Jerome Bridge Going Tiger Blue in ’22

December 20, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

All four lanes of the Jerome Avenue Bridge have now reopened, but work on a $15.44 million rehabilitation project will continue through next year. (Tube City Almanac photo)

The dark blue paint on the Jerome Avenue Bridge is there to stay, and is a homage to the red and blue colors of the McKeesport Area School District, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation said.

Last week, all four lanes of the bridge reopened to traffic after being restricted to one lane since March 2021. Single-lane restrictions will continue on the bridge weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through the spring of 2022, but traffic will be maintained in each direction, said Steve Cowan, spokesman for PennDOT District 11.

Built in 1937 by Allegheny County, the bridge connects West Fifth Avenue and Lysle Boulevard over the CSX Railroad tracks and the Youghiogheny River. Up to 11,000 vehicles per day cross the span, PennDOT statistics indicate.

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County Offices Closed for Christmas, New Year’s

December 20, 2021 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

In observance of the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays, Allegheny County offices will be closed on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31, a spokesperson said.

All county offices will be closed on Christmas Eve. The Department of Court Records, including the Marriage License & Passport Office, also will be closed on Dec. 27.

All other offices will return to regular business hours on Dec. 27.

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Christmas Tree Recycling Begins Dec. 26

December 20, 2021 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: White Oak News

(File photo from Georgia, courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, via Flickr)

The Allegheny County Parks Department is offering its annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program again this holiday season, a spokesperson said.

Residents may drop off Christmas trees from Dec. 26 through Jan. 14 at all nine county parks from 8 a.m. until dusk.

All lights, decorations, tinsel and stands must be removed from trees prior to drop-off. Trees will be mulched and used in the county parks. Drop-off locations include Alfalfa Shelter Parking Lot at Round Hill Park, Elizabeth Twp., and Chestnut Shelter Parking Lot, White Oak Park.

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MASD Parents Still Frustrated By Bus Problems

December 15, 2021 |

By Siana Emery | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport Area School Board had a packed house for its final meeting of 2021.

During a public comment period, Stephanie Graham, the mother of a student whose bus was cancelled two out of three days last week, asked where the district stands on the busing issue as winter approaches.

McKeesport Area School District has been locked in a dispute with its bus provider, Pennsylvania Coach Lines, since August. In September, the district asked Allegheny County Judge Arnold Klein to declare the company in breach of contract after the bus company repeatedly cancelled service, citing a lack of drivers.

Although an agreement was reached for Pennsylvania Coach to continue providing services, the dispute has continued. The case was scheduled to go to trial Dec. 15, but has been postponed, according to court records.

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Taxes Unchanged in Upcoming W.O. Budget

December 15, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

White Oak’s proposed 2022 budget will include no tax increase, officials said at this week’s borough council workshop session.

Borough manager John Palyo provided some updates on next year’s spending proposals. He said that key focus areas in the 2022 budget include pension plans and code enforcement.

It is possible that White Oak will continue to provide police services to South Versailles Twp. in 2022, Palyo said.

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Duquesne Takes Cautious Approach With Chief

December 15, 2021 |

By Matt Germaine | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne’s police chief will retain his title for now.

Thomas W. Dunlevy, 49, has been charged by Allegheny County police with intimidation of witnesses, intimidation or realitiation in a child abuse case, obstructing the administration of law and official oppression.

Dunlevy was arraigned Dec. 7 and is currently free on $25,000 unsecured bond pending a preliminary hearing Dec. 20 before Magisterial District Judge Kim Berkeley Clark.

“These are all allegations. We have to see what’s going to be held for court, and then whether or not charges are going to be pursued by the district attorney’s office,” said Duquesne city solicitor Myron Sainovich in an interview. “If there’s not enough evidence in the preliminary hearing, the charges could be dismissed. We just have to wait and see.”

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Local Districts Keep Masking Plans in Effect

December 14, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News

Local school districts are keeping their mask policies in effect for the time being.

Duquesne and East Allegheny school officials said their mandatory mask policies will remain in place, while McKeesport Area School District said the district is making face masks optional but “highly recommended” for all staff and students.

Masking also is mandatory on school buses, McKeesport Area officials said.

On Friday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the state Department of Health overstepped its authority on Aug. 31 by setting a blanket requirement for all students to wear a face mask while in class to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

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Employee Charged in Tool Thefts

December 14, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A former employee of Pure Penn faces formal arraignment in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court after being accused of purchasing more than $17,000 in tools on a company credit card, then selling them.

Wade A. Kildow, 33, of Elizabeth Twp. is charged by McKeesport police with theft by unlawful taking and access device fraud. He remains free on his own recognizance following a preliminary hearing Nov. 15 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

McKeesport police said the alleged thefts were reported Sept. 24. Police said Kildow was a maintenance worker at the facility on Industry Road and had access to a credit card to purchase tools from a hardware supplier.

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Student, 16, Accused of Assaulting Police Officer

December 14, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A 16-year-old student was charged with striking a police officer in connection with a Nov. 22 incident at McKeesport Area High School.

McKeesport police said officers responded just after 7 a.m. when callers reported a disturbance was in progress.

According to a police report, a staff member accused the student of using profanity and abusive language. When the staff member asked the student to leave the campus, the student did so, police said, but then attempted to re-enter the building.

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Pa. School Funding Trial Enters Fourth Week

December 12, 2021 |

By Emily Scott © Public News Service | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Pennsylvania’s school funding trial will enter its fourth week in Commonwealth Court on Monday.

Testimony so far has provided an inside view into the difficult decisions faced by educators in the state’s low-wealth districts with minimal resources.

In 2014, six Pennsylvania school districts—William Penn, Greater Johnstown, Lancaster, Panther Valley, Shenandoah Valley and Wilkes-Barre Area—sued state legislative officials, state education officials and Gov. Tom Wolf, alleging that the state’s school funding system violates the clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution that promises to provide a “thorough and efficient” system of public education.

The Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools, the NAACP-Pennsylvania State Conference and a group of public school parents are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

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