Man injured in crash near Grandview Elementary

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

Tarentum, Pa. – Fire crews in Tarentum responded to a reported 3 vehicle crash at Ross and 7th Street just before 1:30 pm Thursday afternoon.

At the crash scene, one male was extricated from his Nissan Frontier and put on a stretcher for transport to the hospital while a second patient was evaluated/treated by New Kensington EMS. She did not appear to be injured however the male visibly had a bump on the head.

Traffic from the Tarentum Bridge was detoured through Tarentum to Freeport Road. All four lanes near Grandview were closed as EMS crews attended to the injured.

Frazer Township: Police responded to a a reported 4 vehicle crash near Tawny Run Road. At least two EMS units were requested. An elderly female was shaken up and a male in his 30’s sustained a head injury.

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


Pittsburgh Police attempt to locate missing person

Supplied Image

PITTSBURGH, PA – The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Missing Persons Unit is trying to locate Yvette Renee Johnson, 43.

Johnson was last seen March 3, 2015 in the Carrick area. Yvette is 5’4″ and weighs approximately 110 pounds. She has gray eyes and black hair and speaks with an English accent. Yvette suffers from severe asthma. It is believed that she does not have her medication. Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts is encouraged to call the Missing Persons Unit at 412-323-7141.


Helpline available to assist consumers with UPMC, Highmark health plans


HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane recently announced her office has launched a toll-free helpline through which designated staff will act as an intermediary between consumers and UPMC and Highmark.

In an effort to help consumers understand their rights and cut through confusion they have about their plans, the Office of Attorney General will contact UPMC or Highmark on behalf of consumers who have a conflict with either entity, depending upon the nature of the conflict.

Consumers who call the helpline, 1-844-743-2015, can expect to speak with a Helpline Specialist who will listen to their complaint and assist with processing their information.

In order to expedite the process, consumers should provide basic information about themselves, and be prepared to: describe in as much detail as possible the conflict they experienced with either UPMC or Highmark; provide any correspondence they may have received from either company; provide insurance coverage information because of the variety of plans that exist.

Before the complaint is processed, consumers will receive a confirmation email or letter with a summary of their complaint, as well as release forms.

Call process times will vary but Helpline Specialists will take whatever time is needed to guide consumers through the process. The helpline will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Consumers who call the helpline outside of normal business hours, on the weekend or when specialists are assisting other consumers can leave a message. Calls will be returned in the order in which they were received.

For more information about the UPMC/Highmark transition plan, consent decree or frequently asked questions, visit


State Police investigate alleged sexual assault

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 8:09 pm

South Buffalo Township, Pa. – The Pennsylvania State Police in Kittanning received a report of an alleged sexual assault of an 18 year old female student by an adult male teacher at the Freeport School District.

The investigation was initiated by Buffalo Township Police and turned over to state police once the possible location of the alleged assault was determined to be outside Buffalo Township in Butler County.

The alleged victim met with investigating officer Tfc. Michael Kapustik and stated that she was not sexually assaulted. Further interviews could not substantiate the original rumor of the sexual assault. The Freeport School District Administration was advised of the finding of the investigation.


Tense moments for police after shots fired in New Kensington

New Kensington Police enter a residence after shots fired incident.

New Kensington Police enter a residence after shots fired incident.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 9:25 pm

New Kensington, Pa. – Police units from New Kensington and surrounding communities responded to the 1400 block of Strawn Avenue after a report of shots fired just before 5:00 pm Tuesday afternoon.

Law Enforcement Officers from New Kensington exercised the utmost caution with guns drawn as they surrounded the residential unit believed to be the location where possible suspects were hiding after the shot fired incident. An open door at street level is where police focused their attention on entry as more supportive police units from Arnold, Lower Burrell and Upper Burrell arrived at the scene. Detective Sgt. Sam Long peered into the open door as three other officers positioned themselves for entry while two more officers positioned near a side door.

At least four officers gained entry to the street level door at 5:22 pm and the scene remained quiet not knowing what was happening inside. Eight minutes later one male suspect was led from a side door and placed in handcuffs. Not more than a minute later, a second male suspect was brought out the side door and placed in handcuffs; then a female suspect exited the structure and was taken to an awaiting police unit for detention.

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

Police found a casing lying in the middle of the street in front of the residence. After further investigation, Detective Sgt. Long said the three suspects were released from police custody and not charged in the incident.

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

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


Arnold Police seize heroin, guns and cash

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 7:20 pm

Arnold, Pa. – Westmoreland County Probation/Parole discover heroin in a residence after an early morning visit to 418 5th Street in Arnold.

County Authorities were tipped off to a possible probation/parole violation after discovering a hand gun posted on a Facebook page. Arnold Police Sgt. Marcia Cole said police were summoned to the 5th Street residence after the discovery of heroin in a bedroom and subsequently secured a search warrant on the apartment.

At the scene, Arnold Police arrested 19 year old Rashaad Blair, an apparent resident of the apartment and on probation. Police said two other females live at the residence, one of those being a juvenile.

Confiscated were two handguns ( 45 cal. and 9mm ), a sawed off shotgun, ammunition, $1000 in cash, unknown type pills, drug paraphernalia and 45 bags of heroin. Blair is currently being held in the Westmoreland County jail on a 72 hour detainer. Sgt. Cole said charges are pending but were not immediately available.

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


Wanted in Upper Burrell for failure to appear

Albert Simon

Albert Simon

(Submitted Photo)

Upper Burrell, Pa. – Police in Upper Burrell are asking for the public’s help in locating a man wanted for failure to appear on two Upper Burrell Police Department cases.

Wanted for Domestic Violence / Assault and False Reports to Law Enforcement is Albert Simon. Simon goes by the name of “Tommy” and also has an Allegheny County probation violation warrant. Simon is reported to be living in New Kensington and may have a shaved head now.

If seen, please contact Westmoreland Co 911 or the Upper Burrell Police Department at 724-335-0664. You may also send your tip or the exact location of Simon by sending an e-mail to:
police at Anonymous tips are welcomed.


House fire on Keystone Drive in Mt. Vernon

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

New Kensington, Pa. – Police and fire crews from Arnold and New Kensington are on scene of a house fire in the 400 block of Keystone Avenue.

Heavy black smoke was coming from the side rear of the house and an attached garage. Flames were visible as fire crews arrived on scene. Windows were immediately broken out in the garage portion of the structure for ventilation while the main house windows had been opened without damage.

New Kensington Assistant Fire Chief Ed Saliba Jr. immediately called for Rapid Intervention from Tarentum to assist with the fire. Chief Saliba said the fire appeared to have started from a tall propane heater similar to a palm tree type heater that caught the ceiling on fire in the enclosed rear porch. The fire made its way into a landing area that led to a short hallway in the house just off the back porch. Assistant Chief Saliba said the first floor sustained heat, smoke and water damage. The second floor sustained smoke damage. This fire could have been a lot worse said Saliba had it not been for being an old house that was built right for preventing fire travel. It had plaster and metal lathe that went to the ceiling of the garage preventing fire from getting into the second floor of the house. The fire has been ruled accidental.

West Penn Power has been requested to the scene. The fire appears to be mostly under control as of 1:46 pm. There are no reported injuries.

Responding to the scene were New Kensington, Arnold, Lower Burrell, New Kensington EMS and Eureka Fire Rescue from Tarentum.

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


Erasing the stains of violence

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 8:12 am

New Kensington, Pa. – Family, friends, and strangers came together Sunday night at the True Image Tattoo Shop to honor and remember shop owner Kevin Croney.

A tremendous outpouring of love and support for the family of Kevin Croney is rocking the social media world at Well over 51,000 people have been reached and a posting of Cheri’s video message of love and thanks has been viewed over 15,320 times by supporters, family and friends in the Alle-Kiski Valley and beyond. The family’s support messages go like this……..

Cindy Anuskiewicz: I started crying for them, omg I’m so sorry that happened to any family. He’s alive if they keep his memory will last a lifetime, he’s not gone, he’s there in spirit and mind.

Kelley Houdeshell Peace be with you Kevin as you watch over your wife children and family we all loved you Kevin and we will all pull together i’m sure to help and support your wife kids family and the things you supported in honor of you.

Brittany Dunlap: Smeltzer She has such strength at this tragic time. May she continue to hold onto that strength in the coming days, months, and years. They have a long road ahead, I pray that she continues to have strength and to be surrounded by family and friends who will lift her up.

Stacy Bernstein: Beautiful words and her strength is beyond amazing.

Charlene Boney: Even though I did not know this family. I only went to true image to get my tattoo. Cheri has touched my heart in how she is handling this. She is amazing and such an inspiration. God bless you and your children!!!

Ben Fye

Ben Fye

Hear the audio by Ben Fye, Erasing the Stains of Violence and Luke Romaniw on Kevin’s Vision

Luke Romaniw

Luke Romaniw

The Kevin Croney Memorial Fund has a page set up at:

Kevin Croney was a talented artist and created body art. Kevin dedicated time and talent to creating cosmetic tattoos for breast cancer survivors. He was a devoted father to his kids and a loving husband to Cheri. One of the many goals Cheri has is to create a scholarship for future and upcoming tattoo artists. On behalf of the Croney family, a sincere thanks for the love, support and generosity during this most difficult time.

The Croney Family:



Hypothermia cause of death in Distant couple

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 10:18 pm

Kittanning, Pa. – Armstrong County Coroner Brian K. Myers recently released the final autopsy report for Kenneth Steffey, age 64 and Linda Darlene Cook, age 61 of Distant, Pa.

On February 23, 2015, two bodies were discovered to be outside their residence mostly covered in snow at 3240 State Route 66/28 in Distant, Pa. Distant is located approximately 18 miles north of Kittanning. An investigation into the incident was initiated by Pennsylvania State Police, New Bethlehem Police Department and the Armstrong County Coroner’s Office.

On Thursday, March 19 additional new information after autopsy was released by Coroner Myers’s Office.

1. No injuries to either person that would have caused their deaths
2. No signs of physical altercation or struggle
3. Both have significant medical conditions
4. Cause and Manner of Death are both pending toxicology

After autopsy and toxicology were received, Coroner Myers said both deaths are due to hypothermia and the manners of the deaths are accidental. There was no foul play involved.

The coroner’s office was assisted at the scene Pennsylvania State Police, New Bethlehem PD, Distant Twp. Fire Dept, Armstrong Co. Host Team 330, Clarion Station 4 Ambulance and Penn Dot.


Allegheny Township Police arrest two retail theft suspects from Lower Burrell

AT Law Enforcement Officer Charity Butz escorts Chad Post to police headquarters.

AT Law Enforcement Officer Charity Butz escorts Chad Post to police headquarters.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 11:42 pm

Allegheny Township, Pa. – Law enforcement officers were dispatched to the K-Mart plaza for a retail theft incident at 3:26 pm Friday afternoon.

Allegheny Township Police Chief John Fontaine said two actors suspected of stealing toothbrushes fled the store being chased by loss prevention. According to radio chatter, the incident occurred in the toothpaste aisle at the K-Mart. Video surveillance was being looked at and descriptions passed on to police giving chase towards the Dairy Queen on SR 356 near the intersection of Melwood Road.

When AKVNEWS.COM arrived on scene near the Dairy Queen, police had David Shank, 35 of Lower Burrell detained while the other actor had already fled on foot. Police checked one location near a barn north of the Dairy Queen with negative results.

David Shank -Lower Burrell

David Shank -Lower Burrell

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

Law Enforcement Officers Dan Uncapher and Charity Butz moved police units from the Dairy Queen to a location across Hyde Park Road and began searching the ball-field area at Kiski High School. A short time later, Officer Butz spotted Chad Post, 38 of Lower Burrell on a hillside facing a very steep cliff according to Chief Fontaine.

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

By this time multiple police officers from Washington Township, Vandergrift and the Pennsylvania State Police had already entered a wooded area off Serpentine Road to get closer to Post’s location. Westmoreland 911 dispatch was requested to call out Allegheny Township and Markle Fire Departments for a physical rescue of Post after Officer Butz reported she couldn’t see him moving.

While fire crews were arriving on scene, traffic near the intersection was jammed up and extremely heavy. All of a sudden, multiple police officers hurriedly exited the wooded area and got into their police cars to advance to a roadside location on Hyde Park Road. Post was taken into custody near the lower entrance to Kiski High School and transported to Allegheny Township Police Station.

Post was charged with retail theft, criminal conspiracy, flight to avoid prosecution, driving while operator privilege suspended or revoked and possession of drug paraphernalia. Shank was to be charged with retail theft and criminal conspiracy.


Arson suspected in Apollo house fire

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 9:03 pm

Apollo, Pa. – Arson is suspected after a house catches fire on the hill above Apollo at Summit Ave and 5th Alley just after 5:00 pm Friday evening.

Law Enforcement Officer Sgt. Jarred Kier and Kiskiminetas Law Enforcement Officer Scott Ponteri said two juveniles were detained and suspected of arson at the fire scene. Assistant Fire Chief Chad Gradwell said when firefighters arrived on scene heavy fire was coming out the second story windows. Heavy smoke continued for several hours as fire crews checked for extensions into the attic of the abandoned house. Flames were seen coming out from the eaves and eventually fire burned a hole in the back roof of the structure.

AKVNEWS spoke with a witness to the incident who said she witnessed this kid from her kitchen window throw something into the corner of the house that burned down and then take off with a buddy of his running. Me and my husband came outside and called 911, she said. Within 30-60 seconds later the house was just smoking and then flamed up. The witness said she went running after the two boys while her husband was on with 911 trying to figure out if someone was in the house.

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

Assistant Fire Chief Chad Gradwell said there were no injuries to report and the State Police Fire Marshal was on scene to investigate. Crews worked until dark and eventually turned on utility lighting as embers were seen coming from the attic area.

Responding to the fire scene was Apollo Fire Departments, Kiskiminetas VFD, Vandergrift Station 50 and 51, Oklahoma EMS, Kiskiminetas PD and Apollo PD.

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