Attorney General Kane warns consumers about common work-at-home scams

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

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today warned Commonwealth residents to be cautious of common work-at-home scams.

Work-at-home scams are some of the oldest and most common types of consumer fraud. Advertisements may guarantee high earnings, but most of these offers fail to deliver on their claims.

“Many work-at-home opportunities may sound promising,” Kane said. “However, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it is probably a scam.”

Work-at-home scams are often advertised in the classified sections of major newspapers, on the Internet, radio and television, or they may be mailed directly to your home. Some solicitations may even be sent to your personal email address.

What these offers don’t tell you is that you may have to work many hours without pay or cover hidden costs with money out of your own pocket. Some of these scams require you to place advertisements in newspapers, make photocopies, or purchase envelopes, stamps and equipment in order to complete the job.

Common Work-at-Home Scams

Internet businesses

This type of scam promises substantial earnings starting your own online company. Consumers are required to pay for specialized training before launching their company. Once the initial payment is made, consumers are billed for additional services in order to begin business operations. In most cases, consumers end up losing the money they have invested and are not successful in starting their own online company.

Medical Billing Records

Advertisements for this scheme usually offer high wages to manage billing and transcription services for medical companies using special software. Employees must purchase the expensive software from the company sponsoring the advertisement. Ultimately, employees discover that local businesses are not associated with the company and the software is useless.

Product Assembly

In most assembly cases, consumers respond to an advertisement offering payment for assembling crafts or other products at home for a company that has promised to buy them. Consumers may have to invest personal funds for materials or equipment, such as a sewing machine.

The company sends specific instructions to the consumer, warning that the items will be rejected and no money earned if the products do not meet the company’s standards. The company always rejects the products for failure to meet the standards, and the consumer is left with the equipment and no income.

Envelope Stuffing

This scam requires a consumer to buy envelopes and pay for advertisements, postage and printing. When the envelopes arrive, they are stuffed with promotional material from the company soliciting others to join in the same envelope-stuffing scheme. Unfortunately, this scam creates a continuous cycle of fraud and the consumer rarely receives any income.

Attorney General Kane advised consumers considering answering a work-at-home advertisement to contact their local Better Business Bureau to see if they have any complaints on file.

Consumers who suspect they have been a victim of a work-at-home scam should contact the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555 or visit www.attorneygeneral.gov to file a complaint.

 

VA Funds New Studies Using Million Veteran Program Data

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WASHINGTON – Database Links Genetic, Clinical, Lifestyle and Military Exposure Information

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is announcing four new studies that will use genetic and other data from VA’s Million Veteran Program (MVP) to answer key questions on heart disease, kidney disease, and substance use—high-priority conditions affecting Veterans.

MVP, which has enrolled more than 390,000 Veterans so far, has already become the nation’s largest database linking genetic, clinical, lifestyle and military exposure information. Part of a beta test for data access, the newly funded studies are among the first to use MVP data to delve into pressing questions on Veterans’ health. MVP-based studies on PTSD, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are already underway.

“MVP is making important discoveries that will impact healthcare for Veterans and all Americans,” said VA Secretary Bob McDonald. “We’re grateful to our Veteran partners, whose altruism has made this possible.”

The new research, which will specifically include the understudied African American and Hispanic Veteran populations, ties into the broader national Precision Medicine Initiative announced by President Obama earlier this year.

“There’s already been an impressive amount of data collected through MVP, and we’re continuing to engage more Veterans in the program and building its research infrastructure through studies like these,” said Dr. Timothy O’ Leary, VA’s chief research and development officer. The new studies, involving consortiums of VA researchers and university colleagues, will explore specific questions related to chronic illnesses common among Veterans. They will also help establish new methods for securely linking MVP data with other sources of health information, including non-VA sources such as the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).

 

State/local police pursuit ends in East Deer with crash

Michael Dongilli arrested at the scene of crash along Freeport Road in East Deer Towsnhip.

Michael Dongilli arrested at the scene of crash along Freeport Road in East Deer Towsnhip.


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

East Deer Township, Pa. – One person is arrested after a police pursuit through several communities and ends with an intentional crash into a Frazer Police unit in East Deer Township.

Tpr. Daniel L. Beatty, PSP Kittanning reported an attempt to initiate a traffic stop on SR 28 Northbound in Harmar Township that lead to a pursuit for Michael Dongilli, age 35 of Allison Park. The pursuit led police through Indiana, West Deer, Frazer and East Deer Townships. Prior to the end of the pursuit, Dongilli intentionally hit a Frazer Township Police vehicle driven by Sgt. Brian Pazak.

Sgt. Pazak said he heard about the pursuit as it proceeded along Rich Hill Road and Lefever Hill Road headed towards Frazer and East Deer Township. Sgt. Pazak said as the suspect vehicle turned onto Air Products entrance road at 500 Freeport Road he could see Dongilli was either going to crash thru the security fence at Air Products or was going to have to try to escape pursuit by going around a bush and dirt road along a fence. Officer Pazak quickly blocked that escape route with his police unit and was intentionally hit by Dongilli. One AKVNEWS.COM loyal follower sent us his video of the pursuit in East Deer Township just prior Dongilli being apprehended.

Dongille was arrested and held inside the East Deer Police as State and Local police processed the scene and pursuit details.


Following an investigation by State Police, Dongilli was arrested for an existing warrant for rape, aggravated assault by a motor vehicle, fleeing and eluding, DUI, Act 64 possession, criminal mischief and numerous summary traffic violations. Dongilli was arraigned in front of Honorable James Andring Magisterial District Judge (33-3-03) and sent to the Armstrong County Jail.

Frazer Police Sgt. Brian Pazak look over crash scene after police pursuit through several communities.

Frazer Police Sgt. Brian Pazak look over crash scene after police pursuit through several communities.

 

Teenage suspects arraigned in shoe store armed robbery

Robbery suspects heading for arraignment in New Kensington July 7, 2015

Robbery suspects heading for arraignment in New Kensington July 7, 2015


© AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer 2:08 pm

New Kensington, Pa. – Two teenage boys face robbery and firearms charges after their preliminary arraignment in front of the Honorable District Magistrate Frank Pallone about 10:30 am Tuesday morning.

According to the Police Criminal Complaint, Carlito Spence, age 18 of New Kensington and Nasir Howard, age 16 planned the robbery as Spence entered through the front door of Gene’s Shoe Store on 5th Avenue in downtown New Kensington. Spence placed a mask over his head walking towards the cash register; taking the money from the cash drawer. While at the register, Nasir Howard approached the victim from behind placing a gun to his head and threw the store owner to the ground. Both actors then took money from the victim’s pockets before fleeing the store.

Both actors were then picked up by the get-away vehicle by a female that they did not know. The complaint states they drove around, “on some back roads” for a while before returning to New Kensington.

Spence faces F3 Robbery-Take Property Fr Other/Force charge. Bail was set at $100,000 straight bond.

Howard faces an F2 Conspiracy – Robbery-Inflict Threat Imm Bod Inj, F2 Robbery-Inflict Threat Imm Bod Inj, M2 Recklessly Endangering Another Person, M2 Simple Assault, M1 Possession Of Firearm By Minor. Bail was set at $150,000 straight bond.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 16, 2015 @ 2:15 pm.

 

Breaking NEWS – Shoe store robbery suspects in custody

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© AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer 9:15 pm

New Kensington, Pa. – Detective Sgt. Sam Long of the New Kensington Police Department said two black male suspects are in custody for the shoe store armed robbery that occurred in the 800 block of 5th Avenue in Downtown New Kensington.

Police say Carlito Spence, age 18 of New Kensington and 16 year old Nasir Howard from New Kensington will be charged as an adult in the armed robbery. Detective Long said the breakthrough in the case came from tips and information.

Both suspects will be arraigned at District Justice Frank Pallone’s Court on Tuesday.

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

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.

AKVNEWS.COM will update this story as more information becomes available.

 

Attorney General Kane announces legal action against Golden Living nursing homes

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(Stock Image) © AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer 10:57 am

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane recently announced her office has filed a legal action against a chain of nursing home companies accused of misleading consumers by failing to provide basic services to elderly and vulnerable residents.

The legal action was filed on July 1 by the Office of Attorney General’s Health Care Section against Golden Gate National Senior Care LLC, which manages and operates 36 facilities statewide. Its subsidiaries are commonly known as Golden LivingCenters, of which there are 14 named in the legal action.

“As we allege, these companies profited at the expense of our most vulnerable residents,” Attorney General Kane said. “These facilities promised to provide the care needed by residents and then failed to meet residents’ most basic human needs. That is simply unacceptable.”

The legal action asserts Golden Living violated the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law by deceiving consumers through its marketing practices.

The company advertised it would keep its residents clean and comfortable while providing food and water at any time. But its facilities were understaffed, leaving residents thirsty, hungry, dirty, unkempt and sometimes unable to summon anyone to help meet their most basic needs, such as going to the bathroom, the legal action asserts.

Moreover, interviews with residents’ family members and former certified nursing assistants who worked at Golden Living facilities revealed a widespread pattern of under-staffing and omitted care, the legal action states. Those allegations include the following:

Continent residents left in diapers because they were unable to obtain assistance going to the bathroom.
Incontinent residents left in soiled diapers, in their own feces or urine, for extended periods of time.
Residents at risk for bedsores from not being turned every two hours as required.
Residents not receiving range of motion exercises.
Residents not receiving showers or other hygiene services as required.
Residents being woken at 5 a.m. or earlier to be washed and dressed for the day.
Residents not being timely dressed in order to attend their meals.
Residents not being escorted to the dining hall and sometimes missing meals entirely.
Long waits for responses to call bells or no responses at all.
Staff, under the direction of management or fear of management, falsifying records to indicate residents received services when in fact they did not.
Improved staffing when state inspections occurred, leading to deceit about the true conditions at the facility.
The investigation also included a review of staffing levels self-reported by Golden Living facilities and deficiencies cited in surveys conducted by the state Department of Health.
The legal action, filed in Commonwealth Court in the form of a complaint in equity and petition for permanent injunction, seeks permanent injunctive relief prohibiting Golden Living from engaging in the allegedly deceptive and unlawful business practices it is accused of.

It also seeks $1,000 per violation of the law, or up to $3,000 for every violation involving a person 60 years old or older. The action also seeks restitution for consumers, injunctive relief and costs of litigation.

Those with complaints concerning Golden Living facilities or other health care facilities are encouraged to contact the Office of Attorney General’s Health Care Section. Complaints may be filed at www.attorneygeneral.gov by selecting “File a Complaint” from the tool bar and then “Health Care.” Complaints may also be filed by calling the Health Care helpline at 877-888-4877.

 

DUI’s and Speeding top weekend State Police News

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© AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer 10:10 am

Alle-Kiski Valley, Pa. – State Police Tpr. Paul Brown reported a PFA violation of a known female victim, age 52 of Apollo. The incident occurred on July 4 @ 10:10 pm at a location on Bell Point Road, Bell Township in Westmoreland County. The accused, Joseph Pope, age 53 of New Kensington contacted the victim several times via text messages and phone calls in violation of a valid emergency PFA order. Charges file at District Court 10-1-04.

PSP Kiski Valley Tpr. Adam Tomas reported an incident of DUI on July 4 @ 10:10 pm at 148 Thorn Street in Oklahoma Boro. Martin Garda, age 51 of Lower Burrell is accused of driving a vehicle on Thorn Street that nearly struck a woman placing a child in a car seat in a car that was legally parked in front of 148 Thorn Street. The accused was held at the scene by several bystanders until police arrived on scene. The accused submitted to a breath test and charges will be filed at District Court 10-3-05.

Kittanning State Police Tpr. Stephen Rowe reported an incident of Act 64-Underage Drinking @ 521 4th Avenue in Ford City Borough. Zane Bonner, age 20 was found to be in possession of marijuana and under the influence of alcohol while under the legal drinking age. Charges were filed.

Belmont Parking Lot, East Franklin Township is where Pennsylvania State Police Tpr. Glasgow initiated a traffic stop on Jared Donley, age 23 of Kittanning for multiple traffic violations. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the operator was in possession of suspected drugs and paraphernalia and well as approximately $9000 worth of stolen tools from a previous theft that the Kittanning station was investigating. No further details were made available on this incident.

Cpl. Michael Markey reported an incident of DUI on July 4 @ 2:08 am along SR 28 Northbound in Harmar Township. A 40 year old male from Cheswick was stopped after traveling 84 mph in a posted 55 mph zone. The operator was found to be under the influence of alcohol. The operator was taken into custody for DUI.

Kittanning State Police Cpl. Michael Markey reported an incident of speeding/drug possession on July 3, 2015 @ 5:20 pm on SR 28 at the Furnace Run Overpass South Buffalo Township in Armstrong County. State Police said Joshua Johns from Ford City was cited for traveling 82 mph in a posted 65 mph zone. A 20 year old passenger from Ford City was found to be in possession of suspected marijuana and drug paraphernalia device. A second passenger, age 27 from Ford Cliff was found to be in possession of suspected marijuana. The investigation continues and charges are pending.

 

10 Simple Steps to Water Safety in the Alle-Kiski Valley

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© AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer 7:13 am

Alle-Kiski Valley, Pa. – There’s nothing better than a day at the beach or on the lake. But swimming in a natural body of water, or enjoying the day on a boat can be risky. About half of all drownings occur in natural water settings such as lakes, rivers, or oceans. The risk of drowning is also higher among some population groups (e.g., age groups, race or ethnicities, gender). But there are ways to be safe, whether you’re at the swimming pool, lake, the beach, or on a boat.

Swimming Pool Safety

With the summer in full swing and temperatures favoring swimming pool or small lake activities, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Pool Safely campaign is urging parents and children to follow 10 steps to stay safer when spending time in or near the water. According to media reports and data compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation, at least 152 children younger than 15 fatally drowned in a swimming pool or spa this year, with at least 86 of those fatal drownings happening since Memorial Day weekend.

The July 4th holiday weekend has traditionally seen an increase in the number of fatal pool and spa drownings, as compared with fatal drownings during other weeks. Data compiled from media reports by the USA Swimming Foundation for the last four years indicate that an average of 23 children fatally drowned in pools and spas during the week of July 4th (June 30th through July 6th). In 2014, there were 21 fatal drownings reported involving children younger than 15 during the week of the July 4th holiday; 23 fatal drownings were reported in 2013; 30 fatal drownings were reported in 2012; 24 fatal drownings were reported in 2011; and 25 fatal drownings were reported in 2010.

Here are Pool Safely’s Top 10 Tips to Stay Safer Around the Pool or Spa this Holiday Weekend:

1. Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
2. Install a four-foot or taller fence around the entire perimeter of the pool and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
3. Never leave a child unattended in or near a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water.
4. 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. Adults can take turns being a Water Watcher.
5. If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.
6. Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
7. Ensure any public pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety requirements, and, if you do not know, ask the pool manager if the facility complies with the “VGB Act.”
8. Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly.
9. Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.
10. Have lifesaving equipment such as a life ring, float or fiberglass reaching pole available and accessible.

 

Tips for avoiding the purchase of a flood-damaged vehicle

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(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 Continue reading…

 

Three injured in Tarentum crash

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

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.

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

 

State Police to conduct roving/stationary DUI patrols

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© 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.”

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© 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 http://www.facebook.com/akvnews and search our page for the video and many comments from the community, family and customers.