Westmoreland County elections officials Wednesday morning started counting more than two dozen provisional ballots cast in November but just recently discovered by staff during routine inspections of voting equipment.
Elections bureau staffers, serving as appointed members of a reconstituted provisional board, reviewed and qualified 20 ballots cast in North Huntingdon and one from Avonmore. Four ballots were rejected for being submitted by unregistered voters.
The North Huntingdon ballots, cast at the United Methodist Church on Coulterville Road, were discovered Dec. 28. Four additional ballots were found last week that were cast in Avonmore Borough, according to Elections Bureau Director JoAnn Sebastiani.
“They were inadvertently not reviewed (in November),” Sebastiani said of the Avonmore ballots.
Source: Counting of lost ballots underway in Westmoreland County | TribLIVE.com
GREENSBURG, Pa. — Ambulance crews have been responding to a substantial amount of overdose calls in Fayette County and across parts of Westmoreland County. Officials believe there could be a “bad batch” of drugs behind the problem.
“When a batch of bad substance comes into your area, normally it is in bulk so we don’t see one overdose here, one here, isolated. We start to see multiple calls in the same area,” said John Duke with Brownsville Ambulance Service.
In the last 24 hours, medics responded to over a dozen calls related to suspected drug overdoses and people under the influence. From the Connellsville area to Fayette City and Saltlick Township, at least three of the overdoses were deadly. Duke said the behavior of the people under the influence has been concerning.
“Combativeness. Walking around town with no shirt or pants on. Just stuff that’s totally off the wall and out there,” he said.Officials said while it’s dangerous to the people taking the substances, it’s also taxing on the crews who respond.“We all staff based on our call volume and what we can substantiate financially and when this additional call volume comes on, none of us are prepared for it,” Duke said.He’s putting out a warning about the drugs, especially after three people died.“Time still matters. If you have signs or symptoms of anything, call us. Let us get you the treatment you need,” Duke said.
Source: Ambulance crews responding to large number of overdoses across Fayette, Westmoreland counties
Three winning Treasure Hunt tickets, one of which was sold in Westmoreland County, will split a jackpot prize of $180,000, according to the Pennsylvania Lottery.
The winning tickets were drawn Dec. 31, and the three matched all five numbers drawn to win individual prizes of $60,000.
The Westmoreland County ticket was sold at Chum’s Country Market on Mt. Pleasant Road, Ruffs Dale, while the other two tickets were sold in Berks County and Philadelphia.
More than 54,900 other Treasure Hunt tickets won prizes in the drawing. Players should check every ticket, every time, according to the lottery.
Source: Treasure Hunt jackpot shared by three tickets, one in Westmoreland Co.
A California man is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison without bail after state police accused him of taking a vehicle from a relative in North Carolina and was found in Hempfield Thursday.
Lorenzo Watson, 39, of Oakland, Calif., is charged with receiving stolen property and drug possession.
Source: California man being held without bail after Hempfield incident | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland County elections officials disclosed Monday that 21 uncounted provisional ballots submitted at a North Huntingdon voting precinct on Election Day were discovered last week among computer equipment used at the polls in November.
Elections bureau staffers found the unopened ballots during a routine inspection of voting machines stored at the department’s Greensburg warehouse on Dec. 28.
JoAnn Sebastiani, the county’s elections director, said additional precautions had been enacted ahead of the Nov. 3 election that were designed to prevent the misfiling of ballots returned to the courthouse from the precincts, but those measures were unsuccessful.
“Unfortunately, the judge of elections did not follow instructions,” Sebastiani said.
Source: Uncounted ballots discovered among Westmoreland County voting equipment | TribLIVE.com
NORTH HUNTINGDON, Pa. (KDKA) — A Westmoreland County man has been charged after he allegedly fought three police officers who came to his home for a welfare check.
For Jake Ruffing, living in his North Huntingdon apartment hasn’t been much fun.
For North Huntingdon police, a recent visit to the dwelling proved a challenge as well.
According to police, they showed up at the Central Highway address to check on 23-year-old Kevin Shouse. Investigators say Shouse greeted the officers while swinging an 18-inch machete.
Source: Westmoreland Co. Man Charged After Allegedly Fighting 3 Police Officers During Welfare Check – CBS Pittsburgh
BELL TOWNSHIP, Pa. —
One person died and two others were injured following a house fire in Bell Township, Westmoreland County on Monday.
The fire was at a home along Route 286.
The coroner confirmed 52-year-old Frank Zanavich died following the fire.
Neighbors told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that Zanavich lived in the home with his brother and elderly father. Two other people in the home were injured.
Source: One killed, two injured in Bell Township house fire
GREENSBURG, Pa. — A woman who fled police at speeds exceeding 130 mph on Route 119 faces multiple charges and will appear before a judge next month.
According to our partners at TribLive.com, 44-year-old Roxanna Varriano of Jeannette was charged with illegally operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock device, illegal possession of marijuana, failing to use a seat belt and other charges after the incident in East Huntingdon.
State police said a trooper was patrolling the area around 12:30 p.m. Dec. 7 when Varriano flew past his patrol vehicle. The trooper said in court documents that Varriano’s 2020 Camaro was going more than 130 mph before she pulled off the road. The posted speed limit in the area is 65 mph.
Source: Woman accused of fleeing police, driving 130+ mph on Route 119 in Westmoreland County
Rostraver, Pa. — A woman from Westmoreland County was facing charges after police said she coughed on bottles and employees at a Rostraver liquor store.
Leona Warman, 69, of West Newton, walked into the store on Dec. 9, pulled down her mask, and yelled, “I have COVID-19,” according to court documents obtained by our news partners at TribLIVE.com. She’s accused of then coughing on or near four store employees and touching around 300 bottles.
Employees called police, who arrested Warman in the store, according to TribLIVE.com.The bottles had to be removed from the store, causing a more than $5,000 loss, according to court documents.Warman is facing several charges, including reckless endangerment and violating a state health order aimed at controlling the spread of coronavirus.She has a preliminary hearing scheduled, March 8.
Source: Woman accused of coughing on employees, bottles inside Westmoreland County liquor store
NORTH VERSAILLES, Pa. — A man was hit and killed by a North Versailles Public Works plow truck that was out clearing snow-covered roads on Wednesday afternoon.
According to investigators, County 911 was called just before 5 p.m. for a vehicle versus pedestrian accident in the 100 block of Union Avenue. Police said the man was walking with a snow blower when the plow truck was backing up the street.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, and homicide detectives are investigating.
The victim’s identity has not yet been released.
Source: Man hit, killed by public works truck out clearing roads in North Versailles
Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli has tested positive for covid-19, county officials said Tuesday.
Cerilli informed the county of her positive test results Tuesday and is following isolation recommendations
Cerilli told the Tribune-Review Tuesday was the second day she experienced symptoms including a “terrible headache” and an elevated temperature. She said she immediately got tested after developing the symptoms and learned of her positive result on Tuesday.
She said she’s been drinking plenty of fluids and will seek medical attention if needed.
Source: Westmoreland Commissioner Gina Cerilli tests positive for covid-19 | TribLIVE.com
ST. CLAIR TOWNSHIP, Pa. —A 69-year-old man was killed in an ATV crash in St. Clair Township, Westmoreland County on Wednesday morning.
The crash happened around 11:55 a.m. on Robb Run Road.
State police said Joseph Bucceri of New Florence was headed north when he lost control of the ATV and it flipped on the roadway.Bucceri was pronounced dead at the scene.
State police said the investigation is ongoing.
Source: 69-year-old man killed in ATV crash in Westmoreland County
A Derry Borough man was hospitalized after police said he was hit in the head with a tire iron during a robbery at his home Friday.
The man told borough police that five people broke into his Hays Street home around 7 p.m. but the only one he could identify was Robert E. Coffren, 29, of Derry.
Coffren is charged with robbery, aggravated assault, theft, burglary, receiving stolen property and related offenses. He was jailed Saturday on $100,000 bail.
Source: 1 arrested in robbery, 1 injured, at Derry Borough home | TribLIVE.com
From midnight and through the day Tuesday, we will have snow showers leaving many with 1-2″ and areas north of I-80 and along the ridges picking up around 3″ of snow.
(Photo Credit: KDKA Weather Center)
Our highs will struggle to make it to 40 degrees on Tuesday.
For the rest of the week, it’ll be cold with lows in the upper 20’s and highs in the low 40’s.
(Photo Credit: KDKA Weather Center)
Our next round of rain and snow is possible late Thursday and through the day Friday.
Current Conditions | School Delays & Closings | Local Radar | Weather App | Photos
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Source: Pittsburgh Weather: Wintry Conditions, 1-2″ Of Snow Expected – CBS Pittsburgh
A Greensburg man pleaded guilty Monday to setting his house on fire.
Jeremiah N. Morgan, 41, was sentenced to spend up to two years, less a day, in the Westmoreland County Prison followed by five years of probation.
Morgan said he pleaded guilty to “get into treatment and get my life back together.” He was ordered to complete a drug and alcohol evaluation and be paroled directly to a treatment facility.
Source: Greensburg man gets 2 years in jail for setting his house on fire | TribLIVE.com
A Pennsylvania Air National Guard refueling plane forced to make an emergency return to Pittsburgh International Airport on Saturday morning dumped fuel over the Jeannette-Penn Township-North Huntingdon and Manor areas, according to the Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety and state Air National Guard.
The KC-135 Stratosphere was forced to turn around shortly after takeoff at 6:40 a.m. from Pittsburgh International Airport, said Senior Master Sgt. Shawn Monk, a spokesman for the National Guard’s 171st Air Refueling Wing. The plane landed safely at the airport, Monk said.
The refueling plane, which Monk described as “basically a flying gas station,” had to dump the fuel to safely land. The nature of the emergency is under investigation, Monk said.
The Air National Guard is investigating the incident, Monk said. The Federal Aviation Administration also is involved in the probe, according to the county public safety department.
A kerosene-type odor was reported by residents reported to the county’s emergency dispatching center about 8 a.m., which prompted the emergency center to dispatch fire departments in those communities, the public safety department said.
Source: Military plane dumps fuel over Westmoreland County en route to emergency stop at Pittsburgh airport | TribLIVE.com
Elizabeth E. Hufnagel, 87, was pronounced dead on the scene by Deputy Coroner Steven Grabiak.
According to the coroner’s report, Hufnagel was the passenger of a 2018 Subaru Legacy that was traveling south on Belleau Wood Boulevard around 5:40 p.m. Wednesday. According to the report, the vehicle left the roadway, traveled through a yard and collided with a tree.
The condition of the driver, who was not identified, was not provided.
Source: Coroner IDs woman killed in Trafford car crash | TribLIVE.com
Since Sept. 19, the number of residents testing positive stands at 152; the number of staff with positive test results has reached 60, according to Assistant Administrator Abby Testa. Six residents have died of covid-19 since the onset of the pandemic.
Westmoreland County set a new daily record for cases on Wednesday, when 273 new coronavirus cases were added. In the past 15 days, the county has seen more covid cases (2,728) than all of October and September combined (2,657).
The county saw another seven covid-related deaths added on Wednesday — setting a new record seven-day total of 41 deaths. To date, Westmoreland has seen 179 fatalities because of the coronavirus.
Source: 12 staff members at Westmoreland Manor test positive for coronavirus | TribLIVE.com
HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — After months of construction and planning, Live! Casino Pittsburgh at Westmoreland Mall will open to the public today.That project has brought a lot of jobs to the area and opening in the middle of a pandemic is no easy feat.The casino will hold its grand opening on Tuesday morning, not too much longer before those doors open and people get to press their luck.
With the casino opening during the Coronavirus pandemic, safety measures will be in place.There will be mask requirements, temperature checks, physical distancing, and repeated cleaning of high-traffic areas, slot machines, and table games.
Source: Live! Casino Pittsburgh Holds Grand Opening, Opens To The Public For First Time – CBS Pittsburgh
Two Westmoreland County men are charged with hindering apprehension and obstruction of justice for helping a Jeannette teenager dispose of two handguns after he allegedly shot and wounded two men last month.
Khalil L. Myers, 16, was arrested hours after the shootings at 4:46 p.m. Oct. 20 inside a house at 307 S. Third St. by Jeannette police and county detectives. He is charged as an adult with multiple criminal charges including two counts of attempted homicide.
On Thursday, city police charged Elijah S. Vento, 24, of Irwin, and Cedric M. Ward, 44, of Jeannette, for hiding evidence after the shooting and obstructing the investigation. Police allege Vento “disposed” of two handguns Myers possessed at the time of the shooting.
According to court documents, investigators spoke with both Vento and Ward at a home in the 300 block of North Pennsylvania Avenue in Greensburg, where they found Myers had fled after the shooting that wounded Austin Mathias, 19, of Crabtree, and Anthony Bittinger, 21, of Greensburg. Both Mathias and Bittinger were treated at Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville for their wounds.
Source: 2 men charged with hindering investigation of Jeannette double shooting | TribLIVE.com