Highmark Exec to Deliver Remarks at Penn State Commencement

December 13, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

(Photo courtesy Fred Ramos, via LinkedIn)

Thirty-five students will graduate from Penn State Greater Allegheny Campus when the university celebrates its Fall 2018 commencement.

The ceremony begins at 7 p.m. Friday in the Wunderley Gymnasium on the McKeesport Campus, said Zack Rosen, a campus spokesman. Twenty-nine students are expected to process in the ceremony, he said.

Fred Ramos (above), senior vice president of corporate communications for Highmark Health, will deliver the commencement address. Ramos is a graduate of Northern Illinois University who joined Highmark in 2016.

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New Act 47 Coordinator Hoping Duquesne Exits Distressed Status Soon

December 13, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne's new Act 47 coordinator is hopeful that the city will be able to exit financially distressed status in the next few years.

George Dougherty Jr. has been appointed by the state to work with the city, which has been considered a distressed municipality for nearly 30 years. He was introduced during the Nov. 27 Duquesne City Council meeting.

Dougherty, who has also worked as Braddock’s Act 47 representative, said he has begun to get familiar with the community and work with the mayor and city manager on developing a budget for Duquesne.

Communities under Act 47 representative must adopt more restrictive spending plans in exchange for the right to have an increased earned income tax rate and favored status on state grant applications.

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No Tax Increase for City Residents in 2018

December 13, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

CORRECTION, Dec. 14, 2018: Police and fire staffing remain the same in 2019 as in 2018. Two firefighter job classifications have changed and are in a different line on the 2019 budget. This story incorrectly said two positions were being eliminated. We apologize for the error. -JT

Download McKeesport's 2019 budget (PDF reader required)

McKeesport officials will hold the line on taxes and fees again in 2019.

The city's $24.5 million budget, approved unanimously by council on Dec. 5, keeps taxes at 6.26 mills on buildings and 18.5 mills on land.

One mill represents $1 in taxes paid for every $1,000 for which a property is assessed. A house assessed at $48,000 by Allegheny County would pay approximately $300 in city property taxes.

"There are no increases in taxes and no salary increases, beyond those we are contracted for," McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko said last week. "There are no increases for the administration."

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| News

'Crushing It in the Mon Valley'? Well....

December 11, 2018 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

I was pleasantly surprised today to read an editorial in Print, a newspaper serving the East End of Pittsburgh, praising Tube City Almanac for its efforts to cover the Mon-Yough area.

We're grateful for their kind words --- but we're especially grateful for your support over the past three years. Thank you.

According to them, we're "crushing it." I'm not so sure about that. In my opinion, there is a lot of room for improvement in 2019, and many things that need to be done that we're simply not able to get to.

But all of us are doing the very best we can, with very limited resources. And we hope to do even more in 2019.

A quarter-million page views in 2018

Last year, we served 240,745 pages to more than 64,000 readers. That's a 32 percent increase over 2017.

Another 133,983 people used Tube City Almanac's obituaries page. That's an increase of 9 percent over the previous year.

We appreciate your support

If you do use this service, and you can afford to make a donation, we would be grateful for a contribution.

We are an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) charity, and your donations may be tax deductible as allowed by law.

Donations may be made by check or money order to Tube City Community Media Inc., P.O. Box 94, McKeesport 15134; or via PayPal at: http://www.tubecityonline.com/contact/

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Chorale Plans Christmas Concert Sunday in White Oak

December 11, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, White Oak News

The Mon Yough Chorale will proudly present its annual Christmas concert, "A Chorale Christmas," at 3 p.m. Dec. 16 at Sampson's Mills Presbyterian Church, 1665 Lincoln Way, White Oak.

Tickets are $8 and available at the door, a spokeswoman said. A cookie reception will follow.

The chorale (formerly the Mon Yough Community Singers) also will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 13) at Monroeville Mall on the Lower Level, near Dick's Sporting Goods.

For more information about the chorale, any of its upcoming concerts, or to learn how to join, visit the chorale's website.


McKeesport Train Club Kicks Off Holiday Open House

December 09, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

Jeri and Mark McGrail of North Huntingdon Twp. were among visitors to the McKeesport Model Railroad Club's annual holiday train show and open house. The show continues weekends through Dec. 30. (Photo by Vickie Babyak, special to Tube City Almanac)

McKeesport Model Railroad Club began its annual open house and holiday train show this weekend, and Vickie Babyak caught up with some of the visitors.

Located at 2209 Walnut St. in Christy Park, the club's 2,200-square-foot model railroad depicts fictionalized scenes of Western Pennsylvania. The permanent layout is built in HO scale, about 1/87th of actual size or roughly half the size of larger Lionel-style trains.

The club, founded in 1950, also had an exhibit this year at the NRG Santa Spectacular in downtown Pittsburgh. More than 2,500 visitors viewed a portable layout depicting McKeesport's former Port Authority transportation center, including a model of the "PATrain."

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Speaker Praises NAMI Crisis Intervention Program

December 09, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The National Alliance on Mental Illness' Crisis Intervention Team program is a valuable resource for anyone who needs to de-escalate a situation, a speaker told NAMI's McKeesport chapter at its November monthly meeting.

David Pack, a sergeant in the Penn State University police at Greater Allegheny Campus, told NAMI members that the 40-hour training program had helped him "in every aspect of his career."

According to Anna Lisa Haughwout, president of the McKeesport NAMI chapter, Pack said NAMI's CIT training is a resource not just for de-escalating situations involving people with mental health issues, but in all crisis situations.

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White Oak Council to Meet

December 09, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: White Oak News

White Oak Borough Council will hold workshop sessions at 6:45 p.m. Monday (Dec. 10) and Dec. 17, with a voting council meeting to follow at 8 p.m. Dec. 17. All meetings are open to the public.

School Safety a Priority, MASD Superintendent Says

December 09, 2018 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: News

The day after two McKeesport Area High School students were charged with bringing a weapon onto a school bus, District Superintendent Mark P. Holtzman Jr. promised school directors and the community that the administration is doing everything in its power to ensure the safety of students and staff.

“Considering some recent (events), I just want to reassure everybody in the audience, on the record, that we are committed to our students,” Holtzman said at Wednesday's school board meeting. “Before we educate children, we have to continue to focus on safety and security at all times.”

On Tuesday, McKeesport police arrested a 16-year-old student who they said had brandished a handgun on a school bus. Police believe the student was supplied with the weapon by a 15-year-old who was not in class that day, but entered the campus after dismissal and boarded the bus. The younger student also was charged.

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| News

White Oak Authorizes Inspection of Sewers

December 09, 2018 |

By Cami DiBattista | Posted in: White Oak News

A closed-circuit camera will be used to inspect a sewer main along Kansas Avenue in White Oak.

Borough council authorized the expenditure at its Nov. 19 meeting. The sewer is between Ohio and California avenues, where residents have complained about backups following heavy rains.

Borough Manager John Palyo said technicians will use the camera to confirm the location of the existing sewer line and determine its condition.

In other business:

Borough Engineer Ken Hillman asked council to authorize a payment of $43,650 to Swede Construction for completion of the salt shed project.

Additionally, he asked the borough to award a bid in the amount of $37,750 to Satira Construction for Phase 1 of the accessibility upgrades to Heritage Hill Pool.

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