Driver fails to see tractor-trailer approaching in Allegheny Township

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 2:47 pm

Allegheny Township, Pa. – Fortunately no injuries to report after a driver pulls into the path of a tractor-trailer on SR. 56 in Allegheny Township Friday morning.

Allegheny Township Police Chief John Fontaine said a 2011 Jeep Liberty driven by Neil Oplinger, 25 of Normandy Drive in Allegheny Township attempted to pull out onto SR. 56 from the Citgo Gas Station when he failed to see the Westbound tractor-trailer and struck the big rig on the right front fender.

Chief Fontaine said after impact, the Liberty spun around in a clockwise direction and sustained heavy front end damage. The driver of the big truck was Kevin Moran, 42 of Wherry School Road in Avonmore. Moran’s rig jackknifed and ended up sideways in the roadway. Chief Fontaine said no injuries were reported and no citations would be issued. Firefighters from Allegheny Township and Markle assisted Allegheny Township Police at the scene with traffic control and debris cleanup.

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Kockka & Son towing from Vandergrift was called to the scene with heavy equipment to tow the rig from the highway. Eastbound traffic was rerouted from Leechburg Road just west of the Bonfire onto the Bonfire Shortcut Road while Westbound drivers detoured to Rt. 356 North or just waited in line near the crash scene until the roadway re-opened. The roadway was closed for more than an hour.


Dryer fire burns clothes; buildings evacuated in Natrona Heights

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 2:06 pm

Natrona Heights, Pa. – Four fire companies responded to a dryer fire on Union Avenue at 10:27 am Friday morning leaving one person injured in the incident.

Citizen’s Hose Fire Chief Sean Jones said on person sustained a hand injury after trying to break the glass on a fire extinguisher housing to extinguish a fire in a dryer. Chief Jones said when he arrived on scene at the Union Avenue laundromat with Law Enforcement Officer Neil Makowski they tried to enter the building but there was to much smoke. Law Enforcement Officer Ken Hanzlik went to the back of the building opening a door to ventilate the structure.

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Chief Jones said they used a hand line and some tank water to extinguish the burning clothes in the dryer. Adjoining structures were evacuated due to smoke permeating into the next door bank and OBGYN office. No injuries were reported from those two structures. The actual cause of the fire is undetermined as of 2:00 pm and the fire marshal was called to the scene.

Responding companies were Citizen’s Hose Fire and EMS, Hilltop Hose, Harrison Hills, and Tarentum’s Eureka Fire Rescue. The man who suffered injuries to his right hand refused medical transport but apparently sustained a bad cut. A sign in the OBGYN office said they were closed for the rest of the day.


Freeport Bridge crash sends one person to the hospital

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 1:49 pm

Allegheny Township, Pa. – One person was taken to the hospital after a single vehicle crash on the Freeport Bridge just before 11:00 am Friday Morning.

Allegheny Township Police Chief Chief John Fontaine said Robert Murtland, 62 of Freeport was headed south crossing the Freeport Bridge towards Allegheny Township when the driver apparently had a medical emergency and crossed over the median hitting the retaining wall in the Northbound lane and stopping.

At the scene fire crews from Markle and Allegheny Township, including two EMS units from Freeport worked to extricate Murtland and stretcher him for transport to Allegheny Valley Hospital. Traffic was able to move through the crash zone while crews removed Murtland from his vehicle. There were no other injuries to report in this crash. Allegheny Township police processed the crash scene. Lower Kiski EMS also assisted at the scene.

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Attorney General Kane advises consumers following Anthem data breach

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 11:05 pm

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane is again encouraging consumers to be proactive in protecting their financial security in the wake of news that another major company, this time health care insurer Anthem Inc., formerly Wellpoint Inc., suffered a breach potentially affecting approximately 80 million consumers nationwide.

“Theft of personal and financial information has become an all-too-often occurrence,” Attorney General Kane said. “I urge all consumers to take proactive measures to safely store and share personal data.”

At the direction of Attorney General Kane, the Health Care Section will be working with other state attorneys general to review the matter and will keep consumers informed as needed regarding the breach.

Pennsylvania residents affected are those served by Anthem Inc., or DeCare or Securian dental plans, or UniCare or HealthLink medical plans. It is unclear at this time how many Pennsylvania consumers may have been affected.

Anthem was the target of an external cyberattack that obtained personal consumer information such as names, birthdates, medical identification and Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information including income data. There is no evidence that the stolen data included credit card, medical or clinical information.

Anthem will individually notify current and former subscribers whose information has been accessed, and will offer free identity protection and credit monitoring services.

Consumers who wish to take advantage of these services can learn more at or by calling Anthem’s dedicated toll-free number at (877) 263-7995.

Attorney General Kane encouraged Pennsylvania consumers to be proactive in monitoring their credit reports and financial account statements, especially if consumers believe their personal information may have been compromised.

Attorney General Kane offers the following tips for consumers:

Anthem subscribers should check their bank and credit card statements for unauthorized charges, and immediately report them to the fraud department of their issuing banks or credit card providers.
Consumers should check their credit reports with the three nationwide consumer reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Consumers who find errors on their report should contact the reporting company in writing. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit reports from each company every 12 months. Visit or call (877) 322-8228.
Consumers should watch for “phishing” schemes, or emails that appear to be from legitimate websites or companies that also have links. Emails from Anthem about the breach will not contain any links. Delete such emails. Never provide sensitive personal information to unsolicited requests claiming to come from Anthem, banks or other institutions.
NOTE: and the national credit reporting bureaus will not send consumers an email or call asking for personal information. Do not reply to unsolicited messages or click through any links, and hang up on calls asking for such information.
NOTE: Consumers can place a fraud alert on their credit reports to help mitigate potential issues by contacting the three credit reporting agencies:
Equifax: (800) 525-6285


Upper Burrell Police looking for suspect after overnight pursuit

Sean Patrick Riddle

Sean Patrick Riddle

(Image Courtesy Upper Burrell Police)

Upper Burrell, Pa. – Multiple police units from surrounding communities responded overnight to help search for a suspicious vehicle suspect who failed to stop for police in Upper Burrell Township.

Upper Burrell Police Chief Ken Pate said police are looking for Sean Patrick Riddle, 23 whose last known address is Lower Burrell. The incident occurred near Boreland Drive about 12:45 am when police came upon a 1995 Jeep with its lights off sitting in the middle of Merwin Road. Police attempted to stop the vehicle as the operator drove for approximately 1/2 mile on Merwin Road with its light off headed towards SR. 780 in an attempt to elude Upper Burrell Police.

Chief Pate said once on SR.780, a female passenger exited the vehicle with her hands up near the Alcoa area. The suspect vehicle subsequently made a right hand turn onto Manchester Hill driving all over the roadway and passing a vehicle as the pursuit was headed to Milligantown Road. After making the left hand turn onto Milligantown Road and traveling a short distance, Riddle attempted to make a left hand turn onto Hartge Road where the Jeep went off the roadway and stopped.

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At this point the driver fled the scene and headed into the wooded area near Hartge Road. Police units from Washington Township, Lower Burrell and New Kensington converged to an area near the Elks at 3200 Milligantown Road. Police flashlights could be seen scouring a wide path in the wooded area for at least a half mile along Milligantown Road in their efforts to find Riddle. One Lower Burrell Law Enforcement Officer Sergeant Scott Miller stepped in a creek while searching for the suspect.

Police were not able to find Riddle or the female who was dropped off near Alcoa. Chief Pate said by the time an additional police unit got back to the Alcoa area, the female was gone and her identity is unknown.

At the scene of the crash, police found a small amount of Heroin and drug paraphernalia. Riddle has a suspended license. If you know the whereabouts of Sean Riddle, you are asked to call Upper Burrell Police at (724) 335-0664 or dial 911. Once apprehended, Chief Pate said Riddle will be charged with Flee and Elude Police, Traffic Offenses and drug charges. An arrest warrant will be put out for Sean Riddle. The vehicle was towed from the scene by Clydes.

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New Kensington Police arrest child luring suspect

William Michael Durci

William Michael Durci

(Supplied Image) 3:00 am

New Kensingon, Pa. – Collaborative and diligent investigations with supportive efforts from several local police departments and community businesses is what helped lead New Kensington Police to make an arrest of a Creighton man Tuesday morning.

New Kensington police arrested William Michael Durci, age 44 of 120 Ferry Street in Creighton and charged him with 2 counts of Criminal Attempt, one count of Impersonating A Public Servent, and one count of Lure Child Into A Motor Vehicle. Durci is suspected of luring and attempted kidnap of a 15 year old girl as she walked home from a tutoring session in Arnold.

The child luring incident occurred on November 3, 2014 when New Kensington Law Enforcement Officer Phil Huth was requested to respond to the New Kensington Police station and meet with a female complainant in reference to a harassment case. Officer Huth arrived and spoke with the female victim and her mother. The victim advised Officer Huth that she had left her friends house earlier in the evening in Arnold after tutoring.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim walked down Ridge Avenue and crossed Constitution Boulevard near the YMCA when she noticed a (possible) silver Chevrolet Impala with a white male inside passing by her multiple times. The victim stated that the male asked her how old she was and told the male she was only 15 years old and to leave her alone. The male asked her “wanna mess around?” The victim stated the male passed her at least five more times and he subsequently stated, “I’m a cop, I want to keep you safe, you need to get in”.

The victim described the male as average weight, approximately 175 pounds, unknown facial hair, dirty blonde, medium length hair cut to above his ears and possibly in his late 30’s. The vehicle was described as a (possible) silver in color, Chevrolet Impala, possibly early 2000’s model with no distinctive markings. The victim was not able to get a license plate number however the victim was able to obtain video by utilizing her iPhone.

The case was forwarded to the City of New Kensington Police Department Detective Division and picked up by Detective Sgt. Robert Deringer. Detective Deringer was able to view video from 3 different business establishments in New Kensington and one other video source near the 9th Street bridge. Det. Deringer pieced together the path of the suspects vehicle as it eventually made a right hand turn at the end of the 9th Street bridge and headed towards East Deer. East Deer Police Chief John Manchini was contacted by Det. Deringer for video information that might be available from his side of the bridge in East Deer. After further review of the bridge video, Chief Mangini subsequently provided two additional sources of video information that became available in East Deer. Det. Deringer was able to track the path of the described vehicle to a location in Creighton.

On Thursday November 20, Detective Deringer was driving through Arnold when he found a 2001, 4 door Chevy Impala that fit the video descriptive information taken from all the surveillance cameras. Police ran the registration plate and the owner of the vehicle came back to a residence in Creighton. This was the last place Detective Deringer observed the suspect’s vehicle that was provided by a business in East Deer.

By December 4, police received three still photographs via email; two of which were from the cell phone footage the victim recorded. The victims mother was able to get a photo of the suspect from an earlier drive by in Arnold when she engaged the suspect as he was exiting the suspect vehicle. Those images showed police distinctive markings on the vehicle that matched markings on surveillance video from multiple locations.

William Durci was taken into custody and confessed on Tuesday morning. He was subsequently arraigned by the Honorable Frank Pallone, District Magistrate Court 10-1-05. Durci faces the following charges: Criminal Attempt Kidnapping of a Minor, Criminal Attempt False Imprisonment, Impersonating A Public Servant and Lure Child Into Motor Vehicle

Durci is being held in the Westmoreland County Jail in lieu of posting $50,000 straight bond. The Lower Burrell Police Department also assisted in the investigations.


Attorney General Kane warns consumers of IRS telephone scam

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 2:05 am

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced today that her office continues to receive reports from consumers across the state regarding a resurgent telephone scam. Con artists are using aggressive tactics to convince consumers to provide payment over the telephone for money allegedly owed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“Scams like this always pick up around tax season,” Kane said. “Consumers can avoid falling victim to scammers by remembering never to share personal or financial information over the telephone to any unsolicited callers,” said Attorney General Kane. “The IRS sends written notification by mail of any tax due and will not request credit or debit card information over the phone.”

Kane warns consumers to be alert for these troubling calls. The caller may seem legitimate by referencing a consumer’s personal information that is not publicly available, but was most likely obtained by the scammer illegally. This information may include:

The last four digits of the victim’s Social Security Number.
Information about the consumer’s family members.
Spoofing the IRS’s telephone number or even that of law enforcement or other government entities on Caller ID.
Sending bogus emails that appear to be coming from the IRS.
The caller may pressure consumers to take action, and may even threaten them with eminent arrest. Attorney General Kane reminds consumers that they should remain calm and hang up the phone. Consumers may then verify their tax status directly with the IRS by calling (800) 829-1040.

Consumers should also report these scams to:

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Hotline
P.O. Box 589 – Ben Franklin Station
Washington, DC 20044-0589
(800) 366-4484

Reports of this type of criminal activity should also be reported to local law enforcement.

According to the IRS, the agency will never:

Call taxpayers about taxes they owe without first sending an official notice by mail.
Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount allegedly owed.
Require taxpayers to use a specific payment method for taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.


Springdale’s Pittsburgh Street to remain closed indefinitely pending repairs

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

Springdale, Pa. – Pittsburgh Street in Springdale will remain closed indefinitely after a boom lift on a R.I. Lampus truck struck an industrial overpass bridge late last week.

Juliann Sheldon, PennDOT Safety Press Officer said Pittsburgh Street will remain closed until further notice pending repairs required by PennDOT. Sheldon said PennDOT is working in conjunction with NRG Energy to find a solution in making the necessary repairs and get the street reopened. The main roadway is closed between Duquesne Court and Washington Street. A detour to get from one side of the closure to the other side takes about 20-25 minutes. Unfortunately in this part of Springdale, there is NO way to get to the other side except by detour.

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Domestic dispute turns violent in Allegheny Township

(Stock Image AKVNEWS.COM)

Allegheny Township, Pa. – A domestic dispute in a trailer park Friday night about 7:30 pm turns into a standoff with police after shots are fired into a neighbor’s vehicle.

Allegheny Township Police Chief John Fontaine said Terry Soulcheck, age 52 of Allegheny Township got into a domestic dispute with his wife which resulted in four shots being fired into a neighbors pickup truck. Police units from Washington Township, Lower Burrell, and Vandergrift converged to the scene on Kendoor Drive and approached with extreme caution as Soulcheck was very uncooperative in refusing to surrender to police. Chief Fontaine said police talked to the man on the phone for about two hours.

After surrendering to police, Soulcheck was transported to Allegheny Valley Hospital for evaluation. Chief Fontaine said Soulcheck would be charged with Simple Assault, Reckless Endangerment and Criminal Mischief (damage to the pickup truck).


Hazardous travel in the Alle-Kiski Valley for Monday morning

Stock Image AKNVNEWS.COM 5:27 am

Frazer, Pa. – Allegheny County 911 dispatch has been advised by Frazer Police of a road closure of Tawney Run from Bastins Towing to Butler Logan. Police report three cars in ditches needing pulled out. Station 160 is on scene to assist police.

The early morning local forecast calls for 60% Precip. Less than one inch of snow. Cloudy with snow showers mainly during the morning. High 38F. Winds WNW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 60%.









Another house hit at the bottom of Murray Avenue in Arnold

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Arnold, Pa. – One person was injured after crashing his vehicle at the bottom of Murray Avenue in Arnold about 2:30 pm Sunday afternoon.

Arnold #2 Fire Chief Chris O’Leath said road conditions and lack of tire tread most likely contributed to the driver losing control of his Kia Soul that resulted in a single vehicle crash into a house in the 2100 block of Leishman Avneue.

Firefighters from both Arnold fire departments were cutting temporary support braces and pounding existing braces back into place under the roof before the vehicle could be removed from the crash scene.

This is the third house to get hit at the bottom of Murray Avenue within the past year. The most recent incident took place on January 21, 2015 and last years incident occurred on February 11, 2014. Both stories can be found on AKVNEWS.COM by searching for “murray avenue” in the AKVNEWS archives.

The injured man was transported to Allegheny Valley Hospital. The extent of his injuries is unknown. Elias Towing of Arnold removed the vehicle from the crash scene.

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Gray House hit Feb. 11, 2014 -- Peach House hit on January 21, 2015 and White House hit Feb. 1, 2015 on Leishman Avneue

Gray House hit Feb. 11, 2014 — Peach House hit on January 21, 2015 and White House hit Feb. 1, 2015 on Leishman Avneue

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Arnold Police officers injured after attempting to identify possible suspect

Robert Howard enters the District Magistrate office for hearing on Thursday  January 29, 2015

Robert Howard enters the District Magistrate office for hearing on Thursday January 29, 2015

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

Arnold, Pa. – According to the police criminal complaint, Arnold police were dispatched to the 700 block of Drey Street on January 24, 2015 after a caller believed he had just seen a suspect in the Shop N Save robbery based on the suspects description.

Arnold Police Sergeant Marcia Cole and Law Enforcement Officer Wes Biricocchi arrived on scene to find a black male matching the description along with a white male in the roadway. Sgt. Cole asked the males to step to the sidewalk out-of-the-way of traffic. Sgt. Cole asked the black male his name and he stated Robert Howard. Officer Cole asked Howard for identification, at which time Howard began to reach toward his waist band on his right side which was turned away from Sgt. Cole. Howard was advised not to reach for anything and was asked if he had any weapons on him or anything she should know about. Sgt. Cole then lifted the left arm of Howard to insure he didn’t have any weapons and attempted to frisk the suspect. Howard pushed off Sgt. Cole attempting to flee the scene, however Sgt. Cole was able to momentarily control Howard by grabbing his left jacket sleeve. Howard was advised to stop resisting arrest several times, however Howard tried several times pushing and pulling in an attempt to get away from Sgt. Cole.

Sgt. Cole was assisted at the scene by Law Enforcement Officer Wes Biricocchi when she was forced to go hands on with Howard. Officer Biricocchi continued to struggle to get Howard to comply with commands as the struggle was now in the middle of traffic on Drey Street. Sgt. Cole was forced to deploy her taser however the prongs did not make a solid connection with Howard due to several layers of clothing. Sgt. Cole made an attempt to dry stun Howard as Howard made an attempt to grab and remove the taser from Sgt. Cole’s hand.

Officer Biricocchi was able to take Howard to the ground and put him in handcuffs. Howard was found with six individual packs of Suboxone in his right pants pocket. Suboxone is often used to treat narcotic addiction. Howard was transported to New Kensington Police Department and placed in a holding cell. Sgt. Cole and Law Enforcement Officer Biricocchi did seek medical attention for injuries sustained to their hands/fingers in the altercation.

Howard faced a preliminary hearing in front of the Honorable Judge Frank Pallone Thursday afternoon. Howard faced charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Disorder Conduct Hazardous/physical offense, Disarming Law Enforcement Officer w/o authorization, resisting arrest and Aggravated Assault. After the 45 minute hearing, charges were modified and Howard was sent back to Westmoreland County Jail. Police indicated Howard is on federal probation.

New Kensington Police Chief Tom Klawinski said Howard has not been charged with the Shop N Save theft.