Bar Shooting In Uniontown
Uniontown City Police report a shooting took place early Saturday morning inside Esther’s Tavern on Austin Street. WJPA NEWS spoke to Detective Donald Gmitter, who says they are currently investigating the shooting that injured two people who were flown to Pittsburgh-area hospitals for treatment. He says they have one suspect in mind - a black male - but no further details. Esther’s Tavern was recently mentioned as a reference point for a shooting that happened in broad daylight about two weeks ago.
Senate Blocks Surveillance Bill
WASHINGTON (AP) - Critical government surveillance programs remain in jeopardy after the Senate blocked a House-passed bill and several short-term extensions of the USA Patriot Act. The main stumbling block is a House-passed provision to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of domestic phone records. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky favors retaining the program, but fellow Kentuckian Rand Paul, a Republican presidential contender, blocked any extension. The Senate is now off until May 31. The vote was 57-42, short of the 60-vote threshold to move ahead. It leaves the fate of key provisions of the Patriot Act in doubt with a June 1 deadline less than two weeks away. The House had overwhelmingly passed the USA Freedom Act last week. The measure would authorize case-by-case searches of records held by phone companies instead of the government. It also would extend two other expiring surveillance provisions used frequently by the FBI.
Ex-Counselor Faces Sex Charges
Authorities say a former guidance counselor at Ringgold High School has been charged after having sex with a football player who came to her for help. Police said Thursday that 33-year-old Lianne Danko, of Rostraver, was charged with three counts of institutional sex assault.
Her lawyer, David Shrager, says the Ringgold High School counselor is well-liked and respected in the community and will fight the charges.
Police say she engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old student who was seeing Danko to discuss relationship problems. They say they began exchanging intimate text messages and later met in a parking lot to have sex.
Police say another school counselor reported the relationship after a student showed her screenshots of a text message conversation between Danko and the student. WJPA NEWS spoke with Ringgold Superintendent, Dr. Karen Polkabla, and she says Danko has resigned and she does not believe any of the sexual acts occurred on school property. Th Superintendent has posted a letter to parents regarding the allegations on the school's website. (photo: WPXI-TV)
Trinity Student Honored
The Washington County Commissioners have honored an eighth-grader at Trinity Middle School. Ricky Howard, Lance Corporal with the Young Marines of Washington County, has been saluted for coming to the rescue of a young girl in his neighborhood when she was being attacked by a rabid fox. Commissisoner Larry Maggi said Howard chased the fox and then "secured apprpriate quipment and neutralized it." Both Ricky, who is 13, and the girl have undergone a series of rabies shots. Unit Commander with the Young Marines, Keith Hagan, said Ricky responded the way he was trained to do. (photo: Ricky Howard in his brown Young Marine uniform, at Thursday's meeting of the Washington County Commissioners)
Oil Spill Cleanup Continues
GOLETA, Calif. (AP) - The operator of a broken oil pipeline that leaked crude into waters off the coast of California says it'll take a while to determine the cause of the spill. Officials at Plains All American Pipeline say crews need to excavate the pipeline, and then it can take weeks or months to determine what went wrong. Tuesday's spill involved an estimated 105,000 gallons of crude. About 21,000 gallons are believed to have made it to the sea. Officials say as of Thursday, more than 9,000 gallons were cleaned up.