Joyful Bloomer Garden Club Plans Trip to Bidwell Center

April 05, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Members of the Joyful Bloomer Garden Club will travel to Bidwell Training Center in Pittsburgh's Manchester neighborhood next week to learn about the plants grown and maintained by students.

The trip at 10 a.m. Wednesday will include a tour of the technical school, a spokeswoman said. Lunch will be prepared and served by the school's culinary arts department.

Non-members are welcome to attend, but should call (724) 600-9042. Entry to Bidwell is free, but the lunch will cost $10. The group will be meeting at Bidwell, located at 1815 Metropolitan St. in Pittsburgh.

 
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Rental Property Ordinance Seems Destined for Court Fight

April 05, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

McKeesport's ordinance requiring rental properties to be registered with the city and inspected for safety violations appears to be headed to court again --- and it's a fight officials seem to relish.

City resident Alan Wakefield on Wednesday attended McKeesport's city council meeting to call the ordinance "unconstitutional" and demand officials produce evidence that it's necessary.

It's the second month in a row that Wakefield has challenged city officials over the Regulated Rental Ordinance, which was passed by council in March 2017 on a 4-3 vote.

The ordinance requires rental properties to be registered with the city once per year at a fee of $50. It also requires every apartment or rented house to be inspected by the fire department every two years to ensure that smoke detectors are in place and that fire exits are not blocked.

 
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City Hopes Renzie Pavilion Renovations Will Be Complete By Memorial Day

April 04, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Renovations will begin soon to five pavilions at Renziehausen Park, in hopes that work will be complete by Memorial Day weekend.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko also confirmed that the dates for the city's annual International Village ethnic festival --- held at Renzie's Stephen Barry Field --- have been set for Aug. 14, 15 and 16.

At Wednesday's meeting, McKeesport City Council by 7-0 vote awarded a $184,750 contract to the lowest responsible bidder, Plavchak Construction Co. of Jefferson Hills, to paint and repair four pavilions and replace their roofs and signage.

In addition, two of the pavilions also will receive new LED lighting, benches and other updates. Funding for the work will come from the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

 
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New Public Meetings Scheduled to Discuss Transit Changes

April 04, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements, Duquesne News

Stung by criticism from Mon Valley riders over proposed cuts to service, Port Authority of Allegheny County will hold new public meetings to get community input.

A meeting will be held at 6 p.m. April 12 at Rankin Christian Center, 230 Third Ave., in Rankin to discuss bus routes serving Rankin, Braddock, North Braddock, Edgewood, Swissvale, Regent Square and Wilkinsburg, state Rep. Austin Davis said Tuesday in a prepared statement.

Another meeting will be held in McKeesport at 6 p.m. May 10 at the Palisades, corner of Fifth Avenue and Water Street, Downtown.

 
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Duquesne Officials Working to Clear Up City Accounts

April 03, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne officials are working to clear up delinquent and overdue accounts --- both those owed to the city and those owed by the city.

At council's March 27 meeting, Mayor Nickole Nesby reported that she received a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development regarding a tax obligation for the city of Duquesne.

After contacting the state Department of Revenue, Nesby learned that Duquesne did not file its fourth-quarter 2017 withholding tax return, which was due Jan. 31.

Nesby said a lock has been temporarily placed on the city's account until the return is filed, making Duquesne ineligible for state grant funding. The problem, she told city council, is that some records from the fourth quarter of 2017 were not available.

 
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Pittsburgh Man Convicted in White Oak, Wilmerding Robberies

April 03, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News, White Oak News

A federal jury in Pittsburgh deliberated for only 20 minutes before convicting an East Liberty man in the robberies of two Mon-Yough banks.

Leonard W. Gibbons, 56, faces up to 22 years in prison and a half-million dollar fine after being convicted of breaking federal robbery and firearms laws, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said today in a prepared release. Sentencing before Senior U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose was scheduled for July 30.

Prosecutors allege that on July 17, 2015, Gibbons stole nearly $8,000 from Compass Federal Savings Bank in Wilmerding. About four months later, on Nov. 19, 2015, Gibbons stole nearly $4,000 from First Commonwealth Bank in White Oak, prosecutors said.

 
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Duquesne Mayor, Manager Complete Course for Newly Elected Officials

April 03, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

(Cami DiBattista photo for Tube City Almanac)

With the help of a donation from a local congressman, Duquesne's mayor and city manager recently completed the Local Government Academy's Newly Elected Officials Course.

Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby said the tuition for her and Manager Cha Sayles was donated by U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle.

According to the academy's website, more than 1,000 local officials have completed the course over the past 30 years.

“This was a learning experience I will never forget,” Nesby said. “It was a great opportunity to learn about how our local government functions. I met some outstanding individuals and built relationships that I may have never had. Personally, I feel this course should be mandatory for every elected official.”

 
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Duquesne Council Votes to Terminate Longtime Employee

April 02, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

(Updated to clarify suspension versus termination.)

Duquesne City Council has voted to fire a longtime police secretary in a move that upset some residents.

At its March 27 meeting, council voted unanimously to terminate city employee Lori Achtzehn, who had worked for Duquesne for more than 40 years. Achtzehn was suspended at the time of the vote.

Mayor Nickole Nesby said that an investigation revealed Achtzehn violated Pennsylvania Justice Network and PennDOT Driver License Information System policies.

Nesby said Achtzehn accessed records and files from the system without cause and accused Achtzehn of 21 violations over a two-year timeframe.

But Achtzehn said Nesby's comments at the council meeting were slanderous and that the mayor is attacking employees held over from former Mayor Phil Krivacek's administration.

 
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Kitchen Fire Forces Midtown Apts. Evacuation; No Injuries

March 29, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News, News

A fire on top of a kitchen stove forced the evacuation Wednesday night of the Midtown Plaza Apartments.

All 131 apartments in the building had to be evacuated and all off-duty McKeesport firefighters were called to the scene, along with volunteers from Glassport and Duquesne Annex.

McKeesport deputy fire Chief Tom Perciavalle said crews were finishing up at a call in the 500 block of Walnut Street just after 10 p.m. when they were dispatched to the senior-citizen high rise.

Firefighters forced entry to a locked second-floor apartment and found it filled with thick, black smoke, Perciavalle said. The residents were not home at the time of the fire.

 
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Property Tax Discount Date Extended Due to Weekend

March 28, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The date by which Allegheny County property owners can pay their 2018 taxes at a discount is being extended.

Allegheny County Treasurer John K. Weinstein said Wednesday that the deadline for the 2 percent discount --- which was originally this Saturday --- is being extended to Monday, due to the weekend.

In addition, the treasurer's office will stay open until 7:30 p.m. Monday for the convenience of taxpayers.

 
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