McKeesport Cemetery 'History' Tour Returns Oct. 2

September 19, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center brings back the popular Living History Tour of the McKeesport and Versailles Cemetery from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 1 and Oct. 2. This self-guided tour features some of our area's most intriguing, famous and infamous figures.
From a Civil War hero to the victim who brought about local lore, our talented actors bring to life ten interesting characters whilst highlighting the nuance that “everybody has a story”.  The beautiful grounds of this historic cemetery provide the perfect backdrop for these alluring tales of the past.
For those unable to walk the tour a special encore presentation will be provided at the MRHHC on Saturday, October 15 at 2 pm. Admission for both programs is $10 in advance, $12 day of event and $5 12 and under. All proceeds benefit the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center a non-profit Mon-Valley area museum and research facility. We are dedicated to preserving the rich past of our region through education, programs and outreach.

Health Care Aide Charged in Dravosburg Thefts

September 16, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A home health care aide is in jail, pending a preliminary hearing, after being charged with stealing jewelry valued at thousands of dollars from an elderly Dravosburg woman of whom she was taking care.

Tamika Hill, 31, of Monroeville was arrested Tuesday by McKeesport police on charges of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and dealing in the proceeds of illegal activity.

Police said the total value of the missing items is nearly $36,000.

Court records indicate that Hill is being held in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bond pending a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday before Magisterial District Judge Richard D. Olasz Jr. in Dravosburg.

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Local All-Stars Headline Benefit for McKeesport-based Auberle

September 16, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The late B.E. Taylor will be the honored on Tuesday when more than 500 people gather at a benefit for McKeesport-based Auberle.

The 12th annual Voices Carry concert and fundraiser at Stage AE on Pittsburgh's North Side is sponsored in part by Huntington Bank, said Deb Hilton, spokeswoman for the charitable organization, located on Hartman Street, that serves at-risk children and young adults and their families.

A singer and songwriter from Aliquippa whose group's 1983 single, "Vitamin L," cracked the Billboard Hot 100, Taylor was a frequent guest at previous Voices Carry concert. Taylor died Aug. 7 of complications from an inoperable brain tumor.

The concert begins at 6 p.m. and includes local performers Donnie Iris, Joe Grushecky, Chris Higbee, Etta Cox and Scott Blasey of The Clarks, Hilton said.

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Participants Still Needed for 5th Annual Kane Fun Walk

September 15, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Registrations are still being accepted for the fifth annual Joan Burns Fun Walk 4 Kane, to be held this Saturday (Sept. 17) along the McKeesport waterfront area.

The walk, which benefits residents at Kane Regional Center in McKeesport, is sponsored by the non-profit Kane Foundation, a spokeswoman said. The foundation raises money to support improvements to Allegheny County's four Kane centers and activities for residents.

A donation of at least $20 is requested, and all donations are tax-deductible.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Kane center in McKeesport, located at 100 Ninth Ave. near the McKees Point Marina and the bike trail, and the walk begins at 9:30, with a picnic immediately following.

For more information, call (412) 292-8069 or visit the Kane Foundation's website at

You can also download a printable donation form here. (PDF file)


Building Owner Pappan: 'I Love This Area'

September 15, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The new owner of a building next to McKeesport's Olympia Shopping Center said last night he's excited about redeveloping the former site of Jim Shorkey Ford.

"My father had a restaurant in McKeesport many years ago,” said Spiro Pappan, son of former restauranteur Lou Pappan, who founded Pappan's Family Restaurants, in a prepared statement. “When I told him about my project here, he was very excited. He plans to be here for the opening.”

A company led by Spiro Pappan purchased the former Jim Shorkey Ford on Walnut Street for $1.9 million and is renovating the building for Ollie's Bargain Outlet and two other new tenants. The Ollie's store, which will take up about 32,000-square-feet, will be the first in Allegheny County and is expected to open in March 2017.

Pappan's building, which once housed a Zayre Department Store and later an Ames, is on a separate parcel from the rest of the Olympia Shopping Center, which is technically located in Versailles Borough.

The rest of the center is operated by Pittsburgh's Union Real Estate and includes a Shop 'n Save, a Save-a-Lot, a state wine and spirits store, a dry cleaner, a PNC Bank branch, a Dollar Tree and other retailers.

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Croatian Club Accepting Lamb Orders Through Sunday

September 14, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Croatian Fraternal Union Lodge 432 in Westmoreland County is taking orders for barbecued lamb prepared by Mike and Carol Mezick, a spokeswoman said.

Call in orders to 724-872-7495 by this Sunday (Sept. 18), for pickup on Sunday, Sept. 25 at the Yukon Croatian Club beginning at 12:30 pm.

Also on Sept. 25 is the lodge’s indoor picnic. Those picking up lamb are welcome to stay for an afternoon of music and dancing. Sarena, from Cleveland, Ohio, will play 2 to 6 p.m.

The club is located at 109 Union St. in Yukon, exit 53 on I-70. For more information, call the club at 724-722-4100.


Ollie's Outlet Coming to McKeesport in March 2017

September 14, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

A growing discount department store chain known for its quirky advertising and its deep selection of books is coming to McKeesport.

Work has begun on an Ollie's Bargain Outlet store in the former Jim Shorkey Ford dealership at Olympia Shopping Center on Walnut Street.

The store represents the first step into Allegheny County by the Harrisburg-based retail chain.

Jerry Altland, vice president of real estate for Harrisburg, Pa., based Ollie's, said the 32,000-square-foot McKeesport store is projected to open in March 2017. Remodeling has already begun.

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Filmmaker Explores Jewish Roots, Heritage in McKeesport

September 12, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Documentary filmmaker Sam Zolten has turned his camera lens on a variety of subjects over the past 40 years, many of them as part of the industrial filmmaking company he operates in Bala Cynwyd, outside Philadelphia.

One of his films --- 2002's "Just Call Me Kade," the story of a transgender boy in Tucson, Ariz., has been widely used as a teaching tool around the country.

Now, the McKeesport native and Temple University graduate is focusing on a much more personal subject --- the story of Jewish families, such as his own, who emigrated to McKeesport beginning in the 19th century.

"It's a labor of love," Zolten said.

Zolten has interviewed more than 140 people for his upcoming feature-length documentary, "Missing McKeesport," and has raised more than $17,000 through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

Zolten, who is working with associate editor James T. Rowland, has eight more days to reach the $18,000 goal necessary to complete the movie.

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Sewerage System Sale Valued at $156M

September 12, 2016 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The company buying McKeesport's sewerage authority and its three wastewater treatment plants has put a value on the sale of $156 million.

In a joint press release, city officials and Pennsylvania American Water Company said the final price is subject to a complete appraisal of the system, which serves 22,000 customers in 12 municipalities.

Last week, the board of the Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport joined McKeesport City Council in voting in favor of the sale of the authority's assets to Pennsylvania American.

The sale is subject to approval by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the state Department of Environmental Protection. Kathy L. Pape, president of Pennsylvania American, said the company expects to close on the sale in the second half of 2017, pending those approvals.

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Inspire Christian Music Festival Returns to Renzie Park

September 08, 2016 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The 16th annual Inspire Christian Music Festival, sponsored by McKeesport-based The Well Ministries, will return to the Lions Bandshell in Renziehausen Park on Saturday (Sept. 10).

Admission is free. Refreshments will be available but picnic baskets are also welcome, says Kris Rhoades, who organizes the festival with her husband, Lou. Attendees should bring a blanket or a lawn chair to sit on.

Performances begin at 12 noon and are scheduled to include Gospel Illusions, Puppets for the King, Heart-Beat, Daughters of His Grace, The Coddingtons, Ed Lutheran, Tree of Life Open Bible Church, Bob Fagin and God's Grace, Cross Vision, Chalice and Signs of Faith Ministry. The schedule is subject to change.

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