The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

December 8, 2013

Court moving again

Setting up in city building after more mold found

FARRELL — While Court Administrator Pete Morin said he expects the relocation will last about two months, county Commissioner John N. Lechner said officials do not know the extent of the problem or what work might need to be done to make the building habitable. Lechner did not rule out abandoning the building.

“We know there is moisture in one wall that is shared with the vacant side of the building but there also may be slight infiltration from the floor,” he said.

The building at 425 Idaho St. does not present a “mold toxic environment,” based on air quality tests that showed mold spore counts inside the building lower than outside the building, “except in one or two isolated areas,” Lechner said.

One employee has a “VERY high sensitivity to mold and that is the main driver of this issue,” Lechner said in an email.

“I am concerned about the health of employees in that building, as I am with all our employees across the county,” he said.

Leaving the building altogether “is always an option if the remediation costs would run atrociously high or if there was no effective way to permanently fix the underlying causes,” Lechner said.

The court has had a senior judge, William L. Fagley, who was the Greenville district judge for years, presiding since late October, when Judge Ronald E. Antos took a leave of absence. Morin said the building’s condition is part of the reason Antos took the leave, and he would not discuss any other reasons.

“I do not know the reason for Judge Antos’ leave of absence but I do not think it is related to the conditions in the building,” Lechner said.

Antos declined to comment, referring questions to Morin.

At an October gathering at the United Way offices in Hermitage, Antos said he was taking a medical leave of absence due to health problems and that he believed there may be issues in his office that led to his health issues.

Antos will return to his duties Tuesday, when the relocated court at 500 Roemer Blvd. is expected to be up and running, Morin said.

The temporary office will be fully operational, with court staff accepting payments for costs, fines and restitution; criminal complaints; and small-claims civil complaints. The judge will hold hearings in council’s public meeting room.

The court’s telephone numbers will not change.

“It shouldn’t be too bad,” Morin said of the temporary accommodations. “We’ll have the facilities that the staff will need to conduct business.”

County officials are talking with Farrell city officials about what the county will pay for use of the city building, Lechner said.

The court has a discretionary fund built by some fines and costs paid by defendants that can be used to pay the city, Morin said.

The county bought the district court building in 2001, and had to deal with a mold infestation problem shortly after court workers moved in.

In 2007, the court, which serves Farrell, Hermitage, Wheatland, West Middlesex and Shenango Township, was moved to the Farrell city building due to mold, and the county replaced the Idaho Street building’s roof and carpeting, sanitized the building and performed other work.

1
Text Only
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