ALLENTOWN — Police say a 1-year-old Pennsylvania girl is back with her mother after the car she was sitting in was stolen from outside her home.
Investigators say Jennifer Ramirez had left her daughter, Nariya, inside the air-conditioned vehicle while unloading groceries to keep her out of Wednesday's extreme heat. But a thief jumped into the car and drove away from the family's Allentown home around 2:30 p.m.
The car was found about a half-hour later more than two miles away when a passer-by noticed her inside the ditched vehicle and returned the last call received by the cellphone inside. The little girl was unhurt.
Authorities say they don't have a description of the thief but are checking the vehicle for fingerprints.
Portage woman to trial in fire blamed on bath salts
PORTAGE — A western Pennsylvania woman has waived her right to a preliminary hearing and will stand trial on charges she set fire to her house and later told police that was a cry for help because she was abusing the synthetic drug known as bath salts.
Thirty-two-year-old Jennifer Lynn Yatsky is charged with burning down her house in Summerhill Township on April 17.
The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown reports Thursday that Yatsky told a 911 dispatcher to say, "I lit my house on fire because I need help. Because I need to go somewhere to get help."
Police say the "help" Yatsky sought was drug rehab for using the synthetic drug.
Yatsky's attorney says he's still "looking into" Yatsky's alleged statements and says there are other circumstances involved which he would not divulge.
Lifeguard revives child at Pittsburgh-area park
WEST HOMESTEAD — A lifeguard is being credited for reviving a little girl who was unresponsive when she was pulled from the water at a Pittsburgh-area water park.
Officials aren't releasing the name of the guard or the little girl, who is believed to be about 4 years old.
KDKA-TV reports the girl was blue and unconscious when she was removed from the water at Sandcastle Water Park in West Homestead late Wednesday afternoon.
The lifeguard used cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and was later helped by paramedics as the girl was seen regaining consciousness and crying.
A park spokesperson says the girl may have suffered a seizure before she went underwater.
The girl was being treated at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where her condition was not immediately released.
Pitt lauds arrest as 'progress' in threats probe
PITTSBURGH — The University of Pittsburgh says the arrest of an Ohio man marks "significant progress" as federal authorities continue to investigate a series of bomb and internet threats that disrupted campus life for several weeks earlier this year.
Chancellor Mark Nordenberg says in a statement that the threats were a "source of anxiety" for Pitt students and employees and "interfered with the work of one of the region's most important institutions."
Twenty-four-year-old Alexander Waterland, of Loveland, Ohio, was arrested Wednesday. He will face a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh next week on charges that he posted an anonymous YouTube video and a follow-up comment claiming to have stolen computer records from the University of Pittsburgh and threatening to release them after the school had been plagued by weeks' worth of bomb threats. Waterland isn't charged in the bomb threats.
3 sisters give birth in 10 days; 2 on same day
PITTSBURGH — Lauren Kosalec just gave birth four weeks early, but circumstances suggest the western Pennsylvania woman's delivery was right on time.
That's because the 26-year-old West Deer Township woman gave birth to a son on Monday, just a few hours after her sister, 30-year-old Kristi Mellinger, gave birth to a daughter during a scheduled C-section. Both gave birth at Magee-Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh.
The births came 10 days after a third sister, 28-year-old Becky Kosalec, gave birth to a girl on June 8. Becky Kosalec lives in Shaler Township, another Pittsburgh suburb a few miles from West Deer, where both of her sisters live.
Kristi sums it up by saying, "Everyone's here, and everyone's healthy. It's a blessing."
Missing hikers found alive at Hawk Mountain sanctuary
NEW ALBANY — An elderly man and his two young grandchildren are safe after they apparently got lost in a southeastern Pennsylvania nature sanctuary during what was supposed to be a day hike.
Authorities say the 74-year-old man and two boys under the age of 10 were found late Wednesday night on Hawk Mountain in Berks County.
Elizabeth Christman identified the hikers as her father, Robert Durn, and her sons, 9-year-old Garrod and 5-year-old Griffen. She says all three were uninjured despite daytime temperatures that climbed into the 90s.
Fire officials say the trio set out around 10:30 a.m. for what was supposed to be a three-hour hike. The search began around 6:30 p.m. after they didn't check in.
Cops: Woman lied about Reds reliever room robbery
PITTSBURGH — A Maryland woman has been charged with filing a false police report over a robbery report at the hotel room of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman.
Twenty-six-year-old Claudia Manrique, of Silver Spring, Md., was charged Wednesday by Pittsburgh police with a single misdemeanor count.
Investigators say Manrique claimed she was tied up in Chapman's hotel room by an unknown assailant who made off with about $6,000 in jewelry and other items on May 29. The Reds were in town for a series with the Pirates then.
But police say Manrique later changed her story, saying she first encountered the man in a store and he showed up at Chapman's room seeking a bag filled with more than $200,000 in jewelry.
A phone listing for Manrique couldn't immediately be located.
Judge: Student-sex teacher can stay in jail
EASTON — A judge has denied a former Pennsylvania teacher's request for a reduced sentence after she pleaded guilty to having sex with one of her students.
Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano says 26-year-old Rachel Farrell is stuck with her five-month sentence.
Farrell pleaded guilty in April to corrupting a minor. Farrell told the judge she agreed with his sentencing decision earlier this month, but then filed an appeal.
On Wednesday, Giordano told Farrell he needed to send a message that children would be safe in schools.
The former Bangor Area High School teacher admitted having sex with a 17-year-old 11th-grader starting in August 2010.
Farrell's attorney told the judge his client hadn't been eating during her incarceration and required mental health treatment.
State won't reopen former state prison in Waynesburg
WAYNESBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections won't reopen a former state prison in southwestern Pennsylvania as a minimum-security home for prisoners nearing the end of their sentences.
The former State Correctional Institution-Waynesburg is about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh. The prison is separate and distinct from the nearby State Correctional Institution-Greene, which houses death row and other inmates.
DOC announced plans in December 2009 to reopen the Waynesburg prison for about 500 inmates. But the Observer-Reporter of Washington, Pa. reports the department now prefers to house pre-release inmates in community corrections programs to better help inmates find steady jobs once they're released.
The prison closed in 2003 and was sold to Basalt Trap Rock Co., which operated a boarding school for students with drug and behavioral problems that closed in 2007. The company still owns the building.
Duquesne Brewing Co. adding light beer next month
LATROBE — A popular Pittsburgh-area beer brand revived in 2010 now plans to roll out a light beer.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports Duquesne Brewing Co. will ship its new Duquesne LT beer to bars and retailers next month. About 500 barrels' worth of the beer was bottled this week at City Brewing Co. in Latrobe, where Duquesne Beer is now made.
Duquesne Beer was brewed in Pittsburgh's South Side from 1899 to 1972 and in the 1950s was the state's biggest-selling brand.
Mark Dudash, a Pittsburgh-area attorney, revived the brand two years ago when he formed Duquesne Brewing and struck a deal for the beer to be brewed in Latrobe, about 40 miles east of the city.
Iron City and Stoney's beer are also brewed at City Brewing.