McKeesport Adds Council's Support to Mon-Fayette Project

May 07, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

McKeesport City Council added its voice to those of other Mon-Yough municipalities urging the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to restart work on the final stretch of the Mon-Fayette Expressway.

At Wednesday's meeting, council by 7-0 vote passed a resolution offering the "unwavering support" of Mayor Mike Cherepko and council members toward the completion of the toll road from Interstate 68 near Morgantown, W.Va., to Interstate 376 near Monroeville.

The 14-mile segment from Route 51 in Jefferson Hills to the Parkway East near Monroeville has been estimated to cost anywhere from $1.7 billion to $2 billion, according to published reports.

"This has been a roller-coaster for years," Cherepko said. "The bottom line, in my opinion, is that this is a critical component in seeing the entire Mon Valley region flourish."

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McClure, Twin Rivers Schools Will Get Simpler Names

May 06, 2017 |

By Mary Shelly | Posted in: News

Students who attend Francis McClure and Twin Rivers schools, and their parents, will notice a minor change in the 2017-18 academic year.

At last week's board meeting, McKeesport Area School Board voted to change the names of Francis McClure Primary and Francis McClure Intermediate to Francis McClure Elementary, and the names of Twin Rivers Primary and Twin Rivers Intermediate to Twin Rivers Elementary.

School Superintendent Rula Skezas said only the names are being changed, slightly; the entrances and classroom schedules are not being changed.

Also at the board meeting, resident Keith Murphy told the board he was concerned about the longterm effects of violence on children living in the school district.

McKeesport students "are becoming desensitized," he said. "When I hear about people getting murdered in North View Heights, these kids will smile and laugh explaining how 47 bullets went into some person ... That's PTSD."

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10 Years Ago in Tube City Almanac

May 03, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History

May 1-7, 2007: A district magistrate threw out harassment charges filed against a Versailles woman who put a sign in her front yard criticizing the borough's dog warden and the president of council. Carolyn Leitzell accused Ken Ferree of Ferree Kennels and Council President Walter Winkler of cruelty to animals; they denied the allegations, while District Judge Edward Tibbs dismissed the harassment charge.

Members of the Elizabeth Forward High School band were passengers on a school bus that collided with a tractor-trailer on the Pennsylvania Turnpike between the Morgantown and Downingtown interchanges, shutting down the toll road for several hours. The driver was seriously hurt and 30 other people sustained what were described as "minor injuries."

An Elizabeth Township resident wrote to the Daily News to complain because there were no dancers of "American" ethnicity at McKeesport's International Village. She suggested that square dancing be added to the entertainment.


Duquesne Bridge Ramp Restrictions Begin Wednesday

May 03, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

Partial lane restrictions are likely for the remainder of the week on the ramp that takes motorists from the Duquesne-McKeesport Bridge to southbound Route 837, said a district official for the state Department of Transportation.

In addition, the shoulder of the ramp also will be closed for motorists who exit the bridge and head to Dravosburg and Clairton, the PennDOT spokesman said.

Weather permitting, restrictions will be in place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today (May 3) through Friday. All ramps and the bridge will remain open. Crews from Pittsburgh Rigging Company and AECOM are doing work on the bridge's concrete piers, PennDOT said.


City Administrator Taking New Job in School District

May 02, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

After six and a half years, McKeesport city administrator Matt Gergely is leaving the job --- but not McKeesport --- behind.

McKeesport Area School Board last week named Gergely assistant to the business manager for grants and outside funding, beginning July 1, at a starting salary of $85,000. The contract runs through June 30, 2022.

A replacement for Gergely will have to be named by Mayor Mike Cherepko and McKeesport City Council. The topic is likely to be an item for discussion at Wednesday's city council meeting.

"It was a very tough decision for me, being loyal to the city and the mayor, but in the end it seemed to be the right choice for myself and my family," Gergely said Tuesday. The move was made after discussion with Cherepko and other city officials, he said, and is being made on good terms.

"Everyone here has been very nice about it, and it's been kind of overwhelming, which is a little humbling," he said.

Gergely described himself as "very excited" to move into a role at the school district where, he said, he hopes to help strengthen the working relationship between the city and the school system.

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School Board: Employee Accused of Assault Dealt With 'Appropriately'

May 02, 2017 |

By Mary Shelly | Posted in: News

Editor's Note: Due to an editing error, this story was corrected after publication.

A McKeesport Area School District teacher who was accused of assaulting a student* has been dealt with "appropriately," though school officials declined to identify the teacher.

At last week's school board meeting, resident Matthew Whetsell asked school directors about the outcome of the incident, rumored to have happened less than two months ago.

"While that is a personnel issue and we cannot speak publicly about personnel issues, it was handled appropriately," School board solicitor Gary Matta said.

In other business, Dr. Tia Wanzo was approved to be MASD's Assistant to the Superintendent for the 2017-2018 school year at last week's School Board Meeting.

Other administrative moves approved by the school board include:

  • Ashlee Boyle to Associate Principal at Founders' Hall
  • Brie Adams to Assistant Principal of McKeesport Area Technology Center On-Line Learning
  • David Listori to Assistant High School Principal/Special Education Supervisor
  • Wayne Wade to Assistant Principal of Alternative Education/District Security Coordinator, and
  • Pam Gordon to Coordinator of Elementary Education/Curriculum and Instruction/Pre-K.
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Artists Invited to Enter Work in Spring Show at Renzie

May 02, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

McKeesport Art Group's 59th annual Spring Art Show will be held from May 19 to 21 at Jacob Woll Pavilion, Renziehausen Park.

Group president Jan Catalogna said artists of all types and skill levels --- including pen and ink artists, painters, watercolorists, sculptors and photographers --- are encouraged to participate. The show also has a special category for student artists.

To enter, visit the McKeesport Art Group website and download the entry form, or call (412) 469-2710, Catalogna said.

In addition, this year's show will include an instructional painting class at 1 p.m. May 20. No previous art classes or training are necessary, she said, and participants of all skill levels are invited.

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New Chancellor Named at Penn State's McKeesport Campus

April 27, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Penn State University photo)

After little more than a year, Andrew Egan has resigned as chancellor and chief academic officer at Penn State Greater Allegheny Campus in McKeesport.

Penn State on Thursday announced Egan's resignation and the appointment of Jacqueline Edmondson, Penn State associate vice president and associate dean for undergraduate education, as the new chancellor and chief academic officer for the 600 student undergraduate campus.

Edmondson has been appointed for a three-year term and will lead a national search for her own permanent replacement, the university said in a statement.

“Jackie brings tremendous knowledge of the university to this position, along with her experience as an accomplished leader in program and curriculum development, and general education," said Madlyn Hanes, Penn State vice president for commonwealth campuses and executive chancellor.

"She will provide excellent guidance and directions, with deep understanding of enrollment trends, the teaching-learning enterprise, and faculty development across the University,” Hanes said. “Jackie also appreciates the importance of our campuses to their respective communities, and the good that comes from collaborative ventures.”

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W. Mifflin Man Held in Homicide Attempt

April 27, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A West Mifflin man was arrested after police said he shot his wife in the chest during a domestic dispute.

The victim was hospitalized in critical condition, police said.

Richard Kadish, 55, is charged by Allegheny County police with attempted homicide and aggravated assault in connection with the incident at the family's home on Rossmoor Drive.

Although the victim's name was not released by police, court records identify her as Karen Kadish.

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E-F Teacher Honored by PBS Innovators Program

April 27, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Photos courtesy Elizabeth Forward School District)

A teacher from Elizabeth Forward Middle School is one of 52 educators from around the United States who's been honored for his efforts to incorporate digital technology in the classroom.

Stephen Hartnett, who teaches eighth-grade American history and also serves as assistant coach of the boys' soccer team, was named a PBS Digital Innovator by the nation's public broadcasting TV network.

The honor was announced by WQED-TV (13), Pittsburgh's public television station.

George Hazimanolis, senior director of corporate communications at WQED, said that over the coming year, Hartnett will partner with WQED personnel to help other teachers use digital audio, video and text and technology in their classrooms.

Hartnett will have access to exclusive training with PBS, as well as resources from PBS LearningMedia; and will be invited to the upcoming 2017 PBS Digital Summit in San Antonio, Texas, which is being held alongside the International Society for Technology in Education conference.

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