Federal Grand Jury Indicts City Man on Heroin, Fentanyl Charges

August 23, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Police News

A McKeesport man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of violating federal drug laws.

The one-count indictment, returned Tuesday in Pittsburgh, charges Michael Henry, 35, with conspiracy to distribute heroin and the prescription drug fentanyl, a narcotic pain reliever.

In a prepared statement, acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song said that the indictment is a product of a 12-month investigation into drug trafficking in Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties conducted by the FBI's Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force, which includes officers from the Allegheny County, Pittsburgh and Wilkinsburg police departments, the Allegheny County sheriff's department  and state agencies.

 
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Renzie Expansion Underway as Officials Make Pitch for RAD Money

August 23, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

(Lake Emilie in Renziehausen Park. Tube City Almanac file photo)


McKeesport officials went to Allegheny County's Regional Asset District this week to plead their case for additional funding for Renziehausen Park.

On Monday, city Administrator Tom Maglicco and Jen Vertullo, assistant to Mayor Mike Cherepko, requested from the RAD board approximately $724,000 toward operating expenses at the park, as well as $225,000 toward capital improvements to parking areas and repairs at the park's seven pavilions.

The operating expense request is a 3 percent increase over the current Allegheny County RAD allocation of $703,000. Maglicco said the city requested the increase to cover inflationary expenses.

"We try to stress to the RAD board that Renzie is a regional asset for all of the Mon Valley in Allegheny County," he said. "We want people to use our facilities and draw people into our city and our community."

Separately, the city has received $200,000 to expand Renzie into the so-called Palkovitz property on Eden Park Boulevard behind the Pennsylvania Coach Lines school bus garage.

The money, from the county's Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund, will be used to extend Renzie's fitness trail and to add a dog park, said A.J. Tedesco, McKeesport community development director.

 
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Detours Planned in 2019 When Jerome Bridge Gets $13M Rehabilitation

August 22, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Tube City Almanac photo © Tube City Community Media

Work will begin in 2019 on a $13 million, year-long rehabilitation of the Jerome Street Bridge.

Yasmeen Manyisha, a spokeswoman for state Department of Transportation District 11, said rehabilitation of the 761-foot-long, four-lane bridge will be paid for with a combination of state and federal funding.

PennDOT and Federal Highway Administration officials offered an overview of rehabilitation plans for the bridge last week during a public hearing at the Palisades Ballroom.

The Jerome Street Bridge serves as the main entry to Downtown McKeesport from the west and connects West Fifth Avenue with Lysle Boulevard. It crosses the Youghiogheny River, the CSX Railroad and River Road, as well as the McKees Point Marina and the Great Allegheny Passage hiking-biking trail.

At this time, detour plans call for one lane of eastbound traffic into Downtown to be maintained throughout construction, Manyisha said, but westbound traffic --- toward 10th Ward --- will be detoured. One sidewalk on the bridge will remain open at all times, she said.

 
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Gergely Park Pier, Amphitheater to Receive Makeovers

August 21, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Concerts and other forms of live entertainment may return someday to the Youghiogheny River waterfront after a long absence.

But first, the dilapidated pier and amphitheater in Gergely Park will need to be replaced. That work is expected to begin soon.

In June, McKeesport city council awarded a $173,200 contract to Lutterman Excavating of Westmoreland County to demolish and reconstruct the pier, which sits along Water Street near the Kane Regional Center at the end of Ninth Avenue. The pier, designed to accommodate fishing, and a neighboring amphitheater were constructed in the early 1980s.

The work is being planned by City Engineer James Garvin, said A.J. Tedesco, McKeesport community development director, and funding is being provided through federal Community Development Block Grant money awarded in 2016.

With money from 2017 community development funding, Tedesco said, the city is hoping to reconstruct the amphitheater as well. Concerts were held along the riverfront in the '80s and '90s, including shows by the River City Brass Band, nationally known artists such as Buddy Morrow, and even events that were part of the former Mellon Jazz Festival.

But the pier in Gergely Park has fallen into disuse and disrepair and is in "deplorable condition," Mayor Michael Cherepko told council recently. Besides wear and tear, serious damage was inflicted two years ago by an ice jam on the Youghiogheny River, he said.

 
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Correspondents Wanted to Cover Duquesne, White Oak

August 21, 2017 |

By Advertising | Posted in: Announcements

We are still looking for writers to cover White Oak and the City of Duquesne. Writers are paid for assignments on a per-assignment basis.

The positions currently to be filled are:

  • Duquesne City correspondent
  • White Oak borough correspondent

Writers will be expected to, at minimum, attend the monthly council meetings in either Duquesne or White Oak and write a story for Tube City Almanac within 24 hours. Other topics may, from time to time, be assigned.

High school and college students seeking work experience are encouraged to apply! Tube City Community Media is willing to work with students who need credit toward class assignments.

Previous experience as a writer on a high school or college newspaper, or non-fiction blog, is helpful.

 
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Police Log: Aug. 18, 2017

August 18, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Police News

  • Arrest records published here were provided by the McKeesport Police Department.
  • Not all arrest records are published.
  • A report of an arrest does not mean the person identified has been convicted of a crime.
  • All people arrested are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
 
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Eclipse Events Planned in McKeesport, West Mifflin; Caution Urged

August 18, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

NASA illustration

If you're a Mon-Yough resident and you want to experience a total eclipse of the sun on Monday, you'd better get a good night's sleep on Sunday.

Based on Google Maps, the closest community to McKeesport that will see the sun fully blocked by the moon appears to be Niota, Tenn., just off Interstate 75 between Chattanooga and Knoxville. If you want to go, plan to hit the road by 5 a.m. Monday --- Niota is about 8 hours and 37 minutes away, and the maximum eclipse will hit the community of 723 people at approximately 2:32 p.m. Eastern daylight time.

(And if you are hitting the road, the Federal Highway Administration has a list of tips and travel warnings you should read first.)

In our area, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory, the eclipse will begin to become visible at 1:10 p.m. McKeesport time and reach its maximum --- about 81 percent from our perspective --- at 2:35 p.m. The eclipse will end about 3:55.

Locally, the Carnegie Library of McKeesport will have an eclipse party on the lawn of the main library, 1507 Library Ave., on Monday afternoon, with light refreshments served and glasses provided. For more information, call (412) 672-0625.

West Mifflin's recreation department will host an eclipse party at the borough's main park just off Bettis Road and eclipse glasses will be provided.

 
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Church Plans Flea Market Saturday

August 18, 2017 |

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 (Aug. 19) to benefit a local animal shelter and the church's activities.

A spokeswoman said tables may be purchased by vendors for $10. The table fee will benefit the church. In addition, refreshments will be available.

The church is located at 220 Eighth Ave. at Market Street, Downtown McKeesport.

 

'Lego Batman' Screening Cancelled

August 18, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

McKeesport officials have cancelled tonight's planned screening of "The Lego Batman Movie" at Renziehausen Park because of inclement weather.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Mike Cherepko said the screening, part of the city's "Movies in the Park" series, will be re-scheduled for sometime after the start of the school year.

 

Filmmaker: 'In My Heart, I've Never Left McKeesport'

August 17, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

(Submitted photo courtesy Heinz History Center)

Sam Zolten was at the beach in North Wildwood, N.J., last week when he spotted someone wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers hat. So he walked over to say hello.

"He turned out to be a teacher at McKeesport High School," Zolten says. "In my heart, I've never left McKeesport. I'm still an 18-year-old, going to the White Elephant on Saturday nights. It's the town that grew me and the town that I fondly reminisce about."

Thanks to his new documentary, many more McKeesporters --- including those, like Zolten, who moved away long ago --- will likely be reminiscing as well. "Missing McKeesport" has yet to be screened and is already creating enormous buzz among past and present Mon-Yough residents.

More than seven years in the making, the movie will have its world premiere at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh's Strip District.

"There's a lot of buzz in the community about it and it's a film I'm very proud of," Zolten says.

 
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