Emergency crews respond to serious crash in Westmoreland County – WPXI

Fire crews and police responded to a serious car accident in Hempfield on Saturday evening, our news partners at TribLive reported.

Fire crews and police responded to a serious car crash in Hempfield on Saturday evening.

The crash, which occurred on the 400 block of Agnew Road, was reported around 5:45 p.m.

Agnew Road was closed from Route 30 into Jeannette, according to a Westmoreland County 911 dispatcher.

The dispatcher said he did not know what caused the wreck and could not confirm whether anyone had been injured.

Reports from the scene indicated that the vehicle went over an embankment and landed upside down in a creek.

No further information on how many injuries or the extent of injuries were provided by county dispatch or state police at this time.

The City of Jeannette Fire Department posted on Facebook earlier about a traffic alert stating Agnew Road was closed from Mary Street to Route 30 for an extended period of time. Grapeville Volunteer Fire Department also assisted.

Around 8:40 p.m., a truck was towed from the scene and first responders started to clear. Traffic cones were laid out near the crash scene on the side of the road.

Source: Emergency crews respond to serious crash in Westmoreland County – WPXI

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Police arrest New Jersey man after 90 mph chase through Greensburg

A New Jersey man is behind bars after Greensburg police said he fled a traffic stop at 90 mph before crashing and being apprehended, according to court papers.

Nicholas Michael Tedesco, 27, of Newton, N.J., is charged with flight to avoid apprehension, resisting arrest, escape and related offenses.

City police said they were on patrol at 3:30 a.m. Friday when they pulled over a Chevrolet Malibu that had an inoperable tail light and revoked registration. The car fled the stop on South Main Street as an officer approached the car, according to court papers.

Police said Tedesco traveled 90 mph south on South Main Street and through two red lights before crashing into traffic islands and an embankment at the on-ramp for Route 30 east. He ran from the scene and officers apprehended him behind a nearby business, according to court papers.

There were warrants for his arrest in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and police said he had a suspended New Jersey driver’s license.

Tedesco was taken to the Westmoreland County Prison Friday on a bench warrant in a June 2020 case for receiving stolen property, filed by Jeannette police, according to online court records. His parole in that case was revoked in May and he was ordered to remain detained.

He was arraigned on charges in the new case Tuesday. He was denied bail because District Judge Chris Flanigan deemed him a flight risk, according to online court records. Tedesco did not have an attorney listed in online court records. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 5.

Source: Police arrest New Jersey man after 90 mph chase through Greensburg

Westmoreland County man accused in bizarre McDonald’s parking lot altercation

A 47-year-old Westmoreland County man is accused of a variety of serious crimes following a bizarre incident in a McDonald’s parking lot early Sunday morning.

According to court documents, Gardner was combative with police on the scene after the incident. He’s accused of kicking officers and damaging a police cruiser. Police said he also spit in the face of an officer during the arrest.

Officers reported the smell of alcohol on Gardner’s breath and also said they discovered an empty bottle of vodka and a small amount of marijuana in Gardner’s truck. Gardner was arraigned and is being held in the Westmoreland County prison on bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 4.

Source: Westmoreland County man accused in bizarre McDonald’s parking lot altercation

Vehicle crashes into bank in Westmoreland County

New pictures were released by the Lloydsville Fire Department over the weekend after an SUV crashed into a bank in Westmoreland County.

The crash happened a little after 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Community Bank on Sharkies Drive in Unity Township.

The SUV went fully into the building.

Crews were called to the scene to remove the vehicle and secure the building.

No injuries were reported.

Source: Vehicle crashes into bank in Westmoreland County

Fire burns through auto body shop in Westmoreland County

LOWER BURRELL, Pa. —An electrical issue may have been the cause of a fire that broke out in an auto body shop in Lower Burrell, Westmoreland County, on Sunday night.

The fire was reported at around 11:10 p.m. at Sharpe Auto Repair on Chester Drive, just off of Leechburg Road.

Firefighters said the fire started in a back room that had a refrigerator and a hot water tank inside.

The flames spread all the way up to the rafters.

No one was hurt.

Source: Fire burns through auto body shop in Westmoreland County

Greensburg doctor pleads guilty to taking kickbacks over fentanyl spray | TribLIVE.com

A Greensburg doctor pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to taking kickbacks, health care fraud and conspiring to distribute controlled substances.

Thomas Whitten, 71, will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge William S. Stickman IV on Dec. 7.

According to prosecutors, Whitten received kickbacks from Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics from May 2013 to November 2015 in exchange for prescribing Subsys, a powerful opioid containing fentanyl. Subsys, which is a liquid that gets sprayed under a patient’s tongue, is only approved for the “management of breakthrough pain in cancer patients” who have developed a tolerance to other pain killers.

However, investigators said Whitten prescribed the drug to patients for whom it was not medically necessary and, therefore, it was not eligible for insurance reimbursement.

Whitten also pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute phentermine hyrocholoride and diethlpropion to patients at five weight-loss clinics from November 2017 to December 2019.

Source: Greensburg doctor pleads guilty to taking kickbacks over fentanyl spray | TribLIVE.com

Only 11% of emergency rent money distributed in Westmoreland County | TribLIVE.com

About 11% of nearly $13 million in emergency rental and utility bill funds has been disbursed to Westmoreland County residents who experienced hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dan Carney, executive director of Union Mission of Latrobe, said about $1.5 million was directed to 270 applicants over the past three months. Another 45 are awaiting payment. The organization was tapped to manage the county’s portion of funds received under the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Carney said 592 applications have been received since the program opened in mid-April.

“We’ve got a really good distribution through the county,” he said.

To be eligible, households must have an income at or below 80% of the area median income and some type of financial hardship resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The household must be either delinquent on rent and/or utility bills or have the inability to afford next month’s rent.

Union Mission was selected by the county commissioners to handle the funding. Carney said some parts of the county, such as the Mon Valley, New Kensington and Route 30 corridor, had higher needs than others — which was expected.

So far, applicants got an average of nine months of assistance worth $5,400.

Source: Only 11% of emergency rent money distributed in Westmoreland County | TribLIVE.com

Neighbors help troopers locate Hempfield break-in suspect | TribLIVE.com

Residents in the rural Hempfield village of Hannastown helped direct state police to a man accused of forcing his way into a home Tuesday and initially refusing to leave before running away moments before officers arrived.

Blake R. Quakenbush, 26, of Latrobe was arrested on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness after the incident on Steel Avenue. He was ordered held in the county prison after failing to post $50,000 bond.

Troopers said two adults inside the residence reported Quakenbush barged into the house, “shutting the door behind him and began yelling, screaming and causing a disturbance.”

A female said she picked her two-year-old child from the floor and ran into a nearby room, locking the door during the incident.

The male owner of the home said Quakenbush, a stranger, initially refused to leave after he barged in, Trooper Matthew Cunningham said in court documents.

The pair reported Quakenbush appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance.

Responding troopers “were informed by several neighbors” that they saw Quakenbush running away and Cunningham said the suspect was located a short time later and taken into custody.

Source: Neighbors help troopers locate Hempfield break-in suspect | TribLIVE.com

Bus driver shortage in Westmoreland County causing trouble for riders – WPXI

Alan Blahovec says they’re not quite up to where they were before the pandemic — but even with the high demand, they just can’t fill the seats or the services.

“Our pay rate is $14.33 an hour right now and we are offering a $750 signing bonus. We offer health benefits, a retirement plan, everything we can.”

Westmoreland Transit is actually holding open interviews on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at its office on Bell Way in Greensburg, in hopes of filling that shortage and restoring those routes.

Source: Bus driver shortage in Westmoreland County causing trouble for riders – WPXI

Route 22 collision: 2 people injured in Salem Township crash

SALEM TOWNSHIP, Pa. —Two people were in the hospital after a two-vehicle crash on Route 22 in Westmoreland County early Friday morning.

The collision at the intersection of Route 22 and Route 819 in Salem Township was reported at about 1 a.m.

Both drivers were taken to the hospital, the fire chief said. No information on the patients’ conditions was immediately available.

State police were investigating to determine the cause of the crash.

Source: Route 22 collision: 2 people injured in Salem Township crash

Boy, 16, shot outside Greensburg apartment; police make 2 arrests | TribLIVE.com

A 16-year-old boy was shot Sunday outside a Greensburg apartment complex, and police arrested two people Monday, according to Capt. Shawn Denning.

Three people — Issac C. Morton, 20, of Greensburg, a woman and her brother — were walking into an apartment building when Jaron Malik Haten-McCoy, 17, of Greensburg and the 16-year-old boy got out of a car in the parking lot and confronted them, police said. Morton’s group went into the building when the woman told authorities Haten-McCoy shot at them, according to court papers.

Morton and the woman returned fire and called 911. Police said an entrance door at one of the buildings had numerous bullet marks on both sides.

Source: Boy, 16, shot outside Greensburg apartment; police make 2 arrests | TribLIVE.com

$3 Million Scratch-Off Ticket Sold In Westmoreland County – CBS Pittsburgh

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) — The Pennsylvania Lottery announced Tuesday that a $3 million-winning MONOPOLY™ 100X Scratch-Off ticket was sold in Westmoreland County.

The lottery says that the ticket was sold at a Giant Eagle located at 117 S. Walnut Street in Ligonier.

This is the top prize in MONOPOLY 100X.The Pennsylvania Lottery says the winner should sign the back of their ticket and immediately call the Lottery at 1-800-692-7481 to claim their prize.

Scratch-Off prizes are only valid for a single year from the game’s end-sale date which can be found on the lottery’s website.

Source: $3 Million Scratch-Off Ticket Sold In Westmoreland County – CBS Pittsburgh

Computer glitch excludes Westmoreland write-in winners; other results certified | TribLIVE.com

Results from 14 Westmoreland County primaries were amended Monday to include additional winners after a weekend review of write-in votes identified discrepancies in how final totals were reported.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we wanted to review them,” said Election Bureau Director JoAnn Sebastiani.

Election officials said no additional votes were added to the results. A computer program that identified winners failed to include a handful of races where write-in candidates received enough votes to qualify for the November election.

Sebastiani said the glitch involved races where vacancies outnumbered candidates on the ballot.

Source: Computer glitch excludes Westmoreland write-in winners; other results certified | TribLIVE.com

‘Magic’ mushroom grow operation found at Rostraver home, police say | TribLIVE.com

A suspected psychedelic mushroom grow operation was discovered in a Rostraver home Thursday while police said they were investigating threats made by the property owner, according to court papers.

Authorities arrested Michael Jonathan McClain, 45, who is being held without bond at the Westmoreland County Prison.

Source: ‘Magic’ mushroom grow operation found at Rostraver home, police say | TribLIVE.com

Man killed in Westmoreland County ATV crash – WPXI

A Blairsville man was killed in an ATV crash in Westmoreland County on Sunday.

DERRY TWP., Pa. — A Blairsville man was killed in an ATV crash in Westmoreland County on Sunday.

Pennsylvania State Police said the incident occurred around 10 a.m. Sunday on Pipers Road, Derry Twp.

Joshua P. Shugars, 25, of Blairsville, was driving an Kawasaki Brute Force V-Twin 700 ATV when it crashed, police said. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

No helmet or protective clothing was used and speed and careless driving appear to have contributed to the crash, police said.

Source: Man killed in Westmoreland County ATV crash – WPXI

Help wanted: Westmoreland County seeks applicants for vacant jobs

Westmoreland County has the “help wanted” sign out to fill jobs in several departments but, as has been the case in the private sector, there isn’t enough community interest to fill vacant positions.

It has been so much of a challenge to fill the roster of guards at the county prison that, on Monday, officials converted part-time jobs to full-time status, hoping the move will lure candidates to fill open positions at the lockup in Hempfield.

Applicants for vacant guard jobs have lagged over the past several months. Warden Bryan Kline said the hiring period for guard candidates saw just three applicants show up for a required agility test. Just one person passed the test but declined a job offer, Kline said.

There are 20 open guard jobs and 12 additional positions held by part-time employees.

Source: Help wanted: Westmoreland County seeks applicants for vacant jobs

Leechburg man defends obscene anti-Biden flag visible from preschool, daycare, church | TribLIVE.com

An anti-President Biden flag with an obscenity on it is flying from the top of a house in Leechburg and is visible from a nearby preschool, church and daycare.

Mayor Wayne Dobos said he has fielded several complaints from residents, including a grandmother who reported that her young grandchild, just learning how to read, read the flag’s message.

Dobos said there is nothing the borough can do to make the homeowner, Matthew Shaner, take it down.

Shaner doesn’t appear to have plans to do so any time soon.

Source: Leechburg man defends obscene anti-Biden flag visible from preschool, daycare, church | TribLIVE.com

Police: 16-year-old crashes stolen car in Westmoreland County

State police said a 16-year-old crashed a stolen car in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, on Tuesday night.

The 1997 Cadillac Northstar had been reported stolen by Latrobe police.

The teen wasn’t hurt but was taken into custody by police.

The investigation is ongoing.

Source: Police: 16-year-old crashes stolen car in Westmoreland County

Voters In Part Of Westmoreland Co. Will Pick New State Rep. In Special Election On May 18 – CBS Pittsburgh

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – We’re two weeks until Pennsylvania’s primary election day, but for some voters, it’s like a general election with residents choosing a new state representative.

That’s what will happen in part of Westmoreland County. When Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Reese died suddenly at age 42, it left an unexpected vacancy that voters will fill on May 18. Chosen by their party leaders, three candidates are on the ballot.

Source: Voters In Part Of Westmoreland Co. Will Pick New State Rep. In Special Election On May 18 – CBS Pittsburgh

Coronavirus vaccine bills sent in error to some Westmoreland County patients – WPXI

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. — Several hundred people who got vaccinated against the coronavirus through Excela Health in Westmoreland County were erroneously billed for the vaccine.

Excela Health released a statement regarding the incident, telling those who received a bill to ignore it.

“We have attempted to contact those patients immediately to inform them to disregard the statement and apologized for the confusion,” Tom Albanesi, Excela Health Chief Financial Officer, said in a statement. “Patients are not responsible for any cost for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, and Excela strongly encourages those who haven’t received the vaccine yet to do so immediately.”

Source: Coronavirus vaccine bills sent in error to some Westmoreland County patients – WPXI

PENNSYLVANIA LOTTERY: Cash 5 ticket worth $200,000 sold in Greensburg, Westmoreland County

Someone who bought a Pennsylvania Lottery ticket at a store in Westmoreland County hit the jackpot for over $200,000.

Lottery officials said a winning ticket from the Monday Cash 5 drawing was sold at Rick’s Tobacco Outlet on Route 30 in Greensburg.

The ticket matched all five balls drawn — 3, 7, 22, 29 and 36.

The winner’s name is not known yet. The holder of the ticket has one year to come forward and claim the prize.

The store will get a $500 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Source: PENNSYLVANIA LOTTERY: Cash 5 ticket worth $200,000 sold in Greensburg, Westmoreland County

Tractor-trailer fire creates big mess at turnpike service plaza in Westmoreland County

A fire that started in the tires of a tractor-trailer created a big mess at the Pennsylvania Turnpike service plaza in New Stanton, Westmoreland County.

The fire was reported around 3 a.m.

The tractor-trailer appeared to be hauling several packages on pallets.No injuries were reported.

Source: Tractor-trailer fire creates big mess at turnpike service plaza in Westmoreland County

Labor complaints spur plans for Monday rally outside Guy Fieri’s restaurant in Westmoreland County | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Employees at Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen + Bar at Live! Casino in Westmoreland County are planning to hold a rally outside the casino Monday afternoon to protest “pay discrimination, harassment and retaliation complaints.”

In a statement from organizers, they said that this protest comes “after a number of workers … complained about labor violations that management has failed to address.”

On March 4, employees sent a petition to management that had over 3,000 signatures on it, asking for the company to raise the wages of Black workers, implement mandatory racial sensitivity and equity training and issue a public acknowledgement and review of the working conditions at the restaurant, which is just east of Greensburg in Hempfield.

In the statement, organizers said that a disparity between white and Black workers’ wages was found after an employee had filed a grievance over a manager using the N-word while telling an employee to turn music off.

That manager no longer works for the restaurant or the casino, the casino’s public relations manager Doug Haniford said.

“That particular incident was addressed,” he said.

The petition is asking that management raise the wages of Black workers at the restaurant, including five months of back pay.

“Although Black workers at Guy Fieri’s Kitchen + Bar Westmoreland have more professional experience, they are being paid lower wages than their white counterparts,” it read.

Source: Labor complaints spur plans for Monday rally outside Guy Fieri’s restaurant in Westmoreland County | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Loyalhanna Township couple charged with operating meth lab

State police arrested a Loyalhanna Township couple early Wednesday after shutting down what they called a methamphetamine lab at the couple’s home in rural Westmoreland County. Brian Miller, 51, and Jennifer Lynn Williams, 53, are charged with operating a methamphetamine lab, possession of a controlled substance, and possession with intent to deliver.

preliminary hearing on the new charges is April 19.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@triblive.com or via Twitter .

Source: Loyalhanna Township couple charged with operating meth lab

Two killed in Salem Township house fire

Two people were killed in a house fire in Westmoreland County on Sunday.

The fire was reported at a home on the 1600 block of Route 819 in Salem Township at around 12:53 a.m.

The Westmoreland County Coroner’s office identified the victims as 57-year-old David Staats and 84-year-old Helena Staats.

“When we arrived the house was fully involved– flames coming out of every window,” said Forbes Road Fire Chief Bob Rosatti.

Rosatti said that the roof collapsed moments after the firefighter’s arrival and they were unable to enter due to the flames.

“There were two vehicles in the driveway which lead us to believe that there was somebody in there, but given the conditions of the fire there was nothing we could have done,” he said.

Once crews were able to knock the initial fire down and make the conditions somewhat safer, they were able to get closer to the home, according to Rosatti.

“We brought an aerial apparatus in and it was putting water down from the top and we found one victim,” he said. “We had to have an excavator come in and remove the debris from the structure to find the second victim.”

The Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, but Rosatti said he doesn’t believe it was suspicious.

Source: Two killed in Salem Township house fire

Live! Casino In Greensburg Among Companies Looking Fill Several Job Openings

Live! Casino in Greensburg is looking to hire dealers, cooks, and servers.

Casino officials plan to interview for positions that include table games dealers, guest services representatives, cage cashiers, environmental services attendants, security ambassadors, line and prep cooks, dishwashers, food servers, bartenders, restaurant hosts and cocktail servers.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. While walk-ins are welcomed, those interested in attending the job fair are encouraged to register online, where they can choose which time they will attend. The casino’s recruitment center is located on the first floor of the mall in the former Sears wing. Type tinyurl.com/up56ew into a web browser to register online.

OTHER COMPANIES ARE ALSO HIRING AT THE JOB FAIR ON MONDAY AT WESTMORELAND MALL IN GREENSBURG, PA.

Source: Live! Casino In Greensburg Among Companies Looking Fill Several Job Openings

Chicken coop fire spreads to home in Westmoreland County

A fire that broke out in a chicken coop spread to a home in Westmoreland County on Friday morning.

The fire broke out around 2:15 a.m. at a house on the 300 block of Rustin Lane in East Huntingdon Township.

There were no injuries reported.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

 

Source: Chicken coop fire spreads to home in Westmoreland County

No injuries in Greensburg apartment fire on Grant Street | TribLIVE.com

Multiple fire departments from central Westmoreland County responded to a fire that damaged four apartments Friday afternoon in Greensburg, according to 911 dispatchers.

“We had a lot of damage,” Greensburg Fire Chief Tom Bell said. “The homeowners are both alive and we got two cats out as well.”

The call initially came in as a tree on electric utility wires near a residence on Grant Street. West Penn Power crews were called, but it developed into a fire about 2:30 p.m., according to a dispatch supervisor.

Source: No injuries in Greensburg apartment fire on Grant Street | TribLIVE.com

Fire damages several floors of home in Jeannette

Fire damaged several floors of a home in Jeannette, Westmoreland County.

The fire broke out shortly after 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at a home on Good Street.

Crews shut down several blocks of the street as they responded to the scene.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

Source: Fire damages several floors of home in Jeannette