Glassport, Pennsylvania


News Articles


This page is for news articles which appear in present on-line newspapers, magazines, etc. concerning Glassport or Glassport people. The articles are copied directly from the source.


McKeesport Daily News March 15, 2011

Police investigating Glassport stabbings

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Two men were stabbed in connection with a fight at a Glassport bar.

Borough police were called for a fight at Broadway Sportsman Lounge at 941 Indiana Ave. Sunday at 1:14 a.m.

Upon arrival, officers came in contact with a 42-year-old Elizabeth Township man and his wife yelling that her husband had just been stabbed, police Chief Howard Kifer reported.

The man was suffering from a stab wound to his lower left back, and was transported by Clairton EMS to UPMC Presbyterian.

Officers continued to investigate and found a 35-year-old Glassport man with a stab wound.

Kifer said the bar owner reported that man allegedly started the fight after exposing himself and becoming confrontational with people who were asking him to leave.

The Glassport man transported himself to MedExpress in Pleasant Hills. Once there he was instructed to seek medical attention at a local hospital, Kifer said.

It is uncertain if the man went to a hospital, and the conditions of both victims were unavailable at presstime.

The chief said other people believed to be involved in the fight include another Glassport man who was kicked in the head, a McKeesport man who was found with blood on his face, and a White Oak man.

Glassport police continue to investigate, and no charges have been filed in connection with the incident, reports stated.


McKeesport Daily News March 16, 2011

Officers honored for aiding birth

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

— Photo by Michael DiVittorio/Daily News

Glassport Mayor Michael Evanovich, center, recognized police Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse, left, and Sgt. Cliff LaFever for their heroic efforts to save a newborn boy last month. A Glassport baby born two months premature is alive as the result of quick action by two borough officers with the assistance of Clairton EMS.

Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse and Sgt. Cliff LaFever were recognized at Tuesday’s council meeting for their acts of heroism in responding to a call to a residence along Michigan Avenue on Feb. 25 at 1:40 a.m.

Officers resuscitated a newborn boy and aided the family until emergency personnel arrived.

Clairton EMS transported the boy and his mother to Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, where the baby is being cared for.

“The borough of Glassport is deeply indebted to these officers for acts performed by them that were far beyond those expected of any officer in a regular performance of their duties,” Mayor Michael Evanovich said, reading a resolution.

“A lot of times officers don’t receive respect that is due,” Councilman Eugene Skerkoski said. “Thank you, gentlemen.” Evanovich said the family declined to participate in the recognition and did not want to be identified in print.

“They were just shocked,” Evanovich said.

“We saved that baby’s life,” DeVerse said after the meeting. “The baby was not breathing when we arrived, and to get recognized is excellent. I didn’t expect (to get recognized). That’s just part of our job. I appreciate it, and a lot of the guys in our department go above and beyond every day. We’ve got a whole group of extraordinary guys in our department.” “My people are well­trained and are ready for anything that happens, even a childbirth,” Evanovich said after the meeting. “They reacted professionally, with speed, and did a great job.” In other matters, resident Robert Stecak inquired about his proposal to create a dog park in the borough.

Stecak, 66, has a 2-year­old Great Pyrenees named Jackson, and submitted documents to council in January about how to start a dog park.

Councilwoman Nancy Crncic, who said she’s been reviewing the documents, said Stecak should circulate a petition to gauge resident interest in the project.

A proposed site for the dog park is near a bike trail behind the police station. It’s part of the Steel Valley Trail, which is a part of the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile biking and hiking trail.

Council president John DeSue said there may not be enough space on the lot behind the police station for a dog park because a portion of it is committed to Citizens Hose Co. No. 1 and another portion has playground equipment that was purchased through a grant.

Councilors encouraged Stecak to pursue the plan.

“If the interest is there, then things move in little steps,” council vice president James Uziel said.

Uziel also announced that the public works department will patch potholes. He lauded crews for keeping the streets clean dur­ing snowfalls, and said salt trucks are prepared should another storm occur.

Joe Spagnolo, owner of a Foodland in the borough, expressed interest in acquir­ing the former swimming pool site near his business along Ohio Avenue.

Borough solicitor Gary Matta said the borough plans to advertise the prop­erty for public sale after next month’s workshop meet­ing.

Council also adopted a resolution endorsing Allegheny County Resolution No. 3 of 2011, also known as coun­cil Bill No. 6136-11, which calls for enactment “with all due speed” of a moratorium on property reassessments.

The bill is aimed at a November 2009 order by county Common Pleas Senior Judge R. Stanton Wettick that calls for the county to reassess its 540,000 properties by 2014.


McKeesport Daily News March 17, 2011

Glassport feels pressure to fund share of bride ramp

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivifforio@dailynewsemail.com

Allegheny County Public Works is putting pressure on Glassport to come up with more than $87,500 for the rehabilitation of the Monongahela Avenue ramp on the borough's side of the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge. It's less than earlier figures setting the share mandated by a 1949 Public Utility Commission order at $116,880, but both Glassport and McKeesport, which has been told its obligation is $152,776.40, oppose the fees.

Crews have begun a three-year, $35 million project rehabilitating the halfcentury-old bridge finking McKeesport, Glassport and Dravosburg. At Tuesday night's Glassport council meeting, council vice president James Uziel brought up a letter signed by county public works director Joseph A. Olczak referencing a PUC order issued March 22, 1948, and modified Oct. 24, 1949, in regards to "the responsibility of the borough of Glassport." That responsibility covers railroad lines belonging to now-defunct carriers that cross under the bridge.

Attached to Olczak's letter is a drawing depicting the limits of work and a cost estimate outlining the scope of work and corresponding costs. "Based upon the roadway classification and reimbursement eligibility dictated by the Federal Highway Administration, 80 percent of the costs will be paid for the by the FHWA and and 20 percent of the costs are to be paid for by the borough of Glassport," Olczak wrote. An agreement between the county and the borough outlining the costs of the ramp from Monongahela Avenue to the bridge was included with the letter. Total cost for "borough work" was listed at $437,629.68, with $350,103.74 in federal funds and $87,525.94 from Glassport. "The agreement needs to be executed prior to advertisement of the rehabilitation project, which is scheduled for Sept. 1," Olczak wrote, "and failure to enter into an agreement prior to that date may result in the work being excluded from the project."

"We don't intend to spend any taxpayer money on that," council president John DeSue said. DeSue said McKeesport is dealing with a similar issue regarding its connection to the bridge, and Dravosburg is not being held responsible for its two ramps. McKeesport officials have hoped that work done last year on W. Fifth Avenue could be considered as a payment in kind for the required upgrade of ramps from W. Fifth onto the bridge. State Sen. James R. Brewster, D-McKeesport, the city's former mayor, has suggested that the work also could be considered an in-kind payment covering Glassport.

McKeesport City Council has tabled since last fall the agreement the county wants city officials to sign. Uziel said it will be difficult to get funds from government sources because of the battle involving the state budget, but he does not want to see the borough ramp and road left dilapidated while the bridge is rehabilitated. The council vice president noted that he is not in favor of acting on any agreement until borough solicitor Gary Matta has had a chance to review it. Borough officials said they plan to meet with county authorities and address this issue in the coming months.


McKeesport Daily News March 18, 2011

Glassport police list calls

By THE DAILY NEWS

Glassport police responded to 325 calls, Mayor Michael Evanovic reported.

Calls ranged from EMS assists, outside agency assists, animal complaints, traffic violations, harassments, hazard­ous conditions and juvenile complaints.

Officers made 20 arrests concerning aggravated assaults, thefts, drug possession, DUIs and public drunkenness. Officers dealt with 20 juvenile incidents — one girl and 19 boys.

The next crime watch meeting is April 6 at the senior center at 7 p.m. There will be a guest speaker. All residents are invited.


McKeesport Daily News March 18, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Fight brings charges

Two 16-year-old boys and a 15-year-old boy, all of Glassport, have been charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. near the intersection

of Pacific Avenue and Juenita Drive.

Theft alleged

Danielle Tamsula, 19, of Glassport, is charged with retail theft in connection with an incident Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at the Red Hot Dollar along Monongahela Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News March 25, 2011

Glassport endorsements posted

By THE DAILY NEWS

Glassport Democratic Committee officials have announced their endorsements for borough council and South Allegheny School Board.

The committee endorses Anna Maria Kudla, Thomas W. Bradley Jr., Dave Kowalski and Norbert Piekut for council, and Tim Wackowski, James Jackson, Luke F. Riley III, Russell A. Geary and Arlene Schinosi for school board.


McKeesport Daily News March 25, 2011

Glassport

Annual meeting scheduled

Copper & Glass FCU’s annual meeting is scheduled for April 16 at 10 a.m. at R-Place in Elizabeth Township. Tickets are available at the credit union. Price is $5. Registration deadline is April 8. For more information, call 412-673-9028 or 412-673-2555.

Cleanup scheduled

Volunteers are needed for Glassport’s Cleanup Day April 16 at 10 a.m. at the borough building. Residents are encouraged to clean up their surrounding areas. For more information, call 412-678-0610.


McKeesport Daily News March 30, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Assault alleged

Kevin Kucera, 28, of Glassport, is charged with simple assault in connection with an incident Sunday at 11:42 p.m. along the 600 block of Allegheny Avenue.

2 people charged

Jessica Grossi, 26, of McKeesport, is charged with disorderly conduct and harassment, and Brian Crouch, 37, of Jefferson Hills, is charged with harassment in connection with an incident March 21 at 6 p.m. along the 700 block of Hemlock Way.

Burglary investigated

Police are investigating a burglary March 19 at 1:18 a.m. along the 700 block of Hemlock Way.

Police said the victim reported his residence was broken into, items were thrown around and a couch was torn apart. Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact police at 412-672-4514.


McKeesport Daily News March 30, 2011

Raffle winners announced

— Photo by Jennifer R. Vertullo/Daily News

At Spagnolo’s Foodland in Glassport, owner Joe Spannolo Sr. congratulates Ann Pasinski, left, of Glassport, and Mille Mihall of West Mifflin, who were among winners in a Tuesday morning raffle. Prizes included basketballs and two basketball hoops, as well as $25 in gift certificiates donated by Trib Total Media The Daily News .


McKeesport Daily News April 1, 2011

— Photo by Jennifer R. Vertullo/Daily News

Glassport golice Department recently purchased three new vests for its officers through resident donations. From left, council president John DeSue and Mayor Michael Evanovich stand by as police Chief Edward Kifer displays a vest for contributors Linda and Daniel Costello. Janice and Eugene Fermann also contributed funds.


McKeesport Daily News April 1, 2011

Glassport

Redd Up Day scheduled

Spring Redd Up Day is scheduled for April 16 at 10 a.m. at the borough building. Residents are encouraged to clean up around their homes as well.

Meeting slated

Glassport Development Corp. will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the borough building. All residents are welcome.


McKeesport Daily News April 2, 2011

Glassport Crime Watch meeting to focus on scams

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Scammers are out to swindle money from usually random citizens through various deceptive forms.

Local law enforcement officials from several municipalities such as Glassport have reported incidents in recent months involving scammers calling people and telling them they have won the “Publishers Clearing House” sweepstakes and for them to send money via Western Union to get their winnings.

Other scams include pretending to be a family member needing bail money sent to Canada, and even people seeking funds by impersonating the Fraternal Order of Police.

“They’re trying everything they can to get money off people,” Glassport police Chief Howard Kifer said.

People receiving such calls should contact their local police departments.

Glassport Crime Watch organizers are planning a meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the senior center to discuss these scams and ways to avoid being a victim.

Allegheny County Deputy Sheriff Jason Tarap, a crime prevention specialist, will be the guest speaker.

“We’re going to give them the tools that they need to know if they spot a con and what to do (and) how to do it,” Tarap said.

He also noted participants will be instructed on how to spot fraud or a con and how to report such incidents to law enforcement agencies to help stop the scammers.

This marks the second time the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office will take part in the borough program. Tarap spoke at a crime watch meeting last year about reporting incidents to police and how law enforcement uses the media such as The Daily News to get the word out about incidents and assisting in investigations.

“Great paper,” Tarap said about The Daily News . “I’ve been in that paper a lot of times. I think it’s a super paper. They write what they actually hear and see. They don’t try to twist the words. We can utilize that to our advantage.” Tarap encouraged anyone who has not attended a crime watch meet­ing to show up Wednesday and get involved.

Glassport Crime Watch is a crime prevention program that enlists the active participation of residents in cooperation with borough police to reduce crime. Call 412-672-7400 for more information.


McKeesport Daily News April 5, 2011

Glassport

Egg hunt scheduled

Glassport Parks and Recreation will sponsor an Easter egg hunt and a visit with the Easter bunny at the Honor Roll Memorial on April 23 at 11 a.m.

Borough children ages 10 and younger are invited to attend.

Preregistration is required. Sign up at the borough office at 440 Monongahela Ave. by April 19.


McKeesport Daily News April 7, 2011

Glassporters warned to beware of frauds

— Photo by Michael DiVittorio/Daily News

Allegheny County deputy sheriff Jason Tarap, a crime prevention specialist, talks about cons and frauds at a Glassport Crime Watch Meeting Wednesday.

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Allegheny County deputy sheriff Jason Tarap, a crime prevention specialist, came to Glassport Crime Watch’s meeting with a message.

“Every one of you are your own defense when it comes down to it,” he said Wednesday night while talking about scammers and fraud.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Tarap continued.

The deputy sheriff focused his message Wednesday on fraud and its various forms, and how to avoid becoming a victim.

Mayor Michael Evanovich told residents about someone going through town claiming to be selling sandwiches and candy and bringing kids with him. He told residents to alert authorities when seeing this person because anyone selling anything in the borough must check in at the borough office.

“When it comes down to selling the hoagies and bringing kids with him, that’s not a new lure. That’s not a new scam,” Tarap said. “That has been going on for some time where they’ve actually posted kids outside of grocery stores, outside of Rite Aids, outside of different places and the kids hold the cans up and they’re selling candy bars.

“Right there you’re getting a product, but you think you’re giving the money toward a football booster. You think you’re giving your money to a baseball booster ... all that is is a can that says that. How can you verify if that is a true organization? Call the organization up.” Tarap said it is not always easy to spot a con artist, and they can be smart, aggressive, extremely persuasive and invade homes through the telephone, Internet and the mail.

“Most people think they’re too smart to fall for a scam; a lot of us do,” Tarap said. “Con artists rob all kinds of people, from investment counselors to doctors to teenagers and senior citizens of billions of dollars every year.” Tarap talked about “limiting loss” by carrying one credit card, one form of identification and a small amount of cash instead of large quantities of those items.

He also discussed check washing, where people obtain copies of checks such as those used to pay a utility company and then take the information off the check and steal signatures.

Tarap also said when mailing checks or other payments, go directly to a post office or a blue mailbox instead of leaving it in a residential mailbox or overnight.

Tarap discussed ATM fraud and how people can obtain credit card information by photographing transactions at grocery stores and other locations via cell phone.

Resident Marion Jugan said she found those pieces of information most shocking, and will be more protective of her personal items.

Tarap also warned residents to check all medical documents received through the mail, including ones that say “this is not a bill,” because of an increase in health care fraud.

Giant Eagle Advantage Cards also are a hot commodity because of rising fuel prices, he said.

Other topics discussed Wednesday night included postal money order fraud, online automotive fraud, and about how communications via wireless telephones can be compromised.

Tarap suggested people who have questions about a business or a service should contact the Better Business Bureau.

Glassport police Lt. Ron Benoit said another way to find out if a business or organization is reputable is by asking friends and family if they have had any dealings with them because there are some legitimate companies out there that have not registered with the BBB.

Evanovich also talked about a former mailman turned panhandler in the borough, and advised residents who see him to contact police.

Crime watch coordinator Dave Kowalski presented Tarap with a crime watch T-shirt and made him an honorary member of the group.

Kowalski also said he hopes people learned a lot from the deputy sheriff and encouraged everyone to attend the next meeting, scheduled for May 4 at 7 p.m.


McKeesport Daily News April 7, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident report:

Glassport woman charged

Honey Landymore, 33, of Glassport, is charged with simple assault and harassment in connection with an incident March 27 at 3:36 a.m. at a club along the 100 block of Sixth Street.


McKeesport Daily News April 9, 2011

Glassport Road rock removal set

By THE DAILY NEWS

PennDOT District 11 officials announced short­term single lane alternating use traffic on Glassport Road in Glassport will occur daily Monday through Friday, weather permitting.

Crews will be removing rocks from a drop area on Glassport Road between the Clairton Bridge and Coursin Hollow Road. Restrictions will occur as needed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Motorists should use caution and be aware of changing traffic patterns when driving through the area. The contractor performing the work is Michael Facchiano Contracting Inc. of Pittsburgh.

Officials said motorists can log on to 511pa.com or call 511 from any phone to check traffic conditions on major roadways before traveling.


McKeesport Daily News April 11, 2011

Glassport Lions board to gather

Glassport Lions Club board of directors will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Sons of Italy Lodge 941 in Glassport. Carl Piccioni will preside.

A dinner meeting is planned for April 26 at 7 p.m. at the Sons of Italy Lodge. District Governor Jane Keller will be in attendance.


McKeesport Daily News April 12, 2011

CYF answers Glassport call

By THE DAILY NEWS

Allegheny County Children, Youth and Families responded to a report of several children being left at a Glassport home without sufficient food.

Glassport officials confirmed Monday night that a borough officer was dispatched to a Monongahela Avenue residence after someone in the neighborhood reported several children had been left in the home for days.

Glassport police said a report on this incident had not been completed at presstime. It is not known whether the children were taken into protective custody.


McKeesport Daily News April 12, 2011

Glassport

Workshop, meeting slated

Glassport council’s workshop is tonight at 7 at the municipal building along Monongahela Avenue.

Its regular meeting is scheduled for April 19 at 7 p.m.


McKeesport Daily News April 13, 2011

Glassport police, CYF investigate report

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport police and Allegheny County’s Office of Children, Youth and Families are investigating a report that children were left at a borough residence without sufficient food.

Police Chief Howard Kifer said officers responded to a call Monday around 6:09 p.m. along the 800 block of Monongahela Avenue.

Police spoke with a neighbor who said children were playing in an alley, the chief said.

Officers spoke with the children, ages 7, 13 and 15, and later spoke with their 31-year-old mother, who told police she had been gone since Saturday and could not get a ride home, Kifer reported.

Kifer said it is unclear where the mother is or when she would be coming home, and that the neigh­bor is taking care of the children until she returns.

A complaint against the mother, also for leaving her children home alone, reportedly had been filed with CYF prior to Monday’s incident, Kifer said.

The investigation is continuing.

No charges yet have been filed.


McKeesport Daily News April 19, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Glassport man charged

Kevin Kucera, 28, of Glassport, is charged with an indirect criminal complaint for violating a Protection From Abuse order Sunday at a residence along the 600 block of Allegheny Avenue.

Burglary investigated

Glassport and Allegheny County police are investigating a burglary Sunday at 9:25 a.m. at Bob’s Bar near the intersection of Seventh Street and Indiana Avenue.

Glassport police Chief Howard Kifer said a suspect or suspects made entry into the business through the basement door and up through the bar.

Someone took $64 from poker machines and $14 from a fund designated for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact Glassport police at 412-672-4514 or Allegheny County police at 412-473-3000.


McKeesport Daily News April 20, 2011

Glassport moves to improve security at Ninth St. Playground

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport officials are looking to clean up the Ninth Street Playground and implement new security measures.

Resident Dave Kowalski brought up the issue of vulgar graffiti at the playground at Tuesday’s council meeting.

He said the language is very offensive, and the borough needs to act immediately.

Councilwoman Nancy Crncic said the playground was opened on Sunday after being closed throughout the winter, and security cameras are expected to be installed by Leezak Electrical within two weeks.

Kowalski said cameras were to be installed last year, but nothing happened.

Council president John DeSue assured him the work has been contracted out and will be completed soon.

Council vice president James Uziel said vandalism within the first few days of the playground being open has become a “yearly ritual,” and Glassport Athletic Association is usually involved in painting over any graffiti.

“It only takes two or three bad kids to do that,” Uziel said of the vandalism.

The GAA is working on repairing the ballfields by the playground through a grant, and the borough is looking into getting fencing through Allegheny Fence to secure the area, Crncic noted.

Police Chief Howard Kifer said officers will be at the playground today to investigate, and will patrol the area frequently.

The chief also noted vandalism at the playground rarely occurs after the first week it is open.

The Ninth Street Playground and ballfields are open from dawn till dusk. There also are signs for playground and ballfield rules, including no dogs or bikes in those areas.

DeSue announced a collection drive took place after Saturday and Sunday Masses at Queen of the Rosary Catholic Church. Mayor Michael Evanovich, Kifer, members of council and resident Tim Cross collected $1,735 for the James Kuzak Benefit Fund.

The fund benefits the Clairton police officer who was shot three times while responding to a home invasion on April 4 along the 800 block of Miller Avenue.

The collections were initiated by Walter “Bobo” Cross with permission from the Rev. Casimir Kedzierski.

Councilors also received an update from resident Robert Stecak about his efforts to create a dog park in the borough. Stecak presented a petition with numerous signatures from residents wanting a dog park, and he said Port Vue and Liberty residents also showed interest.

DeSue said having a dog park would be nice, but is not a priority right now.

Crncic said there is a land use issue involving the potential dog park.

“I just don’t know of a location and we discussed it,” she said.

A proposed site for the dog park was near a bike trail behind the police station. It’s part of the Steel Valley Trail, which is a part of the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile biking and hiking trail.

DeSue said last month there may not be enough space on the lot behind the police station for a dog park because a portion of it is committed to Citizens Hose Co. No. 1 and another portion has playground equipment.

Uziel said the borough put some gravel down along Century Avenue, a steep road off of Pennsylvania Avenue, and is looking into paving various roads and alleys.

An Easter egg hunt and a visit with the Easter bunny at the Honor Roll Memorial is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. It is open to borough children 10 and younger. The 400 and 500 blocks of Monongahela Avenue will be closed from 10:30-11:30 a.m. to accommodate the hunt.


McKeesport Daily News April 26, 2011

Police probe church vandalism incident

Photo by Cindy Shegan Keeley/Daily News

Police said First Lutheran Church in Glassport was vandalized and possibly burglarized earlier this month.

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport and Allegheny County police are investigating a case of institutional vandalism and possible burglary at the First Lutheran Church at 641 Vermont Ave.

Glassport police Chief Howard Kifer said the church’s caretaker James Smith called dispatch April 16 around 1 p.m. for the criminal mischief.

Kifer said suspects are believed to have entered the building’s basement from the south and made their way through an entrance to a small furnished room then the main church area.

The church was ransacked and the individuals made their way to the rear of the church, into an office and went through some cabinets, possibly looking for money, Kifer said.

Suspects then went to the top floor, broke into a locked main office and went through drawers, but nothing was taken, Kifer said.

The individuals escaped through a door on the west side of the building and fled to Vermont Avenue, Kifer reported.

The chief said the church had not been vandalized in previous years.

No injuries were reported as a result of the incident, which still is under investigation.

Those found responsible will be charged with criminal mischief and possibly other offenses.

Anyone with information should contact Glassport police at 412-672-4514.


McKeesport Daily News April 27, 2011

Glassport man faces charges after flipping his vehicle

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

A Glassport man faces charges after flipping his SUV along Ohio Avenue between Wall Avenue and the Glassport-Clairton Bridge.

Brian Hurley, 33, is charged with DUI, reckless driving, two counts of recklessly endangering another person, driving without a license, driving with an expired registration sticker, driving with an expired inspection sticker, and driving too fast for conditions in a construction zone in connection with an accident April 17 at 8:26 a.m., Glassport police Chief Howard Kifer reported.

Officers responded to a call of a one-vehicle accident with entrapment.

Kifer said police found a red Chevrolet Blazer on its roof with a severe gas leak.

Hurley was identified as the driver, reportedly had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and sustained injuries as a result of the crash.

Kifer said Hurley was bleeding heavily from the arm and face. Officers did not conduct field sobriety tests at the time due to the severity of the injuries.

Hurley underwent a blood test at a local hospital, and was found to be driving with a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit, the chief said.

Two boys, an 11-year­old and a 10-year-old, were located around the SUV at the time of the crash.

Kifer said one of the juveniles was in the front passenger seat while the other was in the back seat. Neither were injured.

Hurley’s wife, Laura Hurley, no age given, of Glassport, is charged with permitting an unauthorized person to drive in connection with the incident.

Glassport police also are investigating a report of a one-vehicle crash on Friday at 9:55 p.m. near the intersection of Fifth Street and Erie Avenue.

Kifer said a driver sustained minor facial injuries, refused medical treatment, and the roadway was closed for about 30 minutes.


McKeesport Daily News April 28, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Criminal activity reported

Lloyd Aguilar, 63, of Glassport, is charged with public intoxication in connection with an incident Saturday at 9:50 p.m. in parking lot along the 900 block of Ohio Avenue.

Harassment cited

Denice Johnson, 59, of Glassport, is charged with harassment in connection with an incident Wednesday at 9:20 p.m. along Harrison Street by the riverbank.

Police said she threatened violence against a juvenile and the juvenile’s mother.


McKeesport Daily News April 29, 2011

Glassport’s Lord Zoltan & friends aid WPSD with Deaf WrestleFest

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

A professional wrestling legend is bringing together local talent and a Hall of Famer for an extravaganza at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.

Glassport resident Ken Jugan, who is known in the wrestling world as Lord Zoltan, created Deaf WrestleFest in 1994, and the 2011 version of the annual event is set for Sunday at 6 p.m. at 300 E. Swissvale Ave. in Edgewood.

General admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Limited front-row seats are available for $25. The event is sponsored by the WPSD Parent-Staff Organization and is a key fund-raiser for the school.

“We look forward to the event every spring and it is a great fund-raiser for the school,” said WPSD marketing director Vicki Cherney.

Deaf WrestleFest has featured some of the biggest names in professional wrestling, ranging from “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka to the Honky Tonk Man and Mick Foley.

This year’s event promises to be one of epic proportions as World Wrestling Entertainment’s Hall of Famer “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas is putting the show on his shoulders and performing in the main event alongside Pittsburgh’s own Shane Douglas and Dynamite Dean.

The trio takes on STAR 100.7 FM’s Bubba the Bulldog, Sean Alexander and Bill Collier.

Atlas began wrestling in the 1970s. The journeyman performed for a variety of promotions, and is best known for his time in the World Wrestling Federation, now WWE, where he was a world tag team champion alongside fellow WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson.

Atlas’ story is one of riches to rags and back to riches. He gained much success through wrestling and eventually lost it all along a drug-filled path and was homeless for a time on the streets of Boston. He has since married, and gives motivational speeches based on his experiences.

Former WWE superstar Zach Gowen is scheduled to take on Bobby Shields. Gowen, 28, of Michigan, lost his left leg to cancer at age 8. Despite that, Gowan can perform an arsenal of wrestling holds and maneuvers, including amazing aerial attacks.

“When I was deciding which wrestlers would participate in this year’s Dead WrestleFest, Zach Gowan was an easy choice,” said Jugan. “Not only will he put on an impressive visual performance, but he also is a role model for WPSD students. Both Zach and Tony Atlas have overcome a lot of obstacles in their lives, and I think that people of all ages will find them both to be very inspirational.” Jugan reanimated Deaf WrestleFest in 2009 after a seven-year hiatus. Its return was in conjunction with the school’s 140th anniversary.

Jugan has two sons, Adam and Blaise, both of whom were born deaf and attended the school. Both boys were on championship soccer teams in separate years.

Mia Yim, one of the top women wrestlers in the country, will make her Deaf WrestleFest debut.

Organizers said Yim’s boyfriend is deaf, and so the event holds personal meaning to her. She volunteered to be a part of the show.

The stars of GOUGE, a North Carolina­based wrestling company, will make their first appearance in Pennsylvania Sunday. Vordell Walker will battle Damien Wayne for the GOUGE heavyweight title, and Bad Romance takes on The Ciceros for the GOUGE tag team titles.

Other matches on the card include Seymour Snott vs. Jimmy Jack Funk Jr., The Latin Assassin vs. Anthony Alexander, Kris Kash and Justin Sane vs. The VIP’s Lou Martin and Shane Blanchard, Doink the Clown vs. Nasty Nick Crane, Brittany Force vs. Mia Yim, and KDKA-FM 93.7 The Fan’s Jon Burton vs. NWA East star Crusher Hansen.

Patrons are urged to arrive at the event early to maximize fan/wrestler interaction. For more information and to reserve tickets, go online to www.deafwrestlefest. vze.com .


McKeesport Daily News May 3, 2011

Glassport burglaries under investigation

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport and Allegheny County police continue to investigate a series of burglaries.

The most recent incident was reported Friday night along the 600 block of Vermont Avenue.

Glassport police Chief Howard Kifer said officers were dispatched to a residence for a burglary in progress.

Officers were notified the victim was in the house and armed, “clearing the area,” the chief said.

Officers spoke with the victim, who reported coming home and finding the front door open. The victim also said a rear door and window in the dining room area on the first floor also were ajar.

Kifer said the victim reported an Xbox video game system worth about $200 was taken, as well as a safe worth $50 and a Bond Arms Snake Slayer firearm worth about $400.

The incident remains under investigation.

Two other incidents in Glassport — one at First Lutheran Church at 641 Vermont Ave. and another at Bob’s Bar near the intersection of Seventh Street and Indiana Avenue — also remain under investigation. Kifer said a church caretaker called dispatch April 16. He said suspects are believed to have entered the building’s basement and made their way through an entrance to a small furnished room, then the main church area.

The church was ransacked and the individuals made their way to the rear of the church, into an office and went through some cabinets, possibly looking for money, Kifer said.

Suspects then went to the top floor, broke into a locked main office and went through drawers, but nothing was taken.

The individuals escaped through a door on the west side of the building and fled to Vermont Avenue, Kifer said.

No injuries were reported as a result of the incident. Those found responsible will be charged with criminal mischief and possibly other offenses.

Kifer said a suspect or suspects made entry into Bob’s Bar through the basement door, and up into the bar. That incident was reported April 3 at 9:25 a.m.

Someone took $64 from poker machines and $14 from a fund designated for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Anyone with information about the incidents should contact Glassport police at 412-672-4514 or Allegheny County police at 412-473-3000.

Glassport Mayor Michael Evanovich issued safety reminders for residents in the wake of these crimes.

He said residents should lock all valuables, make sure homes and vehicles are secure, and contact police if they see suspicious activity. He also lauded the efforts of Glassport Crime Watch, and hopes these incidents are resolved quickly.

Kifer said residents may want to look into purchasing lockable gas caps to prevent siphoning of gas. He said rising gas prices may cause such incidents to occur.


McKeesport Daily News May 4, 2011

Glassport

Benefit pub crawl set

Glassport will be the scene of the Autism Awareness Scavenger Hunt Pub Crawl on Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m.

Registration is available at any participating pub, including Mama Pepinos, Triple L’s, Max n Odi’s, Hot Rodz, Hersh’s Pub and Grill, Carol’s Cafe and the Broadway Sportman’s Lounge.

Proceeds benefit the Autism Speaks Foundation.

For more information, call Erica Stetar-Bailey at 412-853-8783


McKeesport Daily News May 6, 2011

Glassport

Rally scheduled

A rally to support the council incumbents running for re-election is scheduled for today at the Sons of Italy near the intersection of Seventh Street and Allegheny Avenue. There will be oldies music and refreshments.

Benefit pub crawl set

Glassport will be the scene of the Autism Awareness Scavenger Hunt Pub Crawl on Saturday from 7-11 p.m. Registration is available at any participating pub, including Firehall No. 2 Social Club, Firehall No. 1 Club 22, Mama Pepinos, Triple L's, Max n Odi's, Hot Rodz, Hersh's Pub and Grill, Carol's Cafe and the Broadway Sportman's Lounge.

Proceeds benefit the Autism Speaks Foundation. For more information, call Erica Stetar-Bailey at 412-853-8783 or Roxanne Leshnock at 412-583-5551.


McKeesport Daily News May 7, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Parties net charges

Taylor Frank, 18, of Liberty, Travis Tuttle, 18, of Glassport, two 17-year­old Glassport boys, two 15­year-old Port Vue girls, a 15-year-old Glassport boy, a 14-year-old Glassport girl, a 16-year-old Liberty boy, a 17-year-old Glassport girl, a 15-year-old Glassport girl, a 15-year-old McKeesport girl, a 13-year-old Glassport girl and a 15-year-old Liberty girl all are charged with underage drinking in connection with incidents April 29 at 11:30 p.m. along the 700 block of Pacific Avenue.

Accidents net DUI charges

• Jeremy Laughlin, 30, of Pittsburgh, is charged with DUI in connection with an accident April 28 at 2:31 a.m. near the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Scenic Avenue. Officers found his vehicle on its roof, resting on a guard rail.

• Dennis Kodrec, 57, of Glassport, is charged with DUI and resisting arrest in connection with an incident April 28 at 7:07 p.m. along the 300 block of Monongahela Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News May 10, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Multiple charges filed

Jeffrey Kline, 40, of Glassport, is charged with possession of drugs, 15 counts of selling or furnishing alcohol to minors and 15 counts of corruption of minors in connection with a party April 29 at 11:35 p.m. in the 700 block of Pacific Avenue.

3 juveniles cited

Three boys, 7, 10 and 11 years old, all from Glassport, were cited for criminal mischief for breaking a window in the 600 block of Indiana Avenue Wednesday at 7:48 a.m.


McKeesport Daily News May 11, 2011

Glassport council incumbents face challenges from newcomers

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Four Glassport council incumbents face Democratic primary election challenges from four newcomers, including a write-in candidate, for four-year seats.

Challengers Thomas W. Bradley Jr., David Kowalski and Anna Kudla are on the ballot, and Norb Piekut has mounted a write-in campaign against incumbents Nancy Heath Crncic, James Foster, vice president James Uziel and president John DeSue in Tuesday’s primary.

No candidates are on the Republican ballot.

The four challengers received the endorsement of the borough’s Democratic committee following a March 16 meeting at which candidates spoke to committee members and residents, chairperson Rosemary Bradley said.

Crnic said she and her three incumbent colleagues submitted a letter to the committee that said they wanted either the committee’s full support or none at all.

“We went in as a whole ticket and (requested) all four of the incumbents to be endorsed,” Crncic said. “Glassport does not have a deficit and (has) not raised taxes. We’re not talking negative or anything. We’re just talking about what we did for the borough. We all are running for re-election so (that) we can continue.” Bradley said 14 of the committee’s 15 members were present at the March meeting and a motion to endorse all four candidates failed by a vote of 9-5.

Secret ballots were cast, and Kudla, Kowalski and Thomas Bradley received the most votes. There was a three-way tie between Crncic, DeSue and Uziel for the final endorsement.

Rosemary Bradley said the incumbents maintained their insistence that either all or none be endorsed. So the committee chose Piekut for the fourth seat.

“It just wasn’t fair to request something like that,” chairwoman Bradley said. “Committee members wanted to give others a chance. They all had letters. They all had good ideas.” Bradley explained that the committee’s endorse­ment does not guarantee nomination, and residents will vote next week for the candidates they feel are best for the borough.

Crncic chairs the parks and recreation committee and is borough representative to Twin Rivers Council of Governments. She also was president of the board of directors at Copper & Glass Federal Credit Union.

Foster is a life member of the Citizens Hose Co. No. 1 and chairman of the fire, water and ambulance committee. He is council representative to Glassport Development Corp. and Crime Watch, and was involved with his colleagues in reopening the senior citizens center.

Uziel, who worked for 30 years with what is now Allegheny County’s Department of Real Estate, has been on council for the past 18 years. As chairman of the street department and borough properties committee, he was instrumental in the first phase of a $1 million road paving project.

DeSue, a retired business planner for U.S. Steel, was borough auditor for 12 years. He said the borough eliminated $700,000 of unfunded debt and replaced it with a $550,000 contingency fund under his watch.

Thomas Bradley, a life-long Glassport resident, graduated from South Allegheny School District and is employed by Pennsylvania American Water Co. He wants to develop a plan for improved paving and off­street parking for businesses and residential areas and review borough ordinances for needed changes.

Piekut, a former North Huntingdon Township resident and casualty insurance underwriter, also spent more than a decade in the retail business and retired in December 2006.

Kudla, also a member of Queen of the Rosary parish, was salutatorian of her South Allegheny High School graduating class and received a bachelor’s degree in science from Community College of Allegheny County. She said Glassport is a nice place to live and she would like to see more good publicity about the borough.

Kowalski is coordinator of Glassport Crime Watch, a member of Glassport Development Corp., a baseball coach in the Glassport Athletic Association and a former wire drawer at Copperweld in Glassport.


McKeesport Daily News May 16, 2011

Glassport

Safety day set

Glassport Development Corp. and Glassport Crime Watch will sponsor a free safety day for South Allegheny School District students and their siblings on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Glassport Senior Center at 544 Monongahela Ave.

Participants will receive a safety information packet, photo ID and fingerprinting.


McKeesport Daily News May 18, 2011

Glassport voters opt for change

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

There will be new faces on Glassport council next year as three of four incumbents failed to earn enough votes for a spot on the fall ballot.

According to complete but unofficial returns from the Allegheny County Elections Division, the top four vote­getters in Tuesday’s primary election for four four-year seats are Thomas W. Bradley Jr. (426),

David F. Kowalski (407), Anna Maria Kudla (405), and incumbent Nancy Heath Crncic (374).

Incumbents James V. Uziel and John J. DeSue received 343 and 274 votes, respectively, and incumbent James Foster was the lowest vote-getter at 246. There were 193 write-in votes on the Democratic ticket, with an estimated 182 going to Norb Piekut.

Piekut, Kowalski, Kudla and Bradley were endorsed by the Glassport Democratic Committee. They met at Piekut’s house after the polls closed.

— Photo by Michael DiVittorio/Daily News

Thomas Bradley Jr., left, Anna Kudla and David Kowalski review returns from Tuesday’s Glassport council primary. All three earned the party nomination.

“I’m a little disappointed that all four of us didn’t get in,” Kowalski said. “I think that this is an opportunity to draw the community back together and get all the people in Glassport involved in making it a great place to live.” “I think we got a very good group here,” Bradley said. “I’m looking forward to working with the whole council and making the town a better place. I’m born and raised here. I have a 10-year-old that I don’t want, at 18, to have move out because the place never changes or changed for the worse. I’m going to try and make it better.” Kowalski said residents made a statement at the polls.

“I hope to make a change in the borough and I hope to get all the other groups involved and make it a community again, not just something run by council,” he said. “It has to be a unified borough so that we can survive.” Kudla is a newcomer to politics and said she is pleased with the primary results.

“I’m really excited and I’m just happy that most of the other people I ran with made it,” she said. “I feel like the best way to get into politics is to dive in nose first.” Piekut said running as a write-in is difficult but not impossible, noting Phil Shar won a seat on West Mifflin Area school board in 2009 as a write-in.

“Phil just blew them out,” Piekut said. “We thought we had a pretty good chance. Obviously I’m very disappointed, but on the other hand I’m absolutely thrilled to pieces that we got three out of four of us — our supposed newcomers, our supposed people who don’t know anything, against this so-called experienced group.

“I think there’s no question. It tells you exactly how people in Glassport feel today. It’s very obvious how they feel. To me this is a new day. We’re going to start moving again.” There were 62 write-in votes on the Republican ticket. Piekut said he had at least 13 of them and will be on the ballot in November.

The incumbents met at Max & Odi’s along Monongahela Avenue after the polls closed. Foster left shortly after the returns were in and was unavailable for comment.

Uziel and DeSue both said they will not run as write-ins in November.

“I just hope that the new council works as hard as the old one did (and) does the best job for the borough of Glassport,” DeSue said. “I wish them well. I’m done.” “Congratulations to the winners,” Uziel said. “I’m a registered Democrat and I can’t run in the fall. I wouldn’t run even if I could.” The incumbents were disappointed that only one had enough support to get their party’s nomination.

“I just don’t know how to react to that because I really looked forward to working with the councilmen that really had Glassport at heart,” Crncic said. “I’m disappointed. I think our work wasn’t appreciated by the residents because they wanted change.” “We ran on our merit and obviously they didn’t pay attention to what we accomplished,” Uziel said.


McKeesport Daily News May 20, 2011

Man charged with allegedly robbing a business

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

A Glassport councilman’s son was taken into custody by borough and Allegheny County police after allegedly burglarizing a business.

John Andrew Foster, 27, of Glassport, is charged with burglary, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief, according Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin’s office.

Charges stem from an incident Wednesday around 3 a.m. at Fuzzy’s near the intersection of Sixth Street and Vermont Avenue.

Foster, son of Councilman James Foster, is on probation for other burglaries. He is being lodged in the Allegheny County Jail on $25,000 straight bond, along with a detainer for a probation violation.

Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse said officers were dispatched for the burglary that morning. A suspect entered the business through a glass door and began to rummage through drawers, taking cigarettes and about $100 in cash. Allegheny County police were called to help process the scene, and the suspect was identified through Fuzzy’s video surveillance, DeVerse said.

Foster was taken into custody Wednesday around noon at his home along the 600 block of Vermont Avenue.

DeVerse said county police filed the charges and are handling the case.

Foster was arraigned in night court. A preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Foster was arrested in connection with several burglaries over the past few years. In June 2009, he was arrested for allegedly burglarizing a bar and home.


McKeesport Daily News May 23, 2011

Letters of thanks

Glassporters applauded for their generousity

Thanks to everyone’s kindness and generosity, on May 7, 2011, a pub crawl-hunt fundraising event raised almost $3000 for Autism Speaks — thanks to business owners and members of the community and surrounding areas as well as all pub patrons, staff, event participants, contributors, and owners of all establishments!.

We are absolutely astounded by the overwhelming turn out and big hearted people here in Glassport and surrounding communities that had a hand in contributing to a great cause. I can not say thank you enough to everyone who participated, contributed, donated and came out to enjoy the fun and raise awareness about autism spectrum disorder in our community. Thanks to everyone’s efforts and contributions we exceeded our past accomplishments for a new record of $2.

Outstanding establishments and contributors including Mama Pepino’s, Max & Odi’s, Hott Rodz, Triple L’s, Club 22, Firehall No. 2, Hersh’s Pub and Grill, Broadway Sportsman Lounge, Carol’s Café, Joe’s Crab Shack, Polish National Alliance Lodge 750, Woody’s Little Italy Italian Restaurant and Catering, Takach@takachforge.com , www.handsewnleather.com , Chick’s Grill, Tiger Town, Guy Norelli Graphics, Spagnolo’s Foodland, Puffs Tobacco, Blaine Hill Firehall, Elizabeth Firehall, John’s Floral and Greenery, the Improv, Frank Sinatra Advertising, Dairy Delight, Fuzzy’s, Todds by the Bridge, Mars Supply Inc., Cott Manufacturing, West Hills Pet Center, Whole Foods Market, L.S. Jewelers, Riverside Beer, Geary’s Distributor, Liziks, Nelson’s Transmission and Tire Service, K-Prime Investments (M&M Coffee Shop), Copper and Glass Federal Credit Union, Kens Trains, John C. Lee Insurance Group LLC, PCF Sales Corporation, 2010 Auto Sales, The Spotlight, Glassport Food Mart, Papa Da Vinci, Jim’s Pub, The Hot Spot, Tom Esack Auto Repair, Joe Pici, Lois Thorpe, Toni Thorpe, Wayne Krivijanski , Bob Price, Dodi Price, Greg Pardoe, Marsha Fairbanks, Bob Sharp, Kaleb Sharp, Keith and Roxanne Coltigerone, Mrs. I.K., Cheryl Leshnock, and Ricky Stetar made this year’s fundraiser event a huge success.

I could not have arranged for this event if it wasn’t for my friends and family’s outstanding help and support. I appreciate everyone’s hard work and dedication who helped me organize and carry out the fundraiser. Extreme gratitude and appreciation is given for their tremendous help organizing and running the event and also thank team members of each participating pub for their effort and enthusiasm raising awareness our home town. My sincere thanks to Roxanne Leshnock, Toni Cregan, Michael Yavorski, LeAnn Dixon, Brittany Danford, Josh Druga, Amy Fonner, Mark Csorba, Albert Csorba, Daniella Bennett –Szalla, Al Serena, Gloria Muic, Melissa Winzek, Todd Thompson, Gina Thompson, Andrew Takach, Dino Bizzozero, Robert Jones, Joe Carapella, Mr. J.K., Lisa Karpach, Matt Druga, Rocky Buckholtz, Johni Leshnock, Kelly Mooney, Katie Prinkley, Carly Westfall, Terri Kula, Randy Knapt, Amy Thomas, Kimberly Carapella, Robert Platz, Celeste Remp, Kim Doyle, Jen Bell, Don Castor, Tom Naylor, Michael Cregan, Char Dilts, Brandon Wargo, Melissa Murtha, Dino Bizzozero, Eric Canova, Erika Richel, Joe Brownfield and Sam Pearson.

Together as a community we will continue to raise awareness and spread generosity and love in the future years. Congratulations to the winning teams. Every team is a winner in our book and helps to make the event bet­ter every year. Glassport may not be the richest commu­nity, but we feel that it is rich at heart! It gives me hope for the future to think that there are still generous people willing to volunteer and help out for a good cause. May more work up the nerve and motivation to do the same! We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!


McKeesport Daily News May 23, 2011

SOI Feast meeting planned

A special meeting to discuss plans for the August Feast Celebration is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Sons of Italy Lodge 941 Social Hall, Sixth Street and Allegheny Avenue, Glassport. The meeting is open to all members and volunteers.


McKeesport Daily News May 24, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Juveniles charged

• Two 17-year-old Glassport boys are charged with criminal mischief in connection with an incident Tuesday at 9 p.m. at the Foodland parking lot. The boys allegedly took a bike from the lot and destroyed it along Hemlock Alley.

• A 15-year-old Glassport boy is charged with criminal mischief in connection with an incident Saturday at 8:30 p.m. near the intersection of Sixth Street and Vermont Avenue.

Criminal activity reported

• Joshua Regar, 22, of Glassport, is charged with harassment in connection with an incident Sunday at 2:10 p.m. along the 200 block of Fairview Avenue.

• Clinton Tyrone Davis II, 20, of Pittsburgh, is charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident May 20 at 4:30 p.m. near the intersection of Third Street and Monongahela Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News May 25, 2011

Public works firing sparks questions in Glassport

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Tom Deliman spoke only a few words before Glassport solicitor Gary Matta instructed councilors not to respond. Deliman was fired effective May 13 from the borough’s public works department, two days before the end of his 90-day probationary period. Council unanimously took that action at Tuesday night’s meeting, and Deliman wanted to talk about it.

“You hired me for a reason. You fired me; give me a reason,” he said. “This is political. It’s bull (expletive).” Matta said the matter was a personnel issue, and instructed officials not to comment. That did not stop several attendees from asking questions.

Judy Phelps asked why a constable was used to escort Deliman off the premises instead of borough police, and how much the constable was paid.

Matta said he was not sure how much the borough paid the constable, but using him instead of a borough officer was “appropriate.” Deliman was hired to the full-time position in January by a vote of 6-1 with Councilman James Foster casting the dissenting vote.

James Uziel, vice president and chairman of the public works committee, said Deliman was selected after an extensive interview and hiring process.

Uziel also made the motion Tuesday night to officially terminate his employment.

Resident Dave Kowalski suggested council use the money freed up with Deliman’s firing to hire a new police officer.

Councilors soon voted after that comment to fill the vacant position with former summer laborer Wayne Lewis III. He was unanimously hired, bringing the public works department to five full-time employees.

Uziel went on to talk about how the borough had a six-man public works crew until 2006, and pushed for the hiring of another person, Brad Koontz, to be the new sixth full-time man.

The borough operated with five full-timers since 2006 when one of its employees suddenly resigned.

Councilman Eugene Skerkoski suggested having an emergency meeting so committee chairs could discuss the needs of the borough such as upgraded equipment and possibly part-time officers prior to hiring a sixth public works employee.

Mayor Michael Evanovich agreed with the idea.

“We’ve been working with five for a while. We can work with five a little longer,” the mayor said.

Uziel stressed the need for having a sixth employee so the borough can better maintain roads and get projects done such as grass cutting and controlling weeds along borough rights of way.

After several other comments from residents regarding the potential hire and borough public works, council voted 5-2 to hire Koontz. Skerkoski and Councilman Paul Trunzo dissented.

The new hires are both former summer helpers, and are subject to the 90-day probationary period.

Trunzo said he wanted to have a meeting to discuss borough needs prior to any additional hiring.

Vina March, director of the senior center along Monongahela Avenue, announced signs of any kind no longer will be posted on the outside of the building.

March said signs have chipped paint and damaged the structure’s exterior for several years, and she has had enough.

Uziel said the borough will look into rehabilitating the roof of the public works garage, noting there is not a dry spot around during heavy rains.

“You could take a shower,” public works employee Ray Johnson said about the leaks.

Uziel also announced the borough will be looking toward paving and rehabilitating the 500 and 600 blocks of Cherry Alley and the 100 block of Ohio Avenue along with Ola and Century avenues.


McKeesport Daily News May 26, 2011

Glassport play areas to be tobacco-free

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport officials are looking to take tobacco out of their playgrounds.

Council voted Tuesday night to advertise an ordinance that would make the borough’s playgrounds at Ninth Street and Third Street both tobacco-free.

Council expects to adopt the ordinance next month.

Officials said the Third Street site is under used, and they expect the ordinance to have the most impact at the Ninth Street site.

The ordinance is part of the borough’s efforts with Tobacco Free Allegheny, a resource providing education about all aspects of tobacco use and the harmful effects of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Councilwoman Nancy Crncic said she supports the ordinance because “it is for the safety and welfare of the children.” She said there are a lot of cigarette butts littering the Ninth Street Playground, and she hopes making the area tobacco-free will help keep it beautiful.

Should it pass, TFA is expected to supply signs for the playgrounds free of charge.

Enforcing such an ordinance has been a topic of discussion for officials in other municipalities. North Irwin councilors were split 3-3 in December about an ordinance to make the recreational area near Webster Avenue tobacco-free, with Mayor Jim Douglas casting the deciding no vote.

North Irwin councilors reopened discussions about the matter earlier this year.

Crncic suggested having members of Glassport Crime Watch help enforce the Glassport ordinance if it is adopted .

In other business, councilors authorized the transfer of a liquor license to Spagnolo’s Foodland.

Glassport solicitor Gary Matta said there are plans to create a restaurant at 937 Ohio Ave.

A public hearing took place prior to Tuesday’s meeting to solicit public comment about the liquor license transfer. No one spoke at the hearing.

Officials are reminding residents to bring their garbage curbside in a proper garbage container, with a lid, the night before it is scheduled to be picked up.

Property maintenance also is becoming an issue in the borough. Residents should keep their grass less than 6 inches high. The code enforcement officer is performing inspections throughout the borough, and property owners will be cited for violations.


McKeesport Daily News May 26, 2011

Glassport AL plans service

Glassport American Legion Post 443 will conduct its Memorial Day service Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Honor Roll.


McKeesport Daily News May 27, 2011

Glassport

Offices closed

Borough offices will be closed Monday for Memorial Day. There will be a one-day delay in garbage pickup.

Opportunity offered

Work Link will be at the borough office on June 7 and June 29 from 2-4 p.m. Those interested in signing up for the free transportation service are encouraged to attend.


McKeesport Daily News May 28, 2011

Glassport Food Bank visit

— Photo by Jennifer R. Vertullo/Daily News

State Sen. James Brewster, D-McKeesport, visited the Glassport Food Bank at the borough’s Assembly of God church Friday to help volunteers distribute food to those who need assistance. Pictured, chief of staff Tim Joyce and Brewster help volunteers Hannah Brown, 14, of Glassport, and Julia Kokoska, 12, of Monessen. The food bank serves approximately 100 Glassport clients each month. The food bank also is open for emergency service to up to 30 clients from McKeesport, Port Vue, Liberty and Clairton.


McKeesport Daily News May 28, 2011

Bygone Days - GERRY JURANN

Bygone Days: St. Cecilia’s fire Flames whipped through St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church in Glassport on Feb. 1, 1962, causing damages estimated at $200,000.

The fire destroyed the interior of the church and school annex. The alarm was sounded by a neighbor, Peter Latin of 810 Ohio Ave., just across the street from the church and school.

The building was built in 1910, dedicated in 1911, and the school annex was added in 1918, according to the Rev. W. A. O’Hara, pastor at St. Cecilia’s for 35 years.

Firemen from two Glassport companies, McKeesport, Port Vue and Liberty battled the blaze and dense smoke of the brick structure located at Eighth and Ohio. No injuries were reported but several firemen were given oxygen at the emergency station set up at the J.H. Tomedolskey residence at 306 Ohio Ave.

It was believed that the blaze started in a classroom and swept upward to the church and down into the basement. Eight grades attended classes in St. Cecilia’s. Firefighters were able to close off the burned section of the school so that the rest of the rooms could be put to use.

Glassport school board Director Peter Galio made public school classrooms available to St. Cecilia’s.

Students also could be taken in at Holy Cross School.

At one point, firefighters escorted the Rev. Ralph Stack, assistant pastor, into the church wearing a gas mask so he could remove the Blessed Sacrament from the burning building.

Police, the county fire marshal’s office and county detectives were called in by Glassport Fire Chief John P. Smith when evidence of arson was discovered during a routine search of the burned premises.

Suspicion of arson came when fire­fighters discovered they were fighting two separate fires in the building.

All nine rooms in the school annex were ransacked, but fires were set in only two of them, authorities reported. “Whether it is a coincidence or part of a plan, the two burned rooms were once taught by lay teachers,” one official said. “The other seven were taught by the Sisters.” Police Chief Clarence Urbanski said burned matches were found in all the classrooms, desk drawers were pulled out and papers scattered on top of the teachers’ desks and on the floor. How the arsonists got into the building was not determined by police.

Sister Mary Liguori, principal of St. Cecilia’s School, said she thought that she and Sister Mary Janet were possibly the last to leave the church after Thursday’s Holy Hour. It was definitely possible for someone to hide in the church without being seen after the nuns locked up.

The fire was the second in a year in Glassport. In February 1961, St. John’s Lutheran Church was destroyed in a $75,000 fire. An overheated furnace was determined as the cause of that fire.

St. Cecilia’s remained an active parish until it merged with Holy Cross on Oct. 11, 1991. Holy Cross and St. Cecilia became Queen of the Rosary Parish in 1994 at the Holy Cross site, 530 Michigan Ave., Glassport.

——— Gerry Jurann is a former Daily News librarian.


McKeesport Daily News June 3, 2011

Glassport

Group set to meet

Glassport Development Corp. will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the borough building.

Mayor’s office closed

Mayor Michael Evanovich’s office will be closed Saturdays in June, July and August. Further notice will be available for the mayor’s office hours in September.

Anyone needing to set up an appointment with him should contact the borough office at 412-672-7400 to make arrangements during normal business hours.

Meetings scheduled

Glassport council’s workshop meeting is June 14 at 7 p.m. The regular meeting is June 21 at 7 p.m. Both will be at the borough office.

Opportunity offered

Worklink officials will be at the borough office to sign up residents for the free transportation service, Tuesday from 2-4 p.m. and June 29 from 2-4 p.m.


McKeesport Daily News June 16, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Residents charged

• Linda Faix, 59, of Glassport, is charged with retail theft in connection with an incident Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Foodland.

• Wayne Cardiff Jr., 19, of Glassport, and a 14­year-old Glassport girl are charged with harassment in connection with an incident Friday at 8:20 p.m. along the 700 block of Indiana Avenue.

• Paul Miereczko, 59, of Glassport, is charged with public intoxication in connection with an incident Friday at 9:15 p.m. along the 800 block of Vermont Avenue.

• Patrick Ondike, 22, of Glassport, is charged with harassment in connection with an incident May 24 at 6:30 p.m. along the 500 block of Monongahela Avenue.

• Leroy Richel, 29, of Glassport, is charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Sunday at 5:55 p.m. along the 400 block of Hemlock Alley.

• Charles Boring, 67, of Glassport, is charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Sunday at 12:30 a.m. along the 800 block of Monongahela Avenue.

• Walter Plesniek, 47, of Glassport, is charged with two counts of simple assault, one count of harassment and one count of resisting arrest in connection with an incident Sunday at 6:47 p.m. along the 600 block of Vermont Avenue.

Criminal activity reported

• Angela D’Antonio, 28, of Port Vue, is charged with theft of services Friday at 4 p.m. at Altered Image Tattooing along Monongahela Avenue.

• Brandon Wargo, 24, of Port Vue, is charged with accident involving damage to attended vehicle, driver required to be licensed, driving with a suspended license, failure to stop for stop sign, and habitual offenders in connection with an incident Tuesday at 1:20 p.m. near the intersection of Fifth Street and Pacific Avenue.

Teenagers cited

• Anthony Hall, 18, Frank Minicucci, 18, and a 17-year-old boy, all of Glassport, are all charged with burglary, criminal trespass, criminal conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property in connection with an incident June 6 at 3 p.m. near the intersection of Seventh Street and Allegheny Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News June 16, 2011

Glassport

Fun to be a Kid Day set

Glassport Parks and Recreation is sponsoring the annual Fun to be a Kid Day on June 25 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Ninth Street Ball Field.

Activities include pony rides, inflatables, a petting zoo, fire truck rides and crafts. Allegheny County emergency fingerprinting for children also will be available along with Carnegie Science Center crafts, sand and balloon art, spin art and face painting.

There will be free refreshments, drawings and handouts for borough children 12 and younger who register at the borough office at 440 Monongahela Ave. by Tuesday.

For more information, call 412-672-7400.


McKeesport Daily News June 18, 2011

Glassport

Tax payments taken

To take advantage of the 2 percent discount on 2011 Glassport borough property taxes, payments must be received by June 30.

The 2010 South Allegheny School District property taxes will be sent to Keystone Collections July 1. Anyone who wants to avoid charges and penalty pay­ments can pay at the Glassport tax office until June 30.

Payments can be made in person at the Glassport Tax Collector’s office located in the borough building. The after-hours payment slot is located on the side door. Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. If mailing, postmarks must be made by June 30. If requesting receipt, include self-addressed stamped envelope.


McKeesport Daily News June 21, 2011

Glassport

Sports clinic scheduled

Glassport Athletic Association is hosting a traveling sports clinic June 27-28 from 10 a.m. to noon and at 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Ninth Street Ball Field.

The free clinic is sponsored by the Allegheny County Department of Parks.

It will offer instruction on proper sports techniques for youngsters ages 6 and older. Clinics emphasize fundamental rules of play and fair play.

Participants also will receive baseball caps. All South Allegheny School District children are invited to attend the clinic.

More information is available online at www.county. allegheny.pa.us/parks or by calling 412-350-2478.


McKeesport Daily News June 22, 2011

Glassport teens charged in burglaries

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Four Glassport teenagers face charges in connection with burglaries in the borough.

Anthony Hall and Tyler Wisneski, both 18, are charged with seven counts of burglary, seven counts of criminal conspiracy, seven counts of theft by unlawful taking, seven counts of receiving stolen property, and seven counts of criminal trespass in connection with seven incidents start­ing in November 2010, Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse reported Tuesday.

A 17-year-old Glassport boy is charged with one count of burglary, criminal trespass, criminal conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property, and a warrant was issued for Dylan Kurucz, 19, on six counts of the above offenses. Kurucz is described as a white man standing 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 250 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair.

Anyone with information on Kurucz’s whereabouts is asked to contact Glassport police at 412-672-4514.

The burglaries in question occurred at 1105 Indiana Ave. on Dec. 12, 513 Cypress Alley on Nov. 29, 622 Indiana Ave. on Dec. 12, 610 Indiana Ave. on March 12, and at 709 Indiana Ave. on Nov. 23 and Jan. 25.

DeVerse said another burglary involving the theft of a firearm was reported on June 13 at 2207 Washington Blvd. Officers went to the residence that day to speak with the homeowner, and informed him of the burglary, and police are unsure about the actual date of the incident.

Kurucz is wanted in connection with all the burglaries except the one along Washington Boulevard. The 17-year-old is charged in con­nection with the incident at 709 Indiana Ave. on Jan. 25.

DeVerse said information gathered from investigations into other borough incidents led to the identification of the suspects, and all four teens were interviewed by the deputy chief and Officer Nicholas Caito at the station.

Hall was arrested at his home along the 300 block of Ohio Avenue on June 13 around 12:30 p.m., Wisneski was brought to the station by a family member on June 14, and the juvenile was brought to the station for questioning by officers on June 14 and later charged and released to his parents, DeVerse said.

DeVerse said the firearm from Washington Boulevard was recovered during a search of a residence on June 13 at 4 p.m. at 118 Kollar Drive.

Officers executed a search warrant based on information gathered through the course of the burglary investigation, and another firearm reported stolen from a different municipality also was recovered, DeVerse explained.

Another arrest is expected to be made in relation to the burglaries, but that suspect’s information is not being released yet, the deputy chief said.

Among the items reportedly stolen in connection with the burglaries were cash, video game systems and a large amount of jewelry.

Charges against the 17-year-old were filed in Juvenile Court.

Hall and Wisneski are expected to have a preliminary hearing before Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin this month.

“This is a big step for us,” DeVerse said about the burglaries.

Glassport and Allegheny County police continue to investigate burglaries from April 16 at First Lutheran Church at 641 Vermont Ave., April 3 at Bob’s Bar, and April 29 along the 600 block of Vermont Avenue.

Anyone with information regarding those incidents should contact Glassport police or Allegheny County police at 412-473-3000.


McKeesport Daily News June 22, 2011

Glassport designates playgrounds tobacco-free

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport playgrounds are now tobacco free.

Council unanimously adopted an ordinance designating the Ninth Street and Third Street playgrounds as such at Tuesday’s meeting.

Officials said the Third Street site is underused, and they expect the ordinance to have the most impact at the Ninth Street site.

The ordinance is part of the borough’s efforts with Young Lungs at Play, a resource providing education about all aspects of tobacco use and the harmful effects of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Councilors discussed smokeless tobacco and how the ordinance applies to that substance.

“If you’re going to do an ordinance it might as well cover everything,” vice president James Uziel said.

“Other than being a nasty habit it could also be harmful,” Councilman Eugene Skerkoski noted.

Councilwoman Nancy Crncic said Young Lungs at Play will provide signage, which should be installed by Saturday, and hopes Crime Watch members will assist police with enforcement of the new ordinance.

Municipalities such as Irwin and North Irwin have adopted such ordinances making their playgrounds tobacco free as part of efforts with YLAP.

Homestead officials have requested additional information from Tobacco Free Allegheny regarding playground and park signs and a sample ordinance from the YLAP program.

In other matters, councilors voted unani­mously to purchase a new Case Tractor Loader back hoe from Croft Tractor & Equipment for $63,859.20. That includes a trade in of $13,000 for the old back hoe. The purchase was through a state contract, netting the borough a savings of approximately $50,000, council president John DeSue said.

Councilors announced the borough received a $988.86 check from PennDOT for 2010/11 winter season services.

Mayor Michael Evanovich said the borough also received a $660 refund check for the detail on the Glassport/Clairton Bridge.

The mayor lauded police for their efforts in breaking up a burglary ring that has been plaguing Glassport for more than six months.

“These guys have done an excellent job doing this,” Evanovich said.

He said the borough is looking into ways of handling the traffic details expected to be needed for repairs to the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge. The bridge project is through the Allegheny County Department of Public Works.

Bids are being accepted by the borough for purchase of the Glassport Swimming Pool until July 15. Bids will be opened at the July 19 council meeting.

Borough officials said there have been numerous complaints about high grass, weeds, debris, rodents, dogs, cats, tires, abandoned properties, occupancy permits and related issues.

There are ordinances on the books to address those matters, and those that are not in compliance with the ordinances will be cited, officials said.


McKeesport Daily News June 24, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Harassment alleged

• Titus Swan, 29, of Glassport, is charged with harass­ment and disorderly conduct in connection with an inci­dent June 14 at 3:20 p.m. at the police station. Police said Swan left several lewd remarks and messages on police phone lines, and that he repeatedly calls 911 without an emergency.

• James Rocco, 42, of Glassport, is charged with two counts of harassment and two counts of simple assault in connection with an incident Friday at 10 p.m. along the 600 block of Allegheny Avenue.

Driving violations reported

• Kenneth George, 48, of Port Vue, is charged with DUI and careless driving in connection with an incident June 7 at 7:45 p.m. along the 2100 block of Washington Boulevard.

• Stephen Turek, 20, of Glassport, is charged with DUI and accident involving damage to attended property in connection with an incident Friday at 12:39 a.m. near the intersection of Ninth Street and Vermont Avenue. Police said he crashed his vehicle into a porch of an apartment near the intersection. No injuries were reported.

• John Way, 24, of Glassport, is charged with DUI in connection with an incident Sunday at 1:12 a.m. along the 300 block of Iowa Avenue. Police said Way attempted to leave the area after his vehicle struck at least two parked cars. No injuries were reported.

• William Pennington, 46, of Glassport, is charged with DUI in connection with an incident Sunday at 2:36 a.m. near the intersection of Pacific and Oregon avenues. Police said Pennington’s vehicle struck a utility pole, causing an electrical power outage.


McKeesport Daily News July 2, 2011

Firefighters called to 2 Glassport homes

By THE DAILY NEWS

At least one injury was reported in a fire that damaged two 2 / 2 -story frame homes along the 300 block of Ohio Avenue in Glassport.

Allegheny County dispatchers said volunteers from Glassport’s Citizens Hose Co. No. 1 were called out Friday at 10:58 p.m. A dispatch supervisor said a police officer sustained a hand injury.

Authorities said the fire originated at 303 Ohio Ave. and spread to at least one adjacent house. It was reported under control at 11:50 p.m.

Both houses reportedly were occupied. Allegheny County Fire Marshal’s office has been called in to investigate.


McKeesport Daily News July 2, 2011

Glassport secretary found not guilty

By THE DAILY NEWS

Glassport secretary Nancy Whaby was found not guilty of disorderly conduct in connection with an incident in Port Vue.

Whaby, 55, went before White Oak Magisterial District Judge Thomas Miller Wednesday morning for a hearing regarding the charge filed by Port Vue police in connection with an incident on April 30 at 1:50 a.m.

According to the citation, Whaby allegedly urinated in the hall outside someone’s door along the 300 block of San Juan Drive.

“It was totally ridiculous,” Whaby said of the allegation. “I would never ever do anything like that. Everywhere I go I have to hear a comment about this.” She was found not guilty when a witness for the prosecution failed to appear in court, according to officials at Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin’s office, where the citation originally was filed. Martin approved a change of venue for the case earlier this year, and the results of the hearing were submitted to his office, according to officials at Miller’s office.


McKeesport Daily News July 4, 2011

— Photos by Ronald Vezzani Jr./For The Daily News

Flames from a fire along the 300 block of Ohio Avenue in Glassport Friday night damaged two houses and one officer sustained an injury as a result.

Officials continue Glassport fire investigation

By THE DAILY NEWS

Allegheny County Fire Marshal’s office officials continue to investigate a Glassport fire, which left one police officer injured.

The fire damaged two 2-1 / 2 ­story frame homes along the 300 block of Ohio Avenue. Allegheny County dispatchers said volunteers from Glassport’s Citizens Hose Fire Co. No. 1 were called out Friday at 10:58 p.m. A dispatch supervisor said a police officer sustained a hand injury.

Authorities said the fire originated at 303 Ohio Ave. and spread to at least one adjacent house. It was reported under control at 11:50 p.m. Both houses reportedly were occupied.

Allegheny County Communications officials said no one would be available at the fire marshal’s office to update the investigation until Tuesday.

Rumors of the fire possibly being in retaliation for a domestic incident were circulating around the borough. “That information was provided to us,” Glassport police Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse said Sunday.

“It was turned over to the Allegheny County Fire Marshal. As of yet there’s not enough information to pursue anything (like that). It’s still being investigated.” No further information was available at presstime.

Firefighters arrived to fight the blaze along the 300 block of Ohio venue.


McKeesport Daily News July 4, 2011

Glassport

Crime watch meeting set

Glassport Crime Watch will meet Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Glassport Senior Citizens Center.


McKeesport Daily News July 5, 2011

Letters of thanks

Glassport Kid Day success

The Glassport Parks & Recreation annual Fun to be a Kid Day was held recently.

This event was a huge success with approximately 350 children registered and many more adults and children joining in this fun day. A successful project is always the result of months of planning and many great volunteers giving their time and energy.

A heartfelt thank you to all of you. A special thanks goes out to the co­chairman of this event Andrea Foster for her support. I also want to thank the police Chief Howard Kiefer, Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse, officer Zen, Sgt. Cliff LaFever, Citizen’s Hose Co. No. 1 for fire truck rides, Jim Finneran and the public works employees for all their support, Tobacco Free Allegheny, Allegheny County Department of Emergency Services and Allegheny County 911 Mobile Van. A special thanks to Joe “Spaggy’s” Foodland in Glassport for always supporting borough events.

This event was extremely successful because of the interest and support of businesses, individuals and organizations who donated toward this borough fun day for kids. To all of the following I extend a very sincere thank you: Altered Image, attorney John R. McGinley,

Back Alley Vending, Candles that make Scents, Casturo, Clyde Gouker Auto Repair, Copper & Glass Credit Union, Dodaro, Matta & Cambest, P.C., D’Angelo Tax Service, Elizabeth Electric, First Commonwealth, Geary Distributors, Glassport Dari Delight, Glassport Sewage Fund, Guy Norelli Graphics, John C. Lee Insurance Group Inc., John’s Floral and Greenery, Ken’s Trains, KLH Engineering, Laurel Aluminum Casting Co. Inc., Leezack Electric, Liziks Service Center, Lou Ron Trucking, Mama Pepinos Pizza & Pub, Matta Motors, Max & Odie’s, Micon, Michael Ksiazek Family, Nickolich Sanitation LLC, Rep. Bill Kortz, Ray’s Spring Shop, Sons of Italy 941, Sopp Family, Stetor’s Red Hot Dollar, Teamsters Local Union 205, The EADs Group, Tri-State Industrial Services Inc., Winter’s Haven, and Wood Fabricating Co.

Last but not least The Daily News for the coverage of this happy event.

Nancy Crncic Councilwoman Glassport


McKeesport Daily News July 6, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Property owner cited

William Speinkopf, no age given, of McKeesport, is cited for a borough ordinance violation for high weeds and grass in connection with an incident June 28 at 11 a.m. at 628 Monongahela Ave.

Intoxication alleged

Patrick Kennedy, 51, of McKeesport, is charged with public intoxication in connection with an incident Friday at 7:10 p.m. along the 100 block of Hemlock Alley.


McKeesport Daily News July 8, 2011

Lincoln park to be named after late borough leader

— Photo Courtesy of the Vay family. A new community park in Lincoln borough will be named in memory of the late Dorothy Vay.

By STACY LEE Daily News Staff Writer slee@dailynewsemail.com

A new park in Lincoln will be named after a well­known and much-loved borough figure.

The recreation grounds created by Boy Scout Lukas Gaydos will be dedicated to the late Dorothy “Dot” Vay Sunday at 2 p.m. at Breznay Field.

It will be named Lincoln Borough Community Park in Memory of Dorothy Vay. Gaydos, 15, of Lincoln, built a fire pit with bench­es, and landscaped an area around the flag pole with seven pine trees, flowers and solar lights. He made a path from the flag pole to the sidewalk

and landscaped an area around the gazebo with flowers, rocks and solar lights.

“He did a beautiful job,” said Nick Vay, Dorothy’s husband and borough mayor. “Words can’t express how good it looks. It’s really appreciated.” Dorothy Vay died at age 70 on Nov. 10, 2009, after a battle with acute myelogenous leukemia. She was a borough councilwoman for more than 40 years and a Girl Scout troop leader for more than 45 years. She served as borough secretary and Lincoln Democratic Committee chairwoman. At the time of her passing, she was director of Lincoln Volunteer Fire & Rescue

Co. EMS and had been with the organization starting as an EMT and later becoming a paramedic since its incep­tion in 1970.

Gaydos, of Troop 57 of Port Vue, created the park for his Eagle Scout project. He is now filling out paper­work for his project to go before the Board of Review. He began the project April 10 and finished it July 1. He first consulted with Lincoln borough officials on a project he could do for the community.

Lincoln Councilwoman Tammy Firda said the borough had been planning to do something similar in memory of Dorothy Vay. “She gave 50 years of her life to this borough,” she said.

Firda said when Lukas’ project came along, it worked out perfectly.

“I’m very proud he’s completed the project and did his own design,” Lukas’ mother Dawn Gaydos said.

The public is invited to Sunday’s dedication.

“He started the project on the 10th of the month and she died on the 10th of the month,” Nick Vay said. “The dedication is now planned for the 10th of the month.”

Note: Nick and Dorothy "Dot" Moonis Vay were 1957 graduates of Glassport High School.


McKeesport Daily News July 9, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Three incidents reported

Jennifer Scott, 30, of Glassport, is charged with criminal mischief in connection with an incident Wednesday at 11 p.m. along Delaware Avenue. Scott also is charged with public intoxication in connection with an incident on the same day at 11:50 p.m. near the intersection of Eighth and Ohio avenues. She faces charges of harass­ment in connection with an incident on the same day at 11:15 p.m. near the intersection of Broadway and Ohio avenues.


McKeesport Daily News July 11, 2011

New Lincoln park dedicated in memory of Dorothy Vay

By RICKIE DAVIS For The Daily News

— Photos by Ronald Vezzani Jr./For The Daily News

Mayor Nick Vay takes a moment to look at the newly-installed sign in memory of his late wife Dorothy

Mayor Nick Vay cuts the ceremonial ribbon as Lukas fGaydos, 15, of Lincoln, and Adam Dzubak Jr., 13, o McKeesport, look on. Lukas built the park as his Eagle Scout project.

Residents in Lincoln now have a new place to gather for outdoor fun.

The area across from Breznay Field, now officially known as Lincoln Borough Community Park, was dedicated Sunday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting and flag ceremony.

The park was dedicated in memory of Dorothy “Dot” Vay, the late wife of Mayor Nick Vay. She served as a borough councilwoman for more than 40 years, was Lincoln Democratic Committee chairwoman, borough secretary and director of Lincoln Volunteer Fire and Rescue. Dorothy Vay also was a Girl Scout troop leader for 50 years.

She died in November 2009 at the age of 70 after a battle with acute myelogenous leukemia.

On hand for the dedication were members of the Vay family, borough councilors and Tom Maglicco, chief of staff for state Rep. Marc Gergely, D-White Oak. Also on hand was Allegheny County Councilman Bob Macey, D-West Mifflin, who shared memories of Dorothy Vay.

“This is a well-deserved honor and a great tribute to her,” said Macey, who knew Vay for more than 40 years.

“At all the different events I attended, Dorothy always had a smile and a twinkle in her eye. She was always positive. Winston Churchill said, ‘You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.’ And Dorothy Vay gave.” Dorothy’s granddaughter, Beth Vay, said of the ceremony, “I know my grand­mother would have been proud and humbled, and possibly embarrassed. My grandmother was an integral part of the Lincoln Borough community throughout her whole life in more ways than one ... she was truly an incredible human being and one of my heroes. It makes me proud to know that someone would want to build a park and dedicate it to her.” The idea for the park was conceived in November 2010, when Lukas Gaydos, a member of Boy Scout Troop 57 in Port Vue, made a proposal for his Eagle Scout project to council.

“I asked council what the borough needed up here, and they said a park, but they didn’t tell me exactly what they wanted,” Lukas said. “I came up with the concept and the basic design. It was a complete surprise to them what I was going to do.” The project included landscaping the area around the gazebo and flag­pole and building a fire pit on a concrete slab with four benches.

“The project took a lot more work than it seems. It took exactly three months, from April 10 to July 10, and involved 250 man hours,” Lukas said. Lukas’ mother Dawn Gaydos, a lifelong Lincoln resident, helped with some of the design details.

“Lukas collaborated with me because I knew Dorothy, she was my Girl Scout leader for years,” Gaydos said. “If you look at the mulch, it’s in the shape of a ‘V’ for Vay and the seven pine trees around the flagpole represent the seven decades she was on this earth.

“I’m just so proud that it was my son who was able to do this in her memory.” Council wanted to contribute something in honor of Dorothy, and councilors Tammy Firda, Keli Vereb and Paul Vereb were on hand to unveil an angel statute placed near the flagpole. “Dot was like an angel to the borough,” Firda said. “She handled everything all the time, from Girl Scouts to Mother’s Day dinner. Everything. She was part of the whole borough.” Firda, who works in the borough building, was able to watch the project’s progress.

“They were wonderful,” she said. “They did an awesome job. They worked tirelessly, in the heat and the rain. We’re honored that it was done for Dorothy.” “This is the start of the park,” Lukas said. “There is a whole field out there that can be worked with. I’d like to see a pavilion for picnics and a small playground.” Firda said council would like to see the park developed into a multi-use facility and there are some ideas in the works.

“Our two junior councilwomen are entering an essay contest that could win a playground and it’s installation, so we’ll see what they can do with that,” she explained. “And we’ve had a few contacts about the pavilion.” Nick Vay was visibly moved by the occasion. “It was beautiful,” he said. “It was even better than I thought it would be. Dot would have loved it.” Gesturing to a butterfly that had been fluttering around throughout the ceremony, he added, “I think she was here today.”

Lukas Gaydos, 15, of Lincoln, and borough Mayor Nick Vay stand by the newly-installed sign at the entry to the Lincoln Borough Community Park.

Borough council donated this angel statue that stands in the new Lincoln Borough Community Park.


McKeesport Daily News July 11, 2011

SOI Feast meeting set

Glassport Sons of Italy Lodge 941 will gather every Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the SOI Social Hall, Sixth and Allegheny avenues, Glassport, to discuss plans for the Feast. The meeting is open to the public.


McKeesport Daily News July 11, 2011

Glassport Lions Club to meet

Glassport Lions Club board of directors will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Sons of Italy Lodge 941 in Glassport. President Annette Scarpino will be in charge of the meeting.


McKeesport Daily News July 12, 2011

Mansfield bridge dispute remains unresolved

By PATRICK CLOONAN Daily News Staff Writer pcloonan@dailynewsemail.com

— Photo by Jennifer R. Vertullo/Daily News

PennDOT agrees with Allegheny County that McKeesport and Glassport still are responsible for shares of the cost of repairs to approach ramps to the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge.

PennDOT’s top official in Allegheny County said McKeesport and Glassport still are obliged to contribute to the cost of the ramps on their side of the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge.

How much may come down to talks between:

• A city that spent $133,000 on otherwise federally funded work extended into what’s included in the bridge project.

• A county that reduced what it expects of the municipalities from $260,000 to $182,000.

PennDOT District 11 executive Dan Cessna said Monday that the $1 million-plus W. Fifth Avenue rehabilitation last year was federally funded, though Washington’s money went through the state transportation department.

“It was supplied by PennDOT but it was federal money,” Cessna said. “It only came through PennDOT because we have oversight for all federal highway funds. There were no state funds in that.” That confirmed the belief of Allegheny County project manager Michael Dillon.

“You can’t use federal funding to match federal funding,” Dillon said.

However, there also was city money spent. The city proposed that the county apply to Glassport what is left after the $94,640 is subtracted. Presumably that would reduce Glassport’s obligation to $48,964.78.

Similarly, the Federal Highway Administration will pay 80 percent of the cost of the Mansfield Bridge, a $35 million job that will become a full-blown project next year.

So, Cessna said, “they’re still obligated” to come up with $182,165.94 for ramps from W. Fifth and Monongahela Avenue in Glassport.

“The county has done a good job of minimizing that,” said Cessna, whose district also covers Beaver and Lawrence counties.

As things stand, McKeesport would have to pay $94,640 and Glassport $87,525.94 for work required by a 1949 state Public Utility Commission ruling.

“There is no portion of last year’s money applied to the W. Fifth Avenue project that is applicable to this project,” Cessna said. “They clearly are two different things.” “The city has already expended $133,201.16,” said a resolution adopted by city council last week. “That expenditure has been documented by both the city engineer and PennDOT as an independent review source.” McKeesport city administrator Dennis Pittman said work Donegal Construction did on W. Fifth went beyond an original boundary at the John Street ramp down toward the entry to the bridge.

The John Street ramp, running alongside a Marathon Oil station, carries traffic from W. Fifth over CSX railroad tracks into the Lower Tenth Ward.

“I explained to (Cessna) that I was not attempting to utilize his money to offset our participation in the bridge project,” Pittman said. “We spent $133,000 on an area that they were supposed to do and we did it up front. The city should get credit for the total cost of the work from the ramp to the westernmost point of where the work was consummated.” The idea originated during state Sen. James R. Brewster’s time as mayor of McKeesport.

“The city, the state and the county are still negotiating the share of the locals,” Brewster aide Tim Joyce said. “The city feels they are on strong footing.

“It’s a fluid situation. The city, the state and the county are still working together to make sure the project gets done.” Cessna briefed Pittman after an interview with The Daily News in which he offered PennDOT’s perspective on the bridge and the 1949 Public Utility Commission ruling that obliged McKeesport and Glassport to be part of that project.

The ruling stems from the presence of two railroad lines under the ramps that belonged to now-defunct carriers on the McKeesport-Glassport side of the span.

“They own the property, they own these roadways,” Cessna said.

He added that the ruling isn’t the only one, nor even the oldest by the PUC about highway responsibility.

Cessna also said the PUC doesn’t typically change such rulings.

While the bridge links McKeesport and Glassport with Dravosburg, the ruling doesn’t affect that borough.

Glassport officials, who said they can’t afford any share, could not be reached for comment at presstime.

Staff Writer Michael DiVittorio contributed to this story.


McKeesport Daily News July 13, 2011

Glassport

Firemen’s Street Fair set

Glassport Citizen’s Hose Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 will have its Firemen’s Street Fair Thursday through Saturday. Food, games and rides are planned for all three days and entertainment will be free. On Thursday from 7-10 p.m., Big Daddy Entertainment will be the disc jockey in the 500 block of Allegheny Avenue.

Friday’s activities will start with a water battle at 5 p.m. between local fire departments in the 500 block of Allegheny Avenue. The band Tres Lads will perform from 8:30 -11:30 p.m.

Saturday’s annual Firemen’s Parade will begin at 5 p.m. on Third Street at Monongahela Avenue. Line-up will be at 4 p.m. There will be a disc jockey until 8 p.m. in the 500 block of Allegheny Avenue. Dallas Marks will then perform from 8 p.m. to midnight. There will be a Zambelli fireworks display after dark tentatively scheduled between 10-10:30 p.m.

Funds from the fair help the fire company’s operating expenses.


McKeesport Daily News July 18, 2011

Glassport family escapes Cypress Way home blaze

By JENNIFER NORELLI-BURKE Daily News Staff Writer jburke@dailynewsemail.com

— Photo by Ronald Vezzani Jr./For The Daily News

Glassport fire officials and the Allegheny County Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating a house fire at 604 Cypress Way on Sunday evening.

A family and pets escaped when a fire at 604 Cypress Way in Glassport destroyed the home in which they were living.

According to witnesses, the fire started on the front porch of the house Sunday night.

Witness Larry Marshall said he was in his back yard, across from Cypress Alley, when he saw the sky fill with black smoke.

“I tried calling 911, but they put me on hold,” Marshall said. “I ran up to the house and saw that it was not good.” Marshall said he saw another neighbor trying to kick in the back door to get to the mother and her two sons still trapped in the house.

“We saw an air conditioner in the window and ripped it out and started screaming ‘Come on’ (to the occupants),” Marshall said. “They were scared to jump out the window. The one son landed on his foot or leg and had to go to the hospital.” A cat and two dogs also were dropped to Marshall for safety.

Marshall said the power lines started to spark after the mother and sons had been rescued.

“The whole ordeal was scary,” Marshall said.

Another neighbor said she called 911 when she saw the flames on the front porch of the house.

“It started as a small fire on a couch on the front porch and, the next thing you know, the whole house is up in flames,” said the neighbor, who did not want to be identified. “The electrical line came down after the porch caught fire.” Glassport Volunteer Fire Department Chief Wayne Lewis said downed power lines delayed firefighters’ response time, “but the main problem was the heat,” he said.

With the temperature outside near 90 degrees, Lewis said temperatures inside the house were 1,100 degrees, and firefighters had a difficult time dealing with the heat.

According to Lewis, 18 firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion at the rehab unit and five were transported to an area hospital for evaluation — four for heat and one for a back injury suffered from a fall through the second story floor of the house.

Assisting Glassport were West Mifflin, Clairton, Jefferson Hills, Central, Dravosburg, Homestead and Duquesne fire companies. McKeesport firefighters were on stand-by.

The Salvation Army and Red Cross are assisting the family. Officials said the house is considered a total loss.

The fire marshal still was on scene to investigate the cause of the fire as of 11 p.m. Sunday.


McKeesport Daily News July 19, 2011

Mayor says Glassport won’t pay for ramps

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport Mayor Michael Evanovich said his borough cannot and will not pay for ramp work being done on its side of the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge.

“We told (PennDOT) at all the meetings we don’t have the money,” Evanovich said Monday. “We told them more than one time. McKeesport’s doing the same thing. Dravosburg has two ramps and they don’t have to pay. Why is Glassport and McKeesport being singled out?” The Federal Highway Administration will pay 80 percent of the cost of the Mansfield Bridge, a $35 million job that will become a full-blown project next year.

The mayor’s comments are in response to PennDOT District 11 executive Dan Cessna’s recent statement the borough and neighboring city are “still obligated” to come up with $182,165.94 for ramps from W. Fifth Avenue in McKeesport and Monongahela Avenue in Glassport.

As things stand, McKeesport would have to pay $94,640 and Glassport $87,525.94 for work required by a 1949 state Public Utility Commission ruling.

The ruling stems from the presence of two railroad lines under the ramps that belonged to now-defunct carriers on the McKeesport-Glassport side of the span.

“They own the property, they own these roadways,” Cessna said.

While the span across the Monongahela River links McKeesport and Glassport with Dravosburg, the ruling doesn’t affect Dravosburg.

Evanovich said the amount demanded from his borough is “a lot of money for a community that’s barely making it.” The city of McKeesport hoped to convey work done last year from John Street to the bridge toward both its obligation and that of Glassport. It was part of the W. Fifth Avenue project for which the city spent $133,201.16.

As approved by city council earlier this month, the city’s proposal still would have left Glassport with a $48,964.78 obligation.

“We’re barely making our budget,” the Glassport mayor continued. “I believe we’re going to end up in court over this with the fees and PennDOT. To the best of our knowledge no one has paid to fix a ramp.

“There really hasn’t been communication (between the borough and PennDOT) for a couple months. They’ll approach us I guess at some point down the road and we’ll deal with it when it happens.” Evanovich also said the borough plans to discuss the matter with the newly elected Allegheny County executive in January, noting the bridge work will take years to complete.

Staff Writer Patrick Cloonan contributed to this story.


McKeesport Daily News July 19, 2011

Investigators seek cause of blaze at home in Glassport

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Investigators are continuing to search for the cause of a Glassport house fire in which the home’s occupants escaped from the windows to safety.

Although police received reports that someone was playing with fireworks Sunday near the home at 604 Cypress Way, Allegheny County Fire Marshal Don Brucker said the fire actually erupted hours later. He said that, just prior to the fire, there were people reported to be in the home’s porch area.

Tanya Fischer and her two sons were in the home near the intersection of Cypress Way and Sixth Street when it became engulfed in flames.

Glassport police said they were dispatched to the blaze at 5:29 p.m. Heavy flames and smoke were coming from a porch when officers arrived.

The family escaped the house through a back window.

“My one son went down first,” Fischer told news exchange partners WPXI-11. “I got him by his arms, put him down and they caught him. I got my other son by his arms, because he was scared, which I don’t blame him. (I) grabbed him by his arm (and) dropped him down.” The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced family with food and shelter. The Salvation Army also responded.

Citizens Hose Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 Fire Chief Wayne Lewis said the occupants were out of the house when firefighters arrived, and the front of the house was fully engulfed with heavy flames from the first and second floors.

Brucker said the fire originated from the front porch around a sofa. Cause of the fire is pending investigation.

Downed power lines delayed firefighters’ response time, “but the main problem was the heat,” he said.

Lewis said temperatures inside the house were more than 1,100 degrees, and “all personnel assisting us went above and beyond the call of duty, facing extreme heat conditions.” Five firefighters were treated and released from local hospitals. One had a back injury, one had a chest injury, and three had heat-related injuries. Duquesne Light crews cut the power to the downed lines.

Brucker said several firefighters used a rehab station provided by Elizabeth Township to cool off and get rehydrated.

Lewis said the structure sustained extensive damage. He said he is not sure it if is a total loss.

The homeowner recently completed renovations to the building, including installing new windows, vinyl siding and other work, Brucker said.

Police said a witness, Thomas Buckley, 41, was taken into custody at the scene in connection with an unrelated matter. Officers attempted to get information about the fire victims when they came in contact with Buckley, who was found to have an outstanding warrant from Pittsburgh on charges of theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy in connection with an incident in October 2010. He was taken to McKeesport lockup and later transported to the Allegheny County Jail.

Assisting Glassport were West Mifflin, Clairton, Jefferson Hills, Central, Dravosburg, Homestead and Elizabeth Township fire companies. McKeesport fire­fighters were on stand-by.

Daily News Staff Writer Jennifer Norelli-Burke contributed to this story .

— Photo by Ronald Vezzani Jr./For The Daily News

Glassport fire officials and the Allegheny County Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating a house fire at 604 Cypress Way on Sunday evening.


McKeesport Daily News July 20, 2011

Glassport council lauds firefighters for highest water rescue certification

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport officials recognize the importance of their volunteer firefighters and the time and effort they put in to further their emergency response expertise.

It is with that mindset that Mayor Michael Evanovich read a resolution and presented tokens of appreciation to several firefighters at Tuesday night’s council meeting for achieving the highest classification in water rescue training last month.

Those present were Citizens Hose Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 Fire Chief Wayne Lewis, Assistant Chief Bruce Snyir, and firefighters Brent Pomycala, Rick Pomycala and Jonathan Petrick. Also recognized but not in attendance were firefighters Ken Brownfield and Dennis Hickman.

They achieved technician-level status for swift water and flood response training along with firefighters from McKeesport and Elizabeth. Those individuals are now members of a Mon Valley group that shares its skills with a county-wide response team. Training was administered by the state Fish and Boat Commission at National Fire Protection Association standards.

McKeesport Fire Department Deputy Chief Chuck Margliotti, who is the city’s river rescue coordinator and a deputy coordinator for the Allegheny County Swift Water and Flood Response Team, lauded the Glassport firefighters’ efforts and talked about their training prior to the mayor’s recognition.

“It’s something that should be recognized and something that you should all be very proud of,” he said.

“Hats off to my guys that are doing that,” Lewis said. “Right now we have 11 personnel that need two more classes to be at our level.” Margliotti said Glassport got involved in the training after he spoke with Lewis in January about what to do in an ice rescue on the Youghiogheny River.

“At that time we really didn’t have a plan and we’d probably have done all the wrong things if we were to try it,” Margliotti said. “We thought all we had to do was go to a few classes and bingo bango we’d be ready to go and run out there on the ice and perform a rescue.

“As we investigated it we found out it wasn’t quite so simple. Ice rescue is just one component in water rescue certification. Ice rescue and the whole water rescue certification process enables you to perform water rescues in any kind of water. Whether it’s frozen, whether it’s a river, a lake, fast moving water, flash flood waters, etc.” Lewis is the Mon-Yough Rivers supervisor. Other officers who make up the branch of the county Swift Water and Flood Response Team are coordinator George McBriar of Blawnox VFD, Ohio River supervisor Dave Miller of Crescent Township VFD, and Allegheny River supervisor Rich Linn of Pittsburgh River Rescue.

The county team can be called upon to respond anywhere in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, or across the U.S.

Evanovich said the borough is “deeply indebted” to its volunteer firefighters.

In other firefighter related matters, Councilman James Foster reminded residents to stay out of firefighters’ way when they respond to fires. He referenced an incident Sunday evening in which a family had to escape their home via a rear window when their apartment caught fire near the intersection of Cypress Way and Sixth Street.

“People have to realize that a fire zone is a war zone,” Foster said. “When you have that many people going and so many different things, the chances of getting hurt is great. I know everybody’s curious what goes on in fires, but they have to realize they have to stay out of the road. This last Sunday was a major problem, and we’re just thankful somebody else didn’t get hurt.” Five firefighters were treated and released from local hospitals as a result of that incident.

In other matters, council unanimously adopted an ordinance changing the vehicle weight limit in the borough from 22 tons to 12 tons.

Evanovich said the borough is taking in additional traffic because of the closing of Boston Bridge, and the ordinance will prove very beneficial to the borough.

Councilors are considering changing the parking meter ordinance to 25 cents for a half hour instead of for an hour. That change could be finalized at next month’s meeting.

— Photo by Cindy Shegan Keeley/Daily News

Glassport Mayor Michael Evanovich presents Citizens Hose Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 fire Chief Wayne Lewis, assistant Chief Bruce Snyir and firefighters Rick Pomycala, Brent Pomycala and Jonathan Petrik with tokens of appreciation for achieving the highest classification in water rescue training. Also recognized were firefighters Ken Brownfield and Dennis Hickman.

— Photo by Cindy Shegan Keeley/Daily News

Glassport councilors listen as McKeesport Fire Department Deputy Chief Chuck Margliotti, who is the city’s river rescue coordinator and a deputy coordinator for the Allegheny County Swift Water and Flood Response Team, congratulates Glassport volunteer firefighters for their completion of water rescue training.


McKeesport Daily News July 20, 2011

Glassport fire investigation continues

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

A fire in Glassport in which a police officer and a volunteer firefighter pulled a woman to safety remains under investigation.

The Allegheny County Deputy Fire Marshal’s office said the cause of the blaze along the 300 block of Ohio Avenue the evening of July 1 has yet to be determined.

Allegheny County dispatchers said volunteers from Glassport’s Citizens Hose Co. No. 1 were called out at 10:58 p.m.

A dispatch supervisor said a police officer sustained a hand injury.

Authorities said the fire originated at 303 Ohio Ave. and spread to at least one adjacent house. It was reported under control at 11:50 p.m.

Both houses reportedly were occupied.

Glassport police officer Nick Caito and firefighter Ricky Vasquez broke down a door at 305 Ohio Ave. just after 11 p.m.

The rescuers entered the house as the woman slept in an upstairs bedroom.

“There was heavy fire on the porch on the side and the back side of the house.

The fire even extended into the second house,” assistant fire Chief Bruce Snyir said.

Caito and Vasquez arrived after a 911 call had been placed but before firefighters got to the scene, which turned out to be critical.

“Both happened to be in the area, and they got there very fast,” Snyir said. “This woman might not have made it otherwise.” The woman was transported to UPMC McKeesport for observation but was not seriously injured, Snyir said.

The house, which sustained heavy damage, can be repaired, as can a neighboring home at 303 Ohio Ave., he said.

Tribune-Review News Service contributed to this story .


McKeesport Daily News July 20, 2011

More Glassport officials critical of bridge ramp stance

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

More Glassport officials are expressing their displeasure over the borough being told to come up with nearly $90,000 to help pay for ramp work being done on its side of the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge.

Council vice president Jim Uziel talked for approximately 15 minutes at Tuesday night’s council meeting about that issue, and referenced recent The Daily News articles as well as a 1949 state Public Utility Commission ruling.

The articles in question contained comments from PennDOT District 11 executive Dan Cessna, who said Glassport is obligated to pay $87,525.94, and McKeesport to pay $94,640, for ramps from W. Fifth Avenue in McKeesport and Monongahela Avenue in Glassport.

Uziel held up a copy of the commission’s ruling, which stems from the presence of two railroad lines under the ramps that belonged to now-defunct carriers on the McKeesport-Glassport side of the span.

“They own the property, they own these roadways,” Cessna said.

Cessna also said the PUC doesn’t typically change such rulings.

“The PUC does govern and monitors railroad lines, meaning street car tracks, and above- and below-grade crossings,” Uziel said Tuesday night. “Since the rail lines service Glassport and McKeesport, the PUC order made us responsible for ramp maintenance. Since the rail lines no longer exist, and I don’t know when they stopped, probably ’60s or ’70s, our responsibility for maintenance ended at that time. So says I.” Uziel’s comments were met with thunderous applause by attendees and agreement from fellow councilors.

“I agree 100 percent with Mr. Uziel,” said Councilman Eugene Skerkoski.

The Federal Highway Administration will pay 80 percent of the cost of renovating the bridge, a $35 million job that will become a full-blown project next year.

PennDOT and Glassport officials met months ago about the bridge work.

“We’ve actually been to many meetings, members of council and Mayor (Michael Evanovich) discussing the upcoming project and what is perceived as Glassport’s responsibility in the rehab of the ramps on our side of the bridge,” Uziel said.

“We went into these meetings wondering why Glassport and McKeesport were singled out as being responsible for their ramps when we saw rehabilitation of the Homestead Grays Bridge and the Rankin Bridge, and there were multiple municipalities abutting both sides of these bridges. We didn’t see anybody being charged for any rehabilitative work on their ramps.” Uziel said he sees some legal action being taken as a result of this dispute because the borough cannot and will not pay for the work.

“It seems like it’s something that will have to be decided upon in a court, and I think a judge is ultimately going to have to make a decision on this one or someone who is in authority to do so,” he said.

Evanovich said if the borough is forced to pay for the ramp work, he is open to negotiating a deal for $1 per month for 87,000-plus months.


McKeesport Daily News July 20, 2011

Glassport

Registration set

Glassport United Methodist Preschool will have an open house and fall registration Saturday from 1-3 p.m. All students ages 3-5 years old must be potty-trained. Classes are limited in size.

Parents must have their child’s birth certificate and a non-refundable $25 registration fee when registering the child. Staff has Act 33/34 clearances. Lead teacher is state certified and has a bachelor’s degree in education. The school is located at 501 Ohio Ave. School starts Sept. 6.

For more information, call 412-576-7949.


McKeesport Daily News July 21, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Fights net charges

• Roy Steele, 45, of McKeesport, is charged with disorderly conduct in connection with a fight Friday at 6:16 p.m. along the 700 block of Monongahela Avenue.

• Rocco Belmonte, 29, of Glassport, is charged with disorderly conduct in connection with a fight Friday at 7:16 p.m. along the 700 block of Monongahela Avenue.

Woman charged with public intox

Susan Dorn, 41, of Glassport, is charged with public intoxication in connection with an incident Friday at 5:39 p.m. along the 700 block of Monongahela Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News July 21, 2011

Mansfield, Clairton-Glassport bridge restrictions announced

By PATRICK CLOONAN Daily News Staff Writer pcloonan@dailynewsemail.com

Restrictions have resumed on the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge, while the Clairton-Glassport Bridge will close this weekend.

PennDOT District 11 spokesman James Struzzi said Wednesday that work on the span linking Glassport-Elizabeth Road with routes 837 and 885 will force its closure Friday at 8 p.m.

Struzzi said the bridge may not reopen before Monday at 6 a.m. The suggested detour is the Route 51 bridge linking Elizabeth and West Elizabeth.

Downriver is the Mansfield span where lane restrictions began Wednesday and continue through Friday.

An Allegheny County Public Works spokesman said restrictions began at 7 a.m. and will continue each day until 4 p.m.

Construction manager Doug Aiken said traffic will be maintained both ways at all times on the bridge linking McKeesport and Glassport with Dravosburg, but may be restricted at times to one lane each way.

This year’s Mansfield span work is preliminary, with more than $30 million to be invested in a three-year job beginning next year.

The work on the Clairton-Glassport span is part of a $4 million project with J.F. Shea Construction Inc. of Mt. Pleasant as prime contractor. Its completion is scheduled this fall.

Struzzi said work on the Clairton-Glassport Bridge includes barrier replace­ments, repair and replacement of expansion joints and bearings, substructure repairs, median work, guide rail and signal upgrades, spot painting and other improvements.

Also, restrictions are reported taking effect today at the intersection of Brownsville, Broughton and Curry Hollow roads, a juncture affecting motorists in Pleasant Hills, Baldwin and South Park Township.

It is part of an $8.6 million project to improve the intersection, which will continue through spring 2013.

County and state officials said northbound traffic on Curry Hollow no longer will be able to make a left turn onto Brownsville. The posted detour is Curry Hollow to Route 51, then 51 northbound for approximately one quarter of a mile, a left onto Streets Run Road and then a half­mile trip to Brownsville.

Frank J. Zottola Construction Inc. of Valencia is prime contractor for that project, which includes intersection realignment, reconstruction, widening, bituminous paving, concrete installation, and reconstruction and extension of a concrete arch culvert.

Drainage, curb, sidewalk and traffic signal work also are slated in a project that also involves Broughton between Brownsville and Pike Street and Brownsville east of Philippe Drive to Thomas Avenue.

Staff Writer Michael DiVittorio contributed to this story.


McKeesport Daily News July 27, 2011

Glassport

Fight nets charges

Police said John Jefferson, 20, of McKeesport, and William Henderson, 19, of Glassport, have been charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Monday at 9:07 p.m. along Seventh Street.


McKeesport Daily News July 27, 2011

Glassport firefighter will stand trial on multiple sex charges

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

A Glassport firefighter accused of provoking a juvenile to expose his genitalia several times while being filmed via cell phone has waived his case to court.

Allegheny County police charged Chad Richey, 29, of Glassport, with corruption of minors, sexual abuse of children — photographing, videotaping, depicting on computer or filming sexual acts, and two counts of criminal solicitation in connection with an incident on May 25 in the day room of the Citizens Hose Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 building.

Richey waived his case to court Tuesday before Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin.

According to the criminal complaint, the incident was captured on the fire company’s surveillance video.

In the video, Richey can be seen with another firefighter and a juvenile while another man working community service at the fire hall appears to be listening to headphones and uninvolved in the activity with the firemen, the complaint states.

Richey later can be seen holding up his cell phone and pointing it toward the juvenile, who exposes himself and simulates a sex act, according to court documents.

The juvenile then exposes himself again and waves a private body part in the face of the community service person, the complaint continued.

The man jerks away from the juvenile and the boy can be seen being pulled away by another individual. Richey can be seen laughing and looking at his phone, according to documents.

Richey reportedly admitted taking the video.

The juvenile told investigators that Richey egged him on and dared him saying, “You won’t do it.” Richey reportedly told a firefighter who left the fire hall with the juvenile, “You need to come down here and delete that clip off the cameras because (someone) called the police.” According to the criminal complaint, the firefighter refused to delete the video.

Officials at the judge’s office said the other firefighters are not being charged, and did not have information about the juvenile.

Richey’s next court appearance is set for Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. in Pittsburgh.


McKeesport Daily News July 29, 2011

Glassport couple committed to helping others

— Photos by Ronald Vezzani Jr./For The Daily News

Greg and Peggy Heuer have formed Heuer House Inc. in Glassport and host regular Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics meetings at The , Club, located at 514 Monongahela Ave.

The Club has been assisting addicts in recovery since 1994.

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Drug and alcohol addiction can be devastating and affect people of all ages.

A Glassport couple is turning their struggle into motivation to help those impacted by such things live healthy and meaningful lives.

Greg and Peggy Heuer, both 57, are founders of the newly formed Heuer House Inc. and have hosted Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for women in The Club at 514 Monongahela Ave. for more than five years.

“We would not be here if it wasn’t for the glory of God,” said Greg Heuer, an ordained minister.

The Heuers are members of the Glassport Assembly of God. Ministering to people is a big part of what they do at The Club.

“The great thing about this pro­gram is we introduce Christ to them also,” Greg said. “They are minis­tered to. My wife will encourage them on to continue with life.” Peggy said there are not that many places that specifically cater to women dealing with addictions as there are for men, and there is a dif­ferent mentality between the sexes that needs to be addressed.

“When they come in they have nothing,” she said. “They some­times come in with a small shop­ping bag of clothing and you watch them grow. They don’t have any communication with their family. All of a sudden they’re working on that and gaining respect back from their families ... you see them grow into adults. They come to you as a child. You just get so proud.” The couple purchased the facil­ity in July 2005, and have been involved with AA since entering a recovery program themselves in October 1995.

“It is life-changing,” Greg said. “To a person in recovery it is a must. It’s something that helps to develop the individual to main­tain abstinence ... it’s a disease, but it’s a disease that never goes away. Without meetings it’s almost impossible for people to maintain any form of sobriety.” The Club housed NA/AA meet­ings since August 1994 under the ownership of the late Jim Hayford.

“We have at least one meeting here a day and nine meetings a week,” Greg said.

Peggy also conducts AA meetings at the Allegheny County Jail four times a month. She has a strong working relationship with the county’s Justice Related Services, an organization that assists those incarcerated with trying to better themselves with housing.

“We get no paycheck,” she said. “People wonder why we do it Helping others because we have not received a penny for doing this. (It’s) because I love to see the progress they make. Money’s never been a factor to me.” The Heuers recently obtained 501(c)3 status, which means they operate a nonprofit organization and can accept donations and conduct fund-raisers.

The Club consists of a meeting room downstairs, a coffee shop type area on the main floor, and a halfway house upstairs that serves as living quarters for seven people.

A neighboring property at 516 Monongahela Ave. is being converted into a halfway house, allowing a chance for at least six more people.

Several present and former tenants were willing to share their stories, and lauded the efforts of the Heuers.

Rebecca Bianco, 25, of the North Side, recently got her GED and gave birth to Jayden Rose Wilson on Tuesday. She was recommended to The Club by the court system in January.

“I’ve been doing different things,” Bianco said about her recovery. “I go to school. The whole time since I was pregnant I got resources from Peggy to go get diapers and housing for the baby and stuff.

“Her whole family, none of them talk to her,” Peggy said. “They all were sure they came to the hospital to see this baby.” Bianco said two sons were released to their father while she was addicted to drugs, and she now has a relationship with the boys.

Carrie Sines, 51, of Shaler, attends both NA and AA meetings. The program was recommended to her through the court system in June 2010.

“It gives me a new reason to live and I have a purpose to my life now,” Sines said. “Before I got here I was just shuffled around from program to program where no one cares. I came here and found a family. Peggy and Greg are like my adopted mom and dad. They’re just a very big support in my recovery and personal life.” Sines was hospitalized from July 11 through Aug. 5 of last year. She suf­fered two heart attacks and a stroke, and Peggy had to make major medical decisions for her.

“Peggy took that upon herself, didn’t know (anything) about me,” Sines said. “To her I am very grateful for my life.” Sines also said she regained a relationship with her two sons ages 24 and 20.

MaryKay Wallace, 52, of Duquesne, was ordered into the program last October. She was battling crack and alcohol addiction. She moved out of the halfway house on July 1 and still attends weekly meetings.

“It felt like a home away from home to me,” Wallace said. “(Peggy) really cared about me.” Alicia Moore, 35, of Waynesburg, was incarcerated from January 2010 through March of this year. She said she was addicted to heroin, cocaine, crack and alcohol.

Moore came to The Club as part of a recommendation from a friend. She began attending NA and AA meetings with the Heuers two weeks ago.

“I’ve gone to 16 meetings since I’ve been here,” Moore said. “They’ve given me a second chance at life. I know all the glory belongs to God, but Peggy and Greg are a godsend.

“They provided me with food, clothing, a sense of belonging and family, and provided all the tools that I need to remain clean and sober.” Karen Snyder, 50, of McKeesport, got involved with The Club through the court system in the summer of 2005.

She left in 2007, stayed in contact with the Heuers, and returned to the meetings a few months ago.

“Since I’ve been here, Peggy and her husband have inspired me to move forward in life,” Snyder said, “to make the right choices. Very spiritual, they’re very caring people. They teach you how to become a productive member of society. They’re always there for you anytime you need them.” Leslie Spinelli, 54, of Brookline, started her meetings with the Heuers last month.

“This is the first time I’ve done any type of recovery program like this,” she said. “When I first got here I felt very welcome. That made me feel a lot better. Just the support that we have here ... this environment, being everyone is in recovery, has inspired me and been a good example for me. Especially the girls that have been here awhile and to see the progress they’ve made.” For more information about The Club, call 412-670-3636.

Heuer House residents Nikki Moore, Carrie Sines and Karen Snyder discuss the day’s events at “The Club” in Glassport.

Heuer House resident Becky Bianco enjoys a quiet moment with her newborn daughter Jayden Rose.


McKeesport Daily News July 30, 2011

Glassport

Crime watch meeting set

Glassport Crime Watch will meet Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the senior center along Monongahela Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News August 2, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Juvenile charged

Police on Monday filed a charge of criminal mischief against an 11-year­old boy who is alleged to have stolen a bicycle from a borough resident July 10. Police alleged the boy painted the bicycle while it was in his possession. Police estimate the bike’s value at $90.

Woman cited for animal cruelty

Evette Wallace, 43, of Glassport, was cited for cruelty to animals, rabies tags and no dog license Friday at 6:29 p.m. Wallace is alleged to have left an animal in a hot apartment in the 600 block of Ohio Street without food.

Assault charge filed

David Eberle, 25, of Glassport, was cited for simple assault and harassment in the 600 block of Allegheny Avenue Thursday at 3 p.m. Police said the charges were filed in connection with a physical domestic dispute Eberle had with a woman.


McKeesport Daily News August 2, 2011

Glassport

Security firm in town

Police Chief Howard Kifer said members of Vivint, a company specializing in security systems, will be in the borough going door-to­door selling home alarms. They will be carrying proper identification.

If solicitors claiming to be from the company do not have proper identification, residents should contact police at 412-672-4514.


McKeesport Daily News August 8, 2011

Glassport Lions list events

Glassport Lions board of directors will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Sons of Italy Lodge 941 in Glassport. Annette Scarpino, president, will be in charge.

The club will host its annual White Kane Day at Glassport Foodland Aug. 27. Funds collected will help support the blind and people with special needs. Used eye glasses will also be collected.


McKeesport Daily News August 12, 2011

Glassport vows enforcement of parking, speed

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport police Chief Howard Kifer wants residents to know that the recent increase in traffic and parking enforcement is for the public’s safety and not just to write tickets.

Officers have been issuing many citations in the past few weeks, mostly for parking violations near intersections and for vehicles with expired inspections and other state vehicle code offenses.

Kifer said his department has received mixed reactions from residents, including some who have been parking a certain way for a long time and were surprised to see a ticket on their windshields.

“It’s for public safety is what we’re doing it for,” the chief said Thursday. “It will take some parking away but it will keep people safe. It’s a change to the public. It’s getting to the point where we have to do something for the intersections.

... We’re being overwhelmed with cars just laying all over the place. A lot of people have been parking in the same positions for years and years here.” Yellow lines along sidewalks and by stop signs are designed to regulate parking. The white lines on the streets to monitor speeding were repainted last month.

Drivers parking along those yellow lines and by stop signs create sight problems for pedestrians and other motorists.

“What’s happening is they’re parking too close to the corners and our police, fire and ambulance vehicles can’t get through,” the chief said.

Drivers found parking along the paint and by stop signs will be cited for parking in prohibited zones.

Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse said police also are cracking down on speeding and motorists not obeying traffic control devices.

“We probably tripled our traffic citations that we normally write,” he said. “Basically it was like a free­for-all in this town.” Officers also have been going throughout the bor­ough looking for what Kifer calls “junk cars.” Those cars include vehicles with expired or illegal plates, inspections and other infrac­tions of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.

“We’re trying to get them off the streets or at least get them fixed up and running and get them legal,” Kifer said. “We are permitted to come onto private property and tag vehicles that are ille­gal.” Kifer said police can have the vehicles towed if they are not removed or brought up to code within 10 days of being tagged.

“They’ve got to maintain them and keep the standards according to the (state vehicle) code,” Kifer said. “These are warning tags to get them to fix the problem. Some (residents) understand. They try to get (their vehicles) fixed. They need parts to fix it. We understand that, but we can’t let one sit and another one go. We’ve been doing this. We’re just hitting them harder now because there’s more and more on the street.” Kifer also noted boats and trailers cannot be parked on the street, and must be put in a lot or storage area. The chief vowed that the traffic and parking enforcement will continue.


McKeesport Daily News August 12, 2011

— Photo by Cindy Shegan Keeley/Daily News

Sons of Italy Lodge 941 in Glassport will host its 55th Annual Feast of Assumption Saturday and Sunday at the lodge home, Sixth Street and Allegheny Avenue. Games, food and entertainment are planned nightly. Saturday’s event will include spaghetti dinners beginning at 4 p.m. and entertainment provided by the Rat Pack at 7:30. Sunday’s schedule includes spaghetti and gnocchi dinners starting at noon with entertainment provided by Jerry Trecroce at 6 p.m. and Mirella & Sons playing Italian music. A Zambelli Fireworks show will take place at the Glassport Stadium at 10 p.m. Organizing the event, from left, are Vince D’Appollonio, orator; Joe Borrelli, past president; Vicki Rizzo, trustee; Tony Campano, president; and Gary Farine, trustee.


McKeesport Daily News August 13, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Assault alleged

Leonard Miles, 42, of Glassport, is charged with simple assault in connection with an incident Wednesday at 8:25 p.m. near the intersection of Monongahela Avenue and Seventh Street.

DUI charges filed

• Glen Higby, 48, of Elizabeth, is charged with DUI and careless driving in connection with an incident on Aug. 4 at 8:21 p.m. near the intersection of Monongahela Avenue and Harrison Street.

• John Harsmanka Jr., 41, of Glassport, is charged with DUI and careless driving in connection with an incident Wednesday at 9:50 p.m. near the intersection of Sixth Street and Vermont Avenue.

Burglary investigated

Glassport and Allegheny County police are investigating a burglary Wednesday around 5:53 a.m. at the Hot Spot convenience store near the intersection of Sixth Street and Monongahela Avenue.

Glassport police Chief Howard Kifer said officers received a call that morning for a break-in at the business. Investigators believe suspects entered through the north side door and stole money and cigarettes, Kifer said.

No suspects or descriptions of suspects were given. Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact Glassport police at 412-672-4514.


McKeesport Daily News August 15, 2011

Marijuana bust in Glassport nets 2 arrests

By STACY LEE Daily News Staff Writer slee@dailynewsemail.com

Two Glassport residents have been charged after police found 14 marijuana plants among other items in their borough home.

Glassport police, assisted by Liberty police, executed a search warrant Saturday at approximately 9:20 p.m. in the 400 block of Broadway Street.

Rory Shelton, 48, and LouAnn Yeager, 53, were charged with 19 counts of possession of marijuana, 14 counts of cultivating, growing or manufacturing marijuana, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of possession with intent to deliver.

Glassport deputy police Chief Shawn DeVerse said after police received complaints about the Broadway Street residence, he and Glassport police Officer Nick Caito went to the residence and were able to view the marijuana plants from the sidewalk. He said officers then obtained a search warrant Saturday from Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin.

When police approached the home with the warrant, DeVerse said officers saw Shelton through the door holding a scanner and Liberty police Officer Ray Johnson immediately secured him.

“Myself and Officer Caito went right up into the yard to clearly identify the plants and secure them,” DeVerse said. “He had three plants hanging in his basement to dry them out and the rest were in his yard.” Glassport police Officer Michael Piccini also assisted in the marijuana bust.

Glassport Citizens Hose Fire Co. No. 1 Chief Wayne Lewis was called to provide lighting while the plants were seized.

Police also confiscated three small bags of suspected marijuana, one pill bottle half full of suspected marijuana, a scanner, drug paraphernalia, a security badge and $58 in cash.

Glassport police K-9 Zen also searched the residence.

DeVerse said from the size of the marijuana plants, Shelton likely was growing them since spring.

He said Saturday was a small- to medium-level drug bust for Glassport police. “This isn’t the first we’ve done recently and it’s not going to be the last,” DeVerse said.

Shelton was sent to Allegheny County Jail while Yeager was sent to a local hospital for treatment of a medical condition. Yeager was supposed to be sent to the jail after she got out of the hospital. No additional information about her condition was available at presstime.

“The officers made a great arrest here,” Glassport Mayor Michael Evanovich said. “They did their homework. If you’re doing something wrong or breaking the law, we are coming for you. We are releasing the hounds. We’re going to take the town back — little by little.”

— Photo by Stacy Lee/Daily News

Glassport police Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse, left, and officer Nick Caito display 14 marijuana plants seized in a Saturday night raid at a home in the 400 block of Broadway Street.


McKeesport Daily News August 15, 2011

Glassport first responders fight dock fire from shore

By THE DAILY NEWS

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is investigating after a dock was set on fire and floated down the Monongahela River.

Glassport Citizens Hose Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 fought the fire from shore near Harrison Street Saturday at approximately 8:40 p.m.

Glassport Citizens Hose fire Chief Wayne Lewis, who is supervisor of Allegheny County’s swiftwater/ flood response team 4903, said he does not know where the fiery dock originated. He said firefighters brought it ashore, secured it and called the commission.


McKeesport Daily News August 17, 2011

DeSue resigns council post, gets borough manager job

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport council president John DeSue resigned from his post and was appointed part-time borough manager.

That was only one of the highlights at what Mayor Michael Evanovich called “a very spirited meeting” Tuesday night.

DeSue served on council for eight years. He was defeated in the May Democratic primary and said he wasn’t planning a write-in campaign.

Council would have had 30 days to appoint someone to fill DeSue’s vacant seat before the matter would have gone before Allegheny County courts. It waited less than 30 minutes and appointed the top vote-getter in the Democratic primary for a council seat, Thomas Bradley Jr.

Prior to his resignation, DeSue sat quietly while residents during the early public comment portion of the meeting said rumors were circulating that he would be appointed borough manager and they wondered how much he would be paid.

Councilman Eugene Skerkoski made the motion to create the position and nominated DeSue for the job. Both motions passed 5-1 with Bradley casting the lone dissenting vote. Councilman Terry DiMarco was absent.

The part-time borough manager is on an as-needed basis with a review at the end of the year, Skerkoski said, at a cost of $1,000 per month.

“You can’t win in this town,” DeSue said. “You get criticized no matter what you do. We’re going to pave $300,000 worth of roads. We bought a back hoe that the borough desperately needed. We renovated (the borough) building here. We’re going to put a ramp. We put energy efficient equipment here to cut down costs. We spent money renovating the senior center, putting in new doors and windows and making that energy efficient. We’re going to buy a new police car because the mayor says he definitely needs one.

“We’re doing all this, and we’re going to pay for it. We’re not going to borrow a dime from anyone. It’s going to be paid for because of the efficiency of this group of people. We have the money to do this. There’s going to be no increase in taxes. This is all going to be bought and paid for just so you people know. I’m tired of all the innuendoes and rumors. When people have questions come and ask us. We’ll tell you.” DeSue thanked council and borough officials for working with him the past eight years.

“To me it’s always been put Glassport first, not politics or personal agendas,” he said after the meeting. “Town comes first. We don’t have that with everybody. I bite my tongue all the time. I put up with a lot of crap. You got people that talk and moan and groan, but won’t come here and address council.” Borough officials lauded DeSue’s efforts, stating he helped the borough get out of tough economic times.

“John did his job, plain and simple,” Evanovich said.

“You have to do what you think is best as John always did,” council vice president James Uziel said. “John put a lot of time into this borough. When he came onto council we had serious financial problems. Through his overseeing of finances we are now one of the few municipalities in this section of Allegheny County who are working at a phenomenal pace. We’re keeping our finances in order.” Skerkoski said DeSue will be an asset to the borough as its manager.

Bradley was sworn in by Evanovich while wearing cargo shorts and a Harley-Davidson tee shirt.

“I’m excited. I was kind of shocked today or I would have dressed better,” Bradley said. “I was excited in May. I was looking forward to November’s election so that I had the opportunity to hopefully win again to take over in January. Coming in early is a nice surprise. It’s a good feeling. I’m going to represent the 438 people that voted for me, so they’re going to have a voice now. I’m looking forward to it.” Bradley said he wants to address the high weeds and grass in the borough, particularly properties along Euclid Street and Fern Alley.

“Right is right and wrong is wrong,” he said. “If you’re going to cite one person for 8 inches of grass you need to cite the person for 5 feet of grass.” DeSue is not the only council president in the Mon Valley in recent years to resign only to become borough manager shortly thereafter.

Jack Petro was unanimously appointed White Oak’s manager in December 2009 after leaving his elected post.


McKeesport Daily News August 18, 2011

Glassport councilor defends removing sign from private property

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

A Glassport councilwoman came under fire from a resident claiming she entered his property to take down a sign without permission.

Nancy Crncic defended her actions after being called out by Mitchell Geary of Monongahela Avenue at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“I don’t think she had the right to take it off my fence,” Geary said of the incident earlier this month. “And the way you answer people’s questions, it just seems that you guys really don’t care.” Crncic asked Geary several times to tell the audience what the sign said, and he refused.

“I would not tear a sign down if it didn’t have profanity on it,” she replied. “I was wrong because I did not call the police instead of (taking it down). That was me, and I didn’t do it as a councilwoman. I did it as a resident of Glassport. There was a funeral procession going through Glassport. There are people on the main street and you have on that sign ‘Thanks (expletive).’ Now do you think that’s appropriate?” “In my mind, maybe,” Geary replied.

“I don’t even know what it was about. I just looked at those words,” Crncic said. “I’ll ask everyone. Do you think that was appropriate?” “No,” many in attendance replied .

“You people are saying that we’re taking this town down,” Crncic continued. “So I go over and take down a sign with profanity on it, and you’re saying I did something wrong because it was on your fence. OK. So you people are as bad as us people.” “At least we’re on the same page,” Geary retorted. “Well, welcome to the club,” Crncic said. “I’m just telling you why I did it.”

Crncic became involved in another verbal altercation with an audience member regarding the incident, and other residents attempted to defend the councilwoman.

Councilman Eugene Skerkoski interjected that Crncic did not direct him to do anything with the sign.

Geary also asked about a report concerning the Patterson property. The state Department of Environmental Protection launched an investigation into illegal dumping there last year.

Former council president John DeSue said the borough does not have a report from the DEP.

“They are a lot bigger agency than we are and we cannot tell them what to do,” DeSue said. “There’s an investigation. We have talked with the DEP. When they have information, they’ll present it to us. That’s where it’s at.” Resident Cynthia Trimble voiced some concerns about borough police’s recent efforts to ticket junk cars, vehicles with expired registration and inspection stickers, an other violations of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.

Trimble admitted to not having a valid inspection, and that DeSue also had a vehicle with an expired inspection.

“It’s my car that you’re talking about and it’s getting work on it so that it can pass inspection,” DeSue said.

Trimble said DeSue also made a sarcastic remark to her about getting her vehicle fixed while she was at the borough office.

“I made no comment whatsoever to you,” DeSue replied.

Trimble also said that when she spoke out about something a few years ago, her family was retaliated against with tickets.

Skerkoski questioned what retaliation or incident Trimble was talking about, and she declined to offer specifics.

It later was revealed that there was an incident with one of Trimble’s family members regarding motorcycles parked on the sidewalk. A citation was issued to her husband and later was dismissed.

DeSue resigned from council at the meeting and was appointed borough manager.


McKeesport Daily News August 19, 2011

Glassport police make another marijuana bust

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

A Glassport man faces multiple drug charges after officers discovered a small marijuana-growing operation in his back yard.

Edward Joseph Aiken, 58, was taken into custody Thursday around 1:30 p.m. at his home at 1855 Naomi Ave.

He is charged with six counts of cultivating or growing marijuana, one count of possession of marijuana, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officers recovered six suspected marijuana plants, containers of suspected marijuana, a scale, lighters and other drug paraphernalia as a result of a search warrant executed at that residence Thursday afternoon.

Glassport deputy police Chief Shawn DeVerse said the arrest was made after an extensive investigation that included tips from residents.

“As a result of an investigation and repeated reports to the department on marijuana plants growing out in the open up there, I was able to view (the plants) and apply for the search warrant,” DeVerse said.

Aiken was transported later that day for arraignment at Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin’s office and to the Allegheny County Jail.

It is the second drug bust as a result of a search warrant in less than two weeks.

Glassport police, assisted by Liberty police, executed a search warrant Saturday at approximately 9:20 p.m. in the 400 block of Broadway Street.

Rory Shelton, 48, and LouAnn Yeager, 53, were charged with 19 counts of possession of marijuana, 14 counts of cultivating, growing or manufacturing marijuana, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of possession with intent to deliver.

Fourteen marijuana plants and other items were confiscated from their borough home.

“This is small compared to last week,” DeVerse said. “We’re out there doing investigations on reported drug activity, one thing at a time, one investigation at a time. (There is) more than marijuana out there.” Police Chief Howard Kifer lauded DeVerse’s efforts as well as those working with his narcotics investigations.

“He does a very good job,” Kifer said. “This is the beginning. We’re going to continue it until we stop it totally, if we can.” DeVerse, who also is involved with the Allegheny County Drug Task Force, said there are “a lot of pending investigations.”


McKeesport Daily News August 19, 2011

Glassport, McKeesport off hook for ramp costs

By PATRICK CLOONAN and MICHAEL DiVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writers pcloonan@dailynewsemail.com mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

It appears Allegheny County conditionally took Glassport and McKeesport off the hook for costs related to rehabilitation of ramps leading to the soon-to-be-over­hauled W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge.

That condition involves maintenance of the underpass that carries traffic from McKeesport to Glassport, and a stretch of roadway along a hillside that carries traffic in the other direction.

Former Glassport council president and new borough manager John DeSue said Wednesday he received an email from the county saying Glassport no longer is responsible for paying $87,525,84 toward ramp rehabilitation.

An agreement sent to the borough on March 8 “has been amended, relieving Glassport from financial responsibility in the project,” said a letter dated Monday from county public works director Joseph A. Olczak.

McKeesport city administrator Dennis Pittman said Thursday a similar mailing received by city clerk Patricia Williams included a contract that appeared to absolve the city of $94,640 toward work required by a 1949 state Public Utility Commission order.

“That contract would be a resolution on the agenda for the Sept. 7 (city council) meeting,” Pittman said.

“I had them sent out to (city solicitor) Bruce Dice for review. I don’t think there is going to be an issue with that and we’ll be passing it as part of the council meeting on Sept. 7.” “A new agreement is attached,” Olczak wrote to DeSue and other Glassport officials, “which states that the county will pay the 20 percent share for the work done on the ramp leading from Monongahela Avenue to the Mansfield Bridge and the portion underneath the Mansfield Bridge that carries traffic directly from McKeesport to Glassport.” However, Olczak continued, “for the county to take financial responsibility of this work, Glassport is to recognize that Monongahela Avenue is a borough street per the 1949 (Public Utility Commission) order and that all future financial, maintenance and ownership responsibilities of Monongahela Avenue will remain with the borough.” “The same exact letter was sent to McKeesport,” bridge engineering assistant manager Michael Dillon said. In the city’s case, the street is known as W. Fifth Avenue up to the borough line.

That PUC order stemmed from the presence under the ramps of two railroad lines between the underpass and the southern shore of the Monongahela River.

Those lines belong to now-defunct carriers rolled under the bridge linking McKeesport and Glassport with Dravosburg.

“There can be multiple interpretations of that document,” Glassport solicitor Gary J. Matta said Thursday night. Former McKeesport solicitor J. Jason Elash once speculated that Allegheny County could be responsible for those lines.

Matta did not wish to comment at length about the county’s proposal pending a meeting today with DeSue, but added, amid the multitude of bridges across the county, “I just have to wonder why we would be the only two municipalities in the county with that responsibility.” “Since the rail lines service Glassport and McKeesport, the PUC order made us responsible for ramp maintenance,” Uziel said last month. “Since the rail lines no longer exist, and I don’t know when they stopped, probably in the 1960s or ’70s, our responsibility for maintenance ended at that time.” “I felt from day one we weren’t going to pay for it,” DeSue said. “I’ve been attending meetings for years with this. I told them from day one they weren’t getting a dime out of Glassport.” The Daily News obtained a copy of the letter but not of attached materials, including the new contract and a sketch of the ramps along the southern shore of the Monongahela River.

“We’re just trying to state that even though we’re paying for the work, they recognize it is their roads and in the future it’s still theirs,” Dillon said. “We just don’t want (for either municipality) 15 years from now (to) come back and say, ‘You fixed the bridge, so you own it.’” Dillon said the county’s responsibility “begins at the bridge abutment when you start crossing over Monongahela.” Anything built on dirt or below the grade of the bridge is the responsibility of the two municipalities.

The Federal Highway Administration will pay 80 percent of the cost of renovating the bridge, a $35 million job that will become a full-blown project next year.

“We’re hoping to open bids Sept. 29 and start construction Jan. 2,” Dillon said. “It will probably last until October of 2014.”


McKeesport Daily News August 19, 2011

Glassport seeks solution to delinquent trash bills

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport officials are working with Nickolich Sanitation to address delinquent garbage collection.

“Residents that are delinquent with their garbage payment will not get their garbage picked up,” Councilman Paul Trunzo said at Tuesday night’s council meeting. “Residents need to pay their garbage bill or will be cited by the police department. Please make arrangements with Nickolich Sanitation to pay your garbage bill and do not place your garbage out until the night before it is scheduled to be picked up.” Nickolich Sanitation, the borough’s garbage collector last year and contracted through February 2012, notified the borough of the problem, borough manager John DeSue said.

“We decided to help them take (delinquent residents) to the magistrate,” DeSue said. “People need to pay for their garbage pickup. (Nickolich) sends a message by not picking the garbage up.” Police Chief Howard Kifer said people who leave their garbage out for long can be subject to an ordinance violation, which means a $300 fine plus court costs.

DeSue said some residents have complied and others have not responded to the delinquent garbage warnings.

“It’s an ongoing process,” he said. “We’ve had some people at the magistrate. There’s less of it because of the action we’re taking.” Those who need to make arrangements regarding garbage collection can contact Nickolich Sanitation at 412-233-8666.


McKeesport Daily News August 25, 2011

Glassport marijuana suspects to stand trial

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

A Glassport man is headed to trial on several drug charges after waiving his case to court.

Rory Shelton, 48, and LouAnn Yeager, 53, of Glassport, were expected to go before Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin Tuesday afternoon on more than a dozen counts of possession of marijuana, cultivating, growing or manufacturing marijuana, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of possession with intent to deliver.

Charges stem from an incident Aug. 13 at approximately 9:20 p.m. along the 400 block of Broadway Street.

After a discussion between prosecuting and defense attorneys and law enforcement officials, all charges against Yeager were withdrawn and Shelton waived to court one count each of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession with intent to deliver.

Assistant district attorney Dave Zuckerman prosecuted the case. Public defender Michael McFarland represented Yeager and private attorney Frank Walker II represented Shelton.

Walker called the court actions “fair” after negotiating with the ADA.

He further noted his client is innocent until proven guilty, and the waiver to court was a timesaver because of the low burden of proof at the magistrate level.

Glassport police, assisted by Liberty police, executed a search warrant Aug. 13 at the defendant’s home along Broadway Street.

Glassport deputy police Chief Shawn DeVerse said after police received complaints about the Broadway Street residence, he and Glassport police officer Nick Caito went to the address and were able to view marijuana plants from the sidewalk. He said officers then obtained a search warrant Saturday from Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin.

When police approached the home with the warrant, DeVerse said officers saw Shelton through the door holding a scanner and Liberty police officer Ray Johnson immediately secured him.

Glassport police officer Michael Piccini also assisted in the marijuana bust.

Glassport Citizens Hose Fire Co. No. 1 Chief Wayne Lewis was called to provide lighting while the plants were seized.

Police also confiscated three small bags of suspected marijuana, one pill bottle half full of suspected marijuana, a scanner, drug paraphernalia, a security badge and $58 in cash.

Glassport police K-9 Zen also searched the residence.

DeVerse said, based on the size of the marijuana plants, Shelton likely was growing them since spring.

He said Saturday was a small- to medium-level drug bust for Glassport police.

“This isn’t the first we’ve done recently and it’s not going to be the last,” DeVerse said.

“The officers made a great arrest here,” Glassport Mayor Michael Evanovich said. “They did their homework. If you’re doing something wrong or break the law, we are coming for you. We are releasing the hounds. We’re going to take the town back — little by little.”


McKeesport Daily News August 25, 2011

Vehicle break-ins reported

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Write mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport police are investigating multiple break-ins of unlocked vehicles throughout the borough.

Officers received the first call about a break-in around 3:45 a.m. Tuesday, and reports did not stop for most of the day.

“I came here at the station and they kept walking in the door,” police Chief Howard Kifer said that afternoon. He said officers had 25 reports by 4 p.m.

“A lot of people have heard noises and didn’t report anything,” Kifer said. “Some did come out and check (their vehicles) and didn’t see anything.” The chief noted his department received reports from Glassport Crime Watch mem­bers along the 10 block of Ohio Avenue regarding the incidents.

“The crime watch is helping us out a lot,” Kifer said.

Officers are investigating and creating an inventory list of what was reported stolen. More information is expected to be released today.

Kifer urged residents to make sure their doors are locked, valuables secured, and to notify police when there is any suspicious activity.

“Call us,” he said. “Let’s get the car in the area. If (police are) there we can probably locate (suspects) and find them.” Anyone with information regarding the break-ins should contact Glassport police at 412-672-4514.

Kifer also noted officers will be monitoring the area of Third Street and Ohio Avenue by the former Glassport High School.

The chief said there were several reports of vandalism there, and anyone on the property will be cited for trespassing.


McKeesport Daily News August 25, 2011

Letter to the Editor

Glassport Crime Watch works

Thank you to the 25 residents who attended the Aug. 17 Glassport Crime Watch block meeting for the 1000 and 900 blocks of Vermont Avenue. It was a helpful, instructional and informative session.

And, thank you to Dave Kowalski, crime watch coordinator, and Angelo Norelli, assistant coordinator, who also attended. Both provided summary information about the program and workable solutions for observing and reporting problems.

Block by block, Glassport residents are making an impact against crime.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the regular monthly Crime Watch meeting on Sept. 7 Emily Vasquez and Grace Merta

Crime Watch block captains

Glassport


McKeesport Daily News August 26, 2011

Police confiscate pills from Glassport home

Another drug bust

— Photo by Jennifer R. Vertullo/Daily News

Glassport officer Nick Caito and Deputy Chief Shawn Deverse review photographs with Mayor Michael Evanovich , and other officials at 703 Vermont Ave., where pills and other items were confiscated Wednesday.

By JENNIFER R. VERTULLO Daily News Staff Writer jvertullo@dailynewsemail.com

Vermont Avenue residents watched as their tips to Glassport and Allegheny County police resulted in the seizure of assorted pills from a Glassport home.

County detectives joined Glassport police and other borough officials Wednesday afternoon in a search of 703 Vermont Ave., owned by 45-year­old Julie Victor.

“This place has been under investigation by our department for two years or more,” Glassport Deputy Chief Shawn Deverse said. “We got cooperation from Allegheny County police, and we were able to put together an investigation that led ... to a search warrant.” The residence was the subject of many neighborhood complaints, Deverse confirmed.

Area residents, who requested not to be identified for fear of retribution, filled out anonymous tip cards alerting police to near-constant traffic in and out of Victor’s home.

“The same people would come at the same time almost every day,” one woman said.

While some neighbors said the search could not have come at a better time, others said Victor should not be judged based on Wednesday’s confiscation.

“She’s a good girl,” one woman said. “She wasn’t using the drugs.” A man said Victor is known for mak­ing food for friends, and visitors often stop by for “a tray full of burgers or haluski.” “Just because you don’t use (drugs) and you’re a sweet person, that doesn’t make it right,” another neighbor said. “You’re supplying these drugs to other people, to kids.” Several neighbors said they don’t want their children to be affected by suspected drug sales in their neighbor­hood.

“School starts tomorrow, and there is a bus stop on that corner,” one resi­dent said. “With all the traffic going in and out of that house, if some­thing should happen, there would be kids there. There are kids out all the time.” According to neighbors, Victor is a lifelong Glassport resident who inher­ited the home from her deceased parents.

Officials said much of the house is in obvious disrepair.

Investigators’ photographs of the home’s interior reveal piles of garbage, clothing and other clutter.

There are visible electrical prob­lems, holes in the ceiling and broken windows. In every room, the floors and furniture are covered in talcum powder.

Building inspector Steve Volpe of SMV Associates, who serves Glassport and other area communities, has been in contact with Allegheny County Health Department regarding potentially unsanitary conditions at Victor’s home. He said someone representing that department is expected to visit the site in coming days.

Glassport Mayor Michael Evanovich commended police for Wednesday’s confiscation and the work that went into obtaining a search warrant.

“These guys did a great job as usual,” Evanovich said. “When you do your homework and you do it right, success is at the end. This house has been a problem for years.” Deverse thanked borough residents for being diligent in their reports and their patience as the investigation continued.

“It takes time,” he said. “This is not a police state. We can’t just go kick somebody’s door in. We have to show a judge that there’s a reason to go in.” Victor was not arrested at the scene. Police said charges will be filed at Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin’s office.


McKeesport Daily News August 26, 2011

— Photo by Cindy Shegan Keeley/Daily News

Among those in attendance at the 30th annual Community Recognition Night dinner at Jefferson Regional Medical Center Wednesday were, from left, Pleasant Hills police Chief Edward Cunningham, Elizabeth Township Commissioners Dan Similo and JoAnne Beckowitz, JRMC president and CEO John J. Dempster, and Glassport Mayor Michael Evanovich and his wife Kathy Evanovich.


McKeesport Daily News August 26, 2011

Letter to the Editor

No satisfaction received

Since early February 2011, over 6 The (Pennsylvania) American Water Co. repaired a broken water line in early February 2011, requiring digging up a small portion of my front yard. In the process, the weight of the back-hoe cracked a small part of my cement walkway. The hard-working crew worked at 10 (degree) temperature for approximately 4-5 hours.

When it was found that the broken line was not on my property, the workers told me that (Pennsylvania) American Water was responsible for restoring my yard and I’d be called prior to their coming. Over 6 -1/2 months later, I’m still awaiting the call and the restoring of my yard! My numerous calls to them brought zero response. The only message I got from (Pennsylvania) American Water is that at least one supervisor never heard of “customer satisfaction.”

Jack E. Donnelly

Glassport


McKeesport Daily News August 26, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Underage drinking alleged

Steven Vavra, 18, of Glassport, is charged with underage drinking in connection with an incident Sunday at 1:20 a.m. along the 200 block of Monongahela Avenue.

Curfew violated

• A 15-year-old Port Vue girl is cited with a curfew violation in connection with an incident Sunday at 1:20 a.m. along the 200 block of Monongahela Avenue.

• A 17-year-old Glassport girl is cited with a curfew violation in connection with an incident Sunday at 12:21 a.m. along the 200 block of Monongahela Avenue.

Man charged with disorderly conduct

James Buck, 62, of Glassport, is charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Aug. 18 at 10:54 p.m. along the 600 block of Monongahela Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News August 27, 2011

Glassport landmark St. Cecilia to be demolished

— Photo by Cindy Shegan Keeley/Daily News

Borough manager John DeSue, Councilwoman Nancy Crncic, Councilman Terry DiMarco and Twin Rivers Council of Governments executive director John Paylo stand outside the former St. Cecilia Church in Glassport, which will be torn down now that the borough has received approval for funding.

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport resident Angelo Norelli came to the United States from Italy in December 1954 and started grade school at St. Cecilia’s Church in January 1955.

He graduated from eighth grade in 1963, the same year the church was damaged by a tornado, and a year after it was nearly destroyed by fire. “They were just wonderful at that school, the nuns,” Norelli said. “It was like a great big family. You went through the school from first grade through eighth grade in the same class. It was a great place to grow up and a great place to go to school. I have nothing but good memories of that place. If your name ended in a vowel you went to St. Cecilia’s. If your name ended in a ‘ski’ you went (to Holy Cross).” The long-standing Catholic church and school has been closed for more than a decade, and will be demolished in the near future.

The borough acquired a $215,000 Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund grant to bring the structure along Ohio Avenue to the ground.

Borough manager John DeSue said he was at a meeting in Pittsburgh Wednesday when the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County granted the request for funding.

“We were turned down in the past. We continued forward with it,” DeSue said. “There was a lot of work that went into the presentation (to RAAC). They don’t just give you $215,000. I am so ecstatic about this right now. It’s going to make a lot of people happy. (Demolishing a church) isn’t something a small community can afford to do.” DeSue said Councilwoman Nancy Crncic acquired several signatures on a petition in support of removing the church, and there were pictures of the facility’s past and present conditions included in Wednesday’s presentation.

Norelli said he learned how to speak English at St. Cecilia, and seeing it demolished will be very emotional.

“It breaks my heart,” Norelli said. “What broke my heart was driving past that thing and seeing what they let it become. It was such a beautiful church. I hate to see it torn down, but I’m glad to see it go because it’s such an eyesore now.” Resident Dave Kowalski attended St. Cecilia school in the 1960s.

“I went to school there, got married there, the whole bit,” he said. “We were taught by nuns. Our playground was Ninth Street and Ohio Avenue, which they blocked off for recess. We had the church next to us. It was totally different from a public school. It was more of a family atmosphere than just a regular public school.” The church has been sub­ject to vandalism and gener­al deterioration throughout the years.

According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh’s website, www.diopitt.org/parishes/saint­cecelia-glassport , it was founded in 1901.

Before the parish was established, local Catholics traveled to St. Peter in McKeesport to attend Mass. The children of those Catholics attended Sunday school in local commercial buildings, including a vacant jail. On March 11, 1901, a committee appointed by a pastor at St. Peter pur­chased land for a church in Glassport. Work began in May of that year.

In 1906, land was donated for a new, larger church. On May 29, 1910, the cornerstone for a combined church/school building was laid. On March 26, 1911, the first Mass was celebrated in the church and the completed building was dedicated on Nov. 5, 1911. The old church was converted into a parish hall, and the original church building was later torn down in 1925 to make room for an addition to the school.

On Feb. 2, 1962, the church was badly damaged by a fire set by vandals. While it was being repaired, St. Cecilia shared Holy Cross school and church facilities. The church reopened in December 1962. The church was again damaged when vandals set fire to it twice in the following two years, but not badly enough to interrupt use of the build­ing. The church was remod­eled in the mid-1970s.

According to the website, by the early 1990s it became obvious that Glassport could no longer support two inde­pendent parishes. In 1994, St. Cecilia merged with Holy Cross parish to form the new Queen of the Rosary parish. As part of the merger, St. Cecilia Church was closed and sold shortly after.

The Rev. Casimir Kedzierski, pastor of Queen of the Rosary, said his parishioners signed the petition that was presented to the county, and he is grateful for the authority’s decision. “That was (an) emotional moment. ... Every person, when they were passing by looking at the church that was abandoned, (thought it was) useless (and) were waiting for the end of an era,” Kedzierski said.

“We’re glad that they chose us to demolish the church because it was a hazard. Many bad things were going (on). The church was empty and there’s nothing there.” Kedzierski said the church was sold to four local buyers, but they are all deceased and the borough now owns the property.

“They had beautiful dreams, but they were not successful,” Kedzierski said of the former owners.

He also noted the parish at 530 Michigan Ave. does not have any interest in reacquiring the land after the church is demolished.

“I’m all for (demolition) right now, being in the condition that it is in,” Kowalski said. “It would have been nice if they could have maintained it and been profitable.

“But every window’s busted out. The inside’s totally destroyed. Trees are growing everywhere with weeds. I feel sorry for the people who have to live across the street from it, to tell you the truth.” The borough has been working for more than nine years to find a way to address the dilapidated structure. Efforts began when current Councilman Terry DiMarco was mayor.

“You wouldn’t believe how happy I am,” DiMarco said. “It was just a big mess. A long time ago, when I started working on that, I was actually trying to get people to buy the building instead of ripping it down. It was still in pretty good shape.” DiMarco said there was an interested buyer at one point, but a deal never emerged due to complications in exonerating delinquent real estate taxes.

He also tried applying for demolition funding through Community Development Block Grant funds.

“I tried a lot of places throughout the years,” DiMarco said. “We just couldn’t get grant money for it. It was just too big of a project. I tried everywhere, believe me.” DiMarco lauded DeSue, Crncic and state Sen. James Brewster, D-McKeesport, and others for their assistance over the years in addressing St. Cecilia.

DiMarco said the next step in the demolition process is to have engineer George Pitcher of EADS Group map out a scope of work, and the project may be put out for bid in the next 3-4 weeks.

— Photo by Cindy Shegan Keeley/Daily News

The former St. Cecilia Church in Glassport will be demolished in the near future.


McKeesport Daily News August 27, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident report:

Drug charges filed

Daniel Lazar, 32, of Glassport, and Kevin Younge, 34, of Elizabeth, are charged with possession of controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with an incident Thursday at 3 p.m. near the intersection of Broadway and Ohio avenues.

Younge also is charged with driving with a suspended license.


McKeesport Daily News August 29, 2011

Drug bust fails to net arrests, but police say efforts working

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport police’s efforts to eliminate drug activity in the borough are getting noticed.

Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse said Saturday the attention may be from the wrong people as no arrests were made and very little evidence was collected from a search warrant executed that day around 8:40 a.m. at 719 Vermont Ave.

“It appears they had an idea we were coming,” DeVerse said. “The search warrant was justified.” Animal control officer Ken Ferree and Liberty police officer Ray Johnson also participated in the search.

DeVerse said officers recovered some suspected marijuana pipes and paraphernalia, and two pit bulls at the house did not have their medical shots or licenses.

The deputy chief noted there were no arrests, but charges could be pending particularly for the animal violations.

Four people live at the Vermont Avenue house, but no names were released because no charges have been filed. The dogs also remain at the residence.

An investigation into narcotics activity at the residence began in July after neighbors reported suspicious incidents were occurring there, DeVerse said.

Saturday morning’s search was the second along Vermont Avenue, and the fourth conducted this month.

Allegheny County police joined Glassport police and other borough officials Wednesday afternoon in a search of 703 Vermont Ave., owned by 45-year­old Julie Victor.

“This place has been under investigation by our department for two years or more,” DeVerse said last week. “We got cooperation from Allegheny County police, and we were able to put together an investigation that led ... to a search warrant.” Victor was not arrested at the scene. Police said charges will be filed at Martin’s office.

Rory Shelton, 48, of Glassport, waived charges of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession with intent to deliver at a preliminary hearing at Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin’s office Tuesday afternoon.

Those charges stem from an incident Aug. 13 at approximately 9:20 p.m. along the 400 block of Broadway Street.

Police confiscated marijuana plants, three small bags of suspected marijuana, one pill bottle half full of suspected marijuana, a scanner, drug paraphernalia, a security badge and $58 in cash from that residence.

A preliminary hearing for resident Joseph Aiken, 58, was postponed Tuesday so he could obtain an attorney. He is charged with six counts of cultivating or growing marijuana, one count of possession of marijuana, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with an incident Aug. 18 around 1:30 p.m. at his home along the 1800 block of Naomi Avenue.

Officers recovered six suspected marijuana plants, containers of suspected marijuana, a scale, lighters and other drug paraphernalia as a result of a search warrant executed at that residence that afternoon.

DeVerse said Glassport’s efforts to route out criminal activity through searches and other inquests will continue. “We’re looking at a couple other houses,” he said. “Right now they’re still in the preliminary stages of investigation.”


McKeesport Daily News August 31, 2011

Hearing for arson suspect rescheduled

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

A Glassport man facing multiple arson charges and other offenses will have to wait for his day in court.

Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin granted the prosecution’s request for a postponement of a preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon for 18-year-old Edwin Moore.

The request was made because an officer involved in the case was in training and could not make it to court, the judge said.

Moore’s hearing is rescheduled for Sept. 13 at 1 p.m.

He is charged with three counts of arson — endangering persons, three counts of arson — endangering property, and one count of arson — dangerous burning, along with two counts of recklessly endangering another person, two counts of criminal mischief, and three counts of failure to prevent a catastrophe.

Charges stem from several fire­related incidents throughout the borough.

Citizens Hose Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 fire Chief Wayne Lewis said an investigation was launched sev­eral months ago in conjunction with Glassport and Allegheny County police, Allegheny County Fire Marshal’s Office, himself and bor­ough police Sgt. Cliff LaFever.

“We’ve been on this case for several months now with undercover work,” Lewis said. “We watched through video surveillance and being at the right place at the right time (and) getting to some of these fire scenes extremely quick.” Among the incidents in which Moore allegedly was involved are fires at 604 Cypress Way on July 17, a Dumpster fire at Queen of the Rosary Parish along Michigan Avenue on June 8, and a shrubbery fire at Glassport Assembly of God along Fifth Street on Aug. 19, according to court documents.

Court documents also state the fire at 604 Cypress Way in July reportedly was caused by Moore setting a couch on fire that sat on a porch. The resulting damage to the structure made it a total loss with an estimated damage in excess of $50,000.

Lewis said Moore also is believed to be involved with a fire at 628 Ohio Ave. late last year.

Lewis lauded the efforts of investigators from the agencies working on the case. “It just speaks for itself with the undercover work and so on and so forth,” Lewis said.

No injuries were reported in connection with any of the incidents.


McKeesport Daily News August 31, 2011

READERS’ VIEWPOINT

Glassport firefighters aided victims

All you have seen in the paper lately is negative feedback about Glassport. Well, I am so proud to say that our local firemen just returned from Harrisburg where they were called out to aid the victims of Hurricane Irene.

Wayne Lewis, Jonathan Petrik, Bruce Snyir and Rick Pomycala, who are with Region 13 Swift Water Rescue, were deployed on Friday in the anticipation of destruction left behind by the hurricane, and safely returned to us on Tuesday.

Great job, guys! To put your life on the line on a daily basis to save the life of another is the most remarkable and unselfish act that one man can do.

Also, to the surrounding areas that sent their firemen as well, thank you! You see, I have family in New Jersey and North Carolina and it might have been their lives you had to save!

Terri Vietmeier

Glassport


McKeesport Daily News September 2, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following reports:

Incidents net charges

• Kevin Buczek, 20, of Glassport, is charged with simple assault and public intoxication in connection with an incident Wednesday at 8:01 p.m. along the 700 block of Ohio Avenue

• Bud Spradlin, 59, of Glassport, is charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Wednesday at 8:01 p.m. along the 700 block of Ohio Avenue.

• Thomas Spradlin, 26, of Glassport, is charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Wednesday at 9:01 p.m. along the 700 block of Ohio Avenue.

• Dominic Yeager, 41, of Glassport, is charged with simple assault in connection with an incident Wednesday at 9:01 p.m. along the 700 block of Ohio Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News September 3, 2011

Glassport crime group celebrates first year

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport Crime Watch is about getting people involved and watching out for each other.

Police liaison Lt. Ron Benoit said it is that focus that has allowed the resident-driven program to be successful.

“I see it moving forward,” Benoit said. “It’s getting a strong core of citizens that get informed.” A one-year anniversary celebration is Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the senior center along Monongahela Avenue.

It is being organized as a Light-Up Night, and the public is encouraged to show their appreciation of the program and police support by attending and turning on their porch lights between 8:30 and 11:30 p.m.

Other activities include a 50/50 raffle, door prizes and refreshments. The celebration is open to the public and not just borough residents.

The crime watch began late last September with Benoit and a small group of residents looking for a way to help people better report suspicious activity and combat crime in the borough.

Meetings originally were conducted at the borough building at 440 Monongahela Ave. The program quickly outgrew the room and moved to the senior center with the help of center director Vina March.

Its leadership steadily began to take shape in November with resident Dave Kowalski being formally named its coordinator after a presentation by Allegheny County Deputy Sheriff Jason Tarap.

“We’re doing a pretty good job,” Kowalski said. “The message is getting out there.” Borough officials assisted with crime watch’s development, and some block captains were named in subsequent meetings.

“Mayor (Michael Evanovich) and the council have been very supportive,” said resident and assistant coordinator Angelo Norelli. “They attend meetings and usually give reports as to what is going on in the borough.” “When we first launched this Lt. Benoit had put this together, and we ran it past the mayor and he thought it was a good idea,” Kowalski said. “As our mission statement states, we are a non-political group of residents. It has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with protecting yourself, your family, your property.” Norelli also serves as the Ohio Avenue block captain and organized a Meet Your Neighbor Day.

“I’m a little bit pleased and surprised (it’s been a year) because a number of boroughs have tried (a crime watch) and it didn’t get off the ground,” Norelli said.

Benoit credits Kowalski and Norelli with much of the program’s success.

“They’ve done wonders with getting things set up,” Benoit said. “They’re actually the ones that make this thing work.” Tarap, a crime prevention specialist, came for a second visit to a crime watch meeting in April to talk about fraud in its various forms and how to avoid becoming a victim.

Benoit said the crime watch meetings and special events led to “a lot more detailed (police) reports and a lot more people that are informed.” “They’re doing a lot with the seniors and putting on a lot of programs,” Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse said about the crime watch. “I know (Benoit) has a lot of citizens involved that are dedicated. I think with a little more community help it can be a real good program.

“I think there’s been an increase in calls (since crime watch started). The guys that are involved with the lieutenant and the crime watch are pretty active. They genuinely care about the community and I believe they are putting the word out to the community on how to contact the police in the event of an emergency. A lot of citizens are scared to call so these guys are helping people through that.

“It’s definitely something the town needs and Lt. Benoit’s definitely the right guy to be (liaison) on this program.” “We’re not going to let this thing die,” Kowalski said. “I don’t think that’s going to happen.” DeVerse also said he expects a strong police presence at the anniversary celebration.

Coordinators said crime watch also is about helping officers and not becoming law enforcers.

“We give out information. We do not pretend we are the police,” Kowalski said. “We have good turnouts, but I think crime watch actually scares some of the people away. They think they are volunteering to be police people ... it’s caring for everybody that’s on your block.” Kowalski noted that many crime watch members are senior citizens who want to help bring the borough back to its glory years, and it is very difficult to get youth to participate.

He said there are block parties and discussions about having the crime watch be a part of Community Day to help attract more attention.

“We’re trying to get those (younger) people involved,” Kowalski said.

The group meets at the center the first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m., and is always looking for new members and block captains.


McKeesport Daily News September 7, 2011

Glassport officer leaving to help train Afghan police

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport Deputy police Chief Shawn DeVerse is going overseas to train Afghan police.

A tentative departure date for the law enforcement veteran is Saturday, with a return date projected for sometime in September 2012.

Council unanimously supported DeVerse’s efforts by voting at a special meeting Tuesday to retain his position on the borough force, as well as approved an agreement regarding benefits such as vacation time and the retirement of his K-9 partner Zen.

“I think Glassport’s losing a good officer for a year,” Councilman Tom Bradley Jr. said. “If it’s beneficial to him and his family, that’s his decision to make.” “I think it’s a good opportunity to gain some training myself and some experience,” DeVerse said.

DeVerse’s title for the new position is uniformed Afghani police mentor. He, along with officers from all over the country, will be training Afghan officers in some of the techniques used in the United States. The effort is through DynCorp International, a global government service provider in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives.

DeVerse said he was selected to participate in training overseas based on his military and police experience.

He served in Germany as a Army private first class from 1988-90. DeVerse was hired as a part-time Glassport officer in December 1996. He was promoted to full­time in 2005, to sergeant at the end of that year, and to lieutenant in 2007. He was bumped up to his current position as deputy chief in 2008.

DeVerse also is the borough’s pepper spray and tactical handcuffing instructor.

“He’s a main cog in our wheel here,” Mayor Michael Evanovich said. “He’s made a conscious decision that he would like to go and train police officers, and we’re honoring his request. We’re going to hold his job for him until he comes back. That decision (to leave) is between him and his family. His dog will be taken out of service for a year because he is a K-9 officer.” When DeVerse comes back he will have to get Zen recertified as a police dog in order for the borough to reinstate his unit as part of the police department.

“The job that he’s taking is a monumental task,” Evanovich said. “Training people in another country with another language to be police officers, and he will be good at it because he is a good police officer. He knows his job.

“The danger involved he understands. The length of time he’s going to be gone he understands. Will we miss him? Yes. You never want to let one of your police officers go away for a year. That’s a long time.” “I think any kind of experience that he can gain over there and bring back for our guys here is a definite plus,” Bradley said. “I’m sure he was asked to go there for the reason of his knowledge and ability that they need to learn over there.” Evanovich said the borough is in the process of hiring two part-time officers and possibly more to help bridge the gap in police coverage while DeVerse is away.

“I think our mayor has a good handle on the police department,” Bradley said. “I think people (will) step up and fill the void, but it’s a big void to fill. He’s a good cop.” Solicitor Gary Matta said terms of the agreement will be made in a few days, after council’s amendments and signatures are added.

Borough manager John DeSue said any expenditures involving Zen will be the responsibility of the DeVerse family, and any vacation time as part of the agreement will be paid at the beginning of next year.

The borough won’t be responsible for DeVerse’s salary while he is overseas.

In other matters, council named Terry DiMarco its vice president for the rest of the year. DiMarco is a former mayor and council president.

The vice president’s position was held earlier this year by Jim Uziel, who is serving as council president after DeSue resigned from that post last month and was appointed borough manager.

Uziel said he and DiMarco will serve in their respective council positions for the rest of the year.

Council voted to rebid the former Glassport Pool site with the minimum acceptable bid at $30,000.


McKeesport Daily News September 9, 2011

Serving 2 countries

— Photo by Jennifer R. Vertullo/Daily News

Glassport Police Department Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse talks with McKeesport’s Assistant Chief Tom Greene about what to expect during his participation in an overseas program training Afghan police.

Greene advises as DeVerse heads to Afghanistan

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

People are called upon to serve their country in various forms.

From military service and support to offering expertise in certain fields, their efforts are geared toward making the world better for all nations.

A Glassport man is leaving his wife, children and job at home to answer the call.

Deputy police Chief Shawn DeVerse will travel overseas to train Afghan police.

A tentative departure date for the department’s second in command is Saturday, with an alternative date on Oct. 1. A return date is projected for sometime in September 2012.

DeVerse said he first applied to train people overseas in August of last year, and turned down the opportunity when it came on June 18.

He later accepted the position when it became available at the end of July.

“With further thought and talking with my family, it’s something I decided I’d like to experience doing,” he said.

The deputy chief and his wife Kathy have three children, Meghan, 10, Lindsay, 10, and Gavin, 5.

DeVerse said there were very emotional discussions before making the final decision.

“They were upset (about me leaving),” DeVerse said. “The whole decision wasn’t based on what I wanted to do. It was through conversations with my family, my wife especially ... emotional, scared ... (the children) are upset about it. I’m not sure they’re real sure exactly what is going on. They’re used to me going away for a couple days to a couple weeks at a time for certain trainings, but this is going to be something totally different for them.” DeVerse said he will be able to communicate with the family via the Internet while on base in Afghanistan.

The deputy chief declined to talk about how much he would be paid overseas, other than stating all expenses are paid and he will be compensated.

DeVerse’s title for the new position is uniformed Afghani police mentor. He and officers from across the United States will be training Afghan officers in some of the tech­niques used in their communities. The effort is through DynCorp International, a global government service provider in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives.

McKeesport assistant police Chief Tom Greene underwent the same task in Afghanistan from November 2007 to November 2008 when he was a lieutenant in the city police department.

The two law enforcement veterans have talked about what it can be like dealing with people on foreign soil.

“We have talked about half a dozen times. I brought him up to speed in what to expect, what to look for, what to request if he could,” Greene said. “What parts of the country have a lower threat level than others, and basically just told him about my time that I spent.

“The atmosphere was just as it was. The support of the local nationals was, I’d say at best, 60/40 (with) 60 percent of them not wanting to have you there, 40 percent wanting you there. My first six months, the part of the country I was in, the threat level was a little higher. My last six months the threat level was a bit more lower. I was around a bigger city and I was on a secure compound.” “He told me it’s not a vacation over there,” DeVerse said of Greene. “You’re over there to do a specific job and you’ll be doing that job pretty steadily. It has the potential to be dangerous. He told me to be careful, keep my eyes open and basically do what you’re told to do and you’ll be good to go.” Greene said the experience he gained training people while in a war zone made it easier to work in McKeesport, and DeVerse should do well over there.

“It made me a whole lot more secure as far as the threat levels I have to deal with here in the city because obviously (in Afghanistan) the threat levels are much higher,” Greene said. “It makes you more calm when dealing with this type of environment. As far as home life goes, I try to separate that. It was just great to be home and around my children. I absolutely love my children and I missed them every day that I was over there.

“I’ve known Shawn for some years. I think in comparison he’ll do well. I think he’s a good officer and he can bring something to the job, and what experience he gathers over there he can bring back to Glassport. He’ll be an asset to them over there because of it.” DeVerse said he will fly to Memphis, Tenn., where he will be picked up by the government and transported to a loca­tion in Little Rock, Ark. He then will take part in physical conditioning and weapons training before traveling to Fort Worth, Texas, and DynCorp headquarters. He will fly from Texas to Afghanistan.

DeVerse said he was selected to participate in training overseas based on his military and police experience.

He served in the Army as a private first class from 1988-1990 in an armory unit in Germany. DeVerse was hired as a part-time Glassport officer in December 1996. He was promoted to full-time in 2005, to sergeant at the end of that year, and to lieutenant in 2007. He was bumped up to his current position as deputy chief in 2008.

DeVerse also is the borough’s pepper spray and tactical handcuffing instructor.

Many borough officials said Glassport is losing one of its best and most experienced officers for the year.

Council unanimously approved an agreement holding DeVerse’s job and retiring his K-9 partner Zen for the time he is gone. DeVerse has led several narcotics searches in recent weeks that resulted in some arrests and confiscation of many marijuana plants.

The deputy chief said he is confident those efforts can continue in his absence.

“I had guys on the department working with me that will be taking my place,” he said. “I’m confident that these guys can be successful.” Glassport has six full-time officers and approximately 10 employed on a part-time basis.

Mayor Michael Evanovich said the borough is in the process of hiring two part-time officers and is looking for more to make sure there is no lack of protection.

“The job that he’s taking is a monumental task,” Evanovich said. “Training people in another country with another language to be police officers, and he will be good at it because he is a good police officer. He knows his job. ... You never want to let one of your police officers go away for a year. That’s a long time.”


McKeesport Daily News September 12, 2011

Glassport

Fire company to meet

A special meeting for all members of Glassport Citizens Hose Fire Co. No. 1 to discuss purchasing a building is scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the fire hall.


McKeesport Daily News September 12, 2011

Glassport Lions Club plans event

Glassport Lions Club board of directors will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Sons of Italy Lodge 941 in Glassport. President Annette Scarpino will have charge of the meeting.

A dinner is planned Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Sons of Italy.


McKeesport Daily News September 17, 2011

Teen accused in Glassport arsons waives charges

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivlttorio@dailynewsemail.com

A Monongahela teenager accused of burning down a house and other arsons in Glassport has waived his case to court. Edwin Moore, 18, is charged with three counts of arson - endangering persons, three counts of arson - endangering property, along with two counts of recklessly endangering another person, two counts of criminal mischief, and three counts of failure to prevent a catastrophe.

Charges stem from several firerelated incidents throughout the borough. He waived all charges at a preliminary hearing Tuesday at Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin's office. Moore was arrested last month near the intersection of Sixth Street and Cypress Way as part of an investigation by Glassport and Allegheny County police.

Citizens Hose Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 fire Chief Wayne Lewis said after the arrest that an investigation was launched several months ago in conjunction with Glassport and Allegheny County police, Allegheny County Fire Marshal's Office, himself and borough police Sgt. Cliff LaFever. "We've been on this case for several months now with undercover work," Lewis said. "We watched through video surveillance and being at the right place at the right time (and) getting to some of these fire scenes extremely quick."

Among the incidents in which Moore allegedly was involved are fires at 604 Cypress Way on July 17, a Dumpster fire at Queen of the the Rosary Parish along Michigan Avenue on June 8, and a shrubbery fire at Glassport Assembly of God along Fifth Street on Aug. 19, according to court documents. Court documents also state the fire at 604 Cypress Way in July reportedly was caused by Moore setting a couch that was on a porch on fire. The resulting damage to the structure made it a total loss with an estimated damage in excess of $50,000.

Lewis said Moore also is believed to have been involved with a fire at 628 Ohio Ave. late last year. Lewis lauded the efforts of investigators from the agencies working on the case. No injuries were reported in connection with any of the incidents. Moore is being lodged in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $30,000 bond. Formal arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 28 at 9 a.m.


McKeesport Daily News September 21, 2011

Glassport legend Matthew `Matty' Geracitano remembered

- Photo by Cindy Shegan Keeley/Daily News

Glassport legend Matthew "Matty" Geracitano is shown with a model fire truck he received for his birth day in 2007. He died Monday at the age of 75.

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dallynewsemail.com

A Glassport icon has passed on. A long-standing member of the community, borough officials remember the kindness, upbeat attitude and smile of Matthew "Matty" Geracitano that shined for decades.

"He was a legend in this town," Mayor Michael Evanovich said after Tuesday night's council meeting. He was a legend in the Valley. Everybody knew him. Matty was Glassport .. the guy always smiled. I never saw the guy with a frown. I never saw him get mad, just a legend."

Geracitano, a resident of John J. Kane Regional Center in McKeesport, died Monday. He was 75.

He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ in Glassport, Sons of Italy, honorary lifetime member of Citizens Hose Co. No. 1 and Reliance Hose Co. No. 2 and also was an honorary football coach for South Allegheny.

Geracitano was a constant presence at many borough events. "Every football game, every parade, every fire he was there," Evanovich said. "He didn't miss anything. He didn't miss a football game in 40 years. He was the town. He was what Glassport was about. Everybody loved the guy. His funeral should be immense."

A plaque honoring Geracitano rests near the memorial fountain, which is adjacent to the borough's war memorial, next to the municipal building along Monongahela Avenue. Geracitano was on hand last September when the fountain was unveiled.

Councilman Terry DiMarco remembers playing basketball with Geracitano many years ago. "We all played basketball in the playground up there," DiMarco said. "He was probably 30 playing with us. We were probably 14. My older brother, he played with him. He was just one of the guys."

"He was special," added Councilman Nancy Crncic. Geracitano's niece Maria Gooch was one of the family members who helped take care of him. Gooch said it is an emotional time for the family, and she is overwhelmed by all of the love and support from the community.

"Glassport made community Gooch said. "He was everything. ... Everybody's just been so good to him. Matty has touched a lot of hearts."

Gooch said South Allegheny coaches would pick up Geracitano for the games, and firefighters would pick him up for the parades. She also said all Glassport businesses would give gifts to him at Christmastime.

Geracitano received numerous birthday gifts from across the nation. "You need a warehouse just for all the stuff that was given to him throughout his life," DiMarco said. "Talking about sports memorabilia, fire trucks, everything you could think o£"

One of Geracitano's many friends, Shirley D'Angelo, said he was very involved with the fire companies. "He knew every fire call. They bought him his own scanner," she said. "As he was growing up, he knew everybody in town and everybody knew Matty. Everybody loved Matty. They announced his name at every function because he was always there."

"Everybody remembers Matty," said Cindy Harff, whose family is involved in the Circleville Volunteer Fire Department in North Huntingdon Township. "Anywhere you went in Glassport. If he met you he never forgot you. He was an amazing man." Harff and her husband Al would go to Glassport to spin records at events and encountered Geracitano. "When we would do shows at the Sons of Italy in Glassport, we called him our bodyguard," she said. "Everyone in Glassport took care of Matty."

Friends will be received today from 7-9 p.m. and Thursday from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at Wojciechowski Funeral Home near the intersection of Sixth Street and Vermont Avenue in Glassport. A funeral service will be held Friday at 11 a.m. in the funeral home with Minister David Nolfi officiating.

Staff Writer Patrick Cloonan contributed to this story.


McKeesport Daily News September 21, 2011

Glassport council says it won’t make manager full time

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport councilors have no interest in making the borough manager job a full-time position.

Council vice president Jim Uziel made the announcement at Tuesday night’s meeting following challenges from resident Anthony Collecchi.

Collecchi questioned how a manager is hired and how much the manager will be paid, and demanded it be put to referendum for the residents to vote on the need for such a position.

“All these people should have the right to vote on something like that,” Collecchi said.

He asked nearly the exact same questions at last month’s meeting prior to then-council president John DeSue resigning from his post, and council voting to appoint DeSue to the newly created manager position.

Councilman Eugene Skerkoski made the motion at last month’s meeting to create the position and nominated DeSue for the job. Both motions passed 5-1 with Councilman Thomas Bradley Jr. casting the lone dissenting vote. Councilman Terry DiMarco was absent.

The part-time borough manager works only as needed at a cost of $1,000 per month. The position will be reviewed at the end of the year.

“I could have sworn I stated that we would implement this on a trial basis for three months, to be reviewed at the end of December to see if we wanted to continue with a borough manager on a part-time basis,” Skerkoski said Tuesday. “We have never discussed a salary for a full-time borough manager.” Uziel said the borough never had a manager prior to this year.

Borough solicitor Gary Matta said the borough code outlines how to create the position and appoint a borough manager, and that it is not an issue to be put on a referendum.

“There is a process through the code. Council has information about that process,” Matta said.

“Something just isn’t right,” Collecchi said.

Resident Ernie Kantorczyk defended council’s choice of manager.

“I give council credit for paving the streets, buying equipment, and most of all staying within the budget and not raising taxes,” he said. “I personally know that Mr. John DeSue will be an excellent borough manager.” Uziel said many other municipalities in Allegheny County have a full-time manager, at a salary of at least $70,000 in wages and full-time benefits.

“We have an individual here who’s willing to do the same job on a part-time basis for a lousy $1,000 a month,” the council president said. “We’re making out on this deal tremendously.” DeSue said after the meeting that he has no interest in having his position be full-time, and that he is happy with serving the borough in his current capacity.

In other matters, council approved an ordinance changing parking meter costs to 25 cents per half hour instead of one hour.

There were items on the agenda regarding the borough’s pension system and police pension fund Act 600. Matta said those items were pulled for further discussion, and will be put on a future agenda.


McKeesport Daily News September 23, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Juvenile cited

A 16-year-old Glassport girl is cited with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Monday at 10:35 a.m. along Hemlock Alley.

Drinking alleged

• Nicole Rodgers, 23, of White Oak, is charged with public intoxication in connection with an incident Wednesday at 3:04 a.m. along the 800 block of Vermont Avenue.

• Wennetta Svenungsen, 60, of McKeesport, is charged with public drunkenness in connection with an incident Saturday at 10:38 p.m.


McKeesport Daily News September 23, 2011

Glassport teen charged in recent break-in spree

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport police have made an arrest in connection with multiple vehicle break-ins .

Officers began investigating a borough­wide spree of thefts from unlocked vehicles last month.

Deputy police Chief Shawn DeVerse announced Thursday that a 17-year-old Glassport male is facing numerous counts of theft charges as well as charges of loitering and prowling at night and possession of marijuana.

“Through an investigation we were able to interview him with his mother, and he wrote a statement confessing to all the vehicles that evening,” DeVerse said.

DeVerse said charges were filed through Juvenile Court, and the suspect was released back to his mother.

Officers reported 40 to 50 cars were broken into last month.

DeVerse said the suspect admitted to walking through town, and if a vehicle was unlocked he took whatever was valuable inside.

No items were recovered as of presstime, and the incident remains under investigation.

The youth also had a small amount of marijuana on him when officers took him into custody on Sept. 11, the deputy chief reported.

He was identified through the course of investigation and after a report from a resident about a theft from a vehicle as it was occurring, DeVerse said.

Officers responded to that call and tracked someone matching a description to a yard, which was the boy’s residence, DeVerse reported.

“I think it was just good police work on behalf of the department,” DeVerse said about the arrest.

The deputy chief also had some advice for residents and motorists in Glassport. “People should be more cautious and lock their vehicles as well as their homes, and don’t be so eager to leave items of value in your vehicle,” DeVerse said.


McKeesport Daily News September 24, 2011

Glassport’s ‘Matty’ Garacitano laid to rest

— Photos by Ronald Vezzani Jr./For The Daily News

Local fire and police officals from the area stand alongside the casket of Glassport icon Matthew “Matty” Geracitano, who was laid to rest Friday morning. He passed away on Monday.

Members of the Glassport Fire Department stand alongside McKeesport firefighter Jimmy Young as he plays “Amazing Grace” at the funeral service in Glassport.

Local police and fire officals stand at attention during the funeral ceremony.


McKeesport Daily News October 3, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Intoxication alleged

Gary Hopton Jr., 36, of Glassport, is charged with public intoxication in connection with an incident Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. near the intersection of Sixth Street and Monongahela Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News October 5, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Criminal mischief charged

Joseph Rohall, 22, of Glassport, is charged with two counts of criminal mischief after two incidents — one on Monday at 2 a.m. for intentionally damaging property at St. John’s Lutheran Church in the 600 block of Vermont Avenue, and again on Monday at 2:10 a.m. for intentionally breaking a vehicle’s side mirror in the 700 block of Indiana Avenue.

Disorderly conduct cited

Mark Soliday, 52, of Port Vue, is charged with disorderly conduct and harassment in connection with a verbal altercation on Saturday at 8:25 p.m. in the 600 block of Indiana Avenue.

Public intoxication noted

Justin Stull, 29, of Clairton, is charged with public intoxication after he was found staggering on the roadway Saturday at 1:30 a.m. on Ohio Avenue by the Clairton Bridge.

Juvenile charged

An 8-year-old was charged with harassment in connection with an incident Sunday at 4:45 p.m. in the 600 block of Indiana Avenue. Police said he injured another child by pushing him into the gravel.


McKeesport Daily News October 8, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

2 charged in drug incident

Two Glassport men are charged in connection with an incident involving suspected heroin that occurred Oct. 3 at approximately 9 p.m. in the 300 block of Monongahela Avenue.

Stephen Hawthorne, 36, is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication.

Justin Wiernicki, 22, is charged with possession of narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication.

Drug-related charges filed

Raelynn Mask, 20, of Glassport, is charged with possession of narcotics and possession with intent to deliver in connection with an incident involving suspected crack cocaine that took place Oct. 3 at approximately 11 p.m. in the 600 block of Hemlock Alley.


McKeesport Daily News October 8, 2011

Glassport to require licenses for scrap dealers

By JENNIFER R. VERTULLO Daily News Staff Writer jvertullo@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport authorities are following through on license requirements for those dealing in scrap metals and other discarded materials.

Under regulations dealing with licenses and permits, borough code requires all persons engaged in the junk- or scrap-dealing business within Glassport limits to first obtain a license from the borough.

The licenses require the names of the persons to whom they are issued as well as the listing of a designated place from where their scrapping operation is conducted.

Current cost of the license is $500 per year. It must be renewed on or before April 1 each year.

“The fees are being assessed to enforce an ordinance written by borough council in an effort to establish accountability for scrappers,” Glassport Mayor Michael Evanovich said. “The police will be monitoring.” Glassport police Chief Howard Kifer said citations will be issued to anyone who attempts to cash in scrap materials without a valid permit.

The scrap business has become a motive for theft, the police chief said.

“We have a lot of materials stolen from porches and people’s yards,” Kifer said. “Anything that’s not nailed down, they’re taking.”


McKeesport Daily News October 8, 2011

Glassport

ASSEMBLY OF GOD 210 Fifth Ave.

Sunday — Adult worship, Journey Kids (infant to sixth grade), 10 a.m.; adult life groups, student ministries for junior and senior high school, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday — Adult Bible study, Girls’ Ministries, Royal Rangers, 7 p.m.

—————— CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST 614 Michigan Ave.

Sunday — Sunday School, 9:30 a.m.; preaching, fellowship, 10:45 a.m.

—————— FIRST BAPTIST 519 Ohio Ave.

Sunday — Sunday School, 10:15 a.m.; service led by guest speaker, 11:15 a.m.; worship in the chapel at Kane Regional Center in McKeesport led by Pastor Wilson, 2:30 p.m.

—————— GLASSPORT UNITED METHODIST 501 Ohio Ave.

Sunday — Service with the Rev. Hal Dangel, 10 a.m.

——————

ST. JOHN LUTHERAN 641 Vermont Ave.

Sunday — Service with Judith Phelps, 11 a.m.

——————

QUEEN OF THE ROSARY 530 Michigan Ave.

Saturday — Mass, 5 p.m.

Sunday — Mass, 8:30 and 11 a.m.

Monday-Friday — Mass, 8 a.m.


McKeesport Daily News October 19, 2011

Glassport

Flu shots offered

Clairton Volunteer Fire Department, in collaboration with the Mon River Fleet, state Department of Health, State Health Improvement Plan Partnerships, Local Emergency Medical Service and UPMC McKeesport, will administer free flu shots to Glassport employees and residents age 18 and older on Monday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Glassport Senior Center, 544 Monongahela Ave.

This seasonal influenza vaccine contains the H1N1 vaccine. Shots will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.


McKeesport Daily News October 20, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Charges filed

• Leigh Topolansky, 30, of Glassport, is charged with harassment in connection with an incident on Oct. 10 at 10:35 p.m. along the 400 block of Iowa Avenue.

• Dana Burger, 42, of Glassport, is charged with harassment in connection with an incident on Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. along the 200 block of Monongahela Avenue.

• Terry Pettis, 43, of Glassport, was charged with public intoxication on Oct. 8 at 12 p.m. near the intersection of Sixth Street and Monongahela Avenue.

• Police issued a citation on Oct. 7 at 9 a.m. for violation of the borough's weeds and grass ordinance at 737 Ohio Ave.

• Larry Latanzi, no age given, of Glassport, is charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident on Oct. 7 at 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of Third Street and Monongahela Avenue.

Juveniles charged

• Three Glassport girls, ages 12, 14 and 17, were charged with a curfew violation on Oct. 9 at 12:50 a.m. near the intersection of Ohio Avenue and Fifth Street.

• A 16-year-old Glassport boy is charged with harassment in connection with an incident Sunday at 4:30 p.m. along the 900 block of Ohio Avenue.

Criminal activity reported

• Justin Wiernicki, 22, of Glassport, faces charges of public intoxication and possession of controlled substances in connection with an incident Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. along the 300 block of Monongahela Avenue.

• Raelynn Mask, 20, of Glassport, is charged with possession with intent to deliver and possession of controlled substances on Oct. 3 at 11 p.m. along the 600 block of Hemlock Alley.

• Dolores Keeler, 48, of Glassport, is charged with DUI and careless driving in connection with an incident on Oct. 13 at 10:12 p.m. along the 800 block of Monongahela Avenue.

• Stephen Nosich, 42, of Glassport, is charged with criminal mischief in connection with an incident on Oct. 1 at 4:03 a.m. along the 900 block of Indiana Avenue.

• Robbin Washington, 52, of Pittsburgh, is charged with retail theft in connection with an incident on Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. along the 700 block of Monongahela Avenue.

• Martin DeFrances, 27, of McKeesport, is charged with harassment in connection with an incident on Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. near the intersection of Ninth Street and Allegheny Avenue.

• Dawn Johnson, 31, of Glassport, was charged with animal cruelty on Oct. 14 at 11:10 a.m. along the 800 block of Monongahela Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News October 22, 2011

Glassport

Bingo slated

Glassport Crime Watch is sponsoring a bingo Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Glassport Senior Center. Doors open at 6 and admission is $20. Food and refreshments will be available along with a 50/50 raffle and door prizes. Proceeds benefit the Glassport Public Safety Department.


McKeesport Daily News October 26, 2011

Concerns mount over collapsing building

Bricks fell from this Glassport structure at 842 Ohio Ave. Tuesday morning, almost hitting two pedestrians.

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

A collapsing building in Glassport is raising safety and energy concerns.

A structure at 848 Ohio Ave. was taped off after multiple bricks fell into the sidewalk Tuesday morning, narrowly avoiding hitting two people.

Glassport firefighters, Mayor Michael Evanovich and borough manager John DeSue joined other borough officials and residents at the scene to observe the damage and ensure no one was hurt.

Firefighters said no one was in the building, which houses two fully furnished apartments, at the time of the collapse. They said mail was stopped at the residences more than a week ago.

Evanovich said that two men were walking along the sidewalk by the house and were nearly struck by falling bricks.

The building’s utilities were shut off Monday, and the structure is near one of the major power lines for the borough. “If (those lines) fall, it will cut off power to half the town,” the mayor explained.

DeSue said the homeowner has been cited for tall weeds and grass and various ordinance violations before, and even missed some hearings.

According to Allegheny County’s real estate website, the owners are Thomas and Colleen Mellor.

Police Chief Howard Kifer said the last known address of the property owners is along Ridge Street in McKeesport.

The mayor said he will meet with the building inspector to see what the borough can do to possibly condemn and demolish the site.

(- Photo by Cindy Shegan Keely/Daily News)

Glassport residents and officials are concerned for public safety after bricks fell from this structure at 842 Ohio Ave.


McKeesport Daily News October 27, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Juvenile charged

A 17-year-old Glassport boy is charged with possession of controlled substances and possession with intent to deliver in connection with an incident Thursday at 8 p.m. along the 400 block of Ohio Avenue.

Residents face charges

• Christopher McLaughlin, 46, of Glassport, is charged with theft by unlawful taking in connection with an incident Feb. 16, 2010, at 11 a.m. at a construction company along Harrison Street.

• Dianne Michel, 44, of Glassport, is charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Tuesday at 8:22 p.m. along the 600 block of Delaware Avenue.

• Bradley Argyle, 22, of Glassport, is charged with criminal mischief in connection with an incident Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. along the 500 block of Ohio Avenue.

• Julianna Victor, 45, of Glassport, is charged with two counts of possession of controlled substances and two counts of possession with intent to deliver in connection with an incident Tuesday at 10 p.m. along the 700 block of Vermont Avenue.

Citations issued

Police issued 20 citations to Glassport and out-of-town landlords Wednesday morning for failure to apply for residential licenses and other paperwork.


McKeesport Daily News October 29, 2011

Glassport mayor signs disaster declaration

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport officials have declared a dilapidated building along Ohio Avenue a disaster area.

Mayor Michael Evanovich signed a declaration of disaster emergency Friday for a structure at 842 Ohio Ave.

The declaration is the start of a process to get emergency funding from Allegheny County to bring the building down.

According to the declaration, “The impending structure collapse has seriously affected the safety, health and welfare of a substantial number of citizens of Glassport, and was of such magnitude or severity to exhaust all local resources and available forces.” Multiple bricks fell from the structure onto a sidewalk, narrowly avoiding hitting two people Tuesday morning. Borough firefighters taped off the area that day.

“We have a problem with the one side,” the mayor said. “There’s still some bricks up there that are loose.” The borough still needs to conduct hearings and other legal measures before the building can be razed. The disaster declaration does not let the municipality circumvent the municipality’s demolition process, which could take at least a few months.

“It doesn’t make it any easier,” the mayor said. “It’s just part of a seven­step process. That building’s going to be quite costly to come down.” Borough officials have had a hard time trying to track down the owner of the building, who has been cited for tall weeds and grass and various ordinance violations.

Police Chief Howard Kifer said the last known address of the property owner is along Ridge Street in McKeesport.


McKeesport Daily News November 3, 2011

Glassport costume winners listed

By THE DAILY NEWS

Glassport’s Halloween Parade costume contest winners have been announced.

Savannah Milos took first place in the prettiest category followed by Bethany Seman and Brylee Carter in second and third place, respectively.

Malanna Snipe took first place in the scariest/ugliest category followed by Corian Coleman and Tommy Napiecek in second and third place, respectively.

Emma Taylor took first place in the most original category followed by Lindsay DeVerse and D.J. Deliman, respectively.

Prizes can be picked up at the borough office. For more information, call 412-672-7400.


McKeesport Daily News November 4, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following inci­dent reports:

Juvenile charged

An 11-year-old Glassport boy is charged with criminal mischief in connection with an incident Monday at 3:20 p.m. near the intersection of Fifth Street and Ohio Avenue.

Assault alleged

David Dolton, 51, of Glassport, is charged with simple assault, terroristic threats and harassment in connection with an incident Monday at 9:15 p.m. along the 1000 block of Minnesota Avenue.

Citations issued

Police said they issued citations this week to Glassport and out-of-town landlords for violations of rental licenses and paperwork.


McKeesport Daily News November 10, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Incidents net charges

• Marvin Herrion III, 27, of McKeesport, is charged with criminal mischief in con­nection with an incident Oct. 31 at 9 p.m. along the 1000 block of Delaware Avenue.

• Jason Hoover, 34, of McKeesport, is charged with harassment in connection with an incident Friday at 4 p.m. near the intersection of N. Monongahela Avenue and Lincoln Street.

• James Buck, 63, of Glassport, is charged with public intoxication in connection with an incident Friday at 3 p.m. along the 700 block of Monongahela Avenue.

• Linda Baker, 39, of West Mifflin, is charged with careless driving, driving vehicle at unsafe speed, DUI, and driving with a suspended license in connection with an incident Monday at 9:40 p.m. near the intersection of Ohio and Broadway avenues.

• Mathew Carter, 28, of Glassport, is charged with aggravated assault in connection with an incident Friday at 10:15 p.m. along the 800 block of Monongahela Avenue.

• William Helmick, 50, of McKeesport, is charged with DUI and accident involving damage to attended vehicle or property in connection with an incident Friday at 8:47 p.m. near the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Naomi Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News November 14, 2011

Glassport officer’s wife shoots herself outside station

By THE DAILY NEWS

An Elizabeth woman shot herself outside the Glassport police station, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Jennifer Piccini, 40, was declared dead at UPMC McKeesport Saturday at 10:25 p.m.

Examiner’s office officials said cause of death is a gunshot wound to the head, and manner of death is pending further investigation.

According to reports, the fatal shooting incident occurred outside the station in Glassport around 9:24.

The woman is believed to be the wife of a Glassport police officer who reportedly was on duty at the time of the incident.

Glassport and Allegheny County investigators were unavailable at presstime.


McKeesport Daily News November 15, 2011

Allegheny County police investigating Glassport suicide

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

“We believe the gunshot was self­inflicted.” — Lt. Andrew Schurman, Allegheny County Homicide

Allegheny County police continue to investigate the death of a Glassport officer’s wife.

Jennifer Piccini, 40, of Elizabeth, was declared dead at UPMC McKeesport Saturday at 10:25 p.m.

Officials at the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office reported that the manner of death is pending further investigation, and the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head.

According to reports, Piccini had an argument at the Glassport police station with her husband, part-time officer Michael Piccini, and then turned the gun on herself.

Saturday night’s fatal shooting occurred outside the station around 9:24 p.m.

Glassport police Chief Howard Kifer said Michael Piccini and another officer on duty at the time were placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation, and referred all further questions to Allegheny County police.

“We’re not to say anything about it,” the chief said.

“We believe the gunshot was self­inflicted,” Allegheny County Homicide Lt. Andrew Schurman said.

He also stated nothing happened inside the police station, and that the woman fired a shot into a vehicle in the parking lot behind the station and did not shoot at officers.

Schurman did not identify the two officers who were on duty at the time of the incident.

No additional information was released.


McKeesport Daily News November 16, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Drinking charges filed

• Frank Prince Jr., 28, of Glassport, is charged with public drunkenness in connection with an incident Saturday at 11:30 p.m. at the fire hall along Monongahela Avenue.

• Jeffrey Howard, 35, of McKeesport, is charged with public drunkenness in connection with an incident Thursday at 6 p.m. along the 500 block of Oak Alley.

• A 17-year-old Port Vue boy is charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident in connection with an incident Thursday at 12:13 p.m. along the 300 block of Monongahela Avenue.

Drug charges filed

Edward Jones, 18, of McKeesport, is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with an incident Nov. 9 at 8:30 p.m. at a sewage plant along Harrison Street.

Citations issued

Police said they issued citations this week to Glassport and out-of-town landlords for violations of rental licenses and paper work.


McKeesport Daily News November 16, 2011

Glassport OKs borough manager pact

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport borough manager John DeSue is formally contracted with the borough for part-time services.

Council approved a two-year agreement at Tuesday night’s meeting by a vote of 6-1, with councilman Thomas Bradley dissenting.

Bradley was appointed to council in August at the same meeting during which DeSue resigned from the board and was appointed borough manager. Bradley voted against DeSue’s new position at the time.

The appointed councilman said his no vote was not against DeSue, but based on his limited time on council.

“I can’t make an informed decision on a situation like that not knowing any of it,” Bradley said. “My vote has to be no. I’m not saying I’m against a borough manager, but I can’t say yes to something I don’t know a whole lot about. I don’t know what he did for the last umpteen years.

“I really didn’t have any time in the chair to make an informed decision. I voted no (then) and I voted no today.” “I think it’s a very fair contract,” said council president James Uziel, noting the terms of the contract were similar to the terms approved in August.

DeSue will work part time on an as­needed basis at a cost of $1,000 per month with no health benefits. He is compensated for mileage and parking on out-of-town trips.

Borough solicitor Gary Matta said there are stipulations in the contract such as a severance package of a year’s salary, or roughly $12,000, if council votes to remove DeSue from his position without cause.

Uziel said DeSue could back out of the contract, and council could terminate his employment, following a hearing, for inappropriate conduct.

DeSue said prior to the meeting that the contract provides paperwork solidifying council’s actions from earlier this year, and his current project is working on the budget to ensure there is no tax increase planed for next year.

No residents spoke out about DeSue’s contract during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting.

Council authorized Twin Rivers Council of Governments to proceed with sending out for bid the demolition of the former St. Cecilia’s Church.

The Catholic church and school building has been closed for more than a decade, and will be demolished in the near future.

The borough acquired a $215,000 Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund grant to bring the structure along Ohio Avenue to the ground.

The borough has been working for more than nine years to find a way to address the dilapidated structure. Efforts began when current Councilman Terry DiMarco was mayor.

“We’re not just going to leave an empty lot,” DiMarco said. “We’ll try to have something where we don’t have to keep taking care of it.” The church, founded in 1901, has been subject to vandalism and general deterioration throughout the years.

Part of the demolition will include flattening the ground to the same level as Ohio Avenue, planting wildflowers and installing fencing.

Senate Engineering is the firm working with Twin Rivers COG on the project.


McKeesport Daily News November 18, 2011

Glassport

Candlelight vigil set

A candlelight vigil is planned for Saturday at 7 p.m. at the municipal parking lot behind the police station for Elizabeth resident Jennifer Piccini, the wife of borough officer Michael Piccini, who shot herself Saturday.


McKeesport Daily News November 26, 2011

DeVerse is leaving today

SHAWN DEVERSE

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

A Glassport law enforcement specialist finally will have a chance to impart some wisdom overseas after months of delay.

Deputy police Chief Shawn DeVerse is flying from Pittsburgh today to begin the process of teaching U.S. policing techniques with law enforcement officials in Afghanistan.

“I’m excited to go and have this experience,” DeVerse said. “On the same note, I’m nervous and scared to death.” DeVerse’s title for the new position is uniformed Afghan police mentor. He, along with officers from all over the country, will be training Afghan officers in some of the

techniques used in the United States. The effort is through DynCorp International, a global government service provider in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives.

The deputy chief spent this past week with his wife Kathy and their three children, Meghan, 10; Lindsay, 10; and Gavin, 5.

“It’s been real emotional with my family,” DeVerse said. “I’ve just been kind of keeping to myself with my kids and my wife.” He will travel this morning to Memphis, Tenn., where he will be picked up by the government and transported to a location in Little Rock, Ark. He then will take part in physical conditioning and weapons training before traveling to Fort Worth, Texas, and DynCorp headquarters. He will fly from Texas to Afghanistan.

An extensive background check was part of the process in DeVerse’s selection, and his departure was delayed several times with paperwork. DeVerse originally was set to leave in September and again in October.

DeVerse contacted U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, to see if he could help get the paperwork pushed through, and credits Doyle with moving the process forward.

Doyle’s communications director Matt Dinkel said the federal Office of Personnel Management was contacted on Sept. 22, 23 and 29 as well as Oct. 14, and the con­gressman personally contacted OPM director John Berry regarding the matter.

“(Doyle) helped get the ball rolling in Washington, D.C.,” DeVerse said. “I had no idea that security clearance took some lengthy time. I was advised by DynCorp that it would take maybe four to six weeks. I come to find out they could take anywhere from four weeks to four months. It’s just a matter of how backed up the Office of Personnel Management is. After (that office) approved it, it had to go over to the Department of Defense and Department of Army for final approval.

“That was all sped up. Once the congressman got involved everything went along pretty expeditiously,” he said.

The departure confirmation also ends a roller coaster of emotions within the DeVerse household.

“Of course they don’t want me to go, but I think they have a little relief knowing that I’m actually going versus being held back again,” DeVerse said.

Glassport police Chief Howard Kifer took DeVerse off the schedule for some time as he was planning to maintain borough coverage in the deputy chief’s absence.

During his time in limbo, DeVerse continued to work in the borough primarily in narcotics investigations. He went back on the schedule two weeks ago while the paperwork issue was addressed. Kifer took DeVerse back off active patrols after a departure date was confirmed.

“He’s deputy chief,” Kifer said. “He pulled a lot of weight. The department’s going to miss him. The family, the borough will miss him. We can’t fill a deputy chief position, but we have to fill his schedule.” Part-time officers will fill the schedule as well as serve different functions while DeVerse is away, the chief said.

Council unanimously approved an agreement holding DeVerse’s job and retiring his K-9 partner Zen for the time he is gone. That agreement has since been amended due to DeVerse’s delayed departure.

DeVerse said the new deal took effect Monday and extends through February 2013. He also must give the borough 30 days notice if he is to return in December 2012, when the agreement was originally set to expire.

When DeVerse comes back he will have to get Zen recertified as a police dog in order for the borough to reinstate his unit.

“All the other parts of the agreement, as far as the dog and security in the rank, stayed the same,” he said.

The company is providing Internet access so DeVerse can communicate with his family via email and Skype. He is expected to return at the end of next year.

DeVerse said he was selected to participate in training overseas based on his military and police experience. He served in the Army as a private first class from 1988-90 in an armory unit in Germany.

DeVerse was hired as a part-time Glassport officer in December 1996. He was promoted to full time in 2005, to sergeant at the end of that year, and to lieutenant in 2007. He was bumped up to deputy chief in 2008.


McKeesport Daily News December 5, 2011

AL 443 events listed

Glassport American Legion Post 443 executive board only will meet Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. There will not be a regular meeting this month. The Christmas party is planned for Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.


McKeesport Daily News December 13, 2011

Glassport

Christmas party set

A Christmas party for children is set for Sunday from 5-8 p.m. at the American Legion Post 443 along Monongahela Avenue.

The free event is sponsored by the borough. Santa will be there. Refreshments, cookies, rigatoni and ice cream will be served. A craft table will be available for the children along with the Tiffany Sopp dancers.

Fire company to meet

Glassport Citizens Hose Fire Co. No. 1 will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. at the fire hall.

Candy to be distributed

Glassport Citizens Hose Fire Co. No. 1 will distribute candy to children in the borough on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.


McKeesport Daily News December 14, 2011

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Criminal activity reported

Leroy Richel, 20, of Glassport, is charged with harassment by phone in connection with an incident Saturday at 7:45 p.m. along Hemlock Alley.

• Scott DeVerse, 41, of McKeesport, is charged with harassment in connection with an incident Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. near the intersection of Sixth Street and Monongahela Avenue.

• John Rager, 33, of Glassport, is charged with public intoxication and harassment in connection with an incident Thursday at 8:40 p.m. near the intersection of Eighth Street and Monongahela Avenue.

• Justin Capicotto, 20, of Clairton, is charged with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault and terroristic threats in connection with an incident Dec. 3 at 6:41 a.m. along the 600 block of Monongahela Avenue.

• Shane Kucsman, 19, of McKeesport, is charged with possession of controlled substances, public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia and harassment in connection with an incident Nov. 27 at 9:42 p.m. near the intersection of Sixth Street and Monongahela Avenue.

• Erica Walker, 25, of Clairton, is charged with theft in connection with an incident Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at Foodland along Monongahela Avenue.

• Amanda Nigriss, 27, no address given, is charged with disorderly conduct, driving without a license, driving with a learners permit and no licensed driver, careless driving, and providing false information to police in connection with an incident Saturday at 10:13 a.m. along the 800 block of Ohio Avenue.

Warning issued

Police Chief Howard Kifer said people will be cited for trespassing if on U.S. Postal Service property along the 700 block of Monongahela Avenue after business hours.

Cameras are in place, and officers will be monitoring that area, the chief said.


McKeesport Daily News December 19, 2011

Holiday treats

— Photos by Norma Kutscher/For The Daily News

Members of Glassport Citizens Hose Co. No. 1, above, drive through the streets of town Saturday with, center front, Mayor Michael Evanovich, firefighters, family members and Santa Claus handing out candy to borough children. Below, Vienna Petruzzi, 7, and her sister Abby Petruzzi, 3, receive candy from Santa Claus and his helper, Luke Johnson, 12, compliments of Glassport Citizens Hose Co. No. 1. The candy was purchased with money collected during fire company boot drives.


McKeesport Daily News December 21, 2011

Glassport: No hike in taxes for 2012

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport residents will not have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay real estate taxes.

Tuesday night, council unanimously adopted its 2012 budget by a 6-0 vote, and retained the current tax rate of 8.99 mills, with .75­mills as a fire tax.

Councilman Terry DiMarco was absent.

Taxes were last raised in 2007 from 7.6 to 8.99 mills.

Council president Jim Uziel called next year’s spending plan a “bare bones” budget.

“You’re not going to see as much spending next year as you did this year,” he said. “This year we sort of had money invested. We were able to spend some money. Next year, I think we’re on sound financial ground. I don’t foresee a lot of extravagant expenditures.” Budget documents list revenues and expenditures at $1,817,660.

Revenues include $912,430 in real estate tax, $352,730 in Act 511 taxes, $121,500 in licenses/permits, $33,500 in fines and forfeits, $15,500 in interest/ rents/royalties, $86,500 in intergovernmental revenue, $6,000 in departmental earnings, $5,500 in miscellaneous revenue, and $284,000 in other sources.

Expenditures include $204,100 for administration, $15,500 for tax collection, $40,200 for buildings and plants, $522,600 for police, $115,950 for the fire department, $1,000 for sanitation, $519,000 for public works, $11,250 for recreation, $113,000 for debt service, $115,060 for insurance, $130,000 for employee benefits, and $10,000 for other uses.

Uziel highlighted some of council’s accomplishments in recent years including paving projects, acquiring a four-wheel backhoe, addressing cracks in roads, improvements on the senior and youth center, along with advancing other equipment upgrades and fixing the borough garage roof.

“All of this was done without raising taxes,” Uziel said.

He noted not as much paving will be performed in 2012.

“While you’re doing maintenance on roads, you’re not doing total reconstruction,” Uziel said. “No real paving, unless one road possibly. More repair work, but nothing major. The equipment’s in good shape. The police are in good shape. There’s really not a need for major expenditures.” He lauded the efforts of borough manager John DeSue for coming up with a budget that held the tax line.

“That’s what he’s here for. That’s why he’s borough manager,” Uziel said.

Council adopted a resolution to seek a tax anticipation loan from First Commonwealth Bank. An amount was not discussed, but last year’s loan was for $400,000.

Council is looking into a possible partial demolition of the municipal building and improving police department headquarters.

This was the last meeting for Uziel and Councilman James Foster. Newcomers Anna Maria Kudla and David F. Kowalski, along with incumbent Nancy Heath Crncic and appointed Councilman Thomas W. Bradley, will be sworn in by Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin at the Jan. 3 reorganization meeting at 7:30 p.m.


McKeesport Daily News December 22, 2011

Glassport

Police released the following incident reports:

Juveniles charged

• A 15-year-old Port Vue girl and a 17-year-old Glassport girl both are charged with curfew violations in connection with an incident Monday at 12:20 a.m. near the intersection of Maryland Avenue and Seventh Street.

• A Glassport girl, no age given, is charged with retail theft in connection with an incident Friday at 3:40 p.m. at the Red Hot Dollar along Monongahela Avenue.

Disorderly conduct alleged

Samantha Gergley, 19, of McKeesport, is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in connection with an incident Friday near the intersection of Third Street and Ohio Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News December 27, 2011

— Photo by Eric Slagle/Daily News

Michael Warman holds a petition he and Thomas Harding are circulating in order to demonstrate that there is community support for a designated area in Glassport ywhere the and their friends can ride bikes.

Glassport riders seek biking area

By ERIC SLAGLE Daily News Staff Writer eslagle@dailynewsemail.com

Some BMX bicyclists are looking for their own place to ride in Glassport.

Michael Warman, 20, of Glassport, is spearheading a petition drive in the borough to demonstrate that there is support among residents for a designated riding area where he and approximately a dozen other local stunt riders can practice their routines without getting hassled by neighbors and motorists.

“Everywhere we go they tell us to leave,” said Warman, who plans to take his petition and ideas for the park to a borough council meeting in January.

Warman said he’s collected approximately 200 signatures already.

“I’d say 99.9 percent of (the signers) say it’s a good idea,” said Warman, who noted that he’s only been refused by three of the people he’s approached so far.

In 2005, Glassport opened a skateboard and BMX park on an old tennis court at the Harrison Street playground that had ramps, half-pipes and other equipment that enabled riders to perform tricks. The park was a target for vandals, however, and was closed a few years later.

Since then, riders like Warman and his friend, Thomas Harding, 17, also of Glassport, have lamented its loss and sought out new places to ride. “There was so much more they could have done with that place,” Harding said of the old facility.

Warman and Harding both say that it is mostly residents and motorists who take a dim view of their activities, though they have on occasion been warned by police that they will be cited if they ride where they are not welcome.

Warman, who is training for a career in criminal justice at Kaplan Career Institute, said a park would give riders like himself an alternative to hanging out on the street. Such a facility wouldn’t even have to be outfitted with the equipment typically associated with BMX, Warman said. “We just want a place to ride without getting harassed.” Warman said he and his friends do occasionally go to designated BMX parks in Monroeville, South Park and Penn Hills, but added that those facilities are too far to go to on a regular basis.

Glassport Mayor Michael Evanovich spoke with Warman outside a recent council meeting and advised him to return to the next council meeting with a proposal for a park.

“I’d like to see something done,” the mayor said. “But it all comes down to money.” In addition to costs, Evanovich said there are liability issues that would have to be considered by the borough. He also noted the municipality doesn’t own a lot of vacant property.


McKeesport Daily News January 3, 2012

Glassport

Fire company to meet

Glassport Citizens Hose Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. at the fire hall.


McKeesport Daily News January 4, 2012

Some administrative posts still open in Glassport

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Many administrative positions remain open in Glassport following council’s reorganization meeting.

Councilors tabled numerous motions, except to appoint a president and vice president, at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Those motions included naming a borough secretary, financial secretary, treasurer, engineer, fire chief, assistant fire chief, police chief, official newspaper, official depository, building inspector, code enforcement officer, emergency management coordinator and assistant emergency management coordinator.

Councilwoman Nancy Crncic, who made the motion to table most of the agenda, said letters of intent were not received from many of the people currently in those positions. Councilman Terry DiMarco was named president and Councilman Eugene Skerkoski vice president.

Skerkoski said the remaining positions will be discussed at Tuesday’s workshop, and voted on at the Jan. 17 meeting at 7 p.m. Borough solicitor Gary Matta said people currently serving in the those posts will remain in those positions until council votes otherwise.

Current borough secretary is Nancy Piazza Whaby; financial secretary, Andrea Foster; treasurer, Tracy Harris; engineer, The EADS Group; fire chief, Wayne Lewis; assistant fire chief, Bruce Snyir; police chief, Howard Kifer; official newspaper, The Daily News ; official depository, First Commonwealth Bank; building inspector, Steve Volpe; code enforcement officer, Dan Kolick; and emergency management coordinator, Ken Carroll, and assistant emergency management coordinator, Jay Smith.

Whaby said the position of solicitor was placed on Tuesday’s agenda, but should be discussed next Tuesday and voted on in the same manner as the other unresolved issues.

Crncic, along with incumbent Thomas Bradley Jr. and newcomers David Kowalski and Anna Kudla, were all sworn into new four-year terms by Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin.

Martin and Mayor Michael Evanovich congratulated the new and incumbent councilors.

Bradley was appointed to council in August when former council president John DeSue resigned and became borough manager. James Uziel took over as president at the time.

Kowalski and Kudla replace Uziel and former Councilman James Foster, who both lost in the primary election and did not run in the general election.

Bradley’s first motion of the new year was to open the 2012 budget.

He said the new councilors should get a chance to review the spending plan.

Council unanimously adopted this year’s budget at the Dec. 20 meeting by a 6-0 vote, and retained the current tax rate of 8.99 mills, with .75 mills as a fire tax.

DiMarco was absent at that meeting. He participated in Tuesday night’s meeting via telephone.

Taxes last were raised in 2007 from 7.6 to 8.99 mills.

Budget documents list revenues and expenditures at $1,817,660.

Revenues include $912,430 in real estate tax, $352,730 in Act 511 taxes, $121,500 in licenses/permits, $33,500 in fines and forfeits, $15,500 in interest/ rents/royalties, $86,500 in intergovernmental revenue, $6,000 in departmental earnings, $5,500 in miscellaneous revenue, and $284,000 in other sources.

Expenditures include $204,100 for administration, $15,500 for tax collection, $40,200 for buildings and plants, $522,600 for police, $115,950 for the fire department, $1,000 for sanitation, $519,000 for public works, $11,250 for recreation, $113,000 for debt service, $115,060 for insurance, $130,000 for employee benefits, and $10,000 for other uses.


McKeesport Daily News January 7, 2012

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Assault alleged

Brandon Tomcheck, 25, of Glassport, is charged with false imprisonment and simple assault in connection with an incident Sunday at 11:15 a.m. along the 900 block of Indiana Avenue.

Criminal activity reported

• James McCusker, 53, of McKeesport, is charged with receiving stolen property in connection with an incident Aug. 17 at 6:27 p.m. at a business near the intersection of Seventh and Allegheny avenues.

• Michael Vitullo, 52, of Glassport, is charged with criminal mischief in connection with an incident Monday at 9:32 a.m. along the 300 block of Marie Street.


McKeesport Daily News January 9, 2012

Glassport Lions list events

Glassport Lions Club is announcing January events.

The board of directors will host a business meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Sons of Italy Lodge 941 in Glassport. Annette Scarpino will preside.

A dinner meeting is set for Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Sons of Italy in Glassport.


McKeesport Daily News January 9, 2012

Glassport

Police released the following incident reports:

Drinking alleged

• Daniel Kiester, 43, of Glassport, is charged with public intoxication and retail theft in connection with an incident Friday at 10:02 p.m. along the 600 block of Monongahela Avenue.

• Christopher Mains, 18, of Glassport, is charged with public drunkenness and underage drinking in connection with an incident Saturday at 5:33 a.m. near the intersection of Wall Street and Atlantic Avenue. Mains also was charged with disorderly conduct at the same location Sunday at 12:33 a.m.

• Dylan Fox, 18, of Port Vue, is charged with public intoxication, underage drinking, aggravated assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Saturday at 12:33 a.m. along the 900 block of Delaware Avenue.

3 cited for disorderly conduct

Emily McNeil, 19, of Elizabeth, Michael Fries, 18, of Glassport, and Haylie Anthony, 19, of Elizabeth, all are charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Saturday at 12:33 a.m. near the intersection of Wall Street and Atlantic Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News January 14, 2012

Officials seek Glassport bank robbery suspect

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport police and the FBI are investigating a robbery at Huntington Bank alon the 600 block of Monongahela Avenue Friday morning.

Detectives from the FBI and Glassport police are searching for a suspect in the robbery of Huntington Bank along Monongahela Avenue.

Police Chief Howard Kifer said a thin black man, 6 feet 4 inches tall, wearing big glasses and a black and yellow jacket, came in the front door of the business and demanded money from two tellers Friday around 10:05 a.m.

The suspect allegedly showed at least the first teller a handgun, and fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of money, Kifer said.

“He demanded $20s, $50s and $100s,” the chief said. “He then went to the second window, and at the second window did the same thing. She gave him what she had, and we got the call. He stepped out the back door, went up Oak Way and up the alley. We called all units available out to give us a hand with this and block off the area, and see if we could find him.” Clairton, Liberty, Port Vue and McKeesport police responded to the area. Approximately a five-block perimeter was established. A Clairton officer stood along Oak Way while a McKeesport K-9 unit tried to track the suspect’s possible path through various alleys and side streets, to no avail.

Kifer said investigators are seeking a statement from a customer who was in the bank at the time of the incident.

South Allegheny School District’s schools were placed on lockdown as a result of the incident.

District spokeswoman Laura Thomson said a call was received from police around 10:15 a.m.

Principals advised their staff that there was an incident, to make sure exterior doors were closed, and to limit students in the hallways.

“It was just a precaution because our schools are locked regardless,” Thomson said.

Police notified the district around noon to resume normal programming. The incident did not disrupt dismissal.

Thomson said Friday was an early dismissal day due to professional development. The high school dismissed around 12:30 p.m., middle school at 1 p.m., elementary school at 1:30 p.m. and the early childhood center at 1:45 p.m.

The chief said this is the first robbery at the bank since his 25 years with the force of which he’s aware. Huntington Bank is the only bank in the borough.

The FBI has taken over the investigation. Anyone with information regarding the incident should contact Glassport police at 412-672-4514 or the FBI at 412-432-4000.


McKeesport Daily News January 17, 2012

Glassport VFC posts officers

By THE DAILY NEWS

Glassport Citizens Hose Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1’s 2012 executive officers are president Raymond Johnson, vice president Craig Rice, recording secretary Brian Niecgorski, financial secretary Nick Sorrentino, treasurer Anthony Moranelli and Chaplain Mike Pollack.

Trustees are James Borkowski, Mike Pollack, Anthony Foster, John Farally and Wayne Lewis III.

Line officers are department Chief Wayne Lewis Jr., assistant Chief Bruce Snyir, deputy Chief Jonathan Petrik, Capt. Wayne Lewis III, 1st Lt. Anthony Foster and 2nd Lt. Kenneth Brownfield.

Safety officers are Jay Smith, Brian Gregg and Niecgorski.

Capt. Jose Steffan, James Foster, Whitney Semian and Lowell Gregg are fire police.


McKeesport Daily News January 17, 2012

Glassport

Fire company to meet

Glassport Citizens Hose Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. at the fire hall.

There will be a second reading of the bylaw change.


McKeesport Daily News January 18, 2012

Glassport fills borough staff by making reappointments

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport officials have reappointed several of the borough’s administrators to new terms.

Councilors started the process of completing the staff at their reorganization meeting earlier this month and continued at their meeting Tuesday night.

Council unanimously reappointed Howard Kifer as police chief, Wayne Lewis as fire chief, Bruce Snyir as assistant fire chief, Ken Carroll as emergency management coordinator, Tracy Harris as treasurer, Gary Matta of Dodaro, Matta & Cambest as solicitor, and The Daily News as the borough’s official newspaper.

Council appointed Senate Engineering as the borough engineer, a change from last year’s engineer, The EADS Group. Council vice president Eugene Skerkoski said The EADS Group provided good service, but council wanted to go with Senate Engineering.

KLH Engineers was named sewer engineer, Steve Volpe as building inspector, Dan Beisler as zoning hearing board solicitor, Gouker & Mendowitz Towing as towing contractors, and Jim Foster as zoning hearing board member.

Councilors declined to appoint the positions at the reorganization meeting, stating they had not received letters of interest from all of the candidates.

Councilman Paul Trunzo announced the borough is working with Nickolich Sanitation to address garbage collection issues, and reminded residents to make sure their garbage bill is paid and up to date. The company is known to have stopped garbage collection to those with delinquent bills, and garbage build-up is a borough ordinance violation.

Trunzo said residents will be subject to a hearing with Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin for failure to comply with the ordinance.

Council heard the concerns of resident Michael Warman, who is spearheading a petition drive in the borough to open a BMX and skateboard park.

Skerkoski suggested Warman meet with Councilman David Kowalski, parks and recreation chairman, to discuss his vision for the park, and bring some sort of plan.

“I’m sure we have some insurance issues to look at,” Kowalski said.

Kowalski announced shortly thereafter that a town hall meeting to discuss the proposed park, and other projects for the betterment of the borough, is scheduled for Jan. 28 at 12:30 p.m. at the borough building.

Borough officials announced tax anticipation loan documents were signed, sealed and delivered to First Commonwealth Bank. The borough was approved for a $400,000 loan with an interest rate of 1.9 percent.

Council president Terry DiMarco was absent. Skerkoski read his report.

Public works crews cleaned catch basins at Oak Alley, Summit and Pacific avenues, salted streets and steps, and dye tested the sewer line along the 600 block of Hemlock Alley, among other projects.


McKeesport Daily News January 20, 2012

Glassport

Commissioners sought

Borough officials are seeking applicants for the planning commission. Residents at least 18 years or older can submit letters of intent to the borough office at 440 Monongahela Ave. for the voluntary position by Feb. 13.

Letters will be opened at council’s workshop meeting Feb. 14, and voted on at the regular meeting Feb. 21. Both meetings are at 7 p.m.

Sports registration set

Glassport Athletic Association baseball signups are planned for February at the Polish National Alliance at Sixth Street and Indiana Avenue.

Registration is for boys and girls T-ball for kids 6 and younger, boys and girls instructional league for kids 6-8, minor league ages 9 and 10, major league ages 11 and 12, and pony league ages 13 and 14.

Signups are from 3-5 p.m. on Feb. 5, 11, 18 and 19. Cost is $40 for T-ball and $50 for other leagues.

For more information, call 412-678-5926, 412-672-8649 or 724-884-3077.


McKeesport Daily News January 21, 2012

Glassport police issue Dec. report

By THE DAILY NEWS

Glassport police responded to 336 calls in December, Mayor Michael Evanovich reported.

Among those calls were 18 juvenile-related incidents. Officers issued 12 nontraffic citations, 17 traffic citations, and made 27 arrests.


McKeesport Daily News January 21, 2012

Glassport

Tax help offered

Glassport Senior Center is hosting free tax services every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. starting Feb. 2.

John Schaut will prepare taxes at no cost at the center. Call 412-672-2310 to schedule an appointment.


McKeesport Daily News January 24, 2012

Glassport home invasion investigated

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Glassport and Allegheny County police are investigating a home invasion in the borough.

Two men wearing all black clothing, including masks and gloves, forced their way into a home at a duplex at 302 Erie Ave. Saturday around 10 p.m., Glassport police said.

A woman heard knocking on a storm door, and the two men entered as she was about to open the door.

Police said the door was unlocked, and the woman was at home with her son at the time of the incident.

One of the men pushed the woman onto the couch and stole her purse. The other suspect went into the dining room briefly, then they both fled, according to police.

The suspects went from Erie Avenue to a ballfield, then across Ohio Avenue before disappearing down an alley.

No injuries were reported, and the purse was the only item reportedly stolen, police said.

Anyone with information regarding the incident should contact Glassport police at 412-672-4514 or Allegheny County police at 412-473-3000.


McKeesport Daily News January 24, 2012

Glassport

Committee meeting set

Glassport Democratic Committee will meet Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Glassport Senior Citizens Center along Monongahela Avenue.

Discussion will be about candidates running for U.S. Congress, state Senate and General Assembly.


McKeesport Daily News January 26, 2012

The roadway beneath the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge was closed Wednesday after fatal crash which claim the life of Iesha Tang, 21 of Monroeville. — Photo by James Knox/Tribune-Review

Woman, 21, dies after SUV vaults over bridge

By JENNIFER R. VERTULLO Daily News Staff Writer jvertullo@dailynewsemail.com

Authorities describe the accident that took the life of one area woman and hos­pitalized another as “truly horrific” and “gruesome.” Iesha Tang, 21, of Monroeville, died in the Wednesday morning accident when the Ford Escape in which she was travelling vaulted over the W.D. Mansfield Bridge onto its Glassport underpass.

Tang’s autopsy is scheduled for today at Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office.

Examiner’s office officials said Tang’s time of death was 3:05 a.m., and the call for the accident came in at 2:53 a.m.

The driver — Ivory Heard, 19, of North Versailles Township — was transported by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh trauma center.

Heard was in critical condition and undergoing surgery at presstime, Allegheny County police Sgt. Scott Scherer said.

She suffered numerous injuries including broken arms, broken legs, a broken pelvis and bleeding on her brain. Scherer confirmed the crash involved only the Ford Escape, and a second vehicle following behind was not involved.

“They were traveling westbound at the Mansfield Bridge,” Scherer said. “Their friend was familiar with the area, and Ivory Heard was not. He slowed down for the bend and lost sight of them.

When they attempted to turn onto the bridge, they careened over the Jersey barrier, and the vehicle came to rest on the underpass.” Glassport police Chief Howard Kifer said there is no doubt Heard’s vehicle was coming from McKeesport at a high rate of speed.

He said the vehicle hugged the Jersey barrier that guides traffic into the bend as drivers access the bridge. Kifer said the car hit the median and flipped. “The guard rail wasn’t moved. It wasn’t touched. It wasn’t damaged,” Kifer said. “That’s how we perceive the accident took place. She couldn’t make the turn going that fast.” A Port Vue patrolman witnessed Heard’s vehicle approaching the bridge and turned around to pursue a traffic stop.

When that officer got to the bridge, Kifer said, “the accident had occurred and the vehicle was on fire under the bridge.” Local authorities said McKeesport Fire Department was dispatched to the scene as they were leaving another accident in the city.

McKeesport Fire Department Deputy Chief Ed Harmon said the scene was graphic when crews arrived, because both the driver and passenger were unconscious after being ejected from the Ford Escape. The vehicle’s engine was on fire.

“It was truly a horrific crash,” Harmon said. “It was hard to even fathom.” Glassport Citizens Hose Co. No. 1 Chief Wayne Lewis said his crew tended to Tang and Heard while McKeesport firefighters extinguished the vehicle.

“This is something we are trained for, but it is very traumatic for those involved,” Lewis said. “It happened so quick. It was gruesome.”

The W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge was closed for several hours Wednesday morning in the aftermath of a fatal g yaccident in which a woman’s SUV vaulted over the bridge and onto the roadway below. — Photo Courtesy of James Knox/Tribune-Review


McKeesport Daily News January 27, 2012

DeVerse home on medical leave

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Shawn DeVerse is back in Glassport.

The deputy police chief was expected to be teaching U.S. policing techniques with law enforcement officials in Afghanistan for about a year. But he returned home on medical leave less than two months after his Nov. 26 departure.

The effort is through DynCorp International, a global government service provider in support of U.S. national security and foreign public objectives.

DeVerse began his journey as a uniformed Afghan police mentor when he flew from Pennsylvania to Memphis, Tenn., then to Little Rock, Ark., Fort Worth, Texas, and eventually overseas.

Rumors of his return to the borough began circulating weeks ago. DeVerse cited medical reasons as why he was sent back home.

DeVerse said he’s still under contract with DynCorp, and job performance had nothing to do with being home.

He spoke with Mayor Michael Evanovich and police Chief Howard Kifer. They said DeVerse is not being put back on the schedule at this time and part­time officers are handling his shifts.

Kifer said DeVerse told him “there was an explosion in Afghanistan, and he got a concussion from that.” DeVerse said he couldn’t comment about anything that may have happened in that area.

A DynCorp official said the company typically doesn’t discuss information about individuals. The earliest any information would be available is today, the official said.

Kifer cited DeVerse’s medical leave, noting he would not be allowed back on the force until being cleared for duty.

DeVerse said once medically cleared, he has the option of returning to Afghanistan or staying in the borough.

Glassport council unanimously approved an agreement holding DeVerse’s job and retiring his K-9 partner Zen for the time he is gone. That agreement was extended through February 2013. He also must give the borough 30 days notice if he is to return earlier .

Zen also would have to be retrained and recertified to come back to service.

Evanovich said the police will continue patrols as if DeVerse was not in town.

“I don’t have a problem with the schedule,” Evanovich said. “We have enough part-timers to cover.” The mayor said he does not want to influence DeVerse’s decision of possible early reinstatement or encourage him to go back overseas.

“Shawn’s choices have to be Shawn’s choices,” Evanovich said. “That decision is between Shawn and his family. I haven’t talked to him a lot about (Afghanistan). That’s another personal issue between him and his family.” DeVerse said he was selected to participate in training overseas based on his military and police experience.

He served in the Army as a private first class from 1988-90 in an armory unit in Germany. DeVerse was hired as a part-time Glassport officer in December 1996.

He was promoted to full-time in 2005, to sergeant at the end of that year, and to lieutenant in 2007. He was bumped up to his current position as deputy chief in 2008.


McKeesport Daily News January 27, 2012

Glassport

Town meeting set

A town hall meeting is Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at the borough building along Monongahela Avenue.

Glassport parks and recreation committee is looking for parents, grandparents, guardians, coaches and volunteers to aid youth.


McKeesport Daily News January 27, 2012

2nd victim in Mansfield bridge crash ‘very critical’

The second victim in the Wednesday crash on the W.D. Mansfield Bridge that claimed the life of a Monroeville woman remains in very critical condition.

— Photo by James Knox/Tribune-Review

By JENNIFER R. VERTULLO Daily News Staff Writer jvertullo@dailynewsemail.com

Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office has completed its autopsy on the victim of a high-speed crash in Glassport.

Medical examiners have ruled blunt force trauma to the head and trunk as the cause of death for Iesha Tang, 21, of Monroeville.

Tang was pronounced dead Wednesday at 3:05 a.m. after the 2:53 a.m. accident that ejected her from a Ford Escape driven by friend Ivory Heard, 19, of North Versailles Township.

Their vehicle was traveling westbound from McKeesport onto the W.D. Mansfield Bridge, Allegheny County police Sgt. Scott Scherer said. “When they attempted to turn onto the bridge, they careened over the Jersey barrier, and the vehicle came to rest on the underpass,” Scherer said.

Scherer reported late Wednesday that Heard was undergoing surgery at an area hospital. Her injuries included broken arms, broken legs, and a broken pelvis.

On Thursday, Scherer said Heard remains in “very critical condition.” Scherer said hospital staff would notify county police if Heard’s condition worsens. A call of that nature had not been received at presstime.


McKeesport Daily News January 27, 2012

Glassport Catholic church demolition moving forward

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Demolition of a long­standing Catholic church and school in Glassport is moving forward.

At Thursday night’s meeting, Twin Rivers Council of Governments delegates unanimously approved a contract with A.W. McNabb LLC for an amount not to exceed $204,000 for the St. Cecilia’s Church building demolition.

Twin Rivers COG director John Palyo said it’s a project three or four years in the making and he’s pleased to see it progressing.

A.W. McNabb of Oakdale was the lowest of seven bidders. No official start date was set.

“Now we can issue the notice of award, and once all the requirements are in place then (demolition can begin),” Palyo said.

He said about two to three weeks of paperwork must be completed, including the contractor providing insurance and bond.

March is the earliest demolition is likely to begin. It could take at least six months to complete due to asbestos abatement and building removal.

Palyo said the contractor will have to get an asbestos abatement through the Allegheny County Health Department and a building permit through the borough, among other things such as notifying neighbors and utility companies and closing streets.

“This is a very big building,” Palyo said. Palyo said future plans for the site include keeping a retaining wall and planting wildflowers.

In August, Glassport officials announced the acquisition of a $215,000 Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund grant to bring the structure along Ohio Avenue to the ground. The grant is through the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County.

Twin Rivers COG delegate Nancy Crncic, a Glassport councilwoman, was influential in acquiring the grant.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Crncic said about the project’s progress. “On behalf of the borough of Glassport I thank COG for all their help. They help us put this together. This has (been) a long time that the residents of Glassport were waiting for this structure to go down. It’s going to be a great event, let me tell you.” Crncic attended grade school and later was married at St. Cecilia’s.

“That was my life,” she said. “I would rather see it down than look at it the way it is. It’s really sad when you see it when you know what went on in there. All the activities through the years and all the events. It will be sad and happy when it comes down.” The church and school building have been closed for more than a decade. It was subject to vandalism and general deterioration throughout the years.

According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, St. Cecilia’s was founded in 1901. Before the parish was established, local Catholics traveled to St. Peter in McKeesport to attend Mass. The children of those Catholics attended Sunday school in local commercial buildings, including a vacant jail.

On March 11, 1901, a committee appointed by a pastor at St. Peter purchased land for a church in Glassport. Work began in May of that year.

In 1906, land was donated for a new, larger church. On May 29, 1910, the cornerstone for a combined church/school building was laid. On March 26, 1911, the first Mass was celebrated in the church and the completed building was dedicated on Nov. 5, 1911. The old church was converted into a parish hall, and the original church building was later torn down in 1925 to make room for an addition to the school.

On Feb. 2, 1962, the church was badly damaged by a fire set by vandals. While it was being repaired, St. Cecilia shared Holy Cross school and church facilities. The church reopened in December 1962. The church again was damaged when vandals set fire to it twice in the following two years, but not badly enough to interrupt use of the building. The church was remodeled in the mid-1970s.

In 1994, St. Cecilia merged with Holy Cross parish to form the new Queen of the Rosary parish. As part of the merger, St. Cecilia Church was closed and sold.

In other COG news, the gavel was passed from departing president and Elizabeth Township representative Bob Keefer to new president and Port Vue delegate Ken Hresko.


McKeesport Daily News February 2, 2012

Glassport

Development meeting slated

Glassport Development Corp. will meet Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the borough building. The meeting is open to the public. Email glassportdevelopment@yahoo.com for more information.


McKeesport Daily News February 7, 2012

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Criminal activity cited

• Tracy Ayers, 37, of McKeesport, is charged with driving with a suspended license, failure to stop at stop signs, and possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with an incident Sunday at 9:03 a.m. near the intersection of Ohio Avenue and Wall Street. Police said Ayers also had an active bench warrant for her arrest from Allegheny County police.

• Suzanne Breier, 48, of West Mifflin, is charged with DUI, unlawful activities, and dragging exhaust system muffler and noise control in connection with an incident Friday at 8:30 p.m. near the intersection of Monongahela Avenue and Seventh Street.

• Adam Parker, 20, of Clairton, is charged with recklessly endangering another person in connection with an incident Friday at 4:30 p.m. along the 800 block of Ohio Avenue. Police said he was pointing a pistol from a vehicle at a residence.

• Mary Estock, no age given, of Glassport, is cited for violating a borough ordinance for having too many cats. She was cited Wednesday at 2:55 p.m. at 1118 Indiana Ave. Police said Allegheny County Health Department arrived to her home, and Estock had at least 20 cats there.

• Walter Goughnour, 31, of McKeesport, and Todd Thompson, 32, of Glassport, are charged with criminal mischief in connection with an incident Dec. 30 at 2:24 a.m. along the 600 block of Monongahela Avenue.

• Paula Richards, 21, of McKeesport, is charged with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness in connection with an incident Saturday at 11:10 p.m. along the 800 block of Monongahela Avenue.

Juveniles charged

• A 13-year-old Port Vue girl is charged with harassment in connection with an incident Saturday at 5:35 p.m. along the 400 block of Hemlock Alley.

• A 16-year-old McKeesport girl is charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Saturday at 11:10 p.m. along the 800 block of Monongahela Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News February 14, 2012

Glassport contractor faces charges

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

A Glassport contractor is charged with theft by deception and deceptive or fraudulent business practices for reportedly not completing various projects for the borough.

According to the criminal complaint, Lee Anthony Zackaryasz of LEEZACK Electric LLC failed to complete several jobs from December 2009 through July of last year.

Allegheny County District Attorney’s office filed the charges after speaking with Glassport Mayor Michael Evanovich about his concerns regarding the unfinished business the contractor was paid to perform.

Court documents state Zackaryasz was paid $4,865 in December 2009 for the installation of security cameras at borough ball fields.

He also was paid $2,200 in January 2011 for a project, $379.99 in February 2011 for water flow sensor wiring code violation and faulty wiring repair, $710 in June 2011 for computer reinstallation for borough offices, and $375 in July 2011 to replace drop ceilings in borough offices.

“The borough has had numerous meetings with the man trying to (have him) fulfill his end of the contracts,” Evanovich said Monday night. “The borough felt the only way get anything done was to take him to the magistrate.” Investigators reported receiving a copy of a letter sent by borough solicitor Gary Matta to the contractor advising him to complete all pending projects or “this matter would be turned over to authorities for a criminal inquiry.” Investigators reported Zackaryasz responded to the borough’s letter with a list of the projects and the date that they would be completed. His response indicated that all pending projects would be completed between Aug. 26 and Sept. 5 of last year.

Evanovich said some projects were started and not finished, and the borough has not sought another contractor to complete the incomplete work “until after we go through this (legal) process.” The mayor said the last meeting he can recall with the contractor was several weeks ago, and “there’s been very little contact with him.” Zackaryasz was arraigned Friday on the above charges, and released on his own recognizance pending a preliminary hearing on Feb. 21 before Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin.


McKeesport Daily News February 23, 2012

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Criminal activity alleged

• Clint March, 28, and Steven Michalski, 29, of Glassport, are charged with receiving stolen property in connection with an incident Friday at 4:45 p.m. near the intersection of N. Monongahela Avenue and the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge. March also is charged with public intoxication in connection with the incident.

• George Ross, 24, of Glassport, is charged with DUI in connection with an incident Monday at 2:57 a.m. along the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge.

• Shawn Bell, 20, of Elizabeth, James Pierce, 18, of Glassport, and Joseph Carapella, 22, of Glassport, are charged with possession of controlled substances in connection with an incident Monday at 8:48 p.m. along Harrison Hollow.

• Brian Danco, 43, no address given, is charged with aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person in connection with an incident Monday at 1 p.m. along the 600 block of Vermont Avenue.

• Robert Eperjesi, 25, of Duquesne, is charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Saturday at 2:10 p.m. near the intersection of Hemlock Alley and Ninth Street.

• Pete Winovich, 52, of Clairton, is charged with disruptive conduct for his tenants damaging other people’s property in connection with an incident Saturday at 3:24 p.m. at 811 and 813 Monongahela Ave.

• Adam Pastories, 28, of McKeesport, and John Rager, 33, of Glassport, are charged with public intoxication in connection with an incident Saturday at 4:05 p.m. along the 700 block of Monongahela Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News February 23, 2012

Glassport contractor’s theft hearing postponed

By THE DAILY NEWS

A Glassport contractor had his preliminary hearing postponed for two different theft cases.

Lee Anthony Zackaryasz, 25, was scheduled to have a hearing before Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin Tuesday.

The postponement is so Zackaryasz can obtain a defense attorney. Zackaryasz said he had no comment Tuesday regarding the theft charges in both Glassport and Liberty, but will once he has an attorney.

His new hearing on both sets of charges is March 13 at 1 p.m.

Zackaryasz is charged with theft by deception and deceptive or fraudulent business practices by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office in connection with unfinished projects he was paid to do for Glassport Borough from December 2009 through July 2011.

He also is charged with theft by deception by Liberty police for not performing work he was paid by a resident to do last October.


McKeesport Daily News February 24, 2012

Glassport police respond to 382 calls

By THE DAILY NEWS

Glassport police responded to 382 calls in January, Mayor Michael Evanovich reported.

Officers made 25 arrests, issued 30 traffic citations, 15 nontraffic citations, and handled juvenile incidents involving five boys and nine girls.

Evanovich said florescent green strips are being added to stop signs throughout the borough in an effort to make them more visible and improve traffic safety for motorists and pedestrians.

The strips are attached to stop signs along Monongahela Avenue.

Police Chief Howard Kifer said there is a garbage problem in the borough.

Some residents not paying their garbage bill are using other people’s collection for their garbage.

Those caught transferring garbage will be cited for a borough ordinance violation.

Kifer also said landlords are responsible for their Dumpsters and cannot have trash overflowing onto the streets. Landlords must make arrangements to clean up their areas.


McKeesport Daily News February 24, 2012

Bike park plans continue progressing in Glassport

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

Plans for a bike park in Glassport are progressing.

Resident Michael Warman spearheaded a petition drive in the borough to demonstrate that there is support among residents for a designated riding area where he and approximately a dozen other local stunt riders can practice their routines without getting hassled by neighbors and motorists.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, Warman presented Councilman Dave Kowalski with about nine pages of signatures of young adults looking for a place to ride.

“We’re not calling it a park,” Kowalski said. “We’re calling it a place for them to ride their bikes.” In 2005, Glassport opened a skateboard and BMX park on an old tennis court at the Harrison Street playground that had ramps, half-pipes and other equipment that enabled riders to perform tricks. The park was a target for vandals, however, and was closed a few years later.

Kowalski said Warman and his friends are working to clean up that area to reuse it.

“I asked for plans and what they wanted to do down there,” Kowalski said. “They said they had some people that were willing to donate all the material they need. They wanted to police it, take care of it, and basi­cally maintain it.” Plans are under review by borough solicitor Gary Matta.

Kowalski said borough officials want to find out what their liability might be for a bike area, and he plans to reach out to other municipalities with such a space.

“We’re working together to hopefully get something down there for these guys,” Kowalski said. “Hopefully this will keep them off the private properties. I think it’s something we need to do. The playgrounds we have are for young tots.” Kowalski also said people are getting ready for Glassport Athletic Association baseball at the Ninth Street ballfield.

More information about activities in the borough is available online at www. glassportdevelopmentcorp.org .

Kowalski said businesses are listed on the site as well as community events and other announcements from the borough and other groups.

“It’s a combined effort by certain groups to get the whole community involved,” he said about the site.

In other matters, council appointed borough secretary Nancy Whaby to the planning commission for a three-year term.

Council approved Nickolich Sanitation as the borough’s garbage collector for this year at no additional cost to the borough.

Whaby said residents pay $32.40 per quarter, including a 15 cent fuel surcharge, for garbage collection.

The Clairton-based company has been collecting Glassport’s garbage since 2009.

Whaby said delinquent garbage bills are being sent out, and people will have to make arraignments to pay the delinquency within 30 days of the notice or it will be turned over to a collection agency.

Those delinquent on garbage bills should call 412-233-3569.

Council adopted resolutions accepting Allegheny County’s hazard mitigation plan, and opposing the ongoing court-ordered reassessment.


McKeesport Daily News February 25, 2012

Clairton-Glassport bridge work resumes

By THE DAILY NEWS

PennDOT District 11 officials announced that rehabilitation of the Clairton-Glassport Bridge will resume on Monday.

Intermittent lane closures and brief traffic stoppages of of 15 minutes or less will occur as needed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays through late March.

Delays and changing traffic patterns should be expected. Flag crews will control traffic movements when necessary.

The bridge carries Route 2038 over the Monongahela River between Route 837 in Clairton and Glassport-Elizabeth Road in Glassport.

The $4 million project includes barrier replacements, repair and replacement of expansion joints and bearings, substructure repairs, median work, guide rail and signal upgrades, spot painting and other improvements.

The overall project will be completed in the spring.

The prime contractor is J.F. Shea Construction Inc. of Mt. Pleasant.

PennDOT advises motorists to use caution, slow down, and expect changing traffic patterns when traveling through the area.

Traffic conditions on major roadways are available online at 511pa.com or by calling 511 from any phone.


McKeesport Daily News February 25, 2012

102-year-old church set for demolition

By TORY N. PARRISH Tribune-Review News Service

Demolition of a 102-year-old former Catholic church/school building could start next month, bringing a sense of relief to some people who live near the vandalism-plagued property in Glassport.

Last month, the Twin Rivers Council of Governments accepted a bid of $204,000 from Burgettstown­based A.W. McNabb LLC to demolish the former St. Cecilia Church/school building at the corner of Ohio Avenue and 8th Street, council Executive Director John Palyo said.

The demolition, including asbestos removal, will be paid for with a grant from Allegheny County.

The 29,560-square-foot building attracts vandals, scrap-metal thieves and the homeless, Palyo said.

Graffiti is scribbled on walls and holes are scattered across the floors. Almost all of the windows are broken, he said.

Police and firefighters have responded to fires in the building, which is near 42 single-family homes, officials said.

“It’s a mess now. The brick work and everything is still great, but the inside is too far gone,” Glassport Council president Terry DiMarco said.

Founded in 1901, St. Cecilia parish moved into the then-new building in 1910.

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh closed the building in 1994, shortly after the parish merged with Holy Cross parish to form Queen of the Rosary parish.

In 1996, the diocese sold the former St. Cecilia building for $75,000 to the Glassport Heritage Society, a group of three investors who planned to turn the property into a community asset.

The venture failed by 2000, Palyo said. The investors now are deceased.

News of the demolition was bitter­sweet for lifelong Glassport resident Corrine Hopkins, 85, who was baptized and married in the church and whose children attended the school.

“Well, it’s a sight to see now because the kids have ruined it,” said Hopkins, who now attends Queen of the Rosary. “I guess everything doesn’t stay forever.” The borough plans to fill the empty lot of about a half-acre with grass and wildflowers, said DiMarco, who said he hoped a developer would take an interest in it.

“I’d love to see something done with it because it’s such as a big area,” he said.


McKeesport Daily News February 28, 2012

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Harassment alleged

• Dale Junatovic Jr., 30, of Pittsburgh, is charged with public intoxication and harassment in connection with an incident on Feb. 14 at 8:30 p.m. along the 800 block of Delaware Avenue.

• A 10-year-old Glassport girl and an 11-year-old Glassport boy are charged with harassment in connection with an incident Friday at 3:50 p.m. near the inter­section of N. Monongahela Avenue and Harrison Street.

Incidents net charges

• Corin Julian, 50, of Glassport, Betty Cooke, 51, of McKeesport, and John Riley, 57, of Glassport, all are charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident Saturday at 10:28 p.m. near the intersection of Sixth Street and Monongahela Avenue.

• Matthew Macey, 22, of Glassport, is charged with theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property in connection with an incident Friday at 2:30 p.m. near the 500 block of N. Monongahela Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News February 28, 2012

Glassport

Fire company to meet

There will be a special meeting for members of Reliance Hose Co. No. 2 Saturday at 2 p.m. All members with questions concerning the meeting can call James Ali at 412-664-1161 or John Bender at 412-751-0887.


McKeesport Daily News February 29, 2012

Glassport

Police have released the following incident reports:

Fight nets charges

Jerison Pastories, 25, of McKeesport, Robert Hansen, 21, of McKeesport, Eric Hanbury, 20, of Glassport, and Brandon Dellapenna, 27, of McKeesport, are charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and criminal mischief in connection with an incident Feb. 17 at 4:55 p.m. at the Dollar General along Monongahela Avenue.

Drinking alleged

Noemi Resh, 52, of McKeesport, is charged with public intoxication in connection with an incident Monday at 6:10 p.m. along the 700 block of Monongahela Avenue.


McKeesport Daily News February 29, 2012

Glassport

Fire company to meet

Citizens Hose Fire Co. No. 1 will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. at the fire hall.


McKeesport Daily News March 6, 2012

Crews eradicate slurs on Clairton-Glassport span

By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer mdivittorio@dailynewsemail.com

A racial slur spray painted on cement barriers across from the Glassport-Clairton Bridge were painted over for a third time Monday.

The Rev. Sheldon Stoudemire, a street minister from Clairton, noticed an offensive phrase targeting blacks during his travels yesterday morning. The slur was painted on barriers along Ohio Avenue, where that roadway becomes Glassport-Elizabeth Road at its intersection with the bridge.

Glassport police Chief Howard Kifer said the borough originally painted over the graffiti several years ago. Kifer said there were many incidents of juvenile criminal mischief at the time, primarily the spray painting of buildings and barriers.

When informed Monday afternoon the offensive phrase was again legible, Glassport officials immediately ordered public works employees to paint over it.

“It is unacceptable and (needed) to be painted over,” Stoudemire said.

The reverend acknowledged the words looked like they have been on the barrier for a while, but he didn’t notice them until Monday.

Council president and former Mayor Terry DiMarco said he remembers authorizing an officer to paint over the graffiti years ago.

“I wasn’t aware of it, that it came through,” DiMarco said Monday. “It will be taken care of immediately.” The prior coats of paint were wearing off, and the words were visible until public works crews spread more white paint over them.

Stoudemire called The Daily News after seeing the crews painting.

The reverend thanked the borough for responding quickly, and for making the issue a priority.

“I hope it doesn’t spark any type of criminal mischief amongst the blacks and whites and people getting into a feud,” Stoudemire said. “I don’t want to see that happen.” Kifer said police don’t know who originally painted the racial slur and added there have been no reports of such activity in quite some time.

— Photo by Cindy Shegan Keeley/Daily News

Glassport Public Works Department crews repainted over racial slurs that were spray painted on cement barriers, at right, along Ohio Avenue near the Glassport-Clairton Bridge.


McKeesport Daily News March 8, 2012

Glassport

Egg hunt set

The Easter egg hunt is set for April 1 at 2 p.m. at the Ninth Street ball field. Borough children can register at the borough building along Monongahela Avenue. The event is for children ages 10 and younger. All children must be registered no later than March 23.

A parent or a guardian must attend the egg hunt with their child. No drop­offs permitted.


McKeesport Daily News March 12, 2012

Glassport Lions plan March events

Glassport Lions Board of Directors will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Sons of Italy Lodge 941 in Glassport. President Annette Scarpino will preside.

The club will have a dinner meeting March 27 at 7 p.m. at the lodge.


Page last updated March 13, 2012