Mon Valley

Courtesy of Friends of Austin Davis

Democrat Austin Davis is the new state representative for Pennsylvania’s 35th House District in the Mon Valley. On Tuesday, Davis defeated Republican Fawn Walker Montgomery to fill the seat vacated by Democrat Marc Gergely last fall.

Courtesy of Friends for Austin Davis and Committee to Elect V. Fawn Walker

A Democrat won a special election Tuesday to fill the unexpired term of a Pennsylvania House member who stepped down after pleading guilty to charges related to an illegal gambling machine operation.

Austin Davis defeated Republican Fawn Walker-Montgomery in the race to represent a district in the Monongahela Valley, south of Pittsburgh.

The seat became vacant in November, after eight-term Democratic Rep. Marc Gergely stepped down as he was sentenced to 18 months of house arrest for misdemeanor conspiracy and campaign violation counts. Felony charges were withdrawn.

Courtesy of Friends for Austin Davis and Committee to Elect V. Fawn Walker

 

On Tuesday, voters in the Mon Valley will choose a new representative for Pennsylvania’s 35th Legislative District. Democrat Austin Davis, an aide to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, is competing against Republican Fawn Walker Montgomery, a former member of the McKeesport City Council.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

More than 200 teachers and staff at a Washington County school district plan to go on strike Wednesday saying proposed salary changes are unreasonable.

Ringgold School District, 20 miles south of Pittsburgh, serves about 3,000 students from Monongahela and six other Mon Valley towns.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Clairton Mayor Rich Lattanzi can recall a time when the city’s credit was so poor, they couldn’t purchase Easter candy. Lattanzi said the story is a good example of how far the town has come from its nearly 30 years in Act 47 financial distressed status. 

Friday, he announced the community had received $3.3 million in state tax credits and corporate grants.

“There were times when the cupboards were bare,” Lattanzi said. “And the city of Clairton just kept clawing and clawing.”

Larkin Page-Jacobs / WESA

In the Monongahela Valley, communities that saw their economies boom with the steel and manufacturing industry in the last century continue to feel the bust from those industries’ decline. But as Pittsburgh’s economic position strengthens, many Mon Valley towns are looking for ways to spark their own revitalization, and zoning plays a key role in that endeavor.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The main building on Carrie Furnace’s 80-acre site in Braddock looks like a giant has just scattered its playthings and stomped off, not too far away, to eat a few goats. Inside the blowing engine house a 48-inch universal plate mill lies in 40- and 50-ton pieces on the concrete floor. A sign hanging at the south end lists the safety guidelines (“6. Be aware of crane movements”). Bill Sharkey sits on a few benches meant for visitors.

The Allegheny County Health Department received a $150,000 two-year grant from the Jefferson Foundation to expand the Live Well initiative into the Monongahela Valley. 

Courtesy ZENO Group

Back in the 1910s, rail companies had a problem. The lanterns on their trains were very hot, and when they went through colder climates, the glass globes would burst. Scientists at Corning Glass were charged with creating a heat-tempered glass that could withstand the fluctuations in temperature.

According to Pyrex brand manager Mike Scheffki, scientist Jesse Littleton brought home a casserole-sized piece of the glass for his wife Bessie to try out in the kitchen.

In Mon Valley Steel Towns, Shrunken Communities And An Increase Of Crime

Jul 8, 2014
Holly Tonini / Point Park News Service

The roads into Donora were built for traffic.

The four lanes of state Route 837 meet the Monessen Bridge that once carried bustling amounts of both foot and automobile traffic. But now, not many people have reason to come to this town 30 miles south of downtown Pittsburgh, says resident Edith Jericho, surrounded by the relics of the Donora Smog Museum.