The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

February 20, 2014

News briefs from Feb. 20, 2014

- — Police search prompts BC3 campus lockdown

NEW CASTLE – Butler County Community College on Wednesday locked down its Lawrence Crossing campus near New Castle while authorities searched for “a person of interest,’’ the college said.

The individual, who was not identified by the college, entered the campus around 11:15 a.m.

“It’s standard procedure to proactively keep our students and staff safe when a situation like this arises at any of our BC3 campus locations,” said Susan Changnon, BC3 executive director of communications and marketing. “We followed our process and immediately issued a lockdown for BC3 @ Lawrence Crossing.”

Police caught the individual at about noon. At 12:40 p.m., the college lifted the lockdown and resumed day and evening classes and activities.

At no time were students or faculty in danger, the college said.

Authority issues contract for sewer rehab project

HERMITAGE – Hermitage Municipal Authority on Wednesday awarded a contract to Insight Pipe, Harmony, Pa., for a sanitary sewer rehabilitation project.

Insight’s bid, $123,554, was the lowest of three.

The project calls for replacing 380 feet of pipe, and 680 feet of sliplining, also known as curing in place. Sliplining is a process where a fabric is pulled through an existing pipe and heated so it adheres to the existing surface.

Most of the work will be done on Fairfield and Bartholomew drives, with smaller sections on Parkview Boulevard and Lillian Drive in the area southwest of Buhl Farm park.

A small section of Easton Drive also will be rehabilitated.

The contract calls for a 45-day construction period.

Man goes into ARD, gives up inheritance

SHARON – A Sharon man accused of gutting his grandmother’s bank accounts was admitted into a diversionary program Tuesday after agreeing to forfeit his inheritance and pay restitution.

Bret C. Friedrich, 30, of 389 Service Ave., has been admitted into Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition for 2 years.

ARD is a probation-like program. If he completes it, charges of theft will be dismissed and the record of the case expunged.

Friedrich is giving up a $75,000 inheritance and agreed to pay restitution, court costs and costs of ARD.

Mercer County Area Agency on Aging began an investigation when it received a report May 6, 2011, that Friedrich’s grandmother, a Hermitage resident, could not live safely on her own and her bills were not being paid, said a Mercer County detective.

Friedrich, who had power of attorney for his grandmother, refused to give access to her records, and a common pleas court judge issued an order Oct. 4, 2012, for access, the detective said.

The records showed Friedrich had taken $185,565 from her money market account, a certificate of deposit and a checking account and moved it into accounts that were his or that he shared, the detective said.

He spent his grandmother’s money for membership to a country club, to make payments on a BMW and to pay credit card debt, the detective said.

Prosecutors had a forensic accountant prepare a report detailing the alleged loss, but a judge ruled it inadmissible because it was not turned over prior to a deadline.

Successful appeal boosts authority’s report card

MERCER COUNTY – Mercer County Housing Authority has won an appeal over an inspection that officials said will push its annual grade to an “A.”

The authority is graded on factors such as rental occupancy, rent collections and an inspection of its properties.

Officials lamented in December that a Dumpster fire the night before an inspector was to visit Vermiere Manor, Sharon, cost it 7è points because officials chose not to clean up from the fire until an insurance adjuster had been there.

With the fire-ravaged inspection grade for Vermiere, the authority’s overall grade was expected to be 89.6 percent. Officials want to score a grade of at least 90 to be labeled a high performing authority, which would give better access to certain grants and other federal funding.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development heard the appeal and changed the score of the Vermiere inspection, boosting the authority’s overall score to 90.33, Executive Director Nannette Livadas said Wednesday.

While HUD has not officially released the authority’s report card, Livadas said it’s easy to do the math.

“That was a long time coming, a lot of work,” said authority board President Carol Gurrera.

If the score comes as expected, it would be the authority’s first time reaching high-performer status since 2008.

The authority score was 87 percent in 2012.

Local reports

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Local News
  • Prison term upheld for sex offender

    A sex offender challenging a 4- to 8-year prison sentence for a probation violation lost an appeal of that sentence.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man, 24, must register as sex offender for life

    The Ohio man who exposed himself to Sharon girls on their way to school last fall must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life when he gets out of jail.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man deemed predator – for now

    A former Sharon man was sent to the state prison system Tuesday for corrupting the morals of a teenage girl, but the question of whether his penalties under Megan’s Law will stand could be subject to future legal proceedings.

    April 23, 2014

  • Not even waste will be wasted

    Tom Darby admits he wishes the startup of the anaerobic digestion process at the Hermitage Water Pollution Control Plant had moved along much faster.

    April 23, 2014

  • 3rd Earth Fest draws families to Penn State

    Penn State Shenango’s Earth Fest has become a spring tradition for area residents.
    Families poured into downtown Sharon for the campus’ third annual sustainability celebration.

    April 22, 2014

  • Amish clean Shenango River Volunteers protect Shenango River

    Shenango River Watchers has spent more than a decade working to clean up the Shenango and improve recreational access to its water and banks.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • For many, recycling’s become way of life

    When Pennsylvania mandated curbside recycling for its larger municipalities in 1998 – those with more than 5,000 people – there was grumbling about government interference in the lives of everyday people.

    April 22, 2014

  • Many items can’t be thrown away

    The computer screen in front of you isn’t likely to do you much harm, at least not until it’s tossed in a landfill where the lead-filled components start to leak and eventually find their way into your drinking water, according to Jerry Zona, director of the Lawrence-Mercer County Recycling/Solid Waste department.

    April 22, 2014

  • David Sykes' solar panels Earthworks

    While touring Germany last year, David Sykes spotted solar panels resting in a residential back yard.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burned using Icy Hot, woman claims

    A Grove City woman has sued Chattem Inc. and Rite Aid of Pennsylvania Inc., alleging she suffered a second-degree chemical burn using one of Chattem’s Icy Hot pain relief products.

    April 21, 2014

  • Family outing Family friendly

    “We’re No. 5’’ isn’t a sports cheer you’ll hear any time soon.
    But considering the lumps the greater area has gotten over the years on economic rankings, it’s an outright victory.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • To demolish or not Tear it down? Fix it up?

    In 2007, Richard D. Givens bought a home at 831 Knobwood Drive in Hermitage for $245,000.
    Today, the city of Hermitage is seeking the demolition of the now-vacant house, arguing the damage from water infiltration makes the structure not worth saving.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 19, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Man admits having child porn

    A Mercer man accused of soliciting and downloading photographs of nude teenage girls pleaded guilty April 8 to sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography.

    April 19, 2014

  • Police getting new tool to fight crime

    Sharon police working at crime scenes will be putting a powerful new investigative tool to work as soon as next month.

    April 19, 2014