The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

February 11, 2014

News briefs from Feb. 11, 2014

Herald staff

- — If you felt tremor Sunday, that was minor quake

GREENVILLE – Maybe it felt like a snow plow rumbling by, but it was actually a 2.2 magnitude earthquake that shook things up a bit in the Greenville area around dinnertime on Sunday. An earthquake of this magnitude is considered minor.

The epicenter was just east of state Route 18 about 5 miles north of Greenville, close to the Mercer-Crawford county line.

The quake was recorded at 5:34 p.m. and had a depth estimated at about 3 miles, according to the Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network of Columbia University.

No damage was reported by Monday evening, according to Frank A. Jannetti Jr., Mercer County director of public safety.

Police ID man they say passed counterfeit money

SHARON – Police filed charges Monday and issued a warrant for the man they think passed counterfeit currency Jan. 31 at two local businesses.

Thomas C. Morgan Jr., 52, who has no known address, was identified through a review of surveillance camera footage. He spent a counterfeit $50 bill at JJ’s Litehouse, 971 Division St., and $20 at Tony’s Pizza Kitchen, 628 Stambaugh Ave., police said.

“It looks like he took existing bills and somehow bleached them and reprinted them using a different number,” Chief Mike Menster said. “It would pass the marker test because it was originally a bill but it was noticeable” that the bank note was a forgery.

Employees of businesses and bank tellers can use specialized pens whose ink helps to separate currency from fake money.

Police charged Morgan with forgery and theft and issued a warrant for his arrest.

“We’ve also been in touch with the Secret Service,” Menster said of the bureau in the U.S. Treasury Department. “At some point they might get involved because they investigate counterfeiting.”

Morgan, who is white, has bad teeth and was wearing a tan coat, carrying a backpack and riding a bicycle when the phony bills were passed.

Employees at the businesses told police he had a goatee or mustache, salt and pepper hair and was wearing glasses,  Menster said.

Shots fired miss sleeping child’s head by inches

FARRELL – Two incidents of shots fired were reported within 30 minutes of each other early Sunday morning.

Drywall dust was found on a child who was sleeping when a bullet passed through the bedroom at 1:21 a.m. at a house in the 300 block of Spearman Avenue.

Police said a mother and her children were home when two shots were fired at the house. One of the rounds went through the siding, then drywall about 4 to 5 inches above the child’s head, police said.

A vehicle could be heard speeding away from the house, police said.

The second report of shots fired at a house was at 1:45 a.m. in the 1100 block of Roemer Boulevard.

A man who lived there ran into the house as someone was shooting at him, police said. At least one round entered the house through a closed front door window, lodging into a stairwell just beyond the door. No one was injured, police said.

Anyone with information should call Southwest Mercer County police department at 724-983-2720.

Five hospitalized after one-car crash on I-79

FINDLEY TOWNSHIP – At least three people were ejected from a car when it crashed early Sunday morning on I-79 in Findley Township.

Speed and slippery roads were to blame for the  one-car crash shortly after midnight that sent five men, all 20 years old, to Grove City Medical Center, Pine Township, with mild to moderate injuries, police said.

The car driven by Dondi B. Kirby Jr., of Monroeville, was traveling north at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control on the slippery road and struck a guard rail and knocked out 30 feet of it, police said.

Kirby, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was charged with driving a vehicle at an unsafe speed.