Construction continues; Night time road closure Route 56 bypass area

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(NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. – PennDOT District 12 would like to advise motorists that a bridge in New Kensington which carries Route 366 (Tarentum Road) over Route 56 in the City of New Kensington will have beam placement this week at the Rt. 56 bypass area.

In order to do this, the section of Route 56 which is under the Route 366 bridge will be closed from 8pm to 6am on Wednesday, July 16 and Thursday, July 17 to allow crews to remove old bridge beams and set the new beams.

In addition to the closure on Route 56, there will be four fifteen minute closures on the ramp of Route 366 leading to the New Kensington Bridge.

A marked detour will be in place from Route 56 east to Route 366 to Route 380 to Route 780 to Route 366.

Motorists are reminded to drive with caution and be alert when entering a work zone.


Arnold Police Chief Willie Weber attacked by dog

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 4:20 pm

ARNOLD, Pa. – Arnold Police Chief Willie Weber responded to a call from concerned residents about two dogs hanging out of a window at a house on Fourth Avenue in Arnold yesterday afternoon. Chief Weber told AKVNEWS when he arrived at the house he went to the front door and knocked. He did this to get the dogs attention to the noise at the front door so he could then go to the side of the house and shut the window.

By the time he got back around to the side of the house the two pit bulls had jumped from the window to the grass below. The gray and white adult dog charged the Chief biting his left thigh area but was able to shuck the dog off and into the street. It’s then Chief Weber said the dog charged him again and unfortunately he had to shoot the dog. Hoffman’s Kennels was called to remove the dog’s body from the scene for further investigation of vaccination and licensing.

Sources said the dog’s owner, Velvet Morris apologized for the incident and was seen talking with the Chief early this morning concerning the incident. It’s not known if the dog’s owner will be cited.


River search continues, divers and rescue boats scour the Allegheny River for jet ski operator

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CLINTON, Pa. -  UPDATE)  1:10 am The search continues for Duane Uzmack, 40 of Penn Hills after a jet ski accident in the Allegheny River in Armstrong County.  Search crews continued their search down river for Uzmack on Monday morning and divers took turns looking for Uzmack along a populated camp shore across from the White Rock Road access area.  South Buffalo Fire Chief Randy Brozenick said Tuesday’s search will begin with 3 or 4 boats scanning the surface of the water to see if the victim has surfaced.

Original Story (Armstrong County) Multiple river search crews are on scene of a river search near the small town of Clinton along the Allegheny River after a Jet Ski accident sometime around 4:00 pm Sunday afternoon. Search dogs were brought in to aid in the search for a man believed to be in his 40′s who was riding around a family pontoon boat with a passenger when for an unknown reason, the jet ski flipped the man and his passenger from the watercraft.

South Buffalo Fire Chief Randy Brozenick told AKVNEWS that witnesses said the jet ski tipped over and the kid got out of the water ok but the older man bobbed a couple of times and went under. Search dogs are trying to locate a scent or motion of the man missing after the chief said there were a couple of ” positive hits” from the dogs and underwater equipment.

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Chief Brozenick said both riders had life jackets on but the operator didn’t have his clicked to keep the vest on his chest. According to the family, this man was a good swimmer and could swim from one side to the other. The life jacket was recovered from the water along with the jet ski. Undertow in the Allegheny River can be strong and the surface water movement is believed to be approximately 5 mph.

At one point the search was suspended due to lighting in the area, however divers were ready to go in at a moments notice.

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Nearly every local fire department that trains for water rescue incidents are on scene with boats and divers. It’s believed the search will be called off once darkness sets in. Stay tuned to AKVNEWS for the latest in updated information as it becomes available.


Harrison Township residents hit by vandals overnight

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 10:38 am

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – In the early morning hours starting around 6:00 am, police responded to multiple calls of overnight break-ins in the Painter, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Burtner street area of Harrison Township. Vandals entered unlocked vehicles primarily looking for cash, however sunglasses, headphones and other small items were also taken in the thefts.

Harrison Township Law Enforcement Officer Christopher Cottone said at least 12-15 vehicles were hit and that number could rise once residents got out to check their vehicles. One resident on Jefferson Avenue was robbed of $50 dollars while other residents noted small amounts of change missing from the consoles and side door pockets.

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In the overnight crime spree, vandals took various other items from vehicles and then tossed them away littering some streets and yards near Eisenhower Drive. Also found on the streets were a wallet and a lunch box said Officer Cottone. AKVNEWS was told by several residents that’s it’s normally a nice quiet area virtually crime free. Every once in a while something happens here said one resident, but this is crazy hitting all these vehicles.

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

Residents are urged to lock their vehicles at night, and to call police if they discover items missing from their vehicles. Harrison Township Police are continuing their investigations.


Three charged with heroin trafficking in Indiana County


HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced charges against three individuals for trafficking heroin in Indiana County.

Evidence and testimony was presented to a state investigating grand jury, which recommended the charges being filed today.

Derrick Clemons, 36, 719 Buckley Road, Indiana, Armstrong Township, Indiana County, was arraigned today on charges of operating a heroin trafficking ring in and around Indiana and Shelocta boroughs, and Armstrong Township in Indiana County.

According to the grand jury, Clemons had two “runners,” Justine Henry and Jackie Kinter, to deliver heroin on his behalf.  Clemons allegedly provided disposable cell phones to the runners to answer customer calls and make deliveries.

Clemons repeatedly changed meeting locations and arranged meetings in remote locations to evade law enforcement, utilizing all-terrain vehicles to travel to and from deliveries, and installed multiple surveillance cameras on the exterior of his residences in Shelocta Borough and Armstrong Township, according to the grand jury.

Over the course of the investigation, investigators made controlled purchases of 267 stamped bags of heroin and seized at Clemons’ Buckley Road residence 22 additional stamped bags, $1,000 and other items.

Clemons is charged with 10 counts of delivery of heroin, one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin, two counts of criminal conspiracy and two counts of corrupt organizations.

Also charged are Clemons’ alleged runners Jackie Kinter, 41, 44 Cosmos Lane, Indiana, Indiana County and Justine Henry, 20, 1068 Gompers Ave., Indiana, Indiana County.

Henry is charged with two counts of delivery of heroin and two counts of criminal conspiracy.

Kinter is charged with one count of delivery of heroin and two counts of criminal conspiracy.

Attorney General Kane thanked Indiana District Attorney Patrick Dougherty’s Drug Task Force and the Indiana Borough Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

The cases will be prosecuted in Indiana County by Deputy Attorney General Marnie Sheehan-Balchon of the Drug Strike Force Section.

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


Out of control driver crashes twice in Allegheny Township

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ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Police responded to a call of an erratic driver along Rt. 356 and Moreland Drive Friday morning after a driver crossed over the centerline of the highway and traveled into three front yards mowing down several trees. Police later caught up with the driver after she drove her vehicle up onto a guardrail near the intersection of Pine Run Road and Rt. 356 a few minutes later.

Residents living along Rt. 356 near Moreland Drive told AKVNEWS the driver had crossed over the highway and into a neighbors front yard hitting a sewer lid that sticks up from the surface of the grass. The operator of the vehicle continued to drive parallel with Rt. 356 for almost 300′ in the front yards mowing down trees and nearly taking out brick decorative driveway markers along the way.

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One resident who had a couple trees ripped from the ground said a witness told her the driver was slumped over the wheel as she traveled thru the yards. It’s not known if the driver stopped at the end of the last yard before re-entering Rt. 356 South as she continued to head towards Hour Glass Photo.

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After the vehicle made the right hand turn near at the photo shop, the driver proceeded a few miles south on Rt. 356 before crashing her vehicle at Pine Run when she drove her vehicle up onto the guardrail. Police at the scene indicated this was most likely a medical emergency and the patient was transported to Forbes Regional by Lower Kiski EMS. Allegheny Township PD was assisted by Washington Township PD for traffic control. The exact nature of her emergency was not immediately known.


Pipe gasket failure forces crews to make double repairs to major 12″ water line

Water Authority crews measure for pipe length to complete the line.

Water Authority crews measure for pipe length to complete the line.

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ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP, Pa. – (UPDATE @ 12:27 pm Friday)  Municipal Authority of the City of New Kensington water crews were back on scene at 7:30 this morning continuing to make repairs to the major water line break that knocked out service to about 2,000 customers Thursday Morning in Allegheny Township. 

Jim Matta, Authority Director said crews worked until 2:00 am this morning to restore water service with lower pressure to the Oak’s plan and Melwood Manor areas.   Initially the outage affected about 2,ooo customers.  That number is now down to about 80 after making some system changes on Finnin Road. 

Typically, water line breaks are repaired in about four hours said Matta.  This particular break is on a major 12″ line and unfortunately once the repairs were complete, a gasket failed and crews were forced to tear the line back apart to reinstall new parts. Matta said a major break like this happens about once every 6 years. The initial cause of the break resulted from a contractor removing blocking that supports the line keeping pipe deflections to a minimum. Removal of the support under the pipe spells disaster because the line is under an enormous amount of pressure. Mr. Matta noted that when water line repairs exceed 8 hours, the Authority posts additional information on their website to keep customers informed of their progress. 

Mr. Matta said they anticipate that water service will be restored to affected customers by around 5:30 p.m. today, Friday, July 11, 2014.  We apologize for any inconveniences this waterline break has caused.

Customers should call the office line 724-337-3577, in the event of an emergency. 


(Original Story)Municipal Authority of New Kensington is working to repair a major 12″ water line at the corner of Markle Road and Melwood Road in Allegheny Township. Crews at the scene said a contractor was working to make a tap in when they apparently removed “blocking” that supported the major line.

Removal of the blocking puts enormous stresses on the pipes and a portion of the pipe split near where the pipe goes under Markle Road. Crews had to completely rebuild the massive pipe and are expected to have repairs completed by 11:00 pm.

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

The break occurred at approximately 4:30 am Thursday morning.

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


Two car crash in New Kensington; one injured

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NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. – Two elderly drivers were involved in a vehicle crash at the intersection of North Street and Victoria Avenue in New Kensington about 3:00 pm Thursday afternoon.

According to authorities at the scene, the driver of the large Mercury (pictured below) was traveling up North Street when she was hit broadside by a vehicle pulling into her path from the stop sign at Victoria Avenue. The small Ford hit the Mercury causing it to spin and came to rest crossways on the sidewalk.

The driver of the Mercury was visibly shaken and complaining of left side pain. She was helped from her vehicle and put on a stretcher for transport to Allegheny Valley Hospital. The other driver did not appear to have any injuries. Her vehicle came to rest in the middle of the intersection and she found transportation from the scene.

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

Hawk Towing of Arnold removed both vehicles from the crash scene.