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Fill-a-Bag Sale Planned at W.N. Library

August 07, 2020 |

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

West Newton Public Library will hold a “$5 fill-a-bag” sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 3 in the parking lot of the library, 124 N. Water St., a spokesperson said.

All attendees must wear face masks. The library will be selling cookbooks, children’s books, adult hardcover and paperback books, non-fiction, biographies, audio tapes and DVDs.

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Jerome Bridge Overhaul Begins Monday

August 07, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

(Photo courtesy McKeesport fire Chief Jeff Tomovcsik)

Lane restrictions begin Monday on the Jerome Street Bridge as construction crews begin a two-year, $15.44 million renovation project.

Steve Cowan, district spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Romine Avenue and Gibson Way through late March 2021.

In addition, he said, the sidewalk on the north side of the bridge — facing up the Youghiogheny River — will be closed to pedestrians.

The rehabilitation project includes a new concrete deck and sidewalk, painting, structural steel repairs, bearing replacement, concrete substructure repairs and new expansion dams, Cowan said.

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First Commonwealth Closing City Office

August 07, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Editor’s Note: The writer has a conflict of interest. See editor’s note at the end of this story.)

The long-rumored closing of the Downtown branch of First Commonwealth Bank is apparently official.

The location at 225 Fifth Ave. is one of 29 offices that the Indiana County-based bank intends to close, Jonathan Longwill, vice president and communications specialist at First Commonwealth, told Tube City Almanac on Friday.

Official notification will be sent to government regulators in early to mid-September, and the McKeesport branch is expected to close for business on Dec. 31, he said.

The closure will leave only two banks with branches in Downtown McKeesport. PNC has an office at the corner of Lysle Boulevard and Huey Street, and Dollar Bank has an office in the former Midtown Plaza shops.

Huntington Bank closed its office at 1415 Fifth Ave., near UPMC McKeesport hospital, in 2019.

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HUD Official Encourages City
to Utilize Opportunity Zone Program

August 07, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development met Wednesday with McKeesport leaders. Shown at city hall are A.J. Tedesco, McKeesport community development director; state Sen. Jim Brewster of McKeesport; Mike Horvath, HUD Pittsburgh field office director; Jane Miller, HUD deputy regional administrator; Mayor Michael Cherepko; and Joseph DeFelice, HUD Region III administrator. (Almanac photo)

McKeesport should take advantage of the federal Financial Opportunity Zone program to encourage investment in commercial properties and affordable housing in the city.

That was the pitch made Wednesday to city officials by Joseph J. DeFelice, regional administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for five mid-Atlantic states and Washington, D.C.

DeFelice visited the McKeesport Housing Authority’s Crawford Village as well as McKeesport City Hall during a stop Wednesday morning. DeFelice said he has been criss-crossing Pennsylvania to visit with housing agencies and local governments.

“A lot of people come up with really great ideas sitting around offices, but they don’t know what’s going on at the ground level,” he said. “I want ideas to filter up from places like McKeesport and McKees Rocks. I think that’s a better way to do things.”

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McKeesport Schools Plan Combination
of In-Person, Remote Instruction

August 06, 2020 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport Area School District plans to offer both in-person and online learning for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Superintendent Mark Holtzman has been revealing the proposed plan for the district during a five-part online video series. The fourth video was posted online earlier this week, followed up by a school board agenda meeting on Wednesday.

The district will offer in-person learning five days a week, breaking the students into two groups by alphabet or by family.

“Children will come to school for approximately 3 to 3.5 hours, either in the morning or afternoon, and receive all the instruction necessary for the day,” Holtzman said. “Secondary students will run through their entire schedule, whether it's an eight- or nine-period day for a shortened period of time.”

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MAHS Tiger Band Wraps Up Unusual Camp

August 06, 2020 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Musicians and colorguard from McKeesport Area High School rehearse the opening movement of “An Ancient Summoning.” (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo)

McKeesport Area High School Marching Band students are preparing for a 2020 show full of classic struggles between darkness and light in “An Ancient Summoning.”

“We picked the theme to be vastly different than last year,” band director Drew DeCarlo said.

While the 2019 theme depicted a day in a steel mill, a sneak peek revealed through the band’s Facebook page revealed “an era before time.”

Based on Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring,” with additional original music by composer and arranger Randall D. Standridge, the show is divided into four movements, reflected in marching and interpretive motions.

The first is “The Summons,” followed by “The Darkness,” “The Light,” and “The Conflict.”

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Writer: COVID-19 Doesn’t Stop Charity Runs

August 03, 2020 |

By Dianne Ribecca | Posted in: Commentary-Editorial

Clad in face masks, runners gathered under the Boston Bridge in Elizabeth Twp. on Sunday for a 5K run to raise funds for the Pet Adoption League of Westmoreland County. (Dianne Ribecca photo for Tube City Almanac)

My goal this year was to run one 5K race event a month for charity. These five-kilometer runs provide financial support and awareness to a selected non-profit organization. 

I managed to do one in January, February and March — but then the world closed down.  Families, businesses, municipalities and — of course — non-profit organizations have felt and continue to feel the pain.

On Sunday, despite the ever-changing world of coronavirus precautions, Team Brunazzi Events of Elizabeth Twp. was able to put on its Solar Vortex 5K/15K race with proceeds going to the Pet Adoption League, a no-kill animal rescue organization located in Yukon, Westmoreland County.

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MAHS Tiger Band Selling Face Masks

August 03, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

(Submitted illustration)

McKeesport Area High School Tiger Marching Band is selling face masks as a fundraiser.

A spokesperson said the masks are three-ply, washable, and come in two sizes, youth and adult. Masks cost $10 each, which must be paid when the orders are placed.

Deadline is Aug. 7 and the masks will ship Aug. 22. Additional information and an order form are available on the band’s website,


Pandemic Inspires Local Scout To Get Involved

August 02, 2020 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

(Submitted photo)

Turning double digits is a milestone in a kid’s life. Most children ease into a new decade maybe by playing with some of the presents they received and eating leftover cake.

But in June, two days after Adeline Naser turned 10, she was making a presentation to the North Versailles Twp. Commissioners. Her presentation was turned into a newly drafted ordinance to allow chickens in the township, which will be voted on in a few weeks.

Naser got the idea at the beginning of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order when eggs were in short supply. Her friend had chickens and was giving away eggs to her neighbors.

That’s when the wheels started turning for Naser, a local Girl Scout who has set her sights on making a difference in her community and earning her bronze award, the highest honor for a junior scout.

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Historian Wants to Preserve Church’s Cornerstone

August 02, 2020 |

By Chris Baumann | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Submitted photos courtesy Nicholas Boros)

Historian Nicholas Boros came from Cleveland to Western Pennsylvania this summer to digitize some old Hungarian Catholic newspapers written by the Rev. Kalman Kovats, the founder of the church formerly known as St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church.

Located on Beacon Avenue in McKeesport, St. Stephen’s is scheduled to be demolished.

Boros decided on a whim to visit the church to take some pictures and has begun a movement to preserve its cornerstone.

“I’ve always had a great love of history,” said Boros. “I studied comparative religion in university. That really helped develop my passion for historical research on immigrant religious communities.”

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