November 17, 2014 | Link to this story

Jazz Fundraiser Nets $95K for Penn State Campus

Category: Events || By Jacqueline Dell


Betel Gebre and Matthew Curcio, members of the Penn State Greater Allegheny Lion Ambassadors, join MC Bill Flanagan on stage during the campus' "All That's Jazz" scholarship benefit Nov. 8. (Penn State photo)

. . .

The Nittany Lion stood at the door of the Student Community Center at Penn State Greater Allegheny, as the house grew full for the 11th annual All That's Jazz scholarship benefit on Nov. 8. As guests entered the building, they heard the melodic voices of the Penn State Greater A Capella Melody Lions, led by Doretta Whalen, adjunct instructor in music.

All That's Jazz is an annual scholarship fundraising event that hosts donors from around the state. Nancy Herron, interim chancellor of Penn State Greater Allegheny Campus, said the fundraiser helps students with great financial needs. Since 2004, the All That's Jazz event has raised $820,000 for students.

"The first year we raised $20,000 in scholarships," said Clifford Wise, president of the Penn State Greater Allegheny Advisory Board.

This year's event, which raised $95,476 for the McKeesport area campus, included improvisational musical-comedy group "Broadway's Next H!T Musical," a silent auction and Italian food. Music was provided by David Pellow, Mark Strickland, and Benny Benack Jr.

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November 17, 2014 | Link to this story

Bridge Linking Turtle Creek, NV Twp. Reopens

Category: Announcements || By Submitted Report


Local, state and federal officials this morning celebrated the completion of the Greensburg Pike Bridge with a ribbon-cutting.

The new 663-foot bridge connects North Versailles Twp. with Turtle Creek boro., crossing the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks and Turtle Creek itself. The former bridge, a steel truss structure, was built in 1925. It closed in November 2013 and was demolished.

Before closing, the former bridge carried upwards of 8,000 cars per day, linking Monroeville with Route 30 and serving the North Versailles Wal-Mart and the Great Valley shopping center.

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November 14, 2014 | Link to this story

Mifflin Twp. Historical Society Holds Ribbon-Cutting

Category: Announcements || By Submitted Report


The Mifflin Twp. Historical Society will have a ribbon cutting ceremony at its new home, the former West Mifflin police station on Greensprings Avenue, at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, a spokesman said.

The old township included modern-day Homestead, West Homestead, Munhall, Hays, Lincoln Place, Whitaker, Duquesne, Pleasant Hills, Clairton, Dravosburg, West Elizabeth, Jefferson Hills, Baldwin and West Mifflin. Festivities begin at 12 noon and continue until 4 p.m., with ribbon cutting at 12:30.

The police station moved in May to the new West Mifflin borough offices on Lebanon Road, near the Allegheny County Airport.

(Photo courtesy Mifflin Twp. Historical Society, via Facebook.)



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November 14, 2014 | Link to this story

City's Holiday Parade One of Region's Largest

Category: Announcements || By Submitted Report

© 2006 Tube City Community Media Inc.


One of Western Pennsylvania's largest holiday parades gets underway at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at the McKees Point Marina.

The annual "Salute to Santa" parade includes police, fire and EMS units, drill teams, bands and a visit from the Jolly Old Elf, himself, and continues up Fifth Avenue to McKeesport's City Hall at the corner of Fifth and Sinclair.

The parade will be followed by a party for kids at the Palisades Ballroom, corner of Fifth and Water streets.

(Tube City Online file photo from 2006)



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November 06, 2014 | Link to this story

Bottom Dollar to Sell, Close 20 Local Stores

Category: News || By Submitted and Staff Report


Local officials helped mark the January 26, 2012 opening of a Bottom Dollar supermarket in the city's Christy Park neighborhood. The parent company of Bottom Dollar announced plans Thursday to close all of the company's 66 locations, including 20 in the Pittsburgh area. (Tube City Almanac file photo: Denise L. Ritter)

. . .

Less than three years after opening stores in McKeesport, Homestead and other nearby communities to great fanfare, the parent company of Bottom Dollar Foods announced Thursday that all 66 locations are being sold to a competitor, and will close.

Salisbury, N.C., based Delhaize America --- itself a division of Belgium-based Delhaize Group --- said all of its Bottom Dollar locations are being sold to Aldi in a transaction reportedly valued at $15 million. Aldi also will assume leases on Bottom Dollar stores, as well as other financial obligations, according to published reports.

About 2,200 employees will lose their jobs.

"This decision was difficult given the impact on our associates, customers and communities in which we operate," said Gene Faller, vice president of retail operations for Bottom Dollar Food. "We want to thank our associates, customers and communities for their support over the past four years."

Aldi is also a discount supermarket chain, albeit with a more limited selection than Bottom Dollar, and is also a division of a European supermarket chain. According to broadcast reports, an Aldi spokesperson said it is too soon to say if any of the Bottom Dollar locations might reopen as Aldi stores.

The nearest Aldi locations to McKeesport are in North Versailles and North Huntingdon townships and West Mifflin.

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October 31, 2014 | Link to this story

Halloween Event Schedule Posted

Category: Announcements || By Submitted Report

Trick-or-treat is 6 to 8 p.m. tonight in the City of McKeesport, Liberty, North Huntingdon Twp., North Versailles Twp., Port Vue, West Mifflin and White Oak.

Trick-or-treat in Dravosburg is 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Dravosburg will hold a Halloween Parade and Costume Contest from 5 to 6 p.m. tonight at the municipal building, 226 Maple Ave. For more information, call (412) 466-5020.

Liberty Borough will hold a Halloween parade tonight from the corner of Scene Ridge Road and River Ridge Road, down to Liberty Way and over to the municipal building. Children and parents should line up at the corner of Scene Ridge and River Ridge by 5:15 p.m.



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October 31, 2014 | Link to this story

Former McKeesporter Named to U.S. Steel Board

Category: News || By Submitted and Staff Report

Editor's Note: The author of this article has a conflict of interest; he is a U.S. Steel stockholder.

A former McKeesporter was elected to the board of directors of U.S. Steel on Friday.

The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker announced that Robert J. Stevens (left), retired executive chairman of Lockheed Martin Corp., will serve on the company's board from Jan. 1 until the next annual meeting of stockholders, to be held in April.

Also elected to the board was Patricia Diaz Dennis, retired as senior vice president and assistant general counsel of AT&T and a former official in the administrations of Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, a U.S. Steel spokeswoman said.

A summa cum laude graduate of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Stevens is the son of a steelworker and a veteran Marine who earned master's degrees from Polytechnic University of New York and Columbia University.

His career at Lockheed Martin, a major defense contractor, included service as chief operating officer, chief financial officer and head of strategic planning.

In 2012, Stevens was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

In addition to Edgar Thomson Works, a basic steelmaking plant in Braddock; Irvin Works, a rolling mill in West Mifflin; and the Clairton coke plant, U.S. Steel owns a electric-resistance weld pipe mill in McKeesport --- one of the last remaining remnants of the former National Tube Co.

But in August, U.S. Steel closed the ERW mill at the foot of Market Street indefinitely, putting nearly 200 people out of work. U.S. Steel said that subsidized foreign steel companies, primarily in Asia, are dumping steel pipe on the U.S. market at below cost. No timetable has been set for if, or when, the McKeesport plant might re-open.

(Lockheed Martin photo)



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October 28, 2014 | Link to this story

Lysle Blvd. Bus Terminal to Be Replaced

Category: Announcements || By Submitted Reports

The city's aging, 1970s-era transportation center on Lysle Boulevard will be demolished and replaced by a new terminal serving buses, paratransit vans and the Great Allegheny Passage hiking-biking trail, it was announced today.

About $1 million in funding for the project will come from the state's Act 89 transportation plan, according to a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation. The McKeesport bus terminal replacement is one of 86 projects in 35 counties, valued at a total of $84 million, being funded.

"All types of transportation drive our economy, and Act 89 gave us the tools to ensure our non-highway modes receive the funding they need to maintain a connected transportation system," PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. Also funded will be improvements to a barge terminal in Glassport.

Under the plan, Port Authority's McKeesport Transportation Center --- which once served Amtrak's Capitol Limited intercity passenger train, as well as Port Authority's Versailles to Pittsburgh passenger train --- will be demolished and replaced with a new "multimodal" terminal serving local and regional buses, paratransit ("ACCESS") vans, and the bike trail. The existing park-and-ride lot would also be improved.

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October 27, 2014 | Link to this story

Officials Plan Mansfield Bridge Ribbon-Cutting

Category: Announcements || By Submitted Report

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald will be joined by U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, state Senator Jim Brewster, state Rep. Bill Kortz, Allegheny County Council Member Bob Macey and other federal, state, county and local officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the William D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge.

The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday (Oct. 28) at the Maple Avenue ramp in Dravosburg, and the public is invited, a spokeswoman said.

Due to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the on-ramp will close at 10:30 a.m. and is expected to reopen by 12 noon.

Owned by Allegheny County, the 1,900-foot bridge across the Monongahela opened in 1951 and connects Dravosburg with the city and Glassport. According to state Department of Transportation statistics, about 17,000 vehicles use the road leading to the Mansfield Bridge daily.

The bridge is named for former McKeesport Daily News publisher, Allegheny County commissioner and state senator William D. Mansfield, who died in 1952.

The Mansfield Bridge was reconstructed as part of a $34 million project done in conjunction with PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. The general contractor was Joseph B. Fay Company of Tarentum.



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October 22, 2014 | Link to this story

PennDOT Plans Route 30 Work This Saturday

Category: Announcements || By Submitted Report

Traffic will be restricted on Route 30 in North Huntingdon Twp. on Saturday (Oct. 25) near the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation said.

The restrictions will take place beginning at 6 a.m. and continue most of the day, and will include closing the left (passing) lanes of the highway in both directions between Arona Road and Barnes Lake Road.

In addition, Arona Road will be restricted to one alternating lane of traffic and controlled by flaggers.

The temporary restrictions are necessary so that a crew from Tresco Paving Corp. can perform work on the shoulder of the road and on the intersection of Route 30 and Arona Road, the spokeswoman said.



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October 20, 2014 | Link to this story

Donations Sought for Family of Fire Victims

Category: News || By Staff and Submitted Reports

A friend of six people killed in a house fire Saturday morning in the city's 10th Ward section have set up an online fundraising drive to defray funeral costs and medical bills for the sole survivor.

The fund, set up by Amanda Grimes of Charleroi, has raised more than $9,000 of a $20,000 goal.

Grimes is the mother of the niece of Hope Jordan, 27, who died in the blaze along with her four children, Dominic Jordan, 7; Autumn Jordan, 6; Serenity Jakub, 3; and Victoria Jordan, 2; and her father-in-law, Ronald Egenlauf Sr., 55, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office.

Her husband, Keith Egenlauf, 23, was badly burned in the fire and is in critical condition at UPMC Mercy Hospital, Uptown section of Pittsburgh.

The medical examiner ruled Sunday that the victims died of acute smoke and fume inhalation. According to emergency officials, the blaze in the two-story wood frame home on Express Alley, near the CSX railroad tracks, broke out before 7 a.m. Saturday, and heavy flames and smoke were present when McKeesport firefighters arrived on the scene.

Investigators have determined that the fire began in the living room of the house, on the first floor, Alvin Henderson, chief of the county Department of Emergency Services, said on Monday. But investigators have not yet pinpointed where or how the fire exactly began, he said.

"This is still an active fire investigation and additional interviews need to be conducted," Henderson said. "Once the cause and origin of the fire have been determined, we will issue a statement, but we will not be providing any other information at this time."

A candlelight vigil in 10th Ward on Sunday night attracted hundreds of mourners, according to published reports. Funeral arrangements are in charge of Hunter-Edmundson-Striffler Funeral Home and are not yet complete.



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October 17, 2014 | Link to this story

Big Band Era Archived By City Native

Category: History || By



Paul Roth left McKeesport to become a noted pioneer in the field of computer simulation and computer models, and twice was elected to head the national organization of researchers interested in the field.

A graduate of both Pitt and the University of Pennsylvania, he retired from the computer science faculty at Virginia Tech after teaching at Villanova, Maryland and South Florida universities, and his long career also included work with the National Bureau of Standards, Burroughs Corp. and General Electric.

But his passion --- formed during his teen-age years in the Library District of the city --- is the dance band music of the 1940s and '50s. Roth's avocation has been interviewing jazz musicians of the "big band" era and cataloging their recordings. Roth recounted those formative years last year in an article for Western Pennsylvania History magazine.

Roth, a McKeesport High School graduate who now divides his time between Western Pennsylvania and Florida, will be speaking at 2 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 18) at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center in Renziehausen Park to deliver its annual Founders' Day Address. The event is free and open to the public; call (412) 678-1832 or visit the website.

Beginning in the late 1970s and continuing for nearly 20 years, Roth traveled the country, interviewing important contributors ranging from Sammy Kaye to Steve Allen. Many of the recordings that Roth collected during his travels now form the Paul F. Roth Collection of the American Dance Band at Stanford University in California, and that archive has been used by music historians throughout the world.

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