Jefferson Hills: 1 dead after dump truck collides with train

Part of Route 51 in Jefferson Hills will be shut down in both directions through at least late Tuesday morning, possibly into the afternoon, after a dump truck collided with a train.

The Jefferson Hills fire chief confirmed to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that the driver of the dump truck has died.

Source: Jefferson Hills: 1 dead after dump truck collides with train

Four Westmoreland County school districts named in lawsuit over mask mandates

A group of 20 parents has filed a lawsuit against four Westmoreland County school districts over mask policies.

Norwin School District, Hempfield Area School District, Penn-Trafford School District and Kiski Area School District all began the school year with mask-optional policies and shifted in order to comply with the state’s mask mandate in schools last month.

Source: Four Westmoreland County school districts named in lawsuit over mask mandates

Police: Johnstown woman jailed after toddler found with stamp bag of heroin in her mouth

A Johnstown woman is behind bars after a toddler had a stamp bag of heroin in her mouth, police say.

According to the Adams Township Police, Janet Ruffing is facing drug charges along with endangering the welfare of children.

Police said they received a tip Sept. 17 that a 1-year-old child had been exposed to heroin while staying with Ruffing at her home on Ragers Hill Road.

The girl was allegedly with Ruffing while Ruffing was high on drugs and lost consciousness.

According to a criminal complaint, police interviewed Ruffing who admitted to the incident.

Source: Police: Johnstown woman jailed after toddler found with stamp bag of heroin in her mouth

Police And EMS Respond To Rollover Crash On The North Side – CBS Pittsburgh

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Police and EMS responded to a rollover crash early on Monday morning.

READ MORE:Coraopolis Police Searching For Missing 23-Year-Old Miasinque Smith

Just before 1:00 a.m., Pittsburgh Police and medics were called to Allegheny Avenue near Abdell Street, and once on the scene, they found an SUV rolled over onto its roof.

READ MORE:Man Dead After Shots Fired, Car Crash In New Castle

The SUV hit a few parked cars during the crash.

The condition of the driver is unknown at this time.

MORE NEWS:Ohio Reports More Deaths Than Births In 2020; Experts Cite Pandemic

Stay With KDKA.com For More Details

Source: Police And EMS Respond To Rollover Crash On The North Side – CBS Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh police stand down on nationwide threat made against ‘Central High School’ | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

Pittsburgh police said Sunday that an alleged social media threat made nationwide against “Central High School” is no longer a threat.

Previously, the city’s police and intelligence units were investigating the message as a possible threat against Central Catholic High School in Oakland.

Police said the threat was issued on social media platforms and targeted “Central High School” nationwide. The message — which was not local — had since circulated out-of-state. There is no active threat at any Central High School in Pennsylvania, police said.

The suspect was arrested in Missouri and is in custody, police said.

While the threat was not deemed credible, Central Catholic principal Brother Tony Baginski said in a statement that “out of an abundance of caution,” the school will have “increased police presence in and around the school on Monday.”

“In addition, our teachers will review safety procedures with students and our school counselors and licensed school psychologist are available to students in need of support. We are thankful for the quick work of the Zone 4 Police, the cyber intelligence unit and the FBI in resolving this case so we can resume school normally on Monday,” Brother Tony said in a statement.

Brother Tony also said that the safety of students, faculty and staff is the school’s top priority.

“[T]hroughout the years, Central Catholic High School has taken several safety precautions to protect our community, including utilizing the Safe 2 Say app, the installation of the Blue Point Security system, and maintaining close relationships with the Zone 4 police,” Brother Tony said in a statement.

Source: Pittsburgh police stand down on nationwide threat made against ‘Central High School’ | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Peck seeks to fight off Ziccarelli challenge in Westmoreland district attorney race

For the first time in a quarter century, Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck has a race on his hands.

Republican Nicole Ziccarelli, fresh off a razor-thin defeat in a bid for state Senate last fall, insists it’s time to change leadership in the county prosecutors office.

“I respect the current district attorney very much, but after this much time, I believe we need a change in leadership and the time is now,” Ziccarelli said.

Peck, 74, of New Kensington has long political roots in Westmoreland County. His father served as county sheriff for more than a decade. After spending several years in the public defender’s office, Peck served as a part-time assistant district attorney and continued in that role until he was appointed to the top job. He won his first full four-year term in 1997.

He said the game hasn’t passed him by and his 40-years as a prosecutor is the steady hand county residents need.

“I don’t think this is any different from my past Republican or Democratic challengers who also had no experience in doing the job,” Peck said.

For Peck, that experience includes years in the courtroom as the office’s top prosecutor who has handled nearly every high-profile criminal case in the county since he was first appointed to the job by county judges. In 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic halted trials throughout much of 2020, Peck served as lead attorney in five murder cases that went before juries. All ended with convictions.

He said he has no intention of slowing down and will continue to try cases into a seventh term.

Ziccarelli said she sees the district attorney’s job, at least for now, as an administrative post.

Source: Peck seeks to fight off Ziccarelli challenge in Westmoreland district attorney race

Man Shot In The Stomach In Swissvale

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

SWISSVALE (KDKA) — A man is in critical condition after an overnight shooting in Swissvale, according to police.

READ MORE:Man Shot In The Torso Near Lincoln-Lemington

Allegheny County Police say that this happened just after 2 a.m. Sunday on the 7500 block of Washington Avenue.

READ MORE:Pittsburgh Weather: Spotty Showers For Sunday

The man was shot in the stomach and taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Allegheny County Police have launched an investigation.

MORE NEWS:Overnight Wrong-Way Crash On I-79 Kills A Driver

Anyone who knows anything about the shooting is asked to reach out to police at the County Police Tip Line 1-833-ALL-TIPS.

Source: Man Shot In The Stomach In Swissvale

Colombia’s most wanted drug lord captured in jungle raid

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombian security forces have captured the country’s most wanted drug trafficker, a rural warlord who stayed on the run for more than a decade by corrupting state officials and aligning himself with combatants on the left and right.

President Iván Duque likened the arrest Saturday of Dairo Antonio Úsuga to the capture three decades ago of Pablo Escobar.

Colombia’s military presented Úsuga to the media in handcuffs and wearing rubber boots preferred by rural farmers.

Úsuga, better known by his alias Otoniel, is the alleged head of the much-feared Gulf Clan, whose army of assassins has terrorized much of northern Colombia to gain control of major cocaine smuggling routes through thick jungles north to Central America and onto the U.S.

He’s long been a fixture on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s most-wanted fugitives list, for whose capture it had been offering a $5 million reward. He was first indicted in 2009, in Manhattan federal court, on narcotics charges and for allegedly providing assistance to a far-right paramilitary group designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. Later indictments in Brooklyn and Miami federal courts accused him of importing into the U.S. at least 73 metric tons of cocaine between 2003 and 2014 through countries including Venezuela, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Honduras.

Source: Colombia’s most wanted drug lord captured in jungle raid

A  couple is charged with rent fraud

A couple from Monroeville is charged with trying to defraud the Pandemic Rent Assistance Program.

Police say applications by Devon Lane and Victoria Bennett were flagged by Action Housing.

Police investigated and say they found Lane applied for more than $645,000 in rent relief and received more than $222,000.

Source https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/10/23/couple-facing-charges-in-connection-with-rental-assistance-fraud/?amp

Peter Scolari Dead: ‘Bosom Buddies’, ‘Newhart’, ‘Girls’ Actor Was 66 – Deadline

Peter Scolari, the prolific television and stage actor who found instant fame and a lifelong friendship with Tom Hanks when the two co-starred in the hit 1980 TV comedy Bosom Buddies, died early Friday morning following a two-year battle with cancer. He was 66.

His death was announced by Ellen Lubin Sanitsky at Wright Entertainment.

Scolari’s 43-year show business career included such highlights as his Emmy-nominated series regular role of producer Michael Harris on Bob Newhart’s 1984-90 comedy Newhart, an Emmy-winning recurring role as the father of Lena Dunham’s character on HBO’s Girls, and, most recently, his role as Bishop Thomas Marx on the CBS supernatural drama Evil.

A partial roster of other TV credits include Fosse/Verdon, Madoff, The Good Fight, Murphy Brown, The West Wing, ER, Gotham, Law & Order: SVU, Ally McBeal, From the Earth to the Moon and Honey I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, to name a relative few. Film credits include The Polar Express and a cameo appearance as a TV host in the 1996 comedy-drama That Thing You Do!, directed by and starring his old friend and co-star Tom Hanks.

Source: Peter Scolari Dead: ‘Bosom Buddies’, ‘Newhart’, ‘Girls’ Actor Was 66 – Deadline

NIH admits US funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan

The National Institutes of Health has stunningly admitted to funding gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at China’s Wuhan lab — despite Dr. Anthony Fauci repeatedly insisting to Congress that no such thing happened.

In a letter to Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) on Wednesday, a top NIH official blamed EcoHealth Alliance — the New York City-based nonprofit that has funneled US funds to the Wuhan lab — for not being transparent about the work it was doing.

NIH’s principal deputy director, Lawrence A. Tabak, wrote in the letter that EcoHealth’s “limited experiment” tested whether “spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.”

Source: NIH admits US funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan

Youngwood man accused of taking $50K worth of guns, other items from 2 abandoned houses

By Renatta Signorini

You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, rsignorini@triblive.com or via Twitter .

A Youngwood man was charged Thursday after state police said he took $50,000 worth of guns, tools, coins and military collectibles from two abandoned houses, according to court papers.

George Raymond Weightman III, 43, told investigators he broke into the houses in Adamsburg and Hempfield to fund a drug addiction. He was jailed without bail on numerous counts of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief and weapons violations.

He was being held at the Westmoreland County Prison.

State police arrested him Monday on two counts of receiving stolen property in connection with two guns reported stolen from the Adamsburg home.

Source: Youngwood man accused of taking $50K worth of guns, other items from 2 abandoned houses

Dental records show remains found at Carlton Reserve are those of Brian Laundrie, FBI says – East Idaho News

(CNN) — The FBI’s Denver office said Thursday that remains found a day earlier in a Florida nature reserve are those of Brian Laundrie, who disappeared last month just days after his fiancée Gabby Petito was reported missing.

The FBI said dental records confirmed the identification.

The identification came hours after police in North Port, Florida, said the remains that were found were skeletal and belonged to a human.

“They are human remains, no doubt there. I would say that the remains were consistent with one individual, you know skeletal remains,” North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor told CNN.

Investigators also found clothing believed to be consistent with what Laundrie was wearing when he took off September 13, according to Taylor.

Less than a week after Laundrie went missing last month, authorities in Wyoming found Petito’s remains in a national forest. Her death was ruled a homicide by manual strangulation.

On Wednesday, investigators also found a backpack and a notebook belonging to Laundrie, 23, near the remains while they were searching the Carlton Reserve in North Port, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson.

“The notebook to my understanding has not been opened. You know, that will need to be processed,” Taylor said.

A source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN the notebook is “possibly salvageable.” The source said the notebook was “outside of the dry bag.”

“It had been clearly wet and they are going to use any potential means to dry that out before opening it,” according to the source, who added: “They’ll be very careful with it.”

The source said it is unclear how the notebook ended up outside the dry bag.

When Taylor was asked about whether a weapon was found, he said he could not comment.

When asked if there is an ongoing search for the murderer of Gabby Petito, he responded, “That is certainly not in the North Port Police Department’s purview.”

During a search with police, Brian’s father, Chris Laundrie, was the first to spot an item belonging to his son, according to Taylor.

Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday that “the probability is strong that it is Brian’s remains.”

The discovery came on Wednesday morning when Laundrie’s parents and law enforcement searched an area of the reserve that had been underwater but recently reopened to the public.

“It’s quite sad, you can imagine as a parent, finding your son’s belongings alongside some remains. That’s got to be heartbreaking. And I can tell you that they are heartbroken,” Bertolino told Cuomo.

Search conditions had been very difficult

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said Thursday law enforcement had been searching in treacherous conditions, including nearly chest-high water full of snakes and alligators.

“These are very, very difficult conditions. You’re searching in areas that you just can’t walk up and look. It’s not like you’re searching a house or a car,” he said. “These areas are huge and they’re covered by water.”

The exhaustive search for Laundrie stretched over a month as authorities tried to piece together what happened to him and Petito during their road trip through the Western US this summer.

Petito, 22, disappeared on the trip amid tensions in their relationship, and her remains were later found near where the couple had last been seen together.

Laundrie, who had returned by himself to his parents’ home in Florida, refused to talk with investigators and didn’t return after telling his parents he was going to the nature reserve to hike.

He was not charged in Petito’s death, although he was indicted for allegedly using two financial accounts that did not belong to him in the days following her killing.

Authorities, including several K-9 units and off-road vehicles, returned to the reserve on Thursday morning to further search the area.

Brian Laundrie’s parents were on scene when remains were found

Laundrie’s family had declined to talk publicly following legal advice, but they had directed authorities to where they believed Laundrie may be staying in the reserve, Bertolino said.

The parents — Chris and Roberta Laundrie — joined in the search Wednesday morning and found a bag belonging to their son at the park, which their attorney described as “happenstance.”

According to Bertolino, Laundrie’s parents informed the FBI and the North Port Police Department on Tuesday night that they wanted to visit the park Wednesday morning to search for their son.

Law enforcement met them there and closely accompanied them as they entered the park, Bertolino said.

“As they went further in, Chris ventured off the trail into the woods. He was zigzagging in different areas, law enforcement was doing the same thing. And Roberta Laundrie was walking down the trail,” Bertolino said. “At some point, Chris locates what’s called a dry bag. The dry bag is a white bag, laying in the woods, say 20 feet or so off the trail.”

The dry bag was in some brambles and he didn’t want to move it because he wanted his law enforcement to see it, Bertolino said. However, Chris Laundrie couldn’t find law enforcement and didn’t want to leave the bag there with a news reporter standing nearby, so he picked it up, Bertolino explained.

“He did meet up shortly with law enforcement, they looked at the contents of the bag. At that time, law enforcement officers showed him a picture on the phone of a backpack that law enforcement had located also nearby and also some distance off the trail,” Bertolino told CNN.

“At that point, the Laundries were notified there was also remains near the backpack, and they were asked to leave the preserve.”

The remains were found “about 2 to 3 miles inside the Carlton Reserve, or about a 45-minute walk” from the entrance at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, Taylor said Wednesday.

When asked why the parents chose to go to the park on Wednesday, Bertolino said it was the first day it was reopened to the public.

“The parents had assumed that the experts, the FBI and all the tracking teams they had would be able to locate Brian based upon the information that we had provided them to the specific areas and trails in the park that Brian liked to visit,” Bertolino said. “The park had been closed to the public. There was really no other reason for the Laundries to go search anywhere else.”

Source: Dental records show remains found at Carlton Reserve are those of Brian Laundrie, FBI says – East Idaho News

Pittsburgh Weather: Cleanup Efforts Underway After Thursday’s Severe Storms

By: KDKA-TV’s Erika Stanish, Jessica Guay and Royce Jones

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The day started off mild and seasonable, but that all changed this afternoon after severe weather hit western Pennsylvania.

READ MORE:Woodland Hills Varsity Football’s Friday Night Game To Limit Capacity Following School Fights

The National Weather Service issued tornado warnings for parts of Butler, Mercer, Allegheny, Washington, Greene and Beaver counties on Thursday, but all warnings have now expired.

Allegheny County says the Hampton Township Fire Department believes a microburst hit the area, causing extensive damage. There were no reported injuries.

 

In Hampton Township, the strong winds ripped the roof off a home on Kirk Avenue. Crews put a tarp over the roof to protect it from the elements. Another nearby home had its roof partially ripped off during the wild storms.

Fire officials in the township said they responded to about 30 calls on Thursday night.

 

On Middle Road, a homeowner described the scene after storms hit the area.

“It was terrible. Just trees down on one side of the road. Had to use the other side of the road. It was just scary driving with all the debris on the road,” Jen Koervel said.

READ MORE:Crews Working On Water Main Break On Magee Street In Uptown

Many neighborhoods in the area were left without power after tree branches fell on power lines.

The American Red Cross has set up a staging area at the Hampton Volunteer Fire Department to help impacted residents.

In Washington County, the Peters Township fire chief said several homes were impacted. The chief said one home has substantial damage. The family was home at the time, but no one was hurt.

The NWS will be out in the area on Friday morning to survey the damage.

MORE NEWS:Parkway North Inbound Lane Restriction Planned On Friday

Stay up to date with the KDKA app, which you can download here.

Source: Pittsburgh Weather: Cleanup Efforts Underway After Thursday’s Severe Storms

Watch Live: FBI providing updates after potential human remains found in search for Brian Laundrie

Law enforcement sources and a family attorney say items believed to belong to Brian Laundrie and potential human remains have been found in a Florida wilderness park during the search for clues in the slaying of Gabby Petito.

Source: Watch Live: FBI providing updates after potential human remains found in search for Brian Laundrie