Allegheny County Health Dept. supports campaign to raise awareness about diabetes

achd logo

Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is joining with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and other organizations to emphasize the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of prevention and management of the disease during American Diabetes Month in November.

Around 11% of Allegheny County residents have been diagnosed with diabetes. Nationally, over 29 million children and adults have diabetes and an additional 86 million are at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050, unless measures are taken to reduce risk factors for the disease.

To focus attention on this major health issue, the local chapter of the American Diabetes Association is holding its annual EXPO on Saturday, November 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department and Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive, will address attendees of this free event at 10:00 a.m. The EXPO, a Live Well Allegheny event, will feature free health screenings, cooking demonstrations and a wealth of information, fun and engaging activities for families and children.

“There are a growing number of individuals with diabetes or pre-diabetes in this country. Diabetes and the development of diabetes are major public health issues. But diabetes can be prevented and given the known relationship between diabetes Type 2 and obesity, we know that efforts to prevent obesity and encourage healthy lifestyles can help to decrease the incidence of the disease. For those who have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, the EXPO is an invaluable way to learn more about lifestyle changes to manage or prevent the disease. Forthcoming Live Well Allegheny events will offer additional opportunities for activities or education that promote healthy living,” said Dr. Hacker.

This year’s EXPO will feature Rufus Dorsey, an actor, writer, and fitness coach who is living with diabetes, and Jennifer Antkowiak, a local celebrity whose roles include author, caregiver advocate, fitness instructor and TV news anchor. Making a popular reappearance is Divabetics, an innovative program that combines pampering, music and games with diabetes education for women. Divabetics is the brainchild of Max Szadek, former personal assistant to the late singer Luther Vandross, who had diabetes and succumbed to complications from a stroke in 2005.


Vehicle flips after hitting fallen tree on Riddle Run Road

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 4:30 pm

Springdale Township, Pa. – One person was injured in a single vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon after the driver struck a tree that had fallen onto the roadway.

Police and fire crews responded to the scene of a crash on Riddle Run Road for an overturned vehicle that apparently hit a tree, traveled up a slight hillside along the roadway and flipped on its roof. Mark Slicker of Avonmore said was headed to the Mills Mall when the accident occurred. Slicker had a slight injury to his right hand and wrist from the air bag deployment and refused EMS services.

In the photo above and marked by the green arrow, the tall tree was split down towards the base and was partially laying on the roadway. Lower Valley EMS and Allegheny Valley VFD assisted police at the scene. East and wesbound traffic on Riddle Run Road was slowed in both directions until tow crews removed the vehicle from the crash scene. The incident occurred around 3:00 pm.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer


School bus involved in early morning crash in Allegheny Township

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 11:22 am

Allegheny Township, Pa. – Six high school students on board their school bus were not injured after being involved in a chain reaction crash early Monday morning in Allegheny Township.

The incident occurred at the intersection of Chamberlain Street and SR. 356 when the Moore School Bus was stopped to pick up additional students headed to early morning classes at Kiski Area High School. A Ford SUV driven by Keith Headley, age 31 of Allegheny Township ran into the back of a Hertz Rental Toyota Prius driven by Robert Dappolonia of Naples Florida.

Dappolonia’s rental vehicle was in the middle of the three vehicle crash and was pushed into the rear bumper of the school bus. The Prius sustained heavy front and rear end damage and was towed from the scene by Kochka Towing of Vandergrift.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

Allegheny Township Police Chief John Fortaine said Dappolonia was complaining of chest pain after the crash and was transported by Lower Kiski EMS to the hospital. Chief Fontaine said Allegheny Township Police will file citations against Headley with the local magistrate for driving while suspended and careless driving.

Markle Volunteer Fire Department provided traffic control at the scene and debris removal from the roadway. Kochka towed the Ford SUV from the crash scene. The incident occurred at 7:25 am.


Lane shift on new cloverleaf bridge nears first half completion

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

New Kensington, Pa. – Work on the new bridge at the clover leaf of Rt. 366 and Rt. 56 resumed this past week after officials corrected and redesigned the approaches to the bridge.

Dan Bartko, PennDOT’s project Manager said the approaches were just to narrow, and about 5′ had to be added for safety concerns as traffic would progress to the new bridge. AKVNEWS.COM talked to Bartko about the current phase of the project on site and optimism remains high as crews are putting down the finishing touches on the asphalt approaches. Bartko said the switch-over could take place in about a week or so once crews make the necessary barrier/lane changes to the new bridge structure.

Bartko said the concrete looks good; they did a great job on the first half of the project. Prime Contractor Carmen Paliotta began the $ $2,796,296.63 project in April and has until 5/6/2015 to complete the work. The new bridge will be approximately two feet higher to accommodate new bridge and roadway standards.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

This bridge is being constructed in 2 phases maintaining 2 way traffic eastbound and westbound throughout the entire project on SR 0366. Motorists are reminded to drive with caution and be alert when entering a work zone.


Water main break closes Falcon Park Road in New Kensington

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 9:20 am

New Kensington, Pa. – Municipal Authority of the City of New Kensington water crews were called out in the early morning hours after a major water main break near the intersection of Falcon Park Road and SR. 56 about 4:00 am Tuesday morning.

Within minutes of the break, water crews located several underground valves to shut down the thousands of gallons of water that was cutting a wide path in the berm area next to the Ace Hardware store. Heavy debris of rock and mud covered the roadway forcing its closure by New Kensington and Lower Burrell Police until New Kensington Fire Department #5 arrived to take over traffic control.


Water Authority supervisor Ed Saliba said they got enough valves shut down to stop the major leak with about four or five customers being directly affected by the break. Saliba also said customers in the higher elevations of Lower Burrell and New Kensington may experience lower water pressure and some air in the lines. Crews have been on scene of the 10″ cast iron pipe break since about 8:00 am and are working at another site to repair a leak.

Work crews from PennDOT arrived on scene about 6:00 am to take over official closure of the roadway while repairs are being made.


Pennsylvania State Police continue manhunt with latest technology

(PSP Supplied Image)

Blooming Grove, Pa. – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) continue to investigate the shooting incident at the Blooming Grove station where two Pennsylvania State Police troopers were ambushed by Eric Matthew Frein.

The Ohio Department of transportation has donated the use of a large Mylar balloon to help Pennsylvania State Police in its search for Eric Matthew Frein. Equipped with some of the latest camera technology and similar to a weather balloon, this device can provide similar levels of technology as some aviation equipment at a fraction of the cost. It is also silent as compared to helicopters.

The balloon is tethered to the ground while maximum height is 500′ and must be at least five miles from an airport. Ground visibility cannot be less than 3 miles at the time of launch. The balloon is also equipped with an automatic deflation device in case the tethered line breaks. Objects and people can be seen up to three miles away; vehicles and groups of people up to five miles away. The experimental device takes about twenty to forty-five minutes to deploy.

Frein, 31, is charged in the Sept. 12 shooting death of state Trooper Bryon Dickson, 38, who was ambushed outside a police barracks in Pike County, near the borders of New York and New Jersey.


Fire displaces residents in Natrona

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 11:33

Natrona, Pa. – All three fire companies from Natrona Heights were on scene of a basement fire at a residence on Vine Street in Natrona early Monday morning.

Incident command Assistant Fire Chief Dan Boda of Citizens Hose Fire Company said the fire was concentrated at the bottom of the steps in the basement. Initial radio reports were heard that police could not gain entrance to the residence. Fire crews were able to enter the residence that at one time was a bar located near the corner of Adler and Federal Streets.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

Crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly and only smoke was seen coming from the rear door and basement windows. Allegheny Ludlum and Norfolk Southern were notified to shut down train traffic due to a fire hose crossing the tracks at Federal Street.

The Red Cross has been notified for assistance of two adults and one child. The Allegheny County fire marshal has been called to the scene. No injuries were reported.

Assisting Harrison Township Police at the scene were Citizens Hose EMS, Hilltop Hose, Highland Hose Volunteer Fire Company, Citizens Hose, Harrison Hills VFD, Pioneer Hose and Brackenridge Fire Police. Most fire crews were released from the scene by 11:30 am.


Man arrested for running statewide counterfeit credit card ring


HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane recently announced the break-up of a counterfeit credit card ring and charges against the operation’s leader and an accomplice. A third defendant is currently incarcerated in the scheme that used dozens of counterfeit cards with matching driver’s licenses to make purchases and cash advances at banks across the state.

The investigation, led by agents from the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations, revealed the alleged theft of tens of thousands of dollars and purchases made with stolen bank account data used to make counterfeit credit cards.

Lovell “Vell” Davis III (aka Lovell Bronson), who was arrested on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, allegedly ran the counterfeit credit card ring and recruited associates including Cecelia “CC” Robinson,31, 8815 S. Halsted Ave., Chicago, Illinois, who is at large.

Davis allegedly “hired” Robinson and Latoya Jemerson (currently incarcerated in the Allegheny County Prison) to make cash advances using the credit cards he manufactured from banks in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh for $1,000 to $1,500 at a time.

For their role, Davis allegedly let Robinson and Jemerson pocket 30 percent of the daily proceeds from the cash advances. The remaining cash was deposited in Davis’ personal bank account. The three also allegedly rented vehicles with the counterfeit credit cards to travel to the various banks to obtain the cash advances.

Investigators said they found no verifiable source of income for Davis, even though he reported earning $118,000 in 2013 as a barber on Commonwealth of Pennsylvania tax records.

Lovell “Vell” Davis III, 34, 314 Francis Drive, Havertown, Delaware County, is charged with 51 counts of access device fraud; one count of corrupt organizations; one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities; one count of unlawful device making equipment; one count of criminal conspiracy; two counts of possessing instruments of crime; and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Davis was preliminarily arraigned and remanded to the Allegheny County Prison after failing to post $25,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 3, 2014 before Magisterial District Judge Anthony W. Saveikis.

Cecelia “CC” Robinson is charged with five counts of access device fraud; four counts of theft by unlawful taking; three counts of receiving stolen property; three counts of theft of services; three counts of theft by deception; two counts of theft; one count of corrupt organizations; one count of forgery; one count of possessing instruments of crime; one count of criminal conspiracy; and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Attorney General Kane thanked the North Fayette Township Police Department and the Robinson Township Police Department (both of Allegheny County), Havertown Township Police Department (Delaware County), Philadelphia Police Department, Department of Labor & Industry, Department of Revenue, Wells Fargo Bank and Citizens Bank for their assistance with the investigation.


Man flown by air transport after motorcycle crash on Bakerstown Road

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 7:15 pm

Tarentum, Pa. – One person is injured in a single vehicle motorcycle crash in the 1300 block of Bakerstown Road Saturday evening about 6:20 pm.

Firefighters responded to a man down after losing control of his motorcycle near the bad bend on Tarentum-Bakerstown road . Radio reports indicated the operator sustained a head injury and a large laceration to the left leg.

The victim in the crash was transported to the Tarentum Marina by Eureka EMS for air transport by LifeFlight. Bakerstown road was closed for about an hour until tow crews arrived to clear the scene.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

Police were assisted by Eureka Fire EMS and Summit Hose.


Man missing found dead in vehicle crash

(AKVNEWS Stock Image)

Apollo, Pa. – (Bell Township) The Westmoreland County Office of the Coroner and Pennsylvania State Police Kiski Valley report a 41 year old South Greensburg Borough man was found deceased by a jogger Thursday evening in Bell Township.

The Coroners office report indicates Albert R. Shaner, III was last seen on October 17th at approximately 2:05 AM in the Avonmore area of Westmoreland County. Shaner was driving a 2013 Chrysler 300C at the time of the crash. The report indicated a passing jogger noticed wreckage and contacted Westmoreland 911.

Bell Township Fire Chief Steve Master said the vehicle was 100 feet down over a hillside and about 150 feet off the roadway. Firefighters blocked roadways in the area of SR. 981 for about 4 hours while Kiski State Police and the Coroners office processed the scene.

It appeared Shaner failed to negotiate a left curve while he was traveling north on SR. 981. The vehicle traveled off the east berm and down a steep embankment. The vehicle came to rest in a secluded wooded area. He was last seen by his friends and family about a week ago.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Tim O’Donnell. Speed is believed to have played a factor in the incident. An autopsy will be performed by Dr. Cyril H. Wecht and Pathology Associates on October 24, 2014. Toxicology results will not be available for several weeks.

Assisting at the scene were Saltsburg, Avonmore, and Bell Township Fire departments. EMS assistance was provided by Lifestat Saltsburg. Kochka Towing from Vandergrift towed the vehicle from the crash scene.


Narcotics Enforcement Team roundup results in numerous arrests

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

Cheswick, Pa. – Alleged drug dealers were apprehended on multiple outstanding warrants for drug possession, possession with intent to deliver and other charges in a major sweep that included areas of Etna, Sharpsburg, Swissvale, Tarentum and Brackenridge.

Twenty or more suspects were brought in to District Magistrate Judge David J. Sosovicka’s courtroom for arraignments and processing after what police and investigators call a 12 month investigation in the Northeastern zone of Allegheny County. Police investigators and Law Enforcement Officers of DANET (District Attorney Narcotics Enforcement Team) were out in full force tracking down suspects wanted for illegal drug activities.

Tony Colbert, an 18-year-old student from Shaler Senior High School was arrested and charged with Criminal Use of A Communication Facility – Possession – Delivery and Possession With Intent To Deliver (Marijuana). Colbert’s drug deal did not occur on school property.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

Suspects were found by multiple sources, neighbor complaints and then targeted in those communities. Police say the lack of drug dealers in these areas will help reduce thefts and other crime that is plaguing some local communities.

The alleged sales involved heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana, cocaine, meth amphetamines and prescription narcotics.


GetGo robbery images released by New Kensington Police department

gg1 (NKPD Supplied Image)

NEW KENSINGTON, PA. – Police in New Kensington have released images of the armed robbery that occurred Tuesday night at the GetGo near New Kensington’s Giant Eagle.

Detective Sergeant Dino DiGiacobbe said the incident occurred about 10:25 pm as police were looking for a black male, 5’7″, wearing a white bandanna, black hoody, black jeans, black gloves. Sergeant DiGiacobbe also said the robber brandished a semi-automatic handgun. Newport cigarettes and an unknown amount of cash were taken in the incident. The suspect fled on foot towards the K-Mart.


Law Enforcement Officers from surrounding communities began searching nearby streets, the K-Mart parking lot area and the area behind K-Mart including the Giant Eagle loading dock areas. Lower Burrell Law Enforcement Officer Steve Cernava and K-9 Dax conducted a perimeter search of the immediate area.


Units from Brackenridge, Lower Burrell, and Arnold PD assisted New Kensington at the scene. Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect should contact New Kensington Police @ (724) 339-7533.