Study: Hotel's Reuse Could Unlock Potential of City's Riverfront

June 05, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Conflict of Interest Note: The author has a conflict of interest. He is on the McKees Point Development Group. See previous coverage of this issue and the note at the end of this story.

An architect's rendering depicts the former Penn-McKee Hotel as part of a shopping and entertainment district attached to McKeesport's waterfront. (Nina Chase/Merritt Chase Architects via Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh)

Download sections of the marketing and feasibility study (PDF reader required)

Up to $141 million in tourism money that could be spent in McKeesport is leaving the area, and at least part of that could be captured along the city's riverfront if the right attractions were in place.

That's according to a study of the area around the Penn-McKee Hotel that was done for city officials by the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh.

The report concludes that reusing the long-vacant hotel is "costly" but feasible, and recommends that funds be raised to mitigate environmental problems, prevent the building from further deterioration, and make it more presentable to investors.

The study was released Tuesday night during the regularly scheduled city council meeting and is available for viewing at the mayor's office.

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$344K State Grant Will Fund City-Wide Safety, Traffic Improvements

June 04, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

* CORRECTION: This story was corrected after publication.

Audible sensors for the sight-impaired will be added to this busy intersection with the help of a state grant. (Photo special to Tube City Almanac)

McKeesport officials will create a traffic safety program to look for ways to improve pedestrian safety and reduce speeding and accidents in the city.

In addition, the busy intersection of Lysle Boulevard and Coursin Street --- where "near misses" between cars and pedestrians are frequent --- will get improved crossing signals, and the intersection of Versailles and Evans avenues will be entirely revamped.

The improvements are being funded in part through a $344,000 grant from the state's Automated Red-Light Enforcement Fund. The grant was announced last week by state Sen. Jim Brewster and state Rep. Austin Davis.

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Three Charged in Harrison Village Shooting Incident

June 04, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

(UPDATED after publication.)

Two people, including a 17-year-old, face charges after police say they opened fire on one another following a fight at the Harrison Village housing complex on Monday afternoon.

A third woman who is accused of giving a handgun to one of the shooters also faces charges, and Allegheny County police are looking for a fourth person who fled the scene.

A 22-year-old man whose name was not released was hospitalized with a leg wound, police said.

The shooting came 24 hours after Ciquann Dudley Jr., 17, of McKeesport was found shot dead in the 1300 block of Tube Works Alley, about two blocks away.

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City Teen Dead in Sunday Shooting

June 03, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport teenager was found dead Sunday afternoon after a shooting in the city's Third Ward.

The Allegheny County medical examiner's office said Ciquann Dudley Jr., 17, was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting in the 1300 block of Tube Works Alley.

Allegheny County police said he had been shot multiple times. His death has been ruled a homicide.

Friends and family said Dudley was a student at McKeesport Area High School. He is the second student killed in less than a month.

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Cheerleader Moms Urge MASD to Review Disciplinary Policies

May 30, 2019 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: News

Faced with mothers complaining their daughters were being bullied in a cheerleading program and that discipline handed out is unduly harsh, McKeesport Area school board members have agreed to take a look at policies and rules governing all athletic programs in the district.

None of the cheerleading coaches were at May's school board meeting, but plenty of complaints were lodged by mothers who said their daughters had suffered from what they called bullying.

One mother, Amanda Webb, said she had a problem with the way her ninth-grade daughter was dismissed from the squad by a fellow student.

Webb said her daughter practiced with the squad all summer and “they just threw her away.”

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NV Twp. Prepares for Summer Paving Projects

May 29, 2019 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

Paving on four streets in North Versailles Twp. should be completed in mid-June.

At this month's commissioners meeting, Township Engineer Dave Gilliland said work will be wrapped up shortly on Old Farm Road, Mahoning Avenue, Crestas Road and Girard Avenue. The 2019 paving project will probably begin in July, Gilliland said.

Commissioners also approved a resolution presented by board President Frank Bivens to authorize the township manager to execute agreements pertaining to paving projects on U.S. Route 30.

Bivens said the project on Route 30 will start in Forest Hills and come all the way out to the county line.

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NV Twp. Posts Police, Fire Reports

May 29, 2019 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: Crime and Police News, North Versailles Twp. News

North Versailles Twp. commissioners posted the monthly reports for the police and fire departments.

During March, North Versailles police department received 728 calls, made 23 arrests and housed five inmates from East McKeesport and eight from Turtle Creek. Firefighters answered 49 calls during March.

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Two Oldies Dances in June at White Oak Legion

May 28, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

DJs Candy and Mike will spin music from the 1950s and early '60s when American Legion Gen. Smedley D. Butler Post 701 in White Oak holds its next oldies dances.

The dances are scheduled for June 8 and 15, a spokesman said. Doors open at 7 p.m. and music continues until 11 p.m. Admission is $5 and all proceeds benefit veterans' programs.

The legion is located at 2813 Capital St. For more information, call (724) 984-6611.


Chorale Slates Spring Concert June 9 in White Oak

May 28, 2019 |

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

The Mon Yough Chorale will present its annual spring concert at 3 p.m. June 9, a spokeswoman said.

Entitled "Longing," the concert will be held at Sampson's Mills Presbyterian Church, 1665 Lincoln Way, White Oak, Dianne Ribecca said. Tickets are $8 and available at the door.

Refreshments will be served immediately following the concert, in the church hall. The concert is scheduled to be recorded for re-broadcast on WMCK.FM Internet radio, Ribecca said.

For more information on the chorale's spring and summer schedule, visit the website.


School Tax Increase Possible for MASD Residents

May 28, 2019 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: News

McKeesport Area School District residents face a possible increase in property taxes next year.

At last week's meeting, the school board approved a preliminary 2019-20 budget of $69.1 million.

The millage rate is currently 19.48 and would increase 0.68 mills to 20.16. A property assessed at $50,000 would see its taxes increase by about $34 per year.

In other business, school directors congratulated Colin Lyons for coming in second place in the discus throwing competition category at the WPIAL AAA Championships on May 16. Lyons threw for 146-feet-5-inches, School Director Ivan Hampton reported on behalf of the athletic committee.

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