Eureka’s Fire, Rescue, EMS serves up late night river response

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

New Kensington, Pa. – Westmoreland 911 dispatch notified New Kensington Police of a female caller hearing screams coming from a barge on the Westmoreland side of the Allegheny River just after 11 pm Wednesday night. The location of the caller was in the 2400 block of Constitution Blvd.

The caller told 911 the barge had been seen in the water since 1:00 pm Wednesday afternoon. Arnold police made their way to the water authority near the 2400 block of Constitution Blvd requesting workers to let them in the gate to get a better view of the barge. Arnold PD reported being able to see the barge from the water authority area.

A short time later, New Kensington Police requested a boat be put on the water and a call made to the coast guard. Dispatch reported they were not getting any response from the Coast Guard, while Arnold police were trying to locate the individual who placed the call to 911.

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

Eureka Fire, Rescue, EMS were requested to investigate and launched their river rescue boat from the Tarentum Marina just before midnight. Eureka’s Deputy Chief Brad James indicated arrival time to the stranded vessel after launch was about 5-10 minutes. Swift Water Technicians on board were reminded to have spot lights turned on and to approach the stranded vessel with caution. Deputy Chief James said a barge/tug ran aground and no injuries were reported. Radio traffic indicated the tugboat operator would make a call to his company and their own crews would go to the scene and take care of the problem. The actual location of the barge could be seen on the bend in the river from the Tarentum Bridge.

It was apparent Eureka’s launch into the Allegheny River was much easier than loading the rescue boat back onto the trailer shortly after midnight. Strong winds on the river forced Swift Water Rescue Technician Chad Clark to make several attempts at reloading the boat. Also on board were Swift Water Technicians Susan Clark and Darrick Gerano.

Deputy James said Eureka Fire, Rescue and EMS crews had a crazy day with two extrications, three fire calls and the river response.

As always, please do your part and support your local fire departments !!

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Child predator alert in Western Pa

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced that a Greene County man was arrested after he allegedly used Facebook to solicit sexual intercourse and exchange sexually explicit photographs with minors. The man is charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl.

Joshua W. Porterfield, 24, 558 State Route 2011, Dilliner, Greene County, was arrested following a collaborative investigation between the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section (CPS), local police and personnel at the minor’s high school.

According to the criminal complaint, the investigation began when administrators at a Greene County high school contacted local police about Porterfield contacting a student through Facebook, and allegedly sending the minor a nude image of himself via Snapchat. Local police requested the assistance of the Child Predator Section, who immediately opened an investigation.

The child had saved a screen capture of the image and was interviewed by CPS agents, who identified potential victims through an analysis of mutual Facebook connections with Porterfield.

Agents obtained a search warrant for Porterfield’s Facebook account and located more than 1,000 deleted, private messages between Porterfield and a second minor. It was determined that Porterfield and the second minor began talking in August 2014.

The second victim said Porterfield picked her up in September 2014, knowing that she was 15 years old, drove her to another location and the two engaged in oral sex and intercourse in Porterfield’s vehicle.

The child reported three similar occasions in the weeks that followed, including one encounter where Porterfield took her to his Dilliner home.

An arrest warrant for Porterfield was served on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, and he was taken into custody without incident. Search warrants were executed on his car and phone. He was preliminary arraigned with bond set at $100,000 and lodged in the Greene County Jail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Nov. 20, 2014.

Porterfield is charged with five counts of unlawful contact with a minor, three counts of involuntary deviate intercourse, three counts of statutory sexual assault, three counts of aggravated indecent assault, three counts of corruption of minors, two counts of criminal use of a communications facility and three counts of indecent assault.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Pennsylvania State Police and Cumberland Township Police for their assistance. The defendant will be prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Child Predator Section.

Reporting Internet Predators

Suspected Internet predators can be reported to the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section by calling the Child Predator Hotline at 1-800-385-1044. Anonymous tips can also be sent directly from a cell phone by texting PAKIDS + YOUR TIP to 847411.

Internet safety tips are available on the “Operation Safe Surf” section of http://www.attorneygeneral.gov

 

Major power outage hits New Kensington, Arnold and parts of Lower Burrell

Arnold Sergeant Mike Krahe directs traffic at Freeport and Drey Sts.

Arnold Police Sergeant Mike Krahe directs traffic at Freeport and Drey Sts druing major power outage.


© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 8:57 pm

Arnold, Pa. – Power was knocked out for a little more than an hour in Arnold, New Kensington and Lower Burrell after a guy wire attached to a utility pole was hit along Dr. Thomas Boulevard by a tractor trailer.

Arnold Police Sergeant Marcia Cole said the truck hit a guy wire causing the power disruption but no pole was taken down. When the incident occurred, power cycled three times for about three seconds and then the lights stayed out for good. Major intersections in New Kensington, Lower Burrell at Craigdell Road, and Arnold at Drey street required immediate attention for traffic control. Firefighters were dispatched to help police in key locations until power was restored at about 8 pm.

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

 

Fawn Township police and fire busy with big truck incidents, one hurt

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© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 3:21 pm

Fawn Township, Pa. – Police and fire crews in Fawn Township were busy late Wednesday morning after two separate truck accidents occurred at each end of the township.

In the first incident, a tractor trailer came apart at the intersection of SR. 908 and Saxonburg Road after the driver made a left hand turn from Ekastown Road onto 908. As the truck-tractor began to pull the hill, it came apart at the fifth wheel. The trailer slid off the back of the tractor and came to a final rest near the intersection.

Aaron Berbigler, Terminal Manager at Black Horse Carriers said his driver had just left the Saxonburg terminal and was headed to Pittsburgh when the accident occurred. The trailer was loaded with perishable goods. Terry’s Towing Service and D&D heavy tow equipment rigged and raised the trailer off the pavement as a tractor from D&D Towing backed underneath the disabled trailer. The trailer was towed from the highway and crews cleaned minor fluid and debris from the roadway. No injuries were reported in this incident.

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

At the other end of the township on Millerstown-Culmerville Road, a Tesone Truck headed eastbound failed to negotiate a slight curve in the roadway and rolled on its side spilling it contents into a residential front yard. According to Fawn Township Police Chief Tim Mayberry, the driver was transported to a Pittaburgh Hospital. Millerstown-Culmerville road was closed in both directions for about 3 hours while clean up crews loaded the material into a D&D roll off bin. Terry’s Towing Service and D&D Towing once again teamed up to upright the rig and get the roadway reopened.

Assisting Fawn Police were Fawn #1 and Fawn #2 fire departments. A PennDOT truck was also on scene for a short period of time.

 

Tarentum Police investigating late morning armed home invasion

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© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 4:01 pm

Tarentum, Pa. – According to 911 radio traffic and victim accounts, an armed home invasion occurred just about 11:30 am Tuesday morning in the 900 block of Lock Street.

In the photo above, Mark Glogowski – Sergeant/Detective carries evidence appearing to be two strips of duct tape from the Tarentum residence.

At least 2 individuals were taken into custody near the scene around 3:30 pm. According to the radio and eyewitness information, a man was reported to have been duck taped to a chair after three black males entered a residence with shotguns. According to the victim, he was not duck taped to a chair.

AKVNEWS.COM spoke with the victim in this incident who has provided details however Tarentum Police have not officially released any specific details of this invasion to the news media. At the scene, Tarentum Police investigated surrounding alleys and houses for evidence. Tarentum Police Chief William Vakulick indicated the investigation continues as detectives work to gain more information on the suspects and additional press information will be made available later today. Grandview Upper Elementary was put on lockdown for approximately 30 minutes at the time of the incident while police cleared the area.

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

 

PSP Kittanning weekend reports

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

Allegheny, Pa – Kittanning PSP report a one vehicle crash on SR 28 South Harrison Twp.

The operator of a 2006 Chevy Silverado traveling south on SR. 28 was making a lane change when he spun out due to icy road conditions. The Chevy then went off the roadway on the east side in the medium and came to a final rest on the guardrail in the north bound lanes.

The driver was not charged or injured.


Allegheny, Pa – Kittanning PSP report a one vehicle crash on exit 12A off ramp.

A 2002 Chevy Cavalier traveled off the roadway on SR. 28 south bound at the exit 12A off ramp Frazer Twp. The operator crashed into a traffic signal sign and came to final rest on the off ramp prior to the traffic signal.

Driver Gavin Shelow age 19 was cited but not injured.


Armstrong, Pa – Kittanning PSP report a missing firearm in Bethel Twp.

A 61 y/o male victim from Ford City reported that he misplaced his firearm in his residence between the dates of 11/13/2014 10pm and 11/16/2014 6am. The firearm is a Heritage Arms Stealth 9mm Bearing Ser#A3225. Anyone who locates the firearm is asked to contact PSP Kittanning and use incident #DO2-1602104. Contact #(724) 543-2011


Armstrong, Pa – PSP Kittanning report a one vehicle crash on SR. 128 Freeport Road.

21 Y/O female Marissa Lang of Freeport, Pa. suffered moderate injuries after crashing her 2009 Chevy Cobalt. This crash occurred as the Cobalt was traveling south on SR. 128 (Freeport Road) in south Buffalo Twp. The operator took the left curve in the roadway at a speed greater than reasonable and prudent. She then lost control of her vehicle and as a result, the passenger side of the Chevy impacted the guiderail. After impacting the guiderail the Chevy traveled approximately 270 feet and struck a utility pole. After secondary impact, the Chevy bounced off of the utility pole and rotated in a clockwise manner before coming to a final rest facing south.

This crash involves DUI.


Armstrong, Pa – PSP Kittanning report open lewdness at a one story residence located South Bend Twp.

A 59 Y/O white female reported that a 52 Y/O white male from Shelocta, Pa. had exposed himself to her inside of a residence. Investigation continues.

 

Working house fire in Kinloch quickly extinguished on Sunday night

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© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Bonnie Loya/Freelance Photographer

Lower Burrell, Pa. – Alle-Kiski Valley firefighters remained busy Sunday night after a second residential fire hit the area within hours of each other in the Kinloch section of Lower Burrell.

Lower Burrell #1 Engineer Terry Rupert said when firefighters arrived at the Hill Street Residence located just behind the fire station, the back porch revealed a working fire with heavy black smoke. Rupert said the rear door was warm from the internal fire that was contained to an enclosed porch. Masked crews entered the structure and quickly extinguished the fire subsequently checking for extensions into the roof and basement areas of the structure.

Engineer Rupert also said the fire possibly started with a space heater but the fire marshal was called to investigate the incident.

Lower Burrell Fire Chief Ted Hereda said the house is owned by his uncle Ron Hereda and his wife who were at home when the fire broke out. Chief Hereda said his uncle told him he had heard an explosion in the porch area about 8 pm after bringing in the Dalmatians and other dogs. The glass on the front of the electric heater was broken from the explosion. Chief Hereda said the electrical cords were not chewed by the dogs and in fact the outlets were installed higher up on the wall to prevent such an occurrence.

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© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Bonnie Loya/Freelance Photographer

Homeowner Ron Hereda was transported to Allegheny Valley Hospital by Lower Burrell #3 EMS after he required medical attention and observation. Mr. Hereda is a 40+ year life member at Kinloch VFD and was injured about 30 years ago after responding to a vehicle crash on Merwin Road. Chief Hereda said this incident could have been a whole lot worse had it occurred in the middle of the night. There was an enormous volunteer firefighter response to this incident with multiple fire trucks from surrounding communities lining the streets from Park Avenue, New York Avenue and Hill street which is where the residence is located.

Firefighters from Arnold, Kinloch, New Kensington, Lower Burrell and Plum fire departments responded to the incident along with Lower Burrell Police and Lower Burrell EMS. There were no injuries to report.

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© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Bonnie Loya/Freelance Photographer

 

Armed robbery at the BP in Natrona Heights

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© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 10:40 pm

Natrona Heights, Pa. – Harrison Township Police and investigators are looking for an unknown black male after a armed robbery at the BP Gas Station/Convenience store on Freeport Road about 7:25 pm Sunday evening suspect used a black handgun.

Harrison Township Law Enforcement Officer Scott Faulkner said the actor is about 5’6″ tall, stocky build wearing a black hoodie, black pants, olive green gloves, a white skull mask and a long white shirt.

Officer Faulkner said the actor fled on foot west in a alleyway towards Rt. 28 and it’s not known if a getaway vehicle was involved. An unknown amount of cash was taken and no injuries were reported in the incident.

This same BP station was robbed in February when a white male entered the store and stole approximately $300 in cash.

 

Family pet killed in house fire in New Kensington

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© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 9:50 pm

New Kensington, Pa. – First Assistant Chief Ed Saliba said the cause of a fire in the 400 block of 4th Street in New Kensington was accidental and started with an electric/oil type space heater that was located underneath the front porch in an old coal cellar.

Chief Saliba said combustible material was close to the heat source appeared to have started the small fire but when crews initially got inside the house they thought a wood burner was the actual source of the fire. Fire crews checked a flu pipe and ventilated the second floor but it turned out not to be the cause of the smoke. Crews then went to basement and found the actual source of the fire.

The fire started about 6:34 pm and New Kensington Station #2 was on scene in about four minutes. Within ten minutes the fire was brought under control. The tenants were not home at the time and a family dog perished in the fire/smoke. New Kensington Fire Departments 1-2-3-5 and Lower Burrell #69 RIT were on scene. There were no other injuries to report.

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

 

Pennsylvania firm recalls Pretzel Dog products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens

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(Supplied Image)

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2014 – City Line Foods Manufacturing Co., a Lancaster, PA. establishment, is recalling approximately 1,196,669 pounds of frozen pretzel hot dog products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products contain soy lecithin, a known allergen which is not declared on the product label. Class I Recall 079-2014 – Health Risk: High Nov 15, 2014

The pretzel dogs were produced on various dates from February 14, 2014 to November 14, 2014. The following products are subject to recall: [View Label]

“Auntie Anne’s All Beef Classic Pretzel Dogs.
“Auntie Anne’s Fundraising Pretzel Dogs.”
“West Creek Black Angus Beef Pretzel Dogs.”
“Kunzler Pretzel Dogs.”
“Kunzler Turkey Pretzel Dogs.”
“Berks All Beef Pretzel Franks.”
“Nathan’s Famous Pretzel Dogs.”
“City Line Foods Pretzel Dogs.”
The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. or P-34073” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products produced were shipped nationwide for retail distribution and fundraising.This recall does not affect Auntie Anne’s pretzel stores found in malls, airports and other venues nationwide.

The problem was discovered by FSIS personnel during a routine labeling review. FSIS inspectors found that a releasing agent used on contact surfaces during production included soy lecithin, which was not disclosed on the product label.

FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

 

Child pool and spa drownings decreased in 2014

pool Safety 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – From Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014, at least 174 children between the ages of 1 and 14 drowned in swimming pools or spas.

According to media reports compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation of the 174 reports, 112 victims were children younger than age 5. During the same period in 2013, 202 children between the ages of 1 and 14 drowned in swimming pools or spas, according to news accounts. Of the 202 news reports in the summer of 2013, 143 victims were children younger than age 5.

“These numbers are heartbreaking—plain and simple. They should motivate all of us to do even more to prevent another family from suffering the way they have,” said CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye. “Even though summer is over and children are back in school, pools are still open in warm weather states and indoor swim parks. It’s not too late for adults and kids to learn to swim and to take the Pool Safely Pledge to be safer around the water all year long.”

According to USA Swimming, media reports indicate that during the summer of 2014, the following states suffered the highest number of pool and spa drownings involving children younger than 15. California: 21, Texas: 20, Georgia: 13, New York: 12, Illinois: 11, Florida: 10, North Carolina: 1, Arizona: 7, Ohio: 7, Louisiana: 5, South Carolina: 5, Virginia: 5

Pool Safely is a national public education campaign run by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The effort is to reduce child drownings, near-drownings and entrapments in swimming pools and spas. For the third year, the campaign is focusing on populations most at risk of drowning: minorities and children younger than age 5.

The Pool Safely campaign provides information on the simple steps that parents, caregivers, and pool owners should take to ensure that children and adults stay safer in and around pools and spas:

-Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water.
-Designate a Water Watcher to supervise children in the pool or spa. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smart phone or be otherwise distracted.
-Learn how to swim, and teach your child how to swim.
-Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
-Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
-Ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards, and if you do not know, ask your pool service provider about safe drain covers.

 

Attorney General Kane files lawsuit over alleged illegal payday loan scheme

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© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer (Stock Image) 12:33 am

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced a consumer protection lawsuit against a Texas-based company for allegedly engineering an illegal payday loan scheme over the Internet. According to the lawsuit, the defendants allegedly targeted Pennsylvania consumers in violation of state law.

The civil lawsuit was filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County against Think Finance Inc. (formerly ThinkCash), TC Loan Services LLC, Elevate Credit Inc., Financial U LLC and former Chief Executive Officer Kenneth E. Rees. Rees and the companies use an address of 4150 International Plaza, Suite 400, Fort Worth, Texas.

Payday loans, which typically charge interest rates as high as 200 or 300 percent, are illegal in Pennsylvania. According to the lawsuit, Think Finance targets consumers in Pennsylvania using three Native American tribes, who function as the apparent lender, as a cover. In turn, Think Finance earns significant revenues from various services it charges to the tribes.

According to the lawsuit, before establishing these tribal partnerships, the company allegedly used the cover of a rogue bank based in Center City Philadelphia, in what is commonly referred to as a “rent-a-bank” scheme, until the federal government shut down the bank.

A Think Finance press release in 2013 stated the company had more than $500 million in revenues – up from $100 million in 2010 – and had provided more than $3.5 billion in loans to 1.5 million consumers in the U.S. and internationally.

Also named in the lawsuit is an Internet marketer, Selling Source LLC, which used its “MoneyMutual” website and television commercials to generate online leads for high-rate lenders, including at least one tribal lender.

Selling Source allegedly made referrals of Pennsylvania residents to the scheme for a commission, even after it was ordered to stop those referrals in a 2011 agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Banking. The lawsuit also includes various debt collectors as defendants, including the Washington-based law firm of Weinstein, Pinson and Riley PS, Cerastes LLC and National Credit Adjusters LLC, which are allegedly utilized to collect debts derived from illegal loans.

Attorney General Kane explained that in operating and participating in the scheme, the defendants are accused of violating several Pennsylvania laws including the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the Corrupt Organizations Act and the Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act.

In the lawsuit, the Attorney General is seeking, among other things:

Injunctive relief to prohibit defendants from violating Pennsylvania law;
Restitution for all consumers harmed by the scheme;
Civil penalties of up to $1,000 for each violation of Pennsylvania law;
Civil penalties of up to $3,000 for each violation involving a senior citizen; and
Notification of credit bureaus to remove all negative information related to the scheme and all references to any of the defendants from consumers’ credit reports.
Attorney General Kane said the Bureau of Consumer Protection has already received information from numerous complaints against these companies, and she believes there are many more victims who have not yet filed a complaint.

“Any Pennsylvania residents with problems or complaints involving payday loans or related debt collection should get in touch with us immediately,” said Attorney General Kane.

Consumers can call the Attorney General’s toll-free consumer protection hotline at 1-800-441-2555.

The lawsuit was submitted for filing in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County by Deputy Attorney General Saverio P. Mirarchi of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Assisting him, as Special Counsel, is the Philadelphia law firm Langer Grogan & Diver PC.