Virginia man killed in Westmoreland County crash


Westmoreland County, Pa. – One man is dead following a motor vehicle crash in Westmoreland County about 1:30 am Saturday morning.

The incident occurred on County Line Road, approximately (525) feet south of Rustic Ridge Road in Donegal Township.

Westmoreland County Coroner, Kenneth A. Bacha, has released the following information. The decedent, Robert P. Balance, age 23 from Harry Court in Stafford Virginia was the front seat passenger of a 2006 Mazda 6 traveling west on County Line Road. The vehicle traveled over the crest of a hill and for an unknown reason crossed into the opposite lane of travel, returned to the proper lane of travel, left the north side of the roadway, struck multiple trees and flipped onto its roof.

Balance was ejected from the vehicle onto the roadway. Deputy Coroner Joshua C. Zappone investigated the incident and pronounced the decedent dead at the scene. Speed is believed to have been a factor in the incident and air bags were deployed in the vehicle. The decedent’s seat-belt was buckled, but its proper use is unknown at this time. Cell phone use has not been considered a factor in the incident.

An autopsy will be performed on this date by Dr. Cyril H. Wecht and Pathology Associates.


USW Condemns ATI Decision to Lock Out 2,200 Workers

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Brackenridge, Pa. – (Pittsburgh) – The atmosphere surrounding the three local ATI plants in Brackenridge, Vandergrift and Leechburg is currently calm amid reports a lockout by the company is eminent and scheduled for the weekend. Several construction workers were seen leaving ATI’s plant in Brackenridge while traffic in and out of the Vandergrift plant was nearly non-existent.

The United Steelworkers (USW) union today condemned the decision by specialty metals company Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) to lock out 2,200 workers at 12 plants in six states.

“It’s outrageous that the company has chosen this destructive path, but it is clear that ATI intended to lock these workers out since day one,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “From the beginning, the company has bargained in bad faith to dictate the terms of an agreement.”

The lockout is the culmination of a months-long campaign by ATI management to force workers to accept draconian and unnecessary concessions. It is spending millions of dollars on bringing outsiders to replace skilled and experienced union members even though the union has never threatened to strike or even conducted a strike authorization vote.

In fact, the USW bargaining committee voted on Aug. 10 to return to their plants and hold confidential consultations with their members to determine whether to hold ratification votes on management’s offer. That democratic process has been needlessly interrupted by the company’s actions.

Starting in January—months before contract negotiations between the USW and ATI began—ATI management hired outside consultants to recruit replacement workers and forced union members to sit through captive-audience meetings aimed at intimidating them into accepting concessions.

For a company so fixated on cost-savings, ATI’s plan to toss more money down the drain paying replacement workers and security personnel, in addition to creating ill-will with their employees and in the community, is foolish.

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“We recognize that we are facing a difficult environment, but the way to address these problems is by working together, not by creating arbitrary deadlines and issuing threats,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who chairs the ATI bargaining committee.

Rather than accepting the union’s offer to continue working under the terms of the old contract while negotiations continue, ATI moved to lock their employees out of their jobs.

“We have taken this process seriously, and the company has instead chosen to engage in bad-faith bargaining and to derail our union’s democratic process through this announcement,” Conway said.

“We remain ready and willing to bargain toward an agreement that is fair to both sides, and today we informed the company that our June 30 offer to remain at work while negotiations continue still stands,” Conway stressed.

AKVNEWS will continue to follow this story as more information becomes available.


Armstrong County Jail suspends warden

© Copyright AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer 4:00 pm

Kittanning, Pa. – The Armstrong County Prison Board met on Thursday morning to announce the hiring of an outside investigate service to look into the escape of suspected killer Robert Crissman Jr. on July 30th, 2015.

Jason Lewis, Solicitor for the Armstrong County Prison Board said after the regular board meeting this morning two main actions were taken. A special meeting was held on Monday by the board to hire an outside investigating firm. Solicitor Lewis said CSI Inc. was hired this morning to investigate the circumstances surrounding the escape of Robert Crissman that led to a subsequent homicide in Rayburn Township. Lewis said CSI has department of corrections experience and will look into exactly what happened; they will review jail policy and procedures to reassure public safety that the county is running a safe and secure facility.

Solicitior Lewis said Warden Dave Hogue has been suspeneded without pay pending results of the investigation.

Richard Fink, president of the Armstrong County Prison Board said in a interview more people were in attendance at this mornings meeting vs. having the meeting at the jail. Some discussion was centered around some sort of warning or alarm system not only for people close to the jail but in all of Armstrong County in the event of future situations at the jail.

Residents asked if at some point the Prison Board would have a meeting with the residents who live close to the jail. The prison board was receptive to the idea and when more information becomes available, they would be willing to do that.

Commissioner Rich Fink

Commissioner Rich Fink

As far as fencing the facility, county jails historically usually don’t have fencing but Commissioner Fink said the board is looking at all the options. The jail opened in 2003 and regulations require inmates to spend time outdoors. How that is accomplished at the jail is by having a gym or auditorium type area with a large “garage door type area” fenced in and facilitates the regulation without allowing inmates access to the “outside” area at the jail. The board has suspended the trustee program at the jail and eliminates the inmates ability to exit the facility under that program.

Commissioner Fink also said it’s very important the County has now hired an outside investigative firm to review and make any recommendations concerning the jail rather than the county investigating themselves.


DEA Announces 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back

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DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg recently announced the 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back. As authorized, the event will take place in Pennsylvania and Delaware on September 12th from 10 am-2 pm local time. As with the previous nine Take-Back events, sites will be set up throughout communities nationwide so local residents can return their unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal.

Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to . This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

“Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat,” Rosenberg said. “Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”

In the previous nine Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2014, 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons of drugs were collected.


District judge now faces additional charges of bribery, harassment


HARRISBURG — Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced her office has filed additional criminal charges against Jeffrey Scott Joy, a York County magisterial district judge. The charges were filed following allegations that Joy offered to expunge a woman’s criminal record and vacate her outstanding court fines if she “modeled” lingerie for him.

Joy, 50, 13 S. 4th St., New Freedom, was charged today with two felony counts of bribery in official and political matters. Other charges include two misdemeanor counts of harassment, as well as one misdemeanor count of official oppression.

Joy was charged last week with misdemeanor counts of official oppression, indecent assault and harassment, as well as a summary count of harassment.

The woman whose allegations are the basis of the charges filed today made a report earlier this week to the Pennsylvania State Police, the agency investigating the case. The woman reported that she appeared in Joy’s courtroom. She said the judge later made unsolicited visits to her home, including one instance in which she said that he offered to vacate her court fines and expunge her criminal record, according to a criminal complaint.

The woman told state police Joy offered to do this if she would “model” items of lingerie for him. The woman said she believed this was a quid pro quo offer, the criminal complaint states.

Joy was initially charged after a different woman who appeared in his courtroom made a report to state police. The woman stated that Joy visited her apartment and allegedly groped her backside and breast and also licked her breast without her consent, state police said in a criminal complaint.

The investigation also included interviews with two additional women. One claimed Joy made inappropriate sexual comments toward her while in his courtroom. The other woman reported that Joy made multiple visits to her home after she appeared in his court.

Joy was assigned to the district court located on Fairview Court in New Freedom.

The Office of Attorney General assumed jurisdiction in the case upon receiving a conflict referral from the York County district attorney’s office. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Daniel J. Dye.

The Office of Attorney General and Pennsylvania State Police have reason to believe Judge Joy may have engaged in inappropriate, corrupt, or criminal contact with other citizens who appeared in his court. Anyone with information concerning Judge Joy is encouraged to contact the Pennsylvania State Police York barracks at 717-428-1011.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)


Suspected heroin and gun seized in Arnold bust

Arnold Law Enforcement Officer Wes Biricocchi escorts Tonnette Williams for arraignment on Tuesday    August  11, 2015 in New Kensington

Arnold Law Enforcement Officer Wes Biricocchi escorts Tonnette Williams for arraignment on Tuesday August 11, 2015 in New Kensington

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Arnold, Pa. – One person is arrested after police execute an early morning search warrant on a residence at 219 16th Street in Arnold.

Arnold Law Enforcement Officer Wes Biricocchi said the incident began when police from Arnold, Lower Burrell, and New Kensington executed a knock and announce on the residence at approximately 6:10 am Tuesday morning. A young juvenile answered the door, then officers cleared the residence locating two adults and detained them.

Arrested in the incident was 39-year-old Tonnette Williams. Williams was found to be in possession of marijuana, rolling paper and a glass pipe. A digital scale contained a white powdery residue that was later tested positive for cocaine. Next to the scale was a white lid to a pill bottle containing a white powdery substance later identified and tested positive for cocaine plus 3 cell phones.

Police also located on the dresser was a water bottle. This bottle was cut in half with the water sealed in the bottom half. The bottle was made into a container in the middle under the label to conceal narcotics for transportation. The inside container of this bottle contained a white reside being suspected cocaine which field tested positive for cocaine.

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A further search led police to finding 1 bundle (15 stamp bags) of suspected heroin wrapped with a small black rubber band under the bed on the floor. Located in a back room was a purse that contained a chunk of an unknown pill, a small amount of marijuana, metal knuckles and $90. Located in a second dresser was a loaded 9mm magazine and inside a bedroom closet a .22 caliber revolver pistol. Williams has a Preliminary Hearing on 08/20/2015 @ 10:30 am before Magisterial District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr.

Williams faces the following charges:

F Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver
M Int Poss Contr Subst By Per Not Reg
M Int Poss Contr Subst By Per Not Reg
M Int Poss Contr Subst By Per Not Reg
M Poss Of Marijuana
M Use/Poss Of Drug Paraph
M1 Make Repairs/Sell/Etc Offensive Weapons
M1 Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense


High rate of speed crash causes ejection and rollover in Lower Burrell

© Copyright AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer 5:18 pm

Lower Burrell, Pa. – A man and a woman were injured with one person being ejected from the vehicle after a high speed crash on SR 56 Eastbound in Lower Burrell near Hillcrest Country Club.

According to a witness, Lower Burrell Police said the Eastbound Lexus SC400 was traveling at a high rate of speed in the left hand lane passing traffic when it approached the merge point in the roadway. Upon entering that merge point, the driver abruptly entered the right hand merge lane losing control of the vehicle. The vehicle ran up the hillside taking out a large PennDot sign, continued Eastbound approximately 100′ and rolled over back onto the highway.

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Sgt. Zach Beam of the Lower Burrell Police Department said Christi Lindermuth, 40, of New Kensington was ejected thru the windshield while the driver, Austin Sobota, age 19 of Arnold crawled from the vehicle after the crash. Both patients were flown from the established landing zone behind Hillcrest Shopping Center by Stat MedEvac and LifeFlight air transport to Pittsburgh Hospitals.

Eastbound 56 traffic was re-routed while the scene was cleared. Lower Burrell VFD cleared debris from the roadway and ran traffic control. The crash incident occurred about 4:00 pm and is under investigation.

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New Kensington Police seek help with pedestrian hit and run

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New Kensington, Pa. – (UPDATE @ 7:31 am)  New Kensington Detective Sgt. Sam Long said the man who police were looking for turned himself in at approximately 4:30 pm Tuesday after AKVNEWS.COM ran the story earlier in day at 11:31 am.  

(Original Story)  Police in New Kensington are asking the public’s help in locating a vehicle/driver involved in a pedestrian vs. vehicle incident that occurred about 2:00 am Sunday morning in the Westbound lane of SR 56 between Powers Drive and 7th Streets.

Detective Sgt. Sam Long said a man was found lying in the roadway suffering serious injuries after being hit by a white vehicle. Damages to the white vehicle would include the following: bumper, fog lights and front end. The victim was transported to a Pittsburgh Hospital.

If you or anyone you know has information on this hit and run incident, please call the New Kensington Police Department @ (724) 339-7533 or dial 911.


USW Responds to ATI Ultimatum, Remains Committed to Bargaining

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From the USW Website: The USW Bargaining Committee at ATI issued the following statement today after meeting in Pittsburgh to review the company’s Aug. 6 “last best and final” contract offer. The company requested that “the Union accept this proposal and recommend it for ratification by 3:00 p.m. on Monday, August 10, 2015” and that, if the USW failed to accept the proposal and recommend it for ratification, “the Company reserves its right to take lawful action, including a lockout, for the purpose of supporting” its bargaining position.

We remain committed to negotiating an agreement that is fair to both the company and the union. We believe we’ve made significant progress in these talks and that there is ample opportunity for us to continue to do so.

AKVNEWS will update this late breaking news as more details become available.


Longtime Alle-Kiski Valley football coach dies

Don Bushman (right) accepts a trophy for his dedication to the Highland Hornets from  organization president Mike Tatusko

Don Bushman (right) accepts a trophy for his dedication to the Highland Hornets from organization president Mike Tatusko

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NATRONA, PA. – Starting in 1969, Don Bushman created the Highland Hornets Football organization and since then, thousands of youth football players came to respect the man who cared about his players and their futures.

Sadly, Don Bushman passed away Saturday night at the age of 76. In an earlier event held in his honor back in October 2014, 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.

Bushman was inducted into the Alle-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. Arrangements are being handled by Cicholski-Zidek Funeral Home in Natrona Heights.


Apollo man arrested for indecent assault


PITTSBURGH, PA – The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police arrested Rosendo Homelio Perez Scott, 33, of Apollo, for an indecent assault incident that occurred at approximately 2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4 in the 300 block of McKee Place in Oakland.

According to the investigation, the actor assisted the female victim with carrying a heavy box into her residence. Once inside the apartment, Scott sexually assaulted the victim.

Scott faces multiple charges including indecent assault without consent, criminal trespass, and harassment.


Alle-Kiski Valley Relay for Life marches on in Memorial Park

© Copyright AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer 12:14 pm

New Kensington, Pa. – The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Memorial Park continues to bring awareness to those faced with cancer and the never-ending hope that one day it will be a word of the past.

This years Relay for Life teams numbered 25 with over 225 participants and Survivors striving to reach their goal of $70,000. The last numbers on Saturday afternoon near the stange tallied $44,000 as friends, family, and kids enjoyed the pleasant weather that included games, prizes, awesome music and good food.

There were plenty of vendors to captivate the interest of those visiting or participating in the event. Mayors from New Kensington and Lower Burrell gave a community welcome, the National Anthem by Boys and Girl Scouts, God Bless America by Joe Grillo of Lower Burrell and prayer by Minister Steve Marshall. A ribbon cutting ceremony was led By Pauletta Brown. There was also a caregiver walk and a Survivor Dinner later in the evening.

Musical performances by Jen Weifenbach and Camille Hamani captivated the audience with great songs and invitations for everyone to join in and dance at center stage.

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A luminary service was held at 9:00 pm. Events were scheduled all the way to 3:15 am with a dance party at the main stage. Sunday’s events began at 8:30 am with a morning worship service and closing ceremonies at 9:00 am.

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