School Delays 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

  If you see news happening, call the WJPA Newsroom at (724) 222-3522

Local News

Motorcycle Club Leader Charged With Brutal Charleroi Attack

CHARLEROI, Pa. – (WPXI) – A high-ranking member of the Pagan Motorcycle Club has been arrested and charged in a bar beating. Michael Barringer is accused of ordering the beating of a former club member who prosecutors said nearly killed the man. A total of seven suspects have been arrested in connection with the investigation. In April, Charleroi police were called to the Slovak Club for man who was unconscious and bleeding. Prosecutors said Barringer is the third-highest ranking member of the Pagan Motorcycle Club and that he ordered the man’s beating to “send him a message.” Prosecutors said Barringer also hired a private investigator, who is a retired state trooper. They said he paid the investigator $2,500 to approach the victim’s family and offer them a settlement. Retired state trooper James Baranowski told the victim and his wife they would be taken care of financially and guaranteed their safety in exchange for them not pursing the criminal case, prosecutors said. Barringer’s defense attorney argued that Baranowski was not offering a bribe, but offering the family a civil option that would have involved lawyers and helped the family. A judge dropped the obstruction charge. Barringer will go to trial for felony intimidation of a victim and intimidation.

Residents Air Concerns In N. Strabane Twp

Business was anything but usual for North Strabane Supervisors in their legislative meeting. In a public comment session that lasted nearly 90 minutes, residents raised issues from the Majestic Hills landslide to the proposed cellular antenna from Crown Castle, Inc. Doug Grimes, one of the displaced residents of Majestic Hills spoke for the affected residents of the landslide asking that supervisors double down on efforts to support their needs and try and bring the disaster to a conclusion. Grimes stated that they are under extreme financial stress and all residents want is to be made whole. Supervisors in comments later in the meeting reiterated that no matter what, the residents of Majestic Hills are the primary focus of concern. Township Solicitor Gary Sweat reported that the case is in the pleading stage and under the aggressive schedule of Judge Michael Lucas. In other public comment, concerned residents in the Borland Manor neighborhood pleaded their case to supervisors regarding a small cell antenna proposed to be installed near the Borland Manor Elementary School and North Strabane Middle School. Solicitor Gary Sweat explained that the PA Supreme Court ruled that installations such as the one proposed by Crown Castle are covered under the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission and the FCC and both of those bodies preempt any action by local municipalities. Supervisors are continuing to study the matter to see if Crown Castle can stop the installation or find a more suitable location for the antenna.

Police Search For Missing Brownsville Teenager

BELLE-VERNON, Pa. (WPXI) – State police are asking for the public’s help in finding a teenage girl from Brownsville who may have run away with a man. Police say Shalynn Anderson was reported  missing by her mother Monday night and has not been seen since Oct. 12th. Anderson may be with an unknown man who was staying in the area for a week without her mother’s knowledge.  Police said the man may go by the name Miles Johnson and is commonly in the Carrick neighborhood. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Anderson or the identity of the man is  asked to contact state police at 724-929-6262.

Police; Claim Of School Shooting Was Bank Robbery Ruse

NORTH HUNTINGTON, Pa. (AP) – Police say a suspect wearing a mask left a note on the counter of a restaurant falsely claiming there was an active shooter at two nearby Pennsylvania high schools so that he could rob a bank.  Authorities say 35-year-old Luke Joseph Dell walked into the North Huntington restaurant Tuesday morning and laid down a note claiming there were multiple bombs and a shooter at Jeannette and Norwin high schools. He said he wanted to distract police. One of the schools sent students home.  Police obtained a photo of the suspect and arrested Dell before he got to the bank.  They say Dell, who lives in Beavercreek, Ohio, will be charged with making terroristic threats, causing or risking a catastrophe and other offenses.
A phone number could not be found for Dell.

World News

Trump To Talk Jobs, Fracking

EXTON, Pa. (AP) – President Donald Trump is headed to Pennsylvania to show his support for the natural gas industry, making clear he sees his pro-industry policies as a boost to his chances of winning the battleground state.  As some of his leading Democratic opponents call for a fracking ban, Trump has been eager to tout his support for a sector he says brings economic benefits and jobs.  But in the suburbs that might be key to his path to victory, Pennsylvania voters have shown a growing opposition to the drilling and massive pipelines. National polling shows growing skepticism of fracking, the process used in extraction.  On Wednesday, Trump will speak to a conference in Pittsburgh, a corporate hub of activity in the Marcellus Shale, the nation’s most prolific natural gas reservoir.

White House Slams Testimony As ‘Triple Hearsay’

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House is slamming testimony from former U.S. Ambassador William Taylor as part of the House impeachment inquiry “triple hearsay” and insisting that President Donald Trump “has done nothing wrong.”   Press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement Tuesday after Taylor told lawmakers that Trump had made clear that vital military aid to Ukraine hinged on the country’s new president making a public statement that he was opening an investigation into a company linked to the family of Trump’s potential 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden and the 2016 election.   Grisham insists “there was no quid pro quo.” She says, “Today was just more triple hearsay and selective leaks from the Democrats’ politically-motivated, closed door, secretive hearings.”   And she is slamming the inquiry as “nonsense” and “a coordinated smear campaign.”

Esper Arrives In Baghdad To Discuss U.S. Troop Deployments

BAGHDAD (AP) – Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Baghdad Wednesday, as chaos swirled along the Turkey-Syria border and Iraqi leaders chafed over reports the U.S. may want to increase the number of troops based in Iraq at least temporarily.  Esper has said that under the current plan, all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military would continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence in the region. He later added that the troops would be there temporarily until they are able to go home, but no time period has been set. He said Wednesday that the U.S. has no plans to leave those troops in Iraq “interminably.”

Turkey Signals It’s Holding Back On Resuming Syria Push

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey’s Defense Ministry is signaling it won’t resume its offensive in northeast Syria, following agreements reached with the U.S. and Russia.  The ministry said early on Wednesday the U.S. had announced Syrian Kurdish fighters completed their pullout from areas Turkey invaded this month as a five-day cease-fire allowing for the withdrawal expired.  This came after the leaders of Russia and Turkey announced a separate deal for their forces to jointly patrol almost the entire northeastern Syrian border after the Kurdish withdrawal.  Under that deal, Turkey will maintain control over the areas it holds since its incursion. It also lets Russian and Syrian troops control the rest of the border.  The ministry said: “At this stage, there is no further need to conduct a new operation outside the present operation area.”

Hong Kong Government Withdraws Unpopular Bill

HONG KONG (AP) – Hong Kong’s government has formally withdrawn an unpopular extradition bill that sparked unruly protests, which morphed into a broader campaign for democratic change in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.  The security chief announced in the legislature on Wednesday that the bill was being withdrawn.  Hong Kong’s leader had proposed amendments to extradition legislation as a way to resolve a case involving a man wanted for murder in self-ruled Taiwan, who could not be sent to face charges because there was no extradition agreement.
But the proposals sparked widespread fears that residents would be at risk of being sent to mainland China’s Communist Party-controlled courts.  Lam was forced to back down and said last month she would drop the bill.