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Local Catholic Churches Part of Next Merger Phase

May 29, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements, Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News

Roman Catholic churches in Duquesne and Wilmerding are among more than 60 in Western Pennsylvania that will merge into new parishes on July 1, Bishop David Zubik announced this week.

The mergers, which affect every part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, will create 15 new parishes, the diocese said in a press release.

They are among the latest changes that began in 2015 under the program the diocese calls “On Mission for The Church Alive.”

In a letter to parishioners released Wednesday, Zubik said the parishes to be merged had already been working closely together since October 2018 in regional church groupings to share clergy and resources.

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‘Parade Atmosphere’ Planned for MAHS Seniors

May 29, 2020 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

As school districts grapple with restrictions on large gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancelations or postponements of graduations, senior celebration days and the prom, many districts have planned alternative events to comply with social-distance requirements.

In the McKeesport Area School District, officials began looking at creative ways to connect with students, according to Mark Holtzman Jr., district superintendent.

One of the options they considered is a “senior procession,” to be held on June 3, the day seniors would have graduated. Holtzman announced the senior procession at the board’s meeting on Wednesday.

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Holtzman Defends $71.2 M Proposed Budget:
‘We Need Every Dollar’

May 29, 2020 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport Area School Board has approved a $71.2 million preliminary budget that includes a 0.80-mill property tax increase.

At Wednesday’s meeting, school directors voted 6-2 to approve the preliminary spending plan for the 2020-21 fiscal year. School board members James Brown and David Donato voted against the budget.

The tax increase will take the district's millage from 20.16 mills to 20.96 mills and represents a $40 increase on a house assessed at $50,000. It will be the third year in a row that MASD has raised its property tax rate. School property taxes increased 2.11 mills in 2018 and increased 0.68 mills in 2019.

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As Pandemic Keeps Folks Close
to Home, Victory Gardens Bloom

May 24, 2020 |

By Emily Pidgeon | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The author’s garden in McKeesport. (Emily Pidgeon photo)

Since news of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States broke earlier this year, most people are spending their time close to home — and many of them appear to have turned to gardening.

Local greenhouses and nurseries as well as big box stores say they’re low on stock or, in some cases, completely sold out of starter plants, seeds, annual and perennial flowers, and herbs and gardening supplies, including soil and mulch.

It seems like “victory gardens” have come back in a big way during the COVID-19 pandemic, but what exactly are they?

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$119K Federal Grant Supports City Police

May 22, 2020 |

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

A U.S. Department of Justice grant will provide more than $119,000 to McKeesport to help support police operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant from the federal Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program was announced this week by U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady in Pittsburgh.

The public safety funds can be used for the most pressing needs of state and local law-enforcement agencies, including new hiring and overtime pay, training, personal protective equipment and supplies and medical needs of prisoners.

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Grants Will Aid Online Learning in Local Districts

May 18, 2020 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News

McKeesport Area School District and six others will benefit from $350,000 in grants awarded to Allegheny Intermediate Unit.

The money includes a $200,000 grant from the Heinz Endowments to be used to purchase Chromebooks and Google licenses and an additional $150,000 from the Grable Foundation for electronic devices, as well as professional development for teachers and administrative professionals.

More than 1,700 devices will be distributed between McKeesport, Duquesne City, Penn Hills, East Allegheny, Highlands, Cornell and Wilkinsburg school districts, AIU said.

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Councilor, Teacher Remembered for Love of City

May 13, 2020 |

By Jennifer Sopko | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport City Council Vice President Jamie Brewster-Filotei, fourth from left, was one of five local residents honored with “Living the Message” awards at the Feb. 5 council meeting. (Nick Zurawsky photo for Tube City Almanac)

Obituary: Jamie Lyn Brewster Filotei

Jamie Brewster-Filotei, McKeesport City Council vice president and longtime fourth-grade teacher at Francis McClure Elementary School, died May 12 after a nearly three-year battle with non-small cell lung carcinoma. She was 46.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko announced Brewster-Filotei’s passing Tuesday evening on his office’s Facebook page.

“Jamie was a dedicated civic leader, a dynamic educator, and a loving wife, mother, daughter and sister,” Cherepko’s office said. “She played many roles in our community and in the hearts of those she loved, and for that, we will miss her dearly. The impact she had on the City of McKeesport will never be forgotten.”

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Police Thank Public With Free Pizza Party

May 11, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Tube City Almanac photos)

Nearly 800 families in McKeesport received a free hot meal on Saturday afternoon with the help of city and Allegheny County police.

About 40 volunteers, including uniformed McKeesport and county police officers and their family members, employees of state Sen. Jim Brewster’s office, and Mayor Michael Cherepko and city hall employees, handed out pizzas and bottles of water along Industry Drive in the RIDC Industrial Park and at the Harrison Village and Crawford Village housing complexes.

Volunteers also were delivering pizzas to shut-ins and people unable to drive, McKeesport police Chief Adam Alfer said.

Officers were planning to distribute 775 pizzas, with any leftovers donated to local food pantries.

Allegheny County police Sgt. Jason Binder said the effort was designed to recognize the public’s support of first-responders during the coronavirus pandemic, and to acknowledge that many Mon-Yough residents are out of work and stuck at home during the crisis.

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Mobile Dance Party Rocks, Rolls Mon-Yough Valley

May 10, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News, White Oak News

Sarah Colon holds Javoni Hancharik and Nikki Hancharik holds Natalia Hancharik on Fawcett Avenue in McKeesport as they enjoying the dance party parade mix by DJ Jess. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

With entertainment venues closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pittsburghers have been unable to go to any dances for almost two months.

So on Saturday, the dances came to Pittsburghers.

Disc jockeys from throughout the region participated in the first-ever Pittsburgh Mobile Dance Party, climbing aboard trucks and into vans to spread music and fun for a few hours.

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Visiting Restrictions Remain at Kane Centers

May 09, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Allegheny County’s four Kane Community Living Centers remain closed to almost all visitors and will stay that way, even after some restrictions on travel and business are lifted May 15.

“We will be following guidance from the state Health Department,” said Dr. Mario Fatigati, chief medical officer, at a news conference Friday. Although the county is scheduled to move from “red” status to “yellow” next week, none of the Kane skilled-nursing centers will be permitting visitors “until we’re moved to ‘green,’” he said.

Even then, Fatigati said, there will be additional precautions in place.

“This is not going to go away overnight,” he said. “I'm sure that we will be taking other measures to make sure that additional screening is going to be in place ... even in the green phase.”

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