The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

February 7, 2014

News briefs from Feb. 7, 2014

- — Police: Beware of calls from Dominican Republic

SHARPSVILLE – Police said reports of a phone scam that uses family members’ names to make the call sound credible netted thousand of dollars for someone in the Dominican Republic.

A Sharpsville man reported that someone called him from the Dominican Republic posing as a family member who was out of town and said they needed money to get out of jail, police said. Money was transferred to a phony name, according to police. More money was sent when a second call requested money to pay medical bills to prevent a warrant being issued for the family member’s arrest. When the family member returned to town they realized it was a scam, police said.

The man and his family member were advised by police to file a report with the credit bureaus, police said.

In a separate report, a Sharpsville woman reported she received a phone call from a female posing as a family member who was in trouble in the Dominican Republic. When the woman asked for the caller’s name, she hung up, police said. A week later she received another call from a male posing as another family member who was supposedly in trouble in the Dominican Republic. Again, the caller hung up when she asked for his name, police said.

Brothers charged with growing marijuana

SHARON -- Sharon police say cough drops wasn’t the product the local Smith brothers were selling, but marijuana they grew in the house they had rented.

Marques James Smith, 28, and Dominic Anthony Smith, 24, both of 653 Sherman Ave., were in the process of moving out when police were tipped off about likely drug activity by the property manager, Chief Mike Menster said.

A room on the main floor had its windows covered with trash bags. Investigators on Tuesday found 11 pots filled with potting soil, plant-growing lights, an electrical heating coil, aluminum foil, smoking pipes and a scale.

“The plants were gone but we found loose leaves and stalks that tested positive for marijuana,” Menster said. “It appears they were growing marijuana in there.”

Both men posted bond after they were each charged before District Judge Dennis M. Songer, Sharon, with possession and possession with intent to deliver marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Woman enters Alford plea on assault charge

GREENVILLE – A Greenville woman who told police she stabbed her boyfriend after he bragged about trashing her neighbor’s home Oct. 10 entered an Alford plea on an aggravated assault charge.

Lois I. Aley, 31, of 96 Clarksville St., agreed to the Alford plea and, in exchange, charges of attempted homicide and reckless endangerment charges were not pursued by the Mercer County district attorney’s office.

In making an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges that sufficient evidence likely exists for conviction at trial. The plea allows the case to proceed to sentencing.

Aley said her boyfriend, Justin H. Gulentz, 29, of Greenville, kept complaining that night about alleged drug activity at the neighbor’s home, police said.

Aley told police that she and Gulentz were arguing and she stabbed him with a kitchen knife because he got in her face during the argument, police said. She told police he had beaten her in the past and she didn’t want to take it any more, police said.

Gulentz was charged with burglary, theft, criminal trespassing and criminal mischief in the break-ins that happened earlier that night. Those charges were withdrawn by District Judge Brian Arthur.

PennDOT reviewing bids for Route 19, I-376 work

MERCER COUNTY – PennDOT is reviewing the bids for two major roadway projects, one in Mercer and one in Shenango Township.

Allison Park Contractors Inc. of Allison Park, Pa., submitted the apparent low bid of $4,949,000 to improve the Interstate 376-Mercer West Middlesex Road interchange in Shenango Township, said PennDOT spokesman Jim Carroll.

As part of the project, a contractor will build a northbound off-ramp and a southbound on-ramp. The project will affect 1.7 miles of highway.

Russell Standard Corp., Union City, submitted the apparent low bid of $1,349,293 for the Mercer project, which was an outgrowth of a Route 19 corridor study.

The hired contractor will replace the traffic signal at the five-leg intersection of Erie Street, Franklin Street, Greenville Avenue and North Street; widen the Franklin approach to accommodate a right-turn lane; restrict traffic on East North Street to one-way travel away from the intersection; and upgrade the traffic controllers where Erie Street intersects with Venango, Market and Butler streets.

PennDOT likely will award contracts in four to six weeks, Carroll said.

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Local News
  • News briefs from April 24, 2014

    April 24, 2014

  • Bus cameras will be listening, too

    Hermitage School District is taking advantage of a recently enacted exemption to the state’s wiretap law in allowing officials to turn on the audio recording capability on school bus and vehicle video cameras.

    April 24, 2014

  • Union, city OK 4-year contract

    Hermitage’s nonuniformed employees have a new four-year contract that gives them average pay hikes of 2.5 percent a year and the opportunity to live outside the city limits, while allowing administrators more flexibility in scheduling.

    April 24, 2014

  • 2 principals to be hired

    Sharpsville Area school directors needed a shove to make a decision but the board voted Tuesday to interview candidates and hire two principals for 2014-15.

    April 24, 2014

  • 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

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    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

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    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burned using Icy Hot, woman claims

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    April 21, 2014

  • Family outing Family friendly

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    April 21, 2014 1 Photo