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Public Transit Advocates Gathering Data for East Busway Expansion

July 18, 2019 |

By Christopher Baumann | Posted in: News

Debra Green of Duquesne is a coordinating committee member with Pittsburghers for Public Transit. She rides public transportation every day. (Photo courtesy Pittsburghers for Public Transit)


A transit advocacy group has developed a unique new computerized tool that allows residents and bus riders to give their direct input into the planning of a campaign to extend the East Busway to the Mon Valley and the Eastern Suburbs.

“This would be an enormous, transformative improvement and change for our community,” said Laura Wiens, executive director of Pittsburghers for Public Transit, a non-profit organization.

The tool is now available online, and allows bus riders of the Mon Valley and the Eastern Suburbs to identify areas they believe are not given adequate service. It also allows riders to rank destinations in order of importance in their daily transit.

 
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Traffic Light at Walnut, 48 Intersection Nearly Ready

July 12, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: News

(Both photos: Special to Tube City Almanac)


A long-awaited traffic light at the intersection of Long Run Road and Walnut Street in the city's 12th Ward is nearly complete.

A.J. Tedesco, McKeesport community development director, said the project was overseen by Trans Associates Engineering of Enola, Pa. Some additional work will be completed by the state Department of Transportation before the signals are activated, he said.

The $451,000 project was funded in part by a $316,000 grant from the multimodal transportation fund of the state Department of Community & Economic Development.

 
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Latest Round of Storms Leaves Soggy Mess in Area

July 12, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: News

The region is cleaning up --- again --- from the latest round of heavy rainstorms during a year that is likely to wind up as one of the wettest in recorded history.

Two lines of storms that moved through Western Pennsylvania on Thursday caused widespread road closures and flash flooding. This time, it seemed to be the Turtle Creek valley and Westmoreland County that took the biggest hit, at least in the Mon-Yough area.

North Huntingdon Twp. police reported that state Route 993 in Larimer and Irwin had reopened just before 9 a.m. Friday after being closed for most of Thursday, but that Brownstown Road near the Town House remained shut down, and that Pine Hollow Road near the Penn Twp. line would be closed "indefinitely."

The township's emergency management agency is providing cleanup kits for residents whose homes were affected by flooding. The kits are available in the lobby of the Town House and at the police station.

 
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Street in Renzie to Be Renamed for Skyliners' Beaumont

July 05, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Jimmy Beaumont, shown fourth from left on the cover of The Skyliners' first LP, was born in Pittsburgh but lived in McKeesport for nearly 50 years until his death in 2017.


A portion of Tulip Drive near the Lions Bandshell in Renziehausen Park will be renamed for the late Jimmy Beaumont.

McKeesport City Council on Tuesday by 5-0 vote approved a proposal from Mayor Michael Cherepko and Council Vice-President Jamie Brewster-Filotei to rename the section of street for Beaumont, former lead singer of The Skyliners, who died Oct. 7, 2017, at his home in McKeesport at age 76.

Jimmy Beaumont Boulevard will be dedicated on Aug. 11, when the remaining Skyliners perform at Renzie.

Beaumont was born in Pittsburgh's Knoxville section but had lived in McKeesport's Myer Park neighborhood since the 1960s.

 
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Crowd Enjoys Independence Day Celebration at Renzie

July 05, 2019 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: News

(All photos: Vickie Babyak, special to Tube City Almanac)


The McKeesport area celebrated the 243rd birthday of the United States of America with a lively concert and fireworks at Renziehausen Park.

James Warren of McKeesport and his daughter Alaina, age 2, show off their holiday spirit with the red, white and blue.

Sal Ventura, lead singer for Zoot Island Band, tosses a hula hoop off stage to the audience during their concert in Renziehausen Park.

 
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Panel Discussion Examines Possibility of Penn-McKee Renovation Project

July 04, 2019 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: News

From left, Michelle Matuch, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko, Matthew Craig of the Young Preservationists of Pittsburgh, and Jason Togyer participated in a panel discussion entitled "The Past, Present and Future of the Penn-McKee Hotel" on Saturday at McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center. (Photo courtesy McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center)


The first thing you see driving into Downtown McKeesport from the Jerome Street Bridge or traveling on the river trail is the derelict Penn-McKee Hotel.

And thousands of people ride through McKeesport on the bike trail --- but don’t stop to spend any money, according to Jason Togyer, executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc.

Reversing those two facts --- and filling cash registers --- are the goals of a possible renovation of the hotel, Togyer said.

 
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GetGo May Be Coming to City's East End

July 03, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News


Another gas station and convenience store may be coming to East Fifth Avenue near the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge.

McKeesport City Council by 5-0 vote on Tuesday approved a request from Morris Knowles & Associates of Delmont, Westmoreland County, to merge together 12 separate lots, totalling more than 3 acres, for the development of a gas station and convenience store.

Councilmen Jim Barry Jr. and Richard Dellapenna Jr. were absent.

Council also voted to vacate a portion of Gleditsch Alley, which passes between the lots at the bottom of Hartman Street.

Dick Roberts, a spokesman for Giant Eagle, said the O'Hara Twp. based retailer is considering the construction of a GetGo cafe and market at the site.

 
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Retired Police Captain Surprised With Diploma After 70 Years

July 01, 2019 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: News

Mark P. Holtzman Jr., McKeesport Area School District superintendent, presents Dennis Halaszynski Sr. with his cap, tassel and 1949 high school diploma from McKeesport Area School District. (Photo by Vickie Babyak, special to Tube City Almanac)


Diane Couch couldn't stop smiling as she held her father's hand Wednesday night.

She and five of her siblings brought 88-year-old Dennis Halaszynski to the McKeesport Area School District meeting on the premise that one of his daughters-in-law was receiving an award.

It was a special case of "better late than never" for the life-long McKeesport resident when he received his high school diploma from district Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. at Wednesday's meeting, during a surprise ceremony planned six weeks ago with the help of school board President Joe Lopretto.

Couch said her father always regretted not earning his high school diploma.

 
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Volunteers Enhance MASD Weight Room, Courtyard

June 28, 2019 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: News

Volunteers unpack new fitness equipment in the weight room at McKeesport Area High School. (All photos: Richard Finch Jr., special to Tube City Almanac)


McKeesport Area High School became the latest destination on the nationwide Team8 Tour this week, after volunteers with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and United Healthcare's “Do Good, Live Well” employee program gathered in the gymnasium to kick off the two-day event.

The weight room in the high school and the courtyard at Founders Hall Middle School were targeted for improvement. The Team8 Tour is a national campaign aimed at encouraging young people around the country to make healthy choices, build character and learn critical life lessons that will inspire them to be catalysts for positive social change, according to the foundation's website.

McKeesport Area School Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. credited baseball coach Ron Bishop with connecting the district to the program.

 
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School Board OK's 0.68-Mill Tax Increase on 6-2 Vote

June 28, 2019 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: News

Above: Major Bryan Carson has been hired by McKeesport Area School District to teach the Air Force Junior ROTC program for 10 months, beginning July 1. His appointment was approved by the school board Wednesday. (Richard Finch Jr. photo, special to Tube City Almanac)


McKeesport Area School Board voted this week to approve a $69.1 million budget that includes a 0.68-mill property tax increase.

At their meeting Wednesday, school directors voted 6-2 to approve the spending plan for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

School directors David Donato and James Brown voted against the budget, and school director Mindy Sturgess was absent. Donato and Sturgess were absent during the 7-0 vote on the preliminary budget on May 22.

The tax increase takes the district's millage from 19.48 mills to 20.16 mills, and represents a $68 increase on a house assessed at $100,000. It's the second year in a row that McKeesport Area School District has raised its property tax rate.

Francis Weiss, a former MASD employee, told school directors the property tax increase is a burden for herself and other seniors living on a fixed income.

 
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