Tips for avoiding the purchase of a flood-damaged vehicle

(Photo Courtesy Marc Averette)

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane recently offered guidelines for avoiding the purchase of a flood-damaged vehicle. According to the Federal Trade Commission, recent flooding in the Midwest and Southeast could spell trouble for car buyers throughout the country.

A flood-damaged vehicle is one that has been completely or partially submerged in water with damage to the body, engine, transmission or other mechanical components. When a dishonest dealer or owner makes cosmetic repairs and moves one of these vehicles out of the state where the damage occurred, the title gets “washed,” thereby omitting all evidence of flood or vehicle reconstruction from the title.

The car is then shipped to other states and sold to unsuspecting buyers. What looks like a good deal to the buyer may turn into a series of costly repairs and a safety threat down the road.

Attorney General Kane encouraged consumers to do the following to avoid purchasing a flood-damaged vehicle:

Have the vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic before agreeing to a purchase.

Look inside the trunk, spare tire compartment, glove compartment and dome lights for evidence of moisture, silt, rust or corrosion.

Check the engine for water damage or moisture.

Examine all areas for signs of rust, including the underside of the vehicle, door hinges and seat springs.

Look for dirt or dried mud under the dashboard, floorboard carpet or in air vents.

Perform a diagnostic check of all electrical systems and look for brittle wire casings, rust or corrosion.

Kane warned consumers to be wary of someone trying to sell a vehicle below its market value, and recommended that potential buyers research a vehicle’s history before making any purchase.

There are several websites available to assist consumers in securing information regarding a vehicle’s history. Consumers should check the following resources and verify that the vehicle history report has the most current information:

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) maintains a free database at that allows consumers to check for flood damage using vehicle information numbers (VINs).

AutoCheck provides a free “storm damage scan” for consumers at . When you enter the VIN, the service will tell you if the vehicle was reported as storm-damaged. AutoCheck also sells a more detailed vehicle history.

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) allows consumers to check a vehicle’s history at .

Attorney General Kane advised consumers to understand the difference between a flood title and a salvage title.

A flood title means the vehicle was damaged from sitting in water deep enough to fill the engine compartment.

A salvage title means the car was declared a total loss by an insurance company that paid a claim on it. The criteria for declaring a salvage title varies by state, and a small number of states give stolen vehicles a salvage title.

Consumers who suspect they have purchased a flood-damaged vehicle or have questions relating to the purchase of a used car should contact the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555.


Three injured in Tarentum crash


Tarentum, Pa. – A two vehicle crash near the Allegheny Valley Expressway at exit 14 sends three patients to local hospitals.

The incident occurred just before 11:30 am when it a white SUV and a van collided at Pleasant Road where the crossover onto Eastbound SR 366 is located.

Initial reports indicated a possible five patients but was narrowed down to three as Eureka Fire Rescue and Citizens Hose arrived on scene.

The driver of the van suffered minor injuries and the condition of the other two patients is unknown. Traffic exiting the Allegheny Valley expressway at Exit 14 was at a standstill until all patients were loaded into EMS units and Terry’s Service of Brackenridge cleared the roadway.



State Police to conduct roving/stationary DUI patrols

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 7:39 am

Kittanning, Pa. – Cpl. Christopher Robbins of the Pennsylvania State Police reports Troop D and Local Dui Task Forces will be conducting roving and stationary DUI patrols for the weekend of July 4, 2015.

Motorists are advised to be aware of their surroundings and to have their license, registrations and insurance cards readily available. Motorists are also encouraged to drive sober and or get a designated driver, along with using their seat-belts. Police report various locations in Allegheny, Armstrong and Butler County are areas where PSP has primary jurisdiction and along the Route 28 Corridor in the Alle-Kiski Valley.

Cpl. Robbins also reminds motorists of Pa MVC Title 75 Section 3327 of the Steer Clear law that requires motorists to move to the opposite lane AWAY from stopped emergency vehicles including fire, police, EMS and Tow Trucks with emergency lights activated. If you cannot move over, you must reasonably slow down when passing stopped emergency vehicles. Fines range from $85-250 plus costs and or license suspension if an emergency worker is hurt. Please drive safely.


July 1st proclaimed Gene Montemurro Day in downtown New Kensington

Support rally for robbery victim Gene Montemurro on 5th Avenue in downtown New Kensington

Support rally for robbery victim Gene Montemurro on 5th Avenue in downtown New Kensington

New Kensington, Pa. – At least 100 people attended a support rally, “Give Crime a Boot” in downtown New Kensington Wednesday afternoon for long time business man Gene Montemurro who was robbed last Friday afternoon in the 800 block of 5th Avenue.

The rally began with a round of applause for an awesome man, Gene Montemurro. New Kensington resident Ron Balla began the support rally remarks by thanking Kathy Clark for her determination purely to inspire people, and just to plain do good; this would have never been thought up. Balla went on to say, “I hope that he knows how much we appreciate how he holds out hope for the human race even in the most trying time. You still offer something for all of us to see, ” kindness, honesty and respect.”

© AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer

Mayor Tom Guzzo spoke about the terrible incident that happened to Mr. Montemurro and informed the supporters that the city will bolster the community policing efforts and do daily walking beats in downtown New Kensington.

July 1st 2015 was proclaimed as Gene Montemurro day in New Kensington. Mr. Montemurro stepped to the microphone and thanked everyone for coming. He said, ” I love you all” and that his family wants him to retire from the shoe business right now, but I’ll be around a little longer said Montemurro. A pledge of $500 was offered to the city to buy some cameras for the intersections in the downtown area and that pledge was matched by the Valley High School Vikings coach William “Muzzy” Colosimo.

The rally was capped off by a march of solidarity for the City of New Kensington. Montemurro led his supporters around the block that ended in the community garden where two apple trees were planted in his honor.

AKVNEWS.COM spoke with Mr. Montemurro on several occasions. It’s clear he’s a man who loves his work and quickly reveals it’s all about serving his customers. Retirement from his profession isn’t something he’s looking forward to and wants to work forever. Good luck to Gene in all his future endeavors, even if it means running the shoe repair business from a spare bedroom!

Best of Luck to Gene Montemurro! For a detailed video on the life of Gene Montemurro, please visit and search our page for the video and many comments from the community, family and customers.


Driver walks away from vehicle crash in New Kensington

Sgt. Russ  Baker inspects damage to guardrails after single vehicle crash on Stevenson Blvd. Tuesday morning.

Sgt. Russ Baker inspects damage to guardrails after single vehicle crash on Stevenson Blvd. Tuesday morning.

© AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer

New Kensington, Pa. – No injuries to report after the driver of a 2013 SUV crashes along Stevenson Boulevard near Subway in New Kensington early Tuesday morning.

Police on scene said the driver fell asleep hitting a curb and guardrail before the vehicle flipped on its side. Traffic was snarled for about forty minutes until Hawk Towing of Arnold was able to right the vehicle and haul it away. The incident occurred about 9:10 am.

© AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer


Crash victim identified in Washington Township fatal


Westmoreland County, Pa. – Westmoreland County Coroner, Kenneth A. Bacha, has released the following information related to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of State Route 380 and Utopia Road in Washington Township.

Thomas A. Greulich, 90 y/o male from Beech Court, Harmar Township died at 4:50 PM and was the operator and lone occupant of a 2011 Volkswagon Jetta which was stopped at the intersection of the above incident location. Gruelich attempted to make a left turn onto State Route 380 and was struck on the driver’s side by an oncoming vehicle. Deputy Coroner Timothy P. O’Donnell pronounced the Mr. Gruelich dead at the scene. A seat-belt was used by the decedent and air bags were deployed in the vehicle.

The coroner reports the Cause of Death: Blunt Force Trauma to the Head, Thorax and Extremities. Manner of Death: Accidental. Washington Township Police also investigated and will release additional details at their discretion.


One person dies in Washington Township Crash

(Photo Courtesy Steve Matto)

Washington Township, Pa. – One person is dead after a crash on SR 380 at Utopia Road in Washington Township just before 3:30 pm Tuesday afternoon.

Sources report the unidentified elderly man died in the crash as he pulled his vehicle into traffic and was hit broadside by an oncoming blue Ford pickup truck. The driver of the pickup truck did not appear to be injured in the incident but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. The front end of the truck sustained severe damage.

AKVNEWS.COM will update this story as more details become available.


Texas man traveled to Pittsburgh for sex with 10-year-old ‘girl’

Ray W. Howland

Ray W. Howland

(AG Image)

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced the arrest of a Texas man charged with attempting to set up a sexual encounter with a mother and her 10 year-old daughter. The “mother” and “daughter” were actually an undercover agent with the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.

Ray W. Howland, 55, of Arlington, was arrested Friday in Moon Township, Allegheny County following an online investigation.

According to a criminal complaint, the undercover investigation involved an adult male named “Ray,” who was allegedly “looking for a family or a couple of girls” to engage in sexual relations. The advertisement further stated that “Ray” planned to travel to the area on business.

Howland later attempted to set up a meeting for the purpose of engaging in sex with the mother and specifically the 10-year-old daughter. He explained in detail, through email and text messages, the sexual acts he hoped to engage in, agents allege.

Howland was apprehended by agents from the Office of Attorney General and the Moon Township Police Department. He is charged with one count each of criminal attempt to commit rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor, criminal attempt to commit indecent assault and criminal use of a communication facility.

A preliminary hearing is tentatively set for July 7. As of this morning, Howland was confined to the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail.

The investigation is ongoing to determine if there were other families with which Howland sought to meet.

Attorney General Kane thanked officers from the Moon Township Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

The case will be prosecuted by the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.


R.A.I.D. (Residents Against Illicit Drugs) offers training in Apollo

(Image Source © AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer)

Apollo, Pa. – One local group named R.A.I.D. (Residents Against Illicit Drugs) in Apollo is looking to help put Naloxone into the hands of anyone willing to participate in a FREE 90-minute program.

Apollo’s Mayor, Jeff Held, who founded R.A.I.D. earlier this year, is excited that his group was able to team up with other local agencies to bring this life-saving opportunity to the people of the Kiski Valley!

Drugs in the opiate family can kill by bombarding brain receptors with a chemical that stops the victim’s breathing which quickly leads to death. With heroin overdose deaths being at an all-time high across the United States, local groups are helping to put this “wonder drug” in the hands of everyday people.

Many times, too much time has passed by the time trained EMS personnel can arrive. In such cases, there is little chance of saving the victim’s life or preventing permanent brain damage often caused by the lack of oxygen.

Naloxone is the antidote that counteracts opiate and opioid class drugs by blocking the brain receptors that react to the drug. If the Naloxone can be administered within a couple of minutes, there is a very good chance that the overdose victim will start to breathe again on their own even before EMS arrives on scene. Essentially, the antidote buys more time so the victim can be transported for advanced care can be provided in order to prevent further complications.

Every Pennsylvania State Police trooper now carries Naloxone at all times. Many local police departments are also gearing up to include it as part of their standard equipment. Likewise, more and more fire department personnel are getting trained to administer Naloxone in the field.

The training provided is geared for the average person. Participants learn to identify opiate/opioid overdose victims, how to care for them and even how to inject the life-saving antidote. Before leaving, each person completing the instruction will be equipped with two doses of inject-able Naloxone. The doses are enough drug to help keep the victim breathing until medical help arrives.

The program is open to anyone that pre-registers for the event. It will be held at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, August 12th at Soldiers and Sailors Hall located in Owens Grove park at the corner of North Second Street and Park Avenue in Apollo Borough. Register now for a FREE Naloxone (Narcan®) training session in Apollo.

To register, send an e Mail to and list the full name, phone number and e Mail address of anyone planning to attend. Each registrant will receive a confirmation and updated details as the event draws near.

For additional information on R.A.I.D., heroin overdoses or the group’s efforts to eradicate drugs from their community, Mayor Held suggests visiting their Facebook page at


“Giving Crime The Boot’ in New Kensington

Ron Balla of New Kensington talks with Gene  Montemurro and daughter Joann outside shoe repair business on  June 29,2015

Ron Balla of New Kensington talks with Gene Montemurro and daughter Joann outside shoe repair business on June 29,2015

New Kensington, Pa. – New Kensington resident Ron Balla is organizing a support rally called, ” Giving Crime The Boot ” for Gene’s Shoes 850 5th Avenue in downtown New Kensington.

This event is in conjunction with The City Of New Kensington and are asking all people to stop by and show your support to send a clear message that we will respond and take a stand against crime by supporting our businesses, our friends, and our neighbors. Balla said, “let’s show that this event will be the first step in a new direction in the fight against crime in New Kensington and I hope to see you there to show your support on Wednesday July 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm.”

(Image Source GoFundMe)

“Giving Crime The Boot” is a support rally in response to a recent armed robbery in downtown New Kensington when long time business owner Gene Montemurro was robbed at his place of business on 5th Avenue in downtown New Kensington.

Gene Montemurro talks to friends and family outside his New Kensington Shoe Store.

Gene Montemurro talks to friends and family outside his New Kensington Shoe Store.

© AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer

(Original Story) New Kensington, Pa. – An armed robbery occurred Friday afternoon about 2:50 pm when two black males enter a shoe repair business in downtown New Kensington.

Detective Sgt. Sam Long said two black males entered the store, one from the front entrance and one from the back then held the store owner at gunpoint as they robbed his pockets and cash register. The incident occurred at Gene’s Shoe Repair next to a Chinese fast food service in the 800 block of 5th Avenue.

Det. Long described the man who came through the front door as a black male, approximately 6’2″, 180 lbs. wearing a black hoodie, beige cargo pants, flip flops and had a mask on. The second actor was a black male wearing dark clothing, approximately 5’9″, 160 lbs.


The store owner was not injured and no customers were in the store at the time of the armed robbery. The New Kensington Police department is asking anyone who might have information on this incident to call New Kensington Police at (724) 339-7533. All tips will remain anonymous. Assisting New Kensington Police were Arnold PD and Upper Burrell Police Department.


Ham Radio’s “Field Day” event alive and well in New Kensington

Paul R. Lowes, AKVNEWS.COM editor and publisher operates the 40 meter band on Field Day.

Paul R. Lowes, AKVNEWS.COM editor and publisher operates the 40 meter band on Field Day.

© AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer 1:42 am

New Kensington, Pa. – When somebody says their having a “Field Day”, it usually means they are having a good time!

Amateur Radio Operators across North America are currently taking part in their Annual Field Day event this weekend June 27th and 28. Ham radio is as popular as ever in the state of Pennsylvania and all across the 50 states.

So what’s the appeal to “Field Day?” FCC licensed operators take part in the annual Field Day Contest and the objective is to make as many radio contacts as possible in a 24 hour period under all sorts of power configurations, antenna configurations and “being out in the field” locations. Ham radio operators are well known for achieving flawless radio communications. Feel the need to talk across the world?; find an amateur radio operator and he’ll show you how it’s done!

In New Kensington at Skyview Radio Society, licensed ham radio operators work all 50 states logging contacts with other ham operators participating in the contest. Locally, Field Day is just one of many contests the 85 member club participates in during the year. At Skyview, training classes and testing is done to help even the youngest 8 year old enthusiast get a license. There’s no age limit; if you can pass the FCC test, you’re a ham radio operator for life!

Becoming a ham radio operator at Skyview means computers, wires, antenna’s, specialized software and great food served up by the club’s Chief Radio Officer Bob Bastone. Bastone, who’s licensed call sign is WC3O and is affectionately nicknamed “Cooky”, is just one of the masterminds when it comes to radio repairs, building antennas and cooking bacon. Some of the clubs members are electronics engineers and electrical engineers, while some members are well known, “at the joint” for starting great campfires and passing around tons of social gossip.

Licensed operators participate in Amateur Radio contest at Skyview Radio Society in New Kensington.

Licensed operators participate in Amateur Radio contest at Skyview Radio Society in New Kensington.

Everyone is welcome to join in the Amateur Radio fun at Skyview. Skyview Radio Society was born out of the old Allegheny Kiski Amateur Radio Association, AKARA. In the winter of 1959, a number of “very active” members of the AKARA discussed at a meeting the possibility of building a clubhouse. Ten members of AKARA decided to go ahead with plans to build and start a new club, Over the past 56 years, the Skyview Radio Society has remained one of the most recognized and well know contesting clubs in the nation. The club house is packed with contesting awards and articles of recognition for their great service to amateur radio. Visit the clubhouse grounds on Turkey Ridge Road in New Kensington and you’ll be amazed at the “antenna farms” spectacular view of wires, aluminum and towers in the sky.

In other contests in July of 2014, Skyview again had the honor and privilege of operating as K2M, a Pennsylvania 13 colonies special event station! Many of our members were involved in operating the stations for a total of over 4700 contacts.

(Image Courtesy Skyview Radio Society)

Join the fun and become an FCC licensed Amateur Radio operator to become part of next years “Field Day” event. For more information, please visit


Vandergrift fire departments respond to electrical fire

© AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer 1:16 am

Vandergrift, Pa. – Firefighters in Vandergrift respond to a fire call about 2:00 pm Saturday afternoon in the 200 block of Longfellow Street.

A smell of smoke and the power going out was not a good sign at a residence along Longfellow Street in Vandergrift as Westmoreland 911 dispatched crews for a structure fire. Sources at the scene told AKVNEWS.COM the water heater in the basement appeared to be the issue. Power was disconnected to the unit and ventilation utilized to clear smoke from the residence.

In a separate story dated June 17, fire crews in Vandergrift were hit with numerous flooding calls for basement flooding and a structure collapse on Longfellow Street after heavy rains pounded the Alle-Kiski Valley for several days.

At the scene near today’s electrical fire call, demolition on the brick building involved in the structure collapse was on the ground. Falling bricks came tumbling down and created an unsafe condition to residents in the area. Longfellow Street remains closed to thru traffic.

© AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer 1:16 am