Swat on scene at New Kensington apartment

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

New Kensington – (UPDATE:  10:03 pm)  Additional State Police units arrived on scene at approximately 7:30 pm and are staged near the Dairy Queen on Freeport Road.  EMS units are also staged in the area.  The had been no reported movement at the scene.  It’s believed police are still trying to make contact with the individual inside the residence but his awareness to the situation ongoing outside is unknown.  Police have not released any new information in the incident.  Earlier this evening, Detective Sgt. Sam Long carried a ladder through a yard and was able to get a small child and a couple out a side window to safety.  Those residents live in the upstairs apartment according to one of those rescued.  A witness said there could have been a potential serious altercation take place by the actor, however the individual walked away from the situation and called police after some very disgusting comments.  The incident came to an end just before midnight as loud bangs rang out and police moved in to end the standoff.   Several sources at the scene identified the man inside the lower apartment as Mike Shirley.  

AKVNEWS spoke with Matt Meedo,  one of the residents who exited his apartment by way of ladder from his daughter’s bedroom.  Meedo said he was returning from shopping with his girlfriend just before 5:00 pm when he got into an altercation with Shirley.  Meedo said they smelled weed and shortly after that threats were made and Shirley called his daughter a nasty derogatory name.  Meedro’s fiance Cristen Walker called police and the group of four people in the upstairs residence huddled in a corner and waited for police to show up.  Meedro said he was in fear for his family and also feared bullets coming through the floor of his apartment.

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

New Kensington and state police are on scene along Hollingsworth street where a man is held up refusing to come out after a reported neighbor dispute. AKVNEWS saw 3 residents being taken out a window to safety. A negotiator is on scene but the status of the actor is unknown–sleeping-passed out etc according to those familiar with the actor.

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


Man injured in crash near Grandview Elementary

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

Tarentum, Pa. – Fire crews in Tarentum responded to a reported 3 vehicle crash at Ross and 7th Street just before 1:30 pm Thursday afternoon.

At the crash scene, one male was extricated from his Nissan Frontier and put on a stretcher for transport to the hospital while a second patient was evaluated/treated by New Kensington EMS. She did not appear to be injured however the male visibly had a bump on the head.

Traffic from the Tarentum Bridge was detoured through Tarentum to Freeport Road. All four lanes near Grandview were closed as EMS crews attended to the injured.

Frazer Township: Police responded to a a reported 4 vehicle crash near Tawny Run Road. At least two EMS units were requested. An elderly female was shaken up and a male in his 30’s sustained a head injury.

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


Pittsburgh Police attempt to locate missing person

Supplied Image

PITTSBURGH, PA – The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Missing Persons Unit is trying to locate Yvette Renee Johnson, 43.

Johnson was last seen March 3, 2015 in the Carrick area. Yvette is 5’4″ and weighs approximately 110 pounds. She has gray eyes and black hair and speaks with an English accent. Yvette suffers from severe asthma. It is believed that she does not have her medication. Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts is encouraged to call the Missing Persons Unit at 412-323-7141.


Helpline available to assist consumers with UPMC, Highmark health plans


HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane recently announced her office has launched a toll-free helpline through which designated staff will act as an intermediary between consumers and UPMC and Highmark.

In an effort to help consumers understand their rights and cut through confusion they have about their plans, the Office of Attorney General will contact UPMC or Highmark on behalf of consumers who have a conflict with either entity, depending upon the nature of the conflict.

Consumers who call the helpline, 1-844-743-2015, can expect to speak with a Helpline Specialist who will listen to their complaint and assist with processing their information.

In order to expedite the process, consumers should provide basic information about themselves, and be prepared to: describe in as much detail as possible the conflict they experienced with either UPMC or Highmark; provide any correspondence they may have received from either company; provide insurance coverage information because of the variety of plans that exist.

Before the complaint is processed, consumers will receive a confirmation email or letter with a summary of their complaint, as well as release forms.

Call process times will vary but Helpline Specialists will take whatever time is needed to guide consumers through the process. The helpline will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Consumers who call the helpline outside of normal business hours, on the weekend or when specialists are assisting other consumers can leave a message. Calls will be returned in the order in which they were received.

For more information about the UPMC/Highmark transition plan, consent decree or frequently asked questions, visit www.stayinformed.pa.gov.


State Police investigate alleged sexual assault

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 8:09 pm

South Buffalo Township, Pa. – The Pennsylvania State Police in Kittanning received a report of an alleged sexual assault of an 18 year old female student by an adult male teacher at the Freeport School District.

The investigation was initiated by Buffalo Township Police and turned over to state police once the possible location of the alleged assault was determined to be outside Buffalo Township in Butler County.

The alleged victim met with investigating officer Tfc. Michael Kapustik and stated that she was not sexually assaulted. Further interviews could not substantiate the original rumor of the sexual assault. The Freeport School District Administration was advised of the finding of the investigation.


Tense moments for police after shots fired in New Kensington

New Kensington Police enter a residence after shots fired incident.

New Kensington Police enter a residence after shots fired incident.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 9:25 pm

New Kensington, Pa. – Police units from New Kensington and surrounding communities responded to the 1400 block of Strawn Avenue after a report of shots fired just before 5:00 pm Tuesday afternoon.

Law Enforcement Officers from New Kensington exercised the utmost caution with guns drawn as they surrounded the residential unit believed to be the location where possible suspects were hiding after the shot fired incident. An open door at street level is where police focused their attention on entry as more supportive police units from Arnold, Lower Burrell and Upper Burrell arrived at the scene. Detective Sgt. Sam Long peered into the open door as three other officers positioned themselves for entry while two more officers positioned near a side door.

At least four officers gained entry to the street level door at 5:22 pm and the scene remained quiet not knowing what was happening inside. Eight minutes later one male suspect was led from a side door and placed in handcuffs. Not more than a minute later, a second male suspect was brought out the side door and placed in handcuffs; then a female suspect exited the structure and was taken to an awaiting police unit for detention.

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

Police found a casing lying in the middle of the street in front of the residence. After further investigation, Detective Sgt. Long said the three suspects were released from police custody and not charged in the incident.

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

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


Arnold Police seize heroin, guns and cash

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 7:20 pm

Arnold, Pa. – Westmoreland County Probation/Parole discover heroin in a residence after an early morning visit to 418 5th Street in Arnold.

County Authorities were tipped off to a possible probation/parole violation after discovering a hand gun posted on a Facebook page. Arnold Police Sgt. Marcia Cole said police were summoned to the 5th Street residence after the discovery of heroin in a bedroom and subsequently secured a search warrant on the apartment.

At the scene, Arnold Police arrested 19 year old Rashaad Blair, an apparent resident of the apartment and on probation. Police said two other females live at the residence, one of those being a juvenile.

Confiscated were two handguns ( 45 cal. and 9mm ), a sawed off shotgun, ammunition, $1000 in cash, unknown type pills, drug paraphernalia and 45 bags of heroin. Blair is currently being held in the Westmoreland County jail on a 72 hour detainer. Sgt. Cole said charges are pending but were not immediately available.

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


Wanted in Upper Burrell for failure to appear

Albert Simon

Albert Simon

(Submitted Photo)

Upper Burrell, Pa. – Police in Upper Burrell are asking for the public’s help in locating a man wanted for failure to appear on two Upper Burrell Police Department cases.

Wanted for Domestic Violence / Assault and False Reports to Law Enforcement is Albert Simon. Simon goes by the name of “Tommy” and also has an Allegheny County probation violation warrant. Simon is reported to be living in New Kensington and may have a shaved head now.

If seen, please contact Westmoreland Co 911 or the Upper Burrell Police Department at 724-335-0664. You may also send your tip or the exact location of Simon by sending an e-mail to:
police at upperburrelltwp.com Anonymous tips are welcomed.


House fire on Keystone Drive in Mt. Vernon

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

New Kensington, Pa. – Police and fire crews from Arnold and New Kensington are on scene of a house fire in the 400 block of Keystone Avenue.

Heavy black smoke was coming from the side rear of the house and an attached garage. Flames were visible as fire crews arrived on scene. Windows were immediately broken out in the garage portion of the structure for ventilation while the main house windows had been opened without damage.

New Kensington Assistant Fire Chief Ed Saliba Jr. immediately called for Rapid Intervention from Tarentum to assist with the fire. Chief Saliba said the fire appeared to have started from a tall propane heater similar to a palm tree type heater that caught the ceiling on fire in the enclosed rear porch. The fire made its way into a landing area that led to a short hallway in the house just off the back porch. Assistant Chief Saliba said the first floor sustained heat, smoke and water damage. The second floor sustained smoke damage. This fire could have been a lot worse said Saliba had it not been for being an old house that was built right for preventing fire travel. It had plaster and metal lathe that went to the ceiling of the garage preventing fire from getting into the second floor of the house. The fire has been ruled accidental.

West Penn Power has been requested to the scene. The fire appears to be mostly under control as of 1:46 pm. There are no reported injuries.

Responding to the scene were New Kensington, Arnold, Lower Burrell, New Kensington EMS and Eureka Fire Rescue from Tarentum.

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


Erasing the stains of violence

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 8:12 am

New Kensington, Pa. – Family, friends, and strangers came together Sunday night at the True Image Tattoo Shop to honor and remember shop owner Kevin Croney.

A tremendous outpouring of love and support for the family of Kevin Croney is rocking the social media world at http://www.facebook.com/AKVNEWS.COM. Well over 51,000 people have been reached and a posting of Cheri’s video message of love and thanks has been viewed over 15,320 times by supporters, family and friends in the Alle-Kiski Valley and beyond. The family’s support messages go like this……..

Cindy Anuskiewicz: I started crying for them, omg I’m so sorry that happened to any family. He’s alive if they keep his memory will last a lifetime, he’s not gone, he’s there in spirit and mind.

Kelley Houdeshell Peace be with you Kevin as you watch over your wife children and family we all loved you Kevin and we will all pull together i’m sure to help and support your wife kids family and the things you supported in honor of you.

Brittany Dunlap: Smeltzer She has such strength at this tragic time. May she continue to hold onto that strength in the coming days, months, and years. They have a long road ahead, I pray that she continues to have strength and to be surrounded by family and friends who will lift her up.

Stacy Bernstein: Beautiful words and her strength is beyond amazing.

Charlene Boney: Even though I did not know this family. I only went to true image to get my tattoo. Cheri has touched my heart in how she is handling this. She is amazing and such an inspiration. God bless you and your children!!!

Ben Fye

Ben Fye

Hear the audio by Ben Fye, Erasing the Stains of Violence and Luke Romaniw on Kevin’s Vision

Luke Romaniw

Luke Romaniw

The Kevin Croney Memorial Fund has a page set up at: http://www.gofundme.com/KevinCroney

Kevin Croney was a talented artist and created body art. Kevin dedicated time and talent to creating cosmetic tattoos for breast cancer survivors. He was a devoted father to his kids and a loving husband to Cheri. One of the many goals Cheri has is to create a scholarship for future and upcoming tattoo artists. On behalf of the Croney family, a sincere thanks for the love, support and generosity during this most difficult time.

The Croney Family:



Lower Burrell Police seek help with stolen items

Property stolen in Lower Burrell Burglary

Property stolen in Lower Burrell Burglary

Lower Burrell, Pa. – Police in Lower Burrell seek help from the public for the recovery of stolen items in a burglary that occurred on Thursday, March 12, between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Lower Burrell Detective Lieutenant Robert Galvanek said the actor kicked in the front door of the residence and stole numerous items. If anyone has any information on a suspect or has seen any of these stolen items please contact Detective Galvanek of the Lower Burrell Police Department at 724-339-4287 ext 257 or email at rgalvanek@lbpolice.org. Anonymous tips are welcome.

The incident occurred near the intersection of Hartge Road in Lower Burrell.

Please visit this AKVNEWS.COM link for a full list of the items stolen. http://wp.me/P4bLG5-32H


Hypothermia cause of death in Distant couple

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 10:18 pm

Kittanning, Pa. – Armstrong County Coroner Brian K. Myers recently released the final autopsy report for Kenneth Steffey, age 64 and Linda Darlene Cook, age 61 of Distant, Pa.

On February 23, 2015, two bodies were discovered to be outside their residence mostly covered in snow at 3240 State Route 66/28 in Distant, Pa. Distant is located approximately 18 miles north of Kittanning. An investigation into the incident was initiated by Pennsylvania State Police, New Bethlehem Police Department and the Armstrong County Coroner’s Office.

On Thursday, March 19 additional new information after autopsy was released by Coroner Myers’s Office.

1. No injuries to either person that would have caused their deaths
2. No signs of physical altercation or struggle
3. Both have significant medical conditions
4. Cause and Manner of Death are both pending toxicology

After autopsy and toxicology were received, Coroner Myers said both deaths are due to hypothermia and the manners of the deaths are accidental. There was no foul play involved.

The coroner’s office was assisted at the scene Pennsylvania State Police, New Bethlehem PD, Distant Twp. Fire Dept, Armstrong Co. Host Team 330, Clarion Station 4 Ambulance and Penn Dot.