Blighted, Vacant Properties Can Be Acquired Through County Program

June 15, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Applications are now being accepted from homeowners, businesses and others who want to acquire vacant lots and blighted structures in 69 municipalities in Allegheny County.
 
The county's Side Yard and Blighted Structure Program enables property owners to acquire abandoned buildings and lots at a discounted cost.
 

It's available in 50 municipalities, including --- in the Mon-Yough Area --- Braddock Hills, Dravosburg, East McKeesport, Elizabeth Twp., Forward Twp., Liberty Borough, Munhall, North Versailles Twp., South Versailles Twp. (Coulter), Turtle Creek, Versailles, West Homestead, West Mifflin, White Oak and Wilkins Twp.

Applications must be postmarked no later than Aug. 31. Up to 60 applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis with only five applications accepted per municipality in order to ensure that all may participate.

Funding for the program is provided through federal Community Development Block Grant funds, county general funds and applicant payments towards acquisition costs.

 
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Corpus Christi Gets Ready for Annual Church Festival

June 15, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Above: Corpus Christi Parish volunteers Marlene Rusinko is shown above operating a dough sheeter, which produces pierogi dough for cutting by John Germack and Michelle Rusinko. Vanessa Halaszynski carries the tray to the other volunteers who will stuff and pinch the pierogies into shape. The church is getting ready for its annual festival June 22 to 24. (Submitted photo courtesy Karen Check.)


Thousands of homemade stuffed cabbages and pierogies are being made right now by volunteers at Corpus Christi Parish as they get ready for the church's annual festival.

The event --- at the parish hall, 803 Market St., Downtown McKeesport --- will be held June 22 to 24. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. June 22 and 23 and 5 to 10 p.m. June 24.

On Saturday, Jack Tady and the Tady Bears will perform during a 4 p.m. polka Mass, then will stick around to perform at the festival from 6 to 8 p.m.

Volunteers have been working on the traditional favorites during both day and evening sessions over the past month, says Karen Check, a parish member.

Another popular item on this year’s festival menu are the fish sandwiches --- the same fish sandwiches that were served during the parish’s Lenten fish fry earlier this year, and which won Corpus Christi a place among the final four of the Ultimate Fish Fry contest sponsored by The Incline website.

 
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Many Still Without Power After Storms; Mon-Yough Area Bore Brunt

June 14, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Almost 300 homes and businesses in the Mon-Yough area remain without power after powerful thunderstorms ripped through the area on Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday morning, Duquesne Light reported 721 customers without electric service, with 268 located in West Mifflin, McKeesport, North Versailles Twp., Port Vue, Pittsburgh's Hazelwood neighborhood, White Oak, Liberty Borough and Duquesne.

A National Weather Service map shows that the heaviest rainfall yesterday was centered almost perfectly on McKeesport, with the city and surrounding communities receiving 1.5 to 3 inches of rain.

Yet only a few miles away, areas such as Finleyville, South Park and Pleasant Hills received less than a half-inch. Moon Twp. reported only a "trace" of precipitaton yesterday, and Pittsburgh International Airport in Findlay Twp. reported none at all.

Unofficial observations in White Oak and Port Vue measured 3 to 5 inches of rain on Tuesday afternoon.

 
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'Like Being in a Hurricane': Area Cleans Up After Powerful Storms

June 13, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

UPDATE: The Mansfield Bridge ramps from Dravosburg to McKeesport are still closed Wednesday morning.

Above: McKeesport crews work to clear mud and debris at the end of the Mansfield Bridge after a slow-moving thunderstorm dropped up to 5 inches of rain on the Mon-Yough area Tuesday afternoon. (Tube City Almanac photo)


"It was like being in a hurricane," said one witness in Port Vue, after two powerful storms Tuesday afternoon dumped 3 to 5 inches of rain on the McKeesport area, uprooting trees, causing mudslides and flooding several area roadways.

The National Weather Service in Moon Twp. issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Mon-Yough area just before 4 p.m., warning that an approaching storm was packing 60 mph winds, large hail and torrential rains.

By 4:15 p.m., rain was falling in sheets on West Mifflin, Dravosburg, McKeesport, Liberty and Port Vue.

"We watched this hailstorm come through, and there was a pause, and then it was like it re-generated," McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko said, as he observed city public works crews trying to clear the flooded ramps at the southern end of the Mansfield Bridge.

"The first storm was already bad," he said. "The second one was crippling."

 
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Former Versailles Gun Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Firearms Charges

June 13, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

The outspoken owner of a Versailles gun shop that closed abruptly a few months ago has pleaded guilty in federal court to possession of illegal firearms, tampering with evidence and witness tampering.

Erik D. Lowry, 37, former owner of Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms on Walnut Street, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, Acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song said today in a prepared statement.

In conjunction with Lowry's guilty plea, a guilty plea to a charge of illegally selling firearms also was entered on behalf of Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms.

Prosecutors allege that Lowry sold firearms at his store and through gun shows on what he called a "cash-and-carry" basis in which he failed to determine whether or not his customers had a criminal record.

In addition, they claim, Lowry acquired what federal officials classified as a "destructive device" --- a 12-gauge shotgun with a high-capacity drum magazine --- but failed to register it, as required, with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

 
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Christy Park UM Church Slates BBQ Dinner

June 13, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Christy Park United Methodist Church will hold a barbecue dinner from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday (June 17), a spokeswoman said.

Barbecue will be cooked by McKeesport's own "BBQ Stu" Wilson. Meals will include a rib dinner for $22, a half-rib dinner for $12, a half-chicken dinner for $9 and a pork dinner for $8. All dinners include "tailgater beans," Lexington slaw and a biscuit.

The beans are the same recipe that Wilson made during his appearance with Chris Fennimore on WQED-TV.

The church is located at the corner of 29th Avenue and Beale Street, two blocks from Walnut Street. For more information, call (412) 678-3110.

 

Two Sentenced For Role in Cocaine Trafficking Ring

June 13, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Two city residents were sentenced to three years in federal prison for their role in a drug trafficking ring that also snared the former postmaster of West Newton.

Jeffrey Turner, 35, and April Racan, 37, also will face five years' probation following their release under the sentence handed down last week by U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab in Pittsburgh.

Federal prosecutors said that from 2011 and 2015, Racan and Turner acted as the local contact persons for an alleged drug dealer in Brownsville, Texas, Dante Lozano. Investigators allege that Lozano mailed dozens of packages of cocaine, weighing about 18 pounds total, to Racan and Turner in Elizabeth and McKeesport.

 
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Farmer's Market Has Room to Grow at Renzie

June 12, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Tony Kennon and daughter Maggie, age 7, of North Versailles Twp. inspect fabric art on sale Saturday at the first Renzie Farmer's Market. (Tube City Almanac photo)


Saturday morning's rain dampened --- but only slightly --- the first of 26 planned weekly farmer's markets behind fire station No. 2 at Renziehausen Park.

About 16 vendors selling fresh fruit and vegetables, flowering plants, crafts and jewelry greeted visitors from 9 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, said two of the organizers, Joelle Harbert and Andi Cartwright, both of White Oak.

"Not everyone who planned to be here came out this morning, but I think this is a great turnout for the first day and I'm excited to see what comes in the next few weeks," Cartwright said.

This is the second year for the farmer's market, which was organized by Kelly Doyle and held last year at Heritage Hills Park in White Oak, Harbert said.

 
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McKeesport Knitters Pick Library Lawn for Saturday Celebration

June 08, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

It only takes a set of needles and "the ability to chatter" to participate in the worldwide event coming to McKeesport this Saturday.

That's the advice of Susan Paoletti of Glassport, one of the people planning to participate this weekend in "World Wide Knit in Public Day" on the lawn of the Carnegie Library of McKeesport. The event begins at 11 a.m. and will include a potluck lunch, and the public is welcome to attend, says Mary Rose Bendel, director of adult education and outreach for the library.

Number 10 or 11 needles --- available for $3 or $4 per pair at most craft stores --- are best, Paoletti says. Otherwise, she says, little else is needed to join in the fun.

"We have patterns and we have the yarn," says Paoletti, who learned to knit as a young girl and picked the hobby up again 10 years ago, when she retired from a career at Gimbels, Horne's, Lazarus and Macy's.

 
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City Events to Go Smoke Free in 2017

June 08, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

McKeesport City Council has banned smoking, except in designated areas, at all organized events on public-owned property.

The measured passed Wednesday night by a 4-1 vote amends a previous ordinance that banned smoking at public playgrounds.

Council President Richard Dellapenna Jr. was absent due to a death in his family, while Councilwoman Jamie Brewster-Filotei was attending McKeesport Area High School's graduation ceremonies. Councilman Tim Brown participated in the meeting by phone.

Mayor Mike Cherepko said there have been complaints at McKeesport's Summer Concert Series about attendees smoking in the audience.

 
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