Wednesday, June 7, 2023


Local News

Trial Ends For Woman Accused Of Shooting Boyfriend’s Ex Wife

Prosecution and defense attorneys have rested their cases in the jury trial of Michaela Hildreth, 27 of Ninevah, Greene County. She is accused of shooting the estranged wife of her boyfriend in Chartiers Township on July 20, 2022. Prosecutors put the victim Amy Mruk on the stand for her account the incident that found her being shot after instigating several arguments with her estranged husband John Mruk and Hildreth as well. Amy Mruk said that while she was walking back to a convenience store to meet the others, Hildreth drove up with John Mruk in an SUV. Amy Mruk admitted to assaulting Hildreth and after being pulled away she tried to return to the SUV with her hands in the air and that is when Hildreth shot her. The defense put Hildreth on the stand in her own defense. Her recollection is that Amy Mruk beat her head on the steering wheel causing profuse bleeding. This caused Hildreth to fear for her life and the life of the others in her SUV. When Amy Mruk approached her vehicle again she shot her. Hildreth’s testimony did not exactly line up with previous witness testimony. She blamed the chaos of the situation for the difference in recollections. Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday. Jury deliberations will begin immediately after.

Pennsylvania DEP Issues Code Red Alert For Entire State

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has declared a Code Red for the entire commonwealth due to smoke from Canada’s wildfires. Due to smoke from the wildfires, the air quality is expected to be in or near the “unhealthy” range. For today, northerly winds will bring more waves of wildfire smoke into the region. Canada’s wildfires are being fueled by dry conditions with breezy winds, which will increase the chances of periods of elevated concentrations of air pollutants. They recommend limiting time outdoors and avoiding strenuous activity. Keep an eye on people with breathing issues. Similar conditions may continue Thursday, as the northerly flow of wind is expected to keep the smoke from the fires in the direction of Allegheny County. Gov. Shapiro issued the following statement on Twitter:  “My team and I have been monitoring this situation over the past 24 hours. Smoke is affecting the entire Commonwealth. “Children, older people, and people with asthma or a respiratory illness should avoid going outdoors today as much as possible, and we should all avoid strenuous outdoor activity.”  (Photo:  WPXI)

Local Gyro Shop Closed Till Further Notice

According to a Facebook post, Cretan Gyros in Washington will be closed until further notice because of a fire at the family’s home. The post said that the family’s house burnt down around 2:30 Wednesday morning. No one was injured but they are asking for everyone’s patience as they try to return to normal operations. Cretan Gyros is located at 180 Brownson Avenue.

Florida Man Facing Trial

A Florida man had his case waived to court during the preliminary hearing on Wednesday. Robert Baker, 49 is charged with numerous counts of harassment, unlawful use of a computer and disruption of services going back to April of 2023. According to police, Baker sent between 100 and 160 pages of documents to government officials, in particular law enforcement offices. A formal arraignment is pending.

Air Quality Postpones Wild Things Game In New Jersey

Wednesday’s game between the New Jersey Jackals and the Washington Wild Things has been postponed due to air quality issues from Canada wildfires. New Jersey’s Hinchliffe Stadium is owned by Paterson’s school system, which banned outdoor activities today due to the wildfires and air quality issues and warnings that exist across most of the eastern seaboard. The game is scheduled to be made up tomorrow as part of a doubleheader, which is scheduled to start at 4:35 p.m.

Rally To Support Thomas Campbell Apartments Held

A rally was held in front of Pennsylvania Representative Guy Reschenthaler’s Washington, PA satellite office on Tuesday to bring attention to the sudden halt in the decision making process by the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in agreeing to allow the Thomas Campbell Apartments (TCA) to apply for a loan to convert 20 efficiency units into 10 one bedroom units. They are looking to Reschenthaler to intervene on their behalf to make sure HUD does not go back on their commitment to the organization. TCA suffered significant damage from a fire on December 23, 2021. Two floors of one of the structures was wiped out. Since then the Board of Directors at TCA has rebuilt all of the fire damage. The board applied for a loan to complete safety upgrades and the lender required HUD approval for the loan to be closed. According to Board of Directors President Arthur Keys, those upgrades include sprinklers in all units, hard wired alarms and the conversion of those efficiency units among others. Keys signed the unit conversion agreement required by HUD in April and now HUD is looking to review once again the scope of work. According to Keys, TCA is losing $30,000 each month that they are not able to rent the apartments that are essentially ready to go. The improvements to the sprinkler system cannot be activated until the loan is in place. Not being able to secure the loan could force TCA into bankruptcy. Keys did meet with Reschenthaler’s staff and said that the Representative is aware of the issue and is working to have the impasse corrected. Keys said he would like to have the agreement in place by the end of this week. The Thomas Campbell Apartments is a Senior Living Facility. If qualified, residents can be subsidized for a portion of their rent.

Peters Township Nursing Home Resident Charged

Daniel Libert, 68, faces multiple charges after an incident at Peters Township Nursing and Rehabilitation Center last month. Libert attended his preliminary hearing on Tuesday where his charges were waived to court. The charges included several misdemeanors such as stalking, indecent assault, and indecent exposure. When the incident occurred, police were dispatched to the scene following a report from one of the nursing home’s employees. The report described that an elderly woman had been sexually assaulted by another male patient. According to police, an employee detailed that she saw Libert push the woman in her wheelchair to another area of the facility where he touched her without consent. When police spoke to the victim, she stated that Libert had exposed himself to her multiple times over the course of two weeks. She described that on one occasion, Libert attempted to force her hand upon himself. Libert will have a formal arraignment July 27 and is free on $25,000 bond.

Canonsburg Man Waives Charges To Court

Levi Areford, 20 of Canonsburg appeared at his preliminary hearing Tuesday morning on account of multiple charges including theft of services, fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, and driving under the influence. With Areford’s charges waived to court, he will face the judge August 22. Areford’s offenses started when he refused to pay money he owed at the Red Roof Inn May 7. The manager of the establishment reported the incident and officers were dispatched to the scene. According to police, when an officer approached Areford’s vehicle in the Denny’s parking lot, Areford drove through the red light at West Chestnut Street and Franklin Farms Road. He continued to flee police in his car before eventually pulling over. Areford refused to exit his vehicle after the chase and was found with marijuana on his person. Areford was taken into custody and when requested to submit a chemical blood test, he denied. Areford is free on a $75,000 bond.

World News

Canadian Wildfires Lead To Air Quality Alerts

Canada is dealing with a series of intense wildfires that have spread from the western provinces to Quebec, with hundreds of forest fires burning. Wind has carried smoke from the fires southward, triggering air quality alerts throughout the United States. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday issued a poor air quality alert for New England, a day after parts of Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota received a similar advisory. Last week, U.S. officials as far south as Maryland, Baltimore, Virginia and Pennsylvania reported being impacted by the wildfires. Fine-particle pollution — known as “PM 2.5” — is what’s being measured. The tiny particles are small enough to get past airway defenses and cause breathing problems.

Pence Opens Campaign By Denouncing Trump

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — Mike Pence has opened his presidential bid with an unusually forceful denunciation of former President Donald Trump over Jan. 6, Trump’s temperament and abortion. Pence told an audience in a Des Moines, Iowa, suburb on Wednesday, “Anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States, and anyone who asks someone else to put them over the Constitution should never be president again.” And he accused Trump of abandoning conservative principles, particularly on abortion. Pence is the first vice president in modern history to challenge his former running mate. Trump leads the GOP 2024 presidential field in early polls.  (Photo:  AP)

Pope Francis Has Successful Intestinal Surgery

ROME (AP) – Pope Francis underwent surgery to repair a hernia in his abdominal wall, the latest malady to befall the 86-year-old pontiff who had part of his colon removed two years ago. The Vatican said there were no complications after Wednesday’s three-hour surgery, which required Francis to be under general anesthesia. Soon after the procedure, the surgeon who performed the operation said the pope was awake and fine and that the hernia was fixed. The pontiff was expected to remain at Rome’s Gemelli hospital for several days. While hernia operations are rarely performed on an emergency basis, the procedure appeared somewhat urgent. It was scheduled just a day after Francis went to the hospital for tests.

Gunman Targeted Student In Graduation Shooting

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Police say a gunman who opened fire minutes after a high school graduation in Richmond, Virginia, targeted an 18-year-old graduate he had a long-running dispute with. Eighteen-year-old Shawn Jackson and his father, Lorenzo Smith, were both killed Tuesday in the shooting. The gunfire sent hundreds fleeing in panic outside the state capital’s city-owned Altria Theater after the graduation ceremony for Huguenot High School. Five other people were wounded. Richmond Interim Police Chief Rick Edwards says the shooting suspect, 19-year-old Amari Pollard, knew Jackson. He said the two had been embroiled in a dispute for more than a year. Edwards said the nature of the dispute is still being investigated.

Florida Grand Jury Involved In Trump Documents Probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors are using a grand jury in Florida as part of their investigation into the possible mishandling of classified documents at former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach property. That’s according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press. The grand jury is in addition to a separate panel that has been meeting in Washington for months to consider charges against Trump over the retention of hundreds of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and potential obstruction of government efforts to reclaim the records. A spokesman for special counsel Jack Smith declined to comment.

Floodwaters Engulf Parts Of Ukraine After Dam Breach

KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — Floodwaters from a collapsed dam are still rising in southern Ukraine. Hundreds of people have been forced to flee their homes in a major emergency operation that has brought a dramatic new dimension to the war with Russia, now in its 16th month. Officials said the flood’s force was expected to slacken Wednesday following Tuesday’s breach of the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam and reservoir, which is one of the largest in the world. Even so, authorities said water levels were expected to rise by another meter (about 3 feet) over the following 20 hours. Some local residents spent the night on rooftops. Others, scrambling to flee the rising waters, were evacuated by buses and trains with the belongings they could carry.

WWE’s “Iron Sheik” Dies at 81

(AP) – Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, known to millions as wrestling’s “Iron Sheik,” died Wednesday, according to Wrestling News.  “Today, we gather with heavy hearts to bid farewell to a true legend, a force of nature, and an iconic figure who left an incredible mark on the world of professional wrestling. It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of The Iron Sheik, but we also take solace in knowing that he departed this world peacefully, leaving behind a legacy that will endure for generations to come,” a statement on his social media page read.  According to the WWE, Vaziri, 81, “became WWE Champion the day after Christmas in 1983 when he defeated Bob Backlund at Madison Square Garden.” “The victory was a controversial one,” the website reports, “as Backlund’s manager Arnold Skaaland threw in the towel after Backlund refused to submit.”  The Iron Sheik, who was born in Iran and was an amateur wrestler there, held the title for just under a month before losing the championship to Hollywood Hogan (eventually Hulk Hogan) on Jan. 23, 1984.  (Photo:  ABC)