Freezing rain in the Alle-Kiski Valley causing multiple crashes

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Alle-Kiski Valley – Freezing rain moving through the Alle-Kiski Valley is causing multiple accidents on SR. 28 Expressway and multiple vehicles are involved in a crash on the Freeport Bridge with injuries.

On SR. 28, Allegheny County 911 reported multiple accidents on the Expressway from the Mills Mall to the de-icing bridge just north of the Natrona Heights exit. The initial report was for a vehicle that had rolled over at the bridge, however no accident was located. State Police were at the bridge for a short time to slow down traffic entering the northbound bridge and a short time later placed flares at the bridge entrance.

In Freeport at the big bridge, firefighters from Station #36 Sarver closed the southbound side of the bridge on SR. 356 due to multiple crashes (possibly five) at the other end of the bridge in Allegheny Township. It was also reported by one of the Allegheny Township Police officers that a police car was on fire due to some sort of electrical issue. There was at least one report of a female lying on the roadway, however this has not yet been confirmed. PennDOT salt crews are out and about salting bridges and steep hills as the temperature continues to hover around the 32-34 degree mark this afternoon. Allegheny Township firefighters blocked the northbound side of the Freeport Bridge near River Forest.

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At least two ambulances, one from Lower Kiski and one from Freeport were seen leaving the bridge area headed up Freeport road towards Natrona Heights.



Mitral valve repair following heart attack may offer patients little to no benefit


Routinely adding mitral valve repair to coronary artery bypass graft surgery for heart attack patients may not be warranted in patients with moderate mitral valve damage, according to an NIH-funded study. Patients treated with both procedures versus the bypass graft alone showed no differences at one year in recovery from structural damage to the heart’s left ventricle, nor in secondary measures such as heart failure, stroke, functional status or quality of life.

The results of the Surgical Interventions for Moderate Ischemic Mitral Regurgitation (IMR) study, supported by NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), were presented today at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago and published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine.

About one million Americans suffer heart attacks each year. Of these, about half are left with functional damage to the mitral valve due to the injury and changes to the heart muscle. This damage can result in leaks, causing a backflow of blood accompanied by symptoms such as shortness of breath, abnormal fatigue, and excess blood in the lungs.

Doctors typically treat heart attack patients with this condition, called ischemic mitral regurgitation, by performing coronary artery bypass graft surgery, sometimes adding a procedure to repair the leaky mitral valve. The study is the first large-scale randomized clinical trial to assess whether adding the repair procedure leads to a measurable benefit for patients.

The study included 301 patients with moderate IMR who had been treated with one or both surgical procedures. Researchers assessed each patient’s condition at six and 12 months by measuring the amount of blood remaining in the left ventricle after a heart contraction. Both patient groups showed similar rates of improvement at the 12-month assessment.

This research was conducted as part of NHLBI’s Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network and was co-funded by the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.


PSP reports theft by deception, aggravated assault and burglary

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(Theft by Deception)

Armstrong County, Pa. – Investigating Tpr. T Geibel responded to an incident of Theft by Deception at the Kittanning Cemetery, Rayburn Twp., in Armstrong County. The incident occurred sometime between January 1, 2011 and November 19, 2014 between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm.

Two unnamed victims from Kittanning reported to state police that in the year 2011 they had purchased Kittanning Cemetery pre-arrangements from a known 46 y/o white male suspect. The cemetery was offering deals at the time of the incident. The victims were told to pay in cash because the price was cheaper. The suspect hand wrote a receipt and gave it to the victims. The victims never received a deed or official receipts from the cemetery for the purchases.

Tpr. Geibel said there are potentially more victims in the Kittanning area that had made cash purchases from the suspect. If anyone thinks they could be a victim of this scam, please contact the Kittanning Cemetery at 724-548-2194 This investigation is continuing.

(Aggravated Assault)

Armstrong County, Pa. – Tpr. Robert V. Gambone Jr. reports an incident of Aggravated Assault that took place in Manor Twp., Armstrong County. The assault occurred on November 19, 2014. at approximately 11:30pm.

James White, a 52 y/o male of Kittanning, Pa. is accused of engaging in a physical altercation in which a knife was used by White to threaten the known victim from Kittanning. Charges were filed through MDJ J. Gary Decomo’s office.


Armstrong County, Pa. – Tpr. Ritrosky reported an incident of harassment in the 300 block of SR. 66 Gilpin Twp. at approximately 2:30am Tuesday morning.

On the above day and time the accused, a known 29 y/o white male of Vandergrift, Pa arrived at the victims house in Leechburg, Pa. and used the telephone. The accused subsequently shoved the victim. Charges were filed at District Court 33-3-03

(Burglary/Criminal Mischief)

Armstrong County, Pa. – Tpr. Eric D. Church reported an incident of Burglary and Criminal Mischief in the 1000 block of SR. 268 Sugar Creek Twp. on Tuesday afternoon, November 18/2014 between the times 12pm-6pm. On the above date and time, an unknown suspect stole Miller/Cleveland welding equipment from the above location and fled in an unknown direction. Anyone with new information is asked to contact PSP Kittanning at 724-543-2011


Allegheny County, Pa. – PSP Kittanning Investigator Jerry Zundel, responded to a 3 vehicle crash on SR. 28 in O’Hara Township Wednesday morning at approximately 6:43 am.

Driver Daniel Boyle age 22 of Valencia, Pa was driving a 2008 Pontiac G6 with a passenger, Emily Nagel age 23 of Mars traveling southbound on SR. 28 in the left hand passing lane. The second driver, Kaley Bowman age 27 of Arnold, was driving a 2010 Mercury Mountaineer, and a third driver Maria Saxman, age 26 of Lower Burrell, was driving a 2010 Honda Civic. Both lead vehicles (Saxman and Bowman) were stopped for traffic ahead of them when Boyle’s vehicle failed to stop and impacted Bowman’s Mercury which in turn hit Saxman’s vehicle.

The Pontiac and the Mercury then impacted the concrete barrier along the shoulder of the bridge. Both vehicles were towed from the scene and the Honda Civic was driven from the scene.

Boyle, Nagel and Bowman were all transported to the hospital. Daniel Boyle was charged with vehicle Code 3361 (too fast for conditions).

State Police were assisted at the scene by Etna and Sharpsburg EMS.


LB Law Enforcement Officer John Marhefka to serve as Burrell School District SRO

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 9:29 am

Lower Burrell, Pa. – The City of Lower Burrell and the Burrell School District have jointly announced the receipt of a $60,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist funding the placement of a school resource officer in the Burrell School District in early 2015.

Lower Burrell Law Enforcement Officer John Marhefka, an 18 year veteran of the Department, long time DARE officer, and former Pennsylvania DARE Officer of the Year recipient will serve as the school resource officer. Officer Marhefka was recently certified as a school resource officer through training provided by the National Association of School Resource Officers. Once the program commences, Officer Marhefka will be assigned full-time to the school district. He will be based at the Burrell High School, but will regularly visit all district buildings and conduct safety and other law enforcement related programs with students in all grade levels. His primary function will be to form positive relationships with all students as a means to increase student safety.

The grant award is part of $3.9 million in funding Governor Corbett has committed for placing police officers and resource officers in schools across Pennsylvania as part of his commitment to the safety of Pennsylvania school students. Pennsylvania State Representative Eli Evankovich, who supported the efforts of the School District and the City during the application process, made notification last Friday of the full grant award.

The grant award will aid in covering salary and some equipment costs associated with the school resource officer for calendar year 2015. The City and the District will be eligible to receive $30,000 in funding to continue the program in 2016.

The Burrell School Board, the City Council, the District Administrative Staff, and the Lower Burrell Police Department are committed to making our schools as safe as possible. The school resource officer will be another layer of security we can provide in our continued efforts to increase the safety of our students while in school. We look forward to launching this program in January 2015.


State Police and local law enforcement to ramp up highway safety operations

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Keeping the upcoming holiday season free of tragic vehicle crashes is the aim of “Operation Safe Holiday,” a joint campaign by Pennsylvania State Police, PennDOT and local law enforcement. The holiday enforcement will focus on nighttime seat belt use and impaired driving.

The operation begins with statewide Click It or Ticket seat-belt enforcement that runs from Nov. 21-Dec. 1. Law enforcement agencies also will conduct sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and regular traffic safety patrols on Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 26, and from Dec. 1 through the New Year’s holiday to crack down on drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol.

“Thanksgiving remains one of the biggest travel periods of the year, but unfortunately it’s also the highest in the number of crashes,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said.” “PennDOT urges drivers to drive safely and assign a designated driver when attending functions with family and friends this season.”

According to PennDOT data, the holiday season continues to be the leading time period for traffic crashes. The Thanksgiving holiday period, including the weekends before and after the holiday as well as the day itself, experienced the highest number of crashes and fatalities of any major holiday season last year. A total of 4,683 crashes and 48 fatalities occurred statewide during the Thanksgiving travel period. The Christmas and New Year’s travel periods, including the weekend before Christmas, Christmas, New Years and the weekend after, saw 3,222 crashes and 30 fatalities.

“Vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death, with most fatalities being attributed to unbelted motorists,” said State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. “The holidays are a time to spend with friends and family, but please don’t drive impaired and be sure to buckle up.”

Additionally, during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays last year, 1,072 of the statewide crashes involved a driver impaired by drugs or alcohol, with 35 fatalities in those crashes. In that same period, there were 989 crashes with unbuckled occupants, with 43 fatalities in those crashes.

PennDOT urges travelers to never drive impaired and always buckle up. Drivers should also avoid distractions, rotate drivers if possible and take frequent breaks.

Motorists should allow extra time for travel and expect to encounter traffic delays. As weather and road conditions can worsen quickly at this time of year, motorists should always check the forecast for their entire route and make sure their vehicle is equipped with a winter emergency kit and tires with good traction.


Eureka’s Fire, Rescue, EMS serves up late night river response

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New Kensington, Pa. – Westmoreland 911 dispatch notified New Kensington Police of a female caller hearing screams coming from a barge on the Westmoreland side of the Allegheny River just after 11 pm Wednesday night. The location of the caller was in the 2400 block of Constitution Blvd.

The caller told 911 the barge had been seen in the water since 1:00 pm Wednesday afternoon. Arnold police made their way to the water authority near the 2400 block of Constitution Blvd requesting workers to let them in the gate to get a better view of the barge. Arnold PD reported being able to see the barge from the water authority area.

A short time later, New Kensington Police requested a boat be put on the water and a call made to the coast guard. Dispatch reported they were not getting any response from the Coast Guard, while Arnold police were trying to locate the individual who placed the call to 911.

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Eureka Fire, Rescue, EMS were requested to investigate and launched their river rescue boat from the Tarentum Marina just before midnight. Eureka’s Deputy Chief Brad James indicated arrival time to the stranded vessel after launch was about 5-10 minutes. Swift Water Technicians on board were reminded to have spot lights turned on and to approach the stranded vessel with caution. Deputy Chief James said a barge/tug ran aground and no injuries were reported. Radio traffic indicated the tugboat operator would make a call to his company and their own crews would go to the scene and take care of the problem. The actual location of the barge could be seen on the bend in the river from the Tarentum Bridge.

It was apparent Eureka’s launch into the Allegheny River was much easier than loading the rescue boat back onto the trailer shortly after midnight. Strong winds on the river forced Swift Water Rescue Technician Chad Clark to make several attempts at reloading the boat. Also on board were Swift Water Technicians Susan Clark and Darrick Gerano.

Deputy James said Eureka Fire, Rescue and EMS crews had a crazy day with two extrications, three fire calls and the river response.

As always, please do your part and support your local fire departments !!



Child predator alert in Western Pa

Child pred

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced that a Greene County man was arrested after he allegedly used Facebook to solicit sexual intercourse and exchange sexually explicit photographs with minors. The man is charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl.

Joshua W. Porterfield, 24, 558 State Route 2011, Dilliner, Greene County, was arrested following a collaborative investigation between the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section (CPS), local police and personnel at the minor’s high school.

According to the criminal complaint, the investigation began when administrators at a Greene County high school contacted local police about Porterfield contacting a student through Facebook, and allegedly sending the minor a nude image of himself via Snapchat. Local police requested the assistance of the Child Predator Section, who immediately opened an investigation.

The child had saved a screen capture of the image and was interviewed by CPS agents, who identified potential victims through an analysis of mutual Facebook connections with Porterfield.

Agents obtained a search warrant for Porterfield’s Facebook account and located more than 1,000 deleted, private messages between Porterfield and a second minor. It was determined that Porterfield and the second minor began talking in August 2014.

The second victim said Porterfield picked her up in September 2014, knowing that she was 15 years old, drove her to another location and the two engaged in oral sex and intercourse in Porterfield’s vehicle.

The child reported three similar occasions in the weeks that followed, including one encounter where Porterfield took her to his Dilliner home.

An arrest warrant for Porterfield was served on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, and he was taken into custody without incident. Search warrants were executed on his car and phone. He was preliminary arraigned with bond set at $100,000 and lodged in the Greene County Jail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Nov. 20, 2014.

Porterfield is charged with five counts of unlawful contact with a minor, three counts of involuntary deviate intercourse, three counts of statutory sexual assault, three counts of aggravated indecent assault, three counts of corruption of minors, two counts of criminal use of a communications facility and three counts of indecent assault.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Pennsylvania State Police and Cumberland Township Police for their assistance. The defendant will be prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Child Predator Section.

Reporting Internet Predators

Suspected Internet predators can be reported to the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section by calling the Child Predator Hotline at 1-800-385-1044. Anonymous tips can also be sent directly from a cell phone by texting PAKIDS + YOUR TIP to 847411.

Internet safety tips are available on the “Operation Safe Surf” section of


Major power outage hits New Kensington, Arnold and parts of Lower Burrell

Arnold Sergeant Mike Krahe directs traffic at Freeport and Drey Sts.

Arnold Police Sergeant Mike Krahe directs traffic at Freeport and Drey Sts druing major power outage.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 8:57 pm

Arnold, Pa. – Power was knocked out for a little more than an hour in Arnold, New Kensington and Lower Burrell after a guy wire attached to a utility pole was hit along Dr. Thomas Boulevard by a tractor trailer.

Arnold Police Sergeant Marcia Cole said the truck hit a guy wire causing the power disruption but no pole was taken down. When the incident occurred, power cycled three times for about three seconds and then the lights stayed out for good. Major intersections in New Kensington, Lower Burrell at Craigdell Road, and Arnold at Drey street required immediate attention for traffic control. Firefighters were dispatched to help police in key locations until power was restored at about 8 pm.

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Fawn Township police and fire busy with big truck incidents, one hurt

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Fawn Township, Pa. – Police and fire crews in Fawn Township were busy late Wednesday morning after two separate truck accidents occurred at each end of the township.

In the first incident, a tractor trailer came apart at the intersection of SR. 908 and Saxonburg Road after the driver made a left hand turn from Ekastown Road onto 908. As the truck-tractor began to pull the hill, it came apart at the fifth wheel. The trailer slid off the back of the tractor and came to a final rest near the intersection.

Aaron Berbigler, Terminal Manager at Black Horse Carriers said his driver had just left the Saxonburg terminal and was headed to Pittsburgh when the accident occurred. The trailer was loaded with perishable goods. Terry’s Towing Service and D&D heavy tow equipment rigged and raised the trailer off the pavement as a tractor from D&D Towing backed underneath the disabled trailer. The trailer was towed from the highway and crews cleaned minor fluid and debris from the roadway. No injuries were reported in this incident.

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At the other end of the township on Millerstown-Culmerville Road, a Tesone Truck headed eastbound failed to negotiate a slight curve in the roadway and rolled on its side spilling it contents into a residential front yard. According to Fawn Township Police Chief Tim Mayberry, the driver was transported to a Pittaburgh Hospital. Millerstown-Culmerville road was closed in both directions for about 3 hours while clean up crews loaded the material into a D&D roll off bin. Terry’s Towing Service and D&D Towing once again teamed up to upright the rig and get the roadway reopened.

Assisting Fawn Police were Fawn #1 and Fawn #2 fire departments. A PennDOT truck was also on scene for a short period of time.


Tarentum Police investigating late morning armed home invasion

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Tarentum, Pa. – According to 911 radio traffic and victim accounts, an armed home invasion occurred just about 11:30 am Tuesday morning in the 900 block of Lock Street.

In the photo above, Mark Glogowski – Sergeant/Detective carries evidence appearing to be two strips of duct tape from the Tarentum residence.

At least 2 individuals were taken into custody near the scene around 3:30 pm. According to the radio and eyewitness information, a man was reported to have been duck taped to a chair after three black males entered a residence with shotguns. According to the victim, he was not duck taped to a chair.

AKVNEWS.COM spoke with the victim in this incident who has provided details however Tarentum Police have not officially released any specific details of this invasion to the news media. At the scene, Tarentum Police investigated surrounding alleys and houses for evidence. Tarentum Police Chief William Vakulick indicated the investigation continues as detectives work to gain more information on the suspects and additional press information will be made available later today. Grandview Upper Elementary was put on lockdown for approximately 30 minutes at the time of the incident while police cleared the area.

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PSP Kittanning weekend reports

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Allegheny, Pa – Kittanning PSP report a one vehicle crash on SR 28 South Harrison Twp.

The operator of a 2006 Chevy Silverado traveling south on SR. 28 was making a lane change when he spun out due to icy road conditions. The Chevy then went off the roadway on the east side in the medium and came to a final rest on the guardrail in the north bound lanes.

The driver was not charged or injured.

Allegheny, Pa – Kittanning PSP report a one vehicle crash on exit 12A off ramp.

A 2002 Chevy Cavalier traveled off the roadway on SR. 28 south bound at the exit 12A off ramp Frazer Twp. The operator crashed into a traffic signal sign and came to final rest on the off ramp prior to the traffic signal.

Driver Gavin Shelow age 19 was cited but not injured.

Armstrong, Pa – Kittanning PSP report a missing firearm in Bethel Twp.

A 61 y/o male victim from Ford City reported that he misplaced his firearm in his residence between the dates of 11/13/2014 10pm and 11/16/2014 6am. The firearm is a Heritage Arms Stealth 9mm Bearing Ser#A3225. Anyone who locates the firearm is asked to contact PSP Kittanning and use incident #DO2-1602104. Contact #(724) 543-2011

Armstrong, Pa – PSP Kittanning report a one vehicle crash on SR. 128 Freeport Road.

21 Y/O female Marissa Lang of Freeport, Pa. suffered moderate injuries after crashing her 2009 Chevy Cobalt. This crash occurred as the Cobalt was traveling south on SR. 128 (Freeport Road) in south Buffalo Twp. The operator took the left curve in the roadway at a speed greater than reasonable and prudent. She then lost control of her vehicle and as a result, the passenger side of the Chevy impacted the guiderail. After impacting the guiderail the Chevy traveled approximately 270 feet and struck a utility pole. After secondary impact, the Chevy bounced off of the utility pole and rotated in a clockwise manner before coming to a final rest facing south.

This crash involves DUI.

Armstrong, Pa – PSP Kittanning report open lewdness at a one story residence located South Bend Twp.

A 59 Y/O white female reported that a 52 Y/O white male from Shelocta, Pa. had exposed himself to her inside of a residence. Investigation continues.


Working house fire in Kinloch quickly extinguished on Sunday night

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Lower Burrell, Pa. – Alle-Kiski Valley firefighters remained busy Sunday night after a second residential fire hit the area within hours of each other in the Kinloch section of Lower Burrell.

Lower Burrell #1 Engineer Terry Rupert said when firefighters arrived at the Hill Street Residence located just behind the fire station, the back porch revealed a working fire with heavy black smoke. Rupert said the rear door was warm from the internal fire that was contained to an enclosed porch. Masked crews entered the structure and quickly extinguished the fire subsequently checking for extensions into the roof and basement areas of the structure.

Engineer Rupert also said the fire possibly started with a space heater but the fire marshal was called to investigate the incident.

Lower Burrell Fire Chief Ted Hereda said the house is owned by his uncle Ron Hereda and his wife who were at home when the fire broke out. Chief Hereda said his uncle told him he had heard an explosion in the porch area about 8 pm after bringing in the Dalmatians and other dogs. The glass on the front of the electric heater was broken from the explosion. Chief Hereda said the electrical cords were not chewed by the dogs and in fact the outlets were installed higher up on the wall to prevent such an occurrence.

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Homeowner Ron Hereda was transported to Allegheny Valley Hospital by Lower Burrell #3 EMS after he required medical attention and observation. Mr. Hereda is a 40+ year life member at Kinloch VFD and was injured about 30 years ago after responding to a vehicle crash on Merwin Road. Chief Hereda said this incident could have been a whole lot worse had it occurred in the middle of the night. There was an enormous volunteer firefighter response to this incident with multiple fire trucks from surrounding communities lining the streets from Park Avenue, New York Avenue and Hill street which is where the residence is located.

Firefighters from Arnold, Kinloch, New Kensington, Lower Burrell and Plum fire departments responded to the incident along with Lower Burrell Police and Lower Burrell EMS. There were no injuries to report.

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