USS Manager: $1.2B Investment Will Keep Mon Valley Plants Competitive

October 05, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Guests watch a video depicting a new “endless caster” to be built at U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock and North Braddock. (Photo courtesy Maury Burgwin, Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce)

Listen: An edited version of this discussion can be heard on our podcast, Two Rivers, 30 Minutes

U.S. Steel’s planned $1.2 billion investment in its three Mon Valley plants will open them to new markets, reduce pollution and energy consumption and keep them competitive well into the 21st century.

That's what Kurt Barshick, general manager of the Mon Valley Works, said Friday during a luncheon held by the Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce to mark National Manufacturing Day.

“This is going to make Pittsburgh — and the Mon Valley in particular — the epicenter for automotive steel production,” Barshick told about 125 people during the event, held at the Sunset Room in Elizabeth Twp. “Mills in Detroit will not be able to compete with us ... we plan on keeping that job base in Pittsburgh forever.”

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Local Lions Club Member Honored With Prestigious Award

October 04, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Kirby Marchand of North Versailles Twp., past governor of District 14-B of the Lions Club, presents the first of two awards to Annette James, secretary of the McKeesport Lions Club. (Tube City Almanac photo)

A McKeesport resident and city employee who prefers to stay out of the spotlight was honored Wednesday night — whether she liked it or not.

Before a standing-room crowd, Annette James, secretary of the McKeesport Lions Club, was presented with the Lions’ Club International President’s Leadership Award and the President’s Marketing Award.

The leadership award is the third-highest honor available in the international fraternal and service organization, founded in 1917 and based in Illinois.

James, a member of the Lions Club since 2012, “is not someone who hears of a problem or an opportunity for service and sits on it,” said Kirby Marchand of North Versailles Twp., past governor of District 14-B, which includes Allegheny County. “She takes action.”

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Zoning Board Denies Variance for Former Store

October 03, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport's zoning hearing board has denied a request for a conditional use permit at the former David Israel men's clothing store at 507 Fifth Ave.

The permit was requested by the building's owner, the McKeesport Preservation Society, which had sought permission to use the structure for “educational” purposes, said A.J. Tedesco, McKeesport community development director.

The building is in a commercial C-2 zoning district, which according to the city's zoning code is intended for "retail and service commercial uses along with business, professional and medical offices, and other related business uses."

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Flea Market Slated Saturday at St. Stephen's

October 02, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church will host a flea market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 5), a spokeswoman said.

Proceeds benefit Animal Full Life Rescue, a no-kill animal shelter located in Wilkinsburg, and the church.

Tables will be available for vendors and refreshments will be sold. The sale will be held in the undercroft (social hall) of the church, 220 Eighth Ave. at Walnut Street, next to the McKeesport post office.

Items also may be donated for sale. Any gently used item is acceptable except for clothing and electronics.

For more information, call (412) 673-0504.


Author, Retired Colonel to Speak About Women Marines Oct. 10

October 02, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, West Newton News

The author of a new book about the history of women in the U.S. Marine Corps will speak in West Newton Oct. 10.

The West Newton Library is hosting the discussion by retired Col. Nancy P. Anderson at 6 p.m. at the Le Grand Ballroom, South Second Street.

Anderson is a graduate of the Naval War College, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and the Naval Postgraduate School.  She began her career in the Marine Corps in 1972 and made history in 1977 as the first woman platoon commander at the Marine Corps' Officer Candidates School at Quantico, Va.

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Mon Yough Chorale Slates Hot Dog Cookout, Bake Sale

October 02, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Mon Yough Chorale will hold a hot dog and bake sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Busy Beaver, Oak Park Mall, White Oak.

A spokesman said a hot dog, bag of snacks and a beverage will be sold for $2.50, and baked goods will be sold separately. All proceeds benefit the Mon Yough Chorale, a community chorus that performs throughout Western Pennsylvania.

Members of the chorus also will be on hand to discuss how to join the group. Meetings and open rehearsals are held at 7 p.m. Sundays at Sampson's Mills Presbyterian Church, Lincoln Way, White Oak.

For more information, visit


City Man Charged With Attempted Arson Following Dispute

October 02, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport man was ordered held for court after family members told police he attempted to burn down their house.

According to court records, Michael L. Belcher, 43, is currently free on non-monetary bond pending formal arraignment Nov. 1 at the Allegheny County Courthouse.

McKeesport police said that officers were dispatched early on the morning of Aug. 29 to a home in the 2700 block of Grover Street when callers reported someone was pouring gasoline throughout the house.

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Mon Valley HIV/AIDS Walk is Only Such Event in Western Pa.

October 02, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Photo courtesy Human Services Center Corp., via Facebook)

The 19th annual Mon Valley HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk will take place Oct. 5, a spokeswoman said.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Bethlehem Baptist Church, corner of Eighth Avenue and Walnut Street, and the walk sets off at 9:15 a.m. A light breakfast is provided before the walk and lunch is provided afterwards.

The walk route is about two miles long, the spokeswoman said.

Organized by the Human Services Center Corp., based in Turtle Creek, the walk is led by its HIV/AIDS Working Group and continues to be the only HIV/AIDS awareness walk in Western Pennsylvania, said Abbie Godollei, outreach coordinator for HSCC.

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Grant Spurs Construction of New Houses in McKeesport, Penn Hills

October 02, 2019 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Marking the start of construction on a new house along Lemon Street in the city are state Sen. Jim Brewster, McKeesport resident Shawnda Little-Dreher, who owns a house renovated by Habitat; Mike Rizzo, chief risk officer FHLB Pittsburgh; state Rep. Austin Davis; US. Rep. Mike Doyle; McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko; Howard B. Slaughter Jr. of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh; and Michelle Ufner, regional wellness manager,Team Rubicon USA. (Richard Finch Jr. photo special to Tube City Almanac)

Volunteers who came to Lemon Street in McKeesport Monday morning to “raise the wall” of a family’s new home, instead huddled under umbrellas to wait out the rain.

But the rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of Dr. Howard B. Slaughter, Jr., president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh.

“The effort today, to begin this development --- raising the wall --- is important.” Slaughter said.

Habitat of Greater Pittsburgh received an Affordable Housing Grant of $225,000 from Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh for the development of the vacant lot on Lemon Street in McKeesport and two vacant lots in Penn Hills.

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City Coming to Grips With Blight, Vacancies in Downtown Area

October 01, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport officials are pressuring owners of vacant commercial properties like this one across from city hall to "either pay the fines and fix the building up, or sell it," Mayor Michael Cherepko says. (Tube City Almanac photo)

In 1960, McKeesport was the second-largest retail center in Allegheny County, with more than 700 stores doing $100 million in sales --- adjusted for inflation, about $857 million today.

Fifty years later, there were only 81 retail businesses in the city, doing about $300 million in business.

Vacant storefronts fill entire blocks of Fifth Avenue, once the city's main commercial street. But over the past year, something new has been showing up on otherwise empty store windows --- condemnation notices.

"As we continue to market our city and try to attract new businesses in addition to new residents, one of the biggest obstacles we face is blight in our commercial district," McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko says. "Over the last year or so, we’ve really gotten aggressive in addressing issues in the Downtown area."

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