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
  • Officials split over selling older monitors

    What to do with a pile of older LCD computer monitors, keyboards and mice remains up in the air until the third, and often absent, county commissioner makes a decision.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police anxious to talk with victim

    Sharon police want to talk to a West Hill man about several other men who came to his house shortly before he was shot and critically wounded Tuesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • AED presentation Heart-friendly pool

    The Lackawannock-Shenango-West Middlesex Pool has some pretty obvious changes from when it was opened almost 46 years ago.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sharon man 'stable' after being shot in his West Hill home

    A Sharon man was in stable condition this morning after being shot by one of several men he had let into his West Hill home, police said.

    July 23, 2014

  • GJR killer not eligible for parole, court rules

    State Superior Court on Tuesday reversed a local judge’s decision that the sentence for one of two men who killed a night supervisor at George Junior Republic, Pine Township, was unconstitutional.

    July 23, 2014

  • Duplicated files, former worker confesses

    A Mercer woman accused of stealing customer lists, billing information and other data from her former employer headed off trial Monday by pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful duplication.

    July 23, 2014

  • Starved house Vandals vent their emotions

    Vandals kept police busy Sunday and Monday nights at a home in Greenville where the Mercer County District Attorney’s office said a boy was starved and beaten by his mom.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple, another man charged in thefts

    Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Taking stock Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing

    Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buhl Day honorees

    The Buhl Day committee has chosen for this year’s celebration five honored guests whose volunteer work they feel best showcases the legacy of philanthropic work left behind by Frank and Julia Buhl a century ago.

    July 22, 2014

  • GC pair not hurt in accident injuring 2

    Two drivers were taken to a hospital after an accident at the intersection of state routes 965 and 173 in Worth Township, police said.

    July 21, 2014

  • WaterFire crowds WaterFire doused

    Sharon’s WaterFire wasn’t lacking either of its elements on Saturday. There was steady, day-long rain but the day concluded with the Shenango River ablaze.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Starved’ boy released from hospital

    A 7-year-old boy allegedly starved and beaten by his mother is out of the hospital and ordered out of his Greenville home by Mercer County Common Pleas President Judge Thomas R. Dobson.

    July 20, 2014

  • WaterFire walking tour Time traveling

    A group of more 50 people walked between the raindrops Saturday during an historical tour of downtown Sharon during the city’s WaterFire celebration.

    July 20, 2014 6 Photos 1 Story

  • News briefs from July 19, 2014

    Michigan man charged with assaulting girl here

    Sharon man charged with raping woman

    July 19, 2014