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McKeesport officials recognize organization

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Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 3:51 a.m.

McKeesport city officials have recognized a faith-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping youth better serve their community.

During Wednesday's city council meeting, Mayor Michael Cherepko presented a proclamation to the Rev. James Brown, youth pastor at Rainbow Temple and founder and executive director of Operation Save Our Youth.

Cherepko highlighted a basketball program in which the organization participates on Friday nights at Penn State Greater Allegheny.

He said the youth are positively affected by the program, whether by the social aspect of playing basketball, the spiritual aspect of the program itself or by socializing with friends.

“These are individuals who are being affected in a positive way, and that's what we're trying to do here in the city,” Cherepko said. “(The basketball program is) just one small aspect of what Operation Save Our Youth is.”

The group was formed in 2005. It meets on Fridays from 6-9 p.m. at Rainbow Temple, located along Shaw Avenue in McKeesport, and is open to youth 6-18.

Brown said it is an honor to be recognized, noting that the program is to help participants make better choices in life.

The group provides a variety of activities for not only McKeesport youth, but also those from McKees Rocks, West Mifflin and Duquesne.

More information about the organization is available by calling 412-675-0178, online at, or on Facebook.

Cherepko lauded the Allegheny Regional Asset District for earmarking funds toward Renziehausen Park in its 2014 proposed budget. The park may get $652,800 in operating funds and $80,000 for capital improvements.

Council president Darryl Segina said he would like to see RAD contribute more to McKeesport, noting that Pittsburgh-area venues are proposed to receive millions.

Some of those proposed allocations include $3.5 million to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, $5.2 million for Pittsburgh parks and $19.5 million for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Cherepko said his administration was very appreciative for what RAD budgeted.

Councilors heard concerns from residents regarding speeding and drivers going through stop signs in Renziehausen Park. Officials are considering installing speed bumps if the issues continue.

McKeesport firefighter Jimmy Young presented councilors and administrators with custom pink T-shirts in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Shirts are being sold for $15 via the department's website, Proceeds benefit cancer research and awareness programs.

“It's a way we give back,” Young said.

Trick-or-treating is scheduled for Oct. 31 from 6-8 p.m.

A ceremony renaming Water Street to Joe Bendel Way is set for Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. Bendel served as mayor January 1995 to Jan. 3, 2000.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or

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