New Kensington fire department dispatched for carbon monoxide alarm

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 5:53 pm

NEW KENSINGTON, PA. – Firefighters and EMS crews responded to a call for help after a CO alarm alerts residents to possible carbon monoxide in their home.

Crews were dispatched just before 3:00 pm today by Westmoreland 911 for possible patients to a residence in the 1600 block of Hazlett Street. New Kensington 1st Assistant Fire Chief Ed Saliba Jr. said there was no detection of carbon monoxide in the residence however a request was made for the gas utility to investigate the incident.

No residents were transported by EMS, and the home was naturally ventilated. The cause for the alarm was a dead battery in the detector. Chief Saliba said this is the time of year when residents should get their appliances checked by qualified personnel to ensure they are in proper working condition for the upcoming winter season. Residents are urged to install new furnace filters, have the chimney checked, and have the intake/exhaust checked for outside obstructions on newer type furnaces that don’t use a flu.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and colorless gas that can kill people before they realize it’s in their homes. CO is a by-product of incomplete combustion and comes from malfunctioning appliances, such as gas or oil furnaces, wood burning stoves and gas clothes dryers. When these appliances are not adequately ventilated, carbon monoxide can build up in the home to lethal levels.

A carbon monoxide detector is designed to sound an alarm if it senses dangerously high CO levels in a short time. There are three different types of detectors on the market: plug-in, battery-operated and hardwired (connected to the home’s wiring system). A basic unit will cost less than $20. However, some detectors have features such as current CO-level displays or peak-CO memory buttons; others sound an 85-decibel horn in addition to emitting verbal warnings. Depending on the features, shoppers should expect to pay as much as $60 for these higher-end models.

To the surprise of many consumers, CO detectors have a finite lifespan. The sensors wear out within five to seven years, and the newest detectors come equipped with an end-of-life timer. At that point, the devices essentially self-destruct — beeping constantly until replaced.


NIH to admit Texas nurse diagnosed with Ebola virus

(CDC Image)

BETHESDA, MD. – Later today, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center expects to admit the first nurse who contracted the Ebola virus at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital while providing patient care to the index patient who died of Ebola. The nurse is being admitted to the Special Clinical Studies Unit of the NIH Clinical Center at the request of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. She will receive state-of-the-art care in this high-level containment facility, which is one of a small number of such facilities in the United States.

The NIH Clinical Center’s Special Clinical Studies Unit is specifically designed to provide high-level isolation capabilities and is staffed by infectious diseases and critical care specialists. The unit staff is trained in strict infection control practices optimized to prevent spread of potentially transmissible agents such as Ebola. No additional details about the patient are being shared at this time.

NIH is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our patients, NIH staff, and the public.

The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. There were a small number of cases reported in Nigeria and a single case reported in Senegal; however, these cases are considered to be contained, with no further spread in these countries.

One imported case from Liberia and associated locally acquired cases in healthcare workers have been reported in the United States. CDC and partners are taking precautions to prevent the further spread of Ebola within the United States. CDC is working with other U.S. government agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other domestic and international partners and has activated its Emergency Operations Center to help coordinate technical assistance and control activities with partners. CDC has also deployed teams of public health experts to West Africa and will continue to send experts to the affected countries.


Actor pokes victim with golf club – PSP News Kittanning

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer (Stock Image) 12:03 pm

APOLLO, PA. – Tpr. Glasgow of the Kittanning State Police reported an incident of theft in Apollo after the victim left the window of his vehicle open while parked outside his residence. Unknown actors removed the victims wallet through the open window and the investigation continues.

An incident of harassment took place in Mahoning Township, Armstrong County after a 46-year-old male actor became angry because the victim was sitting with his girlfriend on the couch. An altercation took place and the accused poked the victim in the head with a golf club. Harassment charges were filed at District Court 33-3-04.

Criminal Warrant Incident: Tpr. Timothy Amy reported while operating on routine patrol in a marked PA State Police car, he observed a motorist driving with an expired inspection sticker. Tpr. Amy initiated a traffic stop on a gray colored Saab SDN in the parking lot area of Troy Alan Buick. It was discovered that Erin Dawn Darney, 36 of Kittanning had an active bench warrant out of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office for Retail Theft. Darney was taken into custody without incident and was transferred to the Butler County Sheriffs. She was subsequently placed in the Butler County Jail. A citation for operating a vehicle with an expired inspection was filed on Darney.

In Parks Township, an incident of Burglary was investigated by Tpr. Kaczmarczyk after an unknown suspect made entrance into a residence when the victim was not at home. An unspecified monetary amount of silver coins were reported missing from the residence. Investigation continues.

Suspected DUI in Harrison Township: Tpr. Pomaybo of Kittanning PSP reported an incident of a traffic violation and suspected DUI after a 39-year-old male from Natrona Heights was stopped for weaving off the roadway and following too closely to another vehicle. The suspect was taken into custody for DUI and transported for a consent blood test. Charges pending blood results.

In Armstrong County: Tpr. T. Geible reported an incident of Forgery after a victim was given two counterfeit $20.00 bills for two separate purchases of small dollar items at a yard sale. An ongoing investigation into the passing of counterfeit US currency was being conducted by PSP at the time. Suspect Gregory Douglas, age 40 of Kittanning and suspect Jesica McNeely, age 27 of Rural Valley were involved in the incident. Douglas was taken into custody on other charges and was questioned about the incident. Douglas confessed to have been involved with McNeely at the yard sale. Charges were file in the incident.


Subway robbery suspect photos released by New Kensington Police

subway robber (NKPD Supplied Image)

NEW KENSINGTON, PA. – Detective Sgt. Bob Deringer told AKVNEWS.COM police have submitted evidence to the crime lab for processing that was recovered from last weeks robbery of the Subway on Stephenson Boulevard in New Kensington. Police were able to recover a facemask, sunglasses, gloves and a plastic gun.

subway robber2

The robbery occurred late last Wednesday night as multiple police units from Lower Burrell, Upper Burrell, Arnold and the Pennsylvania State Police searched the areas across the street from the Subway towards the Animal Protectors, Freeport Street, Anderson Street, and additional streets West of Constitution Boulevard towards 5th Avenue. Police were looking for the actor of the armed robbery described as a black male, 5’7″or 5’9″, short curly hair wearing a black bandanna, dark grey pants, grey or blue hoody with sunglasses.

subway robber3

Detective Sgt. Deringer said there is no new information on this crime but police are asking anyone with information on the robbery to contact the New Kensington Police Department at (724) 339-7533 or 7534.


New Kensington residents want a timeline for fixing crime, landlord neglect

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 3:15 am

NEW KENSINGTON, PA. – Residents packed the council chambers on Monday night to once again voice their concerns and issues with the ongoing crime problems and landlord neglect of properties in the City of New Kensington.

This meeting was not the same as last months meeting when residents came to vent their frustrations, but more of and issue of “when” council is going to fix the crime that is overwhelming the residents with fear. Jennifer Murray of Fourth Avenue said she now owns a gun, and worries for the safety of her 18 month old grandson when he comes to visit.

Ron Balla of Fair Oaks Place along with several other residents believe a police dog is needed as a tool in the fight against crime. It’s about the prevention of crime said Balla. Mayor Tom Guzzo said he meets with the police chief every day to discuss ongoing issues facing the police department. Police Chief Tom Klawinski said his police department has increased patrols and his office has sought out additional help from state and federal agencies.

Many residents praised the police department for their efforts and response time, while some residents complained of little or no presence on their streets. Residents complained of speeding on their streets; some want speed bumps and one way streets implemented as a way to deter drug and other unwanted traffic.

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

Council agreed to hire a part-time code enforcement officer to help reduce the load of the two full-time employees who are swamped with landlord issues, rental issues, high grass and dilapidated houses in extreme states of disrepair. Residents living next to some of these blighted properties are tired of seeing their property values go down and want action from code enforcement to enforce the regulations and standards already on the books. Pat McGrath, Code Enforcement Officer said there’s a system in place that has to be followed, and it takes time to get things accomplished.

Due to the very large crowd attending the meeting, many residents stood outside council chambers trying to hear the proceedings. Council assured residents microphones would be put in place before next months meeting.

At the end of the three-hour meeting, it was somewhat unclear if residents walked away satisfied with the direction of travel City Council has put forward. The Mayor and Council thanked the residents for their interest and encouraged an even larger crowd for next month.


Highland Hornets coach Don Bushman dedicated to youth football

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 10:52 am

NATRONA, PA. – Friends, family, and Hornet alumni came out to celebrate the retirement of their coach who has been involved in Highland Hornet football for the past 45 years.

With his wife Janie, his sons, grandsons, daughter and great-grandchildren by his side, Don Bushman accepted the bronze football trophy from longtime friend Mike Tatusko. That trophy carried the inscription, “Pride began with you and still continues today.”

Don Bushman was greeted by former players and families who wanted to express their thanks for being a huge influence in their lives with Hornet Football and beyond. When the ceremony was over, Bushman headed back across the field to do some more coaching. Bushman began his coaching and involvement in youth football since the programs beginnings in 1969. The ceremony was held Saturday evening at Bushman Field, Harrison Township.

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


PennDOT reminds motorists to watch for fall driving hazards

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer (Stock Image)

UNIONTOWN, PA. – With fall’s arrival, PennDOT is reminding motorists to use caution and be alert for seasonal travel hazards like sun glare, frosty mornings and wet leaves.

Sun glare can affect morning and evening commutes as sunrise and sunset coincide with rush-hour traffic. As intense sun glare can affect a driver’s vision, motorists can prepare by keeping a pair of sunglasses within reach, removing items from vehicle sun visors and by keeping vehicle windshields clean.

As overnight temperatures approach freezing, motorists should watch for frost and icy spots, especially on bridges, overpasses and shaded areas on roadways. Drivers should also be certain that their vehicles’ windows are clear of frost before driving.

Wet leaves are extremely slippery and can obscure traffic lines and pavement markings. Drivers can help reduce their risk of a crash by slowing down and using extra caution on leaf-covered roadways, especially on narrow or winding roads.

PennDOT offers these additional fall driving tips:
· Check your vehicle’s headlights, taillights and turn signals to ensure they are working properly, since darkness will be part of many drivers’ morning and evening commutes.
· Have your vehicle’s heating and wiper systems checked to ensure they are working properly. Pennsylvania law requires you to turn on your headlights if your wipers are in use.
· Be sure you have tires with sufficient tread depth in case of an early season snowfall.
· Watch for students walking or waiting for their buses along your commute route.

Visit or call 511 from any phone to check traffic conditions before heading out. PennDOT urges motorists to avoid calling 511PA while driving. Motorists should safely pull off the road before calling the system, or check online for travel information before leaving home.


Vandergrift commercial structure sustains heavy smoke and fire damage

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 8:10 pm

VANDERGRIFT, PA. – Deputy Fire Chief Randy Dunmire said multiple fire departments responded to a one story commercial structure just after 4pm Saturday afternoon.

When firefighters arrived, a key holder was called to the scene but firefighters were instructed to make a forced entry at the rear of the structure. Upon entering the building, crews found a large body of fire in the center of the business. Firefighters extinguished the fire eventually ventilating the building and roof to control heavy smoke conditions. Two businesses, Occasions and Legacy Printing were closed at the time of the fire. A neighboring business called 911 Dispatch to report the blaze.

The rear portion of the structure was used for a printing business and the front was utilized for retail sales. The fire marshal has been called to the scene, but authorities speculate the fire was accidental in nature.

Crews responding were Vandergrift, Leechburg, West Leechburg, Oklahoma, Markle and Washington Township.


New Kensington Police Sergeant rescues animals from smokey house fire

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 4:42 pm

NEW KENSINGTON, PA. – New Kensington Police, EMS and fire units rushed to the scene of a house fire on the 2nd floor of a residence in the 1200 block of Kenneth Avenue early Friday afternoon.

Light to moderate smoke was seen coming from the second floor windows as Assistant Fire Chief Ed Saliba Jr. entered the structure in an effort to stay ahead of a potentially big fire. Firefighters were seen on ladders at the back of the structure entering the second floor. One firefighters fell into the 2nd floor as he was exiting his ladder but did not appear to be injured.

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

Cheers from the bystanders, city workers and firefighters were heard when New Kensington Sergeant Sam Long exited the structure after rescuing a cat and rabbits from the residence. At least two patients were evaluated at the scene by New Kensington EMS. Initial reports on the cause of the fire was to be electrical in nature, possibly an air conditioning unit. Damage to the house is extensive. Lower Burrell Station 69 RIT and Arnold Fire assisted at the scene.




PennDOT announces details for Act 89-Funded “Green Light-Go” Traffic Signal Program


Harrisburg, PA. – A new program made possible by Act 89, Pennsylvania’s far-reaching transportation plan, will clear the way for traffic signal improvements that could dramatically ease congestion, PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch announced earlier this week.

PennDOT’s “Green Light-Go” program will assist municipalities with traffic signal operations, allowing them to make needed improvements.

“Our ‘Green Light-Go’ program, which is only possible because of Act 89, is aimed at helping financially-strapped municipalities get a jump on upgrading their traffic signals,” Schoch said. “By using state-of-the-art signal systems that can be timed to maximize traffic flow, motorists will notice quicker commute times and less time sitting in traffic.”

Municipalities can now apply to PennDOT for funding to make signal improvements on state-owned highways. Projects on corridors with fewer than 10,000 vehicles per day will be managed by the municipality, and PennDOT will manage projects with signals on corridors that have greater than 10,000 vehicles per day. Both types of projects will require a 50 percent match from the municipality.

Act 89, which Gov. Tom Corbett signed in November 2013, makes up to $10 million available for traffic signal improvements in the current fiscal year. The Act 89 allocation rises to up to $25 million in 2015-16 and up to $40 million in 2016-17 and thereafter.

The deadline for municipal applications is Nov. 14, 2014. Materials about applying for the program can be found at


New Kensington Police say double homicide suspect found murdered next night in Homewood

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 12:17 pm

NEW KENSINGTON, PA. – Police Chief Tom Klawinski, along with Mayor Tom Guzzo held a press conference at 11:00 Thursday morning to update the community on the investigation of the double homicide that took place on Wednesday, August 20th on Fourth Avenue in New Kensington.

Chief Tom Klawinski said he believes the murder case of Shannon Bongarts and John Russ has been solved. Police and investigators believe Brian Hall, 18 of Penn Hills was the lone gunman in the double homocide.

Brian Hall

Brian Hall

(Supplied Image New Kensington Police)

Chief Klawinski said a suspect was developed early on that day but all police had was street names; no identification and only a young black male from the Penn Hills or Plum area. Early the next day (Thursday) police had a name of the suspect and were notified Friday morning Hall was found murdered in Homewood Thursday night.

Chief Klawinski went on to say what has taken so long to announce this information is that police and investigators were conducting search warrants of a residence, phone records, etc. Police wanted to be sure and be able to say, “this is our guy”. The drug debt, informants police talked to, friends of both victims have told police Mr. Russ had ripped off Brian Hall for substantial money and some drugs, and that’s why he killed them.

Police believe thousands of dollars were involved in the incident. Bongarts and Russ had previous drug convictions and had lived on Fourth Avenue from time to time.

The female victim was his girlfriend, and they came out of house together. She was in wrong place at the wrong time by association. Witnesses say only one shooter but police are unsure if there was a driver also involved in the murder incident.


Early morning crash in Allegheny Township injures two drivers

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 9:59 am

ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP, PA. – Police and firefighters responded to a two vehicle crash in Allegheny Township at approximately 7:00 am Thursday morning.

Allegheny Township Police Chief John Fontaine said the crash occurred when one vehicle headed eastboud on Rt. 56 towards Vandergrift collided with an SUV that was making a left hand turn onto Town Center Drive. The Chevy pickup truck sustained heavy front end damage in the crash and the vehicle’s forward momentum resulted in the truck hitting a high curb climbing the hillside striking several large landscaping rocks.

Chief Fontaine said one male was transported by Lower Kiski EMS to Forbes Regional Hospital and the other male went to the hospital by private vehicle. Law Enforcement Officer Mark Junod* investigated the crash while Markle and Allegheny Township firefighters assisted police at the scene with traffic control and debris removal. Kochka Towing Service removed both vehicles from the scene.

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