Friday, July 19, 2019

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

Local News

‘Person Of Interest’ In Custody In Off-Duty Officer Killing

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Police say a “person of interest” in the fatal shooting of an off-duty Pittsburgh police officer is in custody.  A Public Safety Department spokesman on Thursday night said the person is held on charges unrelated to the death of 36-year-old Officer Calvin Hall. The spokesman did not release the charge or the person’s name and would only say the investigation is ongoing. Hall died Wednesday at a hospital after he was shot three times in the back early Sunday during a street dispute as one or more parties were going on.  Officials say there was a “strong possibility” that Hall, although off duty, “was in fact acting under the color of the law when he was fatally shot.”  His funeral is scheduled for Tuesday.

Syrian Refugee Indicted On Charges He Plotted To Bomb Church

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A federal grand jury is accusing a Syrian refugee of plotting to bomb a Christian church in Pittsburgh to inspire Islamic State of Iraq followers.  The jury handed up a three-count indictment Wednesday against 21-year-old Pittsburgh resident Mustafa Mousab Alowemer.  He’s charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and two counts of distributing information about an explosive, destructive device, or weapon of mass destruction.  Authorities claim he had detailed plans to bomb the Legacy International Worship Center, a small Christian church.  Authorities say Alowemer was born in Syria and came to the United States in 2016. He was arrested last month while meeting with undercover FBI agents, leading to the grand jury indictment.  Messages left for his federal public defender weren’t returned.

Alligator #4 Found In Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A baby alligator has been found far from the tropics in the parking lot of a grocery store near Pittsburgh.  It’s the fourth alligator discovered around the city since May.  Shaler Township Police Lt. Dave Banko tells the Tribune Review an employee found the 2-foot-long creature Friday morning near a garbage can at the Giant Eagle grocery store.  The police department posted on its Facebook page that reptile’s owner should send them a message.  Paul McIntyre, of Big Daddy Wildlife Removal, says the animal was healthy, docile and seems like a pet.  vThree other gators have been found around Pittsburgh since May.  On June 8, a 2 1/2-foot-long alligator was found on a home’s porch. Two days earlier, a man walking his dog spotted a 5-foot-long alligator in front of a garage. On May 18, a 3-foot-long gator was captured near a park.  There’s no word on whether the gator sightings are related. (Photo:  WPXI)

The World Is Coming To Washington County

The DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series Thursday revealed details for their 68th annual championship. Five of the ten teams have qualified for the tournament: Washington County, the host, along teams from Mexico, Puerto Rico, defending champion Chinese Taipei and, for the first time ever, London, United Kingdom. The events will begin on the evening of August 8th with the Ansys FanFest at DICK’s Sporting Goods in Washington. The games will begin on Friday August 9th, concluding with the championships on Thursday, August 15th. WJPA-AM 1450 has been the radio home of the PONY League World Series since 1952.  Longtime Pirates broadcaster Lanny Frattare and 10-year Voice of the Wild Things Randy Gore will anchor our coverage.

More Cuts At The Post-Gazette

PITTSBURGH – (WPXI) – More cuts at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – which announced Thursday that it would be reducing the number of days it prints a newspaper. Our news partners at Channel 11 obtained a letter that was sent to all union presidents at the Post-Gazette. It said that the paper intends to move to a digital-only operation and part of that move includes reducing the number of print days by two in 2019. The change will take effect September 30. Last August, the Post-Gazette cut printed newspapers on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

World News

Iran Has Seized A British Oil Tanker

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says it has seized a British oil tanker that was passing through the Strait of Hormuz.  The IRGC’s website,, says the tanker “Stena Impero” was seized Friday by IRGC forces for “non-compliance with international maritime laws and regulations” and has transferred the vessel to an Iranian port.  The report did not elaborate what port it was transferred to.  The operator of oil tanker Stena Impero says it is unable to contact the ship after it was approached by unidentified vessels and a helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz. Northern Marine Management and shipping firm Stena Bulk say in a statement that the vessel was in international waters and is now heading toward Iran. The ship has 23 crew aboard.  The British government says it is urgently seeking information after reports Iran has seized the British-flagged ship.

Trump Disavows ‘Send Her Back’ Cry

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has chided his supporters who chanted “send her back” when he questioned the loyalty of a Somali-born congresswoman, joining widespread criticism of the campaign crowd’s cry after Republicans warned about political blowback from the angry scene.  In a week that has been full of hostile exchanges over race and love of country on both sides, Trump also claimed he had tried to stop the chant at a reelection event Wednesday night in North Carolina – though video suggests otherwise.  The target- Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota – responded defiantly Thursday. She told reporters at the Capitol the confrontation is a fight over “what this country truly should be.”

Biden, Harris Set For Rematch In 2nd Democratic Debate

ATLANTA (AP) – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will get a debate rematch in the second round of Democratic presidential primary debates, while Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will share a stage to argue their progressive visions.  CNN randomly assigned 20 candidates to the two stages in a drawing broadcast live Thursday night. The debates are being held over two nights, July 30-31, in Detroit.  Sanders and Warren will appear on the first night, along with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; former Maryland Rep. John Delaney; and author Marianne Williamson.  Appearing onstage July 31 along with Biden and Harris are New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; entrepreneur Andrew Yang; former Housing Secretary Julian Castro; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet; Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

Trump To Nominate Eugene Scalia For Labor Secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says he will nominate lawyer Eugene Scalia to be his new labor secretary.  Scalia is the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He is a partner in the Washington office of the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm.  Trump tweets that Scalia “is highly respected not only as a lawyer, but as a lawyer with great experience working with labor and everyone else.” Trump’s previous labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, resigned last week. Acosta has come under renewed criticism for his handling of a 2008 secret plea deal with wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, who is accused of sexually abusing underage girls.

Two Men Die After Being Trapped In Grain Silo

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – A shipping business in Ohio says two workers died after they were trapped in a silo filled with grain.   The workers became trapped Friday morning inside the silo operated by The Andersons in Toledo.   A Toledo fire department spokesman says rescue crews spent nearly two hours trying to reach the men. He says at one point they were able to make contact with one of the workers.   Rescue crews had brought in special equipment to try to stop the grain from collapsing on the men.  A statement released by The Andersons says the company is shaken by the loss of two of its workers.  The company says it will work authorities to investigate what happened.