parks)

All Allegheny County offices, including courts and magisterial district judges’ offices, will be closed Wednesday for the New Year’s Day holiday, a spokesperson said, but county parks will have special holiday hours.

In addition, on Tuesday, Allegheny County courts and the District Attorney’s Office will be closed. The county treasurer’s office will close at 12 noon. The marriage license and passport office will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but the rest of the Department of Court Records will be closed.

All other offices under the Executive Branch, along with the Controller’s Office, will be open normal business hours, the spokesperson said.

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Free Christmas Tree Recycling
Available at County Parks

December 28, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Allegheny County parks are accepting Christmas trees for recycling through Jan. 14, a spokeswoman said.

All lights, decorations, tinsel and stands must be removed from trees prior to drop-off at designated areas in all nine regional parks between 8 a.m. and dusk daily. Trees will be mulched and used in the county parks.

Local drop-off locations include:

• Boyce Park: Soccer fields parking lot
• Round Hill Park: Alfalfa Shelter parking lot
• South Park: Wave pool parking lot
• White Oak Park: Chestnut Shelter parking lot

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Expungement Clinic Offered Jan. 11

December 28, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Representatives of the Allegheny County Office of the Public Defender will be available to explain the expungement process during a free event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 11.

The clinic is being co-hosted by state Rep. Austin Davis at the gymnasium of Founders’ Hall Middle School, 3600 O’Neil Blvd., McKeesport.

“So many people struggle with employment due to their criminal records,” Davis said. “However, many of them have already paid the price for their past mistakes ... This clinic hopes to help as many people as possible in clearing their name and finding gainful employment.”

For more information about this event, contact Davis’ district office at (412) 664-0035.


Readers’ Viewpoints

December 20, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Letters to the Editor

Christmas lights much appreciated

I drove past the "Daily News Building" recently and was so pleased to see the iconic neon Christmas lights in the windows. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you to whomever had the foresight to save these lights. They are so much a part of McKeesport. Merry Christmas!

—Connie Andres, Pittsburgh

Editor’s Note: We passed your message along to McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko and city electrician Tom Rosso.

Former resident appreciates obituaries

I thank you so much for being able to see local obituaries, living in the Altoona area. This is a great service.

—Pat Stanley, Roaring Spring, Pa.

Compare scores of charter, public schools

Regarding the article “School Officials Seek Relief, Changes to Charter School Laws” (Dec. 11): Are charter schools doing well by their students? Compare scores etc against public schools before making any decisions!

—Dena Swantek Benko, White Oak

Editor’s Note: You can check out test scores and historical trends for all public and charter schools in Pennsylvania by going to the state’s website at

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Local Christmas Tree Lots Keep Tradition Alive

December 20, 2019 |

By Emily Pidgeon | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, White Oak News

Herb Spang and an employee prepare to bale a customer’s tree at the family’s lot on Hartman Street in McKeesport. The Spangs have been selling Christmas trees at the location for nearly 60 years. (Emily Pidgeon photo special to Tube City Almanac)

Selling Christmas trees during the holidays may seem like a fun and easy way to make a buck, but after talking to some local tree lot owners, you may think differently.

“We have to fight snakes, spiders, the sun, the weather — everything, you know,” said Don Spang, 88, of White Oak, owner of Spang’s Trees on Hartman Street in McKeesport.

Spang and his brother Herb, 79, along with other family members and employees, are celebrating 59 years of selling Christmas trees in the very same location.

Spang said he’s sold as many as 5,000 trees in one season. These days, the lot sells closer to 500 trees.

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Duquesne Woman Sues Over
Incident Involving Police K-9

December 20, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News, McKeesport and Region News

A Duquesne woman who says she was bitten by a McKeesport police canine officer that got loose from a police officer's yard is suing the department and the dog's handler.

Shanita Beatty, 42, is seeking damages for pain and suffering, hospital and medical bills and lost wages. The lawsuit was filed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court on Dec. 3.

City officials declined comment.

The lawsuit alleges that Beatty was in the parking lot of an Eden Park Boulevard restaurant on Sept. 8, 2018, when the dog jumped on her, biting her on the neck and forearm.

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Pasternak, Pholar Thankful for
Time on W.O. Council

December 18, 2019 |

By Christy Walters | Posted in: White Oak News

White Oak Mayor Ina Jean Marton gives a hug to outgoing Council President Dave Pasternak. (Christy Walters photo special to Tube City Almanac)

Monday night’s White Oak Council meeting was the last for two of its members.

Council President Dave Pasternak and councilman Steve Pholar expressed gratitude to their fellow board members, borough employees, residents, and family members for support during their time in local government.

Neither man was re-elected for a new term in the November elections.

Pasternak served on council for 24 years and said he was appreciative of all the opportunities it afforded him, and the people with whom he interacted on a daily basis.

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