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Snapchat: ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Threats Using App

December 03, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Snapchat spokesperson says the company has “zero tolerance” for people who use their mobile-phone app to make violent threats against schools.

However, the company has not explained what steps it is taking to prevent a wave of threats against schools that has swept the United States — and which roiled local districts this week.

The latest Mon-Yough school system affected was Clairton, which moved to online learning on Friday after officials said a threat of violence was made using Snapchat. Police are investigating.

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White Oak Announces Upcoming Holiday Events

December 03, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: Announcements, White Oak News

The borough of White Oak has a number of events coming up this Christmas season:

Holiday Home Decorating Contest: White Oak is holding its second Christmas decorating contest this year through Dec. 12. Interested residents can enter the contest by emailing their name, address, phone number and three photos to Prizes will be awarded for four different categories – Best Traditional, Clark Griswold, Buddy the Elf, and Kids Choice.

Winners will be announced at the Gingerbread House contest on Dec. 19.

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Family of Slain Teen Raising Money for Funeral

December 02, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Kai Brown is shown accepting his high school diploma from then-Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Anthony Hamlet on June 12, 2021. Brown, 19, died Nov. 19 after being stabbed in McKeesport. (Family photo via GoFundMe)

The family of a 19-year-old who died after being stabbed at Midtown Plaza Apartments is raising money on GoFundMe to pay for his funeral.

Kai Adonis Brown will be laid to rest Dec. 10 in his native Chicago.

That’s the same day that the teen-ager charged in connection with his death, Damian Baverso, 15, of East McKeesport is scheduled to face a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Kim Berkeley Clark.

Baverso is charged as an adult by Allegheny County police with criminal homicide and making terroristic threats.

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Local Student Charged in 2 Snapchat Threats

December 02, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

UPDATED with information about Pittsburgh Public Schools.

UPDATED with quote from Snapchat.

An unidentified student has been charged with making violent threats toward Founders’ Hall Middle School and West Mifflin Area School District, McKeesport police announced Thursday night.

The threats — part of a wave of copy-cat threats that are being made against school districts across the country over the smartphone app Snapchat — caused an increased police presence at McKeesport Area schools, while West Mifflin Area schools suspended in-person classes and canceled after-school activities on Wednesday.

The threats against Founders’ Hall were made Tuesday and Wednesday, said McKeesport police Chief Adam Alfer in a press release. School officials said police searched the building and determined the threats were “unfounded.”

“We take these (threats) very seriously, and the safety of our students and residents is a priority,” Alfer said.

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Christmas in the Air as Festival of Trees Opens

December 02, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements, McKeesport and Region News

Volunteers were making last-minute adjustments to their trees on Wednesday afternoon at Jacob Woll Pavilion in Renziehausen Park. McKeesport’s 36th annual Festival of Trees continues through Monday. Hours are 12 noon to 9 p.m. (Tube City Almanac photo)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Jacob Woll Pavilion in Renziehausen Park with the opening of McKeesport’s 36th annual Festival of Trees.

Doors will be open daily, through Monday, from 12 noon to 9 p.m.

The official opening tonight will include the arrival of Santa Claus on a McKeesport fire truck at 6:15 p.m., plus a tree-lighting ceremony featuring the Salute to Santa Parade 2021 Princess Saniya Rivers of the LaRosa Youth Club and Queen Kaitlyn Majewski of McKeesport Little Theater.

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Garden Club Celebrates Season With Sale

November 30, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements, McKeesport and Region News

The Garden Club of McKeesport will welcome visitors — and potential members — during its annual Holiday Sale this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the club house, next to the Rose Garden at Renziehausen Park. The hours overlap part of McKeesport’s annual Festival of Trees, which opens Thursday at the nearby Jacob Woll Pavilion.

“We have live wreaths, swags, kissing balls and a lot of Christmas crafts that the members make,” says club member Cindy Medved of White Oak. “There will be dried flowers and a bake sale as well.”

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Mayor to Present Budget, Demo Remains Focus

November 30, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Buildings at 907 and 911 Fifth Ave., Downtown, were demolished in November with the help of funds from the Commonwealth Financing Authority, and the vacant furniture store at 903 Fifth Ave. is also scheduled to be torn down. Demolition of abandoned buildings will remain a focus on 2022, city officials said. (Tube City Almanac photo)

Demolition of vacant buildings, stabilization of residential neighborhoods and attracting new business development will remain key focuses of McKeesport’s mayor in 2022.

City council will hold a budget hearing at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Public Safety Building, 201 Lysle Blvd. at Market Street. Council is expected to vote on the budget at 7 p.m.

By law, the city is required to have a balanced budget.

Earlier this month, Mayor Michael Cherepko said some of the programs that the city wants to launch in 2022 — such a program to help homeowners get their roofs replaced — may be ambitious, but he’s optimistic they can be funded.

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PV Police Issue Warnings on Thefts, Solicitors

November 29, 2021 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News, Port Vue News

Port Vue police are advising borough residents to keep their car doors locked when their vehicles are unattended, and to make sure any door-to-door solicitors are properly registered.

Police Chief David J. Petruski said that during the early morning hours on Monday, someone rifled through unlocked vehicles parked on the street and in driveways. Only one minor theft has been reported so far, he said.

The suspects “are searching through the cars and tossing the contents throughout the inside of the vehicle,” Petruski said in a emailed release.

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Model Railroad Club Builds Vintage Mon Valley

November 29, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: Announcements, McKeesport and Region News

Scaled-down structure at the McKeesport Model Railroad Club was inspired by the city’s Jerome Avenue Bridge. The club is holding its annual open house Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 19. (Sarah Turnbull photo for Tube City Almanac)

Bob Balawajder of the McKeesport Model Railroad Club remembers when trains would pass through downtown McKeesport every day.

“I’ve been part of the club for 38 years. I’ve always been interested in trains. I used to go shopping downtown with my mother and we would watch the trains go by,” Balawajder said.

The club, located at 2209 Walnut St., kicked off its Holiday Open House Nov. 27. The open house features a 2,200-square-foot layout depicting the Mon Valley in the mid-20th century. Hours are 1 to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 19.

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Holiday Events Scheduled in NV Twp.

November 29, 2021 |

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

North Versailles Twp. has a variety of holiday events planned to make spirits bright for the month of December:

Winter clothing drive: The parks and recreation department is partnering with Speedway for a Winter Wear Drive. They will be collecting and distributing winter clothes such as hats, gloves and scarves for township residents in need. If anyone knows someone who can benefit from this collection or has items to donate, please contact Lisa Green, parks and recreation director, at (412) 823-6602, extension 104.

Children’s Christmas Party: The township Children’s Christmas Party will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 18 at the community center, 1401 Greensburg Ave. Magician Chuck Caputo will provide entertainment. There will be pizza for lunch, presents and photos with Santa. Parents need to register their children through the parks and recreation office by Dec. 10 at

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